Security Corner:

May, 2008

May 31, 2008  2:13 AM

How to Secure Your Computer: Maxim #10

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

A friend of mine came up to me the other day and said, “I love your computer security maxims, but there's one thing I don’t have anything to worry about–I keep all of my passwords stored on an encrypted thumb drive.” "Well, that’s a good thing," I said. "Where do you keep your...

May 29, 2008  8:14 PM

Phlashing Attack Can Damage Systems Beyond Repair

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

It has long been an "everybody knows" that viruses and other malware cannot physically damage hardware. We've all seen those alarming emails that say, "...the virus destroys Sector Zero, thus permanently destroying the hard disk," a statement we know is rubbish; at worst, the disk is rendered...

May 29, 2008  5:14 PM

Beware the Internet Criminals’ Latest Trick

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Some spammers, phishers, and other Internet criminals have resorted to (mis)using the convenient service of in order to disguise their web site addresses and entice you into clicking. takes those weird, long URLs and...

May 22, 2008  7:38 PM

Foxit Reader Security Vulnerability

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Since I discovered Foxit Reader in early 2006, I've been recommending it to everyone. There's no question it's a best-of-breed tool for speed and simplicity. But recently, Secunia issued a

May 18, 2008  6:39 PM

Are You a Hacker Target?

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Aside from those unenlightened, naive souls who invite every hacker, phisher and Nigerian scammer on the planet into their computers how many people actually fall victim to hackers? I'm talking about people who take reasonable precautions, like installing a NAT router, running a personal firewall...

May 17, 2008  3:08 PM

Two Ways to Operate Securely on the Web

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

If you've done any coding at all, you probably have a good idea why software developers often run their untested code in a protected environment--a sandbox. If the software misbehaves, all you have to do is shut...

May 11, 2008  2:07 PM

No-Hassle Way to Kill ActiveX Controls

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

ActiveX has always been a weak point in IE. The majority of browser plug-in vulnerabilities are ActiveX based. Microsoft realizes this and has a method to disable certain problematic ActiveX controls. But Microsoft's method...

May 11, 2008  1:13 PM

Windows XP SP3 Offers Enhanced Reliability and Security, But Not IE7

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

The long-awaited Windows XP Service Pack 3 became available as an Express Update May 6, 2008 on Windows Update, and offers enhanced reliability and security through a few new features: Network...

May 1, 2008  1:16 AM

Does Encryption Have You Complacent About Physical Security?

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

There's no question that data security is senior to physical security. The real value in a stolen laptop or PC isn't in the hardware, it's in the data. Sure, some druggie might steal your laptop and sell it for a fix, but the real danger lies in the thief who knows the value of the files that are...

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