Great Circle Associates Firewalls
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: cable modem security
From: "Danny Johnson"<danny_johnson @ contcirc . com>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 98 17:55:32 -0700
To: <firewalls @ GreatCircle . com>

        I think that's a little outdated. The cable modem (for @home 
     anyway) runs on it's own fiber optic line which goes somewhere 
     near your major cross streets. Then a coax line is ran down your 
     street from which all the users are strung from there with coax 
     leading to each house. This is a separate line from your tv 
     cable. Before (I'm not sure how long ago) if you had file and 
     print sharing turned on in win95 then it would be possible for 
     anyone on your street line to view your hard drive by simply 
     using the network neighborhood icon. Most modems today don't 
     allow that even if you have file/print sharing on, i believe, 
     especially the ones @home uses (Motorola and Lancity). 
        As far as using a sniffer, I'm not sure as to what is 
     vulnerable. The sniffer would have to be setup on the same street 
     line to work. But this would only affect the transfer of 
     information not the data stored on your computer which is what 
     you were asking about. If the modem was hooked up directly to a 
     hub there might be some security compromise as well.
        If you're really paranoid or you network multiple computers 
     from your @home connection consider using some firewall software 
     for use on pc's like pc-firewall or something similar. 
        This is what I have understood, no correctness guarantee here.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: cable modem security
Author:  "Brett Mayer" <BMayer @
 rfc .
 com> at internet
Date:    3/30/98 5:40 PM

>From what I've heard, the cable modem runs over the existing cable TV lines 
strung throughout you're area. Anyone with a packet sniffer can tap in and see 
all transmissions. There is a great article about it in 2600 (the one with the 
orangutang the cover)\
>I have just installed a cable modem from the @home network to a single 
>machine running NT 4.0 SP3.  It provides REALLY GREAT performance, but I 
>cannot get any support from @home about security.
>I only plan to run Netscape, and read mail and news groups.  What can I do 
>to protect data on this machine from security risks?
Brett Mayer

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