Category Archives: security

Using Computer Clock Skew to Crack Anonymity Networks

At the recent Chaos Communications Congress, Steven J. Murdoch, a researcher in the security group at the University of Cambridge, discussed how clock skew can be used to facilitate a digital attack against anonymity networks. Clock skew, the tendency for a computer’s clock to become less precise when heated, can reduce the efficacy of anonymizers, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Tor network.


Virtual Offices: How to Make Them Work for Your Company

Creating a geographically-flexible workspace* has always been my dream. It took me ten years from the time that I first added this goal to my business plan to finally implement it. Since April 1, 2000, I have been working from a home office, a suite of 1,400 square feet that includes a private conference and reading room, office space, and a work room with a long bench upon which I can repair computers and assemble books. I even have my own kitchen and lavatory. If my refrigerator were a little larger, I could comfortably live here!

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


System Performance: To Install or Not to Install

As a rule of thumb, installing and uninstalling software applications does slow down a Microsoft Windows system, because the system registry becomes more complex. However, some utility products carry a low system footprint, and I judge, offer specific value that cannot be obtained through the applications included with Microsoft Windows, thereby outweighing a minor reduction in system performance.

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


Norton Ghost Easily Backs up Microsoft Windows Partitions

I keep each of my systems backed up using Norton Ghost. I duplicate the Norton Ghost backup images on the server, a portable hard disk, and DVD. With Norton Ghost, I can easily restore my primary Microsoft Windows partition (C: drive), in the event of any problem. I have never had to rebuild a primary partition since I began using Norton Ghost, about 12 years ago. It has saved my hide countless times!


What is a Fully-Secured Computer?

The only fully-secured computer is one that is turned off. It is impossible to guarantee total security, especially once a computer is connected to a network, including the Internet. The best for which an IT manager (or an individual user) may hope is that the installed antivirus, antispam, and firewall applications are stronger than the attacks the computer receives.

Listen to the podcast at Internet Archive.


Cellphone Users Beware: We Know Where You Are

Do you carry a cellphone? Do you know that your cellular service provider knows where your phone is? By extension, if you carry your phone with you, your cellular service provider knows where you are. Cellular phones can be located, accurate to within about 300 yards, whenever they are turned on. Since most cellular phone users keep their phones on and with them most of the time, it is quite probable that their ongoing whereabouts are being automatically tracked.


Sony CD Security Fix Leaves Users Unsecured

Sony BMG Music Entertainment attempted to protect some of its music CDs from digital piracy by automatically installing copy protection software on the computers of users who attempted to play the music CDs on their computers. The security tool is a system root kit, and it restricts copying of the music on the CD. In response to a widespread outcry from consumers and security experts, Sony BMG Music Entertainment created a downloadable patch that will disable the root kit security program; however, the patch leaves the affected computer open to anyone’s downloading software to the computer.


Sprechen Sie Google?

A new worm, named P2Load.A, is in the wild. Once infected, users of Google’s search engine are redirected to a spoofed site in Germany that looks just like the powerhouse search engine’s main page. Spoofed search results include new, top-of-list links to advertisers who are not a member of Google’s desired advertiser list.


Google That Blog

Google, Inc., the search engine (and everything else) company has released a beta version of a blog search site that offers similar features to its most-popular web search engine. The new search engine scans blogs, the popular online journals that offer both professional journalists and citizen pundits simple access to online publication. Google Blog Search should give a bit of much-wanted visibility and authority to the burgeoning blogosphere.