Broadband and Malicious Software

One of our reader pionts us to an article recently published in Manila Bulletin which states:

If you’re reading this and already have broadband access at home, it would be wise to disconnect from the Internet and turn off the switch after use because even if the PC is off and the connection is not, malicious software can still creep into your PC’s system.

This advise was given by writer Peachy Limpin on her article Internet Security 101, with full copy you can read here. Our reader wants to know if the statement is true.

Personally, I have not encountered any case of such nature nor have I read any materials which might suggest that such scenario could occur. The closest I can remember would be those Cisco routers with backdoors embedded in the hardware itself. My DSL router has always been on 24/7 for the last couple of months but I have yet to experience anything like that.

We’d like to hear your comments and opinion.

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  • as a self taught PC tech, priot to her installation of DSL, her computer is already infected with viruses and detecting her connection speed sets as a trigger for them to be active (faster speed means faster download)

    hate me if you want but i think after admiting you know nothing about fixing browser errors with such a small application such as IE is enough ground to take you off as a contributor writer in a tech news publication..

  • anthony

    “the connection speed was at 100Mbps!” wow, I wish I have that kind of connection speed. The title should be “My first broadband experience”
    I wouldn’t dare ask that lady for any internet security advice.

  • Heh, that advice sort of defeats the purpose of having broadband, doesn’t it?

    General advice:

    1) Keep patches up-to-date.
    2) Enable firewall.
    3) Install anti-virus (esp. for Windows users)
    4) Backup important stuff.
    5) Pray (esp. for Windows users)

  • Buy a frickin’ DSL router. That will serve as an effective firewall against unwanted incoming traffic. Plugging in a broadband modem directly to the ‘net is too much of security risk (especially if your provider uses static IP).

    I got a Netgear 4-port DSL router with WiFi-B for only about PhP 2k at Octagon.

    Of course, it’s great for sharing the broadband connection too (especially via wireless).

    If you have more dough, and if you need more wireless speed, go for 802.11G. Or wait for the N-spec to be finalized and get ready to spend a fortune.

  • A desperate attempt by an old-school dead-tree rag to play on the technophobia of its fence-sitting old-money reader demographic.

    To be expected from a newspaper whose headline one All Saints’ Day was “People Visit Graves of Dead Today”.

  • do they have an editor for tech news?

  • dang clueless, sana nagtanong tanong man lang muna.

  • AVGuy

    The statement may not be compeletly unfounded. It is possible for a malicious entity to bring your computer back to life using WOL and whatever malicious things they do. Although the chances of it actually happening is very remote. All of these have to be true for it to occur:

    1. There is a network connection. (most possible).
    2. The attacker knows your MAC address. (likely).
    3. WOL is enabled on your machine (unlikely)
    4. The appropriate port needs to be forwarded from the WAN side to the LAN side of the router. (remember that a machine turned off doesn’t have an IP, so the router is set to broadcast on the correct subnet) (very very unlikely)

    And if you are just an ordinary joe wanting to browse adult content on the web, like me…everything is set to defaults.

    So, she may know what she is saying… but I highly doubt it coz knowing all this, I still won’t publish it on the papers =)

  • Like other ordinary joe, i didnt bother enabling WOL so I need not worry about my computer being infected with any malicious software while its off. 😀

  • This is actually senseless advise and a totally unsubstantiated claim.

    However, assuming that it is true, the most probable vulnerability is within the broadband modem or router itself. Bear in mind that some of these devices are actually Linux devices so it is possible, albeit unlikely, that someone can write code to plant malware onto the device.

    To combat this, you need to compliment your broadband modem with a firewall, either a HW firewall that comes with the router or a software firewall.

  • I finally got to read the whole article. Writer has no business writing about tech matters, let alone on internet security. The claim that her internet connection jumped to 100Mbs should be a clue already.

    I posted my whole reaction and analysis at

  • I just dugg your DIGG posting, rabasolo.

  • now i feel guilty for the writer.. just like everyone else here who blogs, a paid writer is also a person who can have a mistake with his or her chosen words.. if we are going to digg each other for those little mishap that we wrote in our blogs, i think would not be what it is today..

  • I too dugg the article to and included it in my blog.

    But to wrencelot, most of us bloggers do not get paid to write our blogs. So if we make lapses in judgement, I think we can be excused.

    But for someone to write this kind of nonsense in a major broadsheet and pass it as “internet security” is downright atrocious.

    Right now I checked and 30 people have dugg it. Manila Bulletin should be ashamed.

  • let me get this straight, these words of buwayaman, because bloggers write for free, they are excused for writing that is lacking of their judgement..

    1st, that writer is a pinay, manila bulletn is a philippine based publication, whoever put that thing on is possibly a pinoy too, and wherever you look at it, it dsnt look good..

    2nd,just like her, when you say something like bloggers write for free so we are excused for writing something that is lacking of judgement (or something to that effect) is enough for people to think that you are not a reliable source of information (

    3rd, no one is excused for having a lapse of judgment, no one, not even the president..

    4th.. i cant think of the fourth one.. but lets just hope no one finds your comment buwayaman worth digging..

  • wrencelot,

    on your 2nd point, i am a staunch believer that blogs are are not a reliable source of facts. Information, yes, in the form of opinions. But for facts, no. Anyone can blog and anyone can claim anything in a blog.

    On the 3rd point, I am the forgiving type. We are all human and make mistakes.

  • AVGuy

    I’m neither a journalist nor an expert in blogging. However I do know the difference between blogs and newspapers.

    1. Target Audience. Newspapers are read by millions and have a variety of audiences, from the housewife to the CEO, even the president. It is the burden of the newspapers to provide, true and unbiased articles. If an article is published in the Editorial page, readers will be more forgiving. If it was on the front page, maybe not, causing them to buy the next broadsheet, sorry no room for lapse of judgment here.

    2. Credibility. Newspapers should write the truth, unless it’s a tabloid paper. And I expect to get the truth in newspapers more than I do in blogs. At least newspapers should make the reader somewhat smarter after putting it down. They can choose the words and provide the angle to the article but to report incorrect information are apples and oranges. If an article was incorrect usually, the editorial staff makes a public correction. But as I have posted before, there is some truth in the story but not enough to tell the whole nation that it’s a major issue.

  • coldfeet

    Yah right.. 100 mbps… siguro nakita nya yung internet connection niya sa lan card na naka set ang speed sa 100mbps .. basta good connection kahit 256kpbs ka lang.. sa LAn Card mo ay 100mbps pa rin yan.. kasi 10/100 mbps usually ang lan card..

    wifi gmit ko.. gumagamit kasi ng LAN CARD instead of modem.. pati den DSL.

  • rom

    I sent a note to Peachy about this and she admitted her mistakes. Problem is, it was never corrected. Oh well…

  • Computer is an Electronic device that manipulates data according to a list of instructions.Computers range from the very small to the very large.Technology is related to science and to engineering.

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