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Just found this interesting video.

Answering Four Key Questions About Operation Ghost Click

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DNS is in the news as the FBI will be shutting down Internet use for a large amount of U.S. based users this July, so we wanted to take a moment to bring some clarity to the situation especially if you’re one of the people that could be affected.

So what happened?

This all began a while back when six Estonians launched malware called “DNSChanger.” Basically, what this did was change your directory assistance server from a good one to a bad one. Domain Name Servers (DNS) get you to where you want to go on the Internet, even if you don’t realize you’re using them.

DNS is the Internet’s phone book. When you search for www.dyn.com, the DNS gets you to www.dyn.com, like when you call “Home” on your cell phone without having to dial 603-555-1234. However, this malware hijacked some computers’ DNS (technically their recursive DNS servers).

Most of the time those infected computers went to the right websites. But whenever the hackers wanted to, they could send you to a website of their choice, promoting fake and/or dangerous products. This is especially troubling when it comes to banking websites. You may think you’re going to your bank’s website but you’re instead going to a fake one that looks like your bank. As a result, you give access to your personal information to some very bad people.

How did they get caught?

This activity is obviously illegal and there is a profit motive that drives people to commit these crimes. The FBI claimed around four million computers were infected and millions of dollars were siphoned from people who used these computers and unknowingly gave their information. That’s a lot of money. So much money, in fact, that it was obvious to the FBI that something was wrong. As a result, they were able to arrest these Estonian hackers in a November raid called “Operation Ghost Click.” The problem was these computers were already infected.

Why is the FBI talking about shutting down a lot of computers?

They’re not trying to shut down any computers, but they are working to solve a problem by operating a very helpful service in which they are temporarily standing up good infrastructure in place of bad. However, that service will end this July 9 which means that you have several months to check and see if your computer is infected and if so, get it fixed. It is a quick and painless fix but we’ll get to that in a minute.

How can I prevent such attacks in the future?

To solve this problem, the FBI secured a court order last March that authorized the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) — a nonprofit corporation that makes software called BIND, which most of the Internet uses for resolving DNS names — to operate and maintain temporary “clean” DNS servers. It is this service that will be shut down in July.

That gives everyone ample time to visit the FBI-promoted website to check if your computer has been infected. The website is translated into multiple languages. If it has been infected, there is spyware software right on that site that can fix the problem. If you do all of this, this particular malware will not affect your computer. If you don’t do it by July, then your DNS-related Internet activity (i.e. web and email) will stop functioning.

The response by different private and public organizations was very thorough, which should give you some comfort.

Takeaways

It really comes down to being cautious when you’re running software or clicking on links. Always be careful about email attachments. Do you know the sender? If not, don’t open it. Also on your computer, don’t run everything as an administrator. While it may be a little burdensome, create a guest account or separate user account to run things through. Also be cautious of flash drives. These are a common way of spreading a virus.

Computers give us access to the world. Unfortunately, they also make it possible for six people from Estonia (or anywhere else) to cause a lot of trouble. Like any tool, proper use is imperative. If you are cautious with your computer you will be less likely to run into these sorts of problems. If you have, there is plenty of time to get them fixed so just make sure you do so before July.

The Death of Junior Seau

 

It’s not every day you see a linebacker stay in the league until 40 the way Junior Seau did.

Depending on whom you believe, the average NFL career lasts somewhere between three and seven years. Junior Seau played for 20 seasons, becoming one of the league’s marquee stars in a career that stretched from San Diego to Miami to New England. Such public longevity contributed to the sense of confusion and shock when he was found dead at his San Diego home on Wednesday, the victim of a death police are investigating as a suicide.

Seau’s accomplishments on the field were both legion and legend. As a linebacker, he made 12 Pro Bowls, six All-Pro teams and guided the San Diego Chargers to their only Super Bowl appearance in 1994. He also developed a rep as one of the NFL’s toughest players, the type who could break his arm on a tackle and walk off under his own strength. There was a legacy of humbler accomplishment as well: the Junior Seau Foundation he established to benefit at-risk youths, for one. But a life of achievement doesn’t whitewash the stunning morbidity to Seau’s death. If this was indeed a suicide, he becomes the third ex-NFL player to take his own life since the beginning of 2011, and the eighth member of that 1994 Chargers Super Bowl team to die in recent years.

Considering all the recent attention paid to the NFL’s difficulty in preventing head trauma, it isn’t hard to make connections between Seau’s hard-hitting style and whatever may have led him to suicide. As Andy Staples notes for Sports Illustrated, his toughness would’ve been antithetical to the league’s modern message of Safety First. “Seau was the type who refused to leave the field, regardless of his physical condition. He played in an AFC Championship Game with a stinger that prevented him from raising his arm above his shoulder. He partially tore his hamstring one Sunday, but stayed in the game despite being noticeably hindered. Another time he shot up an ankle at least 18 times so he wouldn’t miss a game,” Staples writes. “To think he didn’t play through multiple concussions would be naive at best.”

Those connections may be too convenient to make this soon, at least until an autopsy reveals what guesswork can’t. What is clear, though, is that the death of such a recognizable star can only draw more attention to a problem that won’t be so easily solved by increased player fines. “It’s much too late to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach to how the NFL deals with head injuries,” Slate’s Josh Levin writes. “Ignore the NFL Draft. Ignore offseason mini-camps. Ignore the latest free agent signings. There’s only one thing worth talking about in pro football right now, and Junior Seau just reminded us what that is.”

* * *

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t been lenient in handing out punishment related to the New Orleans Saints bounty program. On Wednesday, the final shoe dropped: For their alleged participation, four players were given suspensions ranging from three games to a full year. The Saints only lose linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, as linebacker Scott Fujita and defensive lineman Anthony Hargove now play for other teams. What that means in football terms is murky this far ahead of the season, but the Saints had already signed a few players in anticipation of a short bench.

The suspensions may not take so easily. The players have vowed to fight them in court, claiming that Goodell didn’t show any of the evidence that guided his decision. Yahoo’s Jason Cole says that such a legal battle could take months or even years, possibly allowing the players to suit up for opening day. “For [NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice] Smith, a protracted fight could help his standing. He has been criticized in the past by players for not making sure that the appeal process over suspensions for player conduct was through a third party,” he writes. “The chance to get a court ruling against the NFL and Goodell would serve Smith and the union well in that future battle.”

* * *

Only one overtime period is required to ratchet the mood of a playoff hockey game from intense to feeling like you just downed a triple espresso. By contrast, three overtimes seems positively sadistic. It took three overtime periods and almost five hours to resolve Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, but the New York Rangers finally snapped a seven-game playoff overtime losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Marian Gaborik, who’s struggled in the postseason, tapped in the winning shot with a little over five minutes left in the period, giving coach John Tortorella something to be a little less crabby about. Thankfully for him and the players, Game 4 isn’t until Saturday. “There is a tendency to call any contest that goes to the length this one did a true classic, one to live on in the all-time hockey memory bank. But this is only half-true; fact is, the first two-thirds of this game were kind of a yawner, a game played between teams that prefer to chip it in instead of put all their chips in one big pile,” writes Sports Illustrated’s Adrian Dater. “But, boy, did the game get good when it went to the next full game.”

* * *

In a sports world dominated by cutthroat economics, it was a minor anomaly when Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver signed a contract extension for less money than he could’ve fetched on the open market. But an infinite bank account can’t match the good vibes of being a hometown hero, which was validated on Wednesday night when Weaver became the second pitcher this year to toss a no-hitter, striking out nine in a 9-0 victory against the Minnesota Twins. Pitching in front of his parents, Weaver made the feat look relatively easy. Aside from a couple of stretched fly balls, there were no spectacular plays required by his defense to maintain the hitless streak. If only he could pitch every day for the win-starved Angels. “Well, that’s one way to shut everyone up about Albert Pujols and his lack of homers,” writes Yahoo’s Kevin Kaduk. “A good way to start erasing the memory of the Angels’ lackluster April, too.”

* * *

When Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered an in-game spinal cord injury in 2010, it was thought he might be permanently paralyzed from neck down. Since then, he’s regained the ability to breathe on his own and the limited capacity to stand up, no small steps on the long, arduous path of physical therapy. As 2012 would’ve been the year for LeGrand to enter the NFL draft, former Rutgers and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano helped him to another type of accomplishment: a professional contract, to symbolize what could’ve or should’ve been. Beyond the nice gesture, it’s not clear if LeGrand will play any role with the team – currently, he’s finishing classes and training to become a sports broadcasting – but it’s certainly a heartwarming story in a week marked by plenty of downers.

Found a good column from the world of sports? Don’t keep it to yourself — write to us at dailyfixlinks@gmail.com and we’ll consider your find for inclusion in the Daily Fix. You can email Jeremy at jeremypaulgordon@gmail.com.

“No one drink the beer, the beer has gone bad!”

I had the pleasure recently of tasting this incredible beer, Delirium Tremens. I’m not going to go into metrics or anything like that, but here is some info.

  • ABV 8.50%
  • Belgian Strong Pale Ale
  • Perfect Hop/Malt balance

Junior Seau

I remember when I was younger and into collecting sports trading cards, Junior Seau was one of my favorite football players.

Junior Seau is dead