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WordPress Brute Force Attacks on non-WordPress Sites

December 1, 2017 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

There are more and more would-be hackers out there that are trying to attack WordPress Sites via a brute force attack on the wp-login.php file that is used on worpress sites to log in to the site.

The problem is that they do not know what are WordPress Sites and what are not so they try connecting to a wp-login.php file on almost every site. This can lead to hundreds of attempts on your non-wordpress by these hackers trying to find a wp-login.php file on your server. Check your server log and you will see all these attempts.

Now if as many people as possible added a wp-login.php to their non-wordpress site re-directing any call to that page back to the IP address that attempted to find it, then these idiots would perform a DOS attack on their own PC,
and stop them sending any more requests.

Here’s how to do it:

Create a file called wp-login.php in your non-wordpress site’s root folder with the following text in it (Your server must be php enabled):

 

 

 

 

Let’s hit back at these idiots together.
Steve

Norton have got it very wrong with WS.Reputation.1 detection

April 15, 2017 // Posted in General, Main, Uncategorized (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Norton's WS.Reputation.1 detection Notice

Norton’s WS.Reputation.1 detection Notice

The way Norton’s WS.Reputation.1 detection works is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in an anti-virus protection program.

 

If someone creates a new program or a new update to an existing program, and only a few people that use Norton have the file or it has only just been built, then Norton immediately deletes it and reports it as a threat without any checks on the file for malware.

Now if that isn’t ridiculous then I don’t know what is. It means that every new program that is first added to a user’s PC that is running Norton gets flagged as a threat for no reason at all.

Here is an extract from Norton’s write-up:

“WS.Reputation.1 is a detection for files that have a low reputation score based on analyzing data from Symantec’s community of users and therefore are likely to be security risks. Detections of this type are based on Symantec’s reputation-based security technology. Because this detection is based on a reputation score, it does not represent a specific class of threat like adware or spyware, but instead applies to all threat categories. 

The reputation-based system uses “the wisdom of crowds” (Symantec’s tens of millions of end users) connected to cloud-based intelligence to compute a reputation score for an application, and in the process identify malicious software in an entirely new way beyond traditional signatures and behavior-based detection techniques.”

They themselves say that Because this detection is based on a reputation score, it does not represent a specific class of threat , So they think that the file is not necessarily a threat, but delete it any way, just in case! DUH!  That IMO, is not the way antivirus protection should work. It should only identify a real threat that can be proven as a threat, that’s how all other antivirus programs work.

So it sees how many Norton users are using the file and when it was created to make it’s decission? DUH! That means that as it is deleted immediately by Norton, the number of Norton users will never increase so the ‘Reputation’ score will never change. So how can you increase the reputation score?

I myself have recently created a new small program and had this situation with users and have had to refund their purchases because Norton says my installer is a threat. My software is checked by an independent source before distribution with 61 different anti-virus engines and all report they are CLEAN. I have been developing small software applications for 25 years and have never had any issues with my programs they are all malware free and to have Norton now start saying they are a threat is deformation of my character and must be illegal to falsely claim a developer’s products are malicious.

This ridiculous identification is ruining the reputation of small developers as every new program they develop and set up on a PC running Norton, is immediately deleted and flagged as being a threat, when there is no threat at all. Most users will believe Norton and then never take the steps (which are not simple) to get around the Norton false detection.

This needs to be addressed by Norton Now! It is ruining the good reputation of small developers because Norton is saying their software is a risk when it is perfectly safe and no risk at all.

If you are experiencing these issues with Norton please comment below.

regards

Steve

PayPal Security changes September 2016

March 25, 2016 // Posted in General, Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Important PayPal changes you need to be aware of if you are using PayPal on your site:

 

PayPal are updating their Merchant security in September 2016, and it means that when sending transaction data to an IPN etc it will only communicate with secure connections (https://).

This means that you will need to update any scripts that currently use a non-encrypted connection such as IPN’s and will need to install an SSL on your server, if you do not already have one.

You need to also check that your php server supports HTTP1.1 and OpenSSL1.0.1 or higher:

You can check this using phpinfo:

I hope you find this useful,

regards

Steve

Ransomware Operation Taken Down by Cisco

October 7, 2015 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Computer Hi-Jacked?

Computer Hi-Jacked?

A ransomware operation that it is estimated netted $30million a year by installing ransom software on unsuspecting users computers has been disrupted by security researches at Cisco.

The Angler Exploit kit, also known as the hack-by-numbers tool is sold in underground crime forums to people who don’t want to go through the hassle of developing and testing exploits themselves. Angler has the ability to successfully infect an estimated 40 percent of the end users it targets using attack code that surreptitiously exploits vulnerabilities in browsers and browser plugins. In many cases, the security flaws have already been patched, but, in some cases the kits exploit zero-day vulnerabilities for which there is no currently available fix.

A large number of infected users were connecting to servers operated by service provider Limestone Networks. With the co-operation of Limestone and examining some of the servers they found that the single operation was targeting as many as 90,000 users a day.

“This is a significant blow to the emerging hacker economy where ransomware and the black market sale of stolen IP, credit card info and personally identifiable information  are generating hundreds of millions of dollars annually, Talos researchers wrote in a eport about the takedown.

More information at http://talosintel.com/angler-exposed/

My Experiences of Windows 10 and Privacy Issues

August 14, 2015 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

The best one yet

‘The best one yet’??

 

Ok, so I have been using Windows 10 for several days now and here are some of the issues I have found.

First of all there is the Windows Updates: When Windows 10 performs updates on close down, you do not get the old familiar Windows 7 messages “Installing Update x of xx, do not switch off your PC”, instead you just get a Black Screen with continuous hard drive activity, and it is easy to just hit the power switch thinking nothing is happening.

Then theres the Memory issues: One of which cause images to become just Black Squares in apps and thumbnails and icons, some browsers just go black when there a lot of images on a page. Now whether this is a Video Card Driver that Win 10 installed, or a memory management problem in Windows 10, I have yet to ascertain,  but I keep getting an error on shutdown that is something like “Access Violation, Memory error, windows is trying to access an invalid memory location”, which I never got on Windows 7.

Then there’s the Privacy Issues:  Some Windows 10 features, such as Cortana and Bing search, continue sending data to Microsoft, even when they are turned off. Some apps and services will communicate with the Microsoft servers, even when you tell them not to by the individual software’s privacy settings.

For example: Windows 10 will periodically send data, purported to be used for OneDrive,  for reasons unknown, even on a local account that isn’t connected to a Microsoft account. Why it is being sent is a mystery.

In at least one case, it has been found that information that can identify the user is also sent.

Cortana, will send data to Microsoft, even if it is disabled, and that data contains a computer ID that allows Microsoft to determine all the Cortana requests from the same computer.

And what’s more some of these connections would connect to Microsoft’s servers through unencrypted channels.

IMO, If you disable these services as you don’t want to use them, then that should really disable them and any data they would transmit.

My Experience of Windows 10 – Part 2

August 8, 2015 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

 Logging Into Windows 10, Updates and Memory

One thing I do not like about Windows 10, is that many functions require you to be logged into windows using an online Microsoft Account.

  1. I do not want to log in to windows using an Internet based Account.
  2. I do NOT want my personal data stored on a ‘Cloud’ based server.
  3. What happens if it is set to an online account to login and there is no Internet connection.
  4. Why can’t it just log in to the online account just to use that function such as Cortana, which has to have login via the online account?
  5. So Cortana is useless if you have no Internet connection?
  6. There are too many security issues logging in via an online account.
  7. I prefer to log in locally where my data is secure.

Windows 10 is also very memory hungry compared to Win 7, and even with my 4GB USB Ramdisk, is constantly buffering memory to a hard disk cache and has made some apps very slow because of this.

Windows 10 did an update Friday without asking, and I did a reboot of the machine, (that’s how I noticed it was doing something), there was no information that it was happening and on shutdown the screen went black although the hard disk was going crazy, so it was doing something. I left it for 3 hours and the hard drive had stopped being used but the screen was still black, and took a chance and switched off the machine and back on, then I got an opening message ‘Windows is configuring Updates 10%..’ etc and after another hours or so I got the welcome screen. I checked the windows update area and it says all updates were successful.

Not as clean and informative as Win 7.

More to follow

Did you Know that the Internet is Controlled by 14 People with 7 Keys?

March 3, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Keys to the internet

Keys to the internet

From a report by Business Insider.

The Internet Is Actually Controlled By 14 People Who Hold 7 Secret Keys

 

 

This sounds like something out of a James Bond Movie, but it isn’t: The whole Internet is controlled by seven actual, physical keys.

 

It all happens at a ‘Key Ceremony’.

The people conducting the ceremony are part of an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is responsible for assigning numerical Internet addresses to websites and computers and translating them into the normal web addresses that people type into their browsers.

 

For instance, type 64.27.101.155 into your browser, and you’ll be taken to Business Insider’s web page. But www.businessinsider.com is easier for people to remember. ICANN maps the numbers (easier for computers to use) with words (easier for humans to use).

 

If someone were to gain control of ICANN’s database, that person would control the Internet. For instance, the person could send people to fake bank websites instead of real bank websites.

 

On the other hand, if a calamity happened, the ICANN database could need to be rebuilt. So ICANN came up with a way to do that without entrusting too much control to any one person. It selected seven people as key holders and gave each one an actual key to the Internet. It selected seven more people to be backup keyholders: 14 people in all.

 

The physical keys unlock safety deposit boxes stashed around the world. Inside those boxes are smart keycards. Put the seven smartcards together and you have the “master key.” The master key is really some computer code, a password of sorts, that can access the ICANN database.

 

Four times a year since 2010 the seven keyholders meet for the key ceremony where they generate a new master key, i.e. a new password.

 

The security to be admitted to the ceremony is intense, and involves passing through a series of locked doors using key codes and hand scanners, until entering a room so secure that no electronic communications can escape it.

 

The group conducts the ritual, then each person files out of the room one by one, and then they all head to a restaurant and party.

See the latest ceremony here: Link to video: Who holds the seven keys to the internet?

Is the Internet doomed as we know it?

December 31, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Computer Crash

Is the Internet breaking apart?

 

The reason I ask this question is based on four important facts.

  • China’s Great Firewall segments the Chinese Internet so that the chinese have great difficulty accessing anything outside China.
  • Russia has now planned legislation so that Russian Internet users cannot access foreign services.
  • In November Germany  said that all communications between the German authorities would be fully enforced to stay within the country.
  • Brazil have also announced plans to create an alternative Internet channel so as not to go through the United States.

The Internet appears to be breaking up into national sectors. In addition, probably driven by the US’s interception and recording of personal transmissions over the Internet (spying in effect), more countries are considering restrictions within their national boundaries.

Countries appear not to want their information and citizens comments to be available outside their own countries any more, and with countries and continents now making restrictions to how the Internet can be used within their countries seems to be adding to the velocity of these actions. So this could be a killer for some businesses that get a lot of their income from sales outside their home country, if they are not allowed access to those customers any more their businesses will surely suffer.

You will be aware of the EU legislation, which initially insisted on explicit acceptance of cookies on EU targeted web sites, later watered down to implied acceptance. This created considerable confusion and concern from countries outside the EU, who wanted to reach the EU customers, but were not sure if they had to comply with the cookie legislation, hell, there was even more confusion within the EU as no one was clear on exactly what was required or expected. There are still many sites that do not comply with the legislation that should, but I have not yet heard of one warning or prosecution by the authorities. So what was that cookie stuff all about?

So over the coming year or years, I think we will see more of the Internet breaking up into national segments.

Then there is some other issues that will affect the Internet going forward.

The number of Cyber Attacks on big financial organisations are increasing and that’s likely to continue, with additional attacks on government organisations rising too.

Hacker’s lives are being made easier too, with more and more sensitive data being committed to the ‘Cloud’ it is without doubt more accessible to the devout hacker. In addition there are  hundreds of staff that are managing this ‘Cloud’ data in individual organisations. How do we know whether one or more of them that has access to this data, is not extracting it any selling it on or using it themselves for personal gain?

IMO it is best to keep data such as this securely in-house where it can be monitored and controlled effectively rather than store it on third party servers, where you really have no control at all, just their word that it is safe.

Phishing is also on the increase and no-one seems to be able to stop it or spamming.

So what is the future of the Internet for 2014?

Will it be anything like it is now in 2015?

 

 

 

The Dummies Guide to being a Moron on the Internet

December 8, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Dummies Guide

Dummies Guide

How to be an absolute moron on the Internet

The Process in 10 Easy Steps

STEP 1

Go to Google, Yahoo and any other free email services and set up hundreds of new email addresses. You will need some that are absolutely meaningless like QwvFHJH@gmail.com and some that will be useful in later steps such as barclaysbank.custserv@hotmail.com.

 

 

STEP 2

Scan internet pages for email addresses, and save them in a database for future steps, or better still set up a web bot to do it for you, it can get them while you are sleeping then.

STEP 3 (Optional)
Write a facebook app and call it something like CityVille or FarmVille or similar, you will be able to get your hands on millions of emails and post to millions of walls once you have got this.
STEP 4

Find some free web hosts and get some web space, get a domain name that means nothing like qtyrew.com and set up some sub domains like paypal.admin.qtyrew.com so they look like they belong to PayPal, banks etc.

STEP 5
Use the email addresses you set up in Step 1 to send emails out to all the addresses you got in step 2, telling them that you have access to millions of dollars and want to get it out of your country and ask them to send their bank details to you. You could also send out some saying you are from a bank or paypal (see how useful that barclaysbank.custserv@hotmail.com is going to be) telling them to enter their login details onto a page you set up on the webspace in STEP 4.   You won’t get many people that fall for it but if just 1 out of a million emails sent does, it must be worth it, yes?
Repeat Step 5 a short while later in case they didn’t reply, and again a short while later, it might work.
STEP 6
Join an affiliate program for a sex site, online drug shop or cheap loans company or the like.
STEP 7
Visit every bulletin board,blog or forum on the Internet, or better still set up a web bot to do it for you, and post links to the sites you are affiliated to. Don’t forget to add your affiliate ID or you won’t get paid if some other moron actually clicks your link and makes a purchase.
STEP 8
Use the affiliate links you got in step 6 in emails to send out to all the addresses you got in step 2. Use a different email address, one of the ones you set up in step 1, to the one you used for other scams and phishes.
STEP 9

Remember that app you set up in Facebook? Well by now it has collected hundreds of email addresses, user names and granted you access to millions of users walls and news feeds. Fill your boots!

Send out links using the affiliate links you got in step 8 to all of their news feeds, with a message something like ‘This user Likes xxxx. Click the link to view’.
What the hell, you might as well send emails like you sent in step 5, to all of these too, got to have half a chance with these, after all they were dumb enough to use your app!
STEP 10
After all this, if you haven’t made any money, and frankly, there’s not much chance you will, but at least you’ve pissed off a lot of people, and that’s probably the police at your door now, you could always try and sell all the email addresses you have gleaned to some other moron who’s thinking of trying the same things.
Hope you enjoy.
Steve

Recovering from a Hard Disk Failure

July 6, 2013 // Posted in Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Computer Crash

Computer Crash

A few days ago I returned from hospital to a catastrophic computer crash.

I switched on my laptop and my hard drive, that is monitored by software that reported it was in 100% condition and 100% free of errors, went pop and  was reported as ‘Not Present’.  I had two weeks earlier backed up most of my data files and some other files, but there was about two weeks work (a lot of work), that had not been backed up. I decided to try and read the drive in my wife’s PC, bad move, the hard drive obviously had a major short, as it wiped out the keyboard and USB controller of the wife’s PC (she was not happy!).

The next major concern came, as I was still on XP Professional, resisting the change to 7 or 8 as long as possible, so I had to get a new Laptop, and decided perhaps this was the time to upgrade to Win 7 or 8. Another bad move!

I bought a new Acer Aspire with an i5 Intel multi-core processor, 4GB of ram, Nvidia Graphics, USB3, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Webcam and HDMI which had Linux pre-installed, and a shiny new copy of Windows 7.

After several hours I did manage to get Windows 7 installed, but the windows drivers supplied with the PC, could I get them to work? could I hell. I couldn’t even get a network connection so I could search for drivers on the Internet, and I had already destroyed the wife’s PC, so couldn’t use that either. After about 10 hours I eventually managed to get an internet connection using some old drivers I had on disk temporarily and a USB Ethernet stick.  I spent a day and a half trying to search for the drivers and eventually managed to get most of the drivers.

The biggest problem was the graphics drivers and the drivers for the Nvidia card, all the drivers I tried from Nvidia said the card didn’t exist. Eventually I went to the Intel site, the site scanned my system and said it had found some better drivers than I already had and installed them for me, and interestingly, it found drivers for items that were not Intel components and that the Microsoft and Acer sites couldn’t find.

So eventually I got what appears to be drivers for every component and even the Nvidia card.

Installing Windows 7 was a nightmare too, after about 12 re-boots to get the basic installation complete, it took all of one day to install the basic system before I started looking for drivers.

Then there’s the updates, every time I shut down the PC, Windows says it has found a load of updates, ‘Do Not switch OFF your computer’. Surely when you buy new software it should be reasonably up to date on updates? Apparently not, the first six times I shut down, it found over 30 updates, and took at least 2 hours to install them each time. And then the next time I switched on  Configuring recent Updates – Do Not Switch OFF your PC ‘, which took another hour or so. On one occasion when I switched off it said it had found 143 Updates!   When will these updates stop?

OK, so now I have the PC set up after 5 days, time to put my software on, item after item first you get ‘Do you want this program to modify your system?’ – I just ran it – What do you think Windows? Who the hell put that prompt in that comes up every time you install or run a program? I hope he no longer works at Microsoft.

Time after Time, ‘The program you are trying to install is not compatible with this version of windows’, many of which were Microsoft programs.

This must be a Microsoft scam to get you to buy more software. Then another program said you must upgrade to Ultimate or Professional to run this software, OK let’s have a look at the anytime upgrade offer, £125 to upgrade!!! that’s almost double the amount I have already paid for this version, think we’ll pass on that.

So now I have a New PC eventually installed and now need to recover all my backed up files from my three Network Storage Drives, No problems here then, this is straight forward eh?

Wrong!  The first NAS, no problem copied the files, second NAS worked brilliantly on XP, why can’t I access it? Search through help and troubleshooter, ‘the type of NAS is not supported by Windows 7’ was the reply, GRRR!!!, third NAS, same problem.

So another day trying to get round the ‘Not compatible’ and I managed to make them compatible with a bit of jiggerie pokerie. So now I have my files, but of course all my online passwords and bookmarks were saved in the browsers on the last PC. OOPS, I haven’t got them any more. So another day trying to recover passwords of the main sites and services I need to use.

OK let’s check the emails, Oh No, what are all the settings and passwords for them? They were all in Outlook and I haven’t got a back up of them. That’s another day gone trying to re set up them.

This is turning into a nightmare.

So I now have about 50% of what I had before set up, and time to try out windows 7, ‘Better than XP’, Microsoft say. hangs, crashes, slow, weird things happening, stupid  messages popping up every time you run or open anything, I am as yet unimpressed. Yes it has a prettier interface, but what were simple tasks on XP appear to be very more difficult on 7, I have a multi-core processor now, whereas I only had a dual core before, I have double the memory but can only use half of it as the super gaming video card uses half of it, I don’t play games, can I have the memory back? Nope, and the system runs slower than the old machine with the ‘old’ software.

After all this and over a week getting up and running again, I feel like I have gone backwards, I want my XP back!!

I can now see why some people just give up, I feel that I am an experienced PC user and programmer, and even I was close to suicide at one or two stages during this process, so I can understand how less experienced users must feel.

Surely the idea is that as things advance, they get more sophisticated and more powerful, but with advancing technology, surely they should be made easier to use and set up. It must be possible (or at least should be) to make these things more intelligent so that they sort themselves out, and it wouldn’t take a lot to make them backward compatible with previous systems surely.

Well I have had my moan, now I have some advice for you, if you do not want to go through all this, make sure you back up EVERYTHING regularly, because if you don’t back up EVERYTHING, when you try to start again after your hard drive dies, there will be data files saved by programs, and by you, or other configuration files that you will need to get fully up and running again, or like me you will find that files you now need were not backed and you have to start from scratch.

In the past when I have had a hard disk failure, I have luckily been able to recover everything off the drives. This time I was not so lucky, and have learned a harsh lesson. I will not forget to backup everything from now on.

Speak to you again soon.

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

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