Welcome to my blog. In here I hope to share with you tips, tricks, hacks and code that will make your life easier as a network administrator or general computer user. I come with a background in computer engineering and have worked for the past 12 years in the Library world as Manager of Library Systems. Even though some of my posts may be Library specific, most will be of use to all computer users.

If you have a tip that you wish to share with the group, please feel free send me your tip via email at my address rkisch@kischtech.com and I will include it here and give credit where credit is do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Microsoft disables Windows Sidebar and Gadgets due to security risk

Microsoft announced a new patch that will disable the Windows sidebar and gadgets on Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. Disabling the sidebar will prevent an attacker from exploiting a vulnerability in the gadgets that would allow a hacker to gain administration rights and then complete control of your computer. By applying the patch that Microsoft released on July 10 will fix this issue by disabling the Windows sidebar experience and all gadget functionality.

Security researchers Micky Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg will be presenting a presentation at this year’s Black Hat USA 2012 conference called “We have you by the Gadgets” that will explain the risks in detail.

The patch can be found here.  Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2719662

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hotspot Shield - Surf the web anonymously!

Hotspot Shield is a private VPN service that will secure your Internet connection from prying eyes and helps to protect your identity while you are on-line by encrypting all of your web browsing. It works by turning all of your HTTP traffic into HTTPS making each site as secure as your banking website.  It is a must-have for anyone who connects to an open wireless network as it would protect from man-in-the-middle attacks and allows you to browse the web privately. It also protects you from viruses, phishing and spam sites as well as malware sites by detecting and blocking infected websites. This software is browser independent so it works with all browsers and in my testing I found that it didn’t slow down my Internet connection (like a lot of other VPN or proxy sites do), in fact it almost seemed faster in accessing certain sites.

The biggest advantage for me was that I could now access web TV stations and networks (NBC, CBC, etc.) that I couldn’t before as they would not allow Canadian’s to view their content. Now if I missed a show and want to catch up on it on-line, I simple turn on the protection and I am given an IP address that makes me appear as if I am living in San Jose, California. Now I never have to miss a show and I now have access to tons of TV programs that I never had before.

You can download a trial version of the software from their website (http://www.hsselite.com/) or from CNET (http://www.cnet.com/1770-5_1-0.html?query=hotspot+shield&tag=srch). I loved this program so much that after the trial period was over, I paid for a one year membership $29.95 which gives you the Elite version which is faster than the trial version and includes all of the virus and malware protection.  So if you use a wireless laptop to access the Internet or you just want to surf the web anonymously then this is the program for you. I highly recommend it! 

DNSChanger Malware may be infecting your computer!

July 9th, 2012 could spell doom for many Windows and MAC computers around the world that are infected with the DNSChanger malware. This powerful malware was even strong enough to bypass most antivirus software.

Where does this malware come from and how can you check and fix your computer? Well the malware was produced by six Estonian nationals in an attempt to highjack millions of computers worldwide. The idea they had was to replace ads that would come up on webpages with targeted ads that would make them money and to also push even more malware onto these infected computers. They did this by changing the DNS that your computer normally uses to ones that they can control.

The FBI with the assistance of Trend Micro captured these men and the FBI has been providing a safety net using government computers to prevent any internet disruptions for the users whose computers are infected. The bad news is that the safety net will be shut down on July 9, 2012 and any computer that is infected will lose any connection that they have to the internet.

Geo Movie of DNS Changer Infections World-Wide:

So how do you check to see if your computer is infected? Just go to any one of these sites and they will check your computer for this malware:

If your computer is infected try these resources to help fix your computer:
Windows Users:

MAC Users: