219 votes

Is it safe to pay bills over satellite internet?

Satellite is not safe. Neither is cell data, wifi, or cable Internet. None of it is safe at the layer that you are talking. And that's not the layer that needs to be safe. It's the data that goes ...
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  • 123k
140 votes
Accepted

My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

Deep Packet Inspection, also known as complete packet inspection, simply means they are analyzing all of your traffic as opposed to just grabbing connection information such as what IP's you are ...
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  • 14.1k
113 votes

How would a resourceful government block Tor?

Tor is used to circumvent censorship! No, not directly. Tor is about anonymity, not about availability. Tor alone does not help its users access blocked content. Tor helps by making it hard to link ...
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110 votes
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How would a resourceful government block Tor?

In order to block Tor, all that has to be done is have the current list of Tor nodes which can be found at the following link: http://torstatus.blutmagie.de/ip_list_all.php/Tor_ip_list_ALL.csv and ...
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  • 14.1k
102 votes
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Is removing the Ethernet cable from the router (when I'm not using it) a good security measure?

If there is not an internet connection to your device then a hacker is not going to be able to communicate with that device. (Edit: As some have pointed out...this is assuming an attacker is ...
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  • 1,738
90 votes

Why is it bad to connect internal systems to the Internet?

First, it might be best to fully understand the client (your boss's) needs. It's possible he or she only needs access to one small subset of the data on this server from anywhere and not necessarily ...
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  • 14.1k
76 votes
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Was Goggle.com actually crazy malware in 2006?

Let me summarise what you are seeing: someone navigates to a typo-squat site (goggle.com) the browser is then flooded with numerous pop-ups, warning windows, etc. eventually, the anti-virus starts to ...
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  • 123k
69 votes
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Why is leaving a passworded SSH over the internet so bad?

Why is this so bad? Because there are tons of bots just scanning the web for open ports and trying to log in, once a scanner bot finds an open SSH port it may be queued for another bot (or botnet) to ...
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  • 3,560
66 votes

Can anti-virus/virus protection be used to spy on you?

Any software you install on your system can compromise the system and thus affect security and privacy. This can be done either willingly or because of bugs in the software. And this is doubly true ...
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65 votes

My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

Trey Blalock's answer describes percisely what deep packet inspection (DPI) is. But I'd like to add three things to hopefully answer your specific questions: There is a technique of DPI that does ...
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  • 2,284
49 votes
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Phones broadcast the SSIDs of all networks they have ever connected to. How can these be obtained by an attacker?

Fairly easy to be honest, all you need is to do is listen for Probe Requests. There is a nice blog explaining how to go about setting up a computer with BT5 to listen for them here. With a networking ...
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  • 4,394
41 votes

How to prove my Gmail has been hacked?

First things first, change your password and make sure the new password is secure (10+ characters, a number somewhere other than the last character, a capital somewhere other than the first character, ...
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  • 9,563
41 votes

My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

As stated by Trey, DPI can see the entire content of your network traffic. All of it. If it is plain text, then they see everything that you do. To add on to Miao's answer: Things DPI can see, ...
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  • 1,141
40 votes

Is it safe to pay bills over satellite internet?

I would like to specifically address the question on why security of the underlying mode of communication is not as important as the encryption of the message. You are communicating with your bank to ...
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  • 541
38 votes

How would a resourceful government block Tor?

Tor will be actually quite hard to block because of tor bridges: Bridge relays (or "bridges" for short) are Tor relays that aren't listed in the main Tor directory. Since there is no complete ...
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37 votes

Can FBI or government agencies get hold of my Google Docs files just by confiscating my laptop?

As pointed out by begueradj, any government agencies can access your cloud-stored files through a subpoena to Google. But your question was what they can do when they have your laptop alone and ...
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  • 48.8k
33 votes
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Is possible to get infected by only staying connected to the Internet (nothing else)?

A few years ago (2003), there was this worm called "Blaster" (or MSBlast, Lovesan etc. - read more on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_(computer_worm)). It spread by using a vulnerability in an ...
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  • 454
33 votes

What parties have access to the *full* requested URL of a website accessed via the HTTPS protocol?

Only the TLS endpoints1 can read the the full URL because HTTPS provides end-to-end encryption. HTTPS wraps the full HTTP protocol, including the request line, request/response body and all the ...
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  • 43.8k
32 votes

Is removing the Ethernet cable from the router (when I'm not using it) a good security measure?

This would reduce your risk by minimizing the time the attack surface is vulnerable to attack so yes technically it is a helpful security control. It falls into the category of Layer 1 access control ...
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  • 14.1k
29 votes
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Can all your public files on Dropbox be accessed by anyone with one of the links?

They're sort of correct. Let me explain. In Dropbox, there are two ways to share files. Sharing a link to a file from any folder will generate a link in the following form: https://www.dropbox.com/s/...
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  • 336
28 votes

Why is leaving a passworded SSH over the internet so bad?

The main risk is that the initial connection can be intercepted by a Man-In-The-Middle, so an attacker can retrieve the password. The first time a user connects to an SSH server, something similar to ...
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27 votes
Accepted

How do I hide the OS I am using from internet sites?

It is not currently possible to hide the type of OS from a website A solution against general fingerprinting and obtaining more specific information about your system is to use Tor Browser with the ...
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26 votes

How can a service like Fastly have such an impact on the Internet?

The internet is not as decentralized as you might think. A small number of companies that provide CDN and WAF services (e.g. Fastly, Amazon AWS, Cloudflare, Akamai) serve a disproportionate amount ...
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  • 19.8k
24 votes

Why is it bad to connect internal systems to the Internet?

Are there some reasons that connecting internal systems directly to the internet is a bad thing? You're unnecessarily increasing the attack surface. Here are problems to consider: An attacker who ...
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  • 43.8k
20 votes
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Does altering characters of a file url lead to another file?

The chance is N in 153,803,885,110,405,674,678,434,597,293,100,547,399,764,930,461,696 where N is the number of files stored under /file/d with public view permissions set (TY @Mike Ounsworth). So, ...
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  • 71.9k
19 votes
Accepted

Why no support for TCP Sockets in JavaScript

... but what is the issue with providing a socket API to allow interacting with existing protocols? This is not a restriction of the language itself but of it's use inside the sandbox within the ...
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18 votes
Accepted

How to detect self destructing emails? How to prevent from self destruction?

It is not possible to create a digital communication that will self-destruct after a certain amount of time (or upon sender's command). This because of the nature of the message, which once reaches ...
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  • 5,060
18 votes

Self-signed certificates not working over Internet?

Even if you see a message saying the connection is not trusted does not mean it is not an HTTPS connection. In order to display or not such error messages, browsers try to validate certificates using ...
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16 votes

How can a service like Fastly have such an impact on the Internet?

It's all about getting Internet content to the end users (us) as quickly as possible. To make this happen firms like Fastly, Akamai, etc - called Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) - work with content ...
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