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Mytob - More Doom?

This post does not relate to any other topics

All my principle mail boxes have been bombarded by the MyDoom mass mailing worm variant MytobB in the last 48 hours. Apparantly geographical distribution is still low and security news seems more focused on the spread of the latest Sober spawn, so guess this is just an unlucky run!

All the same, watch out for the tell tale run of emails entitled hello, Error, Mail Delivery System etc.

Posted on May 05, 2005 at 15:46:27. [Comments for Mytob - More Doom?- 0]

Inexplicable Takeover

Also relates to MySQL

This week has been full of mind boggling puzzles no more so than the apparant take over of my machine by the Outpost Firewall! I run MySQL 3.23 Daemon on request and mid-week for no apparant reason I could no longer connect to the server after booting up. After running a few diagnostics, I concluded that somehow MySQL had corrupted, so since I had a zipped copy of MySQL 4.0.21 on disc I gave this a spin - same problem. At a loss, and concern growing due to total dependency for current work, I tried reinstalling the TCP/IP software. No joy. So I decided to take a peek on the web for similar problems. This entailed booting up the Outpost Firewall, which I have been test driving the past few weeks. To my surprise, once the firewall was running, I could connect to the MySQL server as normal! This was bewildering to me. I boot my system with no services running and the minimal Windows programs, so it would seem somehow MySQL had become inextricably dependant on Outpost!? Eventually I managed to restore normality by cleaning out the shared components in Outpost, but why this worked I can not explain.

So, now I am at a loss on a choice of firewall. Since removing Norton, I have tried numerous firewalls over the past few months - BitDefender, Kerio, Sygate, ZoneAlarm and now Outpost. Prior to this mishap, Outpost had actually been the first one that had not burdened me with conflicts, crashes or reduction in performance. Most frustrating is I would go back to BitDefender immediately if they could only resolve the Windows 98 bugs.

The one positive outcome from this puzzle is that I now have access to MySQL 4 on demand. I generally build on 3.23 to match the live servers I use. Using the datadir parameter in two option files, and booting the daemon from a batch file I can switch between each version as I please. Add to this the three versions of PHP4 and latest PHP5 I currently choose from when booting Apache, and Windows 98 is really not all that bad for development!

Posted on Jan 30, 2005 at 21:37:21. [Comments for Inexplicable Takeover- 0]

XP Security on Broadband

This post does not relate to any other topics

Essential reading for any Windows XP users on a broadband connection:
Feeling a tad insecure? Time to call the firewall brigade

Posted on Dec 06, 2004 at 12:46:25. [Comments for XP Security on Broadband- 0]

Wheel Mouse Insanity!

Also relates to Registry Hacks

I spent several hours the other night test-driving firewalls to decide on a replacement for BitDefender. Following numerous installs, uninstalls and registry sweeps I finally settled on Sygate PFW being the only one that does not seem to be causing system freezes or any other conflicts - starting to wonder if this PC needs a serious clean out!

So with job done, I was about to settle down to some coding only to discover that the wheel on my logitech mouse was no longer scrolling vertically in any application. Well, I knew it wasn't broken since scrolling worked fine in input boxes. The next few hours were spent trawling Groups, reinstalling drivers and rolling back registry keys to try and repair the error. At the point of insanity, I stumbled across an entry in the Windows Registry Guide.

  1. Navigate to HOT_KEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  2. Reset the string value for WheelScrollLines which had inadvertantly been changed to 0

It is alarming how dependant I have become on the mouse wheel - perhaps I need to try unplugging the mouse completely for a few days.

Posted on Nov 13, 2004 at 14:53:15. [Comments for Wheel Mouse Insanity!- 0]

Seeking Firewall Advice

This post does not relate to any other topics

I am looking for a good reliable firewall tool to run on my Windows 98 system. The story so far…

Once and for all I kissed goodbye to Norton Internet Security last weekend. The registration period had expired and I decided it was time to try something new. Two hours of registry trawling later, 200MB of storage reclaimed, and with vastly improved performance I was content in the knowledge my system was clean. Next step was to install my chosen alternative, BitDefender Pro. I have recommended this AV tool to a number of clients and read nothing but good reviews for it.

Initial tests went well and my system was powering along, until the blue screen of death reared its ugly head! A quick browse of the BitDefender site, and hidden away in the FAQ I discovered that BitDefender Version 8 had been reported to be causing a system freeze on rare occassions with Windows 98. (I was going to link to this item, but the bug has now been changed to a different issue!?). I contacted the support team, who were very responsive, and provided some system reports to help track down the bug. But, while I have been waiting for further feedback, the software has become more and more unstable exhibiting every bug that had been fixed in Patch 7.2.11 for the previous version! I am a little jaded that these lingering bugs on Windows 98 were not made more apparant on the website resulting in a considerable waste of my time. However, I would still recommend this AV software to a user of more recent Windows versions and hope that eventually the bugs will be fixed.

In the meantime, I now plan to uninstall BitDefender before it tears my system apart, and have decided to look solely for a firewall tool as replacement for the time being. I have had a look at all the following:

All of them seem to have positive and negative reviews around the web. So, I am seeking advice from anyone who might have a recommendation or experience using any of these or an alternative. Obviously advice from Windows 98 would be beneficial, but my logs only show 15% of visits using this platform. So, if you have stumbled across this entry, I would appreciate your opinions regardless. Cheers.

Posted on Nov 05, 2004 at 22:31:25. [Comments for Seeking Firewall Advice- 2]

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