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Can you download RAM?

A software developer asked me about a website called Download More RAM. I don’t think he heard my other coworkers snicker. He asked if it was a security issue, while missing the even more important question: Can you download RAM? I said it’s best not to visit the site, and spared him the history lesson.

Downloading RAM isn’t possible because RAM is physical hardware–computer chips on a circuit board. You can only download software. But still, the sites remain.

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Watering hole attack prevention

A watering hole attack is an indirect attack on a victim. Rather than directly attacking the victim’s network, the attacker attacks a web site that the victim’s employees are likely to visit. Then the attacker attacks the victim’s network, via its own workstations, from that web site. A former colleague asked me how you protect against watering hole attacks, and I thought this was a good exercise. So here are some strategies for watering hole attack prevention.

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How DDoS attacks work

Yesterday, half the Internet was broken. I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t get into Salesforce to check on a support ticket for my biggest customer. Another member of my team sent us a warning that a big DDoS attack was happening, and not to count on being able to issue very many quotes today. So what, exactly, is a DDoS attack and how do DDoS attacks work?

I suppose there’s another question to ask too: What can you do to avoid being part of the problem? We’ll save that for the end.

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Best free antivirus

What’s the best free antivirus? I have an answer that may surprise you. I also have a supplement that may surprise you. And I have a third supplement you already have but probably never heard of.

Keep something in mind. I don’t like using words like “good” and “best” in the same sentence as antivirus software. Imagine a college graduating class whose valedictorian is Chris Farley’s character from the movie Tommy Boy. What you want from your antivirus software is something that doesn’t do a lot of damage.

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Clean malware from a router

I see a few misleading articles out there promising to tell you how to scan your router for malware or viruses. Unfortunately they don’t really explain the problem. They also don’t explain the alternative way to solve the problem you want to solve. What you really want to do is clean malware from a router–and viruses too. And that’s something you can do pretty easily. For free.

Yes, that’s right. You won’t have to pay 50 bucks a year for a subscription to keep your router clean.

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Solve the NSIS error

I was trying to install some software last week and I got an NSIS error. The message certainly suggests corrupt downloads, but corrupt downloads are relatively rare, and when they happen, redownloading it ought to clear that up. Getting two of these failures in a row with different programs is really a freak occurrence, so I started looking for another problem.

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