Security: Ad Blocking

Written by Richard Lowe

I don't know about you, but I find banner ads pretty darn obnoxious. Now, I do understand thatrepparttar foundation upon whichrepparttar 132083 internet is built is, pure and simple: advertising. That's what makesrepparttar 132084 internet work, and that's why it was growing so fast. It's interesting to see companies fold as advertising falls short of expectations.

I hate those ugly banner ads (especially that "punchrepparttar 132085 monkey" thing). They steal my bandwidth and they take room from content. Think about it, you have a 10k banner, you lose a couple of seconds of bandwidth and about an inch offrepparttar 132086 top of your screen.

Even worse are those idiotic pop-up banner ads which free web sites seem to love (at least now most of them offerrepparttar 132087 option of using inline ads). There is very little worse than visiting a web site and having that stupid panty hose ad pop up over and over and over. It just won't stay closed.

There is now a product onrepparttar 132088 market which does a superb job of eliminating not only advertisements, but also pop-up banners, cookies, sounds, Java and JavaScripts.

Just to give you an idea of how well this product works, I clearedrepparttar 132089 statistics, then surfed for 5 minutes to 8 web sites. A total of 5 ads were removed! Wow.

On top of that, AdSubtract saved me from 4 annoying pop-up windows. I purchasedrepparttar 132090 Pro version, which is about $29 - worth every penny. You can get your own copy fromrepparttar 132091 AdSubtract web site. There is also a free version available which is find for most uses.

Another product which does just aboutrepparttar 132092 same thing is Norton Internet Security 2001. In addition to performing all ofrepparttar 132093 ad blocking and cookie management, Norton Internet Security 2000 contains a firewall. The ad blocking and cookie manager of this product is reasonably good, butrepparttar 132094 firewall has some flaws. I would recommend AdSubtract over Norton Internet Security 2001.

Viruses: The Code Red Worm

Written by Richard Lowe

Years from now, we will all look back onrepparttar summer of 2001 as one ofrepparttar 132081 strangest summers inrepparttar 132082 history ofrepparttar 132083 internet. We will surely laugh atrepparttar 132084 frantic gyrations of system administrators and security professionals because of a worm called "Code Red". We system administrators will most certainly chuckle as we fondly reminisce onrepparttar 132085 late evenings spent patching server after server atrepparttar 132086 urging of our security professionals. And hey, that blue screen or two that resulted was so much fun to research, andrepparttar 132087 reinstalls that we had to dorepparttar 132088 next day will certainly berepparttar 132089 topic of campfire conversations for years to come! Not!

During late July and early August, Microsoft, CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) andrepparttar 132090 FBI issued emergency bulletins urging all system administrators to patch their web servers immediately. The press was alerted and asked to help spreadrepparttar 132091 word thatrepparttar 132092 internet itself was in extreme danger. Every security and antivirus company onrepparttar 132093 planet was busy sending out notices to everyone they could find thatrepparttar 132094 problem had to be fixed immediately, or dire consequences would result.

The predictions were that internet speed would be reduced to a crawl for days while billions (trillions?) of meaningless packets were thrown atrepparttar 132095 Whitehouse web site an attempt to knock it offrepparttar 132096 air.

What wasrepparttar 132097 cause of this three-ring circus?

It's very simple really. The same old story. Microsoft had a bug in their web server code. Well, saying they had a bug dramatically understatesrepparttar 132098 magnitude ofrepparttar 132099 problem.

To put it into perspective, let's say you hired a contractor to build a new bank (you arerepparttar 132100 bank manager). Naturally, your bank is outfitted with state ofrepparttar 132101 art technology (so saysrepparttar 132102 brochure), including a shiny, well-publicized security system. The project was expensive, but you're happy because, hey, it'srepparttar 132103 new, improved, extra special XP bank. Besides,repparttar 132104 contractor isrepparttar 132105 biggest one onrepparttar 132106 planet and, frankly, you paid them an exorbitant rate to ensure that you gotrepparttar 132107 best there was.

After your bank is robbed, you find out thatrepparttar 132108 contractor had "accidentally" left an eight foot hole inrepparttar 132109 right wall. This isn't just a small hole, it's a huge, gaping crevice leading directly torepparttar 132110 vault. It's in plain view to everyone, except, seemingly,repparttar 132111 contractor. When you confrontrepparttar 132112 contractor to ask them how they could do such a stupid thing, they politely tell you, after a three hour wait on hold and a $295 charge on your credit card, that it's really your fault because you didn't followrepparttar 132113 instructions in their special security bulletin two months ago. Didn't you send a couple of your employees torepparttar 132114 BSE (Bank Systems Engineer) classes to learn that they need to purchaserepparttar 132115 extra-special, super spectacular BankNet knowledgebase CDs?

Okay, all kidding and sarcasm aside, there is a bug inrepparttar 132116 Indexing service (the component that creates searchable indexes) inrepparttar 132117 Microsoft Internet Information Server (the program which displays web pages on a web server) which is supplied with Windows NT and Windows 2000. This bug allows allows anyone who can send a special string of characters to a web server to "take control" and, basically, causerepparttar 132118 web server to do anything thatrepparttar 132119 attacker desires.

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