Crackers and Script - Kiddies
There seems to be a lot of crackers and script - kiddies in ActiveWorlds, though I suspect a lot of them are just script - kiddies. The only safe way to protect yourself, and to keep going to ActiveWorlds is to get yourself a firewall program like BlackICE Defender or ZoneAlarm (it's one of the best, and it's also free). You can probably find one at http://www.download.com My recommendation for users that've never used a firewall before is ZoneAlarm. Since I'm not an expert on the programs and the differences of each or your own level of expertise, you should make your own judgment, but I'd advise against getting it from a friend or stranger. You should download it from a site you can trust. This helps to eliminate the chance that it has a 'trojan horse' (think of the Trojan horse in your history books. The people in the city thought they were getting something for free, but instead, the enemy had a small band of armed men hidden within it. It's like programs that you're told you can get and use from someone's private Web site for free without ever having to worry about paying anything for it or registering the software) in it. One of the main signs that your computer is being attacked is when you're in a world, and even though there's not much going on around you, or much in the way of intense graphics, and you don't have any other programs running and your computer freezes up, and you can't even switch screens, or close a program. Pay attention to what the firewall program tells you about where the IP address is that's doing it to you and write it down on a piece of paper. (It may also be in the program's log so you can read it to see where the last one came from in case you couldn't when your computer started freezing up.) You can look it up later on at some place like http://www.arin.net/whois/arinwhois.html and it'll give you the info on who it is, or at least where they're connecting from. It may be some innocent person, that's being used as a 'go-between' by a cracker, but sometimes not. Again, you have to find out who you can trust. If the person complains of their computer freezing up, more than likely their computer has just been taken over, and now the cracker / script - kiddie is going through them to you. You should tell them to get one of those aforementioned firewalls, and to avoid those people in the future, especially if they're in a personal world at the time of the attack, because the suspected cracker may own it or has been told what your IP address is by the owner of the world because (s)he knows it from the world server program. The company or person hosting the world would also know, if the owner of the world isn't hosting it on their own computer, so they may be the ones doing it, and not the world owner or someone there in the world with you. For that matter, anyone that has eject rights in a world can find out your IP address, too. The best thing I can tell you for now is to avoid personal worlds as much as possible unless you know and trust the person who owns it with information that leads you vulnerable to attack, and never tell anyone your IP address or even who your ISP is. For all users of the Windows OS (Operating System), I'd advise you to read this page made by CERT. If you are getting attacks from a single source and you want to do something about it, go here, type in the numbers and find out who it is, then write to the company (like email@example.com), copy the text in from the firewall along with the IP address of the alleged attacker, include the time it happened and what time zone you're in, as well as how many times it happened.
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