Tip: Run commands automatically when a console opens

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Windows provides a handful of means to control the way console sessions start and function. For example, you can click a console’s Control menu, select Properties, and configure properties such as cursor size, display options, font, and layout.

Besides configuring properties, you might also want to execute commands automatically when you open a console. For example, you might want to load a device driver, switch to a particular directory, set the command prompt, or execute a batch file.

Adding a command string to the registry is one simple solution. Open the Registry Editor to the following key and enter a command string as its value:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor\Autorun

Cmd.exe executes this command string at startup for all command console sessions.

You can include a command string for a specific console session by starting the session with the /K switch. For example, the following example would start a console session and change to the Documents and Settings folder:

Cmd.exe /K “CD Documents and Settings”

Netcraft goes fishing for phishers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Netcraft has released an Internet Explorer plug-in that could help people avoid becoming victims of online fraud.

The Internet security company heralded the plug-in toolbar, which displays information about the Web sites a surfer is visiting, as a strong weapon against phishing attacks.

“The Netcraft Toolbar provides you with constantly updated information about the sites you visit as well as blocking dangerous sites,” the company, best known for providing statistics on what software Web sites are running, stated in a posting. “This information will help you make an informed choice about the integrity of those sites.”

Netcraft Toolbar
Netcraft Toolbar (source)

The toolbar displays information about the popularity of a site, the country in which the site is hosted and the Internet address of the site. It also indicates whether other toolbar users have flagged the site as a possible phishing scam, which uses fake Web sites that look like they belong to a trusted provider, such as a bank, to fool people into handing over sensitive personal information.

The effectiveness of the toolbar will largely depend on how widely the software is adopted, Netcraft Director Mike Prettejohn said.

“If the big banks go for branded versions to give to their customers, then (it will be) very effective,” he said. “It’s only been public for two days, and there is already an effective community of people blocking phishing sites.”

The software is available as a plug-in for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser and can be downloaded from Netcraft. A version of the program that runs on the Firefox browser from the Mozilla Foundation is also under development, the company said.

Source: News.com

EBay to Drop Support for Microsoft’s Passport

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday that eBay Inc. will soon drop support for its Passport service, originally intended to make the world’s biggest software maker the gatekeeper of Web identities.

But Microsoft said it will keep Passport up and running, despite the loss of one of its earliest and most important partners.

EBay said in a message to users on Wednesday that in late January it will stop allowing them to sign on to its Web marketplace through Passport.

Passport allows users to store such things as passwords and credit card information for use across the Web. With its launch in 1999, Microsoft aimed to insert itself in a key position in e-commerce transactions.

But the service has since fallen short of that goal due to several significant hurdles — including security and privacy concerns.

The move by eBay, far and away the most popular U.S. shopping Web site, ends a partnership forged in 2001 and underscores consumers’ unwillingness to embrace Passport outside Microsoft’s own MSN Internet network.

“A very small percentage of eBay users regularly signed in using Passport,” said eBay spokesman Hani Durzy, who added that the company also has provided alternatives to users who receive eBay alerts through Microsoft’s .Net service.

Source: Reuters


2004 Top Ten Computer Viruses

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In the year that is coming to an end, the Downloader.GK Trojan has been the malicious code that has caused most damage among users’ computers, according to the data gathered by Panda ActiveScan. The prevalence of this Trojan signifies an important change in the repercussions that malicious codes are having on users’ computers, as until now, first place in this annual ranking had always been occupied by a worm.

Panda Software’s ActiveScan is a free virus removal tool available for all computer users to repair their computers and fix the viruses missed by other antivirus providers.

Data provided throughout 2004 demonstrates Downloader.GK ranks #1 for 2004 and responsible for approximately 14% of all attacks. This Trojan doesn’t spread of its own accord, but is downloaded onto
computers when unsuspecting users visit certain web pages and accept the installation of a specific ActiveX control. Downloader.GK installs and runs two adware programs on the computers it infects.

The remainder of the Top Ten ranking of malicious code detected by Panda ActiveScan was comprised of:

2. Netsky.P (6.92%)
3. Sasser.ftp (4.97%)
4. Gaobot.gen (4.31%)
5. Mhtredir.gen (4.22%)
6. Netsky.D (3.98%)
7. Downloader.L (3.56%)
8. Qhost.gen (3.48%)
9. Netsky.B (3.45%)
10. StartPage.FH (3.34%)


China launches largest IPv6 network

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

China aims to become the leading player in the creation of the next generation of the Internet with the launch of an Internet Protocol version 6-based network linking 25 universities in 20 cities across China.

The China Education and Research Network Information Center (CERNIC) announced the Saturday launch of the network–called CERNET2–which is thought to be the largest single IPv6 network created. CERNIC claimed it makes China a world leader in the race to build the next generation of the Internet.

IPv6 exponentially increases the number of possible Internet protocol (IP) addresses. It was created and deployed in response to the fear that the existing Internet address pool could run dry within a few years as more people go online, especially as Web use in Asia rises sharply.

IPv4, the incumbent Internet protocol standard, gives its data packets just 32 bits of address space. By increasing this to 128 bits, IPv6 provides billions more IP addresses and allows many more devices to be simultaneously linked to the Internet.

Many network operators and equipment vendors are pushing IPv6. However, most companies have been reluctant to spend the money needed to make their networks IPv6-compatable by upgrading IP stacks on network gear, applications, PCs and servers.

Source: News.com


AOL Spam Down 75%

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

You’ve got less spam, according to America Online, the world’s largest online service.

The online unit of Time Warner Inc. on Monday said junk e-mail declined by more than 75 percent this year, based on its internal member reports.

Junk e-mail, known as spam, accounted for about 83 percent of computer traffic at one point this year, and have cost Internet providers about $500 million in wasted bandwidth, analysts have said.

As of November 2004, AOL received an average of 2.2 million complaints daily from its more than 24 million subscribers, down from 11 million complaints in the same period last year.

The daily average number of e-mails blocked by AOL’s spam filters fell 50 percent to about 1.2 billion e-mails in late 2004 from a peak of 2.4 billion in 2003.

Attempts made by junk e-mail senders also fell to about 1.6 billion daily, from 2.1 billion last year.

Source: Reuters


Digital Camera Media Safe In Airport X-ray Scanners

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Recent tests found no evidence of X-ray scanner damage to digital camera media cards or to the images they hold. The tests of scanner models currently in use in the U.S. transportation industry were jointly conducted by the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), the leading global association for the imaging industry; SanDisk® Corporation , a manufacturer of digital media cards; and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

These findings mean that digital cameras and their image storage media can travel safely in either checked or carry-on bags, which will be reassuring to holiday travelers. And though they were not explicitly tested, it is likely that images on camera-phones will be safe in either situation as well. More care is needed for cameras with film, however, as the X-ray scanners for both checked and carry-on luggage can fog both developed and undeveloped film.

“Our tests should put travelers’ fears to rest, that their digitally captured holiday memories won’t be damaged in transit,” said Lisa Walker, I3A President. “Digital cameras and media can safely go in carry-ons without the need for hand-inspection, which will simplify security checks and make those long lines move a little faster.”

The tests of digital media took place at the TSA Security Laboratory in Atlantic City, N.J. A broad selection of media and devices from a range of manufacturers, loaded with detailed images, was subjected to repeated passes through X-ray scanners matching those now in use at transportation facilities. At the end of the tests, the images were unaltered and the devices showed no sign of damage. Complete details on the tested media cards, test protocols and results can be downloaded from http://www.i3a.org/itip.html.


Britney Spears did it again - Google’s 2004 most popular

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Britney Spears did it again. According to Google 2004 Year-End Zeitgeist, Britney Spears is yet again the most popular query for 2004. This is the 3rd’ year since the year 2001, where Britney Spears is the the most popular query on Google. Only in 2002 Jennifer Lopez passed Britney and moved her to the second place.

As for the most popular man, Orlando Bloom is the lord of Google, followed by Eminem.

George W Bush, followed by Janet jackson are the top public figures.

The most popular stuff is Wallpaper, followed by Kazaa and Mp3

The most popular consumer electronics for 2004, according to Froogle, Google’s price comparison search engine, is the iPod, followed by digital camera.

You can find Google’s 2004 Year-End summary here


Google fixed desktop search tool flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has issued a fix for a vulnerability that could have allowed hackers to search the contents of PCs running Google’s desktop search tool. The disclosure of this flaw comes just days after research company Gartner warned businesses to steer clear of the desktop search tool until a more robust, enterprise-ready version is released

TIME Launches Archive: Magazine’s Articles Since 1923

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

TIME magazine’s archive is now available on TIME.com, bringing to life over 81 years of history as reported by the world’s largest newsmagazine. The archive (http://www.timearchive.com) provides one of the most comprehensive news resources on the web with over 266,000 articles dating back to TIME’s inaugural issue in March 1923.

To help archive users navigate the vast resource, TIME editors have organized thousands of articles into collections of research on popular topics such as TIME’s Person of the Year, the British Royals, Love and Sex, World War II, Space Travel and Illegal Drugs.

TIME’s extensive coverage of health issues is organized into easy-to-use collections of articles on diet and nutrition, heart disease, infectious diseases, cancer, cloning, psychological diseases and learning disabilities. TIME will add new collections on additional topics based on feedback from archive users.

The archive is available for free to TIME subscribers.


Flaw in Google’s New Desktop Search Program

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Rice University computer scientist and two of his students have discovered a potentially serious security flaw in the desktop search tool for personal computers that was recently distributed by Google.

The glitch, which could permit an attacker to secretly search the contents of a personal computer via the Internet, is what computer scientists call a composition flaw - a security weakness that emerges when separate components interact. “When you put them together, out jumps a security flaw,” said Dan Wallach, an assistant professor of computer science at Rice in Houston, who, with two graduate students, Seth Fogarty and Seth Nielson, discovered the flaw last month. “These are subtle problems, and it takes a lot of experience to ferret out this kind of flaw,” Professor Wallach said.

Google introduced a test version of the desktop search tool on Oct. 14, and it can be downloaded at no cost. The program indexes material on a user’s local hard disk and then blends Web search results with local user information like electronic mail, text documents and other files. The flaw would permit a search to reveal only small portions of the files

The way the software tool is designed, a user’s queries, but no locally stored information, is distributed via the Internet. But by reading user queries sent to its search service, Google is able to place its AdWords text advertisements next to the search results displayed in a user’s browser window.

In a statement over the weekend, the company said that it had been notified of the flaw by the computer researchers in late November and had begun distributing a new version of the desktop search engine that repairs the potential security hole. Google’s introduction of a desktop search tool has touched off a competition with its closest Web search service competitors, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Source: NY Times

Circuit City to Sell Gateway Notebook and Desktop PCs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Gateway, Inc. today announced that its PCs will be offered by consumer electronics retailer Circuit City. Starting next month, Gateway notebook and desktop PCs
will be available at more than 600 Circuit City stores in 160 markets nationwide.

Circuit city will offer a complete assortment of Gateway notebook and desktop PCs. Details about the products will be announced in January when they are available for sale.

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