How secure is the Amiga on the Net?

AmigaNut08

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Hi all,

Ever since i have been a member on Amibay, i have only used a PC with Firefox to post on the forum. I am now typing this post on my A4000 using IBrowse. Just a question i would like to ask. Is browsing web sites that need a log in (such as this site), secure and safe on the Amiga?

Cheers
 

Amigarobbo

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If you're running Mcafee for Amiga, you should be safe.

:Doh:

Actually I've aways assumed security through obscurity was highly effective to be honest. Possible you might get pished, but OS can't help with those..
 

xc8

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depends, also, HOW you are connected on the internet, are you connected via open wifi? (AFAIK there is no wpa for amiga (?!) )

Chris
 

HonestFlames

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The only insecurity I remember from back in the day was being able to remotely crash an Amiga running the Miami TCP/IP stack by opening 2 simultaneous telnet connections to its chargen port (#19).

Hide yourself behind most any modern router and you'll be fine.

Just don't pipe a NEWSHELL over the internet :)
 
R

Rixa

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If your main concern is whether your passwords get transferred on the clear, I suppose it depends a lot on the sites in question. A lot of sites use https for the communication relating to authentication, which is probably working to keep you sufficiently safe even on the Amiga today. Some sites might use some javascript trickery instead. If these are not available they might revert to insecure methods or just not work. It doesn't matter if you're connected through a wired or poorly encrypted wlan, you will still want to hide your passwords on the application level. A wireless LAN is more easily listened to by your neighbours since a physical connection is not needed, but in either case any network device between you and the site can still be logging it for all you know.

As for security of browsing on the Amiga in general, I'm afraid that it mostly relies on the Amiga being such a minority platform that no one will target it. The last release of IBrowse was in 2006. In contrast, something like Firefox gets like a dozen security updates each year, and if you count in all the relevant components such as the ssl library and image decoder libraries it's more still. Worse yet, should a malicious web site manage to compromise IBrowse and manage to get it to run their own code, the Amiga operating system doesn't protect you at all, IBrowse readily has full privileges to format your hard disk or basically whatever.

A normal word of advice for security-conscious would be to only surf on 'friendly' sites instead of the naughtier side of the web or random URLs you received from SPAM, but I'm not sure it applies here. If there really was someone out there intending to compromise Amiga web browsers, he would put his exploit somewhere likely to be browsed by Amiga users, perhaps something like this very forum. My first thought of a type of an attack vector would be a malformed avatar icon that causes a bug in a common decoder library to execute code hidden within the file.

This is probably mostly paranoia, though. There's no bad guys out there. :unsure:
 

Kin Hell

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As long as you are behinid a Firewall, you probably have the safest puter on the Net. ;)

Kin
 

AmiNeo

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I dont know a lot about Amiga OS but the TCP / IP protocol set (set of protocols needed for most internet comunication) should be exactly the same whatever computer its running on.
An amiga with no software firewall should be just as secure as a Linux or Windows system with no software firewall and if the OS comes with a web browser, theyre likely to have taken steps to ensure basic security.

So long as your WAN connection has a firewall between it and your 'puter you should be atleast as secure as your average PC user for surfing. Any software you can have running asweell is a bonus.

Out of curiosity what version are you running? I've read OS 4 (based on 3.1) was developed over 5 years and I wouldn't imaagine them not thinking of security updates during that time :D

---------- Post added at 05:16 ---------- Previous post was at 05:15 ----------

If unsure, just dont do any online banking on it (y)

---------- Post added at 05:19 ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 ----------

I'd also add that for reasons Kin mentioned, you're probably less likely to get hacked than a Mac too.
 

HonestFlames

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I dont know a lot about Amiga OS but the TCP / IP protocol set (set of protocols needed for most internet comunication) should be exactly the same whatever computer its running on.
An amiga with no software firewall should be just as secure as a Linux or Windows system with no software firewall and if the OS comes with a web browser, theyre likely to have taken steps to ensure basic security.

So long as your WAN connection has a firewall between it and your 'puter you should be atleast as secure as your average PC user for surfing. Any software you can have running asweell is a bonus.

Out of curiosity what version are you running? I've read OS 4 (based on 3.1) was developed over 5 years and I wouldn't imaagine them not thinking of security updates during that time :D

---------- Post added at 05:16 ---------- Previous post was at 05:15 ----------

If unsure, just dont do any online banking on it (y)

---------- Post added at 05:19 ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 ----------

I'd also add that for reasons Kin mentioned, you're probably less likely to get hacked than a Mac too.

I should mention that a Linux or Windows PC without a software firewall probably doesn't exist. Windows since XP SP2 comes with a firewall set up as standard and Linux distro's have had default software firewalls for some time.

Deactivate Windows' / Linux firewall, connect straight to your modem (not hiding behind your router's NAT) and you will be in for a world of trouble!

Do the same with the Amiga and you'll be a lot safer, because it's not profitable for spammers to develop malware for such an old platform. Market forces are what drive malware development, not little script-monkeys doing it for the fun of the challenge.
 

desiv

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You're pretty safe...
Almost all of the security holes being exploited nowadays are Browser Specific (IE or Firefox) and even more so nowadays FLASH or Adobe related.

Now, there are OS/stack holes, but again, almost all are MS, with some Linux and infrequently Mac.

Could someone hack an Amiga sitting on the web unprotected?
Probably...

Would they? Only if they really hated you. :) And the odds of you pissing off someone who actually has the knowledge and time to do that? Pretty small...

I'd feel pretty darn safe with an Amiga on the Internet. Even neked (no FW).
Would be an interesting test tho..

desiv
 

AmigaNut08

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As long as you are behinid a Firewall, you probably have the safest puter on the Net. ;)

Kin

The D-Link G604T modem/router i have the A4000 connected to via ethernet cable does have a firewall built in. I have just visited grc.com and did the ShieldsUP port test and the A4000 is stealth on the net. So all secure in that front.

---------- Post added at 16:46 ---------- Previous post was at 16:42 ----------

I dont know a lot about Amiga OS but the TCP / IP protocol set (set of protocols needed for most internet comunication) should be exactly the same whatever computer its running on.
An amiga with no software firewall should be just as secure as a Linux or Windows system with no software firewall and if the OS comes with a web browser, theyre likely to have taken steps to ensure basic security.

So long as your WAN connection has a firewall between it and your 'puter you should be atleast as secure as your average PC user for surfing. Any software you can have running asweell is a bonus.

Out of curiosity what version are you running? I've read OS 4 (based on 3.1) was developed over 5 years and I wouldn't imaagine them not thinking of security updates during that time :D

---------- Post added at 05:16 ---------- Previous post was at 05:15 ----------

If unsure, just dont do any online banking on it (y)

---------- Post added at 05:19 ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 ----------

I'd also add that for reasons Kin mentioned, you're probably less likely to get hacked than a Mac too.

I am running OS3.9.
 

AmiNeo

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I dont know a lot about Amiga OS but the TCP / IP protocol set (set of protocols needed for most internet comunication) should be exactly the same whatever computer its running on.
An amiga with no software firewall should be just as secure as a Linux or Windows system with no software firewall and if the OS comes with a web browser, theyre likely to have taken steps to ensure basic security.

So long as your WAN connection has a firewall between it and your 'puter you should be atleast as secure as your average PC user for surfing. Any software you can have running asweell is a bonus.

Out of curiosity what version are you running? I've read OS 4 (based on 3.1) was developed over 5 years and I wouldn't imaagine them not thinking of security updates during that time :D

---------- Post added at 05:16 ---------- Previous post was at 05:15 ----------

If unsure, just dont do any online banking on it (y)

---------- Post added at 05:19 ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 ----------

I'd also add that for reasons Kin mentioned, you're probably less likely to get hacked than a Mac too.

I should mention that a Linux or Windows PC without a software firewall probably doesn't exist. Windows since XP SP2 comes with a firewall set up as standard and Linux distro's have had default software firewalls for some time.

Deactivate Windows' / Linux firewall, connect straight to your modem (not hiding behind your router's NAT) and you will be in for a world of trouble!

Do the same with the Amiga and you'll be a lot safer, because it's not profitable for spammers to develop malware for such an old platform. Market forces are what drive malware development, not little script-monkeys doing it for the fun of the challenge.


While this is true, it's also very possible and easy to turn those firewalls off and i wasnt meaning to be implying it was extremely secure without them...

Plus older versions (pre XP) didnt have them.

---------- Post added at 08:28 ---------- Previous post was at 08:25 ----------

However, most ADSL / Broadband routers come with a basic firewall installed now too and with what i said earlier about the OS being so uncommon (as you have also pointed out) hes less likely to be hacked than a mac or a linux system and a lot less vulnerable to viruses.

---------- Post added at 08:38 ---------- Previous post was at 08:28 ----------

<snip>

I am running OS3.9.
As i said i dont know much about amiga OS unfortunately, atleast not yet but as my previous post pointed out and the other guys', you're probably safer than any more common system which isnt running any security software and which is behind a router firewall of some kind and even without the firewall its unlikely youll be hacked due to most viruses / hackers targetting exploits in more modern / common OS. (I personally wouldnt wanna take a chance bare into the net without a router though, hehe).

If however you can find some security software for OS 3.9, it couldnt hurt. (y)
 

desiv

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If however you can find some security software for OS 3.9, it couldnt hurt.
Actually, I've found security software for any OS frequently DOES hurt. :D

That's it's job, to get in the way...
The question you need to ask is, "Is it worth it."

What are you doing that's not SSL? What do you have on your computer?
What's the risk?

Security isn't about "Don't ever do this." It's "Is what I'm doing to protect myself worth it, considering the worst case scenario and the odds of it happening?"

Frequently, in business situations, it comes down to CYA. The "If we don't have this software and something happens it will look really bad; even if the software is more likely to cause workload and troubleshooting nightmares." :)

desiv
 

Harrison

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I should mention that a Linux or Windows PC without a software firewall probably doesn't exist. Windows since XP SP2 comes with a firewall set up as standard and Linux distro's have had default software firewalls for some time.
You would be surprised by the number of people still using old Windows OS versions today, and very small screen resolutions too (800x600 f.ex). I can retrieve the actual OS and screen data from the Amibay server if some of you are interested in seeing what the makeup of this very site is? I can also pull similar data for a few of my other servers to show you exactly what I mean. A fair few people are still using Windows XP, and quite a few even Windows Me, 98 and even 95. Some even can be found still accessing the internet via 3.1! Quite mad.

The current OSs have come a long way with their default installations, but you have to remember that by law all such settings have to be selectable, and users do like to tinker, so there are still many computers without the required security running. I don't repair computers as a full time part of my work, but still end up fixing around 20 a year for clients, friends and by word of mouth, and other than hardware faults they are all security issue related with people contracting viruses or Trojans installed on their systems.
 

AmiNeo

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Thanks for clearing that up Harrison, it seems everyone thinks the world runs windows 7 now :LOL:.
 
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