Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Secunia: Automating the Windows Software Updating Process

Secunia is one of a short list of firms that perform vulnerability testing. While it does not perform many of the tests that a Blink does, it is light and can be run from Secunia's web site. Most users are aware that Windows system updates are important -- or at least they don't interfere with the automated updating system -- but many of the new threats come from applications such as Flash and Acrobat. These programs are in direct contact with the Internet in a way that exposes them to all types of attacks. Few users would think to even check to make sure these applications are updated.

Secunia is also very useful to finding applications you may not have even remembered installing. On my system it found an ancient version of WinZip. It clearly was not something I was checking for updates, yet many attachments come as zip files and WinZip will automatically start up to uncompress the zipped file. If the attachment was dangerous, WinZip would have been compromised. So, a program like Secunia is important to keeping track of all the potential entry points to your Windows computer.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

SoundBible: A possible answer to your prayers

SoundBible is a site that contains a large number of free-to-use short audio clips. While many of these sounds can be found elsewhere, this site puts them together in one place, provides a good description, and offers them in multiple formats. These sound files are great for student projects, such as a YouTube or Power Point. This site is also a great way to expose your students to working with audio files without having to work with huge files. They have fun and your lab still has hard drive space at the end of the class.