Privacy is one of those things, like water and air (and electricity in California), that you don't think about too much until it's gone. But once you lose it or it's in short supply, you realize just how important it is. --Carlton Vogt,

Topics: Articles | Browser Checking | Columnists | Hardware | Hoaxes/Myths/Urban Legends | Intrusion Logs | Newsgroups | Patches | Ports | Reference Websites | Software | Software Updates | Spyware Detection | Test Websites | Tools | Web Based Proxies | Virus Information | Whois | Zone Alarm

Intrusion Logs:

Rob's Current Zone Alarm Log - Intrusions attempts in past Week or so [<100kb]
Rob's Year 2001 2nd Qtr Log - Intrusions attempts Year 2001, Second Quarter (Zone Alarm) [177kb]
Rob's Year 2001 1st Qtr Log - Intrusions attempts Year 2001, First Quarter (Zone Alarm) [110kb]
Rob's Year 2000 Log - Intrusions attempts Year 2000 (BlackICE) [189kb]
Rob's Year 1999 Log - Intrusions attempts (partial) Year 1999 (BlackICE) [19kb]
Robin Keir's Log - Author of ICE Watch Program

The year 2001 saw an increase in the number of intrusion attempts against my computer so I started generating my webpages on a quarterly basis. Then around the first of August 2001 the volume of intrusion attempts increased dramatically.

Time Period Intrusion Attempts Average Per Day
2001 1st Qtr 392 5.3
2001 2nd Qtr 647 7.1
2001 3rd Qtr 5960 64.7

I can pinpoint the time somewhat by examining the the Zone Alarm Log. The last 3 days of July 2001 my log averaged 5 hits a day. The first 3 days of August 2001 my log averaged 35 hits a day! The last 3 days of October 2001 my log averaged 107 hits per day!! What's going I am not sure.


In Pursuit of Internet Intruders - PC Magazine 11/15/1999
The Issue is Privacy and the Outlook is Grim - InfoWorld 03/20/2001

Brodcast/DSSAgent Removal:

This spyware/adware comes built into some software programs sold by Mattel Interactive/Broderbund/The Learning Company. They say the technology was designed to provide additional content to our consumers, i.e.: screen savers, product updates, special discount programs. My big complaint is that it phones home too often. My experience was this: it phoned home 1,769 times in a 20 hour period of time! Sometimes it phoned home up to 15 times a second! What's up with that? I don't pay for a high speed broadband connection to the internet to allow rogue programs like Br°dcast to tie up my bandwidth.

General Information - Cexx.Org (Counterexploitation)
Removal Utility - Learning Company Customer Support

It is my understanding that other 3rd party programs will remove DSSAgent from your PC. Here are a couple that you might consider:

Ad Aware - FREE multi spyware removal utility
Pest Patrol - utility that finds and eliminates hacker tools, spyware and trojans

Browser Checking:

Browser Check - determines your IP address, gobs of info about your browser & plugins, your ISP, network & domain
Browser Check - Does Your Browser Make Your Email Address?
PC Pit Stop - runs diagnostics on your PC to identify things that might help improve performance


Linksys Router - Linksys Instant Broadband EtherFast Cable/DSL Router

Hoaxes/Myths/Urban Legends:

AFU & Urban Legends Archive -
CIAC Security Website - DOE website on hoaxes, viruses, chainlatters etc.
Computer Virus Myths home page - Information about computer virus myths, hoaxes, and urban legends
Symantec AntiVirus Research Center - gobs of virus information
TruSecure Corporation - current virus hoaxes
Urban Legends Reference Page - definitive Internet/WWW reference source for urban legends, myths, and folklore
Virus Busters - Information Technology Division staff members at the University of Michigan(

Reference: - Computer Security - Hacking & Hackers - Computer Security - Hacking & Hackers
Dave Dittrich - zillion articles and links about security
eicar - - Gibson Research website ShieldsUP! News Group FAQ - Security/Privacy FAQ ShieldsUP! FAQ - Security FAQ - Geek, and CTO of Network ICE
New Hackers Dictionary - comprehensive compendium of hacker slang illuminating many aspects of hackish tradition, folklore, and humor
NIST's Computer Security Division - primary goal of the CSRC is to raise awareness of all computer systems users -- from novice to expert -- about computer security - PC Help - lots of good security and Back Orifice info
PC Help General Security Advice - lots of good security info
Privacy Foundation - Richard Smith, Web Bugs - Security news and tools - The Security Search Engine - Firewalls, Antivirus, Intrusion Detection, Vulnerabilities, Advisories and Auditing Software
Virus Bulliten Home Page - International Publication on Computer Virus Prevention, Recognition and Removal
W3C Security Resources - links to various aspects of Web and Internet Security


Ad Aware - free multi spyware removal utility - Computer Associates InoculateIT Personal Edition
Freedom - Internet Privacy Suite - Makers of Virus Scan Software - Powerful Browser Acceleration & Enhancement - Makers of Black ICE Defender - Makers of Norton AntiVirus & Internet Security Software
Symantec Antivirus Research Center - Virus News, Virus Signature Updates
Tiny Software - Makers of Tiny Firewall - free for personal use - Makers of ZoneAlarm (free)

Software Updates:

ZDNet - FREE software update service

Spyware Detection:

OptOut - by Gibson Research
PC Pitstop - detect if Aureate software installed - requires ActiveX

Test Websites:


eicar - see if your AntoVirus software is awake

Intrusion Attempts:

Anonymizer - Privacy Service - try the "Who Are You?" link
AntiOnline - DSL Reports
DSL Reports - DSL Reports
COTSE - use buttons at bottom of page
Gibson Research - Shields Up
Hacker Wacker - the most comprehensive, free computer security scan in the known universe
it-sec - Security for your Information
MC2 Security Wire - Free Automated NMAP Port Scan
Norton Internet Security - Security Analyzer determines whether your PC is protected from hackers, Trojan viruses, and privacy threats
Sybergen Networks, Inc. -
Virtual Suicide - determine network vulnerabilities
WebTrends Network - Web Trends Website

News Groups:
BlackICE Defender - eGroups hosted
- Gibson Research - OptOut News Group
- Gibson Research - Packet Sniffing News Group
- Gibson Research - Shields Up News Group
Zone Alarm - eGroups hosted


John Dvorak - PC Magazine Opinion
Fred Langa - WinMag.Com (WINDOWS Magazine) columnist


Microsoft Security Advisor - lots of patches for MS products
Microsoft Security Notification Service - lots of patches for MS products
Microsoft TechNet Security -


Port Number Search -
Firewall Forensics - Robert Graham
TCP/IP Port Numbers -
TCP/IP Ports -

Web Based Proxies:

Anonymizer - privacy service
Rewebber - privacy service

Tools: - lots and lots of tools and software - Traceroute, Ping, Domain Name Server (DNS) Lookup, WHOIS, DNS Records Lookup, and E-Mail relay Check Tools - couple dozen security tools
VisualRoute Server - web based visual trace route

Virus Information:

Datafellows F-Secure - Security Information Center
Kaspersky Antivirus -
McAfee Virus Information Library - detailed information on where viruses come from, how they infect your system, and how to remove them.
Message Labs -
Sophos Virus Information -
Symantec AntiVirus Center - Security updates
Trend Micro Virus Information - virus alerts, advisories, Top 10, antivirus, worm, trojan, macro, free, virus encyclopedia

Who Is Lookups:

ARIN Whois - American Registry for Internet Numbers
Amnesi - lots of useful look-ups
Network Solutions Whois - lots of useful look-ups Whois - lots of useful look-ups
Sam Spade Org - lots of useful look-ups
Visualware - VisualRoute Server -

Zone Alarm Firewall Software:

Rob's Year 2001 Log - Intrusions attempts Year 2001 (ZA)
Clear Zone Report Utility - ZA add-on product
Zone Labs Website - makers of Zone Alarm
ZoneLog Analyzer - ZA add-on product
ZA Log Viewer - ZA add-on product
ZALog.txt - browse ZA log file
Zone Alarm Log Info - decribes contents of ZALog.txt file.

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