Do No Evil; Google Chrome Style

Have you seen this warning when you try to click a link in Outlook or Word? "This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." Here is a screen shot: There are many reason this warning can happen. Typically, the cause is that some setting in the registry (the database of configuration data on a Windows computer) has become corrupted. How exactly it became corrupted is an open question. One completely, 100% foolproof, way to corrupt the registry is to install and then uninstall Google Chrome. I discovered this when I realized that … Continue reading Do No Evil; Google Chrome Style

Security Awareness Post 3: Recognizing Your Surroundings (Virtual)

If you have ever taken a survival course you have probably heard the instructor talk about how you need to be aware of your surroundings. Much of survival is about recognizing where you are, what is safe, and what is not. The Internet is no different. By far the most important factor in safe use of the web is recognizing where you are, and making appropriate decisions about what is safe and what is not; what is to be expected, and what is extraordinary. Unfortunately, most people either do not know how to tell where they are, or do not … Continue reading Security Awareness Post 3: Recognizing Your Surroundings (Virtual)

Security Awareness Post 2: Beware of malicious software

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and as I stated in the last post, I decided to celebrate by writing some Security Awareness posts. Almost as if they knew what I was going to write about, I received this spam comment on my last post this morning: "such a very informative and valued article, regards" The poster's name, which is undoubtedly fake, was hotlinked to: hxxp://www.antivirus-finder.blogspot.com. That, in turn, turns out to be a blog that links to various unknown and quite possibly shady anti-malware programs. ("Malware" is a collective term for malicious software, such as viruses, worms, trojan … Continue reading Security Awareness Post 2: Beware of malicious software

Security Awareness Post 2

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and as I stated in the last post, I decided to celebrate by writing some Security Awareness posts. Almost as if they knew what I was going to write about, I received this spam comment on my last post this morning: "such a very informative and valued article, regards" The poster's name, which is undoubtedly fake, was hotlinked to: hxxp://www.antivirus-finder.blogspot.com. That, in turn, turns out to be a blog that links to various unknown and quite possibly shady anti-malware programs. ("Malware" is a collective term for malicious software, such as viruses, worms, trojan … Continue reading Security Awareness Post 2

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The U.S. President has declared October 2010 to be "National Cyber Security Awareness Month." While the term "cyber" may not be particularly clear to most people, what this really is about is How To Stay Safe Online; and not just in America. Staying safe online is crucial everywhere. To celebrate, I thought I'd try and jam in as many little advise posts as possible between now and, well, when everyone knows how to stay safe online. Thus, without further ado: Advise #1: No, you really haven't won the U.K. Lottery. Nor have you won the Microsoft Lottery. Nor does anyone really want you to … Continue reading October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Apple to iPhone Users: Please Install This Untrusted Configuration Profile

It appears Apple is the only company around that doesn't use Microsoft Exchange. Apple's recently released iOS (not to be confused with Cisco's IOS) 4 apparently wasn't tested with Exchange at all. Many users are reporting slow e-mail sync, and apparently Exchange server admins are none too happy with the load these devices are putting on the Exchange server – much more than the old OS did. Of course, you cannot downgrade a device that has been upgraded to iOS 4. iPhone Operating Systems are signed by Apple at run-time and Apple refuses to digitally sign anything below iOS 4 now, … Continue reading Apple to iPhone Users: Please Install This Untrusted Configuration Profile

How to fix the "Unable to install Apple Mobile Device USB Driver" problem

If you have upgraded your iTunes to version 9.2 you may have run into the problem that your computer no longer recognizes your iPhone/iPad/iPod. I had the problem on one computer, but not the other. When you connect the device it starts installing the driver, then it fails and iTunes never sees your device. After a fruitless 45 minutes on the phone with and Apple support technician that seemed to be new to Windows and who eventually hung up on me, and a web search that turned up nothing I decided to take things in my own hands. Here is how you … Continue reading How to fix the "Unable to install Apple Mobile Device USB Driver" problem

Don’t fire people until after you wipe their phones

A very commonly required feature for mobile access to email is remote wipe – the ability to reach out and wipe all corporate data off a mobile device. Exchange ActiveSync supports this feature and has for several versions now. You, as the Exchange or Security administrator can issue a remote wipe command to a compliant device, or the user can do it themselves through Exchange, and the next time the user connects the device will be wiped. There are two major flaws in that design. One is the well understood "the next time the user connects" part: you cannot reach out … Continue reading Don’t fire people until after you wipe their phones

2010 PADI Instructor Manual Available Online Now

If you are a PADI dive professional, or are considering being one, you may be interested in the 2010 Digital Instructor Manual. PADI graciously posted it online for free, allowing anyone, not just instructors, to access it. If you are interested in taking the instructor exam this year, this is great news since it saves you the money it used to cost to buy the manual. The new version of the manual contains all the standards but not all the details on how to teach the courses that used to be in the manual in the past. Those are now … Continue reading 2010 PADI Instructor Manual Available Online Now

Fake Anti-Malware is Apparently Microsoft’s Fault

Munir Kotadia, an IT Journalist in Australia, has finally managed to figure out how to blame Microsoft for the fake anti-malware epidemic. Apparently, the reason is that “Microsoft could save the world from fake security applications by introducing a whitelist for apps from legitimate security firms” and, presumably, has neglected to do so out of sheer malice. I’m clearly not a thinker at the same level as Munir; maybe that is why I don’t fully get this white list he proposes. Does he want one only of security software? How would you identify security software? I can see only two ways. … Continue reading Fake Anti-Malware is Apparently Microsoft’s Fault