Archive for August, 2007

Sony promises to try harder

Friday, August 31st, 2007

After yet another rootkit debacle, Sony makes a promise to F-Secure to do better:

Sony Electronics phoned us today. They wanted to thank us for bringing the Microvault incident to their attention, and they also wanted to apologize for not responding to our earlier queries regarding the incident.

We have now opened direct discussion channels with Sony Electronics and are assisting them with the investigation. We have also provided them with our internal investigation notes on the case.

We were also promised a direct contact point for future. Just in case we would again discover a rootkit or something in Sony's products. After all, we have already done it twice...

All this begs the question - how many more Sony rootkits are left to discover?

Worst Windows Vista advice ever…

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I have to say that I agree with Josh over on Windows Connected:

Today while getting my digg fix, yes I still read digg despite it being full of useless junk now, I ran across a link to an article that was claming to have 10 Speed Tweaks that would make a huge performance difference for Windows Vista. After a quick glance I was dumbfounded how full of misleading and inaccurate information this post was and wondered how it could have over 1,300 diggs.

Several of the sites suggestion seem like nothing more than attempts to exploit the naivete of the folk on Digg. They are telling you to disable Windows Defender, turn of User Account Control, disable System Restore. Most of this list is a recipe to breakdown the layers of defense on your machine with what I can only guess is to lead to possible future exploit of your system where you will end up with no hope of repair, gee thanks for nothing no name site.

Getting lots of votes on Digg is no guarantee that the advice being given is safe, accurate and effective.  I see lots of junk on Digg and similar sites and some of the information is not only inaccurate but could be harmful to your system.

WIPE THOSE HARD DRIVES!!!

Friday, August 31st, 2007

This is what happens when you don't take proper care to make sure that your hard drives are securely wiped:

Imagine Bill Ries-Knight's surprise when he purchased a supposedly new hard drive on eBay only to discover it contained information from the Arkansas Democratic Party.

As it that weren't bad enough, Ries-Knight, who lives in Stockton, Calif., said none of the information was encrypted and only a small amount of it was password protected.

In a telephone interview, Ries-Knight, a computer technician, said that while he didn't look at all the files on the drive, he did determine that the data included the private cell phone numbers of Democratic members of Arkansas' congressional delegation and of financial contributors to the party, including U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, as well as U.S. Reps. Marion Berry, Mike Ross and Vic Snyder.

Ries-Knight provided Computerworld with screenshots of the hard drive as well as other information documenting his claims.

Really, it's not that tricky to delete your data properly.

Four “must have” updates for Vista users

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

ExtremeTech lists four "must have" updates for Windows Vista:

  • First up is KB938194. This "Compatibility and Reliability" update features a host of improvements ...
  • Next, and perhaps more importantly, is the KB938979 update, for "Performance and Reliability."
  • KB940105 is a very interesting update that every single gamer using Vista will want to grab immediately. It's not available on Windows Update, so you'll need to visit the Knowledge Base article to grab it.
  • The fourth and final fix is a simple one. KB936710 simply addresses an issue with SLI/CrossFire systems running DirectX 10 games, where Vista may only use a single GPU even though you're running two in parallel.

I've installed all four of these updates and they do help improve Vista's performance and reliability considerably.

Leave the Prefetch folder alone …

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

It's worth repeating:

The Prefetch is a feature of Windows that actually speeds up the boot process. When Windows starts up, certain processes and programs must load. The files needed to start these are stored in the Prefetch folder. Windows automatically looks there for those files. If you clean out your Prefetch, it won’t hurt anything. But your next boot up will take longer, as those files are put back. My best advice is to just forget the Prefetch, and leave that folder alone.

Messing with Prefetch will result in one thing and one thing only - a slower system.