Tales from the Crypto






         Alun Jones (Security MVP Reconnect) writes about security, cryptography, SSL, PKI, and pretty much anything else that bothers him enough.

Archive for January, 2006

January 29, 2006

Some guidelines about fax.

Filed under: General Security @ 5:48 pm

Susan Bradley, SBS Diva and Security Guru Extraordinaire, posts about some guidelines for making your fax modems work reliably over at http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2006/01/25/81854.aspx This reminds me that I am continually amazed by people who call our company asking for instructions on faxing us – not because they want to fax us, but because of why they […]

January 27, 2006

Are you Crypto Cat or Decipher Dog?

Filed under: General Security @ 10:57 am

Me, I want to grow up to become CSS Sam. What am I talking about?  This site, of course. Funny, it may be, as a concept, but if your kids show any interest in codes or ciphers (and I did when I was, ooh, seven), there’s a lot of fun to be had at the […]

Feb 3, 2006 – Virus destroys data on a million machines…

Filed under: General Security @ 8:30 am

Okay, so that’s a future headline, and it’s possible / likely that the damage isn’t going to be quite that bad.  But the virus reports back to a home web site, increasing a counter as it does… the counter is well past a million.  [Okay, so that number is likely to have been added to […]

Peculiar article on "new kind of bug".

So, I’m cruising the security news feeds, and I come across this interesting little article: Microsoft to hunt for new species of Windows bug I really don’t think the article is all that fair – maybe Kevin Kean and Debby Fry Wilson weren’t able to convince the journalist to write the whole side of the […]

January 25, 2006

Statistics and the news.

Filed under: Uncategorized @ 10:09 pm

News coverage gets me irritated whenever statistics are mentioned. This morning’s example (paraphrasing): “South African gays are upset about discrimination in blood donation; their donations are being refused, despite the fact that the majority of HIV cases in the country are in heterosexual women.” I’m not wondering if there really is or isn’t a case […]

January 20, 2006

A quick guide to PC SAFETY – follow up on MS06-003 / CreateItemFromTemplate

After yesterday’s post on MS06-003 interfering with my use of CreateItemFromTemplate, I figured I should take advantage of the 1-866-PCSAFETY line provided by Microsoft for resolving bugs caused by security patches. Other than a mildly confusing list of choices, which didn’t quite cover the case I wanted, but allowed me to select “talk to a […]

January 19, 2006

Wireless PC Lock – nice device, crummy software.

Filed under: General Security @ 11:49 pm

I’ve been playing lately with a little device I picked up in the local Fry’s store. It’s a “Wireless PC Lock”, and the idea is that there’s a pair of pieces – a USB stick, and what you might charitably call a fob (although when I tried to use it on my key ring, the […]

Issues with MS06-003 and Outlook 2003 Scripts.

Filed under: General Security @ 5:25 pm

I have a script that I use at work to send out emails every few days. Last night, we installed MS06-003 on my workstation’s copy of Outlook, and today, my script fails. The key function appears to be either CreateItemFromTemplate creating messages into the drafts folder, or GetDefaultFolder, supplying an object to the drafts folder. […]

January 11, 2006

Programmer Hubris Part 2: I’ll get you, and your little dog, too.

Filed under: General Security,Programmer Hubris @ 11:07 am

Apple’s QuickTime (for Mac & Windows) vulnerable to flawed images. Great – hot on the heels of a WMF vulnerability (“why does Microsoft keep having buffer overflows when the rest of the industry doesn’t?”), we get a TGA/TIFF/QTIF/GIF/media-file overflow vulnerability in QuickTime – the warning seems almost designed to get lost in the noise surrounding […]

January 10, 2006

Not quite "SUS on a disk", but…

Filed under: General Security @ 1:40 pm

I’ve been asking Microsoft for some time to release a “SUS on a disk” – an ISO image format, and maybe an updater tool, that would allow an admin to create a DVD-R that they could then drag along to a machine that is either disconnected or poorly connected, or not allowed to connect out […]

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