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Win-XP firewall defeats Gibson NanoProbes

How can the bad kiddies find you if Steve can't?

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A reader recently told me that the default settings on his Win-XP Pro firewall made him invisible on the Net, at least according to Steve Gibson's ShieldsUp security diagnostic tool. But this isn't what Gibberson is worried about. As we know, he's terrified that Harry Homeowner users will be Trojanized six ways to Sunday by malicious teenagers bent on using their raw sockets to destroy the Internet.

So I installed the XP Home Edition last night and enabled the firewall with default settings only. Then I took a little trip over to GRC and submitted myself to an onslaught of Steve's unimaginably sophisticated NanoProbe Technology.

I could almost feel the Ninja-like power of Steve's NanoProbes assaulting my machine like a million tiny 'vibrating palms'.

And I was shocked, shocked, I tell you, to find that ShieldsUp gave my now explosively deadly Windows box a perfect, 'full stealth' score. This new weapon of mass destruction which I'm typing on is absolutely invisible.

"For all intents and purposes your computer doesn't exist to scanners on the Internet!" Steve explains.

God, what a relief.

So of course, if Steve's 101% pure assembly language scanning engine can't find my machine on the Net, there's absolutely no possibility that some malicious kiddie could do so. And of course, to commandeer an XP box for destructive purposes, the kiddies have to feed the victim a Trojan, or find the machine with a scanning utility.

A really good attack will defeat anything; but Steve's concern, endlessly repeated, is clueless Windows users who don't even know what a firewall is, and who fall victim to the simplest tricks. Now they've got a firewall. It could be better (no outbound filtering), but it will greatly reduce the number of clueless Web surfers getting r00t3d by lame IRC kiddiots.

And, as Steve says, XP boxes 'don't exist' on the Net. Thus the scanning route to destruction is off now -- unless, of course, Steve's ShieldsUp system is just some lame prop he uses to mystify the masses and propagate his bogus legend of technical superiority.

If ShieldsUP is a crap toy, and XP really is a weapon broadcasting its deadly raw sockets to the dark side, then Steve is a fraud. But if the XP firewall really offers 'full stealth' right out of the box, then Steve is a fraud.

So which is it? ®

The Proof

ShieldsUp step one
ShieldsUp step two

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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