Secure IT Foundation

Archive for July 2010

Due to popular demand, we have added a couple more horrors as seen in our shop in Rotterdam

Here is a power supply that stopped working. Can you tell why?

Here is a CPU fan and cooler that also needed a little attention!

A closer look at the fan after it has been removed

Hope you are not eating your lunch.

SecurityBrad

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You may have read the article on cleaning PCs and thought you were safe as a laptop user… Well if you have problems with your laptop rebooting at random, getting hotter than the sun in unwanted places, or just behaving strangely then perhaps you need to have your laptop cleaned! Your computer professional should replace the thermal paste as well as dust from the fan.

Do not try to replace the paste yourself if you are not sure what you are doing. Here is an example of a badly done laptop processor that was causing terrible problems for the owner.

It should only be thickness of a sheet of paper and only cover the CPU!

Above is an example of dust causing an overheating problem as the vent is blocked. Combine the two problems and your laptop will work for 30 minutes then stop without warning. Only when cold will it behave again but by then permanent damage may already have been to the laptop.

SecurityBrad

If you have been reading tech news stories about the ‘Zero Day’ Windows shortcut vulnerability becoming a serious mainstream risk, unusually they are correct. There is an unpatched vulnerability in all recent versions of Windows (XP, Vista and 7) which uses Windows to misread¬† a shortcut ‘.lnk’ file to take over your computer.¬† Now there is also an email based virus that uses this vulnerability to infect your computer. So is there reason to panic?

Normally Level 4 secured computers would be unaffected by most vulnerabilities as they are discovered due to configuration or mitigation security strategies. In this case the only current active protection is based on Anti Virus software, and it may not be enough to prevent an attack on its own. An English Anti Virus company has released a stand alone program that offers additional protection for Level 4 users and we are recommending its use until an official patch is released by Microsoft.

You can find out more about the tool made by Sophos here or download it directly here

Security Brad

While there is no magic solution to protect your financial information when banking online, there is a service offered for free called Trusteer Rapport. Mainly provided for US and UK banks to supply to their own customers as an added service, its protection works on other bank sites as well.

Windows users can download it here and Mac users can download it here or you can visit the official page at http://www.trusteer.com/webform/download-rapport

Once installed, you get a new button next to your browsers address bar which you click when using your own bank site and it helps give another layer of security to your session.

It starts out with a list of 50-60 ‘partner’ banking sites and is limited to 100 sites in total, but that means that most of your own favourite sites can also added.

Do remember that you need to combine software this with many other security steps in our security guides to be even remotely confident in your computer’s security and secure use.

SecurityBrad



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