Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Stand-Alone Antivirus Software? 159

An anonymous reader writes "I work for a company that repairs specialty devices that have an embedded Mini-ATX motherboard without a CD-ROM drive and run Windows XP Home. And while the USB flash drives we insert into them have a physical write-protect tab, we still encounter a (rather annoying) display dialog from malware/viruses to remove the write-protect so the malware can infect the flash drive. We don't remove the write-protect, obviously, but would like to offer our customers the option of removing the malware/virus without having to install any software. We would rather not install/uninstall antivirus software even for one-time use, due to various licensing issues, nor do we want to connect to the Internet to use web-based online scanners. Is there any stand-alone anti-virus/anti-malware software for Windows that can be run directly from the write-protected flash drive itself?"

Submission + - Google Summer of Code Program Overhauled

lisah writes: "Though at first glance Google's Summer of Code (SOC) 2007 looks pretty much the same as last year's event, it turns out much of the program has been overhauled based on feedback from past participants. The biggest change is the amount of lead time given to applicants and mentoring organizations in the hopes of increasing the applicant pool and allowing everyone to be better organized once the program gets officially underway on May 28. SOC organizers say they are also aware that slow payment to last year's participants has been a bone of contention and they are taking steps to 'make sure that the problem is diminished or will not happen again.'""
Data Storage

Submission + - Computer Forensics - A Brief Introduction

Simon Steggles writes: "Computer Forensics — A Brief Introduction li.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; margin-left:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-top:0cm}

Computer Forensics — A Brief Description

Computer Forensics is the function of utilising scientifically proven methods to assemble together and process data found on a digital device, (computer, hard disk drive, mobile phone, memory card etc), and interpret that data for possible use in a court of law or other theatre of investigation. The evidence may assist in the prosecution or a criminal, help in the defence of an accused person, or be of intelligence to an individual who is seeking knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

The main users of Computer Forensics are law enforcement officers, as a large percentage of crimes in some way utilise digitally stored data. This data could be a phone call made on a mobile phone, (or cell phone), which could place an individual at the scene of a crime, (or of course away from it), accounts for illegal activities such as drug sales, images of paedophilia, human resource issues, hacking, email abuse, unauthorised data duplication, IP theft etc. Corporate organisations are utilising computer forensics more and more now as they often have to investigate incidents such as inappropriate computer use, inappropriate email use, unauthorised data duplication and disloyal employees. Human Resource departments and Internal Security are the biggest users of these specialist corporate services. Private individuals may also use these services. It may be the lover cheating on their partner, or inappropriate internet use by a family member.

Computer Forensics or Cyber Forensics as it is also known, is now taught at many colleges and universities around the world, and is available to both the law enforcement community and private individuals.

What to do if you suspect illegal or inappropriate activity on a computer or digital device:

  1. Turn the power off — Pull the plug out if necessary
  2. Secure the 'exhibit'. Don't allow anyone access to it, security seal it if possible
  3. Contact a Computer Forensics Expert

What NOT to do if you suspect illegal or inappropriate activity on a computer or digital device:

  1. Call your IT manager, or one of your technical staff
  2. Get them to 'see' if the user has been looking at 'dodgy' websites or if any important files are missing
  3. Sack the member of staff

The analogy of the above:

Imaging a body lying in a muddy field. There is a blanket over the body and something petruding from it. By not following procedures, what you will have done is the same as follows:

  1. See the body
  2. Walk up to the body in the field
  3. Take the blanket off the body
  4. Move the body to 'have a look'
  5. Put the blanket back over the body — 'like it was before'
  6. Leave the field

What you have just done:

Entered the scene of a crime, left YOUR footprints all over the muddy field, left YOUR fingerprints on the body and blanket, left YOUR DNA all over the place.

You then expect to call the relevant organisation/authority and have them try and find evidence, which has just been tainted by YOU or YOUR STAFF. This is not a good start, and could make the case in question inadmissible.

Remember that this is a very specialised service provided by experts. Use computer forensics experts to do the job correctly in the first place, then there shouldn't be a problem.

Simon Steggles

Disklabs Computer Forensics"

Submission + - Turing award announced

wannabgeek writes: Turing award for the year 2006 is awarded to Frances Allen, an IBM Fellow Emeritus, for her work in compiler optimizers. From this article: she also "worked on writing intelligence analysis software for the National Security Agency. More recently she helped design software for IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer." It is the first time a woman won this honour. She was also the first woman to become IBM Fellow in 1989.
United States

Submission + - Are we stuck with CYA homeland security?

netbuzz writes: "Security expert Bruce Schneier suggests this morning that "there might not be a solution" to our post-9/11 penchant for making domestic anti-terrorism decisions based on the basic human desire to cover one's backside. He might be right. But shouldn't we at least try to figure out a better way? For example, wouldn't "Commonsense Homeland Security" be a winning political banner, not a risky one? Aren't we sick and tired of taking our shoes off at the airport? 6"

Submission + - Cars-all abot bmw, alfa romeo, opel and vw

majda writes: ""Reporting the Coupe's debut at the Geneva Automobile Salon, Switzerland's authoritative Automobil Revue described the design in its February 1, '06 issue: "The Z Coupe embodies the new BMW design in its purest form. It is characterized by round, flowing lines. Curved, long hood, pronounced wheel arches and a "trough" down the roof's center are classic sports-car design cues, but here they're newly mixed in the BMW way...""
The Internet

Submission + - World's First Extradition for Warez Complete

Glad I'm Not Down Under writes: In a move sure to frighten most of those with piles of old cracked PC games and a hastily copied list of serial numbers, the world's first warez extradition — dating back to a series of raids dubbed "Operation Buccaneer" in 2001 — has finally come to an end. Hew Rayond Griffiths, alleged to also have gone by the screen name Bandido, has been delivered into American custody and faces up to 10 years in prison despite never having profited from his alleged crimes or having set foot on American soil committing them. Victim companies impacted by the group Bandido is said to have run, Drink or Die, are situated globally. Griffiths spent three years prior to extradition in an Australian prison, equal in length to some of the longest warez sentences handed out to date. It is unclear as to how he will be represented as his case proceeds, as he was the recipient of provided counsel while fighting against the extradition in Australia. Justice served, or the export of American intellectual property ideals on a foreign nation?

Comment It's not the hours, it's the stress that kills (Score 3, Insightful) 524

The problem isn't so much the number of hours you work, it's more a matter of if you enjoy them or not.

I was a SysAdmin for years, during which time I worked 50 hours on a *short* week. A typical week was closer to 70, and I had on many occasions done in excess of 100. I had to take a laptop with me when I went on my 3-weeks-after-10-years vacation to Arizona in January (Arizona in January sure beats Ottawa!). I ended up working 1 to 2 hours a day while on "vacation". Every damned day.

I hated my job, but I was too busy to look for another one.

Then I got cancer, and lost my left kidney. (Well, I didn't _lose_ it; the surgeon took it out, sent it to the Lab and the report came back "malignant'). As part of my recovery, I was *forbidden* to lift anything heavier than a 10-pound bag of sugar, *required* to have a nap for at least 1/2 hour a day, and it was suggested I find a less stressful lifestyle. I was basically confined to the house for 6 weeks. The after-effects of the anasthetic left me unable to concentrate on much of anything for more than a few minutes at a time. I could read the newspaper's comic page, but that was about it.

There's a lot to be said for a short nap in the afternoon. All of it positive.

When I was able to go back to work, I could handle it, but now the 100-hour weeks annoyed me. So, I quit SysAdmin-ing (I don't think that's an actual word...), and now work as Tech Support for a much smaller firm. I do on-call sometimes, but mostly I get to do a 40-hour work week.

Eliminating stress _does_ make a difference. I've noticed it. My wife's noticed it. My son and daughter-in-law noticed it. I get fewer cold/influenza bouts, because I'm not so run down. I _swear_ I'm wiser now, but that could just be because I'm alive (and therefore older) and appreciate it more.

If you aren't happy with what you do, it'll kill you, regardless of the hours/days/weeks schedule.

If you enjoy what you're doing for a living, the amount of time spent doing it doesn't really matter all that much.

Slashdot Top Deals

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.