When Your Bank Phishes Its Own Customers

I recently got a bank account with a local credit union. This week they sent me what I can only describe as what amounts to a very good phishing email for their own online banking service. I had to stop in my tracks as I looked at it, as I couldn’t quite believe it. I’m anonymizing the details of the credit union and domains in question as I’ve already sent them some comments as to why this is a bad idea and gotten some positive feedback from their VP of remote services. Try getting that kind of response (or any response) from a larger bank! One of the reasons why credit unions are better than larger banks.

Let’s take a closer look at this “phish”.

image of the suspicious HTML email

Excerpt of the suspicious email

Continue reading

VMware VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience

vmware certified advanced professional data center administratorI’ve read a lot of blog posts from others sharing their experience taking the VCAP5-DCA exams and I thought I’d join in on the fun and give back my advice to someone who may also be preparing to take the exam. I sat for exam VDCA550 which is the newer exam focused on the vSphere 5.5-based objectives. This exam is tough. Probably the most rigorous cert exam I’ve sat so far. Here are my thoughts about the exam. Continue reading

Heartbleed Bug – Serious OpenSSL Vulnerability

Heartbleed Bug

Just a heads up to all readers. A serious vulnerability in OpenSSL was just announced and patched a few hours ago. Vulnerable versions of OpenSSL could potentially leak private keys from memory to an unauthenticated remote attacker. You will need to immediately patch all affected systems and revoke any potentially exposed keys and associated certificates.

Seems like some organizations got advanced notice due to the co-ordination of some of the researchers and NCSC-FI but before they finished their pre notifications someone else discovered the vulnerability and went public with it.

Read more about the vulnerability at the researcher’s website: Heartbleed Bug

Micro Center, we need to talk

I enjoyed the great value and good service I received from my recent Micro Center purchase. Ordering online and picking up in the store the same day was a breeze, even if my new credit card without raised numbering threw off the employee who wanted to run it through an old timey credit card imprinter for some reason even though I had already paid and been charged online (he ended up writing my full credit card details down on his paper work…I’m just sure that’s PCI compliant).

However, there’s one thing I didn’t enjoy at all: The Micro Center Preference Center.

Continue reading

VMware Cert Get!

VMware VCP5 LogoI’ve been neglecting this poor little blog for awhile and I feel bad about that. But in my defense I’ve been busy with a move, school work, getting an awesome new job, etc. Anyway, you may recall that back in April I took a VMware course on installing, configuring, and managing vSphere 5. Well, after a few months of preparation and working with the product, I’m pleased to announce I’ve passed VCP510 with flying colors and am now a VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP5…or VCP5-DV which is the new moniker they are using since they are introducing a new VCP-level exam relating to the “cloud” and vCloud Director). I continue to find virtualization technology exciting and look forward to opportunities to apply virtualized solutions to problems in my personal and professional lives.

RIPE NCC has Approximately Four Million IPv4 Addresses Before Reaching Last /8 — RIPE Network Coordination Centre

Looks like next month we will possibly see RIPE start tapping into the last /8 IPv4 addresses. When that happens they’ll only hand out a /22 (1,024 addresses) even if you can legitimately request more. Also, you’ll have to already have an IPv6 allocation before they’ll give you that /22.

Future Internet growth depends on IPv6 deployment.

Full Story – RIPE NCC has Approximately Four Million IPv4 Addresses Before Reaching Last /8.

Free PowerShell v2 Workshop

I’ve always been more of a linux/unix/mac focused guy, but I have to say I’m honestly impressed with the direction Microsoft is heading with PowerShell. PowerShell scripting is SO COOL. Yes, I just said something Microsoft made was cool; zealots are setting phasers to stun kill about now. Check out this 4 hour PowerShell v2 workshop posted for free(!) on YouTube by Don Jones.

If you liked that check out his book Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches or his PowerShell video training series.

Thanks for sharing Don!

Cert Get!

Just wrapped up studying for and passing Microsoft’s 70-680 exam “Windows 7, Configuring”. I had been told by various people it was a very difficult exam but the study materials I used made the exam seem pretty straight forward. As you can imagine, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I finally sat for the exam. So with a bit of my usual cockiness replaced by a small amount of uncertainty I clicked the big begin exam button. Unfortunately the Prometric software did not care for me and threw some kind of error about a file not being found at a totally bad path (something like F:FolderFolder/some other folder/something/test.exm). Whoops, looks like someone didn’t quite get the path correct there! Fortunately about 20 minutes later they had it fixed and I easily passed the exam with a comfy 850 score. Pretty easy stuff if you ask me! On to bigger and better things. My VMWare class finally starts on the 23rd. Really excited for this one. Might try to tackle something between now and then. CIW Database perhaps?