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Windows 7: Are firewalls really needed?

12 Oct 2010   #101
WindowsStar

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

My 2 cents:

MSE + Windows Firewall + Switch + Hardware Based Firewall + Router


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12 Oct 2010   #102
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Regardless of which Firewall you are running if you are not aware that nearly every program you install immediately calls up to the internet to file a report then you need to get a Firewall that alerts you to this activity in real time so you may have the choice to allow or block that communication and any further internet communication from that program giving you the opportunity to establish a set of absolutely authoritative communication control rules in the Firewall regardless of what brand of Firewall you choose.

~Maxx~.
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30 Mar 2011   #103
gemini2010

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Hi,

I didn't read all of this thread, only about half! I wanted to ask a question here since it has been so long since I have studied in IT.

My daughter was given a laptop from her school to use at school and at home. I wanted to check if it is secure. It has Mcaffee for virus protection but it does not have a firewall. When I asked the IT teacher at school he seems to think that it doesn't need a firewall because the laptop is protected by the schools system. However, my concern is that the wireless connection is always active and waiting to be connected to the schools system which I would have thought would leave her laptop vulnerable without a firewall activated. Even without the wireless connection activated I still would have thought her laptop would need a firewall to stop any hackers from scanning her ports and coming in.

Any ideas? These kids are given laptops with no education about security for their computers or themselves.
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31 Mar 2011   #104
seth500

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gemini2010 View Post
Hi,

I didn't read all of this thread, only about half! I wanted to ask a question here since it has been so long since I have studied in IT.

My daughter was given a laptop from her school to use at school and at home. I wanted to check if it is secure. It has Mcaffee for virus protection but it does not have a firewall. When I asked the IT teacher at school he seems to think that it doesn't need a firewall because the laptop is protected by the schools system. However, my concern is that the wireless connection is always active and waiting to be connected to the schools system which I would have thought would leave her laptop vulnerable without a firewall activated. Even without the wireless connection activated I still would have thought her laptop would need a firewall to stop any hackers from scanning her ports and coming in.

Any ideas? These kids are given laptops with no education about security for their computers or themselves.
As I have been using software firewalls and my routers firewalls they are necessary and absolutely a must in today's internet warfare. The IT teacher is on something cause wireless internet security is the worst when it come to being hacked, it almost seems to me that the schools are trying to pry into privacy issues which in turn is no surprise! Yes get here a firewall and teach her how to use it, just as Maxxwire said programs like to phone home and I get hacker alerts all the time but my firewall always alerts me to take action first against the outgoing alerts and incoming attacks...
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31 Mar 2011   #105
gemini2010

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks so much for your reply Seth. I was starting to think that I was being too paranoid, apparently I am the only parent (person for that matter) in the school with a problem about our childrens security and welfare. I was using win 2000 server pro, win 2000, and then xp while studying, I thought maybe this windows 7 kicks *** and doesn't need a firewall now for some crazy reason.
I am going to search through all my study papers because I did touch on wireless security and I set up cisco routers to communicate in a network which was heaps of fun! I wish I completed my studies but I didn't have the support I needed and algebra was so hard for me doh.
I just told my daughter about your reply and she started asking me questions, its great that we have a starting point now to discuss these things. Students think this internet stuff just appears there in front of them (like tv), they don't understand and are not taught that the information is sent through a connection as packets of information communicating with each other. hardly any of them have even heard of a firewall (the very basics are being missed). Its really sad to see actually, and I think it is about time a parent stood up and make them aware of how very real it is and how innapropriate it is to give them the access without having the knowledge of how it operates... ! We wouldn't give them the keys to the car without teaching them the rules of the road and the operating guides for the car itself...

Appreciated Seth.
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31 Mar 2011   #106
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

gemini2010- Are you saying that the school purposely disabled the Windows firewall on all of the laptops that they gave to the students? It makes me wonder what their purpose was?

~Maxx~

.
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31 Mar 2011   #107
gemini2010

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

I got my daughter to log on for me when she got home yesterday so I could have another look and the firewall is turned off, I cannot turn it on. The button to turn it on is inactive.
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31 Mar 2011   #108
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Windows Firewall - Restore Default Settings

Here is how to restore defaults settings which may turn the firewall on or allow you to turn it on normally.

Mike
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31 Mar 2011   #109
gemini2010

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

This is the the letter of concern I have written to the school regarding the conversation I had with her IT teacher yesterday. I haven't sent it to them yet, I thought I would wait until Monday, we wouldn't want it being put aside on a Friday afternoon only to be forgotten about.

Dear Principle,

I have some concerns regarding my daughter’s education at this school. Firstly I am concerned with the way in which the situation surrounding her laptop usage has been handled.

Firstly to give you some background knowledge of the situation;

I have studied IT networking (got half way through my diploma) about 5 years ago and while things have changed a lot since then I still wanted to look at my daughter's laptop to check how stable and secure it is. I could find no firewall on the laptop, and the wireless connection was open and active. I noticed it had virus protection but I found no protection (firewall) from anyone who tried to connect/hack into her laptop.


I questioned my daughter about network security and social security when using a computer/laptop and she had no clue how to answer me. Just looked at me blankly then handed me a piece of paper with a set of rules they were given from school regarding the use. The rules included things such as, don't allow other students to use your laptop, don't leave your laptop unattended, charge it at home as there will be no charging done at school etc.

I was concerned that no more information had been provided to the students or parents surrounding the use and security of the laptop and network connection to the schools network and internet. I spoke to my husband about it and we decided to query the school about it. We done this about 5-6 weeks ago and have waited patiently for them to respond. The laptop is sitting their collecting dust while we have been waiting for a reply.

I finally received a phone call from her IT teacher earlier today (yesterday) who could give me no satisfactory answers as to the security of the laptop and the teaching of security to the children. I will go over the phone call I had with him this morning so that everything is on record.

The IT teacher started explaining that the schools system has a firewall and filters and the whole kit and kaboodle. I said, that’s wonderful but what about each individual laptop? He replied saying that they have Mcaffee. Yes, I said, Mcaffee is a virus protection programme but what about a firewall? It doesn't need a firewall; it is protected through the schools system (the server he is talking about). I couldn't believe my ears, was the "IT" guy really telling me this? Surely not.


I tried explaining to him that each wireless device needs its own security/protection from outside connections. This didn’t work. So I explained to him that if we have bluetooth switched on on our mobile phone, people can hack our phone (which is straight to the phone, not through the provider), and the same thing applies with laptops. I cannot believe that he seems to think that unless she is using the schools internet through the network her laptop doesn't need protection; he seems to think it is invisible to everyone else. What a BIG mistake.

Hackers can use port scanners to scan computers/laptops for open ports (and there are many ports) as one of the many different ways to hack into computers/laptops; the computer/laptop does not need to be connected to the network/internet for the scanners to scan for open ports, especially if the wireless connection is constantly activated.

He still insisted that the schools system is protecting the childrens laptops from any hackers etc and so I tried explaining to him in a different way, Microsoft update their operating systems almost daily because hackers are always finding new ways to access peoples computers. That’s why we keep our school system updated he says. Each laptop should have windows firewall on it anyway, he says. Well there is no firewall running on my daughter's laptop I said.

I told him that my daughter could not tell me anything about internet/network/social security. He says we don't want to teach them about that because we don't want them to touch the settings. I explained to him that those settings (if set-up correctly) can only be adjusted by the administrator.


While I was talking to him about the kids knowing nothing about security, he admitted that 99.9% of them know nothing about it. He says he has tried a couple of times to teach them but they don't care and are not interested in listening or learning about such things. I’m pretty sure that’s a fail and how does a student progress to actually using the equipment if they cannot pass the theory. I’m pretty sure that if our children want to get their drivers licence and don't care about learning the rules and safety, they don’t pass the test and therefore they do not get behind the wheel.

He mentioned something about facebook, to that I said well I don't believe children should be using social websites such as these, to that he says that these kinds of sites are filtered so the kids can't access them from the school system. But like I said to him, the parents are not informed on the security and what is or isn't filtered etc, and even though the school may filter a site, it doesn't mean the student cannot access it, their are ways around this, I know because when I was at studying, we got around the blockage of yahoo so that we could still get on and check emails, and even chat. People set up replica sites which allows access to the actual site. I know it works, I tested it and seen it with my own eyes.

So anyway, I said to him that if we are just going to allow our children on to the internet willy nilly, without them being educated, or having protection in the form of a firewall, we may as well allow them to walk the streets at midnight as their is no difference. I told him I was not satisfied that their is enough security provided or taught to my daughter and that I will not allow her to use the laptop at this point in time.

He asked me to return the laptop to the school and said that they will allow her to use it at school. I had to ask him at this point if we were talking about his daughter or mine, because it sounded to me that he is making the decisions about what my daughter can and can't do. I reminded him that she is my daughter, my responsibility and I make the decisions. To that he replied that I am holding her back, and that they want the laptop back and he had another lesson to get to.


So as of today, I withdraw my permission that has until this date allowed her access to use the laptop/network, I do not agree to the terms and conditions as stated to me and as I understand them at this point in time.

I will hold the laptop in my possession until such time that I receive written notification indicating that the IT teacher has spoken out of line regarding my daughter being allowed to use the laptop during lesson time, after I have clearly stated that I withdraw my permission for her to use the laptop. I want it noted also that at no time during class will she be encouraged by any teacher to use the laptop.

I want to add that I am utterly disgusted that the school has allowed this to happen, not only has each student been given their own laptop and said go for it, but the students have not learned anything about security and not only that, they are using equipment that has been provided to them which has not been secured by something as simple as a firewall. How hard would it have been to turn on the windows firewall, at the very least, on each laptop before sending them home with the kids? I have had another look at this today and while the firewall is there, it is unable to be activated.


I am also disgusted with the way in which the IT teacher has spoken to me regarding the return of and use of the laptop at the school when I clearly stated I didn’t want my daughter using it.

When it comes to internet security and the lack of knowledge held by the students, all I have is two words… Carly Ryan. Am I really holding my daughter back or am I the only parent concerned with the welfare of their child. How can I be holding my daughter back when she is not taking any IT lessons? People everywhere are so switched off when it comes to security, but I am here to tell you that it is a very real thing. Did you here the latest? The politicians had their computer hacked, all their very personal and private and highly confidential information is now exposed. It is real, and it is about time people started taking it more seriously.

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31 Mar 2011   #110
I be he

Win 7 64 premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maxxwire View Post
gemini2010- Are you saying that the school purposely disabled the Windows firewall on all of the laptops that they gave to the students? It makes me wonder what their purpose was?

~Maxx~

.
Not so long ago a school was caught spying on the students through their provided PC's while the students were at home takeing showers and what not.
Thanks liberals
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 Are firewalls really needed?




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