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Windows 7: Port Forwarding

03 Dec 2014   #11
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I have just tried this: I disabled the UPnP in the router settings but uTorrent still works normally. It says it uses NAT-PNP but even if I disable the NAT-PNP and UPnP in the uTorrent settings it still works. Is NAT-PNP dangerous? I don't see the option to disable it in the router settings.


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05 Dec 2014   #12
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

As far as I know, having no program listening on a port nullifies the effect of that port being open, so there should be no extra risk with it (possible OS bugs apart). Closing Skype here will in fact remove any problem the port might cause, if something goes bad.

Properly made programs will simply reject any bad inputs and shouldn't be affected by being exposed on internet. At most, you might see some minor network traffic and maybe CPU usage, but nothing beyond that if Skype is really well done concerning security. Of course "nothing bad can happen" is too broad a topic and ultimately 100% immunity can never be warranted, but we can be reasonably close to that.

What can be done with an open port?
Let's say this way, entire books can be written about replying that question alone
But let's try to resume. In short, open ports means that anything on the outside can communicate with Skype directly. At the very least, they can for example issue connection to see if they can make Skype accept the connection, which means your computer might waste a few CPU cycles and network bandwidth, often negligible, but when those come in mass can cause problems). If an attacker can communicate, often they'll look for either some weak password or something they can peek (for Skype in particular, I doubt that's the case, as peer-to-peer is only used for file transfers and calls, which are also encrypted). Or as a last resort, they'll look for some vulnerability that they can exploit remotely, which means basically they "convince" Skype to do something it wasn't meant to do (this is known as "remote code execution").

Low user privileges and being somewhat vigilant about strange activity may greatly help in mitigating those risks. And while I just mentions them, it doesn't means that they WILL occur, I'm just naming the theoretical possibilities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2014   #13
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Thank you for all the knowledge you have shared.
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