Monthly Archives: March 2008

Things you cannot do on April Fools day…

Apparently, you cannot sing “Oh happy day!” a lot on April Fools day.

Apparently, you cannot ask the same question over and over and over and over again on April Fools day.

I wonder what other things you cannot do on April Fools day?

Allowing a Server Control to Contain Custom Child Collection

I’ve probably done this at least a dozen times, but when you don’t do something everyday, you tend to forget. I created a custom control that I wanted to place into a control collection. So, I created the child control as a custom server control. Then I created another server control that contained a property called Items as a Generic.List(Of T) where T was my custom child control. I kept running my app and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t create my child controls in the Parent. I forgot that I had to import the namespace System.ComponentModel and add the PersistenceMode property to the property. So, my code looked like this:


Visual Basic



Public Class MyServerControlCollection
    
Inherits WebControl

    
Private _Items As Generic.List(Of MyChildControl)

    <PersistenceMode(PersistenceMode.InnerProperty)> _
    Public Property Items() As Generic.List(Of MyChildControl)
        
Get
            Return 
_Items
        
End Get
        Set
(ByVal value As Generic.List(Of MyChildControl))
            _Items 
value
        
End Set
    End Property

    Protected Overrides Sub 
CreateChildControls()
        
For Each obj As MyChildControl In Items
            
Me.Controls.Add(obj)
        
Next

        MyBase
.CreateChildControls()
    
End Sub

End Class

C#



public class MyServerControlCollection : WebControl
{

    
private Generic.List<MyChildControl> _Items;

    [PersistenceMode(PersistenceMode.InnerProperty)]
    public 
Generic.List<MyChildControl> Items {
        
get return _Items}
        
set { _Items = value; }
    }

    
protected override void CreateChildControls()
    {
        
foreach (MyChildControl obj in Items) {
            
this.Controls.Add(obj);
        
}

        
base.CreateChildControls();
    
}

}

Hope that helps!

Short Bits: TV Library, DSM-750, Scripts

Andy has released a version of TV Library that doesn’t include an expiration timebomb.  While not completely polished, TV Library is a quick and easy TV cataloging plug-in done in MCML.  Download it here, and read more about the plug-in here and here.



Buy.com is set to have the D-Link DSM-750 Extender for $260 once they get it in stock.  That’s not a bad deal considering the MSRP ov $300+.



I doubt that Microsoft can be successful with new scripted shows specifically for download on the Xbox 360, but it is an interesting concept.  In a time where the big broadcasters can’t get a successful series from big name writers and producers, does anything think Microsoft can with like (??) talents like Peter Safran.

Troubleshooting Permission Errors While Updating Software

A number of people are reporting errors when running software update tools. The tools include Windows Update, Windows Defender Updates, Installshield, Adobe Updater, and probably others as well. The errors include 80070005 (from Windows tools) and c0000005 (from others). To see if we can help people get their software updates, Steve Wechsler helped me put together some troubleshooting steps. If these steps help, and more so if they don't, we'd like to hear about it. If you find something else that helps, let us know by posting a comment.


 


All these errors indicate a permissions issue of some kind. All of them basically mean "Access Denied". However, determining exactly what the cause is can be difficult. There seem to be two main reasons why this is happening: multiple firewalls on the same computer, and a permissions issue, usually in the registry.


 


Multiple Firewalls
Several people with this problem report that it disappeared when the shut down one of the several firewalls they had on their computer. If you have installed a security suite, such as Norton Internet Security, on a Windows Vista computer, you have multiple firewalls. That, in and of itself, is not a problem as long as only one of them is running. However, if two, or more, are running at the same time, you will run into trouble. Some third-party firewalls appear to fail to properly disable the built-in Windows Firewall. If you have a third-party security suite installed, take the following steps to ensure the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is turned off:

  1. Click the Window button (the start menu)
  2. In the search dialog, type "Windows Firewall"
  3. In a few seconds you will have a couple of results, including one that says "Windows Firewall". Click that one
  4. If the right-hand window says "Windows Firewall is on" click "Change settings"
  5. Accept the User Account Control prompt by clicking "Continue"
  6. Select the "Off (not recommended)" radio button and click OK. WARNING: do not do this unless you are sure you have a third-party firewall!
  7. Attempt to run the updater that failed again.

If this resolves the problem you can resolve it permanently by either leaving Windows Firewall off, or by disabling the third-party firewall. For the most part, they perform the same function, although the built-in firewall typically is far less intrusive and more stable. To disable the third-party firewall refer to the manufacturer's documentation.


 


Permissions Problems


If you do not have two firewalls the problem is almost certainly permissions related. If this is your case you need to resort to advanced troubleshooting tools.


 


Follow these steps carefully. They are written for Windows Vista, but the problem has also affected Windows XP. With only minor modifications (such as the ommission of the UAC elevation-related steps) they work on Windows XP as well.


 


Keep in mind that setting incorrect permissions can significantly harm your computer, to the point where it is either completely insecure, will not boot, or both. There are multiple recommendations out on the Internet that recommend that you change the permissions on large parts of the registry and the operating system. Doing so will render your computer unsupported and disable significant parts of the security sub-system. Surgical precision is key when modifying permissions.


 


  1. First, download Microsoft/System Internals Process Monitor from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx. Save it somewhere you can remember, such as your Downloads directory or the desktop.
  2. Open the Downloads directory in Windows Explorer (the easiest way is to hold down the Window key and hit E, click your name, and click Downloads)
  3. Right-click ProcessMonitor and select "Extract all…" Walk through the wizard to extract the files
  4. In the window that opens when the extraction is complete, double-click "procmon" or "procmon.exe"
  5. In the "Open File – Security Warning" prompt, uncheck the box that says "Always ask before opening this file" and click Run
  6. Accept the User Account Control prompt by selecting Continue
  7. Accept the license agreement (no, the next time you run the tool you will only have the User Account Control prompt, not all three)
  8. Maximize the window
  9. Hold the CTRL key and hit L
  10. In the drop-down that says "Architecture" select "Result"
  11. In the text box next to "Is" type "ACCESS DENIED" (without the quotes). Here is what it should look like:

  12. Hit the Add button
  13. Hit OK
  14. Hold CTRL and hit X to clear the output window

You now have Process Monitor monitoring all operations on the computer. At this point, retry the updater that fails. If the updater fails with a permissions problem, you should get entries in the Process Monitor window. Each one indicates a potential problem that could harm your ability to install updates, although they may also be unrelated.


 


Here is an example of the types of ACCESS DENIED errors you may see. Note that your process name would not be regedit.exe.
 


To fix the problem you need to set permissions. If you are not comfortable with exactly how to do that, I can help you if you send me the keys that are causing the error. You can do that most easily by clicking CTRL+A in Process Monitor, and then clicking CTRL+C to copy it. Then click the "Comments" link on the right side of the blog to send me a message, and paste the output into it.

 

To fix the problem yourself you can also change the permissions on the registry key (typically) or file that is a problem. I have not yet seen this happen because of file permissions, but if it does, it would be interesting to know. To fix registry permissions problems, do this:

 

  1. Right click the event and select “Jump to…”
  2. Right-click the key that is listed and select “Permissions…”
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Make sure that permissions are at least Full Control for TrustedInstaller, and Read for Administrators and SYSTEM. If that is what you have, and you are using a non-Windows installer (such as Adobe Updater), close the Advanced window, select the Administrators entry, and click the Full Control checkbox
  5. Click OK to close the dialogs.
  6. Retry the update

This will work under the assumption that the proper permissions were overridden on that particular key. In general, permissions on these keys should be Read for everyone except Trusted Installer, as follows:

You may, however, see Administrators have Full Control, or SYSTEM having Full Control. Those are both typically acceptable.

 

If this helps you, and you do not mind, could you please post a comment with the key that was a problem? It would be very interesting if we could figure out if this is caused by some particular piece of software that modifies some particular value.

Troubleshooting Errors While Updating Software

A number of people are reporting errors when running software update tools. The tools include Windows Update, Windows Defender Updates, Installshield, Adobe Updater, and probably others as well. The errors include 80070005 (from Windows tools) and c0000005 (from others). To see if we can help people get their software updates, Steve Wechsler helped me put together some troubleshooting steps. If these steps help, and more so if they don't, we'd like to hear about it. If you find something else that helps, let us know by posting a comment.


 


All these errors indicate a permissions issue of some kind. All of them basically mean "Access Denied". However, determining exactly what the cause is can be difficult. There seem to be two main reasons why this is happening: multiple firewalls on the same computer, and a permissions issue, usually in the registry.


 


Multiple Firewalls
Several people with this problem report that it disappeared when the shut down one of the several firewalls they had on their computer. If you have installed a security suite, such as Norton Internet Security, on a Windows Vista computer, you have multiple firewalls. That, in and of itself, is not a problem as long as only one of them is running. However, if two, or more, are running at the same time, you will run into trouble. Some third-party firewalls appear to fail to properly disable the built-in Windows Firewall. If you have a third-party security suite installed, take the following steps to ensure the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is turned off:

  1. Click the Window button (the start menu)
  2. In the search dialog, type "Windows Firewall"
  3. In a few seconds you will have a couple of results, including one that says "Windows Firewall". Click that one
  4. If the right-hand window says "Windows Firewall is on" click "Change settings"
  5. Accept the User Account Control prompt by clicking "Continue"
  6. Select the "Off (not recommended)" radio button and click OK. WARNING: do not do this unless you are sure you have a third-party firewall!
  7. Attempt to run the updater that failed again.

If this resolves the problem you can resolve it permanently by either leaving Windows Firewall off, or by disabling the third-party firewall. For the most part, they perform the same function, although the built-in firewall typically is far less intrusive and more stable. To disable the third-party firewall refer to the manufacturer's documentation.


 


Permissions Problems


If you do not have two firewalls the problem is almost certainly permissions related. If this is your case you need to resort to advanced troubleshooting tools.


 


Follow these steps carefully. They are written for Windows Vista, but the problem has also affected Windows XP. With only minor modifications (such as the ommission of the UAC elevation-related steps) they work on Windows XP as well.


 


Keep in mind that setting incorrect permissions can significantly harm your computer, to the point where it is either completely insecure, will not boot, or both. There are multiple recommendations out on the Internet that recommend that you change the permissions on large parts of the registry and the operating system. Doing so will render your computer unsupported and disable significant parts of the security sub-system. Surgical precision is key when modifying permissions.


 


  1. First, download Microsoft/System Internals Process Monitor from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx. Save it somewhere you can remember, such as your Downloads directory or the desktop.
  2. Open the Downloads directory in Windows Explorer (the easiest way is to hold down the Window key and hit E, click your name, and click Downloads)
  3. Right-click ProcessMonitor and select "Extract all…" Walk through the wizard to extract the files
  4. In the window that opens when the extraction is complete, double-click "procmon" or "procmon.exe"
  5. In the "Open File – Security Warning" prompt, uncheck the box that says "Always ask before opening this file" and click Run
  6. Accept the User Account Control prompt by selecting Continue
  7. Accept the license agreement (no, the next time you run the tool you will only have the User Account Control prompt, not all three)
  8. Maximize the window
  9. Hold the CTRL key and hit L
  10. In the drop-down that says "Architecture" select "Result"
  11. In the text box next to "Is" type "ACCESS DENIED" (without the quotes). Here is what it should look like:

  12. Hit the Add button
  13. Hit OK
  14. Hold CTRL and hit X to clear the output window

You now have Process Monitor monitoring all operations on the computer. At this point, retry the updater that fails. If the updater fails with a permissions problem, you should get entries in the Process Monitor window. Each one indicates a potential problem that could harm your ability to install updates, although they may also be unrelated.


 


Here is an example of the types of ACCESS DENIED errors you may see. Note that your process name would not be regedit.exe.
 


To fix the problem you need to set permissions. If you are not comfortable with exactly how to do that, I can help you if you send me the keys that are causing the error. You can do that most easily by clicking CTRL+A in Process Monitor, and then clicking CTRL+C to copy it. Then click the "Comments" link on the right side of the blog to send me a message, and paste the output into it.

 

To fix the problem yourself you can also change the permissions on the registry key (typically) or file that is a problem. I have not yet seen this happen because of file permissions, but if it does, it would be interesting to know. To fix registry permissions problems, do this:

 

  1. Right click the event and select “Jump to…”
  2. Right-click the key that is listed and select “Permissions…”
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Make sure that permissions are at least Full Control for TrustedInstaller, and Read for Administrators and SYSTEM. If that is what you have, and you are using a non-Windows installer (such as Adobe Updater), close the Advanced window, select the Administrators entry, and click the Full Control checkbox
  5. Click OK to close the dialogs.
  6. Retry the update

This will work under the assumption that the proper permissions were overridden on that particular key. In general, permissions on these keys should be Read for everyone except Trusted Installer, as follows:

You may, however, see Administrators have Full Control, or SYSTEM having Full Control. Those are both typically acceptable.

 

If this helps you, and you do not mind, could you please post a comment with the key that was a problem? It would be very interesting if we could figure out if this is caused by some particular piece of software that modifies some particular value.

McAfee, Inc. Launches Global S.P.A.M. Experiment

McAfee, Inc. today announced the launch of its global S.P.A.M. (Spammed Persistently All Month) Experiment. For the month of April, participants from around the world – ranging from homemakers, government executives, and students to retirees – will surf the Web, make online purchases and register for promotions. Participants have been provided with a clean laptop without spam protection and a new email address. Beginning today, they will blog about their experiences daily at http://www.mcafee.com/spamexperiment.

http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/press/corporate/2008/20080331_175000_k.html

11 year old is in-charge of 60 machine network

At 11-years-old, Penn has become his school’s network administrator, taking over the job from the previous admin who left suddenly last year. One could call into question the qualifications of Penn’s predecessor, however, considering the major clean-up job the adolescent wonder has on his hands.

http://www.switched.com/2008/03/31/11-year-old-takes-over-as-schools-network-admin/ via http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/31/arkansas-school-has-an-11-year-old-it-department-no-really/

Jobs.ie probe as hackers access users’ personal details

The internet recruitment service Jobs.ie sent a report to the Data Protection Commissioner yesterday after hackers gained illegal access to users’ personal details.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=ireland-qqqm=ireland-qqqa=ireland-qqqid=59140-qqqx=1.asp

New Sophos facial recognition technology uses webcams to stop hackers in their tracks

Sophos appeals for computer users to send in pictures to increase accuracy of new RAPIL system

IT security and control firm Sophos today announced its new RAPIL (Recognition and Analysis of Potentially Intruding Lifeforms) system which is able to produce a real-time forensic analysis of a PC or Mac user’s facial features to determine if they exhibit any characteristics commonly associated with hackers.

The new system uses webcams, now in widespread use on modern computers, to assess the facial characteristics of computer users, and cross-references them against features typically found in cybercriminals. Current tests show that with a clear background and provided the face is free of any obstructions, including hats, moustaches and sunglasses, the beta version of RAPIL has a success rate of 97.78 percent.

To add to the Sophos library of faces and help the fight again cybercrime, please upload your photographs at: www.flickr.com/groups/ra-pil

Video clip and screenshot at http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2008/04/rapil.html

Teenager guilty of million-dollar hacking campaign

A New Zealand teenager accused of leading an international ring of computer hackers which skimmed millions of dollars from bank accounts was today convicted of illegal computer hacking.

Owen Thor Walker, 18, pleaded guilty yesterday to six charges related to using computers for illegal purposes. Police allege that he led a group of hackers who took control of 1.3m computers around the world without their owners’ knowledge.

Hackers routinely send out viruses, worms and malicious Trojan horse programs which allow them to take control of a victim’s machine. Linked through the internet to form a “bot-net” network, the infiltrated computers are used to access personal bank accounts, steal credit card details or bombard users with spam.

Police alleged that Walker wrote software that evaded normal computer anti-spyware systems, and then sold his skills to criminals around the world.

More at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/01/hitechcrime.hacking

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