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Messages - howiem [ switch to compact view ]

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Coding Snack Guidelines / Re: Setting up secure bookmarks/favorites
« on: August 19, 2007, 11:23 PM »
actually a plugin that resolved the ips of web pages, and compared them against known trusted official ips of these sites would solve the problem wouldnt it? does this exist already?

There is a bit of javascript that can be used - see the Hinson Tip at http://www.noticebor.../phishing_alert.html


After further investigation I've discovered that Ad Muncher was causing the problem. I had tried disabling it in the past without effect - it seems you need to shut it down entirely!

I have never used Ad-Cruncher, but IE7 w/o add-ons works a lot better in the sandbox than the full blown IE7.  I just tried Avant which has a lot more features than AM Browser, and it also works OK in the sanebox, whoops, sandbox  ;D, as does Opera, Firefox and TheWorld browser. 


The only slowdowns I have experienced in a sandbox is with IE7, which is very slow to load, and gets very sluggish in responding to such things as opening new tabs.  However, I use AM browser (an IE shell) where I usually have from 15-30 tab open,  as well as TheWorld browser, Firefox, Safari and Opera and have not noticed any major slowdowns in any of those.    I have not tried IE7 no-addons or gone through the ritual of disabling add-ons one at a time to try and pinpoint the problem (if that is the problem).  I am currently using sandboxie 2.94.23 (beta).
One of the things I like most about Sandboxie is if you post issues on the forum, tzuk or someone else will reply in very short order, and tzuk sometimes is able to fix a problem in minutes.  I've done a lot of beta testing with him and he is extremely responsive.  The only reason I've found to surf outside of the sandbox is when I want to do MS Updates manually.  And in case you haven't tried any recent versions, Sandboxie now has a Quick Recovery function, so when you download a program or file in the sandbox, you get a dialog immediately upon completion of the download asking if you want to save the file to the hard drive location where you saved it.  This feature is not enabled by default (for security reasons), but it only takes a second to enable in the SB Control Window.
What? Me Worry?  I surf in a sandbox!!

Favorite software?  I llike everything I have installed now, but that would make a long list. But since my main foxus is security, I'll concentrate on my favorite security programs:

1.  Sandboxie - I haven't even seen a false positive, much less any real malware since I started doing all my surfing in a sandbox.
2.  NOD32 AV - I tend to forget it's there, until it announces that it has detected the eicar file from time to time.
3.  Zone Alarm Pro - I know some (many?) do not agree, but this one works perfectly for me.
4.  ProcessGuard Pro - If you don't let it run, it can't do any damage.

1.  Lexitron - a Thai-English, English-Thai simultaneous translator.  Indispensible for my work.
2.  Ace Utilities - Cleanup utility that does a lot more than just clean.
3.  Mailwasher Pro - Great anti-spam program, but i could probably do just as much with the free version (which I also have)
4.  Copernic Agent Pro - Outstanding for research work.
5.  Gadwin Printscreen - simple to use and does exactly what I need
6.  Deskpins - makes programs remain on top if they do not already have that option

Windows XP SP2 Fully patched, ASUS P4P800S M/B, 1.5GB RAM, Intel 4 CPU 848P Prescott 3.2 Ghz w/hyperthreading.  3 HDDs

General Software Discussion / Re: Combining partitions
« on: June 16, 2007, 10:16 PM »
Just out of curiosity, what happens to the shortcuts when the srive letters all change?

My license expires in a month, and I have bought a license for Counterspy V2, which is much improved over earlier versions.  I have Zone Alarm Pro's antispyware, do all my surfing in a sandbox (except for manual Windows Updates, so I don't bother with the real time protection, and usually only activate another antispyware program once a week or so to update and scan.  I also have Spysweeper which I quit using as I am always getting 'damaged - reinstall' messages.  I agree that Spyware Doctor seems to have good detection, but as one poster said, it is too bloated and doesn't integrate that well, but Counterspy does. 

DC Website Help and Extras / Re: Windows CDBurning
« on: May 26, 2007, 08:10 AM »
Tried all three of those filter tools (mainly to see what they do), but none of them worked on my PC.  After extracting them to %\Program Files\(Folder), I ran each one.  In each case the program would appear to run, but the interface only showed up for a second and then the program closed. 

When I try to drag a file to Roxio's Drag to Disc, I get an error that the dik is read only, and when I try to format the disk, I am told it cannot be formated.  So I tried Roxi's scandisk which said it would fix the problem.  After scandisk completed its task I could see files that I had tried to move to the CD a few days ago, so it looks like I can now burn data to CD.   I then ran the eval version of a program called CDCheck ( which had been finding errors, but now it did not find any. Now windows explorer shows both a CD Drive (which doesn't work) and a "Roxio" drive (which does work).So since something now works, I'd like to thank all of you for the help and siggestions, which nudged me into continuing the effort. 

DC Website Help and Extras / Re: Windows CDBurning
« on: May 25, 2007, 09:55 PM »
That's why I was hoping to find a program that would restore all the Windowss CD Burning settings.  It is not a big deal for me as I can always use the clone drive to make CDs.  I just reinstalled Roxio and when I put a blank CD-R in the drive it says there is no disk to format.  Appreciate all the suggestions, but for me it's not worth spending any more time on.

DC Website Help and Extras / Re: Windows CDBurning
« on: May 25, 2007, 08:59 PM »
I've tried all of the above except the Nero driver, and still can copy a file to a CD.  I had Roxio 8 installed and removed it, and thought I cleaned up everything but maybe not.  I am going to try to reinstall it and see what happens. 

DC Website Help and Extras / Windows CDBurning
« on: May 25, 2007, 03:08 PM »
Does anyone know of a program that can repair the Windows CD Burning function? The problem is that I am not able to write data files to a Lite-On CD/DVD combo.  I get an error 16389.

I think that something is messed up in the registry, because on my cloned Win xP Pro SP2 drive, I can write files to the CD, but on my main system I cannot.

I have uninstalled the driver, the hardware and reinstalled them.  I can get rid of the 16389 error, but  when I try to copy a file to the CD I get an error that Windows has encountered a problem and cannot copy the file.  No option but to cancel. 

The weird thing is that after encountering this problem for the past two weeks, I just tried a sendto and a copy and paste and neither operation got any errors, but I had no CD in the drive.  As soon as I put in a blank CD, the two files disappeared from 'files waiting to be copied' and I got the error again that windows was having a problem but no explanation.

I tried a couple of other CD burning programs but they did not work.  So I am looking for a way to fix the problem and have not been able to find a fix through web searches.

cybernetnews did a short story on secure firefox addons here:

I just read that article.  I've used all those tools except Firekeeper, but none of them are anti-phishing tools , although you might get warned if the site owner does not reveal his name.  The reason I asked for the tool for secure bookmarks is because none of the anti-phishing tools is completely accurate, and even though users could set up their  own secure bookmarks, they don't and having a tool to lean on might get a few less phished. 

One really big problem with the bookmarks bad entry in a hosts file by some malware could cause you to go to a fake page when clicking the so-called 'secure bookmark' made by this application....and then there goes your idea of safety right out the window.

Understood, but wouldn't that happen even if you type in the address?  And if the secure URL were random (any https  page) within the genuine domain, wouldn't it be difficult for a phisher to determine what to redirect? 

Coding Snack Guidelines / Setting up secure bookmarks/favorites
« on: May 09, 2007, 01:42 PM »
Not being a programmer, I would like to see a small program that can set up secure favorites/bookmarks for banking and other financial transactions.  It should be capable of setting up the secure (https) favorites/bookmarks for both banks and shopping sites.
For banks it would need to do the following:
1.  locate and verify the genuine website of the bank/financial institution, possibly using a technique like the Hinson Tip at http://www.noticebor.../phishing_alert.html.  The user would only have to input the name of the bank or financial institution.
2.  prompt the user to log in, verify that the following page is an https page, and then click a link to another https page. 
3.  Automatically bookmark (add to favorites) the page in 2. above with the name of the bank and an indicator that the site is secure.  Example:  Bank of America - SECURE

For shopping sites
1.  Visit the web site and go through the process to do a test purchase.
2.  When the program arrives at the payment options page, verify that it is secure.  3.  Then bookmark or add that https page to favorites with an indicator that the page is secure.  Example:  AMAZON.COM - SECURE

The program would also need to stress that users should use ONLY SECURE book marks/favorites to access all sites where they conduct any kind of financial transactions. 

My rationale for this is that the main way people get phished is by getting tricked into clicking links in email, on web sites and in Instant Messages, etc.  Another way they can get phished is by DNS poisoning. 

Right now the security industry expends its efforts in telling people how to recognize fake web sites and fake email, etc.  A program like this would focus on getting users to the correct web site where they will not get phished, and they can stop wasting their time reading about fake this and fake that.  Of course setting up secure bookmarks/favorites can be easily done manually by most users, but having a program that "does it for them" might even lure some of the gullible into actually using it.    :o

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