Over the years I bought lots of compact-discs. The collection is massive (several hundred discs) and some of the discs are more than 20 years old, and to my mind in perfect condition. In order to preserve this wonderful collection for the future generation I decided to create perfect copies as FLAC files using EAC. Easy task: Install EAC, put disc into drive, click a button and wait. But there’s a catch. Due to the age of some of the discs some of them cannot be read properly. I checked the surface and it looks pretty perfect. No scratches, no marks, nothing. But the drive still had serious issues reading the disc. I use a new Asus BW-16D1HT and a new Asus DRW-24D5MT to extract the audio data. Very good drives by the way.
Still, EAC told me about read and sync errors on some discs. So, I canceled the extraction and again looked at the surface of the disc. Now, there were thin, matt clouds of some kind of patina on the discs, which were previously not visible. I guess, the laser made them somehow visible.
Since I was unable to remove them with a cloth and I didn’t want to ruin the disc, I tried a wet glasses cloth, and to my surprise it worked. Put the disc back into the drive and it had no issues reading it.
The downside of this is, since the patina is not visible prior trying to read the disc, I have to clean every disc before I put it in the drive regardless of if it’s dirty or not.
Microsoft has blocked a Trend Micro driver from running on Windows 10 – and Trend has withdrawn downloads of its rootkit detector that uses the driver – after the code appeared to game Redmond’s QA tests.
Late last week, Trend removed downloads of its Rootkit Buster from its website. And last night it emerged the kernel-level driver at the heart of the software,
tmcomm.sys, was added to Windows 10 20H1’s list of blocked drivers – preventing it from loading and Rootkit Buster from running.
Windows internals guru and CrowdStrike veep Alex Ionescu discovered the blockade, and highlighted it on Twitter, while investigating research by computer security undergrad Bill Demirkapi that revealed not only shortcomings in the driver’s code but also an effort to detect Microsoft’s QA test suite.
Demirkapi, as we reported last week, discovered
tmcomm.sys altered the way it allocated memory to pass Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification tests.
Passing these tests is highly desirable: if a driver meets the grade, it can be digitally signed by Microsoft, is trusted by Windows, and potentially can be distributed via Windows Update and similar mechanisms.Source: The Register
For a recent project, I had to do research into methods rootkits are detected and the most effective measures to catch them when I asked the question, what are some existing solutions to rootkits and how do they function? My search eventually landed me on the TrendMicro RootkitBuster which describes itself as “A free tool that scans hidden files, registry entries, processes, drivers, and the master boot record (MBR) to identify and remove rootkits”.
The features it boasted certainly caught my attention. They were claiming to detect several techniques rootkits use to burrow themselves into a machine, but how does it work under the hood and can we abuse it? I decided to find out by reverse engineering core components of the application itself, leading me down a rabbit hole of code that scarred me permanently, to say the least.
Source: Bill Demirkapi
According to this article a new bill regarding IT security is being planned in Germany.
If this bill is passed it will be illegal to refuse turning over your credentials (e.g. for social media, e-mail, encrypted devices and other accounts) to government agencies, such as the police.
Punishment could be up to six months of coercive detention, no matter whether their allegations are true or not. Just another steps towards the abolishment of the constitutional democracy.
In case you don’t like either handing over your credentials or getting detained I recommend to store sensitive information in a hidden, encrypted volume on an encrypted device. Doing it this way will give you plausible deniability. This is your ultimate “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
To create a hidden volume use either TrueCrypt or VeraCrypt. Both programs are free open-source software.
Looks like the website of the beloved Gnome Connection Manager seems to be dead. I created a clone of the original code and will implement the fix mentioned here as soon as I find the code. It’s somewhere burried in a bunch of data on a pile of harddisks. What a mess!
If your Kobo eBook reader suddenly stops responding due to too many eBooks you may want to try the SQLite Database Browser, which is a great piece of open-source software, to cleanup the Kobo’s database by removing all references to any eBooks. Since you only remove the references the eBooks will still be available, but the Kobo is forced to re-index the eBooks. For a clean shot you may want to move the eBooks to your hard disk before cleaning up the database. Maybe it’s also possible to force re-indexing by just deleting the database, but I guess this will be the same as resetting your Kobo to factory defaults, which is not desired, and I haven’t tried this, yet.
inSSIDer is free,
open-source Wi-Fi scanning/analyzing software. What’s unique about inSSIDer?
- Compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 (x86 and x64)
- Uses the Native Wi-Fi API and your current wireless network card
- Sort results by Mac Address, SSID, Channel, RSSI and “Time Last Seen”
- Compatible with most GPS devices (NMEA v2.3 and higher)
How can inSSIDer help me?
- Inspect your WLAN and surrounding networks to troubleshoot competing access points
- Track the strength of received signal in dBm over time
- Filter access points in an easy-to-use format
- Highlight access points for areas with high Wi-Fi concentration
- Export Wi-Fi and GPS data to a KML file to view in Google Earth.
- Filter through hundreds of scanned access points
Get more information and download the last free version (22.214.171.124) of inSSIDer at here or grab the latest commercial version at MetaGeek.
Some time ago I found a fantastic driver on the net which allows the creation of a multi-partition memory-stick. It was just the naked driver, without anything else and since Windows shows only the first partition on such devices when the driver is not installed, an easy install/uninstall solution was needed. I use the driver-loader from Guido Wischrop and created a script around that which seamlessly installs the driver and starts it invisible in the background when you start Windows.
You know what I hate most? When programs create a bunch of endless folders to store their settings under the “Documents and Settings” folder. To my mind putting this in the application’s folder makes way more sense; at least on single user systems. Opera gives you the choice where to put your profile with an option in Opera’s default settings-file which can be easily changed by hand. But wait! What when you have to install Opera on a bunch of new PCs with each only a single user on? Especially for this situation I created a small program which allows you to change Opera’s multi-user mode with just one click. Goto the downloads-section now.