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Re: Permissions scanner
From: "Chris Berry" <compjma () hotmail com>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:33:00 -0800

From: Di Fresco Marco <superdif () caltanet it>
Here it is my situation: computer with WinXP Pro. and a cable modem; I have
4 account (+1 for "Guest" but it is off, +1 one I can not delete):
Administrator (that I use for configurations), my account (for daily use)
and 2 account for both my parents (other than web surfing, they do not need
to do anything else).

Now, during the time (almost 2 month since I installed WinXP), I have made
some changes on the permissions (of the files, directory, some key of the
registry, etc.); unfortunately I have done one of the most common mistake
for an home user: I have not either plan the installation of WinXP and/or
the modification of the permissions. So now I am starting to worry to have
given to much permissions over some critical file (and so, become more
vulnerable to attack, especially since I have cable modem and so I am
available on-line for more time) while in some other place I left a strong
restriction even if I can give more permissions without worry about
security.

So my question is: is there some freeware scanner that, after I have
associated each account with a sort of profile (like "Configuration", "Daily
use", etc.), it scan the system (and the perimission related to each file)
and give me a report of the status of the permissions?

Since I am asking for a freeware, it will be enough if the program just give
me a report and eventually I do the changes manually (of course if there is
a freeware that also apply the modifications, it will be better). A
shareware may be ok if it gives for free the possibility to get at least the
report (and give the possibility to apply the modifications in the
commercial version).

There are a number of ways to do what you're talking about, but I don't think that's necessarily the correct approach to solving what you're worried about. There are two kinds of permissions on a microsoft system (assuming that you're running NTFS which XP normally does) share permissions and Access Control Lists. You should check your drive and make sure that any of your shares (folders with the little hand under them) are not set to everyone (the default), I usually use authenticated users or something like that but if you're really paranoid you could add each of your four accounts by name. ACLs on the other hand aren't really for protecting you from outsiders, they're more about protecting you from authorized users. For example you may not wish to give everyone who uses your machine access to your mp3 files, in case they might accidentally delete one. As you have an always on internet connection, the main three things you should do as a home user to protect your system are: 1) Install a firewall (zonealarm is free, there are lots of others that would work just fine as well) 2) Install and keep updated an anti-virus program. My personal favorite is norton corporate, its packed with features, but if you're on a limited budget you can get AVG for free. 3) Download and install all microsoft updates. There are lots of other things you can do to secure your computer, but just by doing these three you'll eliminate 95% of all trouble you'll probably experience as a home user.

Chris Berry
compjma () hotmail com
Systems Administrator
JM Associates

"Linux and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate its complexity until I figure out how something works, then I love its power."

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