Technology Today…

The power in your hands

Responding to your Technology Questions…

My favorite part of Technology Today is the opportunity to respond to questions, posts, tweets and other comments from listeners. Our active and growing audience continues to share their thoughts on our topics, our guests, and technology issues important to them. Please keep them coming – we’ll make every effort to respond to all of your e-mails, texts, tweets, FB posts, and live on-air calls.

Usually, we try to work questions into our conversation with guests. This week, we decided to dedicate the whole show to questions and callers.

One question that I am asked a lot is how do you know its safe to resume using a computer and re-connect a computer to the network/Internet once its been hacked. Kevin James, an expert in computer forensics called in to help us with this question. The first issue, as Kevin shared with us, is that we need to firmly establish that the computer was in fact hacked.

This can be difficult to prove because most people don’t own or use forensics software designed to do this. There certainly are times when its obvious you’ve been hacked because you see the tell-tale pop-up message from an “Anti-Virus” tool you didn’t install saying you need to buy something or upgrade to the latest version to clean the computer. And there are other times when we just “know” that our machines are compromised, even though we don’t have real “proof”. Like, court-of-law type proof.

In those cases there really are two things we can do. One, do a thorough wipe of the machine with one or more spy-ware, virus cleaning tools. The second option is to reinstall the OS and the underlying BIOS of the machine to ensure that all infected code is gone. (Some might call this a bare metal restore.)

In either case, you should change all your passwords. And carefully watch any accounts you used to access from the compromised machine. If the machine was compromised, its possible access information to those accounts (online e-mail, online banking, VPN, etc.) were compromised as well.

Also, in either case, you should restore data from a clean backup – and not simply restore data from the compromised machine. Data may have been copied off the machine – and it may also have been altered, or infected. Pictures, for instances may have been embedded with Trojan code that executes when you open and view the picture. This is another strong reason to have a constant data backup plan in place.

Another caller last week, and a listener to the show was Shukoor Ahmed, CEO of V-Empower who called in to talk about how technology is impacting political elections. Shukoor’s firm is developing an application that will tell citizens in Maryland their polling location. Polling locations change from time to time and there are instances when voters show up to the wrong pole. At times, they may not have the ability to get to the right one and consequently can’t vote. Such an application will at least try to help this situation. Shukoor and V-Empower continue to develop applications that truly democratize the election process and as we get closer to the mid-term elections this November, we’ll have Shukoor on again to hear about additional applications they will release.

Join us again this week – Thursday at 1PM Pacific & 4PM Eastern – and bring your questions on technology. You can reach us by phone at 866-472-5790, by e-mail at agupta@technologytodayradio.com, by Twitter at /techtodayradio, and on FB at http://www.facebook.com/agupta20854 and on our Technology Today fan page.

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June 29, 2010 - Posted by | Show Wrap Up

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