SWI Community News - March 2008
Posted 27 February 2008 - 06:55 AM
Welcome to the 1st Edition of Volume 2 of the SWI Community News!! We continue to be erratic in when we publish, but here we are. As always, if you enjoy it or find it useful, please let us know. This edition includes two articles and they are both a bit different than what we have had previously. Again, if there are other topics you would like us to talk about, please let us know by starting a topic in this forum. I hope you enjoy our efforts this month.
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Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...
MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004
Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"
Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:39 AM
Below are numerous examples of how the Internet is being used or blocked by governments to influence others, attack dissidents and political opponents or used by hackers for political purposes.
"A hacker going by the name of Kebo hacked into a UK website and replaced notices publicising the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra with slogans denouncing the Kosovan elite. Visitors were diverted to a Russian-language website devoted to returning Kosovo to Serbian rule."
"An outspoken Saudi blogger is being held for ďpurposes of interrogation,Ē the Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, an Interior Ministry spokesman reached by telephone, said the blogger, "
"A Web site in the southern Russian region of Ingushetia blamed local authorities on Thursday of attempting to shut it down after it organized protests and posted details of kidnaps and murders. Ingushetiya.ru was one of the only sources of information that was critical of authorities from the mostly Muslim region bordering Chechnya."
"Software designed specifically to aid Muslim terrorists hide their identities and location while online has been released in an updated version, according to security analyst Paul Henry of Secure Computing."
"An ethnic Russian has become the first person convicted for involvement in a "cyber-war" on Estonia last year amid unrest during the removal of a Soviet-era war memorial, prosecutors said. Galushkevich, 20, was fined 17 500 kroons (about R11 400) for piloting the attack between April 25 and May 4 which blocked the website of the Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip."
"An aggressive, non-stop campaign by China to penetrate key government and industry databases in the United States already has succeeded and the United States urgently needs to monitor all internet traffic to critical government and private-sector networks "to find the enemy within," SANS Institute Director of Research Alan Paller told SCMagazineUS.com. Disturbingly, the Chinese have succeeded, said Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute, a computer security center. ďThey are already in and we have to find them.Ē The hackers, he noted, are likely working for the Peopleís Liberation Army."
"When Reporters Without Borders came out with a report on how China censors the internet, China ordered that the report be censored. Of course, to do that, China's censors issued a list of targeted keywords to various ISPs, and that list made its way back to Reporters Without Borders, who have published it."
"A Malaysian government minister said opposition parties were using blogs to get their message out because they believed the Home Affairs Ministry was busy monitoring reports in the mainstream media. Opposition parties have resorted to blogs, SMS messaging and YouTube in their campaign for the March 8 polls, to dodge a virtual blackout on mainstream media."
"On 24 Feb, YouTube became unreachable from most, if not all, of the Internet. Pakistan Telecom routed the address block that YouTube's servers are into a "black hole" as a simple measure to filter access to the service because the Pakistan government had just instituted a ban on the popular video sharing site. However, this routing information escaped from Pakistan Telecom to its ISP PCCW in Hong Kong, which propagated the route to the rest of the world. So any packets for YouTube would end up in Pakistan Telecom's black hole instead."
"More than a 1,000 Danish websites have been infiltrated following a new controversy over the publication of a cartoon that insults Islam. The hacker, calling himself United Arab Hackers and reportedly from Saudi Arabia, inundated online forums with exploits and links to infiltrated Danish sites."
"Yahoo faces another lawsuit over its actions in China. Several Chinese men are suing the company and its Hong Kong subsidiary claiming they were harmed because of Yahoo's cooperation with the Chinese government. The lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Oakland, Calif., alleges that Yahoo provided information to the Chinese authorities that led to the 2003 arrest of Li Zhi, who has served about half of an eight-year sentence. However, Li is not named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Plaintiff Zheng Cunzhu alleges that when the arrest came to light in 2006, he was living in the U.S. at the time and lost his property in China when he did not return for fear of getting arrested for his pro-democracy activities, the lawsuit alleges."
"Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang is asking U.S. officials to secure the release of political dissidents jailed for using the Internet to share information about life in China. Several of the dissidents were imprisoned with 10-year sentences after Yahoo provided to the Chinese government evidence from the mens' Yahoo accounts."
"A former Chinese university professor who was dismissed after he founded a democratic opposition party, plans to sue Yahoo and Google in the United States for blocking his name from search results in China."
"James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a blogging resident of Beijing's Chaoyang District, has written a good outline of how China's online filtering apparatus works: "The Connection Has Been Reset.""
"As Beijing prepares for the Olympics and the attending flood of foreigners, many of them reporters, expected to arrive this summer, the government's controls over the Internet have become increasingly sophisticated. But would the Olympic organizers really be OK with dozens of stories about reporters and athletes unable to reach Wikipedia and BBC?"
These and other articles on China can be found here:
Too many articles to even try listing are available at the Reporters Without Borders site:
Free Tools for Fighting Malware
Anti-Virus: avast! Free Antivirus / Avira Free AntiVirus
OnLine Anti-Virus: ESET / BitDefender / F-Secure
Anti-Malware: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware / Dr.Web CureIt
Spyware/Adware Tools: MVPS HOSTS File / SpywareBlaster
Firewall: Comodo Firewall Free / Privatefirewall
Tutorials: How did I get Infected? / Internet Explorer Privacy & Security Settings
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MS MVP 2009-20010 and ASAP Member since 2005
Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:10 PM
Once again, Iíve been scouring the web to bring you good freeware programs. Thereís a slight difference this month though, as Iíve had a little help from my friends this time. ipl_001 has very kindly written an excellent review of Bullzip PDF Printer and I reviewed one of daveydoomís suggestions, Karen's Directory Printer. So thanks to both!! Please feel free to submit your own reviews and suggestions to me.
As always, these reviews are my own personal choice, are not endorsed by SWI and I receive no financial incentives to feature them.
So, without further ado:
Bullzip Free PDF Printer
Company: BullZip.com ( http://www.bullzip.com/about.php ); several good products including a commercial "Custom PDF Printer".
Product Description: PDF Printer ( http://www.bullzip.c...ts/pdf/info.php )
The BullZip PDF Printer works as a Microsoft Windows printer and allows you to write PDF documents from virtually any Microsoft Windows application.
This program is FREEWARE which means that it is FREE for personal and commercial use. It does not contain any advertising or popups (Really!).
Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/XP x64/2003/2003 x64/Vista/Vista x64/2008.
Password protect PDF documents
128/40 bit encryption
Watermark text, size, rotation and transparency
Citrix MetaFrame, Windows Terminal Server
... sorry to be so talkative! See key features -> http://www.bullzip.c...ts/pdf/info.php
Download PDF Printer 188.8.131.525: http://www.bullzip.c...r_4_0_0_545.zip (3.7 MB)
A very modern program with its first release on November 2005 with many improvements and translations since then!
Very light and easy to use: just print and ask for "Bullzip PDF printer" -- done!
To read PDF files, Adobe Reader 8.1.2 (22.4 MB) can be downloaded from http://www.adobe.com...l?promoid=BUIFZ
Take a look at the settings: menu Edit / Preferences / Trust Manager / Change Settings / choose the radio-button "Allow all web sites" / OK then OK to validate
If you have issues regarding settings such as: greyed out "Change Settings", see the following paragraph.
If you have issues with Adobe Reader settings, especially if you used Adobe Reader Speedup by Joseph Cox as described in the December 2007's Newsletter ->
Adobe Reader Speedup disables useless modules from Adobe Reader but disables a bit too much here.
To be able to click the hyperlinks in a PDF document using Adobe Reader 8...
* You must have the plugin named WEBLINK.API appearing in the folder C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\plug-ins
* If it is missing, look in the folder C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\optional and copy WEBLINK.API into the plug-ins folder
* In Adobe Reader: Edit / Preferences / Trust Manager / check Allow External Content
* In the section named "Internet Access for PDF files outside the web browser", there is a button named "Change Settings" which may or may not be clickable. If you can click it, choose "Allow all web sites".
If you click it and nothing happens, first click on a hyperlink in a PDF document and you will receive a dialogue box asking you to allow or deny the hyperlink >choose "Allow"< and then the "Change Settings" button will become active.
Thanks ipl_001 for a great review. Iíve tried this program and decided to keep it. Itís a good one, especially if you do a lot of .pdf based work.
Ok, on to the next review:
Directory Printer v5.2.5
by Karen Kenworthy
As it says on the page:
"No more fumbling with My Computer or Windows Explorer, wishing you could print information about all your files. Karen's Directory Printer can print the name of every file on a drive, along with the file's size, date and time of last modification, and attributes (Read-Only, Hidden, System and Archive)! And now, the list of files can be sorted by name, size, date created, date last modified, or date of last access."
It also does the same for folders, plus you can save the info to disk as well as print it. It has many other features and an easy to use GUI. Itís a nice tool and beats using Windows Search options to get file information.
And while youíre there, check out the other free power tools too:
Iím particularly fond of Alarm Clock
"Turn your $2,000 computer into a $20 alarm clock"
Now that's my kind of program!
Iím sure a lot of you will have heard of this program. If you havenít, in my opinion itís the best free Dictionary + Thesaurus + Word Finder around. Itís compatible with Windows 98/2000/Me/XP/Vista and works on or off-line. It runs from the system tray and has a simple hotkey function Ė highlight the word youíre investigating and hit Cntrl + Alt + W to open WordWeb. It works with almost any program and it gives you:
Definitions and synonyms
as well as single-click access to external references. Iíve used WordWeb for several years now and have found it invaluable.
OK, thatís all for this edition, more next time, and please keep those suggestions coming in.
My help is free, but if you wish to help keep these forums running please consider a donation, see This Topic for details.