Your daily technology class with Professor Randy!!

Randy The Tech Professor

April 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Third Party Program Updates For The Month Of April 2014

patch 3rd. party softwareHello everyone,

In this March post (2013), I told you about three great programs that will show you all of your computers third party program vulnerabilities, and then download and install the latest vulnerability fixes. Great stuff!

Speaking of vulnerabilities, here is a chart of the non-MS patches that affected Windows platforms in the current month of April 2014. Get updated asap!

7u55
Oracle Java SE, JavaFX, Java SE Embedded
SE 7u51 and earlier, SE 6u71 and earlier, SE 5.0u61 and earlier, SE Embedded 7u51 and earlier, JavaFX 2.2.51 and earlier
4/18/2014
Data Integrity
Critical: Upgrade to latest release

APSB14-09
Adobe Flash Player
Windows/Mac 12.0.0.77 and earlier Linux 11.2.202.346 and earlier
4/8/2014
Arbitrary Code Execution, Cross Site Scripting, Security Bypass
Critical Priority 1/ Upgrade within 72 hours

APSB14-09
Adobe Air
Android 4.0.0.1628 and earlier
4/8/2014
Arbitrary Code Execution, Security Bypass
Critical: Priority 3/ Upgrade at admin’s discretion

APSB14-12
Adobe Reader Mobile
Android 11.1.3 and earlier
4/14/2014
Arbitrary Code Execution
Critical: Priority 2/ Upgrade within 30 days

34.0.1847.131 and 34.0.1847.132
Google Chrome
Windows/Mac before 34.0.1847.131 Linux before 34.0.1847.132
4/24/2014
Security Bypass, Denial of Service
Recommended: Upgrade after testing

Best wishes,
Randy Knowles

 

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (0)    -
April 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

How I Fixed: “The User Profile Service failed the logon”

user account profile service

Hello everyone,

I got a call the other day from a frantic client. He was an experienced artist and he could not logon to his Windows account. His user account was not accepting his password. Had he lost all of his files?

I went over to his house with my favorite password crackers thinking that it was a password issue. As soon as I saw the dreaded error message “The User Profile Service failed the logon”, I knew that it was not a password problem. This was a bug that required a registry fix.

Here is what I did to fix the issue:

  1. Boot into safe mode
  2. Click on the start button, and type “regedit” into the search bar.
  3. Hit enter to open regedit.
  4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  5. You’ll see two “S-1-5….” folders with long names. One of them will end in “.bak”
  6. Rename the one that does not end in “.bak” to (long string of numbers) “.bad” or “.old”
  7. Remove the “.bak” from the other one.
    • With this folder selected, double click RefCount and type 0 and then click OK.
    • With this folder selected, double click State and type 0 and then click OK.
  8. Reboot the machine, and it should be fixed.

After the machine rebooted, the client typed in his original password and the logon was successful. He looked at me with an expression of relief and gratitude, shook my hand profusely, and paid me a nice fee. I think I’ve just made a customer for life!

Best wishes,

Randy The Tech Professor

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (5)    -
March 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Third Party Program Updates For The Month Of March 2014

risks-associated-with-third-party-software-2

Hello everyone,

In this March post (one year ago), I told you about three great programs that will show you all of your computers third party program vulnerabilities, and then download and install the latest vulnerability fixes. Great stuff!

Speaking of vulnerabilities, here is a chart of the non-MS patches that affected Windows platforms in the current month of March 2014. Get updated asap!

Identifier

Vendor/Product

Product Version Affected

Date Released by Vendor

Vulnerability Info

Vendor
Severity / My Recommendation

iOS 7.1

Apple

BeforeiOS 7.1

3/10/2014

Denial of Service, Data Integrity, Security Bypass, Information Disclosure

Recommended

APSB14-08

Adobe Flash Player

Windows/Mac 12.0.0.70and earlier Linux 11.2.202.341 and earlier

3/11/2014

Security Bypass, Information Disclosure

Important: Priority 2/ Upgrade within 30 days if possible

APSB14-10

Adobe Shockwave Player

Windows/Mac 12.0.9.149and earlier

3/13/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Priority 2/ Upgrade within 30 days if possible

30.0.1750.154

Chrome

Windows before 30.0.1750.154 Mac/Linux before 30.0.1750.152

3/14/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

28 ESR 24.4

Mozilla Firefox

BeforeFirefox 28 and ESR 24.4

3/18/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Privilege Escalation, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

24.4

Mozilla Thunderbird

Before Thunderbird 24.4

3/18/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Privilege Escalation, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

2.25

Mozilla Seamonkey

Before Seamonkey 2.25

3/18/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Privilege Escalation, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

Tags: ,
comments Comments (0)    -
March 14, 2014 at 11:07 pm

How I Removed Thirty One Malware Infections From One Laptop

malware

Hello everyone,

I believe that computer repair techs will always be in demand. The Internet is so full of different types of malware that only a very savvy user can avoid it. Many of the attacks now are through browser hijackers, add-ons and extensions. Consider what just happened to me:

I got a call from a client who said that her laptop was “running slow”. Once I got the laptop to my shop and turned it on, I was surprised that it was even running at all. I could have held an actual clinic for anyone interested in learning how to identify and remove malware. Consider what I identified and removed (a couple of these items are not actually malware, but do slow the computer down and can be replaced with more effective programs):

RegClean Pro, XFINITY Toolbar, Windows Live Toolbar, VideoDownloadConverter Firefox Toolbar, Utility Chest Toolbar, TotalRecipe Toolbar, TelevisionFanatic Firefox Toolbar, Shop To Win, Search Protect, Recipe Hub Toolbar, PricePeep for I.E., MyPC Backup, My Web Search (Popular Screensavers), McAfee Security Scan Plus, Marine Aquarium Lite Toolbar, I Want This, Homepage by Mindspark Interactive, Google Toolbar for I.E., DesktopWeatherAlerts, Crawler Toolbar, Constant Guard Protection Suite, DiskMax 4.56, Coupon Alert, Coupon Printer for Windows, Bing Bar, Babylon Object Installer, Advanced System Protector, Adobe Reader, Norton PC Checkup, Norton Security Suite, Visual Bee.

That’s a lot of “junk” on one laptop. There were also outdated versions of Flash, Java and Shockwave Player. I replaced Adobe Reader with Sumatra PDF, reset System Restore, installed Microsoft Security Essentials, ran Defraggler, changed some Power Options, and had previously ran CCleaner, PureRa, Revo Uninstaller Junk Files Remover, and Gould CleanUp. For good measure I ran CrystalDiskInfo to check the hard drive.

When I returned the laptop the client was amazed at how well it was running and could not understand “how all of that junk got on her computer”. This lack of understanding is why I believe that computer repair techs will always be in demand.

 

 

Tags: ,
comments Comments (0)    -
February 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Third Party Program Updates For The Month Of February 2014

update third party programsHello everyone,

In this March post I told you about three great programs that will show you all of your computers third party program vulnerabilities, and then download and install the latest vulnerability fixes. Great stuff!

Speaking of vulnerabilities, here is a chart of the non-MS patches that affected Windows platforms in the current month of February 2014. Get updated asap!

Identifier

Vendor/Product

Product Version Affected

Date Released by Vendor

Vulnerability Info

Vendor
Severity / My Recommendation

APSB14-07

Adobe Flash Player

Windows/Mac 12.0.0.44 and earlier Linux 11.2.202.336 and earlier

2/20/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Priority 1/ Upgrade within 72 hours if possible

APSB14-07

Adobe Air

Windows/Mac/Android 3.9.0.1390 and earlier

2/20/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Priority 3/Upgrade at admin’s discretion

APSB14-06

Adobe Shockwave Player

Windows/Mac 12.0.7.148 and earlier

2/11/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service

Critical: Priority 1/ Upgrade within 72 hours if possible

iOS 7.0.6/6.1.6

Apple

Before iOS 7.06 and before iOS 6.1.6

2/21/2014

Data Integrity, Information Disclosure

Recommended

33.0.1750.117

Chrome

Windows/Mac/Linux Before 33.0.1750.117

2/20/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service, Security Bypass, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

27 ESR 24.3

Mozilla Firefox

Before Firefox 27 and ESR 24.3

2/4/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service, Security Bypass, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

24.3

Mozilla Thunderbird

Before Thunderbird 24.3

2/4/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

2.24

Mozilla SeaMonkey

Before 2.24

2/4/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service, Security Bypass, Information Disclosure

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

Best wishes,
Randy The Tech Professor

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (0)    -
January 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Third Party Program Updates For The Month Of January 2014

risks-associated-with-third-party-software-2

Hello everyone,

In this March post I told you about three great programs that will show you all of your computers third party program vulnerabilities, and then download and install the latest vulnerability fixes. Great stuff!

Speaking of vulnerabilities, here is a chart of the non-MS patches that affected Windows platforms in the past month of January 2014. Get updated asap!

Identifier

Vendor/Product

Product Version Affected

Date Released by Vendor

Vulnerability Info

Vendor
Severity / My Recommendation

APSB14-01

Adobe Reader / Adobe Acrobat

Windows/Mac XI 11.0.05 and earlier / X 10.1.8 and earlier

1/14/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution or Denial of Service

Critical: Priority 1/ Upgrade within 72 hours if possible

APSB14-02

Adobe Flash Player

Windows/Mac 11.9.900.170 and earlier / Linux 11.2.202.332 and earlier

1/14/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Priority 1/ Upgrade within 72 hours if possible

APSB14-02

Adobe Air

Windows/Mac 3.9.0.1380 and earlier

1/14/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Priority 3/ Upgrade at admin’s discretion

APSB14-03

Adobe Digital Editions

Windows/Mac 2.01

1/22/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Priority 3/ Upgrade at admin’s discretion

11.1.4

iTunes

Windows/Mac

Prior to 11.1.4

1/22/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service

Recommended

5.1/2.1

Pages

OSX/iOS prior to Pages 5.1 or 2.1

1/23/2014

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service

Recommended

7u51

Oracle Java SE, Java FX, Java SE Embedded

SE 7u45 and earlier, SE 6u65 and earlier, SE 5.0u55 and earlier, SE Embedded 7u45 and earlier, JavaFX 2.2.45 and earlier

1/14/2014

36 security vulnerabilities fixed of which 34 may be remotely exploitable without authentication

Critical: Upgrade to latest release

32.0.1700.76and 32.0.1700.77

Chrome

Windows before 32.0.1700.76 Linux/Mac Before 32.0.1700.77

1/14/2014

Denial of service, improper sync, address bar spoofing

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

Best wishes,
Randy The Tech Professor

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (1)    -
January 20, 2014 at 11:41 am

When An SSD Will Not Increase Your Computers Speed

Samsung SSDHello everyone,

The SSD (Solid State Drive) is the greatest invention since “sliced bread”. Installing an SSD can cut boot times down to below ten seconds and open programs so fast that your head will swim! The greatest single speed upgrade for your computer is without doubt the installation of a Solid State Drive.

Yet many people install an SSD, and see little or no speed increase. What’s up?

Take a look at this beautiful Solid State Drive: A super fast SSD indeed, but will your computer  be able to utilize this speed? If your computer motherboard does not have the adequate bus speed, then you will never see the true benefits of your SSD.

It all depends upon what version of SATA ports are on your motherboard. If your motherboard does not have high speed SATA connections (SATA3 at 6Gb/s), then your I/O bus will bog down well before you can experience the speed of the SSD.

If you connect a 6Gb/s capable SSD to a SATA2 port then you will only get 3Gb/s. If you connect a 6Gb/s SSD to a SATA1 port, then your throughput will only be 1.5Gb/s.

If you have an older computer/motherboard and you want to enjoy the incredible speed of an SSD drive, you may be able to add a SATA 3 card. Even better would be to get a PCIe card and connect the SSD to the PCIe bus instead of the SATA bus. When installing an expansion card, please make sure that your motherboard is compatible.

Professor Randy says: An SSD will change your computing life! Just make sure that your motherboard has the correct ports in order to take full advantage of the drive.

 

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (0)    -
January 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm

How I Eradicate The Plague Of Toolbars, Browser Highjackers, Add-Ons, and Extensions (Part 2)

malicious browser add-on

Hello everyone,

In part 1 of this post I named sixteen malicious programs/items that are secretly installing themselves to the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers. I talked about another well known one here.

These malicious items cause annoying pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, and coupons. They change Windows start-up settings and Internet browser settings. They change the homepage, redirect browser searches, and generally make  Internet browsing experience hell! Ultimately they will ruin the computers functionality!

In todays post I would like to show you how to get rid of these unwanted, unwelcome, and infectious browser plug-ins.

1) Some, but not all of these “crap entities” will show up on your computer as installed programs. Uninstall them completely using Revo Uninstaller (free version). Revo Uninstaller is a much faster and more powerful alternative to “Windows Programs and Features (Add or Remove Programs)” applet! It has very powerful features to uninstall and remove programs.

2) The rest of these “crap entities” will show up in your browers as plug-ins/extensions. You must remove them from each browser that you have on your machine. This is how you do it:

A) Firefox (make sure your Menu Bar is enabled)

Tools>Add-ons>Extensions>Remove

B) Internet Explorer (enable Menu Bar)

Tools>Manage add-ons>Toolbars and Extensions>Highlight the plug-in>Disable

C) Chrome (click on the three horizontal bars in top right corner)

Tools>Extensions>Remove from Chrome (click on the trash can)

Professor Randy says: Don’t allow these unscrupulous programs to usurp your computer user joy! You are in control of your machine, not them! If they do manage to attach themselves to your browser, eradicate them fully using the above method.

 

 

 

Tags: , , ,
comments Comments (0)    -
January 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

Third Party Program Updates For The Month Of December 2013

third party patchesHello everyone,

In this March post I told you about three great programs that will show you all of your computers third party program vulnerabilities, and then download and install the latest vulnerability fixes. Great stuff!

Speaking of vulnerabilities, here is a chart of the non-MS patches that affected Windows platforms in the past month of December 2013. Get updated asap!

Identifier

Vendor/Product

Product Version Affected

Date Released by Vendor

Vulnerability Info

Vendor
Severity / My Recommendation

APSB13-28

Adobe Flash Player

Windows/Mac 11.9.900.152 and earlier Linux 11.2.202.327 and earlier

12/10/2013

Arbitrary Code Execution or Denial of Service

Critical: Priority 1/ Upgrade within 72 hours if possible

APSB13-28

Adobe Air

Windows/Mac/Android 3.9.0.1210 and earlier

12/10/2013

Remote Code Execution or Denial of Service

Critical: Priority 3 (upgrade at admin’s discretion)

APSB13-29

Adobe Shockwave Player

Windows/Mac 12.0.6.147 and earlier

12/10/2013

Arbitrary Code Execution or Denial of Service

Critical: Priority 1/ upgrade within 72 hours

6.1.1/7.0.1

Apple Safari

Safari 6.1.1 and 7.0.1

12/16/2013

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service, and credential disclosure

Critical: Upgrade to latest release

26/ESR 24.2

Firefox

Before Firefox 26 and ESR 24.2

12/10/2013

Denial of Service, Arbitrary Code Execution, Cross Site Scripting, Security Control Bypass

Critical: Upgrade to latest release

24.2

Thunderbird

Before 24.2

12/10/2013

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service

Critical: Upgrade to latest release

2.23

Seamonkey

Before 2.23

12/10/2013

Arbitrary Code Execution, Denial of Service, Security Control Bypass,

Critical: Upgrade to latest release

31.0.1650.63

Chrome

Before 31.0.1650.63

12/4/2013

Denial of Service, Web Session Hijack, AddressBar Spoofing

Recommended: Upgrade after testing

17.0.4.61

RealPlayer

Before 17.0.4.61

12/20/2013

Arbitrary Code Execution

Critical: Upgrade to latest release

Best wishes,

Randy The Tech Professor

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (0)    -
December 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

How I Fixed The Conduit Background Container.dll Run Error

How-to-remove-adware-Conduit-search-toolbar-virus-from-Explorer-Firefox-ChromeHello everyone,

A while back in this post I wrote about the plague of malicious toolbars, browser hijackers, browser add-ons, and browser extensions. One of the most prominent of these insidious, unwanted programs is a little gem called Conduit.

Conduit is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed will add the Conduit Toolbar which will change your browser homepage and default search engine to search.conduit.com.

Conduit Search will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Conduit infection is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.

Conduit it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.

Many times after I remove Conduit, I get the following RunDLL “Error loading…” message on boot up:

c:\users\ed\appData\local\conduit\backgroundcontainer\background container.dll

This is because a Conduit orphaned registry entry still remains (even after removal), and is telling Windows to load the file upon boot up.

Here is the fix:

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools.
2. Open Task Scheduler and click on Task Scheduler Library.
3. Look through the list for an entry related to BackgroundContainer.
4. If found, right-click on it and select Delete.
5. Exit all programs and reboot the computer when done.

Professor Randy says: Be extra cautious when downloading third-party browser add-ons, extensions, plugins, toolbars, browser helper objects, and generally most software. Conduit may “come along for the ride”.

 

Tags: , ,
comments Comments (18)    -