basically tech

3 OpenNTPD on Linux

Wednesday 11th October, 2006

I like my desktop to show the correct time. As for my servers, I consider it essential. There are a number of solutions for this. Depending on your platform, these include:

The focus of this article is OpenNTPD running on Linux, although I imagine that much of this will be relevant for other supported operating systems.

2 Tackling the hackers and the anatomy of spam

Wednesday 11th October, 2006

The next two articles in the BBC honeypot/cracking high-tech crime series continue with Tackling the hackers face-to-face and Anatomy of a spam e-mail.

The first two articles in the series were discussed in an earlier post.

Tackling the hackers face-to-face follows the author onto IRC where he chats with a few hackers, discusses their motives (financial) and their problems (being ripped off!) ... "There is little honour among these thieves". I was interested to see that Paypal is used for transactions between hackers and their customers.

Anatomy of a spam e-mail examines a typical spam e-mail and dissects the various parts. If you're not sure what spam is, this might be useful.


1 Unsafe surfing

Tuesday 10th October, 2006

A fascinating article on the BBC News website which shows what happens when you allow popup software from websites to scan your (Windows) PC for infected programs.

Those who have not read the first article in this series may wish to know that the researchers used a virtual (VMware-based) unprotected installation of Windows XP as a "honeypot" lure for trojans/hackers/virii.

The free scan inevitably showed vast amounts of spyware (on an uninfected machine) and then demanded money to fix these imaginary problems. One "security download" added unwanted toolbars and favourites, pop-up ads and also redirected web searches.

So much material was being downloaded onto the virtual machine that the researchers were forced to cut the network connection. This caused the PC to become unresponsive and the only way to switch it off was to virtually "pull the plug".