Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Twitterings

Don't worry - I'm not going to dive into Twitter.

It offends my Wall Of Text tendency with its namby pamby 140 character limit. I'm just getting started at 140 characters !!!!!

Just 3 days to go until Winter Break ... I seriously need it. Although part of that need comes from knowing that the break is coming. That's the way I tick (unconsciously). I'll get bugs as well at the end of this week as I shut down more. Nah - I'll be ok there. The hole in my tongue is almost fixed (gotta learn to talk proper again !) and my skin is actually, finally, normalising. When I give it the chance that is.

Semi Random Thoughts today.

I'm currently listening to the Yogscast livestream. It's ladies night with my two favourite Yogscasters, Hannah and Kim. Hannah came in late and Kim had Duncan and Simon helping out. It's been hilarious so far (although you kinda need the insider knowledge to really appreciate it - I guess like with most comedy). They broke the server, good and proper.

It started with a fishing trip, where they take their Minecraft characters off to an island. They build a cave into a fishing hut and out come the rods. (The fishing rods). And then out comes the rum. This is followed by Simon summoning in more Naga than you can count (Beefy mobs that eat the world).

Mayhem ensues, closely followed by hilarity as they try and fix something that could easily eat the server. Duncan brings out the nukes, which is when the server hamster cries "Enough!" and falls out of the wheel. This is after the same Simon probably broke another long running Yogscast series in a livestream from Sunday by crashing into the moon.

I was going to natter about security ... Had the annual threat brief today. Everybody should get these, wherever they work. Even if you're not employed, you should have some awareness of cyber security (it scares me witless sometimes when I get the call from the dad).

I'm seen by others as some sort of God when it comes to knowing about IT stuff. The reality is that I carefully pick and choose which questions I answer. I stay quiet when there's something I have no clue about (MS Access anyone ?) and can usually blag something and make it up as I go along with other problems. My light touch of autism probably helps there as it means I can think as literally as a computer. I can understand what's going on in there.

Security ?

Yeah. Even though I know lots, I've been caught out on the security a few times. Everybody, whatever the protection they use, gets caught out on cybersecurity. Unless they ditch Microsoft, Adobe and other stupidly vulnerable products that is.

Be careful online. I shake my head in despair when I see someone post the "If you don't sort out your seciruty I'll unfreind you" (the typos are from the copy/paste) on Facebook and they're posting that with the "visible to the world" setting enabled. I facepalm when I see anyone posting on Facebook with the "visible to the world" enabled.

How have I been caught out ?
Playstation emulators that aren't emulators, they're trojan horse viruses that disable your antivirus (Norton at the time) and do other nasty things
An Eve Online account hack - either the keylogger came on a brand new laptop (I don't think so, other things would have been compromised) or it came in the Eve client download (which is horrendous)
An MS Blaster infection on a machine I built for my dad - it was connected to the internet for literally just 15 minutes before a "Do you want this to connect to the internet ?" popup appeared. That's right - no user interaction required and the machine was found, seen to be vulnerable and infected, within 15 minutes. (That vulnerability got closed - but the machine was infected before the fix could be downloaded)
Economic damage via faulty nVidia drivers - they made the graphics card hot, which made it crash, which made me think it was broken, which made me buy a new card.

The graphics thing wasn't technically a virus but it's an example of where bad software causes you problems. Like putting Windows 8 on a machine and finding it's made permanent changes that stops you putting something more usable on there, like Windows ME or Windows 3.11.

Anyway - the real message I have with the security is :
Be aware - the nasties are out there but you can protect yourself by doing things like using Ad Blockers, using a Flash Blocker, ditching Internet Explorer, not giving any private information to Google, Adobe (in particular), Facebook or the other organisations that want your info. Facebook doesn't know who I work for, it's bad enough that they know where I live.
Be safe - use antivirus (I really should put some on my Macbook ! although technically it doesn't need it)
Know how to react - DON'T PANIC !!!

If you see your machine working strangely, well, even stranger than the average Windows machine, then don't panic. First, do not rush off and change your passwords like I did when I got hacked in Eve. If you have a keylogger, it'll harvest all your new passwords (including the ones it didn't already know about) and send them off to the Naughty People. Nope - run a full virus scan and then run a scan from Malware Bytes Anti Malware's software. Don't run them both at the same time, it'll take much longer as they both fight for time on the machine.

After the Nastie is caught and deleted by the virus scan or MBAM, then change all your passwords. But don't panic and change them before you know the machine is clean.

Hope that makes sense !

Doh ! This was supposed to be randoms but it's turned into something mega on security ...

Back to the livestream. Hannah and Kim are currently berating Simon for not burning the house down in Beyond 2 Souls. Let's see how he does on the next bit ...

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