Feb 28, 2013

How To Set Interface Duplex/Speed In Fortigate

Fortigate 60C
This morning my sales team was complaining about our hosted VoIP service, which occasionally has it's problems but for the most part has been pretty good for the last few weeks. Well today our phones kept toggling between No Service and then back to normal. We rebooted our equipment, and the ISP's Fibre equipment, but the issue didn't go away.

So we decided to call the ISP to see if they were seeing any issues on their end. Perhaps a high amount of jitter or something. Well they said that they were seeing CRC mismatch errors on their end, and it was most likely caused by a speed/duplex mismatch. They recommended hard-coding 100Mbps Full Duplex on our interface connected to them.

Looking at the GUI for my Fortigate 60C I didn't see an option to set duplex or speed, so I had to drop to the CLI and run the following:
forti60c$ config system interface
forti60c(Interface)$ edit wan2
forti60c(wan2)$ set speed 100full
Other options you can set on physical interfaces are 100full, 100half, 10full, 10half and auto. It appears that out of the box, the interfaces are set to auto.

If this post helped you, let me know in the comments! Also, if you have any tips for a Fortigate n00b like myself, hook a brother up in the comments as well!

Feb 27, 2013

The Hidden Costs of Data Theft

In this video from the folks at InsuranceQuotes.org we see some staggering numbers of the hidden costs of data theft. Some you probably didn't even imagine before.

From their article:
In an age of fully digitized data, consumers and businesses can lose thousands of dollars in the blink of a hacker’s eye. The costs of data theft are well known to anyone who has ever found themselves victim to financial identity or medical record fraud. What few of us realize is that the procedures required to right a financial wrong are often costlier than the crimes themselves. 
The economy loses an average of $22,346 for every time an identity is stolen. And to fully recuperate losses, repair credit and prosecute fraudsters, consumers, accountants, lawyers and IRS officials can spend up to 5,000 hours, the equivalent of two years of full-time work on a single case. Even so, 60% of medical record fraud victims admit that they don’t monitor their medical statements for inconsistencies.
Those hare some big numbers considering how rampant data theft is these days.

Have you been a victim of data theft? How much did it cost you to get your life back on track? Let us know in the comments.

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Feb 26, 2013

The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It’s a Gadget

Colt AR-15 Sporter SP1 Carbine
Colt AR-15 Sporter SP1 Carbine
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
[Wired] I was shaking as I shouldered the rifle and peered through the scope at the small steel target 100 yards downrange. It was officially the coldest day in Las Vegas history, and I was in the middle of the desert, buffeted by wind and surrounded by the professional gun press, about to fire an AR-15 for the first time.

I grew up with guns, and I even own a small .22-caliber target pistol that I take to the range occasionally. But I had fired a rifle maybe twice in the past five years. I was a novice, and I was frozen to the core. I flinched as I pulled the trigger the first time, sending my shot wide of the mark. But the recoil wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared; in fact, the shot was actually pleasant. I fired again with more confidence, and the bullet rang the distant steel plate like a bell; then the next shot hit, and the next.

“You’re doing great,” said Justin Harvel, founder of Black Rain Ordnance and maker of the gun I was shooting.

“It’s not me,” I replied. “I’ve never shot like this in my life. It’s gotta be this gun.”

“Yeah, it’s definitely not your daddy’s hunting rifle, is it?”

In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the AR-15 has gone from the most popular rifle in America to the most scrutinized and, in some quarters, vilified. Also known in its fully automatic, military incarnation as the M16, the rifle was racking up record sales in the years before Sandy Hook, but now, in the midst of a renewed effort to ban this weapon and others like it from civilian hands, the AR-15 market has gone nuclear, with some gun outlets rumored to have done three years’ worth of sales in the three weeks after Newtown.

Now that the post-Newtown nation has suddenly woken up to the breakout popularity of the AR-15, a host of questions are being asked, especially about who is buying these rifles, and why. Why would normal, law-abiding Americans want to own a deadly weapon that was clearly designed for military use? Why are existing AR-15 owners buying as many of these rifles as they can get their hands on? Are these people Doomsday preppers? Militia types, arming for a second American Civil War? Or are they young military fantasists whose minds have been warped by way too much Call of Duty?

Preppers, militia types, and SEAL Team 6 wannabes are certainly represented in the AR-15′s customer base. But fringe groups don’t adequately explain the roughly 5 million “black rifles” (as fans of the gun tend to call it) that are now in the hands of the public. No, the real secret to the AR-15′s incredible success is that this rifle is the “personal computer” of the gun world.

Continue Reading

Feb 25, 2013

WebOS Not Dead. LG Releasing WebOS TV.

Cover of "Mean Girls (Special Collector's...
Cover via Amazon
Whenever I hear news of WebOS I hear Rachel McAdam's character from Mean Girls in my head saying, "Quit trying to make WebOS happen!"

I used to have a Palm Pre which was one of the first platforms with WebOS which was designed to be a competitor to Google's Android, and Apple's iOS. It was also supposed to be the software that saved Palm. It failed and HP bought out Palm a short time later.

Well not everyone has given up on the WebOS platform, and in fact it is coming to an LG TV pretty soon. From Ars:

CNET reports electronics giant LG will acquire webOS from HP to use it for its smart televisions division. But there are no plans for webOS to be integrated into any mobile devices, as LG already has a thriving mobile division with its handsets and Android smartphones. 
"It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices," said Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics Inc., as reported by CNET. The deal would give LG the rights to all of the source code for webOS, its documentation and engineers, and all of the related websites, as well as HP’s licenses for use with webOS products and all of the patents HP inherited from Palm. However, HP will hold on to the webOS cloud services division, which includes the app catalog and the backend services that interact with the operating system. 
This will be the third major company webOS has fallen under. Its first company, Palm, was bought out by HP for $1.2 billion. Then HP called it quits in August 2011 by discontinuing all webOS-related operations, including the HP TouchPad. The company said back then that it would "continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."
What do you think of this news? Think WebOS still has a chance in the competitive touch-screen OS market? Let me know what your think in the comments.

Feb 21, 2013

Anonymous Credited For Tracking Down Chinese Hacker Team

Say what you want about Anonymous, but these guys always seem to end up on the right side of things even though they tend to use legally grey methods to accomplish their goals. Although they often times break the law, their goal is usually for the greater good. At least in my opinion.

In a recent report published by Mandiant, and information security company, members of the hacktivist group Anonymous helped identify the Chinese group that has been involved in a majority of cyber attacks within the United States.

From RT:

English: Anonymous Español: Anonymous
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Buried deep in the report, however, is evidence that Mandiant didn’t do all the work alone: the authors of “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units” say that a 2011 hack perpetrated by the loose-knit Anonymous collective has been instrumental in making ground regarding the identity of the Far East hackers. 
In the report, Mandiant offers a brief profile of three hackers believed to be involved with ATP1: “uglygorilla,” “DOTA” and “SuperHard.” But while the company admits that their investigation into the unit has been underway for several years already, Mandiant says information released by Anonymous in 2011 has only helped them come closer to catching accused cybercriminals. 
It's kind of strange that Anonymous would end up in a news story about something they did to help authorities in an investigation. Normally they are fighting authorities in retaliation for abuse.

What do you think of this report? How do you feel about Anonymous? Let us know in the comments.

Feb 20, 2013

Tech Gun Advocate: Gun Control Is Technology Control

Image representing Gene Hoffman as depicted in...
Gene Hoffman
(Image via CrunchBase)
Gun control has been a very hot topic in the united States especially after the tragic Newtown shooting in December of last year. Gun-grabbers have seized the opportunity to stand on the graves of these poor dead children to push their agenda. Well some in the tech industry are pushing back (Me included, check out my new blog Mainwashed).

Gene Hoffman, CEO of Vindicia, a digital subscription payments processing firm, and chairmen of the Calguns Foundation says that gun control is more than just citizen control. It is technology control. Hoffman likens this new push for gun control to the attempt of the Federal Government to control PGP encryption in the 1990's.

From Tech President:

"It's weird for me to hear about technologists in the wake of Sandy Hook saying that we should ban guns -- gun control is simply technology control," Hoffman says. "The only difference between this [AR-15] and my grandfather's one is that you can fire more rounds. Anything that can be used defensively can be used offensively." 
...Prior to Vindicia, Hoffman was CEO of eMusic, an early precursor of iTunes. He jokes that lawmakers saw him and his colleagues at eMusic as professional music pirates when they first started out. But what they were trying to do was to provide a legitimate alternative to what was illegally available over the file-sharing networks. Similarly, he spent the early part of his career watching federal law enforcement authorities try to prevent the export of encryption software to no avail.
What's your take on the gun control debate? Do you subscribe to Hoffman's point of view? Whay or why not? Let us know in the comments.

Feb 19, 2013

Overwhelming Number Of Cyber Attacks In The United States Originate From One Building In China

American Intelligence officials say that an overwhelming percentage of cyber attacks against US businesses originate out of a nondescript white building off Datong Road on the outskirts of Shanghai. The building is allegedly run by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Unit 61398.

(Photo Credit: New York Times)

From the New York Times:
An unusually detailed 60-page study, to be released Tuesday by Mandiant, an American computer security firm, tracks for the first time individual members of the most sophisticated of the Chinese hacking groups — known to many of its victims in the United States as “Comment Crew” or “Shanghai Group” — to the doorstep of the military unit’s headquarters. The firm was not able to place the hackers inside the 12-story building, but makes a case there is no other plausible explanation for why so many attacks come out of one comparatively small area.
Chinese officials of course have denied the allegations and say they do not engage in computer hacking. They also go on to say that they themselves are victims of compute hacking, and have turned the allegation around saying that groups in the United States have been attacking them.

What do you think about this? Think it's time we send in the SEALs to blow up a building? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Feb 4, 2013

I will give you the best support I can. You don't need to email the whole effing company!

I am going to take this time to write about something that really chaps my hide in the IT support business. I'm sure that any Network Engineers, or Systems Engineers that read Bauer-Power can agree with this. One of the things I absolutely hate is when someone has an issue, and instead of just creating a ticket like everyone else in the world, they decide to send you an email and CC everyone in the company Org Chart with their issue.

Holy fuck people!! When America suspected Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction, did our Government react with a nuclear fucking bomb? NO! When you notify IT about an issue, and you CC every fucking executive in the company, you are essentially dropping a nuclear bomb on your IT department. Good fucking lord!

When you are about to type this email of mass destruction to your IT person, how about instead stop for a minute and take a look around. Are everyone else's issues being handled in a timely manner? Did they have to email God and everybody about their particular issue to get IT to investigate? For crying out loud did you even try just simply rebooting? Fuck!

Seriously, the key to good IT support is not to burn them in a fiery explosion of ignorance in front of all executives and managers in your company. The key is to follow protocol, and submit a ticket. You are not above the law, and you will get the support you need without bending the local IT guy over in the process.

Am I wrong about this? Do you have a similar experience? Let me know in the comments.

Note: Sorry about the cursing...

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