customers computers are downloading illegal software

November 26, 2012 at 16:46:49
Specs: any, any
I run a computer repair shop. I hook up any computer that comes in my door to the internet. Today I got a notice in the mail from my isp stating I'm infringing on peoples copyrights.

Is there a way for me to set up a firewall or something (what) where I only allow these computers to access specific sites ex mbam, avg, microsoft, ect ect. and to alert me if they are trying to access p2p or email sites? and how would I do this?

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November 26, 2012 at 17:04:36
While I don't encourage piracy, I'd strongly encourage you not to "play God" with their machine. After running a repair-business for some time, I found out frequently that folks were doing things with their machines that I might not approve of, but taking action into my own hands would lose their business. If it's drivers/updates for their machine you need to download, then do it from a machine of your own, burn it to a CD (not a floppy or flash-drive), and install from there (to reduce the risk of infection from the customers' machines). If you need to connect to the internet to determine if their network card/browser is working, do it quickly.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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November 26, 2012 at 18:28:00
I've been doing research ever since I posted this. I'm not wanting to restrict their machine, no, I want them coming back. I just want to stop their machine from downloading off my network.

I found a program called ipcop which I'd install on a separate machine, place that machine between my modem and my router or between my router and hub that attaches to customers computers and have it block access to everything but the sites I wish to have open.

It looks pretty slick, I'll be playing with it tomorrow because I'm off to bed now.

I will follow up with my progress then.


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November 26, 2012 at 21:13:46
why are you giving them access to your network anyways?

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions 7 Golds

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November 27, 2012 at 02:22:54
I am giving them (customers computers, not customers) access to my internet only to download updates, virus removal software and or malware removal software and to diagnose performance on the net. I usually plug them in while the customer is standing there so they can show me what it is or is not doing, at which time it remains on my network until it's turn in que. I understand I can unplug them from the network while not in use, but when it only takes a couple minutes to download the latest movie from p2p, I'm too late.

I'm kind of thinking put that ipcop between my router and hub to where all my customers computers hook up and give it a limited white list. that is what I will be doing today as soon as I find an old pc to set up. If that doesn't work I'll try some other firewalls.

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December 7, 2012 at 18:36:03
Yep. Some sort of internet filtering is definitely needed.

If you feel the need, and I would recommend this although for your network it may be overkill, get a good firewall/router. Most Linksys/Cisco, D-Link, and Sonicwall devices can block access to all of the internet except for certain sites that you choose. Sonicwall also has other good blocking features. Because these are hardware firewalls, they will only affect the machines when they are connected to your local shop network.

Another option is to add an additional firewall to your network in addition to whatever hardware firewall you are running now. (You ARE running a firewall/router, right?) In this case it would look something like this:

Internet (ISP)
Main Router (normal firewall rules)
     |                |   
   Local        Customer (Custom blocking rules)
Workstations   Firewall & Router 
                 Customer Computers

What this setup does is it allows you to set up custom blocking rules for your customer computers without impacting your local workstations. Because even $39 D-Link routers support custom web filtering, this may be a better and more cost effective way to go.

Let me know if you need more info.

IT Desktop & Network Consultant - MOS Master Certified, MCP, MCSA, MCITP - Windows 7, CCNA Certificate Pending, A+, Network +


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