How to combat Phishing Scams

In General, Open Source, Security by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

So, I previously posted about Phishing scams and what they look like (with screen shots). I figured that I would continue my Public Service Announcement with some tools that you can use to be sure that you don’t get “caught.”

Option #1 – There is a new site that you can go and report Phishing scams on called PhishTank. On this site, you can submit suspected “phishes”, track the status of your submission and collaborate with an “opensource” type of community on these types of issues. Since the one that I found was seemingly shut down, I couldn’t submit it. However, I will do so in the future.

Option #2 – Upgrade to Firefox 2. Firefox 2 which was just released, now contains a tool to help prevent you from going to a Phishing site. When you go to a site that has been reported as a Phishing site, you get a warning. This works cross-platform (e.g., Macs and PCs). There is a link to Firefox download at the bottom of the page so use it! (See the Firefox Phishing warning below)

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Powerbook unboxing – Part 3

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

So, I got my wonderful Powerbook back from Apple Care yesterday. Yes, they fixed the issue of the ALS (Ambient light sensor). Now I’m shopping around for a good local vendor to help install the keyboard that I purchased on eBay. I have found a couple of local candidates and I’m just checking prices now.

I would have tried to do this myself, but after reading through the Apple Tech Manual as well as the wonderful guides at www.ifixit.com, I felt that it might be better to have someone who has the tools and knows what they are doing, to do the work. I have, in the past, installed new hard drives in the following: Powerbook 15″, Powerbook 12″ and iMac DVSE (as well as built my own PC and upgraded countless others). This time, I’m going to leave it in the hands of the experts!

I almost have a “new” Powerbook…obviously it pales in comparison to the just announced MacBook Pro’s (Intel Core 2 Duo’s)…dang. I guess a TechDad can dream! (Anyone care to give me one?)


This is NOT me…

In General by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

At work, we were playing around with the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google Search…there were some funny things that come up. I thought that with a name as common as mine, I would help to clear up all of the confusion in the world about who I am and who I am NOT…so…

  • This is NOT me (too bad)
  • This is NOT me (very timely)
  • This is NOT me (wow…lots of concerts!)
  • This is NOT me (Hollywood…here I come!)
  • This is NOT me (care to debate that?)

Google also has some funny combinations that come up…e.g., Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan

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Apple Care – Part 4 – back for more repairs (ALS broken)

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

Well, I must say that I have been getting to know Apple Care a bit more that I really would have wanted to. Where I last left off, Apple had totally “styled me out” by fixing my case with new parts…however, it looks like they forgot to connect the Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) when they put it all together.

For those who don’t know about the ALS, it basically allows certain Powerbooks to have a back light keyboard light up under dark environments (e.g., typing in bed when you are supposed to be sleeping – grin – ). Normally, there is a setting on the Keyboard System Preferences that allows you to tell the machine to control the keyboard lighting. Mine was missing. So, I did some pretty diligent troubleshooting before calling up Apple Care again. Once again, searching through support threads on the web, I did the following:

  • – Created a new admin user. Checked the Keyboard preferences –> No setting
  • – Deleted the com.apple.bezelservices.plist from myusername/Library/Preferences (for admin and normal user) as well as from computer/Library/Preferences and rebooted. Checked Keyboard preferences –> No setting
  • – Installed an app called Lab Tick which is supposed to allow you to manual control the ALS through a top panel dropdown menu. By running that app, I got the message “Failed to find backlit keyboard. Your Macintosh does not seem to have a backlit keyboard”

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Windows Update Error 80245003 – Windows Update won’t run on Vista RC2

In Fix It, General, Microsoft, Software by Michael Sheehan76 Comments

Updated on 06.25.07: I have added some more detailed steps based on feedback I received. See end of post for further details.

I’m playing around with Windows Vista on a test box that I have. So far, it’s looking like a fairly nice upgrade to XP. It doesn’t feel like a complete overhaul (which, from my understanding, it somewhat is since many items have been reworked from the ground up). I’ve gone through the various cycles and now have found myself at RC2 (running the Windows Ultimate version).

I have installed this using VMware as well, testing integration with an Active Directory domain. For the most part, joining the domain and hooking in Office 2007 beta worked fine (including and extremely easy integration of Outlook into my corp account). However, a few months ago, after attaching to an Active Directory domain that had a server that managed Critical Updates from a centralized point, I lost the ability to do Windows Updates. It turns out that the server that managed Critical Updates needed to be patched to allow Vista to connect. After reading the documentation, I found that the upgrade process was a bit sketchy, so I took a different route and just detatched from the Active Directory domain. Then I was able to run updates without any problems.

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