Elite News

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Your Money or Your Data

Business' beware! There seems to be a new trend of malware circulating around the web where it will hold your data for ransom. Just recently Sophos antivirus has dubbed a new Trojan horse "Ransom-A" that will threaten to delete your data every 30 minutes unless you pay up. Both in March and in May of last year, there was a malware that encrypted your data and wanted to exchange the decryption key for money.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Workarounds to disable Non Genuine Windows Warning Messages

This copy of Microsoft Windows XP is not genuine. Windows XP Pirates have again found workaround methods to bypass the latest Microsoft Anti-Piracy effort - Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications that notifies you through annonying pop-up messages if your copy of Windows is not genuine.

read more | digg story

Elite Warns Companies of Internal Data Vulnerability

DATE: 2006-04-27 15:56:25 UTC | SOURCE: KevinT

SMBs Can Secure Their Network by Educating Employees on Data Policies to Deter Internal Theft and Increasing Productivity by Eliminating Unproductive Routine Tasks

ALISO VIEJO, Calif.--April 27, 2006--Elite Development Group, providing security programs and focused network integration, continues to see a growing importance in securing internal data from unauthorized access. A recent industry survey, released in January 2006, found 64 percent of 2,066 organizations suffered a monetary loss from computer security episodes over a 12-month period. A rise in theft activities makes monitoring of networks significant in identifying employees misuse of computers.

Data is a company's second most valuable asset after its employees. As new technology shrinks in size, with devices such as iPods, SBC thumb drives, PDAs, flash memory and other tiny memory storage units it is very easy to discreetly transfer company data from an employee computer station to anywhere in the world -- all without detection. In May of 2005, the Bank of America Corporation, the Wachovia Corporation, and several other banks had over 670,000 customers' accounts breached and compromised by insiders. Elite Development Group provides up-to-date data defenses with state-of-the-art technology to battle unforeseen troubles consumer hi-tech products might allow.

"Small and mid-size companies need to invest in protecting their data -- now more than ever. The U.S. Department of Justice predicts that employee theft will grow by as much as 15 percent over the next few years," said Nicole Friel, President and CEO of Elite Development Group. "Only by staying current with changing technologies and informing employees of correct policies, will companies be in a position to securely safeguard their data."

According to a recent report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 46 percent of all workplace fraud occurs within small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Company fraud costs U.S. businesses about $660 billion annually. By training employees on the proper handling of information for memory devices, E-mails, and IMs, they will know how to make the right decisions with the company's data and improve their own time management. Random monitoring of employees computer usage ensures that they are following the training guidelines and it also increases work productivity by focusing the employee on necessary tasks.

This helps eliminate unnecessary responsibilities such as the thirty minutes spent clearing out the daily spam and e-mails unrelated to work. Multiple steps need to be put in place to protect the company's most sensitive data. Elite Development Group finds this balance between company security and employees' privacy by the use of:

* Background checks of employees

* Acceptable computer use policies

* Network monitoring

* Separation of duties

* Restricted computer access

* Yearly Network Vulnerability Assessment

Elite Development Group's team of certified technical engineers proactively respond to network threats in order to create the most effective IT network safety measures. Through the development of administration policies and best security practices, Elite Development Group provides the essential tools to block aggressive hi-tech criminals from manipulating, stealing, or destroying data on a company's network. Their Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) service can detect, notify, and take corrective action against unauthorized network access or misuse.

About Elite Development Group
Elite Development Group is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, and supplies specialized network integration and security initiatives for small to mid-size companies across California. Their certified technical engineers provide the latest network safety measures and proactively respond to anticipated network threats.

Elite Development Group designs, manufactures, and supplies innovative custom configured mid- to high-end servers, workstations, and storage solutions integrated with state-of-the-art network security software and hardware from the foremost companies including Intel, Symantec, Barracuda Networks, eEye Digital Security, Kerio Technologies Inc. and Hewlett-Packard.

For more information about Elite Development Group, please visit their Website at www.elitedevgroup.com .

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Microsoft Scanning your computer for piracy

The Washington Post is reporting that a recent update by Microsoft is now scanning people's machines to see if they have valid license, and reporting back to Microsoft, all without user intervention.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Internet Explorer 7

i went to microsoft.com for some windows updates and stumbled upon this...

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx


internet explorer 7 beta is out! looks like a firefox clone to me though.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Windows Vista Security Features

Soon, I'm going to try to install Microsoft Windows Vista on one of my partitions. For now, this is a summary and thoughts on the new security features of Vista based off of what Microsoft TechNet has sent me.

Security
Vista is going to include User Account Control , which basically gives Administrator more control on User account rights. It also allows you to restrict access to a standard user while allowing most applications to run.

Windows will now also prompt the standard user for the Administrator password when you need the rights to run a program that you wouldn't normally. This is awesome because that was one of the reasons I liked Linux/Unix/Mac.

This makes it more viable to function as a Standard user without the risks of Administrator rights.

Another huge improvement is the addition of Virtual Registries . Vista will virtualize the registry settings that are only visible to each each user account. This means, you can really screw up your registry and not sacrifice the entire computer like before.

Windows Service Hardening will restrict critical Windows services from doing abnormal activities. They are hoping this will restrict attackers from using vulnerabilities in the services form attacking the computer. This is also a huge improvement because this should stop many of the vulnerable services from being exploited.

Network Access Protection . Okay, I can see this feature causing a lot of headaches for me as an IT Professional. From what I can tell, this allows a Network Access Protection encoforcement server to limit a client computers access to the network based off of its health. So much like when you have that red shield in your taskbar telling you that you do not have current antivirus definitions or security updates, Vista's Network Access Protection service can actually block you from communicating with the network. On one side this is great because you can restrict all non secure computers from using your network thus stopping many worms in their tracts. On the other side, this can also prevent workers from doing their work and need a security update. I can already see the complaints.

Another addition is a built in Anti-Malware service. If its as bad as Microsoft Defender, I would recommend using a third party anti-spyware program as a supplement to the one built into Vista.

Some of the other security improvements are a stronger more secure Firewall, more flexible authentication capability (such as Smartcard or fingerprint scanner), better Credential Manager, and an improvement on Auditing. Auditing can now be forwarded to a central location allowing companies to monitor the computers with more ease. It's a convient improvement for an IT but it probably wont affect a standard home user. One thing is for sure, I'm glad they are making the authentication more flexible, it would be awesome to eventually always require a fingerprint to access a computer.

There are many security enhancements on Internet Explorer. Some of the improvements include a built in phishing filter that analyzes web site content and decides if it should be trusted. I would imagine this would slow down your web browsing because its like adding an extra layer that's processing data to each page that you load. Another big improvement is Protected Mode . Protected Mode stops scripts from a malicious website from executing code that changes settings, installing software, or copying files. I'm still skeptical about IE even with these additions. I think I'm going to stick to Firefox.

All in all, there are many huge improvements, but it would be impossible to totally stop hackers from finding holes. It's a big step forward in stopping the average user from infecting their computer, but I can't imagine that it will take long before attackers to adapt and create nastier viruses/malware.

Monday, April 17, 2006

the Power of Microsoft!

How powerful is microsoft's co-founder Bill Gates? Apparently, powerful enough to have China's president Hu Jintao historic visit to America be at his house, rather than the White House. China's president and 100 special guests will be having dinner with Bill Gates at his mansion next tuesday. Why Bill Gates house? Why not. The chinese government has recently announced that all PCs leaving factory floors will have to have legitly license windows installed; their effort to fight piracy. Because of this, Bill Gates can look forward to a $400 million gain in sales as 3 major chinese PC makers makes deals. What more can the richest man on Earth want?

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GW Bush's iPod contains "illegal" (according to RIAA) music

Here we see that President Bush's iPod contains songs by the Beatles; since no Beatles songs have been licensed for the iTunes Music Store yet, these must have come from ripped CDs. Remember last February, when the RIAA told a federal agency that ripping CDs is illegal? I wonder if they'll bring charges.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Car Alarm for the Mac!

scarred taht someone will steal your newly bought MacBook pro while you're buying some coffee at a local hot spot? Problem solved! "iAlertU" puts an car alarm like system onto your MacBook Pro allowing it to ring an alarm when it is moved. Watch this video to see how it works!

video

[thanks youtube and ]

Online Calender to Share with friends and family!

www.30boxes.com

It's a great tool to let co-workers, family, and friends to know what you are doing, what you have planned, and many other social things for which you want to share.

Free Domain name and host!!

Want a free domain name and website host? Try
http://officelive.microsoft.com

Microsoft is allowing users to sign up for free domain name registration and web hosting as part of their office live initiative. With this account, officelive also provides many tools to help make building a webpage as simple as it can be. There are also paid versions if the free version isn't enough for your satisfaction. Try it out today.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cross platform virus created!

A proof-of-concept cross-platform virus written in assembler has been submitted to Kaspersky Lab, an antivirus company in Russia. This new virus is capable of infecting both window and linux machines. This causes concerns that soon there will be viruses roaming on the internet that is indifferent to your operating system, putting ALL computers at risk. This might affect Mac OS users more than windows users since part of the reason as to why Mac OS is so safe is because it is not a prime target by virus writers.

[ source ]

Friday, April 07, 2006

How does elitenews.eu sound?

Can't find a .com domain name that isn't already taken? How about a .eu domain name? The European Union has just released the new .eu (European union) domain name, and to show how popular it is, it got 300,000 registrants within the first hour of release. And by midday, 550,000 .eu domain names had been registered.

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HP driver vulnerbility

HP has released patches to fix an vulnerbility in their printer drivers. The affected drivers are for the Color LaserJet 2500 and 4600 printers . If you have drivers for these printers, update them as soon as possible. You can obtain an update at hp's website ( www.hp.com ) and follow their driver update instructions. If the drivers go un-patched, you give hackers to ability to read all printable files on your computer even if they are not being printed at the time of the attack. This has been rated as "less critical" by the security company Secunia. But it is better being safe than sorry.

[ source ]

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Free City wide Wi Fi

Google and Earthlink have joined together to provide San Francisco with free wi-fi. City government has to approve the finalization of the project, but if all things go well, California will finally have a city with free city-wide wi-fi.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Mac do Windows, too!"

If you haven't heard yet, apple released a downloadable beta version of "boot camp" software that will come with Mac's next major Operating System release "Leopard." What is boot camp? It's apple's own program that will allow Windows XP operating system to run natively on an intel based mac computer.

you can download the beta or .

thanks brian for the heads up.
(other references: , cnet , apple , )

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brian's Guide to Creating a Website - Part 1

Part 1 - Search Engines
Starting a Blog, even a website for that matter, isn't what it used to be. Back in the days of Geocities, Angelfire, and when FrontPage and Netscape Editor, things were so simple. I started my first website in 8th grade, back when html was all you needed to know, maybe some javascript and css. In 30 mins, I was able to get my make shift site with more pictures than text up and into search engines.

Nowdays. Times have changed, new technology, new processes, new everything. I am learning a lot as I continually try to improve this Blog both for viewers and to get it known. So far, I have only had experience programming websites or and utilities, I am new to the actual administration of one. So, my goal is to teach what I learn, as I learn. Maybe, I could give some viewers a head start with their own website.

Next week, I'll go into actual design of a website and some neat tools you can use and add to it. For now I'm going to cover search engines.

There are still some legacy search engines that use meta tags to find and describe your site. So before you even submit your site to any website, first create suitable meta tags.

This is our meta tag for example.
<meta name="keywords" content="security, technology, news, computer, it, information technology, blog, tech">
name defines the type of meta tag, in this case its "keywords."
content defines the content of the type.
In this example, I'm making "security, techn..." the searchable keywords for my site. Here is another example of a meta tag that you need.
<meta name="description" content="Security. Technology. News. Now. Up to date information focusing on Security and Technology.">
This is basically the same except that it gives my site a description.

Now on to more advanced search engines, easy one first. Yahoo . Yahoo uses the old style of site submission. You just go to http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html and sign up for one of their services. Simple.

Google . Google like many search engines use a web crawler . A crawler systematically searches up and down your site, through every link, in every file to find useful information to produce a description and places your site in their search. Like Yahoo, you submit your site http://www.google.com/submit_content.html and sign up. The cool part of Google, is you can use their utilities to give yourself more control and monitor your site more.

Here's where it get complicated. To get the most out of Google (and other search engines by association), I had to research how it works.

Googlebot (Google's website crawler robot) starts with your submitted link and searches it for more links. It then goes through each of those links to discover more. This whole time it's gathering data for its relevence engine and its description engine. It also goes through the folders that make up your site.

Security thought: What if you don't want Google to see your whole site? What if you don't want your whole site to be accessed through a search engine? I certainly don't want my random storage data files or test websites to be seen. So how do you stop Googlebot!?

Google, like many other crawlers like Excite abide by the robots.txt rules. http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.html . robots.txt is a little file in your root folder that allows and prevents web crawlers from accessing certain folders. It must be written in a specific format and be placed in the root directory (ex http://www.elitenews.org/robots.txt) for it to work.

# <- comment symbol
User-Agent: *
# user-agent defines who this rule applies to
# * = any crawler aka wildcard
# specific crawlers can also be put here like google, or w3crawler, or happycrawler, etc
Allow: /
# allows the root dir to be searched
Disallow: /secretstuff
# stops the specific folder to be accessed
# you can have many of these 'modules' to be in one robots.txt


Security thought: Nothing stops a normal person from seeing this information. If say a hacker was trying to examine the structure of your site, they could find a lot of useful information in this file. See for yourself, visit
http://www.google.com/robots.txt
http://www.microsoft.com/robots.txt
http://www.apple.com/robots.txt
http://www.cnet.com/robots.txt
http://www.cox.net/robots.txt
the list goes on.

Say you don't want Googlebot to crawl on a single page. Put
<meta name="Googlebot" content="nofollow">
In your header and it will prevent it from looking at the links on the page.

What if its just one link you don't want it to consider. change your link to

<a href="http://www.blah.com/" rel="nofollow">unrelated to my site</a>

To help the crawler out and to make sure it discovers all of the pages you want it to, you should also make a sitemap . https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/login?hl=en Google is nice enough to monitor your site map and checks it for errors, and your site along with it. A sitemap is basically a link guide to the rest of your site. It includes all the links to the various pages of your site.

There are a few formats you can use. The two I am most familiar with is XML or a simple TXT file. Google gives an awesome example of how to use XML for your sitemap and if you don't want to make it your self, they offer a program that does it for you. Personally, I like doing everything myself manually. https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/protocol.html

If you don't want to deal with that mess, a simple txt file will do. The only catch is you cannot manage any of the other variables that the xml version gives. To make one, just put a single link per line in a txt.

Still having trouble? Visit here, http://sitemaps.blogspot.com/ , it helped me a lot out with my errors.

I know its long, but i hope it helps.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Today is:

  • Happy 30th Birthday Apple Computer Inc.
  • It's April Fool's day
  • day light savings ends tonight, Spring Forward time!!

Free Word Processor by Ajax

Want a free word processor that you can access from any where with an internet connection for free? There is no sign ups, no downloads, and no charge! Check out www.ajaxwrite.com today! You get a decently fast online word processor that is comparable to Microsoft's word processor.