Archive for the ‘VMP’ Category

Final Post

October 2, 2009

No – I’m not dead yet!!

This is a final post at Tigerstail.wordpress.com because I am tired of seeking knowledge and bitching about that which is. It is time to use my skills to develope the solutions to all of the problems I have discovered.

Join Me at jimmicap.wordpress.com

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Vista OOBE Sucks!

November 26, 2007

As an old marketing practitioner, OOBE is an acronym for Out Of Box Experience

Forget that Microsoft has hijacked the term to mean their start up programming that bores you to tears while describing all the new bells and whistles and telling you how great they are and how much you will love them. To me OOBE includes all those factory preset conditions that make your computer act the way it does. I Know that there has been much written about how to turn off or correct many of the nasty conditions I’ll describe but that’s not the point. The average user does not know how to change the registry or turn off processes and shouldn’t have to learn.

All my complaints deal with the fact that this operating system is a total mismatch for current equipment. The worst manifestation is that it is slow, slow, so very slow. When I wake up and go to my hibernating machine I don’t know what to expect when I tap the enter key. It might spring to life in a minute it might take five minutes, only the Vista Gods may have a clue. I have programmed my human self to tap a key to wake it up before I start my morning tea and go to the bathroom, then my trusty Vista machine will probably wake up before I’m finished my morning ritual.

Now when my XP machine takes more than 2-7 seconds to come to life the first thing I do is run “netstat -ano” to see who’s connected to my machine and what they are doing. Running “netstat -bv” identifies the processes and the executables involved in each process by the connection name (This doesn’t work as well in Vista).

When I try to quickly run the netstat command on Vista DOS, Vista plays a silly game of Simon Says where it asks me if I am truly the person who clicked to open DOS and it will not open it until I click yes. I mean I am operating as administrator with administrative privileges, what’s above that? When you get to your answer for your request, you have no way of knowing how many connections were made and broken while you were playing Simon Says or waiting for your machine to come out of hibernation.

My next task is to identify the processes which the IP’s are connected to and when I run Task Manager, it plays that silly game of Simon Says again invoking my administrative privilege to proceed and then the first answer is not complete. You have to click on a box that asks if you want to see the processes for all users. I mean, I’m supposed to be the administrator with full administrative privileges and there are no other users on the machine yet more processes are identified as being operated by “system”.

By the time you get full administrative privileges there is no way to get full knowledge. All this crap slows you down so much it is impossible to know what wasn’t captured.

There are ways to work around this unnecessary crap but then why should I have to?

VMP’s or Vile Machine Probes!

October 10, 2007

Over the past several blogs, I’ve been reporting on netstat as a tool to find out who is connecting to my machine. I assumed up until yesterday that all of the Microsoft connections were beneficial updates and not data mining excursions. Now I know different. I was using both netstat and X-netstat 5.1 and in addition to (198.65.147.194) which I reported on in three different posts (1, 2, 3), I decided to check the rest of the connections from some sites.

First, I went to fatsavage.wordpress.com and found the ever present carnivore which you really can’t do much about. In addition there was the wordpress-Akamai services, the Snap tool, Google statistics and ltdomains.com which is also related to WordPress. In addition, there were connections from unknown.level3.net and Panther Express which is a direct competitor of Akamai and certainly wasn’t invited by ether them or I

When I went to this site (Tigerstail.wordpress.com), there were two connections from unknown.level 3 and Panther Express was gone. I went to a fairly non confrontational site and nobody bothered to monitor me except Google stats which is everywhere. I than went to fatsavage.com, home of the Fatsavage Shitlist of Law Enforcement Honeypots, and netstat lit up like a meteorite self destructing over Tunguska.

There were the normal connections by my blog host and Amazon and most of them used multiple connections to speed up the content feed but nothing like Carnivore from my local ISP. It tapped into my machine on 63 different ports at the same time. This is like the previously described hitbot on speed and I’m sure it was looking for hashed kiddie porn pictures which would identify the visitor as a pedophile instead of a libertarian protesting domestic spying.

This is not the first time I’ve witnessed VMP. I caught one site connecting on over 100 ports but was so stunned that I wasn’t quick enough to catch it on a hard copy.

VMP stands for Vile Machine Probes but is a direct tribute to Dr. Spock and the technical capabilities of the Vulcan Mind Probe. Of course the original VMP’s were dangerous because there was always a sharing of information and also a chance of physical damage to the weaker species. The same is true today.

By the way, I use a Firefox Browser on a Windows XP machine with updated PCcillin anti-virus and firewall. Once your using a Windows operating system, it’s splitting hairs to argue about who has the best antivirus.