Using the Internet in Thailand–How to Defend Yourself

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Thailand has a surprisingly good supporting architecture for the internet, but there are some big problems that you must watch out for if you live in the Kingdom and cross the lush internet jungle.

A lot of people like to use pirated software and pirated operating systems.  Those pirated systems often come with crimeware.  About a year ago, Patriot COMSEC pulled a 30MB crimeware suite off of a “new” copy of Windows 7–one that had been pirated.  People like to use pirated operating systems because they are cheap in Thailand:  usually about 200 Baht.  Whatever you do, never use a pirated operating system.  You are letting yourself in for some big problems.

There is a general lack of understanding about internet security.  If you say the word “rootkit” in Thailand, that network admin who speaks English well will look at you with his eyes glazed over.  They just don’t care.

Security is done on the cheap at the ISPs, and this is a big problem.  Since 2102 there has been a lot of DNS spoofing in parts of Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai and in Isaan.

The way to get around this is to use a VPN with a NAT firewall and its own DNS servers.  We recommend VyprVPN.  It works very well, and it is based out of Germany.  We find that the connection into Perth is particularly strong and dependable.

Go with Fedora, Puppy, or TAILS in Thailand.  Stay away from pirated software and get yourself a VPN.  Ubuntu is acceptable, but not really recommended.  One good thing about it is that the VPN is easy to set up.

Make sure to check the Hash of anything you download in Thailand.

For your browser use Mozilla with the add-ons: HTTPS Everywhere, Adblock Plus, NoScript Security Suite, Ghostery, RequestPolicy (which prevents CSFR attacks), and Adblock Plus. TrackMeNot is a good idea too.

Thailand is a lush garden of world-class malware, spyware, rootkits, and PUPs.  Go with Linux-based OS and follow the guidelines above.

Sabaii Dee

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