This page contains news and updates about viruses, worms and other issues that will affect your network as well some tips to for your network. There might even be some controversial topics.

July 31, 2004 - All kidding aside regarding Microsoft, it's time to check to make sure that you have the latest patches and updates for your systems. The latest warning from CERT regarding Internet Explorer needs your attention - even if it means working over the weekend. You might want to consider dropping down to the bottom of this page and reviewing the alternatives to Internet Explorer.

July 29, 2004 - Think you're smart enough to tell if an email is a fake or if it's from someone who really needs your information? According to MailFrontier you have a 28% chance of giving information to parties that have no need for it. On their web site you can take a phishing trip and see just how well you tell a fake email from the real thing. So the next time you get an email asking for personal information, even it seems to come from your HR department, read it carefully and don't be afraid to contact the party directly by telephone.

July 28, 2004 - Google and Yahoo (the host of www.wi-tegrity.com) are often thought of as the gold standard for Internet services - so how could they have problems from Interntet attacks? Not having been part of the group that found the problem and fixed it, one can only speculate. The suspected culprit is the mydoom virus that is aimed at the two service giants. Mydoom has been known to spread through email attachments. If enough computers were infected and then attack a network, automated defenses would either slow or stop traffic to a site.

The attackers managed to reach their objective. No physical damage, an economic loss for the firms involved and millions of clients inconvenienced. Previous updates on wi-tegrity have warned about email attachments. As always, keep everything up to date and delete email attachments from people you don't know. Even if it means missing a chance for millions of dollars from Nigeria.

For more information on the problems with mydoom and Outlook Express check out the CERT site.

Life is not all bad in the Internet world. There is still cool stuff and fun sites out there. If you want to have the world's news at your finger tips, customized to your needs, go to the Amphetadesk web site and learn how to set up your own news aggregator. You can know what's going on in the world the minute you boot up your computer. Well - a few minutes anyway...

July 20, 2004 - Microsoft is getting set to release the biggest update for XP to date. This will be known as Service Pack 2 (SP2). It is scheduled to be released in August. System administrators and developers are advised to be very careful about this upgrade. Since it is security oriented, it is possible that some web based services may have to be modified. If you have been keeping up with all the security updates from Microsoft and you have a well maintained firewall, you might want to wait a week or two and see how others are fairing with SP2.

July 18, 2004 - Is it a profit center or a just another amenity? As more and more restaurants, hotels, inns and even New England Bed and Breakfast establishments are offering wifi access to their guests, many are wondering if it is worth charging for the service. While some companies may be able to sew up exclusive contracts in areas where access can be limited, the opportunity for profit is diminished as more free spots open up.

Looking to use a free hotspot? As usual, be smart about it. Make sure the restaurant or Inn is really offering the service and it's not a rogue spot set up to steal your credit card numbers. Don't send your credit card number over an open hotspot. Be happy to check your email and plan the rest of your day.

As more places get free hotspots, watch here for announcements.

July 6, 2004 - The Department of Homeland Security has taken the unprecedented step of advising against the use of the Microsoft Internet Explorer. There have been reports of vulnerabilities that may actually compromise your computer's security. There is no problem with the use of Internet Explorer and the Macintosh operating system.

There is a certain amount of irony in this warning. A search of the Department of Homeland Security website for articles on Internet Explorer and Microsoft yields the URLs of certain sites that require Internet Explorer to view.

When receiving news like this many people often wonder about the alternatives, if there are any. Fortunately there are alternatives to Internet Explorer. As you may have guessed, the first alternative would be switching to a Macintosh. As stated above, a Mac, even one running IE, is not affected by the latest exploits. However, given the fact that most people do not want to scrap their Intel based computers, nor do they wish to convert them to Linux, (my next suggestion) there are other options.

The old favorite, Netscape still exists. And is still being maintained. It is easily downloaded and installed from the Netscape site. Upon it's first loading it will ask if you want to make Netscape your system's default browser. That decision is best left up to the individual.

Another browser that has been around for sometime is Mozilla. Mozilla is a favorite of the Linux community but there are versions for other platforms. Mozilla and Netscape share some of the same features. (A bit of cross breeding over the years). Among these features is the ability to create and edit your own web pages.

A third popular browser is Opera. You can download Opera for free, but there is a catch. You will see more advertising than ever. You can purchase a version for $39.00. The paid version does not have the advertising build into it.

Although wi-tegrity does not particulary endorse any of these browsers, we do want people to know there are alternatives to what came installed on their computers.

Any mention of a product or service in this area is for news purposes only. It should not be taken as an endorsement by wi-tegrity management or partners.

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©2004 wi-tegrity
LAST UPDATED July 31, 2004