Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Microsoft Windows Desktop

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Setting up Security Logging

As stated before, logging is one of the key parts of any secure system. However, the ICF Security Logging is disabled by default. The following steps will enable it:

  1. Right click on Network Neighborhood and click on Properties

  2. Right click the connection using the ICF and select Properties

  3. Click on the Advanced tab and choose Settings

  4. Click the Security Settings tab

  5. Click the Log dropped packets and the Log successful connections check box

  6. Change the location and name of the firewall log file under the Name text box

  7. TIP

    The last step in a professional hacker attack is to delete any trace of the attack. Since most users never change the location of the log files, it is a simple thing for a hacker to find and alter the log file to cover his tracks. If you move and rename the log file location, it becomes more difficult for the hacker to successfully cover his tracks. This also gives you an edge in removing any Trojan backdoors from a root kit. For these reasons it is highly recommended that you move the log file location.

  8. Click OK, OK, and OK again.

TIP

To disable the Security Logging, simply ensure the Log dropped packets and Log successful connections options are unchecked.

Figure 5-10Figure 5-10 Security Logging setting of the ICF

Reading the log file

A log file can offer a wealth of information. However, the file is worthless if you cannot extract meaningful data. The following section analyzes a sample from an actual log file and explains the various parts.

 1.  #Verson: 1.0
 2.  #Software: Microsoft Internet Connection Firewall
 3.  #Time Format: Local
 4.  #Fields: date time action protocol src-ip dst-ip src-port dst-port size 
      tcpflags tcpsyn tcpack tcpwin icmptype icmpcode info

 5.  2001-08-28 19:41:47 OPEN TCP 64.41.22.233 64.12.162.57 3555 5190 - - - - - - - -
 6.  2001-08-28 19:41:48 OPEN TCP 64.41.22.233 205.188.8.12 3556 5190 - - - - - - - -
 7.  2001-08-28 19:41:53 OPEN TCP 64.41.22.233 64.4.13.179 3557 80 - - - - - - - -
 8.  2001-08-28 19:42:00 OPEN TCP 64.41.22.233 131.107.65.80 3559 80 - - - - - - - -
 9.  2001-08-28 19:42:00 OPEN TCP 64.41.22.233 131.107.65.80 3560 80 - - - - - - - -
10.  2001-08-28 19:42:16 CLOSE TCP 64.41.22.233 64.12.162.57 3555 5190 - - - - - - - -
11.  2001-08-28 19:43:16 CLOSE UDP 64.41.22.233 207.69.188.187 3031 53 - - - - - - - -

The above is an excerpt of a log file taken from a dial up computer over a period of a few seconds. In this example, you can see that the log file is full of numbers and other information. The key to understanding the data is found in the header of the file.

Line 4 contains the field names of each column of data. This makes importing the file into a spreadsheet application very easy. Fig. 5-11 shows us the file as it appears after it is imported into MS Excel. Using this method of viewing, the information leaps out at us. The following steps explain how to extract the information and import it into MS Excel.

Figure 5-11Figure 5-11 Viewing the ICF log file in Microsoft Excel

  1. Make a copy of the log file from its resident location to a temporary location

  2. Open the file and remove lines 1-3

  3. Remove the '#Fields: ' from the left side of the new top line (previously line 4)

  4. Open Microsoft Excel > Data > Import External Data > Import Data

  5. Change Files of Type to All Files (*.*) and select the *.log file previously copied

  6. Choose Delimited and click Next

  7. Check the Space option

  8. Click Finish and OK to use the existing worksheet

You should now have a window similar to Fig. 5-12. The following will explain each field and its meaning.

Figure 5-12Figure 5-12 Using Microsoft Excel to import the log file

1.  #Fields: date time action protocol src-ip dst-ip src-port dst-port 
     size tcpflags tcpsyn tcpack tcpwin icmptype icmpcode info
  • Date: Lists the date on which the connection attempt was made in YYYY-MM-DD format. (e.g. 2002-02-05)

  • Time: Lists the time that the connection attempt was made in HH:MM:SS format (24 hour format; e.g. 19:41:52)

  • Action: Identifies the type of operation recorded by the ICF. The possible entries are, OPEN, CLOSE, DROP, INFO-EVENTS-LOST. INFO-EVENTS-LOST is used when a number of actions occurred, but were not entered into the security log.

  • Protocol: Identifies the protocol that was used for the connection attempt. While normally TCP, UDP, or ICMP will be entered, if an unknown protocol is used then a number representing the number of packets using the unknown protocol will be placed in this field instead.

  • Src-ip: Identifies the source IP address from which the connection attempt originated (e.g. 192.168.0.4)

  • Dst-ip: Identifies the destination IP address to which the connection attempt was made (e.g. 192.168.23.34)

  • Src-port: Identifies the source port from which the connection attempt was made on the requesting computer. The entry will be an integer ranging from 1-65,535. Only TCP and UDP will return a valid port number. If another protocol is used, port 4039 will be entered. (e.g. 3023)

  • Dst-port: Identifies the local port to which the connection attempt was made. The entry will be an integer ranging from 1-65,535. Only TCP and UDP will return a valid port number. If another protocol is used, port 53 will be entered (e.g. 80 is a common entry if the request is made to retrieve a web page from the local host)

  • Size: Identifies the size of the packet in Bytes (e.g. 60)

  • Tcpflags: Identifies the TCP control flag found in the header of all TCP packets. The flags are written as uppercase letters (e.g. ACK).

  • Begin indent

  • Ack – This flag says that the ack number is valid, which means that the sender is acknowledging the receipt of data.

  • Fin – This flag signifies that the sending end will not be sending any more data.

  • Psh – This flag tells the receiving end to push all buffered data to the destination application. It essentially means there is no more data.

  • Rst – This flag resets the receiving end of the TCP connection. Packets in error are replied to with this flag.

  • Syn – This flag is used to signify that both ends have to synchronize their TCP buffers.

  • Urg- This flag is used to signify that the urgent pointer is valid and the data it refers to should be processed immediately.

  • End indent

  • Tcpsyn: Identifies the sequence number used in a TCP session. This number is present when the tcpflag is set to SYN (e.g. 1315819885)

  • Tcpack: Identifies the acknowledgement number used in a TCP session. This number is present when the tcpflag is set to ACK. This number will be the next sequence number the local computer should expect to receive (e.g. 0).

  • Tcpwin: Identifies the TCP window size in bytes of the packet.

  • Icmptype: Identifies the number that represents the ICMP field Type (e.g. ICMP echo = 8)

  • Icmpcode: Identifies the number that represents the ICMP field Code. This number have various meanings depending on the ICMP Type (e.g. Type=Desitnation Unreachable (3), Code=Host Unreachable (1)).

  • Info: Used as an extra entry to clarify an action that occurred. For example, an INFO-EVENTS-LOST action will record the number of events that happened but were not placed in the log since the last incidence of this type of event.

As you can see, the ICF Security log offers its user a wealth of information. Although it seems esoteric to many end-users, this log will provide network administrators substantial proof of a hack attempt and its origin.

For example, one of the first things every hacker does against a target system is a port scan. If this is performed on a system with the ICF logging enabled, the attackers IP address will show up in multiple entries over a brief period of time. In addition, if the hacker used a scanner that sequentially probes ports (e.g. 3045, 3046, 3047), the log file will be full of entries where the dst-port field increases by one. When used in conjunction with other logging options provided by Windows XP, the ICF log from end-user machines provides useful clues.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020