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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

MS Word Trojan

A backdoor trojan exploit that trips up MS word 2002 & 2003 has been found....
Hackers have developed malicious code designed to exploit an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003.

Maliciously-constructed Word documents containing the Mdropper-H Trojan have begun to circulate on the net in messages that pose as internal emails. The malware contains a number of objects (such as PowerPoint slides and Excel charts) along with Backdoor-Ginwui, which opens a back door that allows hackers to control compromised Windows PCs.


So MS suggestion....

Attacks targeting an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003 have prompted Microsoft to tell users they should run the application in "safe mode".

The workaround does not address the underlying vulnerability, but running Word in safe mode will thwart current attacks based on the vulnerability, Microsoft advises.


Right! That's going to happen.
Most users don't even have a clue how to do this, nor are they going to.

Better idea. Quit using MS Turd Word and use Open Office instead.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

File Sharing & Spyware

Last night I tried to clean up a friend's computer that was so badly compromised you could not even get spybot started. So, I started by instead forcing a start in safe mode (start by pressing F8 about one or twice a second at startup until you get a menu allowing you to choose safe mode). Plugged in my USB flash drive and installed Spybot Search & Destroy and ran it without updates. Went to the system config utility (msconfig on older windows and Help Options on newer). Turned off run-on-startup of just about everything. It was then late and I told them to go back and update SSD and run it again. I highly suggested removing Morpheus which I suspect was the vector for the infestation. Hope it all works but I won't be surprised if they call me back. Scrub to bare metal might be needed.

See this piece in this last weeks The Inquirer for some more insight in avoiding trouble.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

MPAA & Black Dogs

Can there be anything these clowns won't try?

"United Kingdom, Los Angeles - - The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), express delivery company FedEx and HM Revenue & Customs, has joined forces to launch an exciting new initiative to help combat DVD piracy.

As part of a project promoted by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), FACT instigated the training of two black Labradors named Lucky and Flo by one of the world's leading experts in the field whose other clients include police, fire and rescue service. The dogs were trained over an eight month period to identify DVDs that may be located in boxes, envelopes or other packaging, as well as discs concealed amongst other goods which could be sold illegally in the UK. These DVDs are often smuggled by criminal networks involved in large scale piracy operations from around the world."

Bob Thompson, where I got this link, says the RIAA and MPAA will merge to become the
Music And Film Industry Assoc.
I think they already are.

And here is a good editorial in EWeek
Intellectual property regulation in the United States is out of control. The thicket of legislation, policy and precedent through which we grant private monopolies on ideas has become, in many places, disconnected from its Constitutional mandate of promoting the progress of science and useful arts.

We all need to try to get our congress critters working for us again. I know it's hard to do and it seems as if they really don't listen to anyone who isn't a giant corporation with $$$$ but we're all on the verge of losing our fair use rights.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Open Office

Why is anyone using MS office that doesn't really have to? I guess if you have it already that's fine. Why would you pay for an upgrade? Are there really got to have features in new versions? I doubt it, most people never use one tenth of the crap in there to begin with. Big bloated and overpriced, especially overpriced.

How can you compare any offer for MS office with the price of Open Office? You can't.
Please try Open Office and then be honest and try to justify staying with MS.

 Use OpenOffice.org