Apr 29

Spammers are not getting more creative and are using common file formats as attachments for pump-and-dump scams. This new white paper from GFI Software explains what makes spam such an unbearable problem and how spammers have switched from image spam to using PDF, Excel and ZIP file attachments. The white paper is free to download, and no registration is required for access!

GFi is a software company that has been around since before my IT career started. The white paper describes the recent tactics by spammers over the past few years. Attachment spam has been what I have seen the most lately. Spam is a problem for most of us, well, just about anyone with an email address. PDF spam is very annoying as it requires you to open a program in order to view your spam. Image spam is the lesser of the evil’s as it usually will open in your mail client. Both of these spam types continue to plague mail systems taking up bandwidth and storage space. One problem that can quickly get out of control is the space required to store spam. If you allow spam into your mail system, chances are, your users are not deleting it. When you start to consider that up to 90% of your incoming mail could be spam, you quickly can see a problem. If you could reduce spam or even eliminate it your backups and mail storage would certainly feel the relief.

In my environment, I am storing one terabyte of email on disk. I am confident that this is valid email text and attachments. Imagine if I were not filtering the spam out. First my users would complain all of the time. The managers would complain about their employee’s lost productivity time from manually cleaning spam, if they were kind enough to clean the spam. I would also be storing 10 terabytes in my mail storage system. Spam filtering is a must have. If your company is new then spam may not be a problem yet. If your company is an older company, you likely have already felt the sting of spam. In either case, allowing spam a way into your mail system is never a good idea.

Apr 16

When working with Altiris Helpdesk Solution be careful not to associate an email address of one of your users or workers with a queue. If you do this when that person sends in an email to create an incident it will generate an incident with no contact information. I have suggested to Altiris that they trust workers and contacts over queues by default. Here is a simple sql query you can use if you think you are running into this problem for a particular email address.

select * from contact
where email = '[email protected]'

If you get more than 1 result back you will experience the issue.

Apr 4

After the Creative/Daniel K. fiasco, Daniel has decided to move on from modifying creative drivers for the general public. This is likely the best choice for him and I for one do not blame him for choosing this path. I’m sure many Creative customers would prefer to continue to get updated support packs. Daniel has posted a goodbye message on the Creative forums.

Daniel says:

"Although I still have my doubts, they've said I would not be threatened if I provided patches instead of the actual binaries, because of licensed technologies built into them (Dolby/DTS).
While this could even be true, most of the disabled features are Creative's own technologies, which means they've disabled them on their own choice.

Daniel goes on to say:
They were after me and, on a chat session, they asked me what I'd like from them, as if I were expecting something.
They've promised me a free X-Fi 2, but I told them it was not necessary, because I was getting a couple of cards from other companies that contacted me.
Well, at least they are getting flammed all over the web and they are certainly mad about it and I could feel it while chatting with them. That is an enough reward for my hard work."

In the goodbye post Daniel has put links to his forum posts with the driver support packs. I’m going to go ahead and link to the filefront pages as well as post the file hashes.
SB Audigy series Vista Support Pack v2.15.0004EQ with Equalizer (02/24/2008)
Download from Filefront
File hashes:
– CRC32: C99B3CF8
– MD5: 133B743BAAFADD9D681C56B0A0E0DEF2
– SHA1: D8C979C6E1BED6C3C3AB1C6FB425AD417D74A09C

SB Live! series Vista Support Pack 2.10.0001A (03/07/2008)
Download from Filefront
File hashes:
– CRC32: 15AFA064
– MD5: BBED0409A6941767ED263634B7A420EC
– SHA1: B84E8E37DDA0504204DA79AA8B8B585FD37D8461

Gameport support pack for Vista 32-bit (x86), updated on 02/01/2008
Download from Filefront
File Hashes:
– CRC32: 44585B0B
– MD5: F52B755900825968C4F5687CBA0E4C08
– SHA1: 9C4D1016DD79570F5BCA56C9A651148883532271

SB Audigy Value/SE/LS & Live! 24-bit Windows Vista Pack 1.04.0077B (02/06/2008)
Download from Filefront.
File Hashes:
– CRC32: 2218C974
– MD5: 3087EBB1C27F0DE19459F9FEECA1E7B7
– SHA1: 6C95377A0777D39ADC99193A43D43B2F764E68DD

SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio Windows Vista Pack 1.04.0078A (02/06/2008)
Download from Filefront.
File Hashes:
– CRC32: 837372DB
– MD5: 0FF904877BA557E8E4DDBBE04F89EDEA
– SHA1: A2CF2FFF4816DBBC005A24D4E5E6BBA89A12AD05

Hopefully the above links will survive the test of time. I have stored the above files safely but do not have the bandwidth to host them. Should the filefront links fail I will find mirrors.

Daniel, I wish you the best. Publicity like this doesn’t come everyday, I would not blame you a bit for exploiting it a bit to get your foot in the door at Creative or a competitor if that is what you want to do. Who knows, you may be very happy with your current employment. I can’t help but wonder if your Paypal account is tipping the scales with donations…

Good Luck Daniel!

UPDATE: 07.01.08

Well it looks like Daniel has edited some of his original posts. The drivers are also no longer on filefront. I have found an alternate location here.

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