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NetBIOS Names And Share Names
The NetBIOS name table of your computer is available to anyone who wishes to query your system directly over the Internet using its IP address. There's a simple utility in all Windows machines called NBTSTAT.EXE which performs these queries. If your name table discloses something you don't wish to tell the world, you should change its entries to something less informative. I have often encountered people who desired anonymity but had their personal name or other identifying information displayed openly via the NetBIOS name table.
If sharing is enabled on the Internet link, the shared resources' names and descriptions are also available for anyone to see, regardless of passwords. If those names or descriptions contain information you don't want the whole world to see, you should change them accordingly.
To see what others see in your NetBIOS nametable, open a DOS window while online and type: nbtstat -n ...then hit Enter.
To change this information, open the Network icon in the Control Panel. Select the Identification tab and you'll see the configurable entries. You must reboot to bring changes into effect.
On a standalone computer, for the average user, there's really no reason to have NetBIOS working at all on the Internet link. Here's how you can kill it altogether:
Locate the file VNBT.386 in your Windows\System folder. VNBT.386 is the Windows "virtual device" which enables NetBIOS to run over TCP. Rename the file to VNBT_386.BAK (or some suitable name so it can be restored if you need it later). Once you reboot, this will disable all NetBIOS function over the Internet. This has the added benefit of making all file sharing impossible. Some trojan-horse exploits are designed to grant illicit access through hidden shares; the absence of VNBT.386 will render that trick ineffective.
Be aware: The Winsock2 upgrade or Win98 upgrade will re-install VNBT.386, as may some other updates or installations.
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