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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Access control to data

Group permissions and Full Control
You may find it easier to assign permissions to groups rather than to individual users—this saves you from having to maintain access control for each user. You can also allow a group (or individual) full access to the file or folder, rather than selecting individual types of access permissions. To do this, select the Full Control option when setting permissions. Then, you can just select Deny for any type of access you want to exclude for the group (or individual).
The type of permissions you can grant depends on the type of object. For example, the permissions for a file are different from those for a registry key. Some types of permissions are common, including:

Read permissions

Modify permissions

Change owner



Circular dependency errors

"Circular dependency: The Infrared Monitor service depends on a service in a group which starts later..."
Circular dependency: The Infrared Monitor service depends on a service in a group which starts later.

Dependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more.
Dependency Walker is also very useful for troubleshooting system errors related to loading and executing modules. Dependency Walker detects many common application problems such as missing modules, invalid modules, import/export mismatches, circular dependency errors, mismatched machine types of modules, and module initialization failures.
Infrared MonitorThe Infrared Monitor service enables you to share files and images through infrared connections. This service is installed by default on Windows Vista and Windows XP if an infrared device is detected during operating system installation.
If the Infrared Monitor service stops or is disabled, files and images cannot be shared through infrared connections.
This service startup type is Automatic.
Interactive Services DetectionThe Interactive Services Detection service enables user notification of user input for interactive services, which enables access to dialog boxes created by interactive services when they appear. If this service is stopped, notifications of new interactive service dialog boxes no longer function and there may no longer be access to interactive service dialog boxes. This service supports the new service isolation feature in Windows Vista.
In Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and earlier versions of the Windows operating system, all services run in the same session as the first user who logs on to the console. This session is called Session 0. Running services and user applications together in Session 0 poses a security risk because services run at elevated privilege and therefore are targets for malicious users who are looking for a way to elevate their own privilege level.
The Windows Vista operating system mitigates this security risk by isolating services in Session 0 and making Session 0 noninteractive. In Windows Vista, only system processes and services run in Session 0. The first user logs on to Session 1, and subsequent users log on to subsequent sessions. This means that services never run in the same session as users' applications and are therefore protected from attacks that originate in application code. Because Session 0 is no longer a user session in Windows Vista, services that are running in Session 0 do not have access to the video driver in Windows Vista. This means that any attempt that a service makes to render graphics fails. For example, if a device installer runs in Session 0 and the installation program creates a dialog box in Session 0 that requires user input to continue, the device installation never completes because the user does not see the dialog box. From the user's perspective, the device installer is hung because it has stopped progressing and the user has no way to resume it. Basically, any functionality in a service or a service-hosted driver that assumes the user is running in Session 0 does not work correctly in Windows Vista.
As a result of this issue, the option of enabling the Interactive Service Detection Service will be available for customers who have services from earlier versions of Windows that send user interaction dialog boxes to Session 0 instead of the corresponding user's session.
The service startup type is Manual start by default. The service starts only when a visible dialog box that is not a command window is detected. If the service is started, then users will be notified when a dialog box or window (including a command window) appears in Session 0. Information about each of the last 10 dialog boxes will appear in turn if more information is shown. This will help ensure that deployment testers are aware of services from earlier operating systems in their environment and have the opportunity to contact the vendors for updated services.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bluetooth software error

Source & Source2
"please execute setup.exe for install or upgrade"
Sounds like Windows Installer is corrupt. Please take a look at this thread.
Marcin Kleczynski
Malwarebytes President
Possible Solution
Advertencia: la herramienta Windows Installer CleanUp Utility se proporciona "tal cual" para ayudar a resolver problemas de instalación de los programas que utilizan Microsoft Windows Installer. Si utiliza esta herramienta, quizás tenga que reinstalar otros programas. Se aconseja que tenga precaución. Recomendamos que no utilice esta herramienta con productos de 2007 Office System.
Microsoft ha actualizado la herramienta Windows Installer CleanUp Utility. Con esta herramienta, puede quitar la información de configuración de Windows Installer de un programa. Es posible que desee quitar la información de configuración de Windows Installer de un programa si tiene problemas con la instalación (Setup). Por ejemplo, quizás tenga que quitar la información de configuración de Windows Installer de un programa si tiene problemas con la instalación cuando intenta agregar (o quitar) un componente del programa que no se incluyó cuando instaló el programa por primera vez.
La herramienta Windows Installer CleanUp Utility no realiza las funciones siguientes:
  • Quitar Windows Installer
  • Quitar archivos de programas instalados por Windows Installer, como Microsoft Office 2003
If the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility does not help, take a look at the following posts to see if they provide a solution to your issue.
Contraer esta imagenAmpliar esta imagen
Descargar la herramienta Windows Installer CleanUp Utility ahora.

Windows Installer launches unexpectedly, for no obvious reason

Question about 'Windows Installer Appears Every Time I Start an Application'

How to resolve Common "Windows Installer" Problems

Windows Installer: Dealing with installation failures

Events and Errors Message Center

Monday, April 27, 2009

IPSec vs. SSL: VPNs


Security in Internet

Group Policies
The last thing that I want to talk about is how you can prevent spyware from infesting your network by making effective use of group policies. As you probably know, group policies are designed to configure the security settings of each workstation as it attaches to the network. What a lot of people don’t realize is that you can control Internet Explorer’s configuration directly through a group policy.
The Internet Explorer related group policy elements can be found by browsing through the group policy tree to User Configuration | Windows Settings | Internet Explorer Maintenance | Security, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A: You can configure Internet Explorer’s security settings through a group policy.

If you double click on the Security Zones and Content Ratings option, you will see a screen that gives you the chance to customize the security and privacy settings. Select the Import the Current Security Zones and Privacy option, click the Modify Settings button, and you will see the familiar Internet Options properties sheet, shown in Figure B. The thing about this properties sheet though is that the settings that you enter will apply to every user that the group policy applies to (assuming that a higher level policy doesn’t block the settings).

Figure B: The Internet options Properties Sheet can be used to configure Internet Explorer for all of your users.

The actual settings that you implement are up to you, but I recommend setting the Internet zone to Medium security, but also blocking any and all ActiveX controls. I recommend setting the Restricted Sites zone to High Security. I also recommend periodically adding known malicious sites to the Restricted Sites zone. There are a lot of places on the Internet where you can download lists of Web sites that are known to be malicious. I also like using a free utility called Spyware Blaster ( because it contains its own list of malicious sites. You can copy the list of malicious sites from Spyware Blaster into the Restricted Sites zone.

Registry Key to deny internet access

There are 2 easy ways to do this by GPO. The 1st is User Configuration > Windows Settings > Internet Explorer Maintenance > Connections > Proxy Settings. Check the Enable Proxy Settings box, for the proxy server address choose Check Use same proxy server for all addresses and un-check Do Not Use Proxy Server for intranet addresses. I use this for several classes of users and it works well. The advantage of doing it in this manner is that in the event you need to add sites to allow these users to go to you can add them to the exception list.
The second way is do dis-allow iexplore.exe via GPO. That policy is located in User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Don't run specified Windows applications. Then you would enable that policy and add iexplore.exe.
There are also 3rd party applications like app-sense that you can use as well but I think the GPO method will work for you.

Internet Explorer blocking

Internet Explorer blocking (per user account)
Create a new "OU" call it something like "Restricted" then create a gpo and call it "No_Internet" then add the following policies:
1. user configuration\windows settings\internet explorer
maintenance\connection then choose proxy settings put a check box in proxy settings and put a dead ip or server name in the field and change the port to 8080 (set all fields to use these parameters)
2. administration template\windows components\internet explorer\internet
control panel enable "disable connection page."
3. move the few restricted users into the restricted ou they should inherit the parent gpo (if any)
refresh the client gp by rebooting or typing for winxp gpupdate /target:user or win2k secedit /refreshpolicy

I am the Admin for a Windows 2000 pro computer with two power user accounts.
This PC is not on a domain controller.
I need a solution that will allow power user A to have internet access via internet explorer and disallow power user B internet access via internet explorer. I am looking for the solution to limit internet access (If need be network access) when power user B is logged on the PC. Both accounts need to be operating as power user because of the graphics software won't operate otherwise. Someone of the part-time employees downloading spyware junk atomic clock and calendar with operating in the background and I want to put an end to that with my request as stated above.

"Curtis Clay III [MSFT]"
you maybe able to configure a local group policy wich denies access to the internet and then deny access to that policy for the user and administrator so that you 2 can have internet access.
See below...
Deny Read and Execute to the Administrator and Power User accounts to the following files
%systemroot%\system32\Group Policy\gpt.ini
Create a second administrator account called GPOADMIN. This account will continue to get policy but will be able to administer and change the policy, since the original Administrator account will get access denied when trying to open the policy in the MMC. Use the GPOADmin account only to change or edit the policy.
If the original administrator account gets read and execute permissions restored, it will immediately begin to download and apply policy.
If the policy locks down the desktop, make sure to place a shortcut to the mmc and Group Policy snap in on the desktop of the GPOAdmin profile so he can access the policy. (i.e. the run and program menus are restricted by the policy)


Disable Internet Access (All Windows)

This tweak can be easily applied using WinGuides Tweak Manager.
Download a free trial now!

By using this tweak you are able to restrict access to the Internet when using Internet Explorer and other Microsoft compatible products such as Office.

Open your registry and find the key below.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]

Change the value of "ProxyEnable" and set it to "1". Change the value of "ProxyServer" and set it to an IP address and port that is invalid on your network such as "" (i.e. "IP:Port").

By changing these settings Internet access will be disabled for any applications that rely of the Microsoft proxy server information such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Opera browser.

To stop users from modifying the proxy settings add these restrictions to disable changes to the Internet configuration.

Find or create the key below:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel]

Create two DWORD values named "Connection Settings" and "Connwiz Admin Lock" and set them both to "1".

To remove the restriction, set the proxy settings back to their original values and delete the policy values.

Note: The change will take effect immediately for any new browser windows, existing Internet Explorer sessions will not be affected until the browser is closed and reopened.

Registry Editor Example
|(Default)REG_SZ(value not set)|
|ProxyEnableREG_DWORD0x00000001 (1)|
Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
Internet Settings]
Value Name: ProxyEnable, ProxyServer

Configure proxy to the laptops via script

script to configure proxy to the laptops via startup and shutdown.
i have to install proxy with a startup script when laptop is working in domain and another script to uninstall the proxy settings when laptop goes logoff so the laptop can access internet from another location without proxy enabled
or some script to enable or disable the proxy settings whether the laptop is in the domain or not
proxy via startup script
You can set the proxy in a log on script and remove it in a log off script (set by group policy).

The process can be as simple as a batch file that changes the following registry settings:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
Then the user will not have the proxy set when not on the domain as the logon script would not run.

Group Policy to restrict Internet Access


Internet Explorer Maintenance is used to manage and customize Internet Explorer on computers running Windows 2000 or later. You can enable Internet access options such as the Browser UI, connections, URLs, proxy settings, security zones, Favorites, and Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration component.

This article descript how to use Group Policy to restrict Internet Access by assigning a fake IP to proxy. In our case, you have some clients accessing your system using Terminal Services and would like to restrict them to access the Internet except local Web server from the TS server.

To setup Group Policy to restrict Internet Access, follow these steps.

1. Open Group Policy by running gpedit if you use local group policy or running Active Directory Users and Computers to create a group policy.

2. Click User configuration>Windows Settings>Internet Explorer Maintenance>Connection (Figure).

3. Right-click on Proxy Settings and then Properties.

4. Check enable proxy Settings and type a fake IP address, for example on HTTP (you don't have a proxy server or the proxy server is using the different IP).

5. Under exception, type the web server IP address, for example (Figure).

6. Test it.

Related Topics

Configure Group Policy Object for Terminal Services Servers

Disabling (serverside) Internet access on clients

So Many Roads
Corporate employee policy is absolutely necessary for this (and plenty of other IT-related) issue(s). Enforcement in a cubicular environment obviously depends on a variety of factors.
A proxy-defining script is very attractive. I've met with good success with security by obscurity, not the least notable of which has been renaming Explorer.exe (&/or Netscape) and/or assigning appropriate rights to the file. You can also use your firewall/AV app to monitor downloads or iterations of alternate browsers.

Why not keep it simple
Just give static addresses and do not specify any gateways or DNS. Adjust priviledges so they can't change these settings and they can still use shared printers and resources, but cannot get off of the network. This should be sufficient for the average user that has very little knowledge of how the network is put together.

Simple is fun
add an entry to the PC's hosts file pointing the proxy server to null yourproxyserver
users do not have rights to edit the file.

how about?
when I want keep the kids from spending the night on the net, I go to RUN>CMD>IPCONFIG/RELEASE to stop the browser.
When I want to turn it back on,

Edit the local group policy on the PC to dis-allow iexplore.exe from running, use 'Add/Remove Programs' to remove all access to Internet Explorer and move the shortcut to Windows Update from the '\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu' to the desktop of the local administrator's profile.
All of my users are running as 'Restricted Users' (no user should even have 'Power User' rights), so this works very well.

block port 80
Hi. If you are using XP, you can create a security policy in computer management to block all traffic on port 80. This will kill internet access and nothing else (and requires admin rights to change) and does it does not matter what browser you use.

Account restrictions
Simply applying your GPO & even some of the other tips here without applying account restrictions does not deal with Domain Accounts with mail services.
The easiest way would be to simply setup a domain local group for firewall users & that would end the surfing.
Yeah, well that's all fine and dandy...
You can also cut the wave out from underneath most surfers just by not allowing iexplore.exe to be run in gpedit.msc.
We are implementing SharePoint and blocking port:80 and cutting off gateways and using bogus proxy servers won't cut it for us.
Simple is good, but (as I've tried these solutions before) I find I wind up hosing somebody in the all-or-nothing solutions.
XP SP2 offers solutions for this. Of the hundreds of NEW GPO settings, cutting off Internet access (or portions thereof) is now available. (Note: you could do it before via restricting zone settings yada yada, but now there's a one-stop-shop block Internet settings GPO)
With some experimentation, you can cut off the IntErnet without cutting off the IntrAnet, per user or per computer (per OU actually) and still allow for WUS updating and other apps that need port:80 access or some other internet functions.
I can actually make it so the forklift driver can't get on the 'net on any machine, meanwhile the secretary can...on the same machine. Pretty nifty.
You should be able to do this with the local gpedit.msc too if you don't have an AD network.
The catch is..naturally, it doesn't work unless you have WinXP SP2 clients.

MS Content Advisor - No Access option
Microsoft has a rating you can use called noaccess.rat and is activated through the Tools/Internet Options/Content area. It will block all outside Internet access in IE, but allow only Intranet access. I have customized our Company's Browser and include this file along with a couple other rating files that I can turn on and off whenever the need arises. If I turn on the No Access, I usually will also uncheck the box for allowing users to see site with no ratings under the General Tab just to be safe.
I guess this would be outdated, but... Based on the replies you've gotten thus far, this is a much less sophisticated option, but for our small customers who wish to have some clients off the net our solution is twofold:
1. As mentioned before, remove all indications of Internet Explorer from the computer - go to the Control Panel and in Add/Remove choose the "Add/Remove Windows Components" option on the left pane and deselect Internet Explorer. (By the way, nosy users will still be able to browse the Internet by typing the URL in the Windows Explorer address bar, that's why there's step two)
2. Find on the web (or I can send a copy to you) "Noaccess.rat". This is an Internet Explorer ratings file that you can load in your "%SystemRoot%\System32" folder, then enable in the Internet Options section of Internet Explorer [TOOLS>>INTERNET OPTIONS] on the menu bar. Choose the "Content" tab at the top and select "Enable". There you will see the default rating scheme and the "Noaccess" scheme. If you are absolutely sure you want to do this, then remove the default scheme (the other .rat file in %SystemRoot%\System32) and configure your noaccess.
Problem is this only works for IE, and I said, if a user is a little too smart for his/her britches then they'll probably just download firefox or load it from a CD.
The second part of the solution (I don't really care for the first one, it's to easy for a user to figure out) given by Zaferus is really the most ideal "set the Internet router to deny all port 80 traffic to the WAN from the IP address of the client PC you want to block."
interesting conundrum
That sort of carefully controlled environment is difficult to achieve with a Windows network. You could probably do it by segmenting the network and controlling traffic between network segments with a tiered Windows update deployment setup, so that individual machines aren't getting direct access to the Internet, and with a proxy server that grants access to some user accounts but not others (I think it'd have to be a non-Windows proxy server, like Squid on Linux, to work properly, though I'm not sure about that).
If you were running Linux systems, it would be much, much easier, since Linux (like any Unix) is an inherently multi-user system. All you would have to do is create user accounts with specifically tailored application access for the users that you don't want doing anything except what is directly required for their jobs. This sort of thing is sorta possible in a Windows network, but it tends to require jumping through a lot of hoops, tying OS configuration into knots, and a lot of server-side monkeying around.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Acronis True Image vs Symantec Ghost

Source (Review) [Excerpts]
A regular Ghost user tries out True Image V9 and concludes that Ghost V10 has met its match

Foreword from Gizmo
A drive imaging program is a utility that creates a backup snapshot or image of your disk drives, most commonly your system drive. Imaging programs differ from data backup programs in that they can backup the Windows Operating system itself. You can use that backup image to recover from system failures, spyware infections, installations gone wrong or any of the dozens of other things that can seriously mess up your PC.
Imaging programs can be used to backup data as well as your operating system but are not ideal for that task. Recent versions of imaging programs have improved in this area but many folks, myself included, prefer to use imaging programs to back up Windows and data backup programs like Genie, to backup regularly changing data.

Every PC I own has a drive imaging utility installed and I use these regularly to make image backups of the C: drives. I simply can't tell you just how many times I've been able to use these backup images to restore a non-working PC to perfect health. Restoring from an image only takes me minutes while a full Windows re-install can take many hours or even days when you take into account re-installing application programs. That's why I recommend the system drive of every PC should be imaged regularly using a reliable imaging program.
Now let me tell you the harsh truth: when it comes to the best imaging program it's a two horse race between the commercial products Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost with the freeware contenders trailing by a couple of miles. Not that there aren't some usable freeware products; it's just they aren't in the same league when it comes to function, features and reliability. Choosing between True Image and Ghost is tough because they are both quality programs. That's why I asked regular Support Alert contributor J.W. to review the latest versions of these products.
Acronis True Image vs. Norton Ghost
When Gizmo asked me to review Acronis True Image V9, I was delighted. I had been using Norton Ghost V9 and wasn't happy with the product due to on-going problems with corrupted images. Additionally I had never used True Image so the review provided me with an opportunity to look at the how Ghost compared to its main competitor in a live system, doing real work.
Installation Woes
Life was not meant to be easy.
Right from the start I had problems with both Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image on my PC. The problems as it turned out were partly caused by Process Guard, a security application that runs on my PC. However this problem proved to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to test out the support provided by Symantec and Acronis. Symantec support for Ghost was abysmal; an odyssey of condescending replies, canned responses and the apparent inability of the Indian support staff to understand the English language. Eventually, I wrote a personal letter to the Chairman & CEO of Symantec, John W. Thompson, asking for his help and assistance. My plea worked and I was put in contact with an “Executive Support” group. They seemed much more anxious to help and started off well by sending me the latest version of Ghost 10. I was optimistic that with the receipt this new version that the problems I had been experiencing with corrupted Ghost image backups would disappear. Sadly, that was not to be. Even with the latest V10 release I had more invalid backup’s, completely baffling the “Executive Support” group. After a number of emails back and forth, they adamantly pronounce that not one but BOTH of my U320 SCSI hard drives were broken and needed to be immediately replaced! After expressing my incredulity with this diagnosis, they decided to try blaming the problem on my CPU processor. Anything it seemed other than their product. Their last email to me was pure bathos:
“Do not bother responding to this email as there is nothing else I can help you with and it will not be responded to.”
So much for Symantec "executive" level support. I was clearly on my own. The experience with Acronis support was much better. Their support team was also baffled, but at least they maintained their composure, didn’t make any nonsensical recommendations such as replacing my hard drives and were civil. Eventually I solved the problem myself; another application, Process Guard, was interfering with the operation of the programs. Once Process Guard was uninstalled, the immediate difficulties were resolved allowing me to move forward with my comparative review. But a vital lesson about support was learned and not to be forgotten. Furthermore some serious problems with Ghost remained.
Corrupted Images
Even after removing Process Guard from my PC, I continued to have on-going problems with Ghost V10 with corrupted image files.
My recommendation and personal choice going forward for a disk-imaging program is Acronis True Image.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Restaurar sistema desactivado

"Restaurar sistema ha sido desactivado por una directiva de grupo"
INICIO >>Ejecutar
gpedit.msc (Directiva de grupo)
-Permitir el inicio de sesión administrativo automático

Nvidia "infinite loop" error


Symptoms of this error
* Spontaneous reboot, hardware lockup or insufficient virtual memory error from WinXP
* Hardware lockup, BSOD with a message about an infinite loop error with a Nvidia driver
* BSOD error message - this varies but refers to a problem with "nv4_disp.dll"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In Depth Security

Using a Layered Approach to Network Security
In-depth security, or defense in depth, is the principle of using a layered approach to network security to provide even better protection for your computer or network.
No matter how good any single network security application is, there is someone out there smarter than the people who designed it with more time on his hands than scruples who will eventually get past it. It is for this reason that common security practice suggests multiple lines of defense, or in-depth security.
In-depth security uses layers of different types of protection from different vendors to provide substantially better protection. A hacker may develop an exploit for a vulnerability that enables them to bypass or circumvent certain types of defenses, or they may learn the intricacies or techniques of a particular vendor, allowing them to effectively rendering that type of defense useless.
By establishing a layered security you will help to keep out all but the cleverest and most dedicated hackers. As a baseline I suggest implementing the following computer and network security products:

Wireless networking security

Articles and information on the various wireless protocol implementations- Bluetooth, 802.11b, 802.11g, etc.- and the vulnerabilities they present along with tips and advice to help you use your wireless device or network securely.
Secure Your Wireless Network
Secure Your Wireless Network: Understanding the threats and how to protect your network against them
Wireless Networking Protocols
A brief tip describing the difference between the commonly used wireless networking protocols.
Wireless Networking Hardware
A short tip explaining the hardware components used in creating a wireless network.
Wireless Networking Basics
A short tip describing the basic components and technology required for wireless networking.
Free WiFi Security 101 Course
A free course via email to teach you the basics of wireless networking and, more importantly, wireless network security.
Free Wireless Security Tools
Freeware tools and utilities you can use to secure and protect your wireless network or device and test out your security.
Wireless Attacks Primer by Robert Shimonski with Permission from
An article from by Robert Shimonski on wireless network attacks. In general, attacks on wireless networks fall into four basic categories: passive attacks, active attacks, man-in-the middle attacks, and jamming attacks. This paper examines what these attacks mean on a wireless network.
Wireless Network Security for the Home
An article on how to configure the various security features of wireless access points and routers to ensure that neighbors and hackers can't easily access your home wireless network.
Top Wireless Network Security Books
With sensitive and confidential data being beamed through the air everywhere we go these days, it is important to learn how to secure your wireless connection to ensure it stays private.
How Secure Is Your Wireless Network?
How Secure Is Your Wireless Network? (Safeguarding Your Wi-Fi LAN) from Lee Barken is a great book on the hot topic of wireless network security.
Wireless FAQ - Are Wireless Networks Secure?
Q & A article from Guide for Wireless / Networking, Bradley Mitchell
Hack Proofing Your Wireless Network
Hack Proofing Your Wireless Network provides information on everything you need to know to secure and protect your wireless network. An excellent book and a valuable reference.
Encryption - 40-bit vs 128-bit Encryption - What is the Difference?
Article on the difference between 40-bit and 128-bit encryption for your wireless network from Bradley Mitchell, Guide for Wireless / Networking.
Building Secure Wireless Networks with 802.11
Jahanzeb Khan and Anis Khwaja provide a wealth of knowledge to help any home user or system administrator implement and secure a wireless network.
Seven Security Problems of 802.11 Wireless
An article from Matthew Gast, author of 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide. He lists seven biggest problems with trying to secure a wireless network.
Securing Your Wireless Network
A site with information on proactive steps to take to secure your wireless network.

Security 101

A collection of tips, how-to's and other advice to help you understand the basics of computer and network security and protect your system.
Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams
Phishing scams have spiked recently and have become more of a concern. This article talks about what phishing scams are and illustrates five steps users and companies can take to keep from being victimized by phishing scams.
5 Steps To Protect Yourself From Spyware
5 quick and easy steps you can follow to proactively protect yourself from spyware and adware as well as how to detect and remove it once it's on your system.
5 Steps To Secure Windows XP Home
Windows XP Home is more secure than previous home operating systems from Microsoft such as Windows 98 or Windows Me, but it still has a long way to go. Here are 5 steps you can follow to make your Windows XP Home machine more secure.
Creating Secure Passwords
A password is the main line of defense used by most people to secure and protect their computer systems and data. This article will teach you how to choose passwords that provide solid protection.
Free Computer Security 101 Course
A free course to teach you the basics of computer networking and how to use the computer and the Internet safely and securely.
Free WiFi Security 101 Course
A free course via email to teach you the basics of wireless networking and, more importantly, wireless network security.
How To Configure Internet Explorer Security
Microsoft Windows Security 101
An introduction to the major security issues and vulnerabilities for various Windows-based operating systems and servers.
Passwords: Do Not Use Real Words
One of the main tips when creating passwords is to not use any real words, or close approximations of real words, because they are more easily guessed or cracked by password cracking tools.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Networking Security
A tutorial article providing tips to use peer-to-peer (p2p) networking sites such as BitTorrent or eMule safely and securely.
Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams
Phishing scams have spiked recently and have become more of a concern. This article talks about what phishing scams are and illustrates five steps users and companies can take to keep from being victimized by phishing scams.
Ten Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
It seems like almost weekly a major security breach is announced involving the compromise of hundreds of thousands or even millions of customer's personal information. The reality is that most identity theft is actually very low-tech and it is up to you to guard your own identity. These ten tips will help you protect yourself from identity theft.
Undo Malware With System Restore
If antivirus, firewalls, anti-spyware and other protective measures don't work, you can simply go back in time to a point before your computer had problems by using System Restore.
Virus Hoaxes and Chain Letters
Users fall victim frequently to virus hoaxes and spam chain letters imploring them to share the information with everyone they know as quickly as possible. This article illustrates why you shouldn't fall for these ridiculous claims.
Wireless Network Security for the Home
An article on how to configure the various security features of wireless access points and routers to ensure that neighbors and hackers can't easily access your home wireless network.

PC Tools ThreatFire

PC Tools ThreatFire provides behavior-based protection to guard against new and unknown threats which signature-based scanners might otherwise miss. ThreatFire runs in the background, monitoring each programs actions, quarantining programs it knows to be bad and alerting on those it considers suspicious. ThreatFire can easily run alongside installed antivirus or other security software, making it an ideal adjunct to existing protection. Even better, the program is completely free for home use.

  • Behavior-based protection guards against unknown threats
  • Well designed and intuitive interface suitable for novice to expert users
  • Out-of-the-box protection pre-configured for optimum protection
  • Can be used conflict-free alongside existing antivirus and security solutions
  • Free for home/non-commercial use
Manufacturer's Site

How do Search Engines Work?

Google has one of the largest databases of Web pages, including many other types of web documents (blog posts, wiki pages, group discussion threads and document formats (e.g., PDFs, Word or Excel documents, PowerPoints). Despite the presence of all these formats, Google's popularity ranking often places worthwhile pages near the top of search results. Our web searching workshop reflects the fact that Google is currently the most used search engine.
Google alone is not always sufficient, however. Not everything on the Web is fully searchable in Google.
Overlap studies show that more than 80% of the pages in a major search engine's database exist only in that database. For this reason, getting a "second opinion" can be worth your time. For this purpose, we recommend Yahoo! Search or Exalead. We do not recommend using meta-search engines as your primary search tool.
Search engines do not really search the World Wide Web directly. Each one searches a database of web pages that it has harvested and cached. When you use a search engine, you are always searching a somewhat stale copy of the real web page. When you click on links provided in a search engine's search results, you retrieve the current version of the page. Search engine databases are selected and built by computer robot programs called spiders.
These "crawl" the web, finding pages for potential inclusion by following the links in the pages they already have in their database. They cannot use imagination or enter terms in search boxes that they find on the web. If a web page is never linked from any other page, search engine spiders cannot find it. The only way a brand new page can get into a search engine is for other pages to link to it, or for a human to submit its URL for inclusion. All major search engines offer ways to do this. After spiders find pages, they pass them on to another computer program for "indexing." This program identifies the text, links, and other content in the page and stores it in the search engine database's files so that the database can be searched by keyword and whatever more advanced approaches are offered, and the page will be found if your search matches its content. Many web pages are excluded from most search engines by policy. The contents of most of the searchable databases mounted on the web, such a
s library catalogs and article databases, are excluded because search engine spiders cannot access them. All this material is referred to as the "Invisible Web" -- what you don't see in search engine results.
What Makes a Search Engine Good?

Finding Information on the Internet


This tutorial presents the substance of the web searching workshop (current schedule) offered by the Teaching Library at the University of California at Berkeley. We call the workshop "Research-quality Web Searching" to reflect our belief that there is a lot of great material on the Web - primary sources, specialized directories and databases, statistical information, educational sites on many levels, policy, opinion of all kinds, and so much more - and tools for finding it are steadily improving.

Recommended Search Strategy: Analyze Your Topic & Search With Peripheral Vision

Search Tools:

  • Search Engines - Comparison table of recommended search engines; how search engines work
  • Subject Directories - Table comparing some of the best human-selected collections of web pages
  • Meta-Search Engines - Use at your own risk: not recommended as a substitute for directly using search engines
  • Invisible Web - What it is, how to find it, and its inherent ambiguity (searchable databases on the Web)

Evaluating Web Pages: Why and How and evaluation checklist forms (PDFs)

Style Sheets for Citing Resources (Print & Electronic) (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian)

Glossary of Internet & Web Jargon

Handouts and PowerPoints used in our Current Classes

As part of the Know Your Library Workshops series, we offer a session titled "Research-quality Web Searching: Google and Beyond," which covers:

  • Making your Google searches more precise and focusing on academic information.
  • Using other search tools and new technologies to improve your results.
  • Evaluating what you find for research quality.

    Current versions (Spring 2009)

    Previous versions (not updated)

    Wow64 and native x86 versions of a DLL

    Wow64 includes a complete set of 32-bit system DLLs implementing the Win32 API (for use by Wow64 programs). So, what’s the difference between the native 32-bit DLLs and their Wow64 versions?
    On Windows x64, not much, actually. Most of the DLLs are actually the 32-bit copies from the 32-bit version of the operating system (not even recompiled). For example, the Wow64 ws2_32.dll on Vista x64 is the same file as the native 32-bit ws2_32.dll on Vista x86. If I compare the wow64 version of ws2_32.dll on Vista with the x86 native version, they are clearly identical:

    32-bit Vista:
    C:\\Windows\\System32>md5sum ws2_32.dll
    d99a071c1018bb3d4abaad4b62048ac2 *ws2_32.dll
    64-bit Vista (Wow64):

    C:\\Windows\\SysWOW64>md5sum ws2_32.dll
    d99a071c1018bb3d4abaad4b62048ac2 *ws2_32.dll
    Some DLLs, however, are not identical.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Software RAID: Windows vs. Linux

    Tiny Core Linux.

    Perhaps the smallest and still stable desktop based Linux version is Tiny Core Linux.
    It takes only 10MB size and runs on USB drive, CD or an internal hard disk drive, almost anywhere you want it to.
    The processes entirely run on RAM so boots very fast and has a customizable X desktop.
    It is based on Linux 2.6 kernel, Busybox, Tiny X, Fltk, and Jwm.
    You can use it as a backup of your main linux version you use on your machine and use whenever there is a need.
    It gives you quickest access to an OS and fastest wired internet connectivity.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Bulk email software & mass mailers

    The term mass mailer can refer to those computer worms that spread themselves via e-mail.

    Bulk email software is software that is used to send email in large quantities.
    It might be used for legitimate mailings - for email list subscribers. Since the bulk email software usually sends email via direct send and via SMTP server the use of a bulk email software for spam is almost impossible, because of the large amount of emails that are sent in a spam campaign.
    Bulk email software usually refers to a standalone software, while there are bulk email sending web based services as well.

    For online businesses of all kinds, email is the essential ingredient. With it, you can add a whole new level of responsiveness to your Web site, shopping cart, lead capture and lead generation programs turning prospects into paying customers faster and laying the foundation for lasting and profitable relationships.
    An Online Marketing and Sales Solution seamlessly integrates an advanced email marketing solution and automation tools with industry-leading online conversion capabilities. Here are just some of the ways a solution can make email work for you:

    • Capture leads from your Web site with customizable data capture forms
    • Deliver relevant content targeted to demographics, interests or behaviors
    • Sustain ongoing newsletter or other brand-building programs
    • Measure and report on opens, clicks, conversions, bounces, disables and more
    • Create serialized campaigns to deliver key content at precise intervals
    • Optimize campaign content for maximum deliverability and in-box placement
    • Consult on your overall email marketing strategy and execution
    • Ensure compliance with evolving federal and state laws
    • Send targeted, post-sale, up-sell and cross-sell campaigns
    • Create shopping cart “abandonment” campaigns to save lost sales
    • Convert leads from PBA programs with targeted autoresponders
    • Automate time-based campaigns for renewals, refills, or seasonal events


    Security Management

    OpenIAM provides a comprehensive identity and access management solution allowing organizations to address the following challenges: Identity provisioning, password management, audit, self service, access control, SSO, federation and SOA Security.

    The OpenIAM solution stack offers one of the most comprehensive and seamlessly integrated Identity and Access solutions based on a professional open source model. Utilizing a consistent, efficient, secure and cost effective approach, the OpenIAM stack enables organizations to gain the following benefits:
    • Reduced IT Operational costs through features such as identity provisioning
    • Improved security risk management through central policy administration and SOA Security
    • Improved end user efficiency through features such as Single Sign On and Self Service
    • Enables new business opportunities through standards based integration options and faster time to market
    • Facilitates regulatory compliance

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    The Nigerian Spam Scam Exposed

    Ever wondered what would happen if you ever responded to one of the many Nigerian spam scams? Zone-H have done just that and have chronicled every step in this paper, from the first email exchange to the final phone call where they agreed to meet the scammers in Nigeria.
    Click Here to download this article

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    SPAM: Vacation responder hack

    A hacked account in allows mechanisms to send a lot of spam to your contacts:
    Hey friend,
    How are you doing recently? I'd like to introduce you a very good
    foreign trading online company and the website is
    It can offer you so many kinds of electronic products which you may be
    in need,such as laptops...
    Hoping you can enjoy your shopping from that company !
    Tux&Cia. Solution:
    Set a stronger password in you account and disable the vacation responder

    Settings in

    Vacation responder:
    (sends an automated reply to incoming messages. If a contact sends you several messages, this automated reply will be sent at most once every 4 days)
    Learn more

    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    AMD support


    Graphic drivers, cleaners

    NVIDIA Drivers and Info
    ATI Drivers and Info
    AMD Drivers
    Driver Cleaner
    EverestPrime95 Cheatbook
    (from tech support forums)

    Choosing & understanding a PSU

    The power supply unit in today’s modern computer assumes a role probably more critical than any other single component in your system even when compared to the CPU and motherboard. Therefore, there are multiple factors that must be evaluated prior to selecting your next power supply or PSU (short for Power Supply Unit). A standing committee of TSF Hardware Team members including Blackduck30, Doby, linderman, simpswr, UncleMacro, wrench97, and Tumbleweed36 have evaluated and compiled data to assist you in understanding how to pick a reliable power supply for your computer.
    Today’s PSU market is extremely competitive and replete with information that can mislead home computer builders that have not been fully educated on PSU criteria. We tend to look for wattage ratings as a sign of a good PSU, and that is where we begin to make a mistake in the process of purchasing or choosing wisely.
    A cheap power supply costs about 10 times more than a quality power supply!
    Do you know why?

    A PSU that is not suitable for a specific computer does have the capability to bring a system crashing to its knees. An underpowered PSU may cause heat buildup, automatic shutdowns, freezing, BSOD’s, video distortion, system overheating, and a lack of power that may cause expensive top shelf Cpu’s, motherboards, hard drives and ram to burn up. You can lose not only expensive components, but related time loss in a work environment may cost you hundreds of dollars in lost time. Therefore, make sure you have an adequate PSU to power your unit.
    The role of Power Factor Correction ( PFC) PC power supplies are actually switching power supplies A switching power supply converts power from your AC line into the DC voltages needed to run your computer. A standard switching power supply doesn't draw its power from the AC line smoothly. It actually draws sudden gulps of current. That "messes up" your AC power lines. In some offices with lots of equipment with switching power supplies, you can actually overheat wiring and trip current breakers because of the way they gulp power. Power factor correction smooths out the gulps to keep your AC line all nice and clean. If you're in Europe then the power factor correction feature is probably required in your PSU. In most other parts of the world it's your choice. If you just have a run-of-the-mill computer or two in your home then power factor correction isn't nearly as important, but PFC protection will definitely result in "cleaner" AC lines. Your power company will be happier if you have power factor correction because nasty reactive loads like power supplies with no PFC mess up their AC power grid and make their lives more difficult.
    There are two kinds of power factor correction: active PFC and passive PFC. Active PFC is more expensive and does a better job of keeping your AC line clean. Passive PFC is cheaper but is still an improvement over not having PFC protection. Power factor correction makes the PSU more expensive so very low priced PSUs rarely come with either type of PFC protection. If you're really looking to clean up your PSU's power consumption habits then active PFC does a much better job than passive PFC to achieve that goal.
    Protection Features Manufacturers that offer numerous Protection options on their PSU’s normally indicate a higher quality product, while a lower quality unit will not offer as many of these features. While this area is often overlooked, experts recommend that you consider these features as you evaluate a power supply.
    When you look for Protection features, please understand that manufacturers will often use “acronyms” to identify the protections offered by their company. We have listed the self-explanatory terms and Acronyms to assist you in understanding what features are offered for specific power supplies:
    • OVP = Over Voltage Protection
    • OCP = Over Current Protection
    • OPP = Over Power Protection
    • SCP = Short Circuit Protection
    • UVP = Under Voltage Protection
    • OTP = Over Temperature Protection
    PSU rating & testing