The TexasFred Blog
News Opinion Commentary
This is The Header

Giant online security hole getting fixed, slowly

August 6th, 2008 . by TexasFred

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A giant vulnerability in the Internet’s design is allowing criminals to silently redirect traffic to Web sites under their control. The problem is being fixed, but its extent remains unknown and many people are still at risk.

The gaping security hole enables a scam that targets ordinary people typing in a legitimate Web address. It happens because hackers are now able to manipulate the machines that help computers find Web sites. If the trick is done properly, computer users are unlikely to detect whether they’ve landed at a legitimate site or an evil double maintained by someone bent on fraud.

Security experts fear an open season for virus attacks and identity-fraud scams.

“It’s kind of like saying, ‘There’s a bunch of money on the street. If you can get over there soon enough, you can get it,’” said Ken Silva, chief technology officer for VeriSign Inc., which manages the “.com” and “.net” directories of Internet addresses. “It’s something the industry is taking seriously. You’d be in a bad place if you weren’t doing something about it.”

The bug’s existence was revealed nearly a month ago. Since then, criminals have pulled off at least one successful attack, directing some AT&T Inc. (ATT) Internet customers in Texas to a fake Google site. The phony page was accompanied by three programs that automatically clicked on ads, with the profits for those clicks flowing back to the hackers.

Full Story Here:
Giant online security hole getting fixed, slowly

I click on a lot of sites, it’s the nature of the beast. Having blog rolls can be a real pain in the tush, and when I click on a site that loads *funny* and really slow, or, more correctly, *wonky*, I won’t place it on any of my blog rolls.

The same goes for sites ON the blogrolls. I have pissed a few folks off by dumping them from the rolls, but in most cases it was simply because they had a *wonky* site that made me highly suspicious and I am NOT going to expose my computer, or those of my subscribers, to ANY threat that I feel may exist.

I have no use for people that hack computers, or set adware and malware, I have never had anything of that nature on my site and I never will. I run some pretty good security too. And NO, I won’t tell you what any of it is. That’s part of the *security* concept! :P

Any time a site redirects you, click out ASAP, any time a site takes a very long time to load, get away from it, there IS some sort of problem in the script. If you click on a site and it locks you TO that site and won’t release you when you hit the back button, make a note to yourself to never go back there again, it’s a spam site or is running some kind of malware.

Use the best personal security you can afford, keep it updated, DAILY, keep it turned ON at ALL time! I know someone that bought a Norton System, installed it, turned it on and that was it. Never registered it, never did the 1st update, never set it to update automatically, nothing. But they think they’re protected. They have a virus protection program. And even though many of us have advised her to get it all updated, it just sits there, out of date and totally useless.

No matter what browser you use, Internet Explorer, Fire Fox, or one of the other systems, keep it current, update it to the newest edition, there are warning systems built in and will throw up a warning for you if you hit a *phishing* site.

And the biggest *common sense* thing that anyone can do is never put ANYTHING on your computer that can compromise your personal information, bank numbers, SS numbers, things of that nature, because no matter how secure you try to be, or think you are, there’s always someone out there that is trying to steal your money and identity.


Bookmark and Share
Return: Top of Home Page

Vista struggles to bust out as business customers snub it

April 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

Will Weider is just the kind of customer Microsoft (MSFT) needs to keep its Windows computer operating system franchise growing.

He oversees tech for a chain of Wisconsin hospitals, 14,000 computers’ worth. But Weider has no desire to upgrade to Vista, the latest version of Windows.

“I wouldn’t put on Vista if it was free,” says Weider, chief information officer for Ministry Health Care. “In the past, there’s always been an important reason to upgrade, but XP (the previous version of Windows) is perfectly acceptable.”

Even as it pursues Internet icon Yahoo to create a more potent online-advertising rival to Google, Microsoft is facing increasing pressure on its Windows cash cow. Corporate customers such as Weider are staging a rare revolt over upgrading to Vista, which launched with much fanfare in January 2007. Last week, Microsoft reported a 24% decline in Windows sales in the third quarter.
(snip)
Online magazine InfoWorld is waging a Save XP campaign. More than 175,000 signatures have been gathered. “Why pull the plug on XP when there’s clearly a lot of people who still like it?” says Galen Gruman, InfoWorld executive editor.

Influential analyst Michael Silver at research firm Gartner calls the Vista launch a “disaster.” Other critics have been no kinder. CNet called Vista one of the “biggest blunders in technology.” PC magazine chronicles Vista’s “11 Pillars of Failure.” The Christian Science Monitor likened it to Coca-Cola’s disastrous New Coke experiment in the 1980s.

Vista, not Windows, is the butt of jokes in Apple ads.

Full Story Here:
Vista struggles to bust out as business customers snub it

Love em or hate em, Microsoft is a major player in the PC world, and even though there are other options, many of us really like Windows.

I was 1st introduced to Win95, a great system for it’s time, then Win98 came out and it was impressive, and Microsoft did a lot of upgrades along the way and made it even better, but then Microsoft did what they are becoming infamous for doing, they took a perfectly good operating system and threw it away for a piece of junk.

Case in point, WindowsME, then Win2000, both were pieces of crap, and you know, a smart guy like Bill Gates should have figured it out after he came out with XP, all the PC users were relatively happy, XP made PC users a happy crowd for the most part.

Leave it alone, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, an old axiom that goes a long ways.

We’re a 2 computer household and both of us have XP, and if Microsoft drops support for XP in the future, I will no longer be a Windows person, there are too many people that are very happy with Apple and their systems, and it appears that Apple does listen to their customers, if Windows won’t, hit em where it hurts the most, hit em in the wallet.

Microsoft can tout Vista until hell freezes over but they know it’s a piece of crap and I know that they already have their new system ready to hatch soon, it’s called Vienna, and it’s waiting in the wings right now.

I hope Gates and his crew of eggheads took the time to get it right, they seem to prefer pushing a product off on the public before it’s ready, and if Microsoft has a downfall, that will be it, and there is one other thing that Gates and crew need to consider, the CUSTOMER is always right, keep XP, bring out your new stuff but keep XP, for some of us it IS the perfect system.


Bookmark and Share
Return: Top of Home Page