The Haus

Wednesday, July 4, 2001

A Little Overindulgence

In case your Fourth of July cookout didn't involve you overeating to the point of death, here's a little story that will push you over the edge. I apologize in advance.

The Master comments: Yyyyyuuuummmmy. Thank you SO much A.T. I think I'll go have a snack now.

Licq Review

FreeOS has posted a review of Licq, an open-source ICQ clone. For those of you who reside under rocks, ICQ is one of the Internet's most popular instant messaging programs. I've tried just about all of the Linux ICQ clones out there and I like Licq the best by far. As a matter of fact, I like it better than the original ICQ. I'm actually running it right now!

One thing the author doesn't mention is the skins available for Licq. You can make it look as much like (or as little like) ICQ as you want! The screenshots he posted gives the impression that Licq would look totally foreign to ICQ. It can, but it doesn't have to. Thanks Linux Today.

Celebrate Your Independence

Since this is Independence Day in the U.S., I decided to celebrate my own independence. I'm going to make an attempt today to do everything in Linux. This will be the first time I've spent an entire day using a non-MS OS since my Commodore days way back when. Now you might say, "So what? You have the day off!" Actually, no I don't. I'm going to be doing a lot of work at my computer today. I've a feeling everything's going to be great.

The Master comments: Heh-you never have a day off A.T :-)

J.t.Qbe comments: Nope, he never does! Enjoy your Linux-only day, A.T. Once you try it, you'll be hooked!

Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Gibson Meets with MS

Steve Gibson reported on a conference call he had with Microsoft officials on the subject of raw socket support in Windows XP. Granted, Gibson has a tendency to be melodramatic, but their cavalier attitude toward security (especially in light of their .NET strategy) is disturbing to say the least. This comment frightened me the most:
Because of the danger of abuse of full raw sockets, all other operating systems restrict its use to only the most highly privileged applications running with "root" privileges. But as we heard in today's meeting, the need to run Win9x legacy applications under Windows XP has forced the notion of "privilege" to be discarded and thus eliminated a crucial layer of protection. All Home Edition Windows XP applications will, therefore, be running as "root" . . . and a dangerous capability that was never meant to be globally available to all applications -- and which ISN'T in any other systems which offer full raw sockets, which have retained the notion of "execution privilege", -- has been made available to all applications.
The emphasis is mine. If this is true, it means that Windows XP will be just as vulnerable to the myriad of viruses, Outlook hacks, and the rest as Win9x. Thanks for nothing, folks. I saw this on Linux Today.

J.t.Qbe comments: Gibson has reason to be melodramatic: he's been a victim of "Microsoft security" and sees the greater danger looming in Windows XP. Read this article, everyone, and consider how much YOU believe Microsoft's claim that .NET will keep your data safe and secure in light of their refusal to take even the most basic security precautions in their software.

The Master comments: The problem Gibson is complaining about isn't really UNIX socket support in XP-the problem is that XP is so insecure that someone can crack into an XP machine and rootkit it, then be able to do anything they want because the full socket implementation allows packet address hiding. These problems already exist in Linux and UNIX, but those OSes are more secure than XP. Kinda. It's awfully easy to make a UNIX box that is easily cracked too . . .

Past Two Days' News

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