Saturday, June 14, 2008

Items below were excerpted from the daily feed received from

Can I Find My WiFi Encryption Key from a Machine That’s Online?

Posted: 13 Jun 2008 03:19 PM CDT

I took a little trip to my sister’s house a few weeks ago and I needed to get some work done. I whipped out my HP 2510P Tablet and proceeded to connect to their wireless network named ever so cleverly… “TheInternet”.

So when I saw the custom name on their router’s SSID, I figured someone configured it and could give me the WEP key. I asked and I was met with a dead stare.

“What’s a WEP? Is that like a USB?”

“It’s the password you set when you set up the router”

“What’s a router?”

Are you sure you are really my sister?”

Have you had this scenario happen to you? You have one machine online and want to bring another one up and you have no idea what your key is? I can’t say I have done this personally but I see it happen on a daily basis around the office. Don’t get me wrong this IS a security risk to your key but if your machine is locked up when not in use you should be ok! Don’t tell my IT buddies I told you about it though - I would probably get kicked out of the Admin’s club :(.

The freeware we are looking at today is called WirelessKeyView from Nirsoft. WirelessKeyView finds ANY wireless network keys (WEP/WPA) stored on your machine. This includes keys stored by the ‘Wireless Zero Configuration’ service of Windows XP and by the ‘WLAN AutoConfig’ service of Windows Vista. In other words it will work on XP or Vista (XP requires you have the KB918997 update installed) It does not matter which flavor of 802.11 you are using. This app will retrieve any Wireless Key stored.

(The image below was used directly from the NirSoft website as I am not about to share my WEP’s with the general public for obvious reasons!)

Once you have found your keys, WirelessKeyView allows you to export them to an HTML or TXT file as well as copy them to the clipboard for some easy pasting action;

Alrighttty then, let’s get back to getting my tablet online.

I walked over to my sister’s laptop which was already on line via WiFi. I browsed on over to the NirSoft website; which makes some really cool free software. (I have used lots of their products before to recover all sorts of office document passwords) Now upon firing up their “Wireless Key View” i instantly saw her WEP passcode. It was a computer generated strange looking password, I might add!

Now I popped that key into my tablet and back to blogging working I go.

(By): Karl L. Gechlik is a superhero of the IT industry who wears many hats and changes in telephone booths. Karl mostly uses his powers for good and the occasional hysterical prank. Get your geek on & follow his geeky antics at today.

More from :

- MakeUseOf Directory : Read about up-to 5 truly useful web apps on a daily basis. - MakeUseOf ‘Geeky Fun’: - Fun Geeky Pics, Cartoons and Videos.

Tags: HowTo, Microsoft, password, wep, wifi, Windows, wireless

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Posted: 13 Jun 2008 12:37 PM CDT is a collection of web applications from Adobe which includes lots of cool features. claims to offer the first real online word processor, web based file sharing and storage, ability to create PDF’s, online screen sharing and web conferencing.

Lets take a look at all of these one by one, shall we?

1. Adobe Buzzword

Adobe claims Buzzword to be the only real online word processor. They are justified in their claims as it turns out. For starters Buzzword supports the docx format, but that’s not all as it has a host of cool features that takes it closer to the desktop experience.

It offers options for header - footer, font colors, images, tables, special characters, comments etc. It keeps track of the version history of a file and your work can be shared or exported to various formats. How about performance? It worked well when I gave it a try (although i didn’t do any serious work).

Mark also took a previous look at Buzzword here.

2. Adobe ConnectNow

Adobe ConnectNow is for those of you who want to collaborate with someone over the Internet. It allows you to invite participants to view your webcam or share your computer screen. Not only can you share but you can also remotely control the screen and annotate it. You can also send a file from within ConnectNow if you desire.

In addition it has a white board functionality that lets you draw shapes, lines etc on the screen for on-the-go instant discussions and designs. It however requires you to install a ConnectNow plugin to share your screen with the participants.

Oh, I almost forgot, you can also chat with all the participants in your room. A very useful and productive app for those who want to share their ideas and work online.

3. Create PDF

You might be wondering why it’s called but still no mention of PDF? Well here it is. The Create PDF app. It presents you with an intuitive interface where you can see the files you created or uploaded to In addition to that it has an option to upload files from your computer as well. You can convert them to PDF here and then download them. You can also view the documents that others are sharing with you.

You can sort the available files by a variety of criteria such as upload time, name etc. One special mention here would be that Adobe imposes a 5 document conversion limit. Not sure what the idea is behind this strategy. Why would they want to limit PDF conversion?

4. Share Files

Share files allows you to upload files from your computer and share them with your colleagues or friends. You can also send them messages notifying them of the fact that you have shared a new file with them. You can control the access level of the documents and keep them open or restricted. In addition, it offers all the file management features I mentioned in number 3 above. All the files you have stored in this organizer can also be embedded in a web page in the form of a flash preview of the document.

5. My Files

This is the central file organizer of Actually I have already mentioned it twice in 3 and 4 above when I discussed the file management features within Create PDF and Share Files. In addition to that My Files has a lot more to offer. You can filter files according to their name, size, extension, author, share status, and upload date. You can view them as lists or thumbnail.

Finally you can upload files from your computer as well. Worth mentioning here is that as cool as all this seems did you notice I didn’t mention search? After uploading a handful of files, and as forgetful as I am, I went to My Files and noticed that there is no search option. So if you were to use the entire storage limit (which is 5 GB by the way) can you imagine a scenario when you won’t have to search for a file? What makes this even worse is that you can’t tag your files or organize them in folders (at least I didn’t find the option). I really hope they add this in the future.

As you can see, the last three i.e. Create PDF, Share Files and My Files have somewhat similar features. Actually all of them are tightly integrated into each other so that you don’t have to go back to the welcome screen each time you want to convert a Buzzword file to PDF or share a file you uploaded.

All in all the suite ( if I may call it so) promises to be great. It has some minor glitches like 5 document conversion limit, no search and no tags or folders but with the fantastic UI, it’s sure to spice up your web apps experience! Check it out at It requires a free registration. Let us know what you think and how you like it.

(By) Varun Kashyap - A tech enthusiast, programmer and a blogger who will be sleeping when this gets published. Wish him sweet dreams at TechCrazy Blog

More from :

- MakeUseOf Directory : Read about up-to 5 truly useful web apps on a daily basis. - MakeUseOf ‘Geeky Fun’: - Fun Geeky Pics, Cartoons and Videos.

Tags: acrobat, adobe, collaboration, Cool Web Apps, productivity

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RU Botted - Watches your System for bot-related Activities

Posted: 13 Jun 2008 09:37 AM CDT

It is becoming increasingly clear that at the current rate of growth in malware in circulation and under development, computer operating systems and applications will continue to be compromised at an ever increasing rate.

According to Panda Labs, Panda Security’s laboratory for detecting and analyzing malware, every single day in 2007, it received and analyzed more than 3,000 new strains of malware, an increase of 800% over 2006 . Malware epidemic anyone?

Of particular concern is the installation of malware based on social engineering, which seems poised for a major increase in activity; an opportunity created with the boost in user participation on MySpace, FaceBook, and other social networking sites.

More and more, cyber crooks are using malware to infect computers with the objective of turning the infected machines into zombies, which working together with other infected machines, operate as a powerful networked computer system.

Many computer security analysts are now convinced malware, phishing attacks and other cyber crimes from these powerful botnets can be expected to increase in frequency.

Statistics on the number of botnets are difficult to come by, but according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are at least 1 million botnetted computers in the U.S. Worst, some security companies estimate that currently there are as many as 10 million botnetted machines worldwide. Indeed, some researchers believe that this may just be the part of the iceberg that we can see above the waterline.

For your own benefit it’s obviously important to keep your computer from becoming infected and becoming a part of this problem. Perhaps it’s less obvious that we all share a responsibility to help protect other computer users on the Internet from becoming infected. The way to do that is to ensure that you are part of the solution; not part of the problem created by running an insecure machine, or by engaging in unsafe surfing practices.

In effect then, it’s up to individuals to keep up as best they can; which means installing as many levels of functional protection as possible.

Trend Micro, a leader in Internet content security, has released a beta of RUBotted, a small program that watches for incoming bot-related traffic which is worth considering adding to your security toolbox.

The following program description has been obtained from TrendSecure.

Trend Micro RUBotted (Beta) is a small program that runs on your computer, watching for bot-related activities. RUBotted intelligently monitors your computer’s system behavior for activities that are potentially harmful to both your computer and other people’s computers.

RUBotted monitors for remote command and control (C&C) commands sent from a bot-herder to control your computer. Additionally, RUBotted watches for an array of potentially malicious bot-related activities, including mass mailing - a common activity performed by a bot-infected computer.

RUBotted co-exists with your existing AV software, providing advanced bot specific behavior monitoring. RUBotted does not rely on frequent, network intensive updates to ensure your computer’s continued protection.

Operating Systems:

Windows 2000 Professional (Latest Service Pack Installed) Windows XP Professional or Home Edition (Latest Service Pack Installed) Windows 2003 Server (Latest Service Pack Installed) Windows Vista (32 Bit with Latest Service Pack Installed)

(By) Bill Mullins is a Blogger who writes on Internet Security, System Tools, Free Software, and provides downloads links. Check out his Blog at Tech Thoughts

Tags: anti-spyware, anti-virus, security, windows tips

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