The Shareware Review People

Sybergen Secure Desktop

Type of Program: Anti-Hacker
Supported Platforms: Win 95/98/NT
Company Name: Sybergen
Version: 1.11 build 177
Price: $29.95
Installed Size: 1.7mb


Before you read about how good this program is I would like you to try something, even if you already have an Anti-Hacker program. Visit: and try the Shields Up facility. This completely safe test will show you just how insecure your computer is with regards to open ports that the hacker is so keenly looking for. I was running a very well known Anti-Hacker program and tried this test. Horror of horrors Port 139 was wide open.

I came across Sybergen Secure Desktop through a chance conversation and believe me this is the business. Sybergen Secure Desktop works by only opening the ports you need when you need them but keeping them closed at all other times and runs unobtrusively in the background. Installation is simple and finishes with an auto-detection of your Internet settings. All the inexperienced user has to do then is decide which level of the 5 security settings to choose, which are:

Ultra High Security Level: Blocks all ports and protocols to inbound Internet when users don't want to use the Internet at all. It can be turned on automatically according to a time schedule set by the user in advance or manually. 

High Security Level: Only allows certain protocols to connect to the Internet. These include HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, POP3, SMTP, DNS, Telnet, AOL and DHCP. When Sybergen Secure Desktop is enabled at this level, your computer connects to the outside world if and only if these application initiating the connection to the remote sites. 

Medium Security Level: This mode opens the all protocols and most ports that allow any local Internet applications to communicate with the Internet. Users who want to play games over the Internet should choose this mode.

Low Security Level: As well as the ports opened under Medium security level, this mode opens more ports to accept particular inbound Internet package and allow your computer to provide services to other users on the Internet. This mode is used when your computer is acting as an FTP server, a mail server, a Telnet server, a Web server or a NNTP server.

Disabled: Sybergen Secure Desktop functionality is disabled in this mode.

For the experienced user there are facilities to allow and disallow individual opening or closing of ports as well as a scheduling facility.

OK you've installed and made your choice, medium in my case, now run the Shields up test again. I have reproduced the test results I got below:

Your Internet port 139 does not appear to exist! One or more ports on this system are operating in FULL STEALTH MODE! Standard Internet behavior requires port connection attempts to be answered with a success or refusal response. Therefore, only an attempt to connect to a nonexistent computer results in no response of either kind. But YOUR computer has DELIBERATELY CHOSEN NOT TO RESPOND (that's very cool!) which represents advanced computer and port stealthing capabilities. A machine configured in this fashion is well hardened to Internet NetBIOS attack and intrusion.

Unable to connect with NetBIOS to your computer. All attempts to get any information from your computer have FAILED. (This is very uncommon for a Windows networking-based PC.) Relative to vulnerabilities from Windows networking, this computer appears to be VERY SECURE since it is NOT exposing ANY of its internal NetBIOS networking protocol over the Internet.

I also ran the Ports Probe test which reported back that all my ports were in Stealth mode and to all intents and purposes my computer didn't exist it was so secure!

Right I've got what I wanted, A1 security for my machine, but I want more. I want to know who is attacking my machine and I want their ISP to know who is using their services for hacking purposes. Sybergen Secure Desktop gives you all the info you need. All activity is logged and if any intruder attempts an attack it first disconnects the attacker and then pops a screen up with the details you need : Time of attack, Hackers IP address, type of attack, remote port, port number the attempt was made on and your own IP address. All you have to do is a Whois on the attackers IP and e-mail the above details to the hackers ISP. Sybergen Secure Desktop reacts with lightning speed to attacks because it works at packet level standing between your machine and the Internet or LAN or as Sybergen put it, like a doorman checking your ID - wrong ID, no entry.

Support and Help are online with a FAQ page included. If your using Yahoo Instant Messenger you can check the box for that in the settings dialogue and it doesn't seem to affect ICQ.

To sum up, this program offers first class protection against intrusions plus the opportunity to hit back at the hacker (something we all want to do) where it hurts ie the possibility of denial of service. The trial version is fully operational for 30 days but trust me you'll want to buy it ($29.95 Purchase online) before then. In my opinion it's a "must have" unless you like sharing your passwords, personal stuff and reformatting frequently.

Caution to AOL users: It is possible that the installation process of this program is problematic for those who access the internet through AOL.In one reported instance of difficulty, installation of the program required a different configuration of the winsock... and the result was that AOL could be accessed but proceeding to the internet from AOL was blocked.My recommendation would be to check with the vendor about this before installing

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Simon Baillie

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