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Topic: firewalls and security

  1. #1

    firewalls and security

    well it happened again! I have earthlink DSL on on my giga daw. with 2 different logins one for internet and one for giga production. I have zone alarms software firewall set high for internet and cookies /security set high in MS XP. all cookies have to be approved. In addition i have ad ware , another spyware program and virus protection form zone alarms, panda (online) and earthlink(norton) for email. i only visit a few music production sites and forums. all of my email is scanned with earthlink email not inmy address book iput in safe folder so ican preview it.
    all was well for a while...

    then a worm got into the services settings and things got crazy . only panda virus was able to detect it , norton and ZA failed. but the virus screwed up some dlls. windows is acting crazy. ZA wont even start or reinstall. so its back to reinstalling the F^^King OS again!!!

    At this point I am considering a hardware firewall on a seperate biz only computer. but i am also considering making it a linux or a mac based
    DSL AND WINDOWS IS A DISASTER. most of the virus preventions is after the fact. anyone have any suggestions? are hardware based firewalls even better then software? I have little mac expereince with the internet and no linux. this is stricly a biz internet computer.is there enough software for a linux computer to run basic biz software? thanks

  2. #2

    Re: firewalls and security

    Quote Originally Posted by mike harper
    are hardware based firewalls even better then software?
    Absolutly.. the firewalls built into your browser are usless.and SP2 is bad for some D.A.W Performances.. Get a Linksys Router . I havent had any viruses for 2 years. w/only SP1 on XP home..

  3. #3

    Re: firewalls and security

    >>are hardware based firewalls even better then software?<<

    Try not to think of it that way. I *always* use both a hardware and a software firewall, whether I'm in Windows, OSX, or Linux. I use the hardware firewall to keep the bad guys out of my network, and I use the software firewall to keep things on my computer(s) from reaching out and making friends with thugs in cyberspace.

    >>is there enough software for a linux computer to run basic biz software?<<

    Absolutely. Try one of the more popular distributions, such as Ubuntu, or Fedora. Any Linux distro can handle tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, and basic financial track records with ease. Just don't expect to find software like TurboTax.

    I'm equally at home with Windows, Linux, and OS X. After aquanting myself with the latter two OSes, the thought of having to re-install because of a virus or worm seems absolutely foreign, nay, even humorous. For what it's worth, you may also want to see my somewhat dated guide to Windows Security.

    Hope some of that helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: firewalls and security

    I won't even consider just a software firewall. Go with a linksys router and check for BIOS updates regularly. Configure tightly. Even better, get yourself another computer for your business stuff, and keep your DAW and giga machines off the internet, and lean and mean.

    Here, I have win98 for my DAW, and XP 1 for my giga. I only bring up networking services when I need to check for software and driver updates, which is very rare. I used to use a network for MIDI and VNC, but have gone back to using cables...

    I have a laptop for my business stuff XP SP 2 with firewall enabled and full wireless encryption to my linksys routers at home and at work.

    I would seriously consider Linux for my musical needs if the software comes around (linuxsampler, Rosegarden etc) to my expectations. Linux is serious stuff, both from a stability and memory management standpoint, and the plethora of open source that is available...

  5. #5

    Re: firewalls and security

    I agree with the previous responses. Mac and Linux are much more secure. I have experience with both and await more Linux development. Mac is too expensive for me. So I use PCs. Keep your DAWs off of the internet! Use a USB thumbdrive for transfers (updates). I have a dedicated internet PC. I use Linksys router and ZoneLabs Zonealarm Pro. I use Escan 2003 AV and Lavasoft Adaware. I do not get viruses. I have each locked down tight to prevent popups. These popups often trick you into going where you do not want to go. I use Mozilla Firefox and do not allow sites to install software. I also use a limited user account with WinXP so that software and changes to the registry cannot happen. Hope this helps!

  6. #6

    Re: firewalls and security

    Another interesting alternative that I intend to try in the near future is to use VMWare. It requires either XP or particular versions of Linux and lets you create virtual machines. It claims to completely insolate the virtual machine from the actual machine and the virtual machine can access the internet. The virtual machine consists of native files (either XP or Linux) which can be copied. Pretty good performance in my tests so far.

    The idea is that if something breaks into/infects the virtual machine the actual machine is protected. The infected virtual machine can be deleted (just like deleting a file because it is just deleting a file) and after making a copy of the backup of the virtual machine you are back in business.

    VMWare says that the virtual machines don't support midi/music hardware (I'd planned to see if performance was good enough for a DAW) and the VMWare host appears to have to run as administrator (I am checking that out) but those are the only quirks I've found so far. That is not to say that there aren't others. I've been too busy to take this very far (and it may still be a while before I do) but I thought you might find the possibility interesting.

    Even if this works as well as I hope it is of course no substitute for good security practices and a hardware firewall.


  7. #7

    Re: firewalls and security

    well this is a good thread. I definatly had some bogus info on software only firewalls. i am finding some good stuff about this linux thing.looks like you can get a medium speed biz computer for around 300-400 - not bad. I would do it tommorow except I have to have dreamweaver. how are the mac heads out there on the internet? i understand they to are preety much virus free( or at least 9o% less the MS is.
    i got my giga daw working and the internet is still unstable I am definatly going to do something different this time around.

  8. #8

    Re: firewalls and security

    Quote Originally Posted by mike harper
    how are the mac heads out there on the internet? i understand they to are preety much virus free( or at least 9o% less the MS is.
    Any computer running a minority operating system is going to be more or less virus free, after all it's no fun writing a virus/worm if you only infect a few people (comparitively)...


  9. #9
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: firewalls and security

    VMWare sounds like a good option for performing your office and browzing applications. You can keep it partitioned and away from your Music. in other words, you don't have to run your music software in a VM, you can run your office syuff in there and stil be safe.

    Still, gotta love Linux...just wish Linux music software was more functional. LINUX just makes more sense since most applications are gearing toward a server architecture (isn't that what Virtual Instruments and Plugins are?).

  10. #10

    Re: firewalls and security

    Locks help but if the kids open the door everytime someone knocks ...

    I run without virus protection. I have turned off HTML and preview and actually look at questionable emails via "properties | source" before opening them.

    Note to self: Easier way would be to finally pick up "The Bat" email reader ...

    I filter the problem files (exe, scr, com, bat etc...) from downloads and 've learned most of the tricks, like double extensions, used on usenet to mask filenames. Only DLL problems I have are MS, driver or self-inflicted.

    In other words, I don't count on the firewall protecting me, I use the peep hole to see who's there before I open the door.

    FYI, I'm on cable and I have a hardware router w/firewall as well as Zonealarm. I use ZA as an annunciator so I know who's doing an ET - "phoning home".

    You may not have to reinstall Windows. The trick is to remove the worm's executable outside of Windows. The reason for this is that the worm loads on startup and checks for it's executable and startup status on shutdown. It recreates the executable and sets it to startup if that is not the case. If you act right away you can find the files by using Explorer and doing a "past 24 hour" search. Sort by time and you can figure out what files have been added or modified. As I said, you have to delete the main executable outside of Windows - as in DOS. I haven't tried it but if you really had to do it you could probably back up the registry, boot up in Windows, delete or rename the executable and literally pull the plug. You can't use the switch as it starts the Windows shutdown procedure and you'll be back where you started. If you aren't in the middle of a disk operation and haven't run any programs the registry & drive should be ok. Guerilla virus removal.


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