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Monday, November 05, 2007

How to learn "computer hacking" from me

Thanks to the week-long vacation, I feel very relaxed right now at work-but not too relaxed in dealing with everyday issues at work. I need to work on this and I need to work on that. All of this and that, in a monthly report.

I'm giving myself a breaker right now to ease this a bit and its quite an opportunity right now to discuss a certain topic such as "hacking". Although I won't let you know how to "hack" or why do people "hack", I'm posting something that's on the lighter side of it...

Take for example this kinda silly question I got from a friend of mine. The message (translated in "English" goes like this:

my friend:
how do i hack a computer

me (gil villamater) :
it's easy. 1) first, you need to have a lot of money to pay me so i could tutor you 2) second, if you can't do number 1, you have to find me some cutie out there which you'll be introducing me so that she could be my girlfriend eventually 3) third, make sure that you've followed either number 1 or number 2 4) fourth, if you're able to accomplish number 3, i can now teach you "hacking"

my friend:
hahaha

Now look guys, the word "hack" or "hacking" has two sides. It's like a coin. Either which way you'll be, think first on what you actually intend to accomplish about this? Are you going to use it to establish a more secured and safe world? or are you trying to pin somebody down? This post might be worth laughing, but just like in the Spider man movies: "with great power, comes great responsibility". So, are you responsible enough?

Think of these things...
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yahoo - The "lively" Messenger

I just came across Yahoo! Messenger's recent aesthetic changes and oh boy, I sure appreciate the "face lift". The pale lavender color brightens up as you focus your mouse cursor on the app. I haven't yet explored the possibility of changing the backgrounds since this is the first time I have installed the update (thanks to FileHippo) but it should have provisions for that, since its possible that not everyone likes lavender (or purple) color...

As you see here (it's me), I made a few "Photoshop" changes just to hide the names and protect my privacy - but everything's a-OK! I remember the last version (aside this one) that I'm quite dumbfounded with the extra plugins underneath that most of us wish it would just go away, and never comeback.

I've been quite critical over the years about Yahoo! regarding various things such as unused BHO's (browser helper objects), script errors on Yahoo! Mail under Internet Explorer 7 (which makes me prefer to use Mozilla Firefox accessing it) and extra buttons / flash-based controls which I don't really need and I don't know how to make them disappear. Oh well, at least they've make the "lavender" Yahoo! Messenger pretty. How I wish it won't be bombarded with "ads". By the time that comes, there's nothing more but to have it called as "Ad-ware".
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Medical Science

There was a time when we still got cable TV, that I was able to watch a lot from different channels around the world. Well, it ended years ago...

What's posted right now is a shoot from a movie scene called "Doctor K". It's kinda like the "X-Files" or "CSI", but this one's Korean. Good thing there's an English subtitle that benefit everyone who knows no language aside from their mother tongue and English.

The movie's situated in a South Korean hospital, where Dr. Soo investigates her former classmate, the brilliant but cold Dr. Min, who has been successfully conducting neurosurgeries even the hospital’s most skilled surgeons would dissagree the success rate of such an operation. With the investigation backed up by Dr. Soo's uncle (the hospital administrator), her work as a colleague with Min comes into balance as she braces her feelings for him and the mystery behind each operation he successfully conducted.

Now comes Seh, a young teenage girl with a fatal brain tumour, that will undergo Min's "mystical" operation, only to discover that Dr. Min uses shamanistic magic to heal her (Seh). In the end, Dr. Soo realized that this would quite be fatal for Dr. Min to exercise and persuades him not to perform the "magic".

Oh well, this would be a good movie to my friends in the medical field...
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Monday, August 27, 2007

A Frog Story

Although there's nothing special about this story (especially this "blue" eyed buddy on mine staring at you right now), I'd like to share it to everybody anyway...

One typical evening when I'm on the way home, it was quite rainy. I was suppose to pay for a one way ride (my usual last ride as I reach home is a motorized bike with a sidecar on it which we call "tricycle" here in the Philippines) but I've got a few coins left so I just flagged down tricycles going along M.L. Quezon Avenue (bound to Angono, Rizal). Tricycles going this way would in turn pass straight thru our subdivision's main gate, and that's were I usually stop. I was near Shopwise Antipolo that time.

Now, since there's a road construction going on right now near our subdivision gate (part of the road collapsed because the foundation wasn't that well packed), its easy for me to ask the driver to stop at the subdivision's gate which I have to cross the other side in order to be walk through and inside the subdivision, and finally home. Of course, I have to look sideways for incoming vehicles so I don't get smacked down and have my HMO bill my workplace for the accident. I have to be careful though while crossing.

As I was suppose to cross the other side of the highway, I saw this tiny little frog trying to get itself safely on the other side (we both started on the same side, trying to cross to get to the subdivision's gate). Although there's a traffic officer managing the road (since there's a construction going on, right?), there are still vehicles passing on both sides. There I saw that little frog jumping slowly, surely, until it crosses the highway safely.

Frankly, I was quite nervous over his/her fate should some speedy vehicle "swacked" it up! and there leave Kermit's cousin bloody. Good thing that didn't happen, and I was able to write this story in behalf of that frog whom I don't know where he/she is right now or is he/she still living or what.

I suppose that its quite a custom to give moral lesson on a story. This one doesn't have. I won't write one. Rather, I'll be asking reading to post their comments on how God provides safety, even to the minutest of animals.

Go on! Write me some feedbacks! Thanks in advance.
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

While you were sleeping...

I decided to get back to the office after my 15 minute lunchbreak to finish some quick task when I remembered that I also have to accompany somebody who'll be visiting to fix one of our Line Printers. Well, he wasn't there yet and guess what? I wasn't aware that I was sitting beside two (2) co-workings from our Laguna facility in a nearby resto. So the three (3) of us talked abit, then altogether went back to the office...

Even though I'm quite sleepy after a good meal, I managed to slip into our Accounting office and talk to another co-working if her computer still bugs her down. That day, it didn't so I'm very thankful about that.

...also, somebody bought her digital camera and make a few shots. As seen in this photo, the owner of the digicam is seated on the center. The rest of us (except the "you know who?!?!?") posed and smiled for a shot. In the process, I came up with a title for this post I've made. While it should have been another "zzzz..." I renamed it instead "while you were sleeping" and oh boy, he does match the part...

Back to the Line Printers: hhhmmmm... the technician came after, he fixed it. It was fixed, I signed a service sheet just to verify it was working and off he goes. Later, I got the JPEG files of this shot in which one of them (as you see) is already posted online. << end >>

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Useful app comes with a "typo"

One of the few programs that I came across with (in terms of) archiving needs would be MagicISO's MagicDisc. This particular application lets you create images and save them into either BIN (*.BIN/*.CUE), Standard ISO (*.ISO) and Nero (*.NRG). You can also save it in the new Universal Image Format (*.UIF)

I gave it a try comparing how an ISO, NRG and UIF would par in image size and this is what I got:


ISO 284 MB (298,461,184 bytes)
NRG 287 MB (301,510,812 bytes)
UIF 224 MB (234,945,911 bytes)

ISO compared to NRG, was less 3,049,628 bytes. ISO against UIF was 63,515,273 bytes while NRG compared to UIF is 66,564,901 bytes less.

Not much about UIF is mentioned elsewhere on the web except on the MagicISO site, but you can try checking some details here. Lastly, although this isn't part of the image compression, I'll prefer calling it a "typo."

I don't think that its part of the freeware application to have a typographical error upon completion of the imaging task. So let's ask them to change word "iamge" to "image".

Conclusion: MagicDisc which comes as a freeware is one of the few good applications out there on the web. Great for archiving requirements! Download one now at www.magiciso.com
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Another set of auto-sent emails

Sorry guys, I'm been very out recently... out in the midst of our very forested home (lott'sa trees in our lot) just spending playful time with my sister's kids who crash my computer from time to time. Hehehe...

Anyway, what this blog concerns me right now is the prevalence of worms, trojans and viruses I'm encountering daily despite the updates I checked on desktop and notebook computers at work. More than that, I've been continuously receiving emails from somebody I perceive that the user didn't even know that her mailbox automatically sent those.

Here's the rest of the story...

  • Trojans
The most common in this arena would be "HTML/Phishing.gen" and its so common that I'm already pissed about it. Hahahaha. On NOD32's website, "HTML/Phishing.gen" comes in a variety of names. Smithfraud, Bankfrand, etc., You name it! All those financial-type emails requesting you to update something based on the link provided on the email. Well, yeah correct link. Just putting your mouse over that link before clicking it means a difference. It's another link though: so careful please!

  • Worms
Here's something you wouldn't ordinarily found in your vegetable garden: internet worms. Nope, they're not to enrich your online soil experience. Rather, it just soil you much. "Win32/Bagle" is one of those worms that comes with siblings. Who says that internet worms doesn't have sexes? Win32/Bagle.AS, Win32/Bagle.DL, Win32/Bagle.DR, Win32/Bagle.FB, Win32/Bagle.FL, Win32/Bagle.FO, Win32/Bagle.HE Just naming a few...

  • Viruses
Like their biological cousins, computer viruses still do need a host to deliver a payload on the intended (or rather random) recipient. Not much to tell about here, but I'm pretty sure there's plenty lurking out there.

Consider this: I recently got an item called "Microsoft.WindowsSecurityCenter.AntiVirusOverride" using SpyBot - Search & Destroy. What is seems to do is it redirects common A/V update servers or sites (like "Microsoft.Windows.RedirectedHosts") to 192.168.0.101 You can check out Sophos for details.

SpyBot is such a good tool that when combined with your default A/V (I prefer BitDefender, McAfee, Sophos and Trend Micro though I consider Eset's NOD32 the best), an anti-spyware tool (Lavasoft's Ad-Aware).

TIP #1: Whenever you're having a hard time removing files, why not try a "Safe Mode with Command Prompt". From there, you can remove the unwanted files created by all the badwares.

Here's one example of a trojan which requires a "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" procedure:
Generic BackDoor.u:
- mstcpcon20.dll
- netmanage.dll
- netused.dll
(All removed via "Safe Mode" Command Prompt)

TIP #2: Hating to wait till your computer finishes loading those processes everytime you bootup? There's a tool available from Microsoft called "Autoruns" and it will help you determine which of these processes are legitimate and can be disabled. It can also be used to remove all the nastly entries worms, trojans and viruses inserted. Combined with "Process Explorer", it will be an effective tool (call it "dynamic duo") in killing those processes and removing them after. Click here for more details. Just a word of concern: do things the intelligent way, or else you might end up reformatting your computer.

TIP #3: If possible, disable System Restore because Windows backs up your files on a certain folder on your computer. So everytime you clean your computer, infected files are also backed up, leaving another opportunity that once restored - the badwares would be present again in your computer. McAfee Threat Center has details on this. You may go there by clicking here.

Sites to Avoid
(If you're using Yahoo! Messenger and a friend or somebody sent you a message, asking you to visit these sites, please don't - they're nasty conveyors of badwares)

  • 72.29.67.138
  • danhba24h.com
  • decore.biz
  • drantispy.com
  • hiddenprofiles.net
  • nhatquanglan6.t35.com
  • quicknews.info
  • spylocked.com
  • t35.com
  • taiwan-cool.com
  • thecoolpics.com
  • thecoolpics.net

Lastly, for the auto-email sender, its a Win32/VB.NEI worm. A simple Google search would yield hundeds of results for the Win32/VB.NEI worm. Here's a transcript of the actual email sent to me:

X-YPOPs-Folder: @B@Bulk
X-RocketYMUMID: ALjJjkQAADx1Rn9l0QmvJXlMNOI
X-Apparently-To: *********************** via 68.142.201.184; Sun, 24 Jun 2007 23:50:57 -0700
X-Rocket-Spam: 58.69.174.125
X-YahooFilteredBulk: 58.69.174.125
X-Originating-IP: [58.69.174.125]
Return-Path: <************************>
Authentication-Results: mta263.mail.re4.yahoo.com from=*****************; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Received: from 58.69.174.125 (HELO ******) (58.69.174.125)
by mta263.mail.re4.yahoo.com with SMTP; Sun, 24 Jun 2007 23:50:56 -0700
From: "******************" <************************>
To: <***********************>
Subject: [virus Win32/VB.NEI worm] the file
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="----=_NextPart_9.45058643817902E-02"
Content-Length: 129662
X-NOD32Result: Infected, Win32/VB.NEI worm

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_9.45058643817902E-02
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed

how are you?
i send the details.
OK ?

__________ NOD32 2350 (20070624) Warning __________

Warning: NOD32 antivirus system found the following in the message:
document.pif - Win32/VB.NEI worm - deleted

http://www.eset.com

------=_NextPart_9.45058643817902E-02
Content-Type: text/plain
X-Removed: Removed by NOD32 Antivirus System

------=_NextPart_9.45058643817902E-02--

Got it? That's all for this blog!


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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Things GOD never meant in your life (re-edited)

There are things that GOD never meant for you to have in your life. Yes there is, and I've been contemplating in these thoughts after each passing day. A single day that ends gives way to another day of trial.



There are times (a lot of times) that I think there's more than following GOD, reading the Bible, obtaining fellowship and showing kindness (or compassion) - even to the undeserving. And these doesn't make some sort-of-a "buffer" to protect you against the wiles of sin, sinful men and women, sinful nature, compromising situations, difficult situations.

I had high school classmates living somewhere in the United States right now, another in Europe and the rest back in Poland. Who cares? Does the "status quo" of being there makes them better than I am or I am with them? As I learned in Solomon's book of Ecclessiastes, and the story of Job as written by Moses - good and bad things both come with the just/righteous and wicked/unjust. When it rains, it pours and it doesn't select where does the rain drops. For as long as the water cloud enshrouds beneath, so will be for good and bad guys.

We all pray and ask GOD for the better things this life needs to bring us. I have a different prayer though - read through:

-->> LORD, am I asking you the right things in life? Will it make me closer and closer to you each passing day? It's easy to shed a tear for the poor and brokenhearted, but do I have compassion for "even" the greater need? I've been asking you a lot of things - wonderful things, but it seems you're not looking forward to make them happen. Maybe, I am not asking the correct things. Maybe these things, you oh LORD with thy infinite wisdom - you're only looking for the best, "the very best" for me.

Crying For Things God Never Meant For You To Have In Your Life

-->> LORD, show me rather what I need to do. Sustain me against a wishful, silly mind and corrupted heart. Cleanse me against my infirmities, and made me whole. I've been asking too many things, non-essential things but you knew "the very best" and I think you want to surprise me!

-->> LORD, I frankly miss my parents. For I am a parent right now to my older sister, her siblings and my younger brother - doing all I can, to make this home that you left for awhile in an-OK shape, till you return back to see me, us. I miss You LORD, much, much more than the longing that I have for my parents. May my relationship with you be like that my longing of them.

The composition of my life's goals is to be even closer to you. I love you very much LORD. My heart has found comfort in these words that I want to let You know. The cryings won't stop, but it longs for your promise of wonderful Love.


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Monday, March 12, 2007

Meet the Author

For the fast few days, I've been struggling on finding a way to daily update this blog without the frustration of having to log-in and out or use a lot of tools. So far, Blogger for Microsoft® Word didn't do much of a help and I'm still having those #401 errors. Na'h...

Anyway, I've found a picture of myself while scanning some CD's in my drawer. Among the photos that I've had there-well, this one really interest me. For some reason, it seems a new me!

Do you agree?
(Last updated: Feb. 25, 2006)

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Virus on the index [dot] page

It's a fine Sunday morning, with nothing much to do but just surfing. It's almost as fine as I've expected when I came across website (LKG Group) synonymous to a certification training school. Instantly on the index page (others call it root page, whatever development platform they've made it up with - php, asp, dhtml, cgi, etc.,)


I was practically annoyed because of the site's good reputation and yet in their main page, my antivirus scanner popped-up indicating a "Generic.PWS.o" trojan it got, and deleted instantly. A quick research on the internet gave me two (2) interesting sites that you could review about the trojan. Check out these links below:

http://vil.nai.com//vil/content/v_132847.htm
http://www.sophos.com/security/analyses/trojhazifkita.html

I did multi-tasking immediately: making a screenshot of the virus, sending an e-mail to LKG Group (hopefully they'll read it though) and to the web developer as well and lastly, composing this blog.

Though its not a bad thing to surf in their website and look for the information you wanted, please be cautious. Until there are websites like this one, chances are that if you don't have a pretty good antivirus and updated definition (signature) files for that program - you're really in trouble with the rest of your installed programs, documents and personal files (including usernames and passwords).
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Beta testing Ad-Aware® 2007 beta

Lavasoft's beta logoSince the beginning of time, I've been involved with testing applications, utilities, etc., Just recently, one of the new things that got me hooked testing for is Ad-Aware® 2007 beta. In the office that I'm currently working for, we use Ad-Aware SE Personal. Mind you, even with the SE version - there's no good catch, but a lot of detected spyware/malwares. Especially those using notebook computers.

Since its still in beta stage, probably a lot of bugs - take a look at what I've found:

Initial screen failure
In this screenshot, we can clearly see that the installation progresses with only a few more seconds before it completes the installation process. However, you'll notice that on the next screenshot that I got


...you'll notice a small window popped-up (Error 1722) indicating that there is a failure in the installation process ang thus it cannot be completed.


As usual, the only escape to this side of the avenue would be clicking the OK button.


My attempted installation of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware® 2007 beta left a couple of files. Yes, temporary files that might not be temporary at all, especially if its not asking a restart or if you happen to forget the same folder you did the same testing like I did. My probable next move would be an "off" screenshot, or no screenshot at all. Just plain tracking of the installation process, and the files it created, moved (or removed), as well as renamed.

Feel free to make a comment if Ad-Aware® 2007 beta properly installed in your computer or not.
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Monday, March 05, 2007

One funny thing

With nothing much on the queue to do, a co-worker of mine posted a question to me. Our conversation goes like this:
[11:00:28] kuya gil..busy ka? my mga alm ka bng games or activities during trekking for example, ala survivor! bsta ganun..
[11:02:19] kala ko ba ini-reresearch mo na yang mga iyan?
[11:04:26] hndi aq kc mkakita ng site n my guidelines talga pano gawin..usually my bayad,kya mgideas n lng knukuha q! pra s company outing to gus2 nla kc ala survivor ang theme! quiet ka lng ha..
[11:05:15] quiet?
[11:05:54] n nsabi q sau ung theme..:)
[11:09:08] nalimutan ko na ang theme eh... "theme park"? "sandara park"? or "national an-theme"?
[11:09:36] ha-ha-ha funny!
a-biff, a-biff, that's all folks?!?

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Need a screen sharing? Read this...

Forgive me my dear readers if it took so long before I made an update on this blog. After my last post, I was sooo busy enjoying Christmas Parties here and here, meeting friends, eating. What a life!

Right now, I came accross a tool which I'm evaluating right now. It's called TeamViewer - an Instant Desktop Sharing Application.

TeamViewer Remote Control
Free Remote Control

Want it yourself? Register for a free license (for personal use) by clicking here.
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