Alexander’s Blog

June 14, 2010

Linux infection proves Windows malware monopoly is over

by @ 1:27 pm. Filed under Apple/Macintosh, Linux/UNIX, News, Security/Firewalls

For some reason Apple and Linux users have a tendency to believe that their computers are immune from viruses and malware. I am not sure who spread this rumor (some people suggest it was Apple but I have no proof of that), but I can assure you that it is not true. I have blogged several times over the years about Macintosh security issues. The only reason you don’t hear much about Macintosh and Linux security exploits and read about attacks on Windows-based PCs is that Microsoft Windows runs on about 90% of the computers in the world. The bad guys have very little interest on finding security holes in operating systems that are run by a small percentage of people around the globe.

A recent post on ZDNet, written by Ed Bott, discusses some serious security issues in Linux and Macintosh. Here’s a portion of his blog post:

“Every time I write about Windows security software, I get a predictable flood of responses from Linux advocates who claim that they don’t need any such protection. Today comes a shining example of why they’re wrong.

If you downloaded and installed the open-source Unreal IRC server in the last 8 months or so, you’ve been pwned. Here’s the official announcement:

Hi all,

This is very embarrassing…

We found out that the Unreal3.2.8.1.tar.gz file on our mirrors has been replaced quite a while ago with a version with a backdoor (trojan) in it.

This backdoor allows a person to execute ANY command with the privileges of the user running the ircd. The backdoor can be executed regardless of any user restrictions (so even if you have passworded server or hub that doesn’t allow any users in).

Two additional details in the announcement added extra helpings of irony:

It appears the replacement of the .tar.gz occurred in November 2009 (at least on some mirrors). It seems nobody noticed it until now.

Right. Because even server administrators believe that open source and Linux software are impregnable by design, the official download of a widely distributed server product has been infected with a backdoor that gives bad guys complete ownership of the system. Oops.

And my favorite part:

The Windows (SSL and non-ssl) versions are NOT affected.

Again, that’s right. A similarly infected Windows file in the wild would be detected within days if not hours after a routine virus scan by someone checking the download before installing it.”

Ed goes on to talk about Macintosh security issues. You can read his entire post here.

June 10, 2010

Certiport Acquires MeasureUp

by @ 8:13 am. Filed under Certification, News

Certiport has announced that it has acquired MeasureUp LLC. Even though MeasureUp software is not considered a very useful exam preparation tool compared to it’s competitors, they must have made some kind of deal with Microsoft because Microsoft requires their Certified Partners for Learning Solutions (CPLS’) to only offer MeasureUp to their students. Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) like me are also expected to promote MeasureUp practice tests to the students.

According to Microsoft:

Certiport is Microsoft’s current provider for Office certification testing and a global leader in overall academic IT testing. The acquisition will allow Certiport to offer a full range of solutions to support the entire Microsoft certification life cycle, including study materials, practice exams, and certifications. MeasureUp clients will receive the same uninterrupted service, with new access to Certiport’s suite of products. Certiport will continue to serve the academic market through its network of more than 10,000 testing centers in 142 countries worldwide, while strengthening its presence in commercial and corporate sectors.

June 4, 2010

Virtual Migration Environment (VME) for Project 2010 and SharePoint 2010

by @ 7:00 am. Filed under SharePoint

Virtual Environment which enables Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 and Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 customers to migrate to 2010 versions of the respective products.

The Virtual Migration Environment is a set of two virtual disks that provide Office Project Server 2007 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 environments, sample content, and scripts design to assist customers with upgrade and migration from Office Project Server 2003 and Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010. The Virtual Migration Environment provides the tools and resources to assist with upgrade and migration and planning and preparation resources to determine upgrade approaches and address common issues.

The Virtual Migration Environment can be used to attach your existing production Project Server 2003 or SharePoint Portal Server 2003 databases for upgrade to Project Server 2007 or Office SharePoint Server 2007 or can be used with sample databases to test and understand the upgrade process.

For more information, please visit the following Upgrade and Migration Centers on Microsoft TechNet:

To download VME, click here.

June 3, 2010

How to Find All Services Running Under SVCHOST.EXE

by @ 7:42 am. Filed under Remote Connectivity, Tips & Tricks

While troubleshooting a network issue, I had to locate the services running under SVCHOST.EXE on a remote machine running Windows Server 2003. You can use the TASKLIST utility to see all the services that are running. You can use this command both for a local computer or a remote computer. Here’s the syntax for the command.

tasklist /s \\servername /svc /fi “imagename eq svchost.exe”

For example, if your remote server name is SERVER8, use the command:

tasklist /s \\server8 /svc /fi “imagename eq svchost.exe”

The output will look something like this:

June 1, 2010

Maritime VSAT Connectivity Solution

by @ 7:51 am. Filed under Applications, Internet/Web

How do you connect to the rest of the world when you are out on the sea in the middle of nowhere? Well, vessels at sea can now operate as remote offices and enjoy always-on, high-speed broadband connectivity used on land. iDirect is one company that offers a satellite-based IP communications technology to provide constant connectivity for voice, video and data applications in any environment.

iDirect’s IP-based approach to shared bandwidth using iDirect’s patented D-TDMA significantly reduces satellite bandwidth by dynamically allocating bandwidth to multiple ships based on a bandwidth pool, providing a more efficient and cost-effective option.

Coupled with iDirect’s award-winning advanced Group Quality of Service (GQoS), service providers can segment bandwidth across multiple ships — even across fleets — and prioritize allocation according to each ship’s dynamic requirements, all while protecting minimum CIR and QoS settings for high-priority traffic.

You can read more about Maritime Connectivity here.

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