Learning about firewalls and general computing
January 11, 2009 9:09 AM Subscribe
I allowed perl access past my firewall (Am I even saying that right?). Should I be worried? And how do I learn more about the subject so I'm not so clueless in the future?
I got a popup message on my Macbook about allowing perl access past my firewall (I think). I was downloading and installing Gnucash through Macports at the time, and I figured, must have something to do with the perl program that fetches finance quotes and prices, and I clicked "Allow." Immediately after I wondered if I'd made a mistake, and so I went to the firewall log and saw this:
Jan 8 00:27:40 ***** Firewall: perl is listening from 0.0.0.0:62703 uid = 0 proto=6
(Computer name ***ed out.) I shouldn't be worried, should I?
And now that I'm on the subject, I feel like I need to know more about the basics of computer technology. I get the suspicion that to many people, my above question must sound like one of those questions you come across on lists of ridiculous tech support questions, like where the "any key" is or whether the program "Linux" is supported on XP.
I know perl is a program that people use (usually for network communications? right? right?) and that the 0.0.0.0 ip address probably tells someone who knows better that I have nothing to worry about. (Uh ... right?)
I'm not totally computer-illiterate, and I'm not particularly timid when it comes to messing around (for better or for worse). I've run Ubuntu in the past, and I spent a few days getting wireless to work with my old USB wirless adaptor using ndiswrapper, to give you some background. But ask me what a "driver" is and I couldn't really tell you the details, beyond the fact the fact that you need it to make hardware work. Same with "firewall," "ip address," "perl," "ssh," and so forth.
Like they say, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life. I want to learn more about the fundamentals of networking security and computing in general. But how do I go about it? Where do I even start? The superficial approach has got me so far, and at the same time I'm assuming that learning assembly language won't really help me here.