security

Fri
11
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Web 2.0: The Next Generation of Thrills and Threats

As might be expected, new horizons bring new threats. As the browser and website world expands, so too do security risks that offer anything from Spyware annoyances and popups to viruses that damn the functionality of the average PC. Recently, ... insiders have revealed that this new generation of Internet technology is growing so fast that it is outpacing the safety of security updates. Web 2.0 is the common term used for websites that offer increased functionality and interactivity beyond simple HTML (no-flash) text. Undoubtedly, many of the pages who proudly describe themselves as proponents ... (view more)

Wed
19
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Firewalls: Definition

A firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your computer. In fact, that's why it's called a firewall. Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next. Firewalls use one or more ... of three methods to control traffic flowing in and out of the network: Packet filtering: Packets (small chunks of data) are analyzed against a set of filters. Packets that make it through the filters are sent to the requesting system and all others are discarded. Proxy service: Information from the Internet is retrieved through the firewall and then ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

MS Excel Security Leaks Becoming Flood

Users of Excel's immensely popular spreadsheets are increasingly having to look over their shoulder. Insiders are today reporting that a new security leak -- for the third this month -- has been discovered within the program. Excel 2000, 2002, 2003 ... and Office 2000, XP and 2003 are all affected, and the fallout is driving accountants into the fetal position. The most recently reported flaw allows attackers to carry out their own commands by convincing a user that a repair is needed on a specific file. Once that file is opened, hackers can do what they wish to an affected users' system. Caught ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Kill WGA with the BigFix

I've been hearing a lot of hype about this Windows Genuine Advantage program. I especially liked Brandon Dimmels articles about it here at Infopackets (see "Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Under Fire"). I don't like programs that needlessly contact ... their home websites to report on me. Many people call that "Spyware" and I also agree that WGA fits the description. It's taken a little while for me to figure out what to do about WGA. The funny thing to me is that I've had the "Fix" on my PC for a long time. Here's what I've done ... Install BigFix Turn off automatic downloading of Windows ... (view more)

Tue
30
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Remove SpySheriff (Removal Instructions): Simplified

SpySheriff is a mock antispyware application that uses fake security alerts to dupe users into purchasing the program. SpySheriff is typically installed through a security hole in MS Windows that automatically downloads a Trojan to your PC. The ... Trojan then issues bogus security alerts in the Windows taskbar. When you click on a fake security warning, SpySheriff is downloaded and installed to the system. SpySheriff also locks the Windows desktop to a black background with a warning message stating that "your computer is at risk." How to Remove SpySheriff (Removal Instructions) Below ... (view more)

Tue
02
May
Dennis Faas's picture

A Simple Tip to Secure Email

In many ways, e-mail is the perfect marriage between technology and the human personality. Where else can we express ourselves in such a personal way online? Though some would argue that instant messaging is a more convenient communication ... technology, e-mail would still get my vote, all things considered (instant messaging is still a bit too disruptive for my taste). By all accounts, e-mail has literally revolutionized the way people communicate with one another. And as much as I love e-mail, it needs to be secured just like any other application. In fact, e-mail is often the attack vector ... (view more)

Wed
19
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Password Security: Are You at Risk?

There's no doubt about it, security is a hard problem to solve. The rich functionality and connectivity we enjoy in today's Internet culture does not come without a price. Admittedly, there are so many variables that affect the overall security ... posture of a computer, that it sometimes seems like an overwhelming task to stay ahead of the curve. But with all the intricacies and technical dependencies that go along with securing our machines, it's still the basic steps that we need to be most concerned about doing. The Most Exploited Weakness in Computer Security The SANS Institute maintains a ... (view more)

Tue
11
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

'Icolorfolder', and 'Fajo Xp File Security Extension'

Icolorfolder Customize the color of each Windows XP folder. http://icolorfolder.sourceforge.net/ Fajo Xp File Security Extension Allows a user of Windows XP Home to view and change the access rights on file system objects of NTFS file systems. The ... extension provides the security tab known from Windows NT4, Windows 2000 and Windows XP Pro at the property page of file system objects. For faster access it adds an additional menu item to the context menu of such objects (optional). http://www.fajo.de/portal/index.php (view more)

Fri
31
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

What is a Blended Threat?

" What the heck is a blended threat? " I'm glad you asked ;-) According to searchSecurity.com a blended threat is "a computer network attack that seeks to maximize the severity of damage and speed of contagion by combining methods, for example using ... characteristics of both viruses and worms, while also taking advantage of vulnerabilities in computers, networks, or other physical systems." (Source: searchSecurity.com ) Now that's a mouthful! In more simpler terms, a blended threat is an attack that combines two or more vulnerabilities or attack methods on a remote machine. Blended threats are ... (view more)

Wed
15
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Keeping Spies Out, Part 2

This entry is the second part of a three part series on spyware prevention tips. In the first article , I overviewed an excellent (and free!) tool called SpywareBlaster whose sole purpose is to prevent the installation of spyware on your computer. ... SpywareBlaster is lightweight, easy-to-use, and continually updated. Today I'm going to share a second spyware prevention tip. Are you ready? Spyware Prevention Tip #2 - Stop Using Internet Explorer Fact: Some popular forms of spyware specifically target vulnerabilities associated with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Fact: Internet Explorer has a ... (view more)

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