Friday, June 20, 2008

Protect Your Home Network Tidbit - A Simple And Quick Solution

Too often non-technical people get confused when they hear so many terms about security and from some of the press you read you would think that there is a full-time team of hackers that were hired just to take down your home network. The reality is there are a lot of automated attacks happening every second that are much more effective than a full-time team sent after you. Some of these attacks go after simple things that a home user could change in a matter of seconds to protect themselves.

Today's tidbit will cover the common malware attack now that tries to compromise your router using the default password. There are so many variations out there but here's a search if you're interested in learning more about the different attacks. If you know you have a router however you have no idea how to log into it here is a quick overview.

1. In Windows open a command prompt using Start Menu > Run > Type 'cmd' > Click 'Ok'
2. Type ipconfig
3. Get the IP address from the gateway.
Example of my laptop which has a wired and wireless connection.

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
4. Type the Default Gateway into Internet Explorer, in the above example you would type ""
5. If you're not sure of the username and password go to Google and type your router model number and default username password. Here's an example search from the popular Linksys WRT54G. As you can see in Google it isn't even necessary to click on the links, the default password and username is shown. Here is another site that lists most major model's usernames and password.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Internet Connection Drops Every Few Minutes

Do you have an issues with your internet connection dropping every few minutes or multiple times per hour? If you're running XP Home/Office you've found a possible simple fix.

The first thing is to verify that the problem exists on your PC by eliminating the router and internet connection at your location. Go to a friends or neighbors house that has internet access and make sure that the problem continues there. If so the issue may be a corrupt Winsock. Be aware that running this command can cause issues with some VPN software which will require it to be reinstalled or some applications that create virtual adapters.

To use the fix open a command windows (cmd at the Run dialog) and type the following:

c:\> netsh winsock reset catalog

After the command is executed it will be necessary to restart your PC. If that doesn't fix your problem you want to read the following at Microsoft Help & Support.
How to determine and to recover from Winsock2 corruption in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, and in Windows Vista

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Display Datasheet View in SharePoint 2003

Recently we had a user contact us that was having an issue getting the datasheet view to work in SharePoint 2003. The following message was appearing when attempting to use the datasheet view.

The list is displayed in Standard view. It cannot be displayed in Datasheet view for one or more of the following reasons: A datasheet component compatible with Windows SharePoint Services is not installed, your browser does not support ActiveX controls, or support for ActiveX controls is disabled.
After some investigation there were a few possible fixes.


For us the fix was what was behind item #3. Since this customers laptops are delivered with the full Office 2003 suite (Office 2003 Pro, Project, Visio) we uninstalled the trial version of Project 2007 which he had installed recently.

Google Easter Egg

In case you've never heard of an easter egg I'll defer to wikipedia.

A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, computer program, or video game. The term draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many western nations.

As Google has shown in the past they have a sense of humor and don't mind doing something a little risky to entertain their users. My brother sent me this one today via, what else, Google Talk.

1. Open your Google Reader.
2. Enter the following keystrokes: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A
3. The background on the left should change and you should now see a little character there to assassinate an otherwise regular reading day.

Good day.

Friday, June 6, 2008

SkypeOut Caller ID

Today I'm logging into my skype account and happen to scan the home page and what do I see?

So I quickly scan my calendar and no, it isn't April 1st and I don't see a full eclipse outside so something must be going on. I click the View Settings link and .... wait for it ....

The heavens open and Josh Silverman personally touched my account and I could hear the angels singing, just like the shepherds in the field described in Luke Chapter 2. Skype, at long last, has found it fit to bestow upon me, a lowly Skype user, outbound caller identification. I take a moment to gain my composure as a tear falls on my keyboard and I thank the Lord for bringing conviction to the Skype staff to bring caller id to the U.S.

Google Filter Issues?

If you run gmail combined or multiple filters in a single filter entry here is a point if it ever appears that the filters 'quit working'.

In case you didn't know it is possible to apply multiple filters with the same action in a single entry. For example lets say you want to flag a group of inbound emails that come from different people. You get some emails from and however the actions you perform on them is identical when they arrive. You could create a filter that states emails from| in the from portion of the filter. The pipe (|) is the delimiter that separates the different from addresses. It is also not necessary to put the entire email if you get emails from the same domain but different email addresses.

As of the date of this entry the filter will only process combined entries until it reaches a double pipe (||). In my case it was just an accident on my part as I had removed part of the filter at some point and accidentally left the trailing pipe for that domain. For example if you had a filter as follows:|||| all of the and email would be processed correct however when it reached the double pipe it would fail to process the remaining domains.

Replace the double pipe with a single pipe. In the example above|||| would be changed to|||

The hope is that someone on the gmail team will stumble across this entry and by the time you read it the problem will no longer exist :D

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sql Server 2000 Reporting Services (SSRS) LogonUser Problem

We recently had an issue where we had set up a new server for a customer due to a problem with their older server. It is running some older stuff: Sql Server 2000 as well as the associated Sql Server 2000 Reporting Services, it also has all of the latest SPs installed. When we set up the user that SSRS would use to connect to the Reporting Service database we must have typed a password in incorrectly and were getting the following error in the event log and could not connect to the http://localhost/Reports website.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Schedule and Delivery Processor
Event Category: Management
Event ID: 129
Date: 6/5/2008
Time: 12:16:29 PM
User: N/A
Computer: SERVER
The encrypted value for LogonUser in the RSReportServer.config file cannot be decrypted.

After some looking around we found a simple solution to our problem. It essentially resets the database user to the information provided. Be cautious however because it could cause problems with existing data. Since we don't use subscriptions or any other data and deploy from the development environment on another server it was not an issues for us.
C:\>rskeymgmt -d
All data will be lost. Are you sure you want to delete all encrypted data from
the report server database (Y/N)? Y

The command completed successfully

C:\>rsconfig -c -s %computername% -d ReportServer -a Windows -u DOMAIN\user -t
The command completed successfully

C:\>rsactivate -c"C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Reporting Services\ReportServer\RSReportServer.config"
The command completed successfully
Best wishes on resolving any issues you might be having.