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High-Performance, Transparent, Comprehensive Internet Security and Privacy Management
by Steve Gibson, Gibson Research Corporation

Introducing the GRC NetFilter:

Click image for full size view.

A "NetFilter" Next?

Malicious hackers and Windows unsafe networking are something we need to defend against. So my response was the creation of ShieldsUP!, then working to raise the level of awareness of the need for good personal firewalls. The LeakTest utility was the most recent step in that quest, and the future NanoProbe and GENESIS developments will advance ShieldsUP! to the next level. This will include the long-awaited HyperSpeed Port Scanner which has not been forgotten or abandoned. It will be part of the next release of ShieldsUP! The Assimilator project will evolve along with the next-generation of ShieldsUP!!, illuminating the "stress-response" of personal routers and hardware security solutions.

Spyware vendors caught my eye next. The free OptOut utility was the first result, followed by the well-publicized battle against Real Networks and the other spyware downloaders. I intended to — and promised to — push OptOut further, but virtually every spyware company started behaving much more responsibly (under the pending threat of an expanded OptOut), and the excellent, free, Ad-Aware anti-spyware utility from LavaSoft appeared on the scene to pick up where OptOut left off. People continued to ask for a complete anti-spyware utility from me (the version of OptOut I had promised), but with the spyware companies behaving much better, and an effective free alternative from Lavasoft, it made no sense for me to take the time to create a commercial utility which would largely duplicate their efforts . . . and when doing so would prevent me from working on other non-duplicative work . . . like the GRC NetFilter.

Filtering the Net — The ULTIMATE Solution.

In my December 2000 mailing to our eMail membership I explained that I had been wrong about the proper future for OptOut. I decided to retarget my efforts. The GRC NetFilter is the result of that retargeting:

The MANY different DELIBERATE forms of abuse
of our Internet connection is a growing concern.

Web advertisers track us individually, through a growing variety of clever means (no longer just cookies). They collect, compile, profile, and sell the user-identifying information which our browsers often innocently leak.
Cookies pile up in our machines without end. They leave a trail of crumbs for anyone to follow.
Clever "redirection schemes" used by major players (including Microsoft) silently subvert common cookie-blocking solutions. Cookies pile up in our machines without end, disclosing our identity, sacrificing our anonymity, and leaving a trail of crumbs for anyone to follow.
Unsolicited (spam) eMail is on the rise and now often carries tracking scripts to "phone home" and confirm our eMail addresses to the mass-eMail marketing companies. New eMail viruses appear daily to inflict damage on us and our eMail-connected friends and associates.
Spyware deliberately sneaks into our machines, installed by commercial programs serving as Trojan horses and "scripted" web sites offering "free" enhancements. Once inside the spyware routinely "phones home" to report on our activities while on and off line.
And since clever new schemes are appearing almost daily, the GRC NetFilter license will include free upgrades for the lifetime of the product.

Standing back from this growing exploitation of the Internet consumer, I realized that I could create a SINGLE SOLUTION to address and cure all of these problems.

I realized that by creating a single, highly capable, "NetFilter" — sort of a smart data-aware system-wide network firewall — I could simultaneously eliminate every one of these growing threats to our safe, private, and anonymous use of the Internet.

The Creation of a single
comprehensive cure
is my next goal.

News has leaked that Microsoft's next web browser, Internet Explorer 6, will finally catch up with Netscape and Opera in offering integrated 3rd-party cookie blocking, and moreover, that this blocking will be enabled by default! If true, that would be wonderful, but I'll believe it when I see it. Microsoft has knuckled-under before when powerful web-tracking commercial interests protested against the inclusion of this in IE 5.5. And, in fact, Microsoft publicly endorses third-party cookie tracking:

On their press release page, Richard Purcell is quoted:

PressPass: Is Microsoft opposed to third-party persistent cookies?

Purcell: No, Microsoft is not opposed to the use of third-party persistent cookies. In fact, this is a primary business model of the Web, used by small, medium and large Web sites, including ours. For quite some time, we've been in discussions with our third-party advertising partners about the best way to combine full advertising services and promotional opportunities on the Web with consumers' desires to know how and when information is collected about them online. We share our partners' commitment to helping consumers understand that Internet services are free today due in part to the Web's business model, which is fueled by online advertising. We all want to educate, not alarm, consumers about cookies and to help them understand when benefits can be derived from cookies.

Huh? The "primary business model of the Web" ??  Did anyone ever ask us?

If everyone were to upgrade to IE6, and if third-party cookie blocking really is enabled by default, this would be useful, but we know that not everyone will, and that many people use Netscape, Opera, AOL, or other browsers lacking sophisticated cookie management. But in any event, this is all too little too late, since even cookie-tracking is now old news: In classic "Spy Versus Spy" fashion, those who would track us have had enough time and notice to develop non-cookie means for tracking our movement across the Internet!

The evolution of web tracking technology does
not depend upon 3rd-party cookie exchange!

But I have news for these obnoxious stealthful tracking, privacy violating, personal information gathering and reselling dot com stalkers:

It's MY Computer! tm

As you can see above, I have trademarked the battle-cry:
It's MY Computer! I did that because that phrase perfectly
expresses my growing outrage at the increasing exploitation
and creeping depersonalization of personal computing.

My company, my efforts, and this web site, are dedicated to
the proposition that our personal computers are ours, and
that commercial interests have no implicit rights that we
don't voluntarily release to them. And, that we are going to
assert our rights with technology that returns control to us!

NOBODY is going to track me, catch personal data leaking from my browser, run malicious scripts when I go to a web site, open annoying pop-up windows when I try to leave. No one is going to receive reports from web bugs in pages I visit or eMail that I innocently open, nor run scripts in my eMail to monitor its movement. No one is going to annoy me and clog my Internet connection with advertisements I never said I wanted my browser to download. And no automated eMail database is going to send me unsolicited eMail. Those games are over.

That all stops right now.

The time has arrived for the GRC NetFilter.

We Need a Personal Internet Filter that knows all about every nasty trick being used to take advantage of our trust, compromise our security, and invade our privacy while we're using the Internet.

The GRC NetFilter monitors all of our Internet activity to selectively
block malicious and annoying content and prevent the abuse of the
technologies which were designed to help us, not hurt us.

We also need an Internet filter to give us much more control over the behavior of our various Internet client programs such as eMail, web browsers, and newsreaders. Why not allow images only from the web site we're visiting to complete the page we're viewing — but NOT from third-party advertisers who slow everything down, attempt to plant tracking cookies and track our movement around the Internet?

We never said we wanted ads downloaded to fill our hard drives and clog our connections. The commercial interests simply decided to see how much we would tolerate, and to exploit us until we said "no more." In fact, web page ads are getting bigger!

If you feel the way I do, it's time to just say NO because: It's MY Computer!

Let's take back control of our computers.

If you are not convinced that we have a HUGE and growing problem looming, please check out this recent article on ZDNet — the truth is frightening!

Reversal of fortune—tracking Web trackers

And if you think that perhaps our United States government is going to be making decisive moves to protect its citizens rights, consider Carlton Vogt's recent InfoWorld column about just this question:

The issue is privacy and the outlook is grim

WARNING: Unfortunately, the InfoWorld page contains two Doubleclick
tracking web bugs.  (One wasn't enough??)  Once you have the GRC
NetFilter installed and running they will no longer be any concern.

When development of the GRC NetFilter has been completed it will be made available one time for a free, introductory, 30-day evaluation. All subscribers to our eMail system will be notified so that they may evaluate the GRC NetFilter's performance and determine whether they wish to purchase and continue using the product.

The GRC NetFilter will retail for $24 (US Dollars).
ALL licensed users will be entitled to FREE
UPGRADES for the lifetime of the product.

The GRC NetFilter will operate on any version of Windows from Windows 95 through Windows XP. Users of Windows 95 will need to apply the free Windows Sockets 2 Update, available directly from Microsoft. Winsock 2 cures many early bugs, security holes, and denial of service vulnerabilities within the original (version 1.1) of Windows Sockets. (Everyone using Windows 95 should do this anyway!)

If you are not already a subscriber to GRC's Corporate
News Blog
you may wish to check it out and consider
subscribing to receive news of all future updates,
freeware, and commercial software.

I will let you know as soon as this cool new solution for our online privacy and security is ready for you to test and play with!

NOTE: It is going to be a while before the GRC NetFilter is ready for release since I also need to first create our custom eCommerce system to support and manage cool features like free lifetime upgrades and painless lost-copy replacements. However, the GRC NetFilter will be the next software I release.

Thank you for your support and patience.
I am working as hard and fast as I can.

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Last Edit: May 04, 2013 at 18:21 (4,057.70 days ago)Viewed 24 times per day