Popular Science and motorhomes

As a kid, I loved the older Popular Science magazines. Found that they are all on google books now and decided to take a look. Saw the article pictured here. Motorhomes and caravans are a way of life here in the UK. Fun to find that at one time they were the newfangled creation of the month.

WPA2 Wi-Fi cracking made easier

Developers who create the hacking tool Hashcat have stumbled across a method that helps with cracking WPA/WPA2 Wi-Fi networks. Before this method, a hacker would need to capture the packets transferred between a device (Phone or laptop connecting to the network) and the Wi-Fi hub. In the real world, this could be very time consuming as not all networks are in use at the same time. The hacker would also face the issues of capturing connections that used the wrong password or because of distance failed to complete the handshake.

With the new method found by hashcat developers, a hacker may no longer need to go through this process. If your Wi-Fi hub has roaming functions enabled (Most modern routers do), a hacker would only have to spend a few minutes monitoring the hub to pick up the information needed to get started.

Although this is a big help to a would be hacker this method does not give the hacker your Wi-Fi password straight away. Once you have this info, you still need to do a Dictionary or brute force crack to try to get the password. The easiest way to make it hard for a hacker is to use strong passwords. Bit of a pain for us as users but it is the one thing that can keep your network secure.

ShadowProtect and what you can do with a full backup drive

StorageCraft is a world leader in backup software. The primary tools are ShadowProtect SPX and ImanageManager. These tools combined come together to give you flexibility and peace of mind good.

The way ShadowProtect works is that it takes a full copy of your server as it stands right at the start of your backups. From this point on all ShadowProtect needs to back up is the changes that are mad. This process is the magic behind ShadowProtect’s quick backups. So fast that ShadowProtect can make several backups through the day with minimal performance impact.

Now you have one full backup and many hourly backups. At this point, ImageManager steps in and helps out. ImageManager will do two procedures for us. One is to check that the backup created by ShadowProtect is usable. Secondly, ImageManager takes the hourly backups and combine them into one daily file. As backups continue, ImageManager will consolidate backups into weekly and monthly backups. This procedure of rolling up hourly into daily backups will save you a little space. Whats important here is that ShadowProtect continuously keeps a record of what has changed since the backup started.

Eventually, the drive that holds ShadopProtect’s backup files will fill up. What then? No one would be at fault for thinking that all we need to do is delete the older backups. Problem is we can’t. Take a look at the drawing below. Like Big Ben, your Backups have a foundation that all other backups rely on. What can we do then?

Option One
If cost is an issue and being able to restore a file from yesterday or last week is not a requirement, we have the option of deleting the current backups and starting the backups all over again.

Option Two
We have the option to buy another drive that is the same size or close to the same size as your current Backup drive. You will then be able to take your current Backup drive and put it somewhere safe. Then a new backup is started on the new drive. From now on you can just swap drives when you run out.

Option Three
We could also buy a drive that is bigger than the current backup drive. We can then move the current backups onto the new drive and carry on backing up. The downside is that eventually, the cost of bigger drives will get too expensive. Secondly, would you need to restore a file from four years ago? Here is an example of where this option works well. You have a 500Gb or 2TB drive. Your Backups contain no more than two years history. In this case, you could purchase a 4TB drive and keep your current backups.

About windows updates

Your PC, or your server, maybe even your IT support are asking you to reboot your equipment. Rebooting of your systems is required to allow Windows updates to install. You may ask, What are these updates and do I need them? You may also want to know long this will take?

We will deal with why first. Humans create all the software we use on a computer. Unfortunately, humans make errors with software these errors can be used to make our computers do things we don’t want them to do. Sometimes this is used to install viruses or ransomware that can cause a lot of downtime or loss of information. Your computer could also be used to attack someone else, causing your computer and network to run slow.

To combat this security expert’s around the world test the software we use and report issues that they find. Microsoft then looks at these issues and develops fixes. Microsoft release updates once a week on a Tuesday.

Now the difficult question. How long? There are so many variables involved that there is no way to give an exact time for how long these updates will take. The first part of installing updates is to download the update. The speed of this depends on how quick you internet speeds are. In some cases, your computer can download the updates while you work. The second step is to install the updates. Time taken here depends on the size of the update and the speed of your computer. Finally, the computer will reboot. Rebooting takes a little longer as updates are applied.

For a laptop or a desktop, updates normally take half an hour. For a server, Updates normally take half an hour. In the case of servers, updates can be a little more complicated. Servers today use virtualisation. You may have one physical computer. But this physical computer may run one or more virtual computers. Installing updates at the same time is not possible.

I like to install updates on the virtual servers first. Let them reboot and then an hour later install updates on the physical and let it reboot. For an example, if I start updates at 19:00 I expect the virtual servers to be back online by 19:30. At 20:00 I would then update the physical server. All server would go offline but I expect them to be all back up and running by 20:30.

Updates protect you and your data. It’s worth the definitely worth the downtime.