FTPS (FTP over SSL) vs SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)

ftps sftp

ftps sftp

SSH File transfer protocol, SFTP or File Transfer protocol via Secure Socket Layer, FTPS are the most common secure FTP communication technologies used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over a TCP networks. Both SFTP and FTPS offer a high level file transfer security protection with strong algorithms such as AES and Triple DES to encrypt any data transferred.

 

But the most notable differences between SFTP and FTPS is how connections are authenticated and managed.

FTPS is FTP utilising Secure Secure Layer (SSL) certificate for Security. The entire secure FTP connection is authenticated using an User ID, Password and SSL certificate. Once FTPS connection established, FTP client software will check destination FTP server if the server’s certificate is trusted.

The SSL certificate will considered trusted if either the certificate was signed off by a known certificate authority (CA) or if the certificate was self-signed (by your partner) and you have a copy of their public certificate in your trusted key store. All username and password information for FTPS will be encrypted through secure FTP connection.

Below are the FTPS pros and cons:

Pros:

  • The communication can be read and understood by a human
  • Provides services for server-to-server file transfer
  • SSL/TLS has good authentication mechanisms (X.509 certificate features)
  • FTP and SSL support is built into many internet communications frameworks

Cons:

  • Does not have a uniform directory listing format
  • Requires a secondary DATA channel, which makes it hard to use behind firewalls
  • Does not define a standard for file name character sets (encodings)
  • Not all FTP servers support SSL/TLS
  • Does not have a standard way to get and change file or directory attributes

SFTP or SSH File Transfer Protocol is another secure Secure File Transfer Protocol is designed as a SSH extension to provide file transfer capability, so it usually uses only the SSH port for both data and control. When your FTP client software connect to SFTP server, it will transmit public key to the server for authentication. If the keys match, along with any user/password supplied, then the authentication will succeed.

Below are the SFTP Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Has only one connection (no need for a DATA connection).
  • FTP connection is always secured
  • FTP directory listing is uniform and machine-readable
  • FTP protocol includes operations for permission and attribute manipulation, file locking, and more functionality.

Cons:

  • The communication is binary and can not be logged “as is” for human reading
    SSH keys are harder to manage and validate.
  • The standards define certain things as optional or recommended, which leads to certain compatibility problems between different software titles from different vendors.
  • No server-to-server copy and recursive directory removal operations
  • No built-in SSH/SFTP support in VCL and .NET frameworks.

Overall most of FTP server software support both secure FTP technologies with strong authentication options.

But SFTP will be clear winner since it’s very firewall friendly. SFTP only needs a single port number (default of 22) to be opened through the firewall.  This port will be used for all SFTP communications, including the initial authentication, any commands issued, as well as any data transferred.

FTPS will be more difficult to implement through a tightly secure firewall since FTPS uses multiple network port numbers. Every time a file transfer request (get, put) or directory listing request is made, another port number needs to be opened.  Therefore it have to open a range of ports in your firewalls to allow for FTPS connections, which can be a security risk for your network.

FTP Server software that supports FTPS and SFTP:

  1. Cerberus FTP Server
  2. FileZilla – Most famous free FTPs and FTPS server software
  3. Serv-U FTP Server

Lock Windows with USB Pen Drive or USB Flash Drive

USB Lock Windows

Lock Windows USBLock Windows with USB Pen Drive or USB flash drive is another Windows security hardware measurement for securing your Windows computer to avoid any authorised person using your computer.

This physical Windows lock security measurement is utilizing physical USB pen drive or USB flash drive hardware as the primary key or computer access control device and plugs on USB drive on yoru computer to access and use your computer operating system. When you’re unplugged the UBS pen drive, the computer will automatically locked once you’re away.  Plus more, you can used this physical security method as computer Window locks for children.

Over here, we will going to introduce another freeware that will allow you to to password protect, lock, unlock Windows PC using USB Pen Drive.

Lock Windows Software with USB Pen Drive:

Predator

Predator -Unlock Windows Lock

Predator is free Windows security hardware measurement that turns your USB flash drive as a physical security key to lock and unlock your computer even the Windows sessions is still opened. The keyboard and mouse will automatically disabled and the screen will be darkens when the USB drive is unplugged. And when you again plug the USB back to its place, the computer operating will revert back normal.

Besides Windows security, Predator also serve as parental control tools, which it limits the time your kids spend on their computers with the built-in scheduler. You can even make specific rules for each user and each day of the week or either lock the desktop, logoff the user or shutdown the computer.

Visit Predator – Lock Windows with USB flash drive

WinLockr – Lock Windows 

WinLockr - Windows lock

WinLockr is another lock or unlock Windows computer software using physical USB flash drive and password protection together by locking the computer keyboard and mouse automatically.

This lock windows software comes with computer shut down prevention, which mean all computer shut down event is blocked if the physical USB flash drives isn’t attached to computer. Plus more, the computer screen display will immediately hides away from other people what you were doing on your computer.

Visit WinLockr – Open Source Windows Locking Software

USB System Lock

USB Lock Windows

USL is an open source USB locking freeware that lets you lock and unlock your device using a USB flash drive. This lock Windows software support any removable storage drive including those MP3 player, storage card and others besides USB storage drive.
However, the bad things of this software doesn’t protected your computer under safe mode.

Visit USB System Lock

Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall for Windows 8

Sophos Free Network Firewall

There are plenty of free firewalls available for home networks. With Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you do not need to have separate firewall, as the built-in Windows firewall is good enough. For extra security protection, you can even turn on the firewall in your router / modem to secure your network.

But if you think you need even better firewall to protect your data and computer. Perhaps you can consider Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall, an additional virtual hardware firewall to protect your computer network. This mean you need a dedicated computer to install Sophos firewall application to turn the dedicated computer software become Virtual hardware firewall.

What is Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall Editions:

Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall edition is a free Sophos UTM software version that offers fundamental firewall security functionalities to help protect computer or any business network. Sophos Essential Network Firewall gives you free basic security to easily set up firewalling, networking tools, routing and secure remote access. As your needs evolve, subscribe to Network, Web, Email, Wireless, Webserver and Endpoint Protection on demand.

Sophos Free Network Firewall

Major features of Sophos Free Essential network firewall: 

  1. Easy management: Configure all system settings using our web-based interface with no need for command line or third-party tools.
  2. Network reporting: View detailed bandwidth statistics and graphs for the traffic caused by your network resources.
  3. Place anywhere: Install as the network gateway for all traffic in routing mode, or transparently using a bridged configuration.
  4. Flexible deployment: Choose one of our appliances, provide your own hardware platform, or run inside VMware or other virtual environment.
  5. Hardened firewall: Control traffic with security rules and use location blocking to stop all communications with selected countries and regions.
  6. Encrypted tunnels: Grant users secure VPN access or secure remote access onto your network  from home offices, hotels or airports

You won’t get the Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall download directly from Sophos website, which you click on download button and fill up your details. Then sophos will sends you the instruction email how to access, download and install Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall.

However, the Free Sophos Essential Network Firewall can’t be used to detect P2P networks.

Download Sophos Free Essential Network Firewall

 

How to Create Bootable ESET SysRescue Live CD / USB

Here is a tutorial how to create bootable ESET SysRescue CD / USB (“Bootable ESET antivirus”) with ESET SysRescue Live Creator.

What is ESET SysRescue Live or ESET bootable antivirus:

It is a bootable malware cleaning tool that runs independent of the operating system from a CD, DVD, or a USB. It has direct access to the disk and the file system, and therefore is capable of removing the most persistent threats.

With the live creator together, you can create a bootable rescue CD / DVD or USB Drive to boot an infected computer from your rescue media to scan for malware and clean infected files. 

Besides that, ESET SysRescue Live Creator is equipped with wipe data tools, which it can delete the drive in seconds. Just connect the drive, start the program again and click “Erase existing SysRescue USB”: another useful feature which you won’t always find elsewhere.

Before create ESET SysRescue Live CD / USB drive, there are several things need to prepare first:

1. Download ESET SysRescue Live CD/USB creator and save it to your Desktop.

2. Download ESET SysRescue Live ISO Image (324MB)

3. Prepare bootable antivirus storage media either CD / DVD disc media or USB storage drive.

 *** Please ensure USB storage drive is empty. Else this Live CD will erase any data saved to your USB flash drive. Back up any existing data before you begin. 

Once download ESET SysRescue Live CD / USB creator and ESET SysRescue Live ISO image, you can start follow to create bootable ESET bootable antivirus.

How to Create Bootable ESET SysRescue Live CD / USB:

  1. Double-click the ESET Live CD/USB Creator to run the bootable antivirus utility.
  2. Select the USB storge drive or CD/DVD that you want to create your ESET rescue disk on and click Create USB drive or Create CD/DVD.  Plus tick on ” Use previously downloaded ISO file”Eset SysRescue Live
  3. Once ESET SysRescue Live media is ready, remove it from your computer.
  4. To start bootable live on an infected system, you can require to ensure set the infected computer boot order is boot from USB or CD / DVD media first. Then you’ll see following screen. Select Run ESET SysRescue.

Eset bootable live CD antivirus screen

 

Once you able to enter live CD main screen, try to update latest ESET virus signature database first before you performing on demand scanning if your computer is attached with internet access. It able to check your system with various scan types. The core antivirus engine gets mixed results with the independent labs.

ESET bootable antivirus also works on Microsoft Windows Server 2000, 2003 (x86 and x64), 2008 (x86 and x64), 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2.

 

Crowd Inspect – Scan Windows processes with VirusTotal Cloud Antivirus Engine

Crowd Inspect

Once Windows operating system start-up, there are a lot of Windows processes running on the computer background. Most of times Windows user hardly to determine which Windows processes are genuine. So, there is a Windows process inspection tool called CrowdInspect  aimed to help alert Windows users to the presence of potential malware that communicates over the network that may exist on your computer.

Crowd Inspect application is developed by CrowdStrike. It is a community host-based Windows process inspection tool utilizing multiple sources of information, including VirusTotal cloud antivirus scan engine, Web of Trust (WOT), and Team Cymru’s Malware Hash Registry to detect untrusted or malicious network-active processes. Plus more, Crowd Inspect also display the security ratings information.

Crowd Inspect

When Crowd inspect application turn on, it will displays a list of all running Windows processes similar like Windows task manager on your computer. Beside showing the standard information, Crowd inspect also showing the Windows processor local and remote port numbers and IP addresses, and reverse resolved DNS name, on-line security ratings, status icons if a Windows process has been scanned or not.

All Windows processes are monitored and scanned in real-time in crowd inspect. The scanning process will be against with antivirus cloud engines of VirusTotal’s community library to determine security ratings of the Windows processes. The security rating is represented in colour codes: 

1. Grey colour icon – New or undetectable by VirusTotal database. 

2. Red colour icon – Potential danger Windows processes.

3. Green colour icon – Safe and no issues with any antivirus vendors.

The security rating is starting from 0 to 1oo%. This mean 100 % means every antivirus vendor reported the Windows process as problematic (very bad!)

Another good thing about Crowd Inspect is you can hover the mouse pointer over an item to view additional information or right-click it to perform actions such as killing the process, copying its information to the clipboard or cutting it off from the Internet (‘Close TCP’). 

Crowd Inspect runs as portable Windows process inspection tool on on both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows operating systems from XP and above. 

 Download Crowd Inspect