Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Gmail vulnerable to password cracking

Best Prevention — A Muscular* Password

Vicente Aguilera Diaz posted a warning on Insecure.org that there currently is a weakness in Google’s extremely popular (free) Gmail that allows hackers to use automated scripts to guess passwords.

An existing abuse of functionality in the “Check for mail using POP3” capability permits automated attacks to the password data of the accounts of the Gmail users evading the security measures adopted by Google. The abuse of this functionality permits an attacker to do thousands of authentication requests during a day over one user account, so if the user is using a weak password is a matter of time to guess to have access to the mail account.

The solution is to use an un-guess-able password.

Gmail is Google’s free webmail service, and arguably it is the best such service out there. It comes with built-in Google search technology and over 7,300 megabytes of storage (and growing every day). You can keep all your important messages, files and pictures forever, use search to quickly and easily find anything you’re looking for, and make sense of it all with a new way of viewing messages as part of conversations. It is excellent at filtering spam.

Tip of the day: Please read A Word About Words — Passwords, That Is. It is a short article that describes what makes a good, strong password; why that’s important; and as a bonus, provides a link to a top-rated “password manager” tool.

Today’s free link: I learned of this recent alert on Windows Secrets.com

* strong

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 6, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, Google, Internet, passwords, security, tech | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Nobody reads me on Saturdays

I was seriously tempted to take a shortcut today, and just re-post a prior article. As I mentioned earlier this week, being an Internationally Renown Tech Writer and producing (original) articles six-days-a-week is hard work.. and I get tired [somber music plays here]. I had rationalized this decision to re-post with the help of my stats. And my stats tell me nobody reads me on Saturdays.

I have, as almost all Websites do, various statistic gatherers and counters, which tell me all kinds of interesting tidbits about this site’s traffic and visitors. (And I confess I look at these statistics frequently.) These statistics tell me that I usually have half as many “views” on Saturdays as I do on any other day (including Sunday).. I guess people have better things to do with their weekends.

Did I mention that I look at my stats frequently? Yes? Well, the truth is sometimes I get a little carried away.. and become just a teeny bit “stat happy”. It’s a weakness. Symptoms of “stat happiness” include: crying when your numbers go down, and spending hours “tweaking” your site’s keywords and metatags.. and thinking of ways to slip “hot” Google words into your text. Like; giveaway, free, sex, hot sex, XXX, Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, secret video, (let’s see.. hmm..) hidden camera, product key codes, crack.. (There. That should help.)
Stat Happy-ness can take the form of obsession. I’ve seen it happen.

I like my stat counters (but obsession is a little ways off yet) and, I have gathered some interesting conclusions about people.. and the world.. and stuff, because of the information available from them. For instance..
1) In the USA: The people in the central states are really computer savvy, and have their machines running like a fine-tuned Stradivarius. They have no use for the advice and Tips & Tricks offered here.. nor the “how to troubleshoot _______” articles. I know this because (almost) all of my US visits come from the coasts (a bit more coming from the right coast than the Lefty coast).
I also have learned that there’s only one computer in Alaska.. and it’s in Fairbanks (Hell-O, Fairbanks!).

2) The Chinese: There apparently is some activity allowed out of Hong Kong, but I have never received a visit or a view from the mainland. I think the Great Wall of China is really a firewall.

3) Africa: sheeze, what a mess. South Africa visits me occasionally, and so do some of Arabian states.. but I guess the rest of the continent is too busy trying to eat.. and avoid the machetes of rival tribes to have time to visit little ‘ole me (and whatever computers they have are being used to send Nigerian Scam e-mails…)

4) Apparently, this site doesn’t translate into Japanese very well…

5) G’day to all my mates down under! How about posting a Comment from time to time? I didn’t think you guys were bashful… (I’m HUGE in New Zealand, btw). Crikey.

6) Europe and the Scandinavia’s: Tech–for Everyone does pretty well in Europe, and into the “satellite states” and Balkans.. but I haven’t ‘penetrated’ into Russia yet. Spain I don’t do so well in. Nobody visits from Norway (but Sweden is another story), or Denmark. Most of my European visitors come from Deutschland.

7) Central and South America: I have very few visitors from here, but the ones I do are regular readers. I appreciate loyalty.

Another fact I find interesting is that of all the nearly 300 articles I have written, two or three are by far-and-away more popular than the rest. The number one, all time, most popular Tech–for Everyone (There. I’ve inserted it three times now) article has to do with the Windows Taskbar vanishing: My Taskbar disappeared and other simple tweaks.

Well.. that was fun. And, I did write an article after all… sort of.

Today’s free link: Today I am letting you know that there is a new release of a very good all-in-one program for keeping your machine running right. I have recommended it here before, so if you have it, be sure to “upgrade” it to this new version.. and if you don’t, Advanced WindowsCare Personal from Iobit is on my Top 10 free downloads list.

[Update: for those of you who are curious, the keywords and tags I so facetiously added did, in fact, produce a few more visits. And by “few” I mean a dozen. I guess people just aren’t as interested in free hot XXX as I thought…]

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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March 29, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, PC, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments