Updates: August 2001


August 29, 2001
You might have seen the icon around on several websites out there for a web counter/statistic service called WebTrends Live. This counter/statistics service is much more than just a visitor counter, it is able to capture tons of information about your website that are usually only accessible through web logs.  However, since not all of us have access to web logs, WebTrends Live is a godsend.  All you have to do is sign up and put the icon on all your pages on your site.  For an example, look at the very bottom of this page for the icon.  If you use the personal edition, the service is free.  I like free!  Definitely worth a close look.  You'll find out some really cool stuff about your site that a plain jane visitor counter can't tell you.

I added this cool service to the Tests/Tools section.

August 20, 2001
Thanks to the members of our online forums we now have a new article that shows you how to run a webserver on a different port number AND keep both "www.yourdomain.com" and "yourdomain.com" functional.  The catch is that your webserver software must allow for host headers, ip-less domain names, or virtual servers.  Check it out.

On a different note, I recently broke a bone in my pinky on the left hand while playing basketball.  Sheesh, no more basketball for at least 4-6 weeks.  I don't know what I'm gonna do! =)

Also, do you hear that sound?  It's the sound of college football stampeding around the corner.  I can't wait until the season starts.  Nothing beats Saturdays spent watching your team putting a whooping on another team.  Go Trojans!

August 17, 2001
Microsoft posts cumulative patch for IIS 4.0 and 5.0.  The IIS 5.0 is a complete patch with all vulnerabilities addressed.  The IIS 4.0 patch still has a few holes, but it addresses the major problems.  Here's a snippet:

This patch is a cumulative patch that includes the functionality of all security patches released to date for IIS 5.0, and all patches released for IIS 4.0 since Windows NT® 4.0 Service Pack 5. A complete listing of the patches superseded by this patch is provided below, in the section titled "Additional information about this patch". Before applying the patch, system administrators should take note of the caveats discussed in the same section.
Download locations for this patch  August 11, 2001
Our latest Step-by-Step guide comes on the heel of the Code Red virus and it's repercussions.  Like we reported yesterday, several ISP's have begun to block port 80 to stop the spread of the virus, however in the process, home webserver are also blocked.  So our latest article shows you how to run your webserver on a different port number to get around this blockage.

The nice thing about out solution is that since Code Red targets port 80, we are not aiding the virus with this work around.  Unless your server is infected that is.  Then again, if your server is infected, your computer will still be attacking other computers, with or without this work around.

Here you go: How to run your webserver on a different port number other than port 80

August 10, 2001
Okay, now this Code Red thing is really starting to affect us who run webservers from home.  Bad news:

To keep the spread of the Code Red worms from slowing down its cable Internet network, AT&T is blocking access to Web servers run by residential customers, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. 
I have a bad feeling that other companies are going to follow suit.  There are several members of this website that have been affected by this blockage.  Read the full article here.

August 9, 2001
This Code Red thing is becoming a huge pain in the butt across the Internet.  If you have a webserver running IIS, then you should make sure you computer is secured. Read the MS security bulletin and download the patch for Code Red here.  If you want to see if you server is at risk for being infected by Code Red, Symantec has a free download to check your computer.  You can get the download here.  For more on Code Red, Symantec and GRC both have good info.

Most people who run webservers almost never mention this, but you should also run antivirus software on your server.  For example, if everybody who had a webserver also ran an updated version of their antivirus, viruses would be stopped.  But since people are too lazy to run antivirus, let alone keep the definitions updated, worms like Code Red will keep on propagating.  With more people like you and I running webservers from home, it is our responsibility that our webservers are not used as relay points for spam, virus, hacks, etc.  This means we have to apply all security patches to our software and run a good antivirus program that auto updates through the web.

While we're on the subject of viruses, I've been getting a ton of email with a virus attached.  The email looks like this:

Hi! How are you?

I send you this file in order to have your advice

See you later. Thanks

There is an attachment than is the actual virus.  The virus ranges in size around 250k.  I got this virus from a few people I know and when I told them, they cleaned up their systems right away.  However, I am now getting bombarded with 6 of these messages per hour from the same person for the past 4 days.  I emailed the person who's account is being hijacked to send the email, but they aren't doing anything about it.  I simply blocked their IP address in my mail server program.  If you can't email me, maybe that's why.  Stop sending me viruses!

On a final note about viruses, I use Norton Antivirus.  I use it for several reasons.  1.  My school provides it to me free.  2.  It works great.  3. The most important reason - the auto update feature automatically connects to the web once a day and downloads the latest virus definitions.  This way you don't have to remember to update them manually.  We all have enough things to worry about, don't let virus definitions be one of them.  I'm not saying you should all go get Norton.  I'm saying that I use it and it works great for me and my server.  I'm actually using a copy I picked up at the computer show for something like $10 bucks.

That's all for today!

August 7, 2001
Okay, I'm back!  The reason I haven't updated this front page in a while is because my current hard disk got hosed when I was experimenting with some extreme overclocking.  It took a while to piece my comp back together, but it's getting there.  I got a lot to post, but I'll do it tomorrow since things are still a bit scattered on my side!