Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

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Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:41 pm

We all know that connecting a computer to the internet without protection opens it up to attacks in a manner of seconds. That's been my experience with cable and DSL connections. Are cell networks safer? Are there sniffers and bots on cellular networks that are waiting for a windows PC to connect so it can infect it like over a traditional connection?

The advantage to a cable modem is that NAT provides some measure of a firewall, and the advantage of a cell network is that there may not me Windows bots there. Is any one safer than the other?

I ask because I have to download a virus program for my new Win8 PC, but I have no known safe computer from which to download the file. Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Re: Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:49 pm

Well... if you're tethering it to a smartphone the phone is probably doing some form of NAT. Regardless, as long as you do the download on a machine which is reasonably current on patches and has its software firewall enabled you'll probably be OK. The days of "instant pwnage" for unprotected Windows machines is (mostly) behind us.

If you're really paranoid I suppose you could boot some sort of Linux live CD and use that to download stuff to a thumbdrive. But if you don't have the live CD ISO already you'll need to download it from somewhere, so all that really does is push the problem down another level. :lol:
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Re: Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:19 pm

With the number of WWAN-equipped Windows based laptops out there, I would not count on cellular networks to not have Windows nodes broadcasting malware. And then we may now have compromised Android devices that may be doing the same thing too.

Besides, we have the NSA, almost nothing is secure. :o
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Re: Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:33 pm

The attacks are on the Internet in general, it doesn't matter what your connection technology is.

A true cable modem is just a bridge with no NAT, however many boxes these days combine a cable modem with a NAT router.
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Re: Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:54 pm

FireGryphon wrote:I ask because I have to download a virus program for my new Win8 PC, but I have no known safe computer from which to download the file. Any thoughts are appreciated!

I hope you mean antivirus program. ;) If it is a Windows 8 machine, then the enabled by default firewall should be able to give you enough time to set up additional defenses. If you are really directly connecting to the internet, when your network connection is configured you should have set it to "Public" and let Windows Firewall protect you a little bit. It should close all the ports, even ICMP pings IIRC.
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Re: Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:28 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:I ask because I have to download a virus program for my new Win8 PC, but I have no known safe computer from which to download the file. Any thoughts are appreciated!

I hope you mean antivirus program. ;) If it is a Windows 8 machine, then the enabled by default firewall should be able to give you enough time to set up additional defenses.

Personally I find Windows Defender in win8 satisfactory for most people. It does the job. Perhaps not for people with less safe computing practices, mind you, but...
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Re: Are wired or cellular networks more secure?

Postposted on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:04 am

If you frequent public networks with a Windows machine, you may want to consider setting up a good firewall in a virtual machine. Something like pfSense has low overhead and a small footprint. Using VirtualBox or VMWare Player, it can be done for free (not counting your time).

The only real trick to this is enabling MSFT's built-in Loopback device. Very detailed instructions can be found here:
http://timita.org/wordpress/2011/07/29/ ... -preamble/
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