Tag Archives: remote

Remotely Assist Friends and Family with LogMeIn Express Beta

image If you’re the person who’s often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors, ……..the list goes on, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding appropriately, has become loaded with malware, etc., then LogMeIn Express Beta is worth taking a look at. Running this free screen sharing/remote control application is simple – one of the easiest I’ve used.

To get up and running:

The sharer (host), downloads a small 874Kb applet from the LogMeIn Express site.

You (viewer), enter a 12-digit code given to you by the sharer, e.g. email, and then enter the code on the LogMeIn Express website.

That’s it – you now have access to their screen and remote control. To make it even easier, Chat is enabled – no voice support is included in this version.

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Security is built into all aspects of a LogMeIn Express session; the  connection is secured using 256-bit SSL encryption.

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It struck me, that the typical computer user using LogMeIn Express , doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with LogMeIn Express up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes.

A number of my friends, who are only moderately techno competent, have used this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers. Many have commented that it feels just as if they were working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

Fast facts – from the developer’s site:

It’s Simple

Session code generated by the host instantly shares screen with one or many

Small download for the host; no client required for the viewer

Easy-to-use chat capabilities

It’s Secure

End-to-end, 256-bit SSL encryption — the same security levels used and trusted by major banking institutions

Permission based — end user must approve remote control

It’s Free

Express Beta is free for both commercial and non-commercial use

Host requirements:

Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003 & Server 2008 (all including 64-bit)

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Viewer requirements:

Flash Player 9, 10

Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 or Firefox 3 or Chrome 3 or Safari 4

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Go to: LogMeIn Express

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then LogMeIn Express might just be the tool you’ve been looking for. Keep in mind however, that this application is still in Beta.

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Remote Tech Support, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Windows Patch Tuesday – April 2009

Microsoft released 8 security bulletins on Tuesday (April 14, 2009) to fix remote code execution and denial of service vulnerabilities.

windows_generic_v_web We have always recommended, on this site, that users ensure that Windows Automatic Update is enabled as a major step in maximizing operating system security.

It is not an overstatement to say; an unpatched Windows system is an invitation to disaster.

If you have updates enabled, patches will be downloaded routinely. Careful users will verify that patches, have, in fact, been applied.

If Windows Automatic Update is not enabled on your system, then you should logon to the MS update site and download and apply these patches immediately.

Vulnerability issues and the corresponding patches:

MS09-010/KB923561 – Important (XP, 2000, 2003): There are four bugs (two previously disclosed publically, two previously undisclosed) that affect a variety of word processing documents, that can allow remote code execution exploits to occur.

MS09-011/KB961373 – Critical (XP, 2000, 2003): This patch closes a hole that let attackers execute a remote code execution attack through MJPEG files; the bug is in DirectX 8.1 and 9.0x.

MS09-012/KB952004/KB956572 – Important (XP, Vista, 2000, 2003, 2008): This patch resolves four holes in Windows that have already been publically disclosed. The hole allows an attacker who is already logged onto the system to escalate their privileges and take full control of the system.

MS09-013/KB960803 – Critical (XP, Vista, 2000, 2003, 2008): This patch addresses three bugs in the Windows HTTP Services system; one of them allows remote code execution which allows an attacker to completely own a system. This is a “must patch” item for all Windows systems.

MS09-014/KB963027 – Critical (XP, Vista, 2000)/Important (2000, 2003): This is a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer 5, 6, and 7. Some of the fixes address already public bugs, some deal with privately disclosed exploits. You should install this patch immediately. Users with IE8 do not need this patch.

MS09-015/KB959426 – Moderate (XP, Vista, 2003, 2008)/Low (2000): This patch takes care of a problem with the Windows Search Path function that could enable an escalation of privileges.

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Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Don't Get Hacked, Malware Advisories, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

Massive Patch Tuesday – 28 Vulnerabilities Patched

There are currently 28 vulnerabilities in unpatched Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office, that could allow cyber-criminals to launch malicious attacks on your computer.

On Patch Tuesday, December 9, 2008, Microsoft released security patches to address these issues.

Vulnerability issues and the corresponding patches:

MS08-070 (critical; 6 vulnerabilities fixed): This update resolves five privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files (ActiveX Controls), which could allow remote code execution if a user browsed a Web site that contains specially crafted content.

MS08-071 (critical; 2 vulnerabilities fixed): This update resolves two privately reported vulnerability in Windows, which could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted WMF image file.

MS08-072 (critical; 8 vulnerabilities): This update resolves eight privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, which could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) file.

MS08-073 (critical; 4 vulnerabilities fixed): This update resolves four privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, which could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer.

MS08-074 (critical; 3 vulnerabilities): This update resolves three privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, which could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Excel file.

MS08-075 (critical; 2 vulnerabilities): This update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities in Windows, which could allow remote code execution if a user opens and saves a specially crafted saved-search file within Windows Explorer or if a user clicks a specially crafted search URL.

MS08-076 (important; 2 vulnerabilities): This update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities in Windows, which could allow remote code execution.

MS08-077 (important; 1 vulnerability): This update resolves one privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office SharePoint, which could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker bypasses authentication by browsing to an administrative URL on a SharePoint site. A successful attack could result in denial of service or information disclosure.

It is not an overstatement to say; an unpatched Windows system is an invitation to disaster. If you have Windows Update turned on you’re covered, if not, I highly recommend that you download manually immediately.

Updated December 12, 2008:

The details being published about this weeks IE 0-day is incorrect and
insufficient to protect users, read more:
http://secunia.com/blog/38/

The updated Secunia Advisory is available here:
http://secunia.com/advisories/33089/

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Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Malware Advisories, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

Stop Keyloggers in Their Tracks – Free SnoopFree Privacy Shield

Today, the most dangerous and most finely crafted malware, will not generally impact your system resources in such a way as to cause noticeable slow down.

This type of malware is designed to remain undetected and to be as stealthy as possible, so that it can get on with its designated task, which most often results in identity theft and the compromising of your financial data.

One of the most insidious of this type of malware, one I have always taken special care to guard against, is the keylogger.

A keylogger, or system monitor, is a small program (not always malware), that monitors every keystroke a user types on a computer’s keyboard. A keylogger program does not always require physical access to the user’s computer. It can be downloaded, on purpose, by someone who wants to monitor activity on a particular computer, or it can be downloaded unwittingly as spyware, and executed as part of a rootkit or remote administration (RAT) Trojan horse.

A malware keylogger typically consists of two files: a dynamic link library (DLL) file (which does all the recording) and an executable file (.EXE) that installs the DLL file and triggers it to work. The keylogger program records each keystroke and uploads the information over the Internet.

Luckily, there is a remedy for this type of malware threat.

(Click pic for larger)

SnoopFree Privacy Shield is a powerful application that guards your keyboard, screen and open windows from all spy software. It makes it virtually impossible for any spy program to work on your computer; since SnoopFree Privacy Shield’s unique protection works against spy software in real time.

I have been using this application for quite some time, and I have been amazed at the number of programs that have requested access to my keyboard and screen, particularly programs that I was in the process of installing. Since I test a lot of applications, I see this type of program behavior frequently. Unless there are valid reasons for this type of access, I don’t allow it. Surprisingly, in most cases the application installs correctly. Curious!

If you’re serious about privacy, then this free application is a must have addition to your security toolbox.

System Requirements: Unfortunately, this application works on Windows XP only.

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under Anti-Keyloggers, Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Online Safety, PC Monitoring Application and Key Loggers, Privacy, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Surveillance, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Download Free Crossloop – Be a Tech Hero for Family/Friends/Customers

Are you, like me, the tech support guru/IT department for your friends, family, and perhaps even the neighborhood?

I’m often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors ………. the list goes on endlessly, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding properly, has become loaded with malware, or in some instances, has been taken over by a hacker.

Earlier this year, I was called upon in just such a situation, which is when I discovered CrossLoop; a free remote desktop application with a simple and distinctly user friendly interface, which CNET’s Download.com has recognized as one of The 10 Best Downloads of 2007.

After spending some time viewing an excellent introductory video on CrossLoop, available on YouTube, it was easy for me to see that this neat little application had all sorts of possibilities.

It struck me right away that the typical computer user using CrossLoop, doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with CrossLoop up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes. Even some of my friends, who are moderately techno competent, are now using this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers.

The individual needing assistance installs CrossLoop and runs the main application, then goes to share, and provides the access code to you. You then enter the 12-digit access code, click the connect button, and on connection the CrossLoop server does all of the behind- the- scenes work.

CrossLoop enables you to see the screen, and control the mouse and keyboard on the remote computer. Many users have commented that it feels just as if you are working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

If you need to transfer files during your session, you’ll find that it’s a snap. What could be easier than using drag and drop to copy a file or folder onto a dialog box?

Security is built into all aspects of a CrossLoop session. Data is encrypted at the end-points before being transmitted using a 128-bit encryption algorithm made up of a randomly generated 12-digit access code.

The CrossLoop help page is one of the most complete I have seen. It provides a step by step text and pictorial guide to the process, so that even newbie support techs should have no problem looking like a pro.

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then CrossLoop is the must-have tool for the job. It’s a powerful productivity tool that enables you to quickly collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world.

CrossLoop Quick Facts:

Connect Any Two PCs

Available in 21 Languages

File Transfer Capability

Switch control to make collaboration easier

View Only and Share Control modes

Download the latest version at: Download.com

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Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Peer to Peer, Remote Tech Support, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CrossLoop – Be the PC Tech Guru for Family/Friends

Are you, like me, the tech support guru/IT department for your friends, family, and perhaps even the neighborhood?

I’m often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors ………. the list goes on endlessly, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding properly, has become loaded with malware, or in some instances, has been taken over by a hacker.

Earlier this year, I was called upon in just such a situation, which is when I discovered CrossLoop; a free remote desktop application with a simple and distinctly user friendly interface, which CNET’s Download.com has recognized as one of The 10 Best Downloads of 2007.

After spending some time viewing an excellent introductory video on CrossLoop, available on YouTube, it was easy for me to see that this neat little application had all sorts of possibilities.

It struck me right away that the typical computer user using CrossLoop, doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with CrossLoop up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes. Even some of my friends, who are moderately techno competent, are now using this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers.

The individual needing assistance installs CrossLoop and runs the main application, then goes to share, and provides the access code to you. You then enter the 12-digit access code, click the connect button, and on connection the CrossLoop server does all of the behind- the- scenes work.

CrossLoop enables you to see the screen, and control the mouse and keyboard on the remote computer. Many users have commented that it feels just as if you are working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

If you need to transfer files during your session, you’ll find that it’s a snap. What could be easier than using drag and drop to copy a file or folder onto a dialog box?

Security is built into all aspects of a CrossLoop session. Data is encrypted at the end-points before being transmitted using a 128-bit encryption algorithm made up of a randomly generated 12-digit access code.

The CrossLoop help page is one of the most complete I have seen. It provides a step by step text and pictorial guide to the process, so that even newbie support techs should have no problem looking like a pro.

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then CrossLoop is the must-have tool for the job. It’s a powerful productivity tool that enables you to quickly collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world.

CrossLoop Quick Facts:

Connect Any Two PCs

Available in 21 Languages

File Transfer Capability

Switch control to make collaboration easier

View Only and Share Control modes

Download the latest version at: Download.com

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Filed under Diagnostic Software, Easy Computer Networking, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Peer to Peer, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Port Analyzers – Defeat Spyware/Botware


Windows XP has a command line utility which will help you determine if you have Spyware/Botware running on your system. Netstat displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections.

I use this utility as a test, to ensure that the anti-malware tools and Firewall running on my systems are functioning correctly, and that there are no open outgoing connections to the Internet that I am not aware of.

How to use Netstat:

You should close all open programs before you begin the following process, if you are unsure which ports/connections are normally open while you are connected to the Internet. On the other hand, if you are familiar with the ports/connections that are normally open, there is no need to close programs.

There are a number of methods that will take you to a command prompt, but the following works well.

Click Start>Run>type “cmd” – without the quotes>click OK> this will open a command box.

From the command prompt, type Netstat –a (be sure to leave a space), to display all connections and listening ports.

You can obtain additional information by using the following switches.

Type netstat -r to display the contents of the IP routing table and any persistent routes.

The -n switch tells Netstat not to convert addresses and port numbers to names, which speeds up execution.

The netstat -s option shows all protocol statistics.

The netstat-p option can be used to show statistics for a specific protocol or together with the -s option to show connections only for the protocol specified.

The -e switch displays interface statistics.

Running Netstat occasionally is a prudent move, since it allows you to double check which applications are connecting to the Internet.

If you find there are application connections to the Internet, or open ports, that you are unfamiliar with, a Google search should provide answers. A very good source of information is Steve Gibson’s website, Shields Up, where you can test all the ports on your machine, as well as testing the efficiency of your Firewall. Take the Firewall test; you may be surprised at the results!

If you are unfamiliar with, or uncomfortable with using the command structure, there are a number of free real-time port analyzers available for download.

Process and Port Analyzer is a real time process, port and network connections analyzer which will allow you to find which processes are using which ports. A good little utility that does what it says it will do.

Quick Facts:

· View currently running processes along with the full path and file which started it

· View the active TCP Listeners and the processes using them

· View the active TCP and UDP connections along with Process ID

· Double click on a process to view the list of DLL’s

Download at: Download.com

CurrPorts allows you to view a list of ports that are currently in use, and the application that is using it. You can close a selected connection and also terminate the process using it. As well, you can export all, or selected items to an HTML or text report. Additional information includes the local port name, local/remote IP address, highlighted status changes and more.

Quick Facts:

· View current active ports and there starting applications

· Close selected connections and processes

· Save a text/ HTML report

· Info on local port name, local/remote IP address, highlighted status changes

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Diagnostic Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Internet Safety Tools, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools