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Old 04-05-2011, 04:27 PM
Digimer
 
Default I am new to Linux and Fedora. Am I safe when surfing the web with default Firewall setting? Can My Computer be hacked when the firewall is in the default setting?

On 04/05/2011 11:57 AM, Varuna Seneviratna wrote:
> I am new to Linux and Fedora. Am I safe when surfing the web with
> default Firewall setting? Can My Computer be hacked when the firewall
> is in the default setting?
> I have no knowledge on configuring Firewalls
>
> Help Appreciated
> Varuna

Default settings are safe. No firewall is less safe. No computer is
totally safe when on the Internet.

The firewall prevents attackers from trying to exploit known-security
faults in listening daemons by blocking their access to anything not
explicitly opened up. This means that the firewall is a barrier, an
extra layer of security.

Without a firewall, assuming your programs are all updated, you are
*probably* safe, but you've given up a layer of protection and are now
relying on all listening programs to be secure, so you have a much wider
number of methods that an attacker might be able to break in.

If you browse the web from behind a router, then it will have it's own
firewall, somewhat negating the need for a firewall on your computer.

It's not an easy question to answer. You have to decide how safe you
need to be, and how much hassle you are willing to deal with to get that
safety.

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Old 04-05-2011, 04:40 PM
Karol Babioch
 
Default I am new to Linux and Fedora. Am I safe when surfing the web with default Firewall setting? Can My Computer be hacked when the firewall is in the default setting?

Hi,

Am 05.04.2011 17:57, schrieb Varuna Seneviratna:
> Am I safe when surfing the web with
> default Firewall setting?

Well, you'll never be safe, that is for sure . Security is always a
trade-off.

What kind of environment are you using your computer in? The firewall is
probably only necessary and helpful when you are connected to the
Internet directly. As soon as you are behind a router its not that
important any more, because your PC can't be reached directly anymore.

So, it may be helpful in public sites for instance.

However you should be aware of the fact that there are various other
threads, which are most likely more often exploited. So as soon as you
are using your browser you live in danger of becoming hacked by some
scripts or exploits within various engines and/or plugins you run.

On the other hand its a big improvement in security when using Linux
instead of Windows, because as long as Linux is in a minority there
won't be as much hacks/exploits for it. It may be that Linux is more
secure than Windows in general, but that is another question I don't
want to raise.

I think the biggest thread actually is to use Adobe's plugins, namely
Flash and Reader. Because they are so widely spread, they get exploited
very often. I don't know exactly whether the Linux versions of these
plugins are any better of, but for instance the 64-bit version is not,
because its in a beta state and doesn't get updated that often.

There are also some JavaScript exploits which can at least make your
browser crash. Probably there are also some bigger threads than that
possible.

All in all: Security is a big and complex issue and you're never 100
percent safe. You just make trade offs between security and convenience
and/or usability. But you should be relatively safe by using Linux, at
least by now. The firewall itself doesn't protect you in any sense from
exploits within your browser, but can provide some kind of security,
especially in situations where you are connected directly to the
Internet or when connected with other clients you don't trust or know.

Best regards,
Karol Babioch

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