It is widely known among Mac OS X users that they have a very tiny window of being infected with malware due to the nature of the operating system and how it is developed. As Apple reduces and makes Macs less expensive, it attracts a certain group that has a sole purpose to infect computers and use them for their own nasty deeds. To date, most of the exploits have been what most call “kiddie play.” Well kiddie play no longer, it seems that now attacks are becoming more complex and destructive.
The security firm Sophos has uncovered and brought to us a recent development that blows the security of Macs wide open: a trojan called OSX/MusMinim-A. The underground hacking community is taking notice of this exploit and taking it over. What this trojan exploits is the remote access of the system, fooling the user into entering their administrator password allowing the hacker to gain control of the computer.
As Sophos explains, this trojan is in its very infantile stages, but lately development around it has exploded. The development of this trojan can be implemented in many ways and poses a big threat to all applications. With that, another widely seen example is the RSPlug.A; this trojan has been in the wild for quite some time, and it disguises itself to be a plugin required to view a video file but modifies the DNS settings, redirecting users to malicious Web sites.
Sophos did extensive testing with the new trojan and says that even with the announcement of Snow Leopard, that has malware protection built-in, it is not safe. The tests only show that Snow Leopard’s protection is against Safari threats. When the RSPlug.A malware was placed on a simple USB key, it was not blocked from running.
The only solid way to protect your Mac is stop downloading what you shouldn’t be downloading and just use Apple’s App Store. Just like on the iPhone, all applications are checked and made sure to be virus free.
I’ve talked several times about GoToAssist Express. We’ve even done several videos in the past months where we featured the product. However, I realized today that I’ve not sat down and written a post about this excellent piece of software from my own point of view.
If you are a tech or small business owner, you know that your time is valuable. Sure, you charge your customers when you make house calls. However, it costs you time and money to get in your car and drive to their place. If you were to use GoToAssist, you wouldn’t have to spend that money, thus beefing up your bottom line. You won’t have gas expense. You won’t have to grab lunch or dinner on the road. You won’t have to spend time traveling… allowing you to help more customers in a day. Simply install GoToAssist Express, and have your customer do the same. You can then connect right to their machine from your home or office, and do the things you need to do.
Install updates to their machines and software. Diagnose problems using the comprehensive reports that GoToAssist gives you. Save yourself a whole lot of time, headaches and money by using a piece of software that will pay for itself in a matter of days. It’s simple to use, and a very powerful tool to have.
Still not sure? Try it yourself for free for 30 days, and I’m willing to bet your tune will change. I use this software regularly, and I have a feeling you would, as well.
4 Menu Basic is a simple set of files: it allows you to create an autoplay / autorun CD where you can put any kind of file. The user simply inserts the CD, then a menu window will be shown with simple buttons: a click on one of the buttons starts your file. No configuration, no hassle. You simply create a “data” directory, then you save files there. Free for up to four buttons, several simple customizations available within the regular edition.
[216K] [Win95/98/Me/2k/XP/Vista] [FREE]
WallCooler makes remote working easier than ever: access remote files, applications, or network resources from anywhere. All Windows based applications are supported, no need to use special applications or synchronize files: MS Outlook, Remote printing, Windows File-Sharing, Windows Remote Desktop or Remote assistance, etc. Easy to install, simple to use, and very fast to run.
[30.7M] [WinXP/Vista] [FREE]
It fascinates me to no end, just how companies come along and pretend like we live in a single platform universe. At the very least, you darn well better consider OS X as a serious player, as Linux is continuing to work on gaining its land legs. So in light of a number of people asking me what the best means is to provide remote control PC repairs, back in my day, it was generally using the built-in Windows remote tools or something like VNC.
Today, I have to say, the choices are better, but with a twist. While others options like GoToAssist and WebEx are apparently subscription based, it is nice to see that the up and coming Bomgar box is not. I have decided that if I was in the market, I would likely use Bomgar and here is why.
- What platforms do you support? With the Bomgar homepage, I simply clicked onto the “box” that was the best fit for my pretend business in this example. Immediately, I was informed that Bomgar supported all three platforms on the client side. With WebEx and GoToAssist on the other hand, I had to dig and dig for this painfully important information. I still cannot remember how I eventually found the page with GoToAssist – seriously, the requirements should have been front and center, not buried in the FAQs. WebEx was just as bad.
- Bombar allows me to choose my representative’s OS, not the other way around. WebEx and GoToAssist, not so much.
- No idea how much it costs, but I tend to agree, if the free trial has you impressed, owning the box is a hell of a lot better than renting services that cannot even make system requirements part of their selling point! But I would request a ROI assessment myself just in case.
Later in the week, I will be talking about how to use something like Bomgar to take your PC repair biz to the next level. Stop working like it is 1998 and join us in the next century. Stay tuned if cutting down on some of your driving time for PC repairs interests you. PC repair in your underwear? Now that is a title I could live with!
[tags]remote access, computer repair, VNC[/tags]
With GetByMail, you can stay at home and have access to your office computer and vice versa simply through your email accounts. You can get remote directory listings and tree view, download/upload files and directories, perform change dir, make dir, rename and delete operations, capture remote computer desktop screens, run remote applications, shut down, reboot, and log off a remote computer.
[2.04M] [Win95/98/ME/2k/XP/Vista] [FREE]
[tags]remote access, email[/tags]
Remote access account lockout can be used by a network administrator to configure how many failed logon attempts are permitted before a remote access user’s account is locked out. This feature is particularly useful if you are using a remote access VPN to provide users with remote access to the network. It reduces the chances of an attacker gaining access to your network by attempting to guess the password associated with a user account.
Two things must be decided upon when using remote access account lockout. First of all you must decide how many failed logon attempts will be allowed before the account is locked out. Second, you must configure how often the failed attempts counter is reset to 0. For example, if the number of failed logon attempts allowed is 4, a user account will be locked out once the number of failed logons exceeds this number. The reset counter then determines how long before the number of failed logon attempts is set back to 0.
Continue reading “Remote Access Account Lockout”
The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.
The following series of TECHTips will review the NIST Report on VoIP and its recommendations. The first NIST recommendation is: Develop appropriate network architecture. TECHtionary analysis is to Require IPSec or SSH [Secure SHell] if remote access is allowed and encryption wherever feasible.
This is intended to be an introduction to SSH, not an in-depth analysis of the topic presented. One of the key points of SSH is that the connection is established and encrypted (passwords are not passed between devices in plain text) before a user is possible. SSH keys are asymmetric or symmetric. Symmetric keys are used for the session and same (symmetric) key is used to encrypt and decrypt. That is, symmetric keys are derived (created) from one another. Asymmetric uses pairs of Public and Private keys. Rules are:
Continue reading “VoIP SSH [Secure SHell]”