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Nov. 15, 2008—Vol. 12, No. 46
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CLICK & FIND MY RADIO SHOW IN YOUR HOMETOWN
HERE'S HOW TO CALL ME DURING THE SHOW
NO PREEMPTIONS! DOWNLOAD & LISTEN WHEN YOU WANT!
AMERICAN FORCES RADIO & THANKS
IS THERE A FLU OUTBREAK IN YOUR AREA?
Google's new Flu Trends site uses what they are calling "collective intelligence" to predict outbreaks. The intelligence comes from search queries we type into Google, such as flu symptoms and where we are located. Using this data, Google says it can predict flu outbreaks faster than the Center for Disease Control. Click here to check it out.
Do you need a flu shot? (Attention Mother Komando! This is for you!) I picked a few sites last month for our free Cool Site of the Day newsletters. In case you need a flu shot, click here to find the clinic nearest you.
FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER: I had the flu last week. Argh! It was horrible. I should have gotten the flu shot. I kept putting it off. Don't let this happen to you or your loved ones. Share this information now while you're thinking about it.
NEWS FLASH: THE ECONOMY ISN'T GETTING ANY BETTER
Call me the queen of frugality! Over the years, I've written many tips on saving money. I've also given pointers on finding legitimate work-from-home opportunities.
Now, I've put together a one-stop financial resource for you, my readers. At my Money Center, you'll find plenty of tips on saving money. These tips run the gamut! Learn how to slash printing costs, save on groceries or find cheap gas.
It doesn't stop there. You'll also find a bevy of advice on making money. Learn how to make money on eBay. Or, sell your creative work online for big bucks. There's even help for those in the market for a new job!
You probably know plenty of people who are struggling right now. Do them a favor. Forward this newsletter to them now.
FREE SOFTWARE FOR SMALL BUSINESS FROM MICROSOFT
BizSpark is a Microsoft program for start-ups. Microsoft will provide free software to small businesses through BizSpark. You'll also get help growing your business. The program isn't open to everyone. You must be sponsored by a BizSpark Network Partner. But, Microsoft will help you find a sponsor. Learn more about this great program on my site!
STEP RIGHT UP AND GET YOUR FREE SOFTWARE
One area where you can save big bucks is computer software. Don't rush out to the store to buy that photo-editing program. Instead, visit my Download of the Day site. You'll find a free program that offers many of the same features. You can also save on games, office programs, security software and more!
Each day, I feature a free program you're sure to love. And every program has been thoroughly tested and approved by me. So you don't need to worry about viruses or other malware!
Here are some of my favorite freebies from the past week. Just click on the links below to learn more about the programs. Hurry back, though—I have more money-saving advice for you!
• Some scenes don't fit in a camera's viewfinder. But multiple shots aren't as stunning. So, stitch shots together.
Want a tip? Bookmark my Downloads page. Just go there, and press Ctrl+D. That will add my downloads section to your browser's favorites!
And remember this: If I say a program is free, it's FREE. There are sites on the Internet that sell free programs. There are also many ads on the Internet for similar programs, which aren't free. If somebody tries to charge you for a free program, back up. You've clicked on the wrong thing.
Saturday's download—The holidays are the time for connecting with the family. You may have family coming to visit. Not everyone will make it, though. You can include them in the festivities. Send out a family newsletter. Fill them in on the fun.
YOU CAN WIN DURING MY GREAT GIVEAWAY
What can you win? Well, nothing is junk. There are digital cameras, laptops, security cams, Southwest Airlines tickets to anywhere they go, music systems, monitors, headphones, printers and lots more! I will be awarding HUGE prizes on-air and online from great sponsors such as:
Every caller who speaks with me on the air wins a valuable prize. You have to call when I am broadcasting the show live on Saturday mornings, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The number to call is toll-free 1-888-825-5254.
You can also enter to win one of the grand prizes on our Web site. Be sure to tell your family and friends! Mark your calendars now. The Annual Kim Komando Show Great Giveaway begins next Saturday, Nov. 22. Yea!
Check giveaway.komando.com for more details! We're adding new prizes every day!
I DO THE WORK FOR YOU FOR PURE VIDEO FUN
That's why I started my Video of the Day site. I wanted to feature the best videos the Internet has to offer. That way, you have one place where you know you'll find fun, family-friendly videos.
It features one or more videos every day. I'm sure you'll love them just as much as I do!
Don't miss these popular videos from the past week:
• I love success stories. Arnel Pineda was a struggling singer from the Philippines. His story is an amazing one. He's now headlining one of the world's biggest bands, Journey.
• Ever wish you could fly, you know, Superman-style? Are you looking to lose a few pounds? Well, why not do both! A guy named Mike has built one geeked-out exercise bike. Check it out.• Years ago, my dad told me lawnmowers cannot fly. I told him he was wrong. They can fly, and this video proves it. So, there!
• Cars can be pretty humdrum. An engine and four wheels. But this is different. This door slides down and under the car.
• Johnny Chung Lee is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. He has some cool ideas and inventions. Two of them, using the Nintendo Wii remote, have attracted a lot of attention.
Saturday's video—Conspiracy theories are always interesting. Some are laughably impossible. Others are spooky. I bet you've never heard one of these theories.Sunday's video—Fighter jets are amazing vehicles. They push the limits of mechanical endurance. But they may be tougher than you imagine.
WANT TO SHARE MY VIDEOS?
NOTE: Are you having trouble seeing my daily video picks? Do you get a message that the video is not available? Sorry to say, it's probably not the video. It's your computer, my friend. Get help on my troubleshooting page. These problems are pretty easy to fix.
PRIVACY AND SECURITY TIP: Prepare your computer for guests
My national radio show heard in all 50 states is three hours long. I'll be talking about this important privacy secret in the second hour of the Kim Komando Show. You don't want to miss it!Need to find a radio station near you? Click here to use the official Kim Komando Show Locator Map. It's pretty snazzy.
STILL TO COME: Useful tips, important news and a few laughs!
• Pricey yet practical gift ideas for gadget lovers
• Important security tips; and some awesome freebies!
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IF YOU USE FACEBOOK, YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS
Well, David, it sounds like your computer is infected with the Koobface worm. You may have received a message with a link to a YouTube video. When you clicked on the link, you were instructed to upgrade Flash Player. The update was actually a Trojan. That's how you picked up the worm. You didn't remember my three words, "Just don't click."
The worm uses your Facebook account to send spam to other members. But that's not the worst of it. It turns infected machines into zombies. Your computer could be used to attack others or spread spam. The worm also affects MySpace.
First, you need to clean up your machine. You should update your security software. Then, do a full scan of your computer. If you don't have security software, visit my Security Center. You can download all the security tools you need—for free! Follow the instructions for removing infections.
After your machine is cleaned up, change your Facebook password. This should prevent further spam from being sent from your account. Finally, you need to send a message to all of your contacts. Explain the situation. Tell them about me, my show and how I helped you. Then, urge them to scan their machines and change their passwords. Otherwise, you could start seeing spam messages from them!
Feeling overwhelmed by spam? Check out these great time-saving tips:
• What to do when spam is using your e-mail address
• If you unsubscribe from spam messages, will you receive less or more spam?
TIP IN A TIP:
You can reduce the junk by adding a filter. There are many anti-spam tools online. I've sorted through dozens to find some that you can use with minimal effort. They're all free. So you can try each without spending a dime. Click here to check my list of the top free antispam filtering progams.
KEEPING TABS ON A CHILD OVERSEAS
This must be every parent's biggest fear, Laurie. Fortunately, though, there are solutions that may help. First, give your niece a cell phone. It should be GSM, which Italy uses. T-Mobile and AT&T are the major GSM providers here. Either should be able to help you find a phone for Italy.
GSM phones use a SIM card. It provides the information needed to work on a network. You can probably buy a card for Italy in the United States. I have a tip that will help you navigate your options.
CDMA providers—Verizon, Sprint and Alltel—may also have a solution.
Your niece should call or text her mother on a daily basis. She should also call in an emergency. If the girl doesn't stay in contact, you'll know something is amiss.
Now, the phone should have a GPS chip. Your niece will know where she is if she is abducted. Also, the phone can be used in conjunction with tracking software. Your sister will be able to log on to the Internet and see where her daughter is located.
Of course, the father may take the cell phone and use it. That's OK. If the father has the phone, you can track him. Wherever he is, your niece should be, too.
You might also consider a personal locator. These gadgets receive location coordinates via GPS satellites. They also connect to communications satellites. They let you send emergency messages with your coordinate information. Some can even be tracked online via Google Maps. Learn more about these life-saving gadgets in my helpful tip.
LETTING YOUR GAME THROUGH
Well, Shannon, I don't recommend that you open ports on your computer. Rather, you should add an exception to ZoneAlarm. Once you do that, the firewall will no longer hamper game play. It's a very simple solution.
Start by opening the ZoneAlarm window. Next, click Program Control in the left side of the window. Open the Programs tab. Search through the list of programs until you find Age of Empires.
You'll see two columns: Access and Server. Each contains subcolumns labeled Trusted and Internet. Under Access, you want to allow Trusted and Internet. Under Server, you want to allow Access. Just click the X (or question mark) and select Allow.
You may not see Age of Empires in the program list. In that case, you'll need to add it. Click Add at the bottom of the window. Search to find Age of Empires. By default, the program is located at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II. The file will be named EMPIRES2.exe or AGE2X.exe. Double-click it. You can then add exceptions for it.
Kids love computer and video games. But you need to set limits. You don't want your kids spending too much time gaming. You also don't want them playing dangerous or offensive games. So, don't miss these tips. They're a must-read for any parent.
• Top 10 picks for family friendly games
• Find help for a gaming addiction
• Online games: Troubling fun
• Video games with education benefits
BONUS TIP: GET FREE SECURITY SOFTWARE HERE
SHARE IT: Spread the word. Share the link to my security center with your family, friends, baseball team—everyone! They will thank you for it!
KEEP YOUR PC RUNNING LIKE NEW
NO PREEMPTIONS! DOWNLOAD & LISTEN WHEN YOU WANT!
DON'T STOP YET – THERE'S MORE YOU NEED TO KNOW:
• Keep reading! I have more money-saving tips!
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PRICEY YET PRACTICAL DIGITAL GIFT IDEAS
So, you want to choose a gift that will be used frequently. Here are some great gift ideas:
Apple's iPhone is a runaway success. For business users, though, there's just one choice for smartphones: BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry Bold has been called the best BlackBerry ever. It offers BlackBerry's famous push e-mail. It also provides on-the-go editing of Office documents.To learn more about the BlackBerry Bold and other great gifts, read my entire column. Unlike these gifts, my column isn't pricey. It's free on my site!
A LITTLE ABOUT ME:
HOW TO CALL ME DURING THE SHOW
• What you should know about the WPA crack
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He wants to know if he can identify who is attacking his machine. The alerts display an IP address.
Let me start with a brief description of IP addresses, Philip. An IP (Internet Protocol) address is used to identify machines on the Internet.
Your IP address is given out as you surf the Internet. For example, you may click a link. Your IP address is sent. That way, Web sites know where to send data.
Police regularly use IP addresses to track and finger criminals. So, it is definitely possible to find out who is behind an IP address.
However, the IP address probably won't help you. Internet service providers assign IP addresses to their customers. These IP addresses frequently change. You would likely need a subpoena to learn who uses an IP address.
Or, the attack could be launched by someone at a public hotspot. You could potentially track the IP address to the hotspot. But I imagine the trail would go dead there.
More likely, the machine trying to attack your computer is a zombie. It was infected by malware. It is now doing the bidding of a criminal in a far-off land. Identifying the machine won't help you identify who is behind the attacks.
Now, say you do find out who is trying to attack your machine. What are you going to do with the information?
You could go to the police. You could also try reporting it to your ISP. But, these types of attacks are common. There simply isn't enough manpower to follow up on each one.
So, my advice is this: Don't worry about it. You have a firewall that is blocking the attacks. So, you're protected. We all want to stop the bad guys. In this case, though, your efforts will likely prove fruitless.
IP addresses are among the most misunderstood things in computerdom. But my enlightening tips will help you sort through the confusion:
BUYING ANY TECH FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
A MESSSAGE FROM THE KOMANDO.COM POSTMASTER
SEE SOMETHING UNDERLINED? CLICK & LEARN
GET MORE FREE TIPS FROM ME TO YOU
STILL TO COME IN THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION:
• The lowdown on the WPA crack
Back to the top
KNOW THE CHANGES AT THESE STATIONS
BABY, IT'S GETTING COLD OUTSIDE
GATEWAY TO THE GOLDEN ISLES
Brunswick Stew is a tomato-based stew with beans, corn, okra, other vegetables and meat.
STILL TO COME IN THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION:
• Can hackers get on your wireless network?
KIM'S TIPS FOR KOMANDO KIDS: Set up kid-friendly e-mail
CONTEST SITE: Home Theater Sweepstakes
FREEBIE OF THE WEEK: Secret Obsession
FREEBIE FROM KOMANDO.COM: Get creative with your desktop
GET A COOL SITE EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK
In case you missed any this past week, here's a list of some of our favorites:
THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Make a family Christmas newsletter
I found freebies that make creating family newsletters fast, fun and easy!
Let's keep it going; there's plenty more to cover:
Brought to you by my book, Complete Guide to Computer Security & Privacy. Order your copy today!
MICROSOFT RELEASES MONTHLY SECURITY UPDATES
THE END IS IN SIGHT, BUT I WILL BE BACK NEXT WEEK
I read in your News of the Day free e-mail newsletter that WPA has been cracked. I do online banking via my wireless network. I also have a lot of sensitive information stored on my laptop. So, this is very worrying to me. How can I protect my data now that WPA is cracked? Do I have to upgrade all of my equipment?
Before I answer your questions, sit down and take a deep breath. Things really aren't as bad as they may seem.
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a security protocol used in wireless networks. It replaces the ineffective WEP security protocol.
WPA uses Temporal Key Integrity Protocol to encrypt data. It is TKIP that makes WPA susceptible to attack.
TKIP was designed to work with the old WEP protocol. That way, old network gear could be upgraded through firmware and driver updates. The gear would then work on WPA-protected networks.
Last week, researchers reported that they had partially cracked WPA. They read data traveling from a router to a laptop. Data going the opposite way was not cracked.
Criminals haven't figured out how to get WPA's encryption key. That is, without the use of a brute force attack. A brute force attack tries every possible key combination until the correct one is found. Your key should be longer than 22 characters. This makes such an attack very difficult.
This should come as welcome news. It means criminals won't have free reign over your network. So, the data stored on your computers should be safe. It also means that the data sent over your network is safe.
Let me explain how the new attack works. Then I'll tell you what criminals can accomplish with such an attack.
The chances of missing a bit or getting it incorrect are relatively high with Wi-Fi. So an error-detection scheme that totals bits in the transmission is used. These are called checksums, and are appended to data transmissions. If the numbers don't match, the transmission is considered to be garbled. The data packets are rejected.
A checksum helps network cards and access points detect legitimate errors. It can also help reveal data tampering. Unfortunately, the checksum is weak in WEP. Criminals could mess with it. That's what led to WEP's downfall.
TKIP implemented a second layer of protection. It's called Michael. (No, I'm not joking!) Michael produces a better checksum, which is also encrypted. It is used in addition to the checksum used by WEP.
If a card or access point receives two bad Michael checksums in 60 seconds, it shuts down. A new network key is exchanged between the card and access point. Every other machine on the network also receives a new key.
Researchers have discovered a way to get around Michael. Since TKIP is based on WEP, they attacked WEP first. Packets of data were intercepted. A second attack was used to decrypt the individual data packets. This data contained the Michael checksum.
Once the Michael checksum was divined, it could be appended to data packets. Attack data wasn't rejected because the Michael checksum appeared to be good.
Now, it isn't practical to use this attack to steal data. That's because network keys are regularly refreshed. There's not enough time to decipher large amounts of data before a rekeying event.
So, how can criminals use the attack? They can inject up to seven packets of data. This data goes to computers on the network, not the router. Your computer thinks the data came from the router.
Traffic injection can be used to poison your DNS and ARP caches. DNS is used to direct your browser to Web sites. ARP is used to find hardware addresses.
If these caches are poisoned, you can be directed to malicious Web sites. Or, you could be directed to a malicious server. It can also result in a denial-of-service attack.
Now for the kicker. WPA2, the successor to WPA, is also susceptible to the attack. That's because WPA2 users can select TKIP encryption.
However, WPA2 provides another form of encryption—Advanced Encryption Standard. AES is not susceptible to the TKIP attack.
So, what should you do about the attack? Home users shouldn't worry. It is certainly a serious attack. However, it's not a true key crack. Your data can't be deciphered. Nor can criminals use your broadband.
Your computers, router and gadgets may support WPA2. If that's the case, make sure you're using AES encryption. Consult your user's manual if necessary.
As of March 2006, WiFi-certified equipment was required to support WPA2. So, new gear will support AES.
Finally, you may be able to adjust how often your router issues network keys. If so, rekey every two minutes. This should protect your network. Consult your manual for more information.
Need more help with wireless networking? Don't miss these handy tips on my site:
• Step-by-step, secure your wireless network
• Will MAC filtering help you?
• Extending your network
• Do you really need 802.11n?
IF I HELPED YOU, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME?
1. Tell your co-workers, employees, team members, fantasy sports buddies, family members and friends to check us out. I have a form that makes it easy.
2. Link your blog, online profile or site to my site. Instructions and cool artwork await you.
Have a great weekend. Thank you for your support of my show and newsletters! I appreciate it!
THIS SOUNDS LIKE A STICKY SITUATION
Have a great day and I'll see you on the radio!Give me a call! I'd love to hear from you. It takes just three easy steps: 1.) Call the LIVE broadcast. That's this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the East Coast, or, if you live on the West Coast, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. 2.) Know the phone number. It is, of course, toll-free 1-888-825-5254. 3.) Talk to our call screener Andrew and tell him what's on your mind. That's all there is to it!
GET MORE TIPS FROM ME TO YOU
• Free cool site daily
• Free news links Mon-Fri
Copyright © 2008, The Kim Komando Show. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of The Kim Komando Show is prohibited and strictly enforced. Newsletters may contain links to sites on the Internet owned and operated by third parties. The Kim Komando Show is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such third-party site. Information in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. We will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this information, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.
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