Or at least it will be in the next few days at the highly entertaining Black Hat Conference. This annual get together of security experts – on both sides of the fence – has become the place to reveal newly discovered computer and network loopholes and flaws. It’s usually to be followed by lots of nervous press releases from manufacturers and software companies, either promising fixes, or claiming the security issues are non-existent or irrelevant.

This one, reported by Engadget and uncovered by security researcher Craig Heffner, highlights a long-standing problem with wireless routers known as DNS Rebinding. Heffner developed a tool that managed to crack open more than half of the thirty routers it was tested on, including popular models from the likes of Belkin and Linksys. Internet and network traffic passing through hacked routers can be intercepted or redirected, potentially allowing remote access to files on a user’s computer. Although the full extent of this vulnerability has yet to be revealed Heffner says there’s a lot users can do to protect their routers. This includes changing the setup menu’s default password and IP address, which will help until the manufacturers come up with a more permanent solution.

The latest routers, security suites, and software patches can help protect your PC against today’s ever-more-sophisticated Internet attacks.

These security tools are easy to install, easy to maintain, and provide the average PC user with basic protection against viruses, botnets, Trojans, rootkits, and other types of malware.

Keeping your PC secure goes far beyond convenience it can protect you against significant financial loss. That’s not hyperbole: according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2009 annual report (available from the IC3 site), Internet crime losses more than doubled through 2009 to more than U.S. $559 million!

But it’s not hard to provide a reasonable level of basic security for any PC. For average PC users, the basic rule for keeping PCs secure has not changed  keep it simple, keep it up-to-date.

The WS Security Baseline summarizes the latest reviews from trusted computer test labs. The current status of these reviews will be periodically updated on the Security Baseline page at Pctipsbox.com. More »

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