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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category

April Microsoft Updates

Friday, April 14th, 2006

April Microsoft Updates

Well, it’s that time of the month again; the second Tuesday of the month (well yesterday anyway), and Microsoft has some updates that you need to make sure you have installed. A critically rated vulnerability, as you may remember form other articles, is the highest level of severity given to a vulnerability and it should be dealt with immediately.

With that in mind, it has been a… Continue reading

The Fifth Internet Explorer Security Zone

For those of you that don’t know, Internet Explorer places restrictions on Web content by which security zone a site happens to be in. It classifies these sites into zones, which are preset security profiles in Internet Explorer. The security zones which we have discussed before in earlier articles, are located in Internet Explorer under Tools, Options, Security tab. The four default zones have… Continue reading

March Updates

Friday, March 24th, 2006

March Updates

Believe it or not, March has been a pretty busy month for critical updates. It has also included the most severe rating vulnerability a program flaw or malware can achieve. Microsoft’s monthly update came out on the 14th and it addresses a critical flaw that affects a number of different MS Office components, as well as, seven versions of MS Works.

In addition to the Critical Office vulnerability… Continue reading

The World Map of Viruses

Friday, March 17th, 2006

There’s a lot that goes into trying to stay on top of all the most recent security threats. Every day, there are new vulnerabilities, new patches, a new scam, a new Trojan, new virus or a rootkit, so it’s easy to keep busy with all of them. To make matters even more complicated, the viruses all have different strains that exploit systems


Thursday, March 9th, 2006


A product that I have actually been looking to find for awhile now is some sort of service or tool that can quickly determine whether or not a Web site you are visiting contains hazardous elements. Sure, there is a lot of different security software out there that work together to stop threats from entering your system. However, none of these products can proactively warn you of the dangers… Continue reading

Windows OneCare Live

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Windows OneCare Live

I’ve been reading several tech security sources lately and according to them, one day there is going to be far fewer companies out there making security software because the giants in the industry are going to take over. They are going to be acquiring smaller security companies that show promise while extinguishing their identity and making them their own. It appears as though I’m seeing a lot… Continue reading


Friday, February 17th, 2006


I have done security articles in the past on how to lock down or secure your wireless network form unwanted guests. In this article, I am going to discuss how to set up a Mac filter, how to stop your SSID from being broadcast out for the world to see and talk about a few other wireless security fundamentals. At one time, WEP (Wired Emulated Protection) was the standard… Continue reading

Hosts File

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Hosts File

If successful at infiltrating your system, viruses and other malicious code will use a common procedure in which they write entries into a special file called the Hosts file. By putting these special entry lists into the Hosts file, attackers attempt to accomplish one of following two things:

1) Viruses will put entries into your Hosts file to stop you from having any contact with any antivirus protection’s… Continue reading


Friday, February 3rd, 2006


The Blackworm (that’s one of the titles bestowed upon the latest Internet threat) is also known as Nyxem, Bluemal or even Blackmal, depending on the source in which you happen to be viewing. Of course this doesn’t matter, because we all know that what’s in a name does not matter. Besides, I’m sure that if you get caught by one of these, you’ll be coming up with your own… Continue reading

Windows Data Execution Protection – Part 2

Last week, I discussed Windows Data Execution Protection (DEP) which is available in Windows XP. If you remember, there are two different versions of DEP. One being hardware based and dependant on the CPU compatibility, while the other is software based and is installed with Windows’s XP Service Pack 2. Last week’s article focused on hardware DEP and determining if you… Continue reading

Windows Data Execution Protection (DEP)

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Windows Data Execution Protection (DEP)

Here’s a little known security technology enhancement that Microsoft quietly threw in with its Service Pack 2 (Read about the Service Pack 2 Security Center here). Most of you Windows XP users have been using this for awhile, but had no idea. It’s the Windows Data Execution Protection, also known as, DEP. Basically, it helps stop unauthorized programs from executing code in protected… Continue reading

Latest Threats

Friday, January 13th, 2006

If your computer has ever been infected by a virus, a worm or even a Trojan (note the difference here), you know how frustrating it can be. Along with running your virus scans regularly, you should also try to keep track of some of the latest threats passing through computers these days. I know that may seem overwhelming, because it seems like there’s TONS out there, but you can… Continue reading

My WiFi Zone

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

My WiFi Zone

I have done many articles over the years on how to spot and properly defend you local area network from intruders. I have described everything from what to do with firewall hits, viewing router logs, locking down your wireless network, and even how to securely use Hot Spots. However, I have yet to run across a… Continue reading

Windows Patches WMF Vulnerability

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Windows Patches WMF Vulnerability

Earlier this week in the Security Article of the Week I described the huge vulnerability concerning Windows Graphics Rendering Engine. To be more specific, I talked about the way in which Windows processes WMF files. This flaw is extremely dangerous being given a “critical warning level” by many of the world’s top security experts including Microsoft. In this article, I offered what help I… Continue reading

Zero-Day Flaw

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Zero-Day Flaw

There was a new vulnerability discovered last week in the way a variety of Windows operating systems graphics rendering engine processes WMF Meta files. This flaw was discovered the same day that the exploit was let loose on the public, leaving anti-virus venders completely in the dark. Microsoft, like everyone else, was shocked and found themselves desperately scrambling to produce a fix, which they still do not have.… Continue reading

Microsoft’s December update, it’s critical

Last Tuesday, like they do every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft rolled out their new security patch. Microsoft uses the rating “critical “ to describe the severity of this month’s new MS Security Update and recommends that all XP users perform this update immediately.

It seems that the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-054 focuses on the fixing of… Continue reading

Sony Again

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Sony Again

Back in November it was discovered that Media giant Sony was secretly installing rootkits on it’s music CD’s along with it’s anti-piracy software on users PC’s. The software was supposed to enforce Sony’s policy of allowing the owner of the CD to only make a predetermined amount of copies of the CD. There was a privacy Statement that appeared when the… Continue reading

Shame on Sony

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

What is going too far? Of course the record and movie industries are tired of losing money to people pirating their products. Does that give a company the right to secretly install a rootkit on a user’s computer? Sony thinks it does.

Mark Russinovich from Sysinternals found the rootkit nestled clandestinely in the system’s root while performing a routine check of his system. To make a long… Continue reading

Another Internet Explorer Vulnerability

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

An Israeli hacker, Matt Gillon, published a Proof-of-Concept flaw in Internet Explorer using a combination of Internet Explorer 6 and the Google desktop Search (a free program that can index and search your system and the web). The vulnerability is actually a flaw in IE that allows the infection or importation of foreign code when the browser attempts to parse Cascading Style Sheets or CSS.

Gillon later goes on to… Continue reading


Tuesday, December 6th, 2005


Spyware, adware, trackware and all the other parasites on the web have been around as long as free downloads have been. I remember when I first started writing the Downloads of the Week articles Steve told me that I needed to pay careful attention to the Privacy agreements. He wanted to make absolute sure that we weren’t suggesting that people invite malicious code into their PC’s. Privacy agreements are… Continue reading

Macromedia Flash Player Security Patch

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005


An important security patch for three known weaknesses are now available for Macromedia Flash Player. If the “updates available” window has been asking you to update, don’t delay. If you have your automatic updates reminders shut off, check out the official Security Bulletin about the patch.

~ Chris Fisher… Continue reading

WISC- Windows Internet Security Center

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Weekly Security Tip: Windows Internet Security Center

Microsoft is really trying to make its presence known in the computer security market with the release of yet another set of security services. In the past year Microsoft has bought up anti-virus and spyware removal companies, using them as building blocks to produce security software products. Now Microsoft has introduced a set of online services (still in beta testing) designed… Continue reading

Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft- You’re actually less likely to be struck by lightning!

According to the Federal Trade Commission database, there were over 635,000 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints in the U.S. in 2004. That includes stolen credit card numbers as well as full-blown identity theft, but that’s still a lot of people.

In comparison, 12,994 people were killed or injured in lightning strikes in the U.S. from… Continue reading

Break in that new PC

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Everyone loves getting a new PC. Why not? It’s exciting and fun. However, there are a few things you might want to do before you plug it in and start surfing the web. These good practices include backing up data, taking care of online and physical security, and a few other ideas to help make the migration to your new system as seamless as possible.

According to Swedish security company… Continue reading

CVV or CVV2 defined

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

When ordering online at our software store or other places online, you may be asked for your CVV number. This three-digit number follows the last four digits of your credit card in the signature space on your card. Because it’s on the back and not raised for easy copying, we ask for the CVV number online because it means that you probably have the card in your hand… Continue reading

Weekly Security Tip: Setting an Administrator Password

The Administrator account is actually the default account on a new install of Windows XP. It has no restrictions on changing any facet of your system, giving this user full control. Sometimes a computer will come with a guest or a general account created for the initial user. This is typical if you buy your PC from one of the larger companies. Otherwise… Continue reading

Disconnect from internet when not in use

Monday, October 24th, 2005

To Connect or Disconnect When Not in Use?

No, I’m not about to wax Shakespearean about the slings and arrows of outrageous spyware, as amusing as that might be.

This choice relates to so many readers’ questions. Should you leave your computer connected to the internet when you aren’t working online? “It takes so long to re-dial,” or “I can’t reach the connection cord, but I’ve heard (fill in your… Continue reading

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