Sunday, December 30, 2007

VirtualDub Auto Shutdown

The VirtualDub free software is very powerful video editing application. I love to use this application but fortunately VirtualDub doesn't include any shutdown function after convert or processing video editing finished.

Sometimes when the process take along time (over 2 or 3 hours) and I can't waiting the process to be complete, so I need to make my computer turn off automatically when the the process is finish.

I tried to find it on google, how to make my computer turn off after finish processing of VirtualDub and I found it the way to shutdown computer using filter within VirtualDub:

I have another easy way to make computer turn off (shutdown) after the VirtualDub finish the processing without any special program or filter (add-in) to be installed on VirtualDub program.

I made batch script to do this automate computer turn off (shutdown):

Save this file autoshut.bat on the VirtualDub program folder location, usually c:\Program Files\VirtualDub (where is the program VirtualDub.exe exist)

Next step is, make shortcut on your desktop to autoshut.bat script or just running this batch script with windows explore.
The VirtualDub program will be lunch and you can prepare the video process (convertion) and make it all process into batch mode processing within VirtualDub application.
How to operate batch processing within VirtualDub, please read the manual or browse the google :-)

Make sure the Options-Shutdown when finished is selected.
Press Start button when you are ready to process the Jobs.
When the process finish, the VirtualDub program will be closed and next command shutdown -s -t 60 -f will be running.

Have a nice try this trick and even you can customize this script to send you message (net send) or sending you email using BLAT command line after the VirtualDub application closed.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

PayPal Hack - My PayPal Got Hacked And How I Got it Back

By Karthik Arun

This is a story about how my PayPal account got hacked and how I got it back. I had an unlucky day but with a little tinge of lady luck's blessings which helped me to get back to square one. This story gives a good advice for all the PayPal account holders on earth.

Day 1 - 8.30 PM IST

I just logged in into my gmail account to check the emails, I was shocked to see 4 emails from PayPal. 1. Password Changed, 2. Payment sent to some email address 3. Bank accounts removed 4. Primary email address changed. Oh my God!, I had $X,XXX in PayPal balance. While I was seeing these emails my gmail also got logged out. When I tried to login again, it did not. The hacker watched my every move. My primary email ID was the one which I used for all my business and personal contacts and it had 14000 archived emails and chat conversations.

I was feeling like blindfolded and left in a unknown forest. I just could not believe that this had happened to me. I had Norton anti virus + norton internet security and Spyware doctor, both of them licensed versions!! I know all about fake emails and phishing stuffs, I never clicked on suspicious links.

I realized that... "You are safe only if no one targets to attack you."

After a few minutes, someone added me to Yahoo messenger and said 'Hi'. I guessed that it was the hacker and it was. The very first sentence he told me was 'Hi, don't worry, you will get back everything within 7 days' .. He told me that he was a good guy and this is the first time he hacked someone. He also told me that he was in real need of the funds and would return my funds within 7 days. I almost believed him. I told him to give back my gmail account and told him that it was very important to me, and to my surprise he gave it back. He asked me what password I needed for the new account and he set it. I logged in and changed the password again. I was happy that I got back my gmail but was still very uncomfortable about the feeling that someone had watched me for so long!!

I was late in the night, I was sleepy but I had to hold on. I backed up all my files in my iPod and did a system recovery. After 45 minutes, my PC was as good as new. I again changed all the passwords and got back to sleep at midnight.

Day 2 - 6.00 AM IST

I saw my friend was online. I chatted with him and told him the entire story. He scolded me that I have not responded in timely fashion. He was so sure that the hacker was no good and chatted with me to make sure I don't call PayPal. The hacker did not achieve that but however he delayed me by 10 hours. I spent nearly 30 minutes waiting for PayPal representative and then some one showed up. I told PayPal, the entire story and they listened carefully. They assured me that 'I will not be held responsible for unauthorized payments sent from my account'. I felt good but not very good, I was not so sure that I would get back the money. I did what I could have done and I needed to relax. I took rest from this issue.

Day 3 - 7 PM EST

I called PayPal again. It needs a ton of patience to get connected with them. It took a few minutes to spot my account. They told me that "Your fraudulent payments were reversed, did you check your account". I just jumped right there and was so happy. But I COULD NOT LOGIN into my PayPal because the password was not with me! :(

I was not able to reset my password because the hacker also changed the security questions! They advised me to send all the documents and they will help to recover the password.

After a few minutes the hacker came online again. And LOL what nerves he got!!.. He asked me to send the documents to him because he said my account got limited and needs to be unlocked!! I refrained myself from talking abusive words and just managed the situation and logged out.

Day 4 - 6 PM EST

I logged in into yahoo messenger and I saw that the hacker had left me an offline message. Wow! he got frustrated I guess. He left me the PayPal email and password. I logged in and viola! I went inside my PP. Lovely moment it was.. The balance was intact. The four fraudulent payments were reversed. The account was limited though. I just printed the fax cover sheet and sent them the docs.

Day 4 - 3 PM IST

I got an email that my PayPal account has been restored. I immediately went in and sent 4 big payments to my friends and family members. I could breathe now again!

Now whats next?.. everything is back to square one! Now that I have learnt a good lesson. If we think something like "This can never happen to me" you actually attract that situation and within a few days you realize it... the dream comes true.. even though its a bad dream in this case.

I contacted me friends and everyone told me that I need to kick out Norton and Spyware Doctor and buy Kaspersky because thats what is best in the market. I went to that site and reviewed their products. They had anti virus and Internet Security 7.0. The anti virus comes inbuilt within Internet Security and hence its enough to buy the latter one. For one year it costs around $60 and for 2 years its around $95. I just bought it right away and installed it, activated it. Again I changed all my important passwords.

Bottom line: If you think it wont happen to you, one day it will happen, and you will think about the day when you thought that it won't happen to you.

Now that I got my money back, but it may not happen all the time to all the people. You just need to be on top of it.

Good Luck!

Reference: My PayPal Got Hacked And How I Got it Back

Top Computer Virus Threats in 2008

Computer Virus threats are neither surprising nor new on the Web. They are stepping towards newer technologies such as VoIP and instant messengers. With advancement in the features available on the Internet, hackers continue to drive malware. This underlines an importance of being aware and secure when traversing the Web. Antivirus Installation is must in each and every computer attached to Internet.

Predictions for top security threats in 2008 are:

• Increase in Password Staling Websites: There will certainly be a rise in the number of attacks seeking to capture a user's ID and password by displaying fake sign-in pages. Online services will primarily be targeted to spread virus and malware. As opposed to this, the attacks on ISPs are likely to decline, while those aimed at the financial sector will move with the same pace.

• Increase in Spamming: Spamming will continue to grow, accounting for 40 per cent of the total spam received as compared to 10 per cent a year ago. There has been a significant rise in the incidence of image spam and others such as pump-and-dump stocks, pharmacy, and degree spam.

• Increase in IM Attacks: Instant messaging client is gaining wide popularity among Internet-savvy. They are always in search of better messengers to communicate on the web. Since instant messengers feature a number of exclusive features such as file transfer & webcam support, the virus attacks on these applications may increase in near future.

• Increase in Online Gaming Attacks: Online gaming is both the source of entertainment and money for several companies which allow their registered members to buy virtual goods to continue the game. The computer virus attackers may try to target these virtual goods to make real money.

• Increase in Windows Vista Attacks: The attackers and hackers generally seek to take advantage of flaws present in the operating systems. Since Windows Vista, the latest version of Microsoft Windows is believed to be affected by critical vulnerabilities, the hackers may try to inject virus into the affected systems.

• Increase in Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks are expected to be one of the top 10 threats in 2008. With growth in number of incidence of using copies of original websites to trick the users to get their sensitive data, the phishing attacks can increase.

Reference: Top Computer Virus Threats in 2008

Friday, December 21, 2007

Be better than James Bond 007

In Casino Royale, Bond chooses a password to protect a multi-million pound money transfer. What does he choose? His girlfriend's name - doh! Why bother torturing him when you could just guess his cunning plans? We can all do better than that. For most situations a password should be 8 characters long and be a mixture of letters, numbers and other characters and it should conform to company policy. It should not be a word you would find in a dictionary, the name of your spouse, partner, child, pet, favorite band or any of these followed by a single digit. Use common sense - Razorlight1 isn't a good choice if you have a poster of the band behind your desk.


Make your password long

At least eight characters long, and the longer the better. Passwords shorter than 8 characters are easy to crack. Follow these password rules. Avoid common words and proper names. Use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Trouble is, who can remember a password like Fm79$#Xk? Try a passphrase instead: When I was 7, my dog Dolly went to Heaven. This contains 42 easy-to-remember characters, follows all the rules, and is in plain English. (Not every system will accept passphrases; when in doubt, try it out.) The odds against anyone cracking it even with the help of a supercomputer are astronomical. Make your passphrase original. Don't use familiar or famous quotations. Don't use any real names especially your own, your family members, or your pets. Nonsensical passphrases are the hardest to crack.


Thursday, December 20, 2007