Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

Avoiding the Copyright Alert System

Buy VPNThe “Copyright Alert System,” aka “six strikes,” is here. There is no changing that fact. The cable companies are watching everything you download and every site you browse. Our privacy on the internet is gone. The internet providers are watching torrent sites and bittorrent swarms. Trying to catch any illegal downloaders of mp3, music, movies or anything else they decide is wrong.  They are not just watching peer to peer programs, they are watching everything.

We need a way to protect ourselves on the internet. I have found a great service that takes care of everything. It is called Private Internet Access. This company supplies you with an anonymous VPN tunnel to protect your privacy. Private Internet Access does not keep VPN logs, so even if your internet provider requests customer information there is nothing for them to provide.
They provide:

  • IP CLOAKING
  • ENCRYPTION
  • FIREWALL
  • IDENTITY PROTECTION
  • UNCENSORED ACCESS

You get all of this for $39.95 for the Whole Year!

Not only that, but they have servers around the world. So if you need to download anything you can route your connections though countries that have more relaxed copyright laws. You can also watch the BBC, or if your outside the united states, you can watch your favorite team at home. They provide access through:

  • Gigabit
  • US – East
  • US – Midwest
  • US – West
  • US – Texas
  • US – Denver
  • US – California
  • US – Seattle
  • US – Florida
  • Canada
  • Canada (Toronto)
  • UK (London)
  • UK (Southampton)
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Germany
  • Romania

You can set up the VPN access on just about anything and they have great how tos on their site. Supported platforms include:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP/2k3
  • Windows NT/2k
  • Mac OS X 10.8
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • Mac OS X 10.4
  • UNIX/Linux
  • iPad PPTP
  • iPad IPSEC/L2TP
  • iPhone/iTouch PPTP
  • iPhone/iTouch IPSEC/L2TP
  • Android PPTP (2.3.4)
  • Android IPSEC/L2TP
  • Android OpenVPN (root)
  • DD-WRT PPTP
  • DD-WRT OpenVPN
  • Tomato OpenVPN
  • PfSense OpenVPN

This can also protect you when doing your banking or private business while on un-trusted networks. Do not trust your internet providers to protect you, this is something you must do for yourself.

Bypass Firewalls with Android SSH Tunneling

Buy VPN
 

 

Why would you need a SSH Tunnel? You may want to get around a firewall or just encrypt your communications so prying eyes can not see what you are doing online.  On Linux/Unix system you can tunnel all of the traffic from your local box to a remote box that you have a shell account on. You can do the same with Android, and here is how:

First you will need to download some software from the Android Market. The following are FREE apps.

SSH Tunnel This will build the tunnel for your browser to use.

 

Firefox, a good browser with an easy tunneling add on.

 

Proxy Mobile Add On

 

 

Install all three.

Then you will need a SSH account somewhere. There are a lot of free SSH services out there. Send me an email at brad@crackednoodle.com if you want to hear my favorite, or run a google search and I am sure you will find a couple. Make sure they support SSH Tunneling. Sign up and get a user name and password. You can also use your own SSH server if you have one.

Now open up your  SSH Tunnel program on your Android device. and put in your credentials. Hostname, Username, Passowrd, click on the Use SOCKS Proxy click box and make  note  of the port. It was 1984 for me. Activate the SSH Tunnel by clicking on the Tunnel Switch Check box  (tunnel has to be activated every time you use it).

Next open the Firefox browser and go to the Add Ons in options. Open the options for Proxy Mobile. Set Use Proxy, set SOCKS proxy to 127.0.0.1 and SOCKS port to 1984 (or the port you used on SSH Tunnel).

Your Tunnel should now be working! Enjoy and use wisely.

How to Video:

Fedora 16 Tips and Tricks

Here is the next installment of  Tips and Tricks, this time for the new Fedora 16. The new Auto Plus from dnmouse.org makes adding all the things that the developers left out of Fedora 16.  The team at dnmouse.org has done a great job for all of us fedora users. For everything else I will show you how to add the software you need.

Get up to date

First I like to make sure I have all my packages up to date.

su -c 'yum update'

This will make sure you are up to date and ready to install all the other software.

Add some new Repos.

su -c 'rpm -Uvh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release.rpm'

Install Auto Plus

(If you wish to use autoplus on rawahide/f16 then you must install the rpmfusion rawhide repo first, also vbox and dropbox wont work as there is no f16 repo’s yet)

su -c 'yum -y --nogpgcheck install http://dnmouse.org/autoplus-1.2-5.noarch.rpm'

Now just open Auto Plus which should be listed under System Tools and start installing your software.


Make sure to install all the codecs! The Skype installed failed for me.

Skype

You need to install some x86 libraries for skype to work on X64 (catch up skype!)

su -c 'yum install libXScrnSaver.i?86 libX11.i?86 libv4l.i?86 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i?86 qt-x11.i?86 libXv.i?86'

Now go to the Skype site and download Skype RPM and install it.

http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/on-your-computer/linux/downloading.fedora

Yumex

Of course install Yumex one of my favorites.

yum install yumex

Open Terminal for Nautilus

This allows you to open a terminal window, with a right button click, in a directory in  the Nautilus file browser.

su -c 'yum install nautilus-open-terminal nautilus-extensions'

Shutdown from the Desktop

I like to do a shutdown right from the desktop. Here is how to add this to Gnome.

su -c 'yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu'

Then just log out and log back in, then you have the menu below.

 

Add the Date to your Clock

Really simple. Type this in a command line:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.clock show-date true

 

MakeMKV

MakeMKV is your one-click solution to convert video that you own into free and patents-unencumbered format that can be played everywhere. MakeMKV is a format converter, otherwise called “transcoder”. It converts the video clips from proprietary (and usually encrypted) disc into a set of MKV files, preserving most information but not changing it in any way.

Here is the install process for Fedora. Then do your MP4s with Handbrake.

Handbrake

There is no Fedora 16 version of Handbrake on their site yet but the Fedora 15 seems to work.

http://handbrake.fr/rotation.php?file=HandBrake-0.9.5-1-Fedora15_GUI_i686.rpm (32-bit version)

http://handbrake.fr/rotation.php?file=HandBrake-0.9.5-1-Fedora15_GUI_x86_64.rpm (64-bit version)

 

 

Then you have it!

 

Enjoy,

Linux Online Backups

First I would like to start by saying all of the below systems offer data encryption and redundant servers to make sure your data is safe. They offer good pricing and have comparable up-time guarantees. I have tried these systems out either by using them in my businesses or by playing with them to find out which one is the right one for me.  All pricing was at the time of writing this article.


JungleDisk – I have used this service with a few of my customers. JungleDisk sets up easily on a Gnome or KDE desktop. I have run multiple installs on Cent OS systems. The system supports Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud Files storage. JungleDisk supports full encryption and will restart running processes if shutdown during backup or if a crash occurs. JungleDisk archives old and deleted files for later retrieval, and relies on multiple data centers to keep your files safe.  After the initial set up costs  which was around $50 the service is costing about $8.50 a month for one of my customers to back up about 50 gigs of data. Really a pretty good deal. Since I set the system up 2 years ago I have never had to make changes to the backup. I did have to restore about 100meg of files and that was very easy to do through the desktop application.

Memopal is based out of Rome, but they offer a cross platform software client for Windows, Mac, Linux and IPhone. You can install the software on more than one computer. They offer web and mobile access to your data and have a search feature so it is easy to find the file you are looking for. Selecting files for backup is easy and they even offer the option to backup your entire system. Personal plans start at $49.00 / year for 200GB. They do use a GUI and the Linux system is still listed as a Beta. The support is email based and they promise a response in 24 hours. Good value but a little vague in the Linux support.

 

DataStorageUnit is a relatively new player in the online storage world but they have a lot to offer the Linux world.  DataStorageUnit is an offsite backup service that allows for lots of flexibility.  It supports open protocols such as SFTPRSYNC, & SSHFS … so you can choose to use our included partner software, or any other apps that support those protocols.  Because you can use SSH and RSYNC DataStorageUnit is a very flexible solution. With a little script writing you can customize any backup scheme you wish. Great for command line only systems and headless servers.

One of the great things about DataStorageUnit is that you can back up as many machines as you need, as long as you stay within your data limits. The pricing is one of the best I have found, 100GB of storage for $50 a year. As far as support, I emailed a couple questions to the site and got a reply in minutes from the OWNER.

 

There are many more out there and I am sure I missed many of the online backup systems.

 

Let me know your favorite backup system for Linux.

 

Enjoy,

 

Build a Hacking Kit Cheap

There are a lot of tools I carry in my bag. They help me do a lot of tasks from rescuing data off of a crashed computer to getting into that server that you forgot the password to. Here is a list of them and what they can be used for.

Get yourself a good bootable Linux distro. First get yourself a 4 gig USB drive, then download a good disto like Backtrack 4 and install in on your USB drive (here is an easy how to). With this you can boot to Backtrack 4 and have a fully functional computer with all the tools you need to repair or crack a system. You will also be able to mount the drives on the system and look around as needed, or recover lost data.


Now in the event the computer has totally died, you still need to access the hard drive inside of the computer. I found a handy little tool to connect to the drive no matter the condition of the machine. This connects right to the drive and uses its own power source. then you just plug the USB into your laptop andcopy the data you want.

Once you have access to the system or hard drive you may need somewhere to copy data for storage during repair or just to take the data with you. For this you may want to use a removable or external  hard drive. These can be had cheap and are nice to have in your bag if you need to grab some data and go. I would try to get a Hard drive at least 500gig, the smaller the better.

More than once I have found a server with no keyboard or mouse. So I always carry those with me. I carry a flexible keyboard, they suck to type on but will save your butt in a pinch. I also carry a cheap USB mouse. Make it a cheap one that you don’t mind forgetting

Tool List with Prices:

For Just over $100 you could have all the tools you need to have access to most of the systems you come in contact with.

Enjoy,

How to Clear your Flash Cache

If you use your computer for web browsing and for watching Flash content. There is a good chance you have a lot of flash information cached on your machine. This can cause you not to see updates on flash enabled sites. Just cleaning out your web cache is not enough, your Flash Media Cache can still have information in it. Here is how to clean out your Flash Cache:

Point your browser to:
http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html

You should see a screen like this:

Now click on the site you want to want to clean up and click on Delete Website, or you can just click on Delete all sites.

You are all set to get the new version of the flash video or flash game you were looking for.

Thanks to the team at BlindValet.com for the tip.

Enjoy,

Keeping Your Family Safe Online

OpenDNS homeKeeping your family safe online can be a hard. There are some great tools out there, but you need one that is easy to use and cost effective

A great solution is OpenDNS. I have been using OpenDNS in my home for the last 2 years. It is easy to set up and works on your whole network and best of all it is free. OpenDNS has Award-winning OpenDNS Parental Controls that divides the Internet’s content into more than 50 categories. Simply choose your desired filtering level, from “High” to “Minimal,” and check a box. Your filtering preferences take effect in just minutes. Further customize your preferences by adding additional categories like “Social Networking,” “Hate” and “Gambling,” or individual Web sites like MySpace.com that are problematic or unsafe for your household. Also since using OpenDNS my computers have been virtual free of spyware!

What is DNS?

Networked computers use IP addresses to locate and connect to each other, but IP addresses can be difficult for people to remember. For example, on the web, it’s much easier to remember the domain name www.amazon.com than it is to remember its corresponding IP address (207.171.166.48). DNS allows you to connect to another networked computer or remote service by using its user-friendly domain name rather than its numerical IP address. Conversely, Reverse DNS (rDNS) translates an IP address into a domain name.

Open DNS Features:

Parental Controls

Keeping your family safe online has never been easier. OpenDNS gives you more than 50 filtering categories to choose from. Simply check the boxes of the categories you want to block and watch your filtering take effect within minutes.

Faster, More Reliable Internet
Rid your household of annoying, intermittent Internet outages. Switch to OpenDNS and immediately notice a faster, more reliable Internet experience. Join the millions who’ve already unbundled their DNS service from their ISP’s Internet connection.

Phishing Protection and Security
Take the guesswork out of identifying phishing Web sites with OpenDNS’s industry-leading anti-phishing service. We’ll tell you when the site you’re trying to visit is fraudulent.

OpenDNS Guide
Search results get you back on track when you mistype a URL or try to visit a site that’s down. Our smart “did you mean?” spelling suggestions help point you in the right direction, instead of showing you a hard-to-understand error page.

Shortcuts
Map short and easy-to-remember terms to your favorite Web sites with OpenDNS Shortcuts. Set up personal Shortcuts that work just for you, or Network Shortcuts that work for everyone in your household.

Customization
Add your favorite image and a custom message to the OpenDNS Guide and blocked pages to personalize the feel of OpenDNS for your household. Use different messages for different pages.

Remember I said it was easy to set up? Here are the directions in a few Quick Steps:

  1. Create a free account, and confirm the email address.
  2. Go to the Settings tab.
  3. Add a network using your current IP address (displayed on the page).
  4. Click your new networks’s IP address to access its settings.
  5. Click “Advanced Settings” on the left.
  6. Check the box to “Enable dynamic IP update.” Be sure to apply your settings at the bottom of the page.
  7. Learn how to keep your address updated. If you don’t keep the IP updated, your preferences will not be applied, and your statistics will not be collected — though you will still be using OpenDNS

Here is the free software to keep you IP address updated.

Take a look at the easy how to videos from Open DNS

How to videos http://www.opendns.com/support/videos

Awards & Recognitions

see more awards…

Hope this helps to keep your family safe and virus free.

Enjoy,

Removal of Antivirus 2010

Antivirus 2010 is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Antivirus 2008 and Antivirus 2009. Like its previous incarnations, Antivirus 2010 is advertised through the use of advertisements on the Web pretending to be online anti-malware scanners. These advertisements pretend to scan your computer and then state that your computer is infected and that you should download and install Antivirus 2010 to remove these infections. These rogues are also known to be advertised and installed through Trojans that display fake security alerts in your Windows taskbar stating you are infected. Once you click on one of these alerts, it will bring you to the download page for Antivirus 2010, or even download and install it without your permission.

Once Antivirus 2010 is installed on your computer, it will be automatically configured to run when you logon to Windows. This is done by adding a startup that launches the C:\Windows\System32\wingamma.exe executable. This executable will then launch the AV2010.exe and the fake Windows Security Center. Once running, it will scan your computer and list a variety of infections that cannot be removed unless you first purchase the software. This infection will also randomly display fake security alerts on your computer stating that you are infected or have some sort of security risk. If you click on these alerts, it will prompt you to purchase the software. These fake alerts, along with a fake Windows Security Center that advertises Antivirus 2010, are used to further scare you into thinking you are infected so you purchase the software.

Another new addition to these types of rogues is the creation of a fake Blue Screen of Death. At random intervals, Antivirus 2010 will create what appears to be a Windows crash, but in reality is just a fake screen. These fake crashes are used to further persuade you into purchasing the software. If you receive this crash, you can simply reboot your computer , or try pressing Alt-Tab or Control-Alt-Delete to get out of it. The text of the crash is:

***STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x0000000, 0xF73120AE, 0xC0000008, 0xC000000)

A spyware application has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer


SPYWARE.MONSTER.FX_WILD_0x0000000

If this is the first time you’ve seen this Stop error screen, restart you [sic] computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:


Click to make sure your antivirus software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask you software manufacturer for any antivirus updates you might need.

Windows detected unregistered version of Antivirus 2010 protection on your computer. If problem continue, please activate your antivirus software to prevent computer damage and data loss.

*** SRV.sys – Address F73120AE base at C0000000, DateStamp 36b072a3


How to remove Antivirus 2010 (Uninstall Instructions)

What this programs does:

Threat Classification:

Information on Rogue Programs & Scareware

Tools Needed for this fix:

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O2 – BHO: IEDefenderBHO – {FC8A493F-D236-4653-9A03-2BF4FD94F643} – C:\Windows\System32\IEDefender.dll

O4 – HKLM\..\Run: [Windows Gamma Display] C:\Windows\System32\wingamma.exe /adjustment

Automated Removal Instructions for Antivirus 2010 using Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware:

Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

Download Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from the following location and save it to your desktop:

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware Download Link

Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button.

MBAM will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program before performing a scan. As MBAM will automatically update itself after the install, you can press the OK button to close that box and you will now be at the main program as shown below.

On the Scanner tab, make sure the the Perform full scan option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Antivirus 2010 related files.

MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan. When MBAM is scanning it will look like the image below.

When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image below.

You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the Antivirus2010 removal process.

You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown as seen in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.

You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad window.

You can now exit the MBAM program.

Your computer should now be free of the Antivirus2010 program. While this version is free, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future. There is no harm in paying for good software.

Associated Antivirus 2010 Files:

c:\Program Files\AV2010

c:\Program Files\AV2010\AV2010.exe

c:\Program Files\AV2010\svchost.exe

c:\WINDOWS\system32\IEDefender.dll

c:\WINDOWS\system32\wingamma.exe

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\AV2010.lnk

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\AV2010

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\AV2010\AV2010.lnk

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\AV2010\Uninstall.lnk

Associated Antivirus 2010 Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AV2010

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{3C40236D-990B-443C-90E8-B1C07BCD4A68}

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\IEDefender.DLL

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{FC8A493F-D236-4653-9A03-2BF4FD94F643}

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\IEDefender.IEDefenderBHO

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\IEDefender.IEDefenderBHO.1

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{7BC7565C-5062-43CE-8797-DC2C271140A9}

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{705FD64B-2B7B-4856-9337-44CA1DA86849}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{FC8A493F-D236-4653-9A03-2BF4FD94F643}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\0012

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\0013

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\0014

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Windows Gamma Display”

Remember Linux does not get Viruses.

Get Adobe Flash player