Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joys of a modern router

[In a dysfunctional cognitive state I originally titled this "Joys of an all mac network". See comments for my mea culpa]

It's been a while since I've run Gibson Research's free security testing tool ...
GRC ShieldsUP! — Internet Vulnerability Profiling

... Shields UP! is now attempting to contact the Hidden Internet Server within your PC...

Preliminary Internet connection refused!

This is extremely favorable for your system's overall Windows File and Printer Sharing security. Most Windows systems, with the Network Neighborhood installed, hold the NetBIOS port 139 wide open to solicit connections from all passing traffic. Either this system has closed this usually-open port, or some equipment or software such as a 'firewall' is preventing external connection and has firmly closed the dangerous port 139 to all passersby.

Unable to connect with NetBIOS to your computer.

All attempts to get any information from your computer have FAILED. (This is very uncommon for a Windows networking-based PC.) Relative to vulnerabilities from Windows networking, this computer appears to be VERY SECURE since it is NOT exposing ANY of its internal NetBIOS networking protocol over the Internet...
It's a nice service, but with most modern routers the default configuration is pretty secure. In my case I have two - a Qwest DSL modem/router and an Airport.


Andrew W said...

In this case the client OS is likely immaterial.

Pretty-much every home computer is behind a router nowadays. You'd need to explicitly poke holes (or enable UPNP and run apps that poke holes) for someone on the internet to get around the NAT traversal that's conveniently acting as a firewall between you and the rest of the internet.

Your Mac more than likely has ports exposed. It'd need to if you have any sharing enabled.

JGF said...


I even know that's true. Curse of the quick post!

I revised the title.