All posts tagged servers

Outsource your DNS to make your Internet connection more reliable

Early this week, Charter had a major outage affecting most of its customer base. Those who use third-party, non-Charter DNS servers were unaffected. This is a case where making a performance-related change to your system also makes it more reliable.

“Please Press 1 to speak with a Microsoft Certified Technician.”

I guess the Windows technical support scammers are getting robo-dialers, because I got an automated call over the weekend telling me that my computer was sending alerts to their servers, and to press “1” to speak with a Microsoft Certified technician. So I pressed “1” to see what tactics this particular scammer would use.

Linux is unrelated to extremism

The NSA’s spying on Linux Journal readers is precisely what’s wrong with NSA spying. Why? It paints with an overly broad brush. Eric Raymond’s views on many things are on the fringes of what’s considered mainstream, but he’s not the kind of person who blows up buildings to try to get his point across. And […]

How to do one-off patches without an Internet connection

If you need to patch a small quantity of Windows servers or desktop PCs and don’t want to download four gigabytes of updates, or, worse yet, can’t download updates, WSUS Offline Update is your buddy. Don’t let its name fool you–it doesn’t require a Microsoft WSUS server in order to operate. But if you have […]

The danger of conspiracy theories

It seems like a hundred years ago, but in 1996, I briefly infiltrated a group of conspiracy theorists–“sovereign citizens”–and wrote a few news stories and an analysis piece about them. They quit speaking to me after the first one was published, and I received threatening phone calls at the newsroom. The group was newsworthy because […]

The publicity around security is a good thing

On one of the podcasts I listen to, two of the hosts questioned whether the publicity around recent security vulnerabilities are a good thing. As a security professional who once studied journalism, I think it’s a very good thing, and it’s going to get better. I liken it to the rise of computer virus awareness.

Troubleshooting machines that won’t update from WSUS or SCCM

In my younger days, I administered WSUS on a small (300 servers or so) network. Every once in a while, I ran into an issue where a server just didn’t want to talk to WSUS. These days, some companies prefer to push patches with SCCM but it uses the same mechanism to push patches. Apparently […]

How to patch less

One of my former supervisors now works for a security vendor. He told me the other day that someone asked him, “Does your company have anything so I don’t have to patch anymore?” The answer, of course, is that there’s nothing that gets you out of ever having to patch anymore. To some degree you […]

Why you need to guard your Backup Exec servers

If you have a Windows domain, there’s a fairly good chance you have Backup Exec servers, because you probably want to take backups. Because you need them. (As a security guy, I no longer care how you get backups; just that you’re getting them somehow.) Backup Exec is a popular solution for that. But there’s […]

More details on the Target hack come to light

Yesterday I read, via Ars Technica, that the malware resided on cash registers (which I’d heard elsewhere before), and that the first step to getting there was via a compromised web server. And that led to a question in the comments, that sounds like it came from an IT professional: don’t they have their network […]