Phishing – How to Know if the Site is Real

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Phishing is the attempt to illegally obtain sensitive information such as username, password, and credit card information by pretending to be a trustworthy entity through your email or on the Internet.

Many of us might have received an email saying our account has been temporarily frozen. All we need to do is log into our account and prove our identity by adding our credit card information, as if logging in was not proof enough. If we follow through, we not only have our username and password stolen but they now also have our credit card information.

So how do we protect ourselves?

The number one rule is never reply to the inquiry. Call your company (entity) involved and inform yourself through the proper channels whether there has been a problem. If you’re going on line to visit, let’s say your bank, make sure the URL is accurate and you are protected with the certificate indicated by the “s” that follows the “http,” also have the lock closed to indicate you’re on a secure connection.

Please note that this alone is not a guarantee that it’s the real website of your entity. So what can you do?

Try this fun and simple trick.

In the user box, randomly hit any key on your keyboard and then do the same in the password box. If you are brought to the next step and usually they will ask for your credit card information, you know you are on a phishing site.

For example, when I hit the keyboard the following resulted.

Username: Vnjhb20pg5kojndv

Password: wcbvo5ion’fjbd

Now let’s be honest, what are the odds that someone really has this username and password?

Final step is to report the site.

For more information see this interesting and simple to understand Reader’s Digest article, 10 ways to protect yourself online.

The hunt for Komodo Cracker

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United League of Restored Axiom

Part 2 - The Mission - 2 of 3 (More Text)

If I can convince you that God exists through archaeological evidence and as a result you decide to become a Christian. Can you claim to have faith in God?

The purpose of the ULRA, (United League of Restored Axiom) is to convert the world to Christianity through the uncovering of Biblical Relics through time travel. Will they succeed or is it all in vain?

Follow Thomas Faraday as he joins the ULRA and discovers why good intentions are not always enough.

The Hunt for Komodo Cracker

Trailer

Making Your Own DMZ for a More Secure Home Network

In the novel, The Hunt for Komodo Cracker, Thomas Faraday thought himself safe from hackers behind a DMZ, (Demilitarized Zone) that he implemented himself. Normally this defence strategy would certainly be hard to penetrate.  Many network administrators use this to strengthen their network environment.

Definition:

Here is a quick and simple definition of what a DMZ does according to Thomas Faraday. He explains his own DMZ this way, “The DMZ is well monitored with honeypots, fake web servers designed to attract hackers and if possible trace them to their source. It also had firewalls with a minimum amount of open ports to allow internet users access to the company’s web page which doubled as an email server. It blocked all access to the inside LAN network area where all the company employees had their workstations. This LAN area is where the main servers were located. It’s next to impossible for anyone without the proper access codes to breech the DMZ from the internet and end up in the LAN side undetected.”

Home use:

If a DMZ is such a strong defence could you implement one for home use? When you buy a home router it almost always comes with a DMZ option integrated. But don’t let this fool you. Almost all home routers featuring a DMZ will allow you to have a computer made visible on the internet but if this computer gets compromised, the intruder will also have access to any other computers, tablets, or anything else connected to your home network, ouch!

But don’t despair; you can make a secure DMZ for your home or small office for free if you have a second router available. They’re available for less than one hundred dollars if you need to buy one.

This is a diagram of a simple home DMZ

 

DMA 2

 

Here is how you do it.

Step 1

Configure router 1 to use 192.168.1.x where x equals your router’s IP address.  This is the router directly connected to your ISP provider.

Step 2

Connect your computer into one of the ports of router 1. This is the computer that will be accessed from the internet.

Step 3

Now plug router 2 into one of the ports of router 1. Configure router 2 to use 192.168.2.x where x equals your router’s IP address like you did on router 1.

Step 4

You can now connect all of your computers and other devices into router 2.

Important note:

Not all routers are configured the same way so you will need the user’s manual for instruction on how to assign an IP address. If you don’t have the user’s manual you can most likely download it from the router’s website.

One last note, you will probably have WIFI capability on both your routers. If so make sure to secure it with a strong pass phrase and use at the very least WPA or WPA2 for the DMZ and WPA2 for your home network. Also give each router a non-descriptive name to conceal that you have a DMZ.

That’s it. Now you have a simple yet effective home DMZ.

Soon I will blog about a free network intrusion detection system to protect yourself from hackers.

If you have any questions, please sign up to be part of my email list and write DMZ in the subject line.

Follow Thomas Faraday in my novel, The Hunt for Komodo Cracker

 

Answer to Last Week’s Question

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Which ancient world empire cared more for its citizens, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia or Rome?

The mighty Medo Persian World Empire, 539-331 BC.

Read all about it here

The Laws of the Ancient Persians

Thomas Faraday in the science fiction novel, The hunt for Komodo Cracker is sent back in time to the Persian Empire of 473 BC. Getting there was easy, coming back home to the twenty-first century however, is not so easy.

Trailer

Trailer 1

How Well Do You Know Your Ancient History?

persepolis-1548875_1920Which ancient world empire cared more for its citizens, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia or Rome? This empire was known for protecting the religious freedoms of its people.  There were laws to protect persons suffering from physical and mental injury.  This world power guarantees that business transactions are impartial for both the rich and the poor. They were laws against cruelty to animals and the way the land was cultivated. The family was also protected from any unfair treatment from other members, for instance there were laws defending women’s rights and the fair treatment of their children in the case of inheritance after a divorce. Medical practices were monitored by the government, insuring good health. The military valued soldier’s rights and women could and did serve as generals in this empire’s army and navy. To assure control and respect for these laws lawyers and judges were appointed for all of its citizens.

This empire was so proud of their treatment to its peoples that one of their main religious motto was, “Good thoughts, good words and good deeds.”

Does this sound like the country where you live today? Once this nation succumbed to the next more powerful empire, it took thousands of years before these basic human rights became available to the general population for most of our modern world.

So, do you know which ancient world empire cared more for its citizens, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia or Rome? Thomas Faraday would find out first hand when he traveled back in time to this mighty world power. He would also find out that despite the people’s pursuit of “Good thoughts, good words and good deeds,” corruption and evil still loomed between the rocks.

The answer will come next week, or if you must know now, read more here.

The Laws of the Ancient???

Follow Thomas Faraday in my novel, The Hunt for Komodo Cracker

 

 

 

Is Your Password Secure?

password-2271736_1920Our password is the last line of defense regardless of what we are trying to protect. In the news we sometimes hear of passwords being hacked. The word hack is many times loosely used. We might think someone cracked our password when in reality it was probably written down in a cloud server available for someone to steal.

What are your password habits? Is your password secure?

Imagine your password is “crocodile,” it would take only two minutes with a common home computer to crack. What if you change some of the characters in the same password? For instance, “Cr0c@D1le,” you’re using the same password so it’s easy to remember yet it would take 4 weeks to crack. Most hackers don’t have that much time. Now add a memorable date, “Cr0c@D1le1985.”

Wow, 3 million years. I guess it’s safe to say it’s uncrackable.

Test your password here but don’t use your real password, just in case.

How Secure Is My Password

Read more on password strategies here

Bold Technologies

Thomas faraday, a network security professional believed a hacker calling himself Komodo penetrated his network by using his passwords. But Thomas was very careful in making sure his passwords are uncrackable. Was Thomas correct or did something else happen? Find out in my science-fiction novel, The Hunt for Komodo cracker.

The Hunt for Komodo Cracker

 

Welcome to my Blog.

My name is Michel Cloutier and I’m almost ready to introduce my novel, The Hunt for Komodo Cracker. If all goes as planned it will be available before the end of 2017.

For more than eighteen years I’ve worked as a teacher and instructor in the field of computer networking, primarily network security and telecommunications. I also happen to be a huge fan of ancient history, particularly the background history of biblical times. To this end, I have had the privilege of traveling to many Bible lands such as Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Italy to mention but a few.

Although I don’t travel much anymore, I do from time to time break away from my work to scuba dive the many local shipwrecks in the Saint Lawrence River both in Ontario and in Quebec were I was born and raised.

UNOFFICIAL BOOK COVER 2Four years ago I started a project that would include my love for both history and network security. I wanted to tell the story of Thomas Faraday, a network security professional. He was trying to cope with a great personal loss when he became a victim of a cyber-attack that would change his life forever. A hacker calling himself Komodo left for Thomas a set of encrypted file to decipher. To add to the mystery, somewhere in the Zagros Mountains, an ancient Persian stela was unearthed with a code that called for Thomas personally. In his attempt to solve these mysteries he was lead to a secret religious league with time travel technology.

This is where he met a small group of people who would become his cherished friends. Together they were sent back in time two thousand five hundred years to the mighty Persian Empire where their friendship would be put to the test. Soon after their arrival, everything started to go wrong.

With time running out, amidst a nation at war and in a foreign land, Thomas must decipher both the Komodo files and the Persian stela if they ever hope to return back to the twenty-first century. As if this was not challenging enough, their journey is slowed down by betrayal.

Someone among them does not want Thomas Faraday to succeed.

Conclusion

In the pages of this blog I would like to share with you different subjects that are highlighted in my novel. It could be on network security, ancient Persia, Biblical archaeology, time travel or other main topics highlighted in the novel. It could also be on matters of deeper meaning such as friendship, death, faith and betrayal.

It is my hope that after you have read my novel, you would have something to share with others on how you’ve benefited from The Hunt for Komodo Cracker.