Hard disk recovery

Today I got asked if I can recover files off of a hard disk that was FKD. I’m always up for a challenge and do like to do things that others can’t.

So I got the disk and run my tools on it, some knackered sectors increasing the scan time to 45 hours! Geez really? I do not want to leave it running for that long! But it soon sped up and finished after about 4.5 hours.

It then took another 2 hours to recover the data off onto another hard disk, not made any quicker by the fact that it was 10 years old and USB 1! To top it off it contained a lifetime of memories for the person, so needless to say I was relieved and happy when I managed to get pretty much all of it back for them.

Wine that homos drink!?!?

You couldn’t make this shit up! I done Matraco a favour by fixing his pc that was infected with loads of dodgy shit, one being the Cryptowall 3 virus.

I do not know what the hell happened, but for some unknown reason none of his documents were encrypted. Maybe it was because there was loads of other crapware / shit ware / fag ware on there to clog up the system? Maybe it had too many spring onions or marrows on it, or maybe it was because he was using plastic gloves to type? Either was he is one lucky SOAB.

So, to say thank you for saving his life, he bought me some alcoholic beverages. Not just any alcoholic beverages. It was special alcoholic beverages. Apparently it was, and I quote `wine that homos drink`??? What the fucking hell?!?

That specific aside, I shall enjoy said alcoholic beverages, as its not often that TAB splashes his cash on anything other than marrows.

Cheers Matraco

Rex gets a second camera

Today I installed the second IP Camera in with Rex. As she is in a bigger vivarium now one camera doesn’t cover it.

As per normal with trying to fit things into places where they normally don’t go it was a hell of a job. I had to bodge a circuit board on a metal bracket held on with Velcro fixings!

For the love of god, why is nothing ever bloody simple?

At least they are in and working wirelessly, I just need to get some connectors and make up a longer cable so I can mount the main circuit board on the back of the viv.

Have a look at Rex and the second camera at http://www.rexcam.co.uk

Spectrum Vega

Today I was informed by the Nudger that there was a new version of the classic Spectrum being released, the Spectrum Vega

The spectrum was the first computer that I got that I programmed. I used to spend hours sat on, I think I did more programming than I played games.

So, when I read the article on the Spectrum Vega, I had to contribute towards it. Not really spending much money on myself I decided to spend £100 and get one of the first 1000 Spectrum Vega`s to be produced.

Not due for shipment until April 2015, I have some time to wait, but I can use that to search for extra games, as if 1000 isn’t enough, and see if I can get my RoyBot Compiler off of CF disk and onto a SD card along with my Sam Fox Strip Poker that is on tape. Those were the days……

The NUDGER virus

Today I came across a new virus, one that I have called `The NUDGER virus`

From what I can make out it is pretty much harmless, but does deliver a payload that is bound to annoy and wind up the victim. It only effects USB storage devices that are plugged into the system by changing the Volume name to that of the virus name.

Its source is listed below.

## Nudger Virus
## V0.0.2.1
## The NUDGER rules

define USB_INSERTED = 106 ##1101010
define N_label = `NUDGER`

regsiter_hook(USB_INSERTED, DO_NUDGER(USB_Drive_ID))

function DO_NUDGER(USB_Drive_ID)
 if (USB_Drive_ID.volume != N_label)
  USB_Drive_ID.volume = N_label  

It obviously doesn`t do much, except annoy the hell out of people by changing the volume name of the attached USB storage device.

yodacam is 10 years old

10 years ago today I launched Yodacam.

Starting off as a bit of a laugh, I added an IP camera in with Yoda, so I could see him from work and see what he was up to. I then decided to add another camera as he was always in the wrong place.

After a drunken discussion with a friend, I went and bought yodacam.co.uk and published him to the world!

After a few years of monitoring for availability I purchased yodacam.com for him.

Yoda has since moved house with us, and gained a new home, which is now on the back of our house in our conservatory, built around a window so that we can see him as we go up and down the stairs. I added a third IP camera in with him as there was more space and more to see.
The 3 original IP cameras are still in with him, I am somewhat amazed that they are still going given the amount of heat they have to endure.

Yoda is now around 18 years old, we got him in February 1997 when he was a few months old, hopefully he will be online for a good few years to come.

A reinstall?

Today I heard the words that I dread hearing, especially coming from someone with a technical back ground.

While looking to fix a problem, a problem that seemed to point to a few things as the cause, I heard `if I can’t fix it I will reinstall it`.

To me a reinstall of a computer is the last thing that should be done, and from experience it is only as a result of unexpected damage that is has to be done – like a hard drive failure that corrupts too many files, or as a result of someone getting impatient with Windows Updates and turning the machine off when it says not to! why would you do that?

So, I volunteered to take a look before the reinstall was started and had fixed the problem within a few minutes.

After I returned the computer, I sat and pondered on the thought processes involved in making the decision to reinstall……

Internal Logon Credentials

Today I went into town to a large retailer to order a gift for the wife.
Due to a couple of date issues and unknown factors I thought that it would have been the easiest option, rather than going online to do it myself – which is the way I tend to do things.

So, I’m at the counter wanting to place my order, where the female assistant was trying to log on to the computer. The normal explanations as to why she can’t log on are given, `it’s a bit slow this morning` and `my log on doesn’t seem to work`. She then went off to get someone to log on for her.

She came back and put a piece of paper on the counter and said `I’ll try these`. She then proceeded to log in while looking at what was written on it. I looked down at it and could see that someone had written a username and password on it!

Unbelievable to think that someone would not only give someone else their log in details, but they would also write then down (without encrypting them) and then show then to someone outside of the organisation they worked for.

I chose not to make a mental note of the details and then try them on an internet portal (no idea if there was one) while using the TOR network!

It amazes me what some people will do, given all the things that they must of been told by their employer and given common sense with security?!

Only those browsers? Really?

Well today I see another example of ridiculous browser wars at its best, or is that worst!

While looking at some issues on a CMS system, I picked the page apart find a very old version of a JavaScript component.

As I was using the latest version of Internet Explorer we had to play around with compatibility to get this website to work. After changing the User Agent String we were presented with a page saying that said that our browser was out of date. Fine, yes we may of made it report that it was out of date, which is something that seems to happen on an almost daily basis to some website here and there, but the options that we were presented with on the screen was ridiculous – upgrade your browser to Firefox, Chrome or Safari? Seriously? WTF? BOFW?

Not sure why they had chosen to completely remove Internet Explorer from the preferred list, but given what the website provider does and the sector that they are selling / providing to and given how systems are configured in that sector removing Internet Explorer has got to be one of the most stupid things to do.

I don’t give a shit what the Internet Explorer hatters have to say about that, sometimes there are reasons as to why you can only use certain software to do a job, and no matter what you do you need to cater for those scenarios.

Hopefully when the issue is fixed Internet Explorer will on the list of preferred browsers!

CryptoWall – OH, your fucked

My first dealings with a Crypto Variant today, CryptoWall

Someone that I haven`t done any work for for a few years contacted me to ask for some help as they couldn`t open their emails. So I remoted on and took a quick look for them.

First thing that I noticed when the screen loads is 3 files in the middle of the desktop called DECRYPT_INSTRUCTION. Straight off I knew that this was not going to be a good result.

I had a quick read of what it says and then a quick look at the My Documents folder and then proceeded to tell him, in a non technical way, that he was Fucked. I then explained what had happened and told him that there was nothing that I could do, something that I don`t often tell people. I wasn`t going to suggest paying $500 to get it all unencrypted only to find that it didn`t work.
Ironically the only thing that wasn`t encrypted was all of his Sage Accounts!

He asked how it could of happened and after a quick visual check I told him
Well, you are running Windows XP that has out of date virus protection, that would not of helped, you have probably opened up a few dodgy emails with attachments and looked at them. He did say that he has been getting a lot of emails with invoices in them! Oh Dear

Its not often that I cant fix something, but in this case I couldn`t, so I told him to turn off and unplug the computer and buy 2 new ones to replace what he had as they are well out of date and possibly open to more problems!