Archive for March, 2008

No joke: Storm worm taking advantage of April Fools’ Day

Monday, March 31st, 2008

This is no joke.  The Storm worm is taking advantage of April Fools' Day to snare more victims.

Our friends at Sunbelt Software have provided some useful information.

Emails look like this:

April Fools Day

Subject test can be many and varied:

  • All Fools' Day
  • Doh! All's Fool.
  • Doh! April's Fool.
  • Gotcha!
  • Gotcha! All Fool!
  • Gotcha! April Fool!
  • Happy All Fool's Day.
  • Happy All Fools Day!
  • Happy All Fools!
  • Happy April Fool's Day.
  • Happy April Fools Day!
  • Happy Fools Day!
  • I am a Fool for your Love
  • Join the Laugh-A-Lot!
  • Just You
  • One who is sportively imposed upon by others on the first day of April
  • Surprise!
  • Surprise! The joke's on you.
  • Today You Can Officially Act Foolish
  • Today's Joke!

Here's an example of the websites that victims are encouraged to visit:

Foolsday0408_2

Download names also varied:

  • foolsday.exe
  • funny.exe
  • kickme.exe

Antivirus products seem to be a bit slow on the uptake so far, so don't rely on them to keep you safe.

More coverage:

 

 

Adobe Bridge is quad-core blind

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Yesterday I fired up Adobe Bridge in Photoshop CS3 for the first time (well, I wanted to see what all my money was spent on) and was greeted by this message:

Adobe Bridge
This application requires an Intel Pentium 4, Intel Celeron, Intel Core Duo or Intel Core 2 compatible processor.
The application may perform poorly.  Are you sure you want to continue?

This message appears on a system fitted with one of the fastest quad-core processors going.  Hmmm.

Adobe_bridge_quad-core

I'm taking this message to task for a couple of reasons:

  • First is that Adobe CS3 products are professional tools and are updated regularly.  This message should have been caught and eliminated by now been since Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme processors aren't rare.
  • Second, the wording is poor.  Rather than saying that the processor is unidentified it offers a list and says that the CPU I have (the QX9650 is one of the fastest available) isn't up to the job and that the application may perform poorly.  Better wording would be something along the lines of unidentified or unknown processor

Kinda ironic!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Kind of an ironic message, don't you agree?

Foxit Reader, Best Reader for Everyday Use! has stopped working

Just to be clear, I use Foxit Reader a lot and I rarely see any crashes, so I'm not making any point about Foxit being unreliable or anything.  In fact, it's far more robust and less complicated that Adobe Reader.

Foxit stopped working

Alternative to the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader for Vista 64-bit

Friday, March 28th, 2008

As you might already know, Microsoft doesn't support the Fingerprint Reader on Vista 64-bit, and, based on the following email that I received from "a Microsoft spokesperson" the other day, it's never going to be supported:

I wanted to let you know that after some investigating, I learned Microsoft will not be upgrading the Fingerprint Reader Digital Persona software to support 64-bit because the Fingerprint Reader is targeted for consumer use and convenience and Windows 64-bit is used mainly by businesses.

With that out of the way, it was time to search for a fingerprint product that would work on Vista 64-bit.  A bit of time Googling turned up the UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy Manager.

UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy Manager

It looked good so I ordered one from Amazon.com and waited ... each day pestering my mailman with calls of "where's my fingerprint reader?"  Fortunately, for the mailman at any rate, the package arrived within a few days. 

Installation was a snap.  Pop the CD in the drive, run the setup application, and once that was done, plug the device into a free USB port and Windows picked up on it and it was ready to use.  Once you've enrolled a few fingers you're ready to start using it.  You can either spend time inputting a the passwords you need into the software or you can do it as you go along.  The software is actually pretty clever and can stop when you type usernames and passwords into websites and applications and offer to store them for you. 

UPEK Eikon Digital Privacy ManagerNote:  Before someone starts saying that these devices aren't secure and that a fake silicone finger can bypass them, I'm not storing super-sensitive passwords into this device.  It's mostly for convenience.

I've had the fingerprint reader installed now for almost a week and so far, so good.  It has worked each and every time I have used it and it doesn't let any unauthorized users get past its biometric eye.  Also, the device feels a lot more robust than the Microsoft Fingerprint reader because it makes use of a solid-state sensor.  Oh, and it doesn't contain a blindingly bright red LED, which is good for my overall mood.

So, overall, $50 well spent.  I'll let you know if I run into any gotchas down the line!

Hardware 2.0 “Best Kit List� for Apr 08/May 08

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Back in December of last year, partly in response to the number of emails I was getting asking me for hardware recommendations, I started drawing up a “Best Kit List” on Hardware 2.0.  At the time I made a promise to update this list every couple of months or so to reflect both new hardware and price changes.  Well, I've kept to my word and today I've published an updated list.

Core 2 ExtremeOn the list you'll find CPUs (ranging from a crazy $1,600 Core 2 Extreme to a far more reasonable $200 Core 2 Duo), motherboards, graphics cards, hard drives, RAM, CPU coolers, PSUs and cases.

The list is still a work-in-progress and I'm planning to both expand on the existing categories and add more over the next few months.