16 December 2008

Warning for Internet Explorer users!!!!!!

Users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer have been warned of a flaw that could let hackers gain access to their computers and steal personal data, and have been to swap to a rival browser.

The flaw was spotted last week when hackers started attacking users of IE 7. The flaw, however, has also been found in earlier versions of Microsoft's browser, IE 5 and IE 6.

Because IE is used by seven out of every ten computers in the world, the flaw is potentially very serious. So far, however, it only seems to have been used to steal computer game code from rival gamers.

Microsoft is trying to put together a patch, but in the meantime computer users have been advised to update their security settings or switch to unaffected browsers such as Firefox or Opera.

The latter scored highest in a recent set of tests of how browsers deal with password security, by security consultants Chapin Information Services. Firefox came second with IE mid-table. Google's new browser, Chrome, and Safari 3.2 for Windows tied in last place.

The flaw in IE allows criminals to gain control of computers that have visited a website infected with malicious code designed to exploit it. While restricting web surfing to trusted sites should reduce the risk of infection, the malicious code can be injected into any website. Users do not have to click or download anything to become infected, merely visiting an infected website is sufficient.

Antivirus software specialists Trend Micro believe as many as 10,000 sites have been hacked to exploit the flaw. Sites that have been compromised so far, however, are mostly Chinese and the attackers seem intent on stealing people's computer game passwords in order to sell them on the black market rather than looking for personal details such as bank accounts.

It is known as a "zero-day" attack because it exploits a security vulnerability on the same day that the vulnerability became generally known. Usually there is a "window of vulnerability" between when the flaw is discovered and when the vendor issues a patch. The hope is that the vendor issues the patch before writers of so-called "malware" can exploit the flaw. If the malware writers have the flaw first, then the vendor has "zero days" to create a patch.

"Microsoft is continuing its investigation of public reports of attacks against a new vulnerability in IE," the company said in a security alert updated yesterday. "We are actively investigating the vulnerability that these attacks attempt to exploit. We will continue to monitor the threat environment and update this advisory if this situation changes."

"On completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect our customers, which may include providing a solution through a service pack, our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs."

What should Internet Explorer users do?

• Change the program's internet zone security setting to "high". This should protect against all known exploits of this vulnerability by disabling scripting and disabling less secure features in IE. It is, however, likely to slow down a user's web experience.

• Log out of your computer and create a new user account which has limited rights to change the PC's settings. Log in as that user. This should reduce the chances of anyone being able to exploit the flaw should your computer become infected.

• Keep antivirus software up to date. This is likely to have only limited effect as most antivirus software packages only investigate files that are downloaded from the internet, rather than looking at every page visited.

• Switch to another browser, preferably Firefox. This is by far the best option.

15 December 2008

Important Health Information for Christmas!

Here's some important health information which should help you to enjoy Christmas even more:

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: 'If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

AND......

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans..

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION:

Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.