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Archive for January, 2009

Defragmenting balances performance and security


I can say with conviction that disk defragmenting makes a big difference in the speed of my Windows-based workstations and servers. From boot times to email client load times to vulnerability scanner response times (especially those with a database on the back end), defragmenting clearly helps.

There are plenty of free options, such as the Disk Defragmenter that Microsoft built into Windows (which happens to be available via Group Policy control as well), JkDefrag and Auslogics Disk Defrag. If you’re looking for more horsepower and handling, check out the commercial alternatives, such as Ashampoo Magical Defrag, Diskeeper and PerfectDisk. Just be careful when you defragment your Windows 2003-based systems. There’s a known issue with losing shadow copies of your system, but at least there’s a workaround.


10 Best IT Certifications

Source: Global Knowledge

IT pros tend to have strong opinions when debating the value of professional certification – and views become even more polarized when it comes down to a discussion of which certs are meaningful. Erik Eckel put together a list of the accreditations he believes currently hold value for IT pros.

IT certifications boast numerous benefits. They bolster resumes, encourage higher salaries, and assist in job retention. But which IT certifications are best?

1: MCITP   2: MCTS    3: Security+  4: MCPD   5: CCNA

6: A+    7: PMP    8: MCSE/MCSA   9: CISSP    10: Linux+

Internet anonymisation system with zero known bugs

Source: Heise Security

The developers of Tor the internet anonymisation system, have announced that thanks to a Coverity analysis, they have removed a number of bugs and vulnerabilities. Coverity perform source code analysis of C, C++ and Java and in September 2008, found 171 problems in the Tor code base. By December 2008, the Tor developers had got the count down to 15 issues, and have now managed to reduce the bug count to 0. In announcing that they were Down to 0 issues on Coverity Scan, the developers said that using Coverity’s free of charge programme for scanning open source software for vulnerabilities had identified many issues which were “just sloppiness in our unit tests’ error handling”, but that number of the discovered issues were real bugs. This included some which could have caused crashing issues and that usually would have been hard to debug.

Hacker Tactics – Social Engineering

Source: Security Focus

The true story about Social Engineering, which is use as a hacking tactic.

One morning a few years back, a group of strangers walked into a large shipping firm and walked out with access to the firm’s entire corporate network. How did they do it? By obtaining small amounts of access, bit by bit, from a number of different employees in that firm. First, they did research about the company for two days before even attempting to set foot on the premises. For example, they learned key employees’ names by calling HR. Next, they pretended to lose their key to the front door, and a man let them in. Then they “lost” their identity badges when entering the third floor secured area, smiled, and a friendly employee opened the door for them.


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