Windows Backdoors are a common way for hackers and malicious users to gain access to someone’s computer. Backdoor Hacking is a term that refers to often hidden ways for hackers to gain access to someone’s system in one way or another. There are, however, multiple ways to combat this. One of these ways is to remove easy access points from your computer.


1.     With Microsoft operating systems one of the most common Windows Backdoors and easiest to remove is Telnet. Telnet Server allows users remote access to the command prompt as well as some other features. While Telnet Client can send plain text versions of usernames and passwords which can be abused when connecting to a server. Disabling it is simple, most computers have it disabled by default but there is no harm in checking. We'll use Windows 10, but it works the same for most other versions. Go to your search function on Windows and type in “windows features.” If you are running Windows 10 and do not see a search bar, then just hit the windows icon and start typing and it should pull up the search bar. A program should pop up called “Turn Windows features on or off.” Right click it and run as administrator. In the opened program, scroll down the list until you come across “Telnet Client” and “Telnet Server” if the square to the left of it is empty, no work needs to be done. Otherwise click the check mark and the box should now be empty and you are all set. Telnet Server may not show up in the features. If you do not see you do not have to worry about disabling it.

Remote Desktop/Access

2.     Another common backdoor hacking is remote access also know as remote desktop. Remote desktop allows external users to use your entire desktop remotely. Again, Windows comes with this feature packaged in, though by default it is disabled. The Windows remote desktop is easy to disable.

a.      On Windows 10, go to your Windows search bar and type in “remote access” and click “Allow remote access to your computer”.  In the new window there should be a box that is labeled “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer.” Make sure this option is unchecked. On the same page there should be a section called “Remote Desktop” make sure you have the “Don’t allow remote connections to this computer option” selected.

b.     Outside of the default Windows programs there are many other pieces of software that allow remote access. Here a list of some of the most common third party applications. If you fnd any these on your computer I recommend uninstalling and removing them.

Default Passwords

3.     Default passwords especially on routers is one of the easiest ways to encourage hackers to come after your system. As annoying as it is to change passwords it is one of the easiest ways to prevent others from accessing your computer or network. There are two different passwords that should be changed: the router password and the WiFi password. Your wifi should always be protected by a password. There are many different types of routers and how to change passwords depends on which company router you have. However an easy way is to use your routers ip address. To find this we most go into command prompt. To bring up command prompt hit pull up your search bar and type in cmd open the command prompt. In command prompt type in ipconfig.  
telnet1This will show all ip address related to your computer and router. If you have an ethernet connect to scroll down until you see your ethernet adapter. If you have a wireless connection (wifi) then scroll down until you see Wireless LAN adapter or something similar. Copy down the default gateway address, it should be in the #.#.#.# format.

telnet2 In your preferred internet browser type in the address you copied down and it should take you to your router’s page. On that type in your routers user name and password, if this is still set to default settings then you should consult your router’s manual to find the default user name and password. The manual should also contain instructions on how to change the passwords of both the router and the WiFi. It is recommended to generate a random complex password to ensure maximum security.

Malware and Rootkits

4.     Anti-Malware protection is one of the most important aspects to owning a computer. There are countless numbers of programs and software which is designed to take advantage of an unsuspecting user. Malware is a board term for software that is designed to harm your computer or server. Rootkits refers to software that is software that is designed to gain control of a computer system without the user knowing. Both types of software can be dealt with by using Anti-Malware software. We recommend using Malwarebytes for your Anti-Malware / AntiVirus software. Both free and premium version do an excellent job at protecting your computer. Malwarebytes also scans for rootkits which may be hiding on your computer. Most malware software has the option to look for PUPs or PUMs which stand for Potentially Unwanted Programs and Potentially Unwanted Modifications. These are important to look for as they may be signs of hacking tools, hacking backdoors, or trojans.


5.     In addition to Anti-Malware software it is recommended to make sure your firewall is enabled. Typically, it is enabled by default by Windows however it is always good to check. To enable your firewall, type in the Windows search bar “firewall” and select the “Windows Defender Firewall.” Once you have opened it, select “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off” On the side bar. In the new window make sure that both Private and Public settings have set to on.

Miscellaneous Backdoor Software

6.     There are multiple types of backdoor software we have not yet mentioned. Most of these programs are installed under false pretenses. These are known as Trojans. Often these programs hide themselves as one type of software, for example Emotet masquerades as a banking app while hiding malware which can open a backdoor. One of the most common types of software which hides malware is file converters. It is recommended to avoid sketchy websites and software. In addition, always scan the installer before you use it and make sure to scan your computer after it is installed. Not all these programs masquerade themselves for example Radmin is commonly used to access someone’s computer remotely but does not hide itself. Unfortunately, there are too many to list here as more are added every day.

Many of these windows backdoors do exist for a reason, mostly for IT or computer help purposes. For home computers it is generally recommended to remove such backdoors as they are dangerous, and things like Telnet and remote desktop are unnecessary for most users. When a IT professional you trust asks you to install or enable one of these windows backdoors you can and most likely should. However, when the session is done it is recommended disabling them again to prevent others from taking advantage.
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