The dangers of using outdated software

 Outdated software contains security flaws which cybercriminals can use as avenues to infiltrate the corporate network.

The dangers of using outdated software.

Protecting your network by pen testing it

This post is for educational purposes and any use of these tools against a network without explicit permission could be illegal.   Metasploit is designed to identify weaknesses in networks and hardware/software on a network.  Do NOT use metasploit for other reasons.

Want to protect your network and the computers in your network?  You can get updates for your operating systems (Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows or whatever) along with updates for third party programs yet you can still be unsecure.    When updating these products, you also have to remember firmware and updates for wireless devices, access points, bridges, firewalls, routers, switches, SCADA devices, robots, mobile devices, printers and any device on your network.


Metasploit Community is free and allows for a free scan of your network or server. Although limited (Try Pro for details and Brute Force), Metasploit Community is a first step in finding open services and ports on your operating system, hardware devices such as routers and other devices.   The trick to installing Metasploit is to disable your antivirus or make exceptions to what your antivirus finds.   You should truly install the software inside of a VM (Virtual Machine) so that your computer remains protected.

You can use Metasploit to protect your network by ‘seeing’ what a hacker or malicious person would see.  Truly for network professionals and auditors, this software can help you identify services, ports and weaknesses in your network.

There are several versions of Metasploit – Community, Pro, Express and Framework (Compare Editions)

Metasploit     Metasploit Two

Metasploit Scan Complete     metasploit Hosts

Metasploit Services After Scan

The above scan was in a controlled lab.  Malicious scanning of networks may be illegal.  Read  Penetration Basics on Metasploit’s website.

Tutorials (Videos)

SVCHost Viewer – Find out what program is using it!

Anyone who has hit Ctrl-Alt-Del understands they may have several svchost.exe ‘s running.  What are they?  They relate to networking and some programs use svchost in groups.  This tiny download (14 kb) shows exactly what this file is doing.

Link to Download.


Move Programs from your C drive

Many times I have met people who have almost filled their C drive with a ton of programs.  I personally prefer purchasing a new hard drive and cloning it to gain space.  However, it often gets risky or you don’t have time to do this.  Have you ever cleaned your hard drive and wanted more space?   One of the things that takes so much space is your programs.   By default programs go to the program files folder and often take a lot of room after you install several programs.

One thing you can do is simply put in a second drive and copy the programs over.  Well, it doesn’t work exactly like that.  Steam Mover allows you to move programs off of your main drive and load them on a secondary drive.  Putting in a second drive for storage is easy.  Pretty much you open your computer (when off of course).  Insert the drive.  Plug in the SATA cable (making sure the controller is on in the BIOS).  Boot into Windows.  Right Click my computer, go to Manage.  Click on Disk Management and activate and format the new drive.  Now Steam Mover seems to work with all programs I tried it on.    The <2 mb file can be downloaded here. After downloading, select the programs you want to move and they will move to the D: drive (or whatever drive you have).   This now frees up space on your drive and your computer will speed up.  Be sure to defrag afterward.

This is a great alternate solution for freeing space.  While there is no guarantee by the author of the program, it is a solution that is long overdue. (Windows 7 and Vista Only)

Can’t copy a file because your hard drive is damaged?

Over a period of time your hard drive may begin developing bad sectors or bad blocks.  Roadkil has a possible solution for you if you are afraid you are going to lose the data.   Unstoppable Copier copies your files to an alternate drive.

Repair Windows Firewall

Need to repair or reset Windows’ Firewall?  Here’s a great utility to reset your firewall.  Repair WMI and Windows Firewall (by PCWinTech an excellent site).

PCWinTech WMI and Windows’ Firewall Repair

Fix your computer with IOBit’s Toolbox Portable

With IOBit’s Portable Free PC Repair ToolBox, this all in wonder tool can help you perform many tasks that usually takes many tools working together to thoroughly analyze and clean your computer.  This tool is an excellent tool for any computer tech.

Some of the features -

More than 20 tools in a portable app that allows you

  • Process viewer
  • Disk viewer
  • Disk Cleaner
  • Registry Cleaner
  • Windows Analyzer that allows you to repair minor problems
  • Undelete
  • Security Analyzer
  • Optimizes Memory
  • Find Duplicate Files
  • System Information
  • Empty Folder Scanner
  • Privacy Sweeper
  • Uninstaller
  • Memory Optimizer
  • Internet Booster
  • Registry Defrag
  • IE Repair
  • Disk Doctor
  • Shortcut Fixer
  • Security Scanner
  • Driver Manager (Backup and Update)
  • and more!

Microsoft Attack Surface Analyzer test your system’s security

Microsoft’s Attack Surface Analyzer will take a quick snapshot of your computer’s state before and after the installation of software.   IT Professionals can asses their organization’s applications.  Other IT personnel can use this to look at the risk of software installed.  Be sure to read Microsoft’s overview of this software.



Scanning (baseline)



Once this scan is ran, a new scan can be ran to compare the newly installed product changes to your computer.

Start New after Scan



Report Generation


The Report



Report Details


Microsoft Joulemeter calibrates your portable battery

Want to calibrate your batter on your laptop?  Microsoft Joulemeter (.90 mb download) does just that.

From Microsoft Research:

“Joulemeter is a software tool that estimates the power consumption of your computer. It tracks computer resources, such as CPU utilization and screen brightness, and estimates power usage.”

Checklist :

  • Make sure your battery is above 50%
  • Remember to leave your computer idle when this takes place
  • Your screen brightness will change (disable Flux if you have it installed) and turn black
  • Be Patient



Ready to calibrate

Joule Meter Ready


Phase One

Phase 1



Phase Two

Phase 2



Phase Three (Power Model)

Phase 3



Windows System Control Center – An all in one tool for IT professionals

The Windows System Control Center is an all in one tool that offers a ton (hundreds) of features.  These features are compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The installation can be made to a portable drive or installed on a computer.  During the installation, new software can be installed allowing features to be added or updated.

New Software




Installing new software

During this installation process, you may get virus alerts but the software is safe.  These alerts are false positives (the software accesses key areas that control Windows).



Click Allow or Safe in your anti-virus control panel.


Calm Down


Initially you will have 264 software installs.



Once the features are installed (This can initially take a few minutes),  The control center opens to dozens of categories and hundreds of features allowing you to tweak Windows or to correct problems.

List of Categories


Initial Scren


Speed up your computer using FancyCache

I’m always cautious when I hear about caching programs.  Mickey sent me Bill Mullin’s link over to TechRepublic where Romex’s FancyCache is reviewed.

In its Beta release, FancyCache offers a simplex program that uses unused memory to boost the speed of your hard drive.  But does it work?  Yes.  My Dell Inspirion is already fast, but with FancyCache, programs do open quicker and the computer is even more responsive.  With the ability to tweak how I wanted to cache, I used 2gb of the 6gb of RAM on board in the settings.

The default settings alone were convincing enough to show how my computer sped up after a few minutes of use.   Although my computer is a 64bit laptop, the caching methods used and the read/write cache algorithms did boost performance.

FancyCache is certainly beneficial for 32 bit users who are locked in at 3gb of RAM.   FancyCache can take advantage of memory above this limit to speed up your computer.   And whether you do or don’t elect to install FancyCache, at least tweak your settings in a 32 bit computer to tweak your memory.  (See our Link)

The only problem I had was once I downloaded the software, it said it was expired.   A quick check on their website and keys can be obtained here.   The latest key is valid until July 2013.

Will I buy this product?  I’m not sure yet, time and use of Fancycache will tell.



How to measure your hard drive speed.