Archive | Security RSS feed for this section

Adobe Flash plugin version checker

Apple – stupidly – has removed the Flash plugin from the standard installation of Safari. Not only that, but Apple decided in their wisdom to stop automatically updating the Flash plugin as part of their regular and automated software updates. This has to be one of the dumbest things Apple have ever done, and has only served to endanger users of Safari. I put this post here as I was tired of hunting through Adobe’s website for the version checker. Here is the version that you are running:

Sorry, either Adobe flash is not installed or you do not have it enabled

Check the version reported above, and go to the adobe flash page to see you have the latest – if not, then it’s time to install the newest version. Job done.

Do I need to run AntiVirus on my Mac?

For the longest time, Macs seem to have maintained a reputation in the industry for enjoying Fort-Knox like security. In many ways this has been true. The latest version of Apple’s OSX (Snow Leopard) is built on Darwin Linux foundations, and is one of the most secure commercially available desktop operating systems.

However, recently things have changed. Macs are increasingly leaving the confines of the music and graphic arts studios and finding themselves in family settings. So what’s wrong with that you ask. Read More…

Kpslice Uptrack – Review

Keeping your kernel updated is both important, and yet one of the most overlooked jobs of any admin. Linux kernels are one of those areas that instill fear into the hearts of many – and for good reason. Compiling a custom kernel is not for the feint hearted or casual user.

However, most of use use the standard kernel options that ship with our flavour of linux, and the in-built package managers that ship with the popular linux builds Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, CentOS/RedHat etc, all offer an easy way to upgrade your kernel to the latest build. For example, using CentOS it’s just a case of yum update kernel.

However, if you are running a server that needs to be on 24/7, then rebooting everytime there are updates is probably going to annoy your users. Plus, if you have a lot of servers, then keeping them all up to date can become a bit of a chore. Read More…

Google Malware Warnings are Bad for Business

In fact, it’s probably fairer to say that having your site pulled from Google’s index because of Malware is not just bad for you, it’s bad for everyone. Malware is software that has been installed in your website code that is intended to infringe people’s privacy, commit identity theft/fraud or to infect their computer with a virus or trojan. Hackers spend every waking hour working on ways to sneak their software into your website, and if google finds out, this is what you can expect (click on the image to see the next page that Google will give you):

So, if you have a website for your business, and you care about whether that website is going to be available in the next 24hrs, you really must read on! Read More…

Is Facebook secure for your kid’s photographs?

This article started out, funnily enough, as a Facebook message to a family member who had asked me to remove pictures of a child from my Facebook account, just in case the pictures fell into the hands of evil weirdos. It was clearly believed that this would somehow protect the child (in this case, my grand-daughter), from unwelcome attention.

Paranoia around child abuse is not good, and leads to the sort of thing that appeared in the papers a few years ago. So, I’m going to attempt to help others better understand the implications of getting out of bed in the morning, and risks that can expose us all to.

Have you looked for “baby” lately on Google images? 340 million image so far. Search for baby photos on istockphoto.com, fotolia.com, alamy.com – in fact any large stock image library carries tens of thousands of baby images for professional use. I’m guilty myself of paying a mother money so I could get some saleable photos of her baby – it’s what professional photographers do. Those images hopefully wind up on packaging, advertising, or in editorial content such as magazines and books. Oh don’t worry, anyone I photographed under age was always done so with guardians close by and with model release forms signed off).

Look at this alamy page here! – thousands of babies for the perverts to look at – some are even, shock horror, unclothed! Does this make the world a darker place? If you think so, then I would suggest you need to take a reality check, and review the inner workings of your own mind. Read More…

Protecting websites from hackers – 9 pillars of wisdom

Sheild yourself from the hacker's toolsIt’s the most awful feeling in the world (I imagine). It’s a new morning, and you settle down at your desk with your favourite drink, fire up your web browser, and before long you have a sinking feeling… Your website – or worse – your clients’ websites have been hacked, and since the wee small hours have been peddling poker, spam, porn and god knows what else to the world via your IP address.

The work involved in recovering the sites, the confidence your customers lose in you and the loss of business really aren’t worth risking, are they? Yet countless millions of websites are run in environments that make it easy for hackers to get a foothold.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the things you should be doing as a website owner to mitigate as far as is practicable, the risks posed by the hacking community, and avoid being hacked! Read More…