OSI Network Model Described

Networking - @SeniorDBA

In the late 1970s, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), created an abstract model of networking, called the Basic Reference Model, as standard X.200. This model is a conceptual model that describes the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system without regard to its underlying internal structure and technology. Their goal was to promote  interoperability of diverse communication systems. The Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model) partitions a communication system into seven abstraction layers.

In the OSI model, control is passed from one layer to the next, starting at the application layer (Layer 7) in one network device, and proceeding to the bottom layer, over the channel to the next network device and back up the hierarchy. The OSI model takes the task of inter-networking and divides that up into what is referred to as a vertical stack that consists of the following 7 layers.

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Microsoft Product Roadmap for 2018

 

There has been several recent announcements from Microsoft, outlining there proposed product releases for 2018. There has been so many announcements it might be difficult for you to keep track ofthem all, but the good news is there are people tracking the announcements for you. In this article from Gladys Rama, we get an easy to follow list of announcements from Microsoft.

Windows 10 (UPDATED: 5/29)
“Redstone 4”: Released
“Redstone 5”: Fall 2018
Teams and Skype for Business (UPDATED: 5/17)
Anticipated release: Teams updates throughout 2018, with Skype for Business Server 2019 coming in the second half of the year
Office 2019 (UPDATED: 4/27)
Anticipated release: Preview in Q2 2018, with general availability in the second half of the year
SharePoint Server 2019 (UPDATED: 5/21)
Anticipated release: Preview in June 2018, with general availability in the second half of the year
Exchange Server 2019
Anticipated release: Preview in Q2 2018, with general availability in the second half of the year
Dynamics 365 (UPDATED: 4/12)
Anticipated release: Updates throughout 2018, with a model revamp being implemented in spring
Windows Server and “Project Honolulu” (UPDATED: 5/30)
Anticipated release: Windows Server “semiannual channel” release in May 7, 2018 and in the fall, with Windows Server 2019 coming in the second half of 2018
Project Honolulu: Released
Roadmap Archives
2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Please Select a Better Password

Password - @SeniorDBA

In light of the ever more frequent online breaches, we should talk again about picking a good password. People continue to pick and use poor passwords to protect their valuable information. You might not think your password is important or sought after by hackers, but it really is the only thing between the entire world and your personal online accounts.

If you have a password of eight random letters, there are about 200 billion possible password combinations. If a hacking program like Hashcat had to try them all, it would be done in about 4 minutes. If you add mixed casing and numbers into the mix, you increase the number of possible passwords and by increasing the length to 12 characters we can catapult the number of password possibilities to about 4 sextillion. When talking about the number of possibilities which are now available to users,  it would take Hashcat an estimated lifetime to work through all the possible combinations.

However, this math does not take the human factor into account. You want to select a combination of characters that you can remember and isn’t too difficult to enter a few times each day. The password also has to work within the limits imposed by the website or application where you created the password. People wanting to crack your password are also aware of those limitations. In fact, there are extensive lists of common password terms available on the internet, sorted by their popularity. The password cracking programs will just try those more common words and their common iterations  first, and that will allow for increased odds of success in a much shorter time.

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Enabling Windows Defender Application Guard in Windows 10

WDAG - @SeniorDBA

On Windows 10, a relatively new feature called Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) allows the user to isolate Microsoft Edge browser at the hardware level using Hyper-V technology. This allows the user to protect the device and data from many malware and zero-day attacks.

Microsoft Edge running in WDAG should provide enterprises the maximum level of protection from malware and zero day attacks. WDAG for Microsoft Edge is a lightweight virtual machine that helps isolate potentially malicious website activity from reaching your operating system, applications, and critical data.

  • Isolated Browsing – WDAG uses the latest virtualization technology to help protect your operating system by creating an isolated environment for your Microsoft Edge session.
  • Help Safeguard your PC – WDAG starts up every time you visit an internet site to help keep potentially malicious attacks away from your PC.
  • Malware Removal – Any websites you visit, files you download, or settings you change while in this isolated environment are deleted when you sign out of Windows, wiping out any potential malware.

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Create Bootable USB Drive Using Windows 10

USB Thumb Drive - @SeniorDBA

Creating  a bootable USB may allow you to boot your computer even if the internal hard drive has stopped working. It is also very useful to create a bootable USB drive so you can copy the Windows 10 ISO image onto the USB drive and install Windows 10 with ease. With a new major version of Windows 10 available, maybe now is a good time to review these steps. We have shown you how to create a Kali Linux boot USB using your Mac in a previous post.

If you don’t want to use any special software there is a way to create a bootable USB drive from you Windows 10 Command Prompt, but it can be a bit tricky. Here’s how to do it step-by-step on your computer:

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Selecting a Better Password

 

Password - @SeniorDBA

People continue to pick and use poor passwords to protect their valuable information. You might not think your password is important or sought after by hackers, but it is really the only thing between the entire world and your personal online accounts. If you have a password of eight random letters, there are about 200 billion possible password combinations. If a hacking program like Hashcat had to try them all, it would be done in about 4 minutes. If you add mixed casing and digits into the mix, you increase the number of possible passwords and by increasing the length to 12 characters we can catapult the number of password possibilities to about 4 sextillion. When talking about the number of possibilities which are now available to users,  it would take Hashcat an estimated lifetime to work through all the possible combinations.

However, this math does not take the human factor into account. You want to select a combination of characters that you can remember and isn’t too difficult to enter a few times each day. The password also has to work within the limits imposed by the website or application when you created the password. People wanting to crack your password are aware of those limitations. In fact, there are extensive lists of common password terms available on the internet, sorted by their popularity. The password cracking programs will just try those more common words and their common alterations first, and that will allow for increased odds of success in a shorter time.

Continue reading “Selecting a Better Password”

Blockchain Technology in Plain English

Global - @SeniorDBA

Generally speaking, Blockchain is the digital and decentralized ledger that records transactions. Technically it is an algorithm and distributed data structure for managing electronic transactions without a central administrator. This makes it perfect for transactions among people who know nothing about one another. It was originally designed for the crypto-currency Bitcoin, and was initially driven by the rejection of government-guaranteed money and expensive bank-controlled payment transfers.

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