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401  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Developers and the truth (or close to it) on: April 30, 2014, 03:58:54 PM
Good Stuff Man ... Thanks for Sharing!
402  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Microsoft Races To Fix Massive Internet Explorer Hack on: April 30, 2014, 12:29:51 PM
Because even grouchy network/IT types like Stoic and me can be dead wrong about the seriousness of things like this. And just because we aren't overly concerned about something doesn't mean it can't be a very serious threat. So please don't hesitate to share anything you think may be of interest here.

+.5 - Us wrong? Never... <fingers crossed> cheesy

@Crabby3 - Only reason I shredded the Forbs article -(other than being a prick because I'm not smoking)- so quickly is that I'd also been concerned about the hype surrounding the exploit and was researching the details of who exactly had found what, and what if anything could be done about it. So there is/was definite interest in the topic...it just doesn't always manifest well. smiley

So like 40 said, don't hesitate to share things of interest.
403  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox 29 - soooooo similar to Chrome on: April 30, 2014, 11:25:51 AM
Shades of the tablet mindset and overall hubris that drove Win8/Metro! (And mostly into the ground AFAIC. thumb down)

Did Mozilla hire Sinofsky or something?

Well, after reading skwire's Ghacks article I'm inclined to agree with you. Here's why:
Quote from: GHacks
The Firefox button is gone. It has been replaced with what web designers call a Hamburger button

Um... Hamburger Button? Is that the new shit design excuse paradigm being used these days, to just give something a catchy sounding name to explain away why stuff just got piled together in a corner instead of putting in the time to find a right way of doing it?

Yeah, that's a finger-rific design alright ... And I know just what finger to use too.
404  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes v2.0 - Gripe on: April 29, 2014, 12:09:30 PM
Finger friendly... can't speak for everyone but I am pretty sure that most people aren't going to be touching their (desktop) screens or laptop screens, especially in enterprise/business environment (since Megabytes does cater to that market as well).

True but with the BYOD marketing stampede to the Cloud pervading the enterprise space with tablets and convertibles from home...it is becoming a popular issue.

And which finger used is up to you. Wink
405  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Microsoft Races To Fix Massive Internet Explorer Hack on: April 29, 2014, 12:01:13 PM
It appears XP users are basically screwed.

No, just the ones that read Forbs and believe its over the top sensationalized version of the news.

Let's starts with the title:
Quote from: Forbes
Microsoft Races To Fix Massive Internet Explorer Hack: No Fix For Windows XP Leaves 1 In 4 PCs Exposed

This is simply bull shit. It's the same size hole as any other phishing scam level attack vector...and just as easy to spot.

Quote from: Forbes
FireEye also revealed a sophisticated hacker group has already been exploiting the flaw in a campaign dubbed  ‘Operation Clandestine Fox’, which targets US military and financial institutions.

...And by that I'll just assume it to mean the NSA has found an method/reason/excuse to rummage through their sister agency's knickers drawer.

Quote from: Forbes
FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza declined to name the hackers or potential victims as the investigation is ongoing, only telling Reuters: “It’s unclear what the motives of this attack group are at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.”

 undecided I'll just go with world domination by the NSA here ... It's what everybody with any sense is thinking already anyhow.

Quote from: Forbes
For its part Microsoft has confirmed the existence of the flaw in an official post. It gave limited information on the bug, but admitted “an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”

Oh FFS They did not! The exploit give the same rights that are assigned to the current user. If the user ain't an admin then neither is the bugg. Standard security practice here folks...there are reasons for them.

Quote from: Forbes
A Temporary Fix
 While Microsoft rushes to fix the bug, FireEye gave concerned users two workarounds .

1. Use another web browser other than Internet Explorer
 2. Disable Adobe Flash. “The attack will not work without Adobe Flash,” it said. “Disabling the Flash plugin within IE will prevent the exploit from functioning.”

While not the worst advice I've seen it is still again total bullshit! Flash is the most common target but CERT maintains that other file types can be used in the same fashion. That's why it's an IE bugg, and not a Flash bugg. But hay...no reason to keep the facts straight or anything Because driving off a cliff is perfectly safe as long as you do it backwards, right? Wrong!!!

The remaining drivel is just more idiotically panic toned RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! crap directed squarely at XP users ... Even though all MS OS's are equally as vulnerable as their security is configured.

The same basic sound security practices that "work" for Windows 8.1 will still work for XP.

The MS Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit
406  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) on: April 29, 2014, 11:33:28 AM
OMFG You have GOT to be Kidding! The "Trusted Identity" positively identifies you but not by using your name...(because that's really important (...Not!))...and they pinky swear promise not to keep that correlation in a database.

 wallbash wallbash wallbash wallbash wallbash wallbash wallbash

...Hay Ren, what do you get when you cross a lemming with a sheep?
407  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 29, 2014, 11:09:56 AM
Maybe we should add "You can always opt out!" to the famous Three Greatest Lies in History list as the fourth?  Wink Grin

Maybe we've heard different lists, But...

 undecided ...I'm pretty sure that falls rather squarely under (I promise not to *** in your *****) lie # 3.
408  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: State of US Nuclear Silos (60 Minutes) on: April 28, 2014, 11:38:11 AM
It looks like you're trying to launch a nuclear missile, would you like to:
1. spellcheck the launch codes.
2. Specify where it lands.
3. Reboot now to increase the odds of it going where you tell it to.

409  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes v2.0 - Gripe on: April 28, 2014, 07:02:00 AM
While being a fan of the classic and strictly functional UI designs, I gotta go with Wraith on this one. They just switch to the newer style of a more finger friendly UI. It can be a bit annoying if you prone to being stuck in the old school mud (I am), but it's really not a bad thing that they've made it easier to finger through on a tablet.
410  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 26, 2014, 09:20:45 AM
On the topic, this is worth a read:The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH
411  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Facebook: Your new botnet for DDoS attacks! on: April 26, 2014, 09:06:00 AM
Now all we need is a new meme for FaceDoS'ing
412  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 25, 2014, 12:54:19 PM
OC when I looked into it in depth is harmless.


You can opt out easily.

Indeed, and I don't believe that is being questioned (per se). But you article does confirm my suspicions above with this:
OpenCandy does not do that. What it does is to download a list of possible offers, then choose one of the offers and present it to a person during a software installation.

Therein lying the problem ... If the offer of the day doesn't decide to play nice with 'Let the user say no' rule then everybody else in the chain gets shit on. So we end up with a classic case of one asshole (in this case apparently Conduit Search), screwing it up for everybody (ImgBurn/OpenCandy/Us in general) because they insist on being sneaky with their shitware instead of creating a quality product that people actually want.
413  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Help me overbuild my home network on: April 25, 2014, 06:40:51 AM
To ensure smooth network traffic and good throughput I'll be putting either 2 or 4 port Intel server NICs in all the machines, including the SAN.

That's not going to give you what you're after. Teaming 4 NICs won't give you a 4Gb pipe for single transfers. It will give 4 1Gb pipes to 4 different transfers. If you want maximum speed across the backbone, go either fiber or Cat6a 10Gb copper.

Now I have to figure out the SAN hardware. Ideally I'd be using 2.5 inch SAS drives but they're just too expensive. Instead I'll be going with 3.5 inch SAS, Seagate Constellation ES specifically. They're designed for storage arrays and have a 5 year warranty. I'll be using either 1TB or 2TB drives in a RAID 6 configuration and a hardware controller with at least 512MB of BBWC. It will be either 6 or 7 drives which is more than Seagate recommends (they say up to 5) but I don't see that being a problem.

RAID6? ...That's even overkill by my standards. The 2.5 drives are cheaper to run, so go with 2.5" 7,200 Nearline SAS drives to save cost and still get the 6GB transfer speeds.

I hope that's an enclosed cabinet...because rack systems do tend to be very loud ... And hot. Make plans for keeping the thing cool.
414  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 25, 2014, 06:15:31 AM
That would be very odd because the page and hashes must be generated according to where they are sending the download from. I definitely clicked the direct ImgBurn server link.

Just downloaded another copy this morning.

The download link was: http://download.imgburn.c.../SetupImgBurn_2.5.8.0.exe

The file hashes matched those publish but it was a different file to the two files I downloaded yesterday. They must have a script that updates the page periodically and provides a range of different downloads. Yesterday morning I was unlucky and go SearchProtect bundled which is pretty scummy!

The think I'm wondering is does OpenCandy come completely pre bundled with it's offers, or does it have a phone home on launch to see what's hot today type function? Option two would allow the size to remain consistent and the behavior to vary wildly.
415  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ImgBurn - full of OpenCandy and other crap on: April 24, 2014, 12:53:00 PM
It looks like the latest version from ImgBurn's site - with the OpenCandy EULA - is v2.5.8.0 which is 3.30MB. This has the same release date and size as the v2.5.8.0 file at MilesAhead's VideoHelp link. So it appears that v2.5.7.0 (5.83MB) from MilesAhead's VideoHelp link is the last safe version to download.
416  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Send an email when remote computer is not in use on: April 24, 2014, 07:04:59 AM
You might also consider an alternative to sending an email -- perhaps a tool that simply updated a web page somewhere with some metrics.  That would be less troublesome than sending emails in my opinion.

That was my first thought when reading this as well.

On the other hand, you would really also want to be notified when the idle time ends, or you're liable to connect up when the person is back from his snack break.

Bingo! This is really trying to solve a people problem with technology me thinks.

One thing that would help is if we knew what technology is being used for the connection RPD, or VNC. With VNC you can see the user's movements and the user can see their wallpaper change/disappear (assuming they're paying attention). RDP is an all or none which will pull the session away from the user...but they have the option of just taking it back as well.

Mitigating options are first and foremost explaining the situation to the user so they know what to look for when support logs in ... and how to signal them that now's a bad time. If the user agrees to log off when not using/needing the machine, and you use a separate support acct to log in with RDP then the system will flag you that someone else is currently logged in eliminating the guess work. I share access to a machine with several other vendors at a client using this method.

If you are using RDP and the users accounts to access the machines, then just have them take the session back and text/email you at that point with give me 20min or an hour to do X. This has worked well for me while managing several hundred machines for quite a few years now. And annoying as it may seem...people seem to appreciate the human touch afforded by a direct interaction to the hit or miss nature of assumptions required by automation.
417  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Restoring an Acronis Image on: April 19, 2014, 07:10:34 AM
One good reason to remove any drive that is unrelated to the restore is to avoid the horror story you hear too often where people restore to the wrong drive, wiping out there existing data.
Other ATA drive is empty - waiting for Ubuntu lol

All the more reason to keep the drive unplugged so Windows doesn't decide to use it while sorting itself out on a first boot attempt. The 100MB system partition isn't mandatory, it's just a strictly enforced highly recommended option.
418  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Max runtime allowed an update to Vista Ultimate before withdrawing life support? on: April 19, 2014, 07:05:19 AM
Kill it. There is nothing to gain from waiting any longer at this point.

Can't really say it's "normal" per se, but I have seen the behavior before ... And I never lost one that I gave a helping finger to.. Wink
419  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not? on: April 18, 2014, 01:51:40 PM
Do overlook the rather nontechnical name because the guy has a lot of really good information on web cams. It looks like the site hasn't been updates in a while but the information isn't that old yet. I used his reviews a few years back to settle on the Logitech 900 I still have now.


FWIW my Logitech 900 switches resolution on the fly to allow for changes in bandwidth ... I was under the impression that all (or at least most) of the web cams did that.
420  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Restoring an Acronis Image on: April 18, 2014, 01:22:08 PM
I'm no expert here, but you've definitely got to be careful with that 100mb partition. (It's a boot partition.)

If the 100MB Boot partition is on the 2nd drive, it's probably already in the wrong place. The OS may not boot with the 2nd drive disconnected, but if the configuration will tolerate it *Shrug* what works...works.

This will probably look like hell because it is getting pasted out of a .doc file (but I'm a bit pressed for time):

MS Boot Configuration Data Editor
For When Boot Fails Because the OS is Missing!
The following procedure is used to completely rebuild the Windows Vista, 7, 2008 boot configuration when it has either been badly damaged, or when restoring the OS to different hardware with a different disk/partition configuration.
1.   Boot from appropriate OS media.
2.   Select the current Windows installation if available.
3.   Choose Command Prompt and run the below commands (some may be optional):
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
attrib -s -h -r C:\boot\BDC
del C:\boot\BCD
bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd
bcdboot.exe C:\Windows /S C: /L en-us

Diskpart can also be used to mark a partition as active from the Windows RE.
SELECT DISK (followed by the number of the disk – most likely 0)
SELECT PARTITION (followed by the partition number – most likely 0)
                         Windows startup recovery should now work.
421  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 03:51:48 PM
Spaced, not so much ... Stressed to the point where hostile, dog style, man style makes no difference...yes. I have zero patience at this point, so I'm reflexively falling back on covering stress/aggravation(/hostility) with humor to prevent myself from just screaming fuck at random people like a badly self medicated turrets patient.

Honestly, what I really wanted to do to half the users today:

422  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 02:01:22 PM
On the odd chance that some of you may be wondering - I haven't had a cigarette since about noon Tuesday - So basically yes, I have completely snapped.

423  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 01:56:02 PM
As far as I know, a defrag will not do much for you with regards to bad blocks. Checkdisk does move blocks of data around after it cannot repair bad blocks on your disk and marks these so the filesystem will not use them anymore.

That is at least the concept behind it. But often the capabilities of the software falls short and you have to resort to 3rd party software. HDSentinel, HDDscan (and for real pro's: MHDD) come to mind.

I ran part of a chkdsk and it did delete one bad index entry. But for the full scan I think the file check will take a long time "step 4 of 5" so I'll try to remember to run it all again before bed one of these days.

Actually defrag will probably try to move more data into a bad sector in an effort to align the data in a organized and contiguous fashion. That's why the old defrag utility would generally refuse to run if the disk was marked dirty.

Please ... Take the time to run chkdsk C: /R completely (Don't make me beg damn it!). Because there is almost never only one error - there may only be one bad sector ... But there will be quite a bit of stuff riding on it.

Iceberg tips should not be ignored.

424  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 11:51:37 AM
Only after these more pedestrian causes have been eliminated should we start looking for signs of Ziggy Stardust's Uber hacker spiders from Mars.

But doesn't everybody do those first before running over to the PC security blogs?
And yes indeed, it does sound a lot like a HD just might be starting to go...

Well, not that I ran to a blog - it was more an off the cuff question based on general confusion. So if a couple of opinions are coming in re hardware failure, maybe that's "the lesser evil" but it's also where my skillset drops off a cliff. Meanwhile it's still okay as of today. I'll try a couple of those checks to see what's up. Maybe a defrag will move stuff off a bad sector too.

Hardware is not in the center of my skillset either, but as an Admin I spend a great deal of my time with a mental coin spinning in the air trying to decide if the sad faced user before me clicked on something foolishly (heads)...or if the machine for some reason is having an anthropomorphically malevolent episode (tails).

Most people - statisticians/accountants/etc. - you see would assume and cling to the commonly held belief that the odds of a coin landing on any given side are at all points 50/50. Admins however know that that notion - generally speaking - is complete bullshit. cheesy Things that can, will, and do influence the coins inclination one way of the other are the users own aptitude score, the age of the machine, my mood, the day of the week, and of course - most importantly - the time of day... As one must always, and in all things account for and defer to the will of Murphy's Law lest they risk incurring the wrath of the fates.

...So after weighing your score against the fact that malware "attacks" are never really "sudden" if one knows what to look for (and I get the impression you do). Also none of the tell tail signs of user guilt - they always tell on themselves if you know what to look for - appeared in the description of the issue. Hence it - the cause - had to be a hardware issue. Wink
425  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 07:30:20 AM
For no apparent reason while surfing what I think are safe sites, about 2PM my computer suddenly quit responding! Well, whatever etc, time to reboot. And then upon rebooting, processes started failing to load at very low levels! It was easy to tell that both mouse and keyboard were working, aka not a simple bad battery. But what was really scary is the comp didn't want to accept the function key to choose boot modes! (I think it's F8) to go into safe mode! Then when it did boot up (partially), it worked for like five seconds before doing anything would lock it up!

Let's stop here for a second, because what I'm seeing are several indicators of a hardware failure. Either a memory or HDD failure can result in these symptoms...botnet infestation not so much. So if diagnostic and repair efforts continue more damage may be incurred. If the HDD is failing, repair attempts may very well push it over the edge. if the memory is failing, repair attempts may (will IME) further scramble the drive.

From the top:
 Take a quick peek inside the case and make sure it's not clogged dust/overheating.
 Rule out the keyboard, especially the fancy ones that mode switch between media and F'n key functions. I always keep a basic proper 104 key keyboard handy to avoid getting trapped in the media key nightmare.
 Make sure the BIOS isn't giving you to small a window or no warning (you already did this one - and it worked). For strange machines I usually just start tapping the F8 key after the KB initializes (the lights flash) to flood the buffer.
 Run a manufacturers diag on the HDD.
 Run a memory check (preferably Memtest 86 if available).
 Boot to a command prompt and run chkdsk C: /R

Only after these more pedestrian causes have been eliminated should we start looking for signs of Ziggy Stardust's Uber hacker spiders from Mars. Wink
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