Ethernet connectors and a 100% secure computer.

The more I read about spyware, bugware and software that’s so aggressive and well-hidden that it can turn ON your computer and make use of it when it was OFF and you were outa the house, the more I want to unplug the Ethernet wire from my machine when I step away.

After all, that’s hardware. No software can bridge that gap. The mechanics of unplugging the Ethernet wire from the back of most peoples’ desktop machines would be kind of ungainly and difficult- and would stress out the connector.

Why can’t I find a black box that I can rest next to my machine, that has an Ethernet pass-through that I can truly either kill, or unplug? I’d use a 3 foot cable to get from the back of the machine to the desk, and then run the Ethernet wire back to the DSL. I am truly tempted to start unplugging when not at the desk and working. Does a really safe effective cut-off box exist? One that eliminates ANY chance of someone using the connection? Or, do I need to gob around with Ethernet barrel connectors and make up something on my own?


I’ve never heared about a malware that can turn on a computer :dubious: AFAIK, the only way to turn on a computer is using the Wake On Lan feature (the wake signal must originate from another computer on the network)

What about computer on/off switches? Most computer power supplies have a switch on the back. Even if someone could turn your computer on via the wake on LAN feature (assuming that you haven’t disabled that anyway), the only way that someone could turn your computer on with the switch off would be to break into your house.

Also, many DSL modems have switches. I believe that they don’t actually disconnect the modem from the Internet, it just makes sure that no traffic gets from the Internet to your computer. I have no idea how safe those are, though. I suppose it’s possible that one or two of them have a backdoor somewhere.

My Motorola Surfboard Cable Modem also has a switch. It’s the one Adelphia issued to me. Never used it tho. Who would want to be disconnected? :slight_smile:

I can think of a lot of ways around this. Use an ethernet hub (or switch) and have it plugged into a power strip that you can turn off. If you want to get fancy, have the hub’s power controlled by an X10 module and put an X10 controller in your PC. You can do all kinds of fancy things like turn your network on and off via computer or remote control. You could make it so you can dial in to your telephone and turn your network on or off. Loads of fun.

If you’re using Zone Alarm, (and assuming you’re on a PC,) right click the ZA logo in the lower right corner of your screen and click on Stop All Internet Activity.

Yeah, it’s a software solution, but with that activated, nothing should be able to get through. A red lock appears in the taskbar instead of the ZA logo when it’s activated.

I don’t know if newer computers do this, or if it’s “built in” now. But take a look at your network card. If there’s a small wire (or two actually) running from the network card to the motherboard (going to a spot labeled WOL) that’s the Wake On Lan wire. Unplug that, and your computer being powered up remotely can’t happen. Of course unplugging your network cable when you’re not around can’t hurt either.

It does you no good to unplug your network connection while the computer is off or supposed to be off. As long as you are infected with spyware, it will just do its thing surreptiously while you’re using the computer.

Regularly run Ad-Aware, Spybot and Pest Patrol, to get rid of whatever spyware exists on your computer, and you should be safe. There is no other meaningful safety measure.

Wake-On-LAN is a feature of the motherboard and can usually be switched off in the CMOS settings.

If you want to physically disconnect your machine from the network, get a couple of ordinary ethernet patch cables and an RJ45 coupler (make sure you buy a ‘straight through’ coupler, rather than ‘crossover’) that enables you to connect them end-to-end to make a single longer patch cable. any wear and tear is only going to occur to the cheap components - the cable and coupler.

I do in fact use Zone Alarm, I have since it was a free release to all. Still …the coupler idea has merit, I am familiar with those straight through connectors.