G4NSJ – Amateur Ham Radio & Malware. Internet cyber security.


There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the likes of malware, tracking and other evils. Here’s a scenario. You download a program to do with amateur radio. It works well and you’re pleased with it. But, what is it doing behind the scenes? The program runs on your PC, it shouldn’t need to connect to the internet. Unless it’s quite innocently connecting to the internet to look for updates. Here’s the thing, you aren’t even aware that’s it’s connecting to the internet, let alone why!

The chances are, everything is fine. Or, is it? You’ve downloaded the program, clicked on blah/blah.exe and it works. Warning, anything with an .exe extension can contain malware! The program works perfectly, but you now have malware lurking inside your computer. As I said, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. Read on…


Simplewall is a free, open-source personal network security system for Windows. It’s designed to provide a simple yet effective way to monitor and filter network traffic based on predefined rules. The program aims to enhance security and privacy by allowing users to control what programs and processes can access the network. It’s important to note that while tools like Simplewall can contribute to network security, they are not antivirus or antimalware solutions. Antimalware software is specifically designed to detect, prevent, and remove malicious software (malware) from a computer or network.

This notice, below, will pop up to give you the options of allowing or blocking a particular program.



I’ve downloaded Chirp and, yes, it does try to access the internet. Simplewall stopped it but I allowed it access because it’s only looking for updates.


You really should look into this and make use of it. Virustotal is a great website for analysing suspicious files, domains, IPs and URLs to detect malware and other breaches.

Today, I downloaded a program to program my CRT SS9900 transceiver. Before I ran the file with the .exe extension, I checked it with Virustotal. It contained malware! I also downloaded a program for my Anytone AT-5189. Again, malware! Before you run anything with an .exe extension, you must check it first! I just wish I could find programs for my transceivers that don’t contain malware.

While I’m on the subject of evil things hidden, I’ve just bought an external SSD. Who knows what dreadful things are already on the new drive? Format it before you do anything else! That way, you should start off with a clean external drive.

New External drives:

Memory sticks, flash drives, external drives… they are really useful but always format them before using them. You never know what is hidden away on external drives and USB sticks! Right click on the drive and click format. That will delete everything, including any junk.

I’m working on this page so come back soon…