Monthly Archives: March 2011

Conseal Security Takes Portable Device Security To Another Level With Conseal USB

“This tape will self-destruct in five seconds!” – Mission Impossible.

Growing up in the 1960’s, I though that was just the coolest phrase – and the underlying technology, of course. As a way of keeping confidential  information out of the hands of the bad guys, what could be better than that? BOOOM!

Today, safeguarding confidential information is far more complex – and there are many more “bad guys”. Information, in a very real sense, is currency – and the need to protect it is every bit as real as if it were hard currency.

Unfortunately, protecting critical data in an age of extreme data portability (USB sticks, portable Hard Drives, memory cards …. ) against theft, or loss, is exasperated by the very nature of portable technology.

How hard is it to lose a USB key through theft or misadventure – easy (personally, I’ve lost two over the years).

How hard is it to lose a portable Hard Drive through theft or misadventure – easy.

How hard is it to lose a memory card through theft or misadventure – easy.

How hard is it recover any one of the storages devices mentioned? Hard. Hard. Hard.

While it’s true, that both password and encryption applications, offer some protection against unauthorized access should a portable storage device vanish, neither provides absolute protection. Both password cracking, and decrypting applications (and the computing resources necessary), are readily available to those with less than honorable intentions.

What’s needed then, is a technology that not only offers password protection and file encryption, but the ability to remotely destroy data on a non-recoverable device – if it becomes necessary.

I suspect that the Ministry of Defense in the UK, would have been delighted with this type of technology had it been available when, in 2008,  fifty eight Ministry of Defense unencrypted drives – which contained details of troop movements, locations, and travel accommodation, were “lost”.

Certainly, portable media device theft, or loss, is not restricted to organizations; it can just as easily happen at an individual level. For example, in the U.K., in 2008, – 9,000 USB drives were found by dry cleaners in various articles of clothing. It’s safe to say, that data loss and data leakages related to lost or stolen computer portable devices, are now commonplace.

Luckily, Conseal Security has just released a security safety system  that not only includes strong AES encryption, it allows protected devices to be remotely self-destructed, if they are lost or stolen. Moreover, as part of the package the ability to lock devices to specific networks, domains or specific computers, is included. A bonus feature includes a capacity to review all access attempts on a device.

Application setup, including creating an account which provides access to all of the programs features, is straightforward.

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The initial account password will be emailed to you. The temporary account password in the screen capture shown below, has been changed.

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Once logged in, you can proceed to manage the portable device attached to your machine.

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In the following screen shot, you’ll notice I have logged in and entered a name for the attached device.

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The USB drive I used for this test was quite small (512 MB), so the encryption and registration took less than two minutes.

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As per the message box, no files were accessible on Drive F: (the original drive designation) – instead the files were on Drive G: (the newly concealed drive).

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Following encryption of the drive’s contents you will have a number of options to choose from, including -

Access Control

You can set up rules to control where and when this device can be unlocked.

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Alerting

You can set up alerts to email you when this device is used.

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Self Destruct

You can securely delete the contents of this device if it has been lost or stolen. It will become a blank disk.

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Unlocking the portable device is an uncomplicated process – as shown in the following screen captures.

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A taskbar popup will notify you on successful completion of the “unlock” process, as illustrated in this screen capture.

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Fast facts:

Remote self destruct – If your Consealed device is lost or stolen, you can remotely destroy the data it contains. Press a button on a website and the contents of your device will be securely wiped when next inserted.

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Who’s accessed your data? – View a log of who attempts to unlocks your Consealed device, including who they are and what computer they used. The log shows all access attempts and contains sufficient information for law enforcement officials to uniquely identify the computer used.

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Define who can access your data – Specify the computers or network domains which can unlock your Consealed device. Also specify what times of the day it can be unlocked. Rules can be changed even when the device is out of your hands.

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Safe from password guessing attempts – Even fairly complex passwords can be guessed on average within 16 minutes. Conseal’s “Dual Locks” system completely secures your protected data against password guessing attempts. Consealed devices can only be unlocked with permission from a central server.

Warnings of attempted break-ins – Receive email warnings when someone tries to unlock your Consealed device, directly and uniquely identifying the user, where they are, and what computer they used.

Strong encryption – Your data is stored using super-strength 256-bit AES encryption (approved by governments to protect ‘Top Secret’ information).

Takeaway: A very impressive and elegant solution to a potentially disastrous occurrence at a cost that’s appropriate.

Conseal USB Licenses:

Home User – 1 year’s protection. Non-commercial use only. Up to 5 devices £19.95.

Corporate User – 10 devices £140 (for 1 year). 100 devices £99/month. 1000 devices £830/month. 10,000 devices £5950/month.

Conseal Security offers a full no-quibble 14 day money-back guarantee from date of purchase.

System requirements: Windows XP and above.

Devices: You can Conseal literally any USB storage device. This includes memory sticks, USB pen drives, external hard disks, SD / MMC / xD / CompactFlash cards. It also includes all Firewire, eSATA and USB3 devices. Conseal is completely device and manufacturer independent.

Further details, and a 15 day Trial download are available at the developer’s site – Conseal Security.

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Filed under Business Applications, Cloud Computing, Computer Tools, Connected Devices, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, downloads, Encryption, Encryption Software, flash drive, Geek Software and Tools, Software, Software Trial Versions, Surveilance Tools, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 31, 2011

6 Super Security Freebies – These six free downloads will bolster your system and network security.

Quick Tip: Block unwanted sites using the Windows hosts file – By adding entries to the Windows hosts file, you can block access to specific unwanted or known malware-infested websites.

U.S. Gov’t to Thank for Phone-Wiping Panic Button – Red Alert! Cops coming and you’re concerned about deleting what’s on your cell phone in case it’s confiscated? Thanks to the U.S. Government, there will be an app for that – the panic button app will be able to wipe phones.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Erase Yourself From the Web – Drunken party pictures from college haunting you? Fed up with Facebook? Victim of Internet overwhelm? Here’s how to protect yourself by wiping your data off the Web.

McAfee’s Website Full of Security Holes, Researcher Says – This isn’t just embarrassing, but also somewhat discrediting for McAfee, which markets a McAfee Secure service to enterprises for their customer-facing websites. McAfee Secure claims to test for personal information access, links to dangerous sites, phishing, and other embedded malicious dangers that a website might unknowingly be hosting.

Web-Based Spam Now a Global Problem – Since virtually the dawn of the commercial Web and the advent of widespread email use, spam has been a major problem and it has grown to a point that botnets are now spewing trillions of spam messages every month. But, email spam is just one piece of a much larger ecosystem that now is mainly dominated by Web-based spam pushing users to malicious, or at best, worthless, pages.

European Parliament computer network breached – According to the Parliament’s spokesmen, the attack was still ongoing yesterday morning and information technology services have put in place some security measures – such as blocking access to webmail.

Two more Comodo RAs compromised - The investigation Comodo has mounted following the recent compromise of one of its Registration Authorities and the issuing of rogue certificates for popular sites has revealed that two additional RAs have been compromised but that no more bogus certificates had been issued.

Microsoft to push IE 9 broadly via Windows Update in late June – Microsoft will begin pushing Internet Explorer (IE) 9 to users in earnest starting at the end of June 2011, using its Windows Update mechanism, officials said this week.

Company News:

 

Qualys partners with StopBadware – Qualys is partnering with the non-profit anti-malware organization StopBadware. The two organizations will leverage one another’s strengths to bolster the Web’s collective defenses against malware. Qualys joins Google, Mozilla, PayPal, Nominum, and Verizon in supporting StopBadware.

Microsoft Exec: Tablets Could Be Temporary Fad - At least one Microsoft executive seems unconvinced that tablets are much more than a passing fad.

Apple AirPlay Headed for TV Sets, Says Report - Apple’s attempt to dominate the living room could stretch even further with the integration of AirPlay technology in HDTVs, according to a Bloomberg report. With AirPlay built into TV sets, users would be able to wirelessly stream content from an iPad, iPhone or Mac straight to the TV, without the need for a $99 Apple TV.

Amazon’s Cloud Drive Riles Music Industry – So, the record companies are not exactly thrilled with Amazon’s move. This should be no surprise to anyone, given the music industry’s current position on any type of music sharing (plus, it looks like their request for $75 trillion from LimeWire isn’t going to pan out, so they really do need the money).

Off Topic (Sort of):

 

FBI asks public to break a code, help solve a murder – An interesting request for help has been made public yesterday by the FBI: “Cryptanalists, help solve an open murder case”. The murder happened back in 1999. 41-year-old Ricky McCormick’s dead body was discovered in a field, and in his pants’ pocket were found two encrypted notes, which the FBI believes could shed a light on why and by whom he was murdered.

Creepy – Creepy is an application that allows you to gather geolocation related information about users from social networking platforms and image hosting services. The information is presented in a map inside the application where all the retrieved data is shown accompanied with relevant information (i.e. what was posted from that specific location) to provide context to the presentation.

Messenger Spacecraft Sends First Image From Mercury’s Orbit – NASA on Tuesday released an image of Mercury captured by its Messenger spacecraft – the first ever obtained from the planet’s orbit.

Nearly 50% of tweets consumed are from tiny fraction of Twitter users – A mere 20,000 Twitter users steal almost half the spotlight on Twitter, which now ropes in a billion tweets every week. That means only 0.05% of the social network’s user base attracts attention, according to a new Yahoo Research study titled, “Who Says What to Whom on Twitter.” (submitted by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:

 

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

-    Peter Drucker

Today’s Free Downloads:

 

Microsoft Network Monitor – Ever wonder exactly what is being sent across your network–the packets that comprise the lowest level of network traffic and which programs are sending them? If the answer is yes, Network Monitor 3.4– a free utility from Microsoft–is all you need to find out what’s flowing back and forth.

The Dude – This network enumerator and mapper comes in handy when I’m trying to map out a customer’s network. Of course, it shows icons representing the devices on your network, but it goes beyond that. Hovering over an icon shows you the type of services available, recent bandwidth usage, and other info.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

March 2011 MessageLabs Intelligence Report – Rustock Goes Down, Bagle Botnet Picks Up The Slack

imageThere’s been much more discussion recently as to whether infected computers should be allowed unrestricted access to the Internet. Despite the fact we’ve been around the horn on this question for years, there’s still little consensus on this thorny issue.

Since infected computers, linked together in botnets, form the backbone of spam distribution networks – according to the March 2011 MessageLabs Intelligence Report, botnets sent an average of 88.2% of global spam during 2010 – this question needs to be taken off the back burner and dealt with much more aggressively.

Frankly, I’m tired of making excuses for people who are too damn lazy, too damn stupid, too damn inconsiderate, ………. to take the time to learn the basics of computer security. And, as a consequence cause me, and you incidentally, to have to deal with volumes of spam that are beyond the pale.

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Graphic courtesy of Symantec (Click to expand to original)

According to the March 2011, MessageLabs Intelligence Report (released yesterday), the recently taken down Rustock botnet “had been sending as many as 13.82 billion spam emails daily, accounting for an average of 28.5% of global spam sent from all botnets in March.”

A little math suggests, that during March enough Spam was emailed that conceivably, every person on the Planet received 7 spam emails EVERY DAY! Since every person on the Planet is not connected, the abuse takes on another magnitude. I can’t think of another finite resource – and the Internet is a finite resource – that could be continuously abused in this way, without some kind of strong kickback.

Are we making any headway against botnets and the cyber criminals behind them? Not according to the MessageLabs Intelligence Report we’re not. Sure, Rustock has bitten the dust (at least for the moment), but the Bagle botnet has stepped into the breech, bumped up its output, and is now sending 8.31 billion spam emails each day, mostly tied to pharmaceutical products.

Report highlights:

Spam: In March 2011, the global ratio of spam in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources decreased by 2 percent (1 in 1.26 emails).

Viruses: The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources was one in 208.9 emails (0.479 percent) in March, an increase of .134 percentage points since February. In March, 63.4 percent of email-borne malware contained links to malicious websites, a decrease of .1 percentage points since February.

Endpoint Threats: The endpoint is often the last line of defense and analysis. The threats found here can shed light on the wider nature of threats confronting businesses, especially from blended attacks. Attacks reaching the endpoint are likely to have already circumvented other layers of protection that may already be deployed, such as gateway filtering.

Phishing: In March, phishing activity was 1 in 252.5 emails (0.396 percent), a decrease of 0.065 percentage points since February.

Web security: Analysis of web security activity shows that an average of 2,973 websites each day were harbouring malware and other potentially unwanted programs including spyware and adware, a decrease of 27.5% since February. 37 percent of malicious domains blocked were new in March, a decrease of 1.9 percentage points since February. Additionally, 24.5 percent of all web-based malware blocked was new in March, a decrease of 4.2 percentage points since last month.

Reading this type of report (or at least the highlights), is certainly educational, and can be a major step in expanding that sense of threat awareness that active Internet users’ require.

The full MLI Report is available here in PDF.

Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence is a respected source of data and analysis for messaging security issues, trends and statistics. MessageLabs Intelligence provides a range of information on global security threats based on live data feeds from control towers around the world scanning billions of messages each week.

About Symantec:

Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.

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Filed under bots, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, email scams, Interconnectivity, MessageLabs, spam, Symantec, Windows Tips and Tools

Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 – A Powerful “One Stop” Optimization And Maintenance Suite

imageIf you’re a regular visitor to this site you’re more likely than not, a high end power user. As such, you know that simple maintenance, practiced regularly, using the right tools, will keep a PC running smoothly for years.

Better yet, you’re proficient at putting together a toolbox of free system applications designed to correct performance issues that negatively impact your computing experience.

Typical computer users on the other hand, are much less likely to have the experience needed to identify the common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior, and then match the problems with the appropriate free software solution.

Drilling down through complicated operating system structures to get maximum performance from an operating system, is generally outside the range of a typical computer users skill set.

So, average users, for the most part, need an “all-in-one” performance-tuning application designed specifically for this market segment. Preferably, an application that’s comprehensive – yet, “one click” simple. Not an easy task for a product developer – many have tried, but few have really been successful.

Auslogics, well known, to we geeky types, for its free Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1, is one of those companies that has successfully managed to work within the confines of a “one click” simple solution by developing Auslogics BoostSpeed 5.

Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 can uncover bundles of issues that can impact a computer’s performance and reliability, and then correct identified problems – often, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Let’s take a walkthrough to look at  just some of the powerful features which are available in  Auslogics BoostSpeed 5. Clicking on any screenshot will increase the size to the original.

Installation is simple, following which you will have the opportunity to run BoostSpeed 5 for the first time. On application launch, you will be presented with the following screen.

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Running a system scan, on day one of the test, pulled up the usual Registry errors, and gave me the opportunity to clean out junk files, broken shortcuts, and (most importantly for me), clean the Browser cache.

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Day 2 System scan results: It’s easy to see from this second manual scan, that crud builds up on a PC very quickly.

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Cutting back on crud accumulation is easy with BoostSpeed 5 though. Setting up an appropriate schedule to automatically handle cleanup and repair, is a snap with the built-in scheduler.

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One of the features in the application that caught my attention was the security advice pulled up by the System Advisor. The focus here is on security holes that an average user would lack the background, or experience, to consider.

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On the oft chance that the user makes an error while running a system applet – redemption is just a step away. The Rescue center can reverse changes in any of the applets shown in the following screen capture.

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If you prefer not to go the automatic route, an abundance of applets are available to analyze and repair, maintain and improve, and configure the operating system, as the following screen capture shows.

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Customizing Windows to get that “just you” look, couldn’t be easier. Virtually every Windows element can be customized.

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Since personal privacy is a major issue for many users, the addition of a disk wipe utility (plus a shredder utility), is a bonus.

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Manipulating Internet settings for best performance is generally a hit and miss operation – many applications which promise to boost performance simply don’t work.

BoostSpeed’s built-in Internet Optimizer did work – at least marginally. I suspect that a typical user might see a more robust difference than I did, since my connection was already heavily tweaked.

A user can chose to manually optimize the connection (not recommended), or preferably, sit back and have the applet do the heavy lifting.

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Finally, all application functions can be accessed from the “right click” context menu, which is reachable from the Taskbar icon as shown in the following screen capture.

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Fast facts:

System Scan

File Recovery

Disk Doctor

Disk Explorer

Disk Defrag

Registry Defrag

PC Disk Cleaner

Registry Cleaner

Internet Optimizer

Windows Tweak Manager

Track Eraser

Duplicate File Finder

File Shredder

Disk Wiper

Boot Time Startup Manager

Uninstall Manager

Service Manager

Task Manager

PC System Information

Task Manager Rescue Center

When I received an invitation to review Auslogics BoostSpeed 5, I wasn’t sure I could do it justice in a short review – the application’s features are so inclusive that it would take a small book to cover all the features, and the related benefits of each. It’s safe to say that this application provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user should need.

If you’re an average user, disappointed with your computer’s performance, or you’re just tired of having to deal with reoccurring unexplained issues, you may find that Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 is worth its $49.95 purchase price.  If you’re not satisfied, Auslogics offers a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

BTW, a  single product license allows installation of the application on three personal PCs.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7  (32-bit & 64-bit).

Download a 15 day trial version at: the developer’s site – Auslogics.com

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Auslogics, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, New Computer User Software Tools, Slow Computer, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Tweaks, System Utilities

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 30, 2011

11 Tremendous Free PC Utilities – These 11 free, downloadable utilities let you fine-tune your PC and help it work trouble-free.

Seven Steps to Recovering from Scareware Attacks – Threatpost asked leading anti malware researchers for their thoughts and suggestions on recovering from a scareware attack. Here’s what they told us.

10 gadgets you should actually get rid of (or not) – The New York Times outlines several consumer electronics that you may or may not need, from digital cameras to e-books. Is the list realistic? Here’s The Toybox take.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Must-Have Tools and Tricks – Learn how to get a disposable e-mail address, stop Windows 7 from automatically resizing windows, and recover data from a dead laptop.

Handy radiation checker comes to iPhone - iPhone users can now download a free iPhone app to tell them what local radiation levels are, in case they’ve not got enough to worry about. The new application is available worldwide, though you’d have to take paranoia to a new level to worry about spreading radiation from Japan if you weren’t actually nearby: even then you should probably worry about rebuilding the country’s infrastructure more than media-hyped threats of radiation poisoning.

TripAdvisor: E-mail addresses stolen in data breach – If you use TripAdvisor you may soon be getting more spam. The travel site told customers in an e-mail today that someone had breached its network and stolen e-mail addresses for an undisclosed number of its members.

Three Simple Ways to Get Paid by Credit Card - Accepting credit card payments is easier than you think–all you need is a cell phone, some inexpensive add-on hardware, and an accompanying app. These phone-based solutions are a great way for small business owners to process mobile payments. We tested three solutions. Attach the hardware to your phone, launch the app, and you’re ready to start swiping cards.

4 Fantastic Photo Finds – These four free downloadable applications are designed to make handling your photos and videos easier and more effective.

U.S. warns of more SCADA software holes – Cybersecurity officials are busy issuing warnings as researchers keep disclosing new holes in software used to manage systems at utilities and other industrial plants.

Company News:

 

Amazon Cloud Drive: It’s All About Android Domination, Baby – Amazon’s new Cloud Drive music-streaming service has the potential to seriously shake up the Android landscape.

Online E-mail to FAX Service – Superfax is a new generation Internet Based Online Fax Solution that provides you the flexibility to send and receive faxes directly through email. We give you a phone number, which is mapped to your email id. The number when called gives a fax tone. An SMS is sent to you after the fax is received. Fax is available in your mailbox as a PDF attachment. Replying to the email with an attachment can send a Fax to the sender.

LogMeIn Ignition Updated for iPhone, iPad - LogMeIn Ignition for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch ($29.99, download) just released a major new version in the iTunes app store that now adds complete file management to its remote access capabilities.

Netflix Canada Switches to Lower-Quality Streaming to Avoid Bandwidth Caps - Netflix on Monday announced that it will switch to lower-quality video streaming for its customers in Canada in order to preserve bandwidth.

Off Topic (Sort of):

 

The History of Web Browsers [Infographic] – Looking at the browsers in the current browser race it is hard to remember the time when Netscape had over 86% of the market share. Once Microsoft started integrating Internet Explorer with Windows they unsurprisingly took over the market and dominated it for several years. (submitted by Dar)

Facebook won’t remove The Third Intifada page against Israel – Facebook says it will not remove The Third Intifada fan page, created by Palestinians to start an uprising against the citizens of Israel, but will instead monitor it.

How to tweet bile without alienating people. Or making 13-year-old girls cry – The outpouring of bile directed at 13-year-old Rebecca Black for her YouTube song Friday shows how unhinged such mass hate campaigns can be. (submitted by Michael F.)

How Students Use Technology to Cheat, And How Their Teachers Catch Them – Academic dishonesty—ahem, cheating—has only gotten easier in the digital age. Students have Wolfram Alpha, Google, and crowdsourced question-and-answer sites like Quora at their fingertips. Students have cameras on their phones that let them take pictures of a test in an instant. Even Microsoft Word has built-in functionality that helps them game the system. On the flip side are teachers, who are using their technological know-how (and sometimes just their common sense) to catch students who try to cheat.

Today’s Quote:

 

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

-   Robert Frost

Today’s Free Downloads:

 

Seagate SeaTools for Windows – SeaTools for Windows is a comprehensive, easy-to-use diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of the disc drive in your external hard drive, desktop or notebook computer.

AVG Rescue CD (for USB stick) – A powerful must-have toolkit to assist with the rescue and repair of infected machines. This software provides essential utilities for system administrators and other IT professionals. This download is for portable USB drives.

AVG Rescue CD (for CD creation) – A powerful must-have toolkit to assist with the rescue and repair of infected machines. This software provides essential utilities for system administrators and other IT professionals. This download is an ISO to burn to your CD or DVD drive.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 29, 2011

PC World: Best Free Stuff 2011 (Alphabetical List) – Here’s a list of all of the apps described in our Best Free Stuff package, in alphabetical order.

Top 5 Online 2011 Tax Scams – You may not want to think about your taxes until Tax Day on April 18, but online scammers are already plotting to separate you from your tax refund and your identity. Scams for the 2011 tax season include promises of tax credits for charitable donations to disaster relief in Japan, malware-laden Websites optimized for search engines, dangerous e-mail, and so-called ‘likejacking’ techniques found on the social network Facebook.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

DIY: Accounting on a shoestring budget with GnuCash – Takeaway: GnuCash is a free, open source, and cross-platform accounting solution that Jack Wallen says is more reliable than QuickBooks. He discusses GnuCash’s features, as well as two of its drawbacks.

McAfee.com filled with vulnerabilities – Discovering that your site is chock full of security vulnerabilities must be embarrasing for any company, but is surely doubly so when you are a company offering to secure your customers’ websites. According to the e-mail sent to the Full Disclosure mailing list by the YGN Ethical Hacker Group on Monday, this is exactly what happened to McAfee.

New ransomware variant in the wild - A new variant of a piece of ransomware seen in the wild late last year has begun targeting users that made the mistake of landing on the site that serves it via drive by download.

Facebook Traffic Diverted to China Raising Privacy Concerns – Facebook traffic for AT&T customers was routed through Chinese and Korean servers for some unspecified amount of time, raising privacy concerns. Some of the network traffic heading to Facebook’s servers in Palo Alto, Calif., was re-routed to first pass through Chinese and Korean servers, according to Barrett Lyon, a network security expert who flagged the incident on March 22. Lyon suggested in a blog post that it was probably an accident.

Phony SSL Certificates Show Flaws in DNS, Comodo CEO Claims – Despite a Comodo Security partner being compromised and attackers issuing valid digital certificates for domains of Google, Microsoft and others, Comodo CEO and Chief Security Architect Melih Abulhayoglu said the problem wasn’t the fraudulent certificates, but that attackers had control of the DNS infrastructure.

Company News:

 

Cisco to acquire newScale – Cisco today announced its intent to acquire privately-held newScale, a provider of software that delivers a service catalog and self-service portal for IT organizations to select and deploy cloud services within their businesses.

Kodak Wins Important Victory in $1 Billion Case Against Apple, RIM – A picture may be worth a 1000 words, but for Eastman Kodak the preview of a picture might be worth $1 billion in a patent battle against Apple and Research in Motion. The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday agreed to review a claim that Apple and RIM devices infringe on a Kodak patent for image previewing.

The New York Times Paywall Goes Live Today – The New York Times online paywall officially goes up Monday around 2 p.m. Eastern. After that you’ll have to pay at least $3.75 per week for unlimited access to the site. The paper is hoping to attract new subscribers by offering the first 4 weeks of any digital-only subscription for 99 cents.

Off Topic (Sort of):

 

More families choose to have funerals webcast – DeShawn Loyd was in a quandary. He was stranded in Florida in the midst of a February snowstorm and had no way to return to his home in Detroit to attend his cousin’s funeral. But thanks to the convenience of technology, he was able to pay his respects. Virtually. (submitted by Michael F.)

10 Ways to Tell You Are Addicted to FaceBook – Facebook is a winner. Just ask the billionaire who created it. It’s easy, it’s fun and all your friends are there. There are game apps, sentimental apps, quiz apps and much more to keep you entertained and occupied. But, how do you know when fun and convenience have crossed over the line to all out addiction? Below are 10 indications that facebook is beginning to take control of your life.

Tablet PCs: Why We Need These Unnecessary Devices – Do you really need a tablet PC for your small business? Probably not, says Brian X. Chen, but people are buying them anyway. Chen speculates on what the appeal is.

Open Text Only Version Of A Webpage In Google Chrome Browser – There are times when you quickly want to go through content in a webpage, in such cases there might be a page which is full of multimedia content, flash animations or ads which makes the page to open slowly on your web browser, it becomes a pain some times when you need to wait for the page to load and render. (submitted by Dar)

Today’s Quote:

 

Never judge a book by its movie.”

-    J. W. Eagan

Today’s Free Downloads:

 

Universal USB Installer – Universal USB Installer uses a live Linux .iso file to create a bootable flash drive. Flash is much faster than optical media, can be easily written to, and is available on all current PCs. The program supports a huge number of Linux variations, including Ubuntu, Debian, and Puppy.

7 Taskbar Tweaker - This programs enables you to tweak your Windows 7 taskbar. Reorder items within a tab group, close, minimize, change application ID and more.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

BufferZone Pro 64 Bit Beta Released

Following the review of BufferZone Pro here earlier this year, a fair number of readers were disappointed to see that a 64 bit version of this free virtualization application from Trustware, was not yet available.

Well here’s some good news – those readers who have been waiting for a 64 bit version of  BufferZone Pro need wait no longer. Trustwareis opening the registration for the BufferZone Pro 4 beta version, which includes support for 64-bit Windows installations, on March 28,2011 (9:00 am PST).

To register for the beta program, or for more information, go here.

From “Free BufferZone Pro – Maybe The Best Surfing Virtualization Application At Any Price”, posted here February 22, 2011 –

Controlling malware intrusion, while surfing the Net, through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment rather than operating in a “real” environment, makes sense given the escalating level of cyber criminal activity on the Internet.

From the developer’s site:

BufferZone Pro keeps you surfing, downloading, e-banking, sharing, chatting, and e-mailing to your heart’s content – basically, using the Internet as it should be used. The Virtual Zone gives you total freedom, peace and security on the Web. With BufferZone Pro, you can do absolutely anything on the Internet threat free.

With BufferZone, all programs or files that enter your computer through downloading, browsing, or uploading with external media devices, are redirected to a Virtual Zone (C:\Virtual). And, since any intrusion attempt occurs within this virtual environment, there’s nothing in that summary that I can disagree with. BufferZone’s Virtual Zone does protect a PC from all forms of known, or unknown, attacks originating from the Internet, or external devices.

It does so in a non intrusive way, and after initial setup, requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user. Installation is hassle free – it’s just a matter of  following the on-screen instructions.

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BufferZone sits in the Taskbar and can be fully controlled from there.

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System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32-bit). 64 bit users now have access to BufferZone 4 Beta available here.

Note: 32 bit users can download stable version 3 here.

As with all beta, or release candidates, take sensible precautions prior to installation. This should include setting a new restore point.

Update: April 25, 2011 – Regular reader Charlie  reports the following:

“When I uninstall it or surf outside of it, I lose all my firefox bookmarks.  Installing returns the bookmarks.  Also, won’t let me keep Chrome bookmarks.I checked the support form, and others had the same problems.  No answers were provided, however.

If you have experienced these conditions, and you have developed a solution – please let us know.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Beta Software, Cyber Crime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Malware Protection, Online Safety, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Virtualization, Windows Tips and Tools