WarGames 25th Anniversary


Wow I feel old. Its been 25 years already. Check this out:


I’m going to try and make it to:

Severance Stadium 14

If your going to go let me know.


Symantec chat no better but Good phone support!

So after having fun / failure with Sony I chatted with Symantec. The only saving grace was that the lady I talked to on the phone was awesome and friendly. Sadly Norton doesn’t seem to offer this disk anymore. They did offer to clean the machine if I could get it on the net but I couldn’t as you’ll see.

(I didn’t change the phone number. It’s the one I gave him.)

Mr. David has entered room.

Manu has entered room.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:07:50 EDT 2008)>Welcome to Symantec Support, my name is Manu.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:08:07 EDT 2008)>Welcome to Symantec Virus & Spyware Solutions.

Is this the first time you are contacting us or do you have a Priority ID?

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:15:06 EDT 2008)>First time

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:15:13 EDT 2008)>no ID sorry

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:08:38 EDT 2008)>May I confirm your email address as  

xxx@xxx.net and direct phone number as  123-123-1234  , am I right?

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:15:32 EDT 2008)>correct.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:09:01 EDT 2008)>May I know which country you are

connected from and Please provide me your alternate phone number or mobile


Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:16:08 EDT 2008)>I don’t have one.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:09:43 EDT 2008)>May I know which country you are

connected from?

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:16:39 EDT 2008)>USA

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:16:44 EDT 2008)>Cleveland OH

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:10:15 EDT 2008)>May I know if your computer is on network

or it is a stand alone PC?

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:10:18 EDT 2008)>Are you connected from the computer,

which is facing this particular issue?

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:17:15 EDT 2008)>Do you still have the file

that you can download and burn to a CD to boot a computer?

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:17:26 EDT 2008)>Standalone

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:17:37 EDT 2008)>Its not this computer

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:10:59 EDT 2008)>I shall explain that

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:11:06 EDT 2008)>Thank You for all the information. I

would now create a Priority ID for you.

Mr. David (Fri Jun 27 19:18:08 EDT 2008)>The machine restarts the

desktop whenever i try to do anything

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:12:16 EDT 2008)>Thank You for your patience.

Your Priority ID is  nnnnnnnnnn. Please make a note of it for future


Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:19:26 EDT 2008)>Is there a way to build a

current bootable cd from inside norton Corporate ed.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:12:41 EDT 2008)>As I understand from your issue

description is you want a CD to boot your PC ,Am I correct?

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:19:52 EDT 2008)>Yep, Then I can try to fix it.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:13:31 EDT 2008)>David , do you suspect virus/spyware

activity in your computer?

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:20:27 EDT 2008)>Yes

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:14:03 EDT 2008)>David , do you suspect virus/spyware

activity in your computer?

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:21:07 EDT 2008)>yes/yes

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:14:51 EDT 2008)>May I know whether you have downloaded

any free software’s, animation’s, free music, movies etc from the
internet recently? Or did you accept any ActiveX controls or video codec’s

when prompted from unreliable websites?

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:22:24 EDT 2008)>I didn’t. A friend asked me to

help him fix the laptop.,

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:23:04 EDT 2008)>Right now the system restarts

explore.exe about ever 10 to 20 second.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:16:38 EDT 2008)>David ,We will help you resolve all the

virus issues from your system, by transferring you to our virus removal
technicians, who will take Remote Access of your computer , diagnose the

computer completely and resolve theissues for youHowever, for that you will need to connect from the infectedcomputer

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:23:52 EDT 2008)>The machine can’t connect to the internet.

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:24:06 EDT 2008)>That’s why I was looking for the boot cd.

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:17:59 EDT 2008)>David ,In that case, we will not be able

to help you. We can help you only if you are chatting to me from the infected pc
as we will have to take control over that particular pc tinfecting the computer

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:25:31 EDT 2008)>Do you know if you still have

the boot cd on your website?

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:19:14 EDT 2008)>I request you to check that on the website

Manu(Fri Jun 27 16:19:19 EDT 2008)>Is there anything else I can help you with?

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:26:29 EDT 2008)>I did but I couldn’t find it.

That is why I did the chat.

Mr. David(Fri Jun 27 19:26:43 EDT 2008)>Nothing else. Thanks

Once again reading the language is different from knowing it. What they need is a way to build a Virus cleaning CD/DVD.

Sony can read English just not understand it

So I was working on cleaning the virus’s and such of a Sony Vaio laptop. The machine is a real mess. I cann’t even load stuff to clean it and I think it has a sata drive. LiveCd’s cann’t or aren’t mounting the drive. Time to pull the drive and clean it from another machine. There is no easy way to get to the hard drive on this machine. So I did the chat online with Sony. They asked for the model of the machine and a discription of the problem. I stated that I wanted to know how to pull the hard drive out so I could clean off the virus’s. I get connected and here is a copy of the discussion. I left my spelling mistakes in the post for fairness, but still. Support staff need to understand the language they are speaking not just be able to read it.


Subject: eSupport Chat Transcript  
eSupport Chat TranscriptJenny_ > Hi David. Welcome to Sony Online Support. I’m Jenny. Please allow me a moment to review your concern.
david > Hi
Jenny_ > Thanks for waiting, David. I’ll be glad to assist you with the information to format the Hard Drive.
david > Hi, I don’t want to format it.
david > I need to remove it so I can Clean it.
Jenny_ > I’m sorry for the confusion, David.
david > Ok, So how do i remove the drive?
Jenny_ > David, I suggest that you perform the System Recovery using the VAIO Recovery Wizard. Performing the Recovery will erase the data from the Computer and reinstalls all the Original Applications, Original Drivers and the Operating System that is supplied with the Computer.
david > But that also looses the data on the drive.
david > Are there any doc’s that talk about replacing the drive?
Jenny_ > David, to clean the Virus on the Hard Drive you may perform the complete Virus Scan.
david > True but the Viruses that are on this machine will not let that happen. In safe mode or normal.
david > I need to remove the drive to pull the info of and scan it from another computer.
Jenny_ > David, please stay online while I che!
ck this information for you.
Jenny_ > Thanks for waiting, David.
david > so ant info?
Jenny_ > David, are you trying to save the Data on the other Computer?
david > I will be after I get it out of the computer. That’s why I need to remove the hard drive.
david > So how do I remove the hard drive from the!
Jenny_ > I’m sorry; Sony doesn’t recommend to remove the Hard Drive by the end user.
david > I wouldn’t consider myself an end-user.
david > Also you’ll get to read about this on my blog.
david > Thanks for waisting my time again….
david > You can read about it on www.securi-d.com
david > I’ll try to post it tomorrow.
Jenny_ > I’m sorry; However, you may try contacting the Direct Accessories and Parts Center to obtain the Service Manual to get the instructions to remove the Hard Drive.
Jenny_ > Would you like to have the contact information of Direct Accessories and Parts Center?
david > no, bye

Yes, they did offer to sell me a manual that might have told me how to remove it but 20-30 minutes to tell me that is wrong. I had hoped they’d do better after that whole rootkit thing they did a little while ago.


If passwords are like underwear, Shutdowns are like flushing.

Shutdown got stuck!

The other day I noticed the machine above. It’s in the middle of shutting down. It had been sitting there for a few hours. Out of curiosity I started to see what I could do. I wasn’t able to start jobs/programs because I was in the middle of a shutdown. I was able to view folders and pictures. That gave me some of the inspiration needed to create the following poster. (Links to the PDF in the downloads section above.)


New way to store Passwords.

Just learned of a new password storage device. Sharpie on the laptop wrist rest. Get a new laptop when you run out of printable space?

Just learned of a new password storage device. Sharpie on the laptop wrist rest. Get a new laptop when you run out of printable space? The owner of the laptop noticed the look on my face and asked if “I wanted a picture?” So the deal was the blurring of the passwords.

Apple credit

I keep listening to everyone talking about how Apple doesn’t have the virus and malware issues that the rest of the world does. The interesting thing is that the cost of a Mac is much higher that that of a PC. So wouldn’t this mean that the credit score of the Apple owner would generally be higher? If so then they could be better targets even if there are fewer of them.

Shmoocon was awesome!!!


Shmoocon was great. Learned a lot, met a lot of new friends, and got to see old friends. I took some great pictures at the Saturday night pictures. Sadly I can only post a few of them. Two of my favorite pictures from the party are of the coat rack. A security conference and almost everyones coat is in the pile.  

Coat rack at Shmoocon 2008 (Pic 1)

Coat rack at Shmoocon 2008 (Pic 2)

Here is a link to my ShmooBall launcher.


If I haven’t sent you your pictures please send me an e-mail and let me know.


Just read the EULA.

I was talking with a co-worker the other day about EULAs. I was wondering what would happen if a piece of software were to format your computer after one week of use and it was stated in EULA? How long would it take for someone to notice that it was stated there? Even if it was stated could or would you even know that this would happen? I think there needs to be two EULAs. One for the lawyers and one for the Common folk. (Sadly I think the lawyers would need to approve our version too.)

Apathy or Stupidity?

If you go to a restaurant and get bad service do you go back again? For most of us “No!” So why do people still go on Facebook or shop at Sears? These places have done terrible things with our data but it doesn’t seem to matter. Look at TJX’s stock after all that happened. The general public has to make a stand that their personal information is important to them and the best way to do this is to stop using companies that take you for granted. I don’t use Facebook and I’m not going to shop at Sears anymore. Why should I trust them? Just read the EULA.


It’s NOT babysitting if its your own kid!  — Wives’ everywhere