Archive for October 2008

Merchant 911

Merchant 911 is an organization founded by merchant Tom Mahoney to help small businesses learn the pros and cons of accepting credit cards and provide them with the resources to fight credit card fraud.

Membership to Merchant 911 is FREE.

The organization is featured in a two part episode of The Force Field.

The Force Field Episode 27 – Merchant 911: Accepting Credit Cards Part 1

The Force Field Episode 28 – Merchant 911: Accepting Credit Cards Part 2

 

Merchant 911

 Contact:

 website: http://www.merchant911.org
Membership Application: http://www.merchant911.org/join1.html
E-mail: contact [at] merchant911.org

 

 

Episode 27 – Merchant 911: Accepting Credit Cards Part 1

This week we are going to talk with an IT professional and merchant who launched a website called Merchant 911 to help small businesses learn the pros and cons of accepting credit cards and provide them with the resources to fight credit card fraud.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:55

News and Comment segment 5:15
The OpenOffice.org Community officially announced the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0 OpenOffice.org 3.0 this month. The open source office suite reached 3 million downloads in its the first week of release.

To keep you informed of all the latest on theforcefield.net we just launched Force Field Insider, a weekly newsletter with news headlines, commentary and other updates from The Force Field podcast and portal. To subscribe, simply go to http://www.theforcefield.net, fill out the short form on the left sidebar and click “Subscribe”. It’s that easy. Best of all, it’s free, and you can’t beat free. Subscribe to The Force Field Insider Newsletter today and get the latest from inside The Force Field.

Windows 7, the code name for the next next version of Microsoft Windows, has now been given an official name. Microsoft is also preparing to release another service pack for Windows Vista.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Interview 2:00
This week we’re going to talk to Tom Mahoney from Merchant 911, learn how his own experiences with fraudulent credit card transactions prompted him to create his web site, discuss the benefits and risks of accepting credit cards in your business and find out which credit cards are the best and worst to accept. Part 1 of a two part series.

Tom Mahoney Interview 20:03

Part 2 Teaser :28

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Episode 27 – Merchant 911: Accepting Credit Cards Part 1

This week we are going to talk with an IT professional and merchant who launched a website called Merchant 911 to help small businesses learn the pros and cons of accepting credit cards and provide them with the resources to fight credit card fraud.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:55

News and Comment segment 5:15
The OpenOffice.org Community officially announced the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0 OpenOffice.org 3.0 this month. The open source office suite reached 3 million downloads in its the first week of release.

To keep you informed of all the latest on theforcefield.net we just launched Force Field Insider, a weekly newsletter with news headlines, commentary and other updates from The Force Field podcast and portal. To subscribe, simply go to http://www.theforcefield.net, fill out the short form on the left sidebar and click “Subscribe”. It's that easy. Best of all, it's free, and you can't beat free. Subscribe to The Force Field Insider Newsletter today and get the latest from inside The Force Field.

Windows 7, the code name for the next next version of Microsoft Windows, has now been given an official name. Microsoft is also preparing to release another service pack for Windows Vista.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Interview 2:00
This week we're going to talk to Tom Mahoney from Merchant 911, learn how his own experiences with fraudulent credit card transactions prompted him to create his web site, discuss the benefits and risks of accepting credit cards in your business and find out which credit cards are the best and worst to accept. Part 1 of a two part series.

Tom Mahoney Interview 20:03

Part 2 Teaser :28

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

 

Merchant911.org

 

Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex” To Be Released This Week

Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" is due to be released on October 30th. It will be Ubuntu's ninth release and the fourth anniversary since the first release, 4.10.

The Desktop version of Ubuntu 8.10 features increased mobile digital with 3G wireless support and guest sessions that allows users temporarily share computers without compromising security.

System Requirements, 256 MiB of memory, some of the systems memory may be unavailable due it being used for a graphics card.

In order to take advantage of the automated process users of older versions, pre 8.10 must upgrade to 8.04 LTS then upgrade to 8.10. Upgrade instructions can be found here: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/upgrading

Maltego

Maltego is a forensics and information gathering application. It is an open source application with a free and paid edition for Linux and Microsoft Windows. The free "community" edition has a nag screen and reduced functionality.

Website: http://www.paterva.com/maltego/

Free "Community" Edition: http://www.paterva.com/maltego/community-edition/

Paid "Commercial"Edition: http://www.paterva.com/maltego/download/

XSSED

/XSSED is a repository for information about cross site scripting vulnerabilities and attacks. The site was created by Kevin Fernandez and Demitris Pagkalosand is considered the largest known listing of XSS vulnerable websites.

website: http://www.xssed.com/

US-CERT

US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) is a US Government agency in partnership with both private and public sectors. The site includes the National Vulnerability Database , security  publications,  alerts and tips and other resources.

website: http://www.us-cert.gov/

National Vulnerability Database

The National Vulnerability Database is a US government repository of vulnerability management data. The database is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division . The repository uses SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol).

website: http://nvd.nist.gov/

Auditing and Logging

Is auditing and logging enabled on your servers and workstations? I bet many of you answer “yes”. My follow up question to your reply would be “When did you enable it?” That's right folks, basic logging is NOT enabled by default within Windows. This may come as a surprise to some but Windows Event logs are not considered basic auditing and logging. 

 Strap on your tinfoil hats and follow along with this scenario: Imagine that your database server is hacked. You are tasked with finding out what happened. Which files have been modified? Who hacked the machine? How long has it been compromised? Was it an inside job? 

 Lets start with the server itself; Which files have been modified recently? Probably easy enough to figure out by looking at the timestamps. Now, who modified them? What's that? You don't have logging enabled for object access? Or directory access? That's right, it's not enabled by default.

 Perhaps you can narrow down the time frame to somewhere between 2-2:15 AM last Sunday night. So, who logged into the server at that time? What, you don't log successful and failed logons? (again, not enabled by default) You get the picture………

 Another real world example: A colleague was having issues with an Exchange server sending large amounts of spam. Apparently an external entity was using the box as a relay, yet the box was not misconfigured as an open SMTP relay. So what was going on? Basic Exchange logging was useless. After enabling detailed logging, it was discovered that a 3rd party backup utility installed on that server and configured with default credentials was being used to obtain a valid logon and send mail through the box (let this be a lesson about changing default credentials).

 As we can see, logging and auditing is very important. You can utilize it for forensics purposes, to detect anomalies before real problems surface, troubleshooting, and to gain a better understanding of what is going on within your network.

 One of the oldest forms of logging is syslog, from the Unix world. This is an accepted standard and format that *nix machines have used forever. Unix and it's variants are very good when it comes to logging (some may say a bit too anal about it). These machines tend to log all operating system and user related events along with a majority of events generated by any applications running on the machines. Troubleshooting becomes very easy with this detailed level of logging. 

 But, alas, we're not here to talk about *nix machines only. Windows uses the Event Logs to keep track of what's happening with the device. The only pitfall is that even basic events are not logged by default. Successful and failed logons, object access, etc, is not logged. I can't stress how important it is that you develop a policy of enabling this on all of the servers that you build. Here's a good primer on getting started:

Recommendations on what to log

A simple "how to"

 All of this logging tends to rapidly eat up drive space, which is most likely why it is disabled by default in Windows. You will find that the best solution to this is centralized log aggregation (required for regulatory compliance in many industries). Basically, you point all the logs from all of your servers to one log server device. This gives you a central repository for the information and allows you to control access to the logs (an important security consideration) and increase your log retention time (dedicated space for log storage). Most central log servers also have a search interface and some even have a correlation engine that allows you to set up alerts based upon certain thresholds or events. Examples include the Kiwi syslog products, Cisco Mars (more of Cisco-centric product), a simple home-built Linux syslog server, xDefenders ESM appliance (shameless plug), etc.

 There are some issues with central logging in a network environment, not the least of which is the fact that Windows Event Logs are created in a proprietary format that is not directly compatible with the syslog standard. This is not a problem if you have a pure Windows network, don't want to log anything from your firewalls, switches, routers, etc., and are using a central log server that understands the Event Log format. I prefer to not only log my servers, I also want all that juicy information from my other network gear as well. Fortunately there is a solution in the form of products that can convert Event Log to syslog format. The best one by far (in my experience) is the Snare Agent for Windows. This product is free (everybody likes “free”), does a great job of formating the information into the syslog standard, and has a very powerful web-based interface to configure stuff to your heart's delight. The best feature of the Snare Agent is the fact that during the installation process it will ask you if it should enable some basic auditing and logging. Nice!

Get Snare Agent for Windows here

 In summary, enable some basic logging on all of the important devices on your network, implement a central log server, and start to utilize the benefits that logging can provide for you. Some day you'll thank me.

Copyright Todd Hughes 2008

DiskInternals Releases Mail Recovery Software

DiskInternals announces the update of Mail Recovery, its flagship product to recover and repair deleted and corrupted email databases by various mail clients. The new release supports Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, and TheBat, and recovers messages, attachments, contacts, tasks, calendars, and address books.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) October 22, 2008 — DiskInternals announces the update of Mail Recovery, its flagship product to recover and repair deleted and corrupted email databases by various mail clients. The new release supports Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, and TheBat, and recovers messages, attachments, contacts, tasks, calendars, and address books.

 

Mail Recovery Wizard
Mail Recovery Wizard

About DiskInternals Mail Recovery

DiskInternals Mail Recovery allows everyone to recover and fix email databases used by Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Thunderbird and TheBat. The new version works fully automatically. The tool locates, recovers and repairs email databases automatically even if the disk is damaged or inaccessible.

DiskInternals Mail Recovery combines sophisticated data recovery technologies with simple, convenient user interface and fully automatic operation. The technologies used in Mail recovery are the same data recovery algorithms utilized by DiskInternals Uneraser, a top-of-the-line data recovery product to recover files and data from damaged, corrupted and inaccessible disks. Mail Recovery combines those data recovery techniques with new algorithms developed to fix corrupted email databases after they've been recovered. DiskInternals Mail Recovery recovers the original messages complete with attachments, contacts, address books, calendars, tasks, and indexes.

DiskInternals Mail Recovery is available as a free evaluation download, making it possible for evaluation users to preview the recoverable messages and attachments before the recovery. The full version of the product allows saving the results of the recovery to the disk. Mail Recovery supports export to Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express formats, as well as to eml and vcf files.

About DiskInternals

Founded in 2003, DiskInternals Research develops and markets a wide range of disk and data recovery products. Data recovery software produced by DiskInternals Research deliver quality service to thousands of customers every month. DiskInternals products work on a variety of Windows systems, and recover failed disks, files and data. The company's unique recovery algorithms allow its products to locate and recover data such as office documents, digital pictures and multimedia files even from badly damaged and inaccessible disks.

You can download a full-featured trial version of DiskInternals Mail Recovery for free.

Show Call-In Line
Skype Me™!

or call 407-278-5698 from any landline phone!

Techpodcast Network
Get it On Your Phone!

Listen to Stitcher

Audience Survey
The Force Field
Recognition
Rick’s Picks