Supplemental Resources and Links for Episode #81

Resource links for Security Now! Episode #81:

Hard Drive Reliability

  • Google's Study on Hard Drive Reliability (106k PDF)
    "Failure Trends in a Large Disk Population". This is Google's extensive study of long-term hard drive reliability.
    (GRC local copy in case Google's goes away.)
  • Disk Failures in the Real World (272k PDF)
    This is a somewhat similar large study conducted by two Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers. It reaches conclusions similar to the Google study, though it did not attempt and failure prediction based upon SMART parameters.
    (GRC local copy in case the CMU link dies.)
  • Disabling XP's default connection to AdHoc WiFi nodes.
    As Leo and I discussed in the previous Q&A episode (#80) and again in this one, Windows XP's "zero configuration WiFi" system defaults to the almost-never-useful and always-potentially-dangerous mode of connecting to non access point WiFi devices in so-called "Ad Hoc" mode. This has potentially serious security consequences. This is an insecure default which SHOULD be changed on every XP-based WiFi machine. Simply follow the steps below to disable this incorrect default setting in XP:
Right-Click the tray's wireless adapter icon, then choose
"View Available Wireless Networks" to display this dialog:



Then (above) under "Related Tasks" (on the left)
click "Change advanced settings" to display this:



While you're here, you might want to
remove any accumulated 'debris' from
the 'Preferred networks' list above.

Then, also above, click the "Advanced" button
at the lower right to display this dialog:



Change the default "Any available network" setting to "Access
point" as shown. You should also be sure that "Automatically
connection to non-preferred networks is NOT checked.



You will now be back at the WiFi Properties dialog.
Too obtain total "Radio Silence" you MUST also disable
broadcasting for each of your "Preferred networks".

Do this by selecting each network in the "Preferred networks" list ...



Then clicking "Properties" to display this dialog:



YOU MUST UNCHECK the "Connect even if this network is not
broadcasting" option to prevent your system from broadcasting
its own 'beacon' announcing the names of your preferred networks.

Note that if this check box option is missing, and you see the
OLD dialog below, you must first install Microsoft's Wireless
Client Update for XP
.  Listen to Episode #82, and/or see the
Episode #82 notes for links and additional information ...



This dialog (above) is the OLD one you will see if you have not yet
installed the important Wireless Client Update for Windows XP.
If you see this dialog you SHOULD install the update!


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Last Edit: May 04, 2013 at 18:12 (1,631.15 days ago)Viewed 4 times per day