Archive for June, 2005

PC Maintenance Tip – Check the drive before a defrag

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

It's always wise to carry out a scandisk (called chkdsk) on your drives before carrying out a defrag process. Doing this eliminates any problem that might be present on the drive that might cause data loss when you carry out a defrag.

This process might take a long time - disable all screensavers and don't try to work with the PC while it is in progress - this just slows things down!

Windows 2000/XP

  1. Double click My Computer (or open Windows Explorer)
  2. Right click a hard drive you want to check
  3. Click Properties
  4. Click the Tools tab and click Check now to check the drive for errors
  5. Check both checkbox options to get a thorough scan
  6. The computer will need to restart in order to run the system check

Windows 95/98/ME

  1. Click Start and Run
  2. In the Run dialog box type
    scandisk
  3. Click OK
  4. Within the Scandisk application select the drive that you wish to be checked
  5. Choose between standard and thorough. I recommend that you run standard first and if you encounter any problems run a through scan
  6. Click Start to begin the check

Parabolic Heat Transference Case Mod

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Do something with all that excess heat that your PC generates!

Really funny!

The importance of upgrading to WordPress 1.5.1.3

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Secunia has released a security advisory detailing security vulnerabilities in WordPress versions prior to the current WordPress 1.5.1.3 release.

"1) Input passed to the "comment" and "p" parameters in "post.php" isn't properly sanitised before being returned to the user. This can be exploited to execute arbitrary HTML and script code in an administrator's browser session in context of an affected site.

2) Some input passed via the XML-RPC interface isn't properly sanitised before being used in a SQL query. This can be exploited to manipulate SQL queries by injecting arbitrary SQL code.

3) Input passed to the "message" parameter in "wp-login.php" isn't properly verified before it is used. This can be exploited to manipulate the message content of the mail sent via the "Forgotten Password" feature.

Successful exploitation requires that "register_globals" is enabled.

4) An input validation error in the administration section can be exploited to inject arbitrary PHP code into existing plugins.

Successful exploitation requires administrative privileges.

It is also possible to disclose the full path to certain scripts by accessing them with invalid input.

The vulnerabilities have been reported in version 1.5.1.2 and prior."

Solution - upgrade to to version 1.5.1.3. If you’re unable to upgrade immediately, they recommend deleting the xmlrpc.php file.

Control the size of the system tray

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

It seems that almost every application you install nowadays wants to put an icon of some sorts into the System Tray (that's the little bit on the Task Bar where the clock is). I've seen these on some systems grow to enormously cumbersome lengths.

But there is a way you can regain control!

Right-click on the clock (or on the arrow will do) and choose Customize Notifications ... . You can now select which icons to always hide, hide when inactive and always show. Do this by clicking on the text to the text in the behaviour column and a drop down box of options will appear).

If Customize Notifications ... is not available and greyed out then Right-click on the clock and choose Properties and place a check-mark next to Hide inactive icons.

Microsoft Security Bulletin scam email

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Websense Security Labs has received a number of reports of a new email scams disguised as Microsoft Security Bulletins.

Users receive an email message which urges the immediate installation of a cumulative security patch. Users who execute the Trojan become infected with an SDBot variant, which is currently undetected by major anti-virus vendors. This Trojan/Bot allows complete unauthorized access to the machine.

Sample email body:

"Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-039: New patch against W32/Sober, W32/Zafi, W32/Mytob.
Issued: June 26, 2005
Updated: June 26, 2005
Version: 1.0

Summary
Who should read this document: Customers who use Microsoft Windows
Maximum Severity Rating: CRITICAL
Recommendation: Customers should install the patch immediately.
Security Update Replacement: This update replaces the update that is included with Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-038. That update is also a cumulative update.

Affected Software:
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 6a
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 6
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1, and Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 64-Bit Edition

Download the update and patch your system."
Websensesecuritylabs.com