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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category


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

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

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

Administrator account password for security

Monday, October 24th, 2005

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

My kid is getting out of control on the internet. He’s erasing the history, and he knows all the passwords on our PC. What can I do?

The more computer savvy the kiddies get, the harder it’s getting to enforce the First Rule of Internet Parenting: Kids don’t cruise the web without at least occasional supervision by a human being. I’ve gotten more questions like this… Continue reading

Weekly Security Tip: Flash Drive Protection

Yes, you read correctly. This week’s Download and Security Tip go together, but they’ll make more sense in this order. Next week, the schedule will return to usual.

Yesterday, I showcased a couple of applications that run directly form a flash drive (Memory card, MP3 player, or thumb drive). Don’t have one of these little guys yet? We sometimes have really good deals on… Continue reading

Security Tip of the Week: Iconix Email Icon Identifier

Everyone knows how prevalent Phishing scams have been, especially if you’ve been reading our newsletters. These soulless attackers use any technique they can to gain your trust long enough to give them what they want, and the majority of these attacks emanate through email.

Most users have anti-virus software to protect them from viral attacks, but what about phishing… Continue reading

ActiveX Controls

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

ActiveX controls are software components used by web pages to allow your browser to do something with the page, much like a Java applet. They make the website more interactive and program-like. For example, a page might have an ActiveX control to allow viewers to see a working excel spreadsheet in a webpage. Like any piece of technology, the bad guys sometimes create pages with malicious ActiveX components. That threat… Continue reading

Passport Services for password storage

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

You may hear about passports on the internet these days, but they’re not talking about international travel. MSN/Hotmail users are probably already familiar with the concept: one username and password for multiple online services. Here’s the newest twist. Passport service companies will store all of your usernames and passwords for you for some monthly fee. Then you just have to remember your username and password to the passport service, and… Continue reading

Worldstart Clipboard Cleaner

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Download of the Week: WorldStart Clipboard Cleaner

OK, this is probably about the simplest program we’ve ever recommended here at WorldStart, and by far the easiest I ever wrote :-)

The windows clipboard is one of the handiest little utilities ever conceived, but at the same time it can leak your sensitive information and slow down your computer if you have a large file copied to it. So I was… Continue reading

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