Tag Archives: Google DNS

Steer Clear of Malware Web Sites With ClearCloud DNS

imageSecurity conscious Internet users are aware, that so called “trusted” websites, are not always to be trusted. We’ve covered this issue here on Tech Thoughts a number of times, most recently in, “How Safe Are Trusted Web Sites? Not Very!

The following is a brief explanation, from that article, on how cyber crooks manage to infect web sites:

“Cyber-crooks can exploit vulnerabilities on the server hosting the web page to insert an iFrame, (an HTML element which makes it possible to embed another HTML document inside the main document). The iFrame can then activate the download of malicious code by exploiting additional vulnerabilities on the visiting machine”.

Unfortunately, installed anti-malware solutions may not always provide adequate protection against this type of attack. Luckily, there is a solution which can add an additional layer of security by substituting your ISP provided DNS service, with a more secure alternative. An alternative that can prevent you from visiting sites that harbor malware exploits.

Free alternatives include OpenDNS, Google DNS, Norton DNS – and now, an additional free service can be added to this list with the release of ClearCloud Beta from Sunbelt Software, the developer’s of the highly regarded VIPRE antivirus application.

According to ClearCloud, the application “checks every website address your computer is trying to access, whether you’re browsing the internet, clicking a link in an email, or a program “under the hood” trying to communicate with servers for information or updates”.

In a quick 24 hour test, I found ClearCloud worked as advertised. With ClearCloud up and running, you will be prevented from visiting sites identified as harboring exploits. In which case, you will get detailed information on why ClearCloud believes the site is unsafe.

Taking advantage of this service couldn’t be easier. Simply download the setup application, execute, and as the simply interface shown below indicates, you’re now protected by ClearCloud.

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Following installation, visit the ClearCloud block page to verify the service is up and running.

System requirements: Windows, Mac.

Download at: ClearCloud

Alternatively, you can manually set your DNS server address to 74.118.212.1.

Note: You can configure ClearCloud on your router. Click here for a setup walkthrough.

A big ”Thank You” to regular reader TeX for bringing this service to my attention.

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Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Mac, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Norton DNS – Another Layer of Computer Security

image Here’s an item from today’s Tech Net News – “Thousands Of High-Ranked Web pages Infected With Malware, including ……

We’ve covered this issue here on Tech Thoughts a number of times, most recently in, “How Safe Are Trusted Web Sites? Not Very!

The following is a brief explanation, from that article, on how cyber crooks manage to infect web sites:

“Cyber-crooks can exploit vulnerabilities on the server hosting the web page to insert an iFrame, (an HTML element which makes it possible to embed another HTML document inside the main document). The iFrame can then activate the download of malicious code by exploiting additional vulnerabilities on the visiting machine”.

Unfortunately, your anti-malware solutions may not always protect you from this type of attack, so you should consider additional system hardening by substituting your ISP provided DNS service, with a more secure alternative.

Free alternatives include OpenDNS, Google DNS, and now Norton DNS – a free service (in Beta), that provides faster web browsing with basic security. The additional security is provided by Norton Safe Web, which provides a quick check on each site to make sure that it isn’t a threat. If it is, you are protected from the site, and you will get detailed information on why Norton believes the site is unsafe.

Norton DNS, with Norton Safe Web incorporated, prevents users from visiting sites identified as harboring exploits including.

Viruses

Drive-By Downloads

Malicious Downloads

Worms

Suspicious Applications

Suspicious Browser Changes

Security Risks

Heuristic Viruses

Adware

Trojans

Phishing Attacks

Spyware

Backdoors

Remote Access Software

Information Stealers

Dialers

Downloaders

Norton has not yet provided an install client, but in the meantime, you can make the required changes manually by following the instructions below. At first glance, you may think this is complicated when it fact, it’s quite easy. So, give it a try, and don’t be nervous.  🙂

The screen captures below, reflect the changes I made.

Norton DNS 2

Norton DNS

Manual Setup for Windows:

Open the Control Panel from your Start menu.

Click Network Connections and choose your current connection.

On the General tab of the Connection Status screen, click Properties.

On the General tab of Connection Properties, scroll down and select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click Properties.

On the General tab of Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties, select Use the following DNS server addresses, then enter the two NortonDNS IP addresses 198.153.192.1 and 198.153.194.1.

Click OK until each window is closed. You are now using NortonDNS.

To disable or uninstall Norton DNS manually:

Follow the same instructions above, but on step five, select Obtain DNS server address automatically on the last screen (or replace our NortonDNS addresses with your recursive resolver IP addresses).

To ensure that you have in fact, been successful in making the change, visit this Norton page. The page will let you know if you are currently using Norton DNS.

Note: According to Norton, this service is currently only available in English and, not all users in all countries will benefit.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Beta Software, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Google, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, Norton, Safe Surfing, Spyware - Adware Protection, Symantec, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP