Tag Archives: Security

TrueCrypt tutorial

TrueCrypt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. With TrueCrypt you can create virtual encrypted drives,  encrypt entire partitions and removable devices or entire hard drives. Watch this tutorial by Thirdfoundation for Windows or the MAC Version by Obrien1979

UPDATE (Oct 14): The development of Truecrypt has been discontinued by its creator but a team of developers has taken up the task of carrying on its legacy through TCnext (TrueCrypt next). For more information please read “About TCnext“.

These videos below are based on an older version of TrueCrypt, but after installation you will see that it looks all the same. For the most up-to-date version go to https://truecrypt.ch/downloads/

Read more »

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Laptop, mobile and Firefox security

I have been reading some interesting blog posts with suggested security measures for mobile devices, laptops and online.

  1. Lessons I Learned When My Laptop Was Stolen – On http://lifehacker.com
  2. How to Track and (Potentially) Recover Your Stolen Laptop or Android with Prey – On http://lifehacker.com
  3. How To Protect Your Login Information From Firesheep – on http://techcrunch.com

The posts are really worth reading, and also the comments on them. In case you want to use this post as a bookmark for future reference, like I do, here is a list of the solutions mentioned in the posts above.

  1. TrueCrypt – data encryption
  2. Prey Project – track and (potentially) recover stolen laptop, Android or iPhone
  3. Force-TLS Firefox addon – force selected websites to use HTTPS

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Books for sale – Linux Shell, Qmail Handbook and SSL/TLS

I have selling on Amazon.co.uk a copy of each of the following books:

Linux Shell Scripting with Bash (Paperback) (SOLD)
by Ken O. Burtch (Author)
Linux Shell Scripting with Bash will help you learn to not only get your system up and running quickly by employing the Bash shell, but it will also show you professional scripting solutions through the use of structured programming and standard Linux development tools. The book focuses on the Linux environment, which the shell relies on to function, and the robust Linux tool set, making this book ideal for learning shell scripting. Real-world scripts are included that are readable, extendable and easy to debug. This book is an asset to any Linux user.

The Qmail Handbook (Paperback)
by David Sill (Author)

qmail is used by hundreds of ISPs and thousands of other sites, including Hotmail since 1997, which has over 30 million users. qmail is popular because of its security, reliability, speed, low memory use, user-controlled mailing lists, straightforward administration, and much more! An Introduction to qmail is designed to guide system and mail administrators of all levels of experience through the installation, configuration, and maintenance of a qmail server.

SSl and TLS: Building and Designing Secure Systems (Paperback)
by Eric Rescorla (Author)

SSL and TLS: Designing and Building Secure Systems offers clear and comprehensive descriptions of these security protocols and their implementation, and also provides “designs”–tried and true templates that suit various scenarios. Armed with this book, you can become well versed in the importance of SSL and TLS, be able to work with them to provide solutions, and furthermore identify an appropriate tested “design” that will solve the security problems of a proposed new network installation.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Important SQL and Exchange Server patches

A security issue has been identified in the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (WMSDE) that could allow an attacker to compromise your Microsoft Windows-based system and gain control over it (Bulletin MS09-004), and Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Could Allow Remote Code Execution (Bulletin MS09-003).

The vulnerability in the MS Exchange Server is the most severe, Microsoft explains:

”This vulnerability means that any cybercriminal sending a well
crafted email attachment to an enterprise could gain complete control
over the server and gaining one of the keys to the kingdom…

All kinds of highly confidential and proprietary information pass
through an Exchange server every day.  Gaining control over it and its
content would be a gold mine to any cyber criminal,”  – Extracted from ZDNet

Other applications are also being patched up, Microsoft Visio and IE being included. Microsoft released its monthly security bulletin on the 10th of February.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Is Mac Safer?

I was reading this article on ZDNET.com “Is Mac still the safer bet?” by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. This is a question that I have been asked many times also, “Is Mac safer than windows?” Although many times it sounded more like an affirmation than a question.

I wouldn’t say it’s safer, it’s just not as targeted. Once Mac becomes a target, the cyber criminals will have a lot of fun because of the lack of attention to security Mac users have. To switch platform with the sole reason of not having to think about security is very lame.

The Microsoft operating system is targeted  for its many vulnerabilities including the end users, who have now started to take security really seriously. Mac users have to step up on their care for security. Most problems I find with Mac users are:

  •  Very simple (Unsecure) passwords
  •  Blind trust in any program that is available for Macs (because its safe right!)
  •  Addiction to desktop gadgets (because its safe right!)
  •  Keychain unconditional love – store all and any passwords (this combined with my first point can be a disaster)
  •  Will join any wireless network availabe (I am safe it’s a Mac)
  •  Last but not least… they are  annoying. ;)

I do not intend to have a go at Apple/Mac and its users, but the lack of security awareness I have seen , specially the new ones recently switched from Windows, is scary. If a well developed targeted malware or virus were to be released now it would be a global disaster.

So my answer to the question is: “The operating system hasn’t been target untill then no one will know how much safer it is. Mac users brace yourselves!”

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,