Networking and Security Links:
While we at Lynx think we have a decent grasp on most things computer, we still appreciate browsing the following sites when presented with an especially interesting or unique problem. While the networking and computing sites are certainly ever-changing and useful, please keep in mind that security issues have both an incredibly dynamic character - as new viruses and exploits arise all the time - and a relatively static side as well since many "Best Practices" are long-held industry standards. At Lynx we use these sites (among others) to monitor the ever-changing state of security items as well as to research long-term network and security issues. We hope you find these sites useful as well.
CERT Coordination Center.
CERT, run by the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, has been around
since 1988, long before most folks had ever heard of the Internet. Their
resources are extensive and detailed and they speak with great if also measured
authority. Besides on-line references, current activity and threat alerts
CERT offers some of the best security training seminars available.
Department of Homeland Security - Current Activity. The Department of Homeland Security does not yet have a very good reputation for delivering solid, timely, usable or even useful cyber-activity alerts, but when they do start to get it right, this log of current activity will be the place their alerts will show up.
FILExt. FILExt is the best source to lookup file extension/program associations. We all know that a .doc file is a Microsoft Word file, but who knows that it is also the file extension for the old Adobe FrameMaker program? These folks do, as well as about 10,000 other extensions. So if you get a file that you cannot open, head here to find out what kind of file it is.
FreeBSD. FreeBSD is one of many Linux "destros" or Linux distributions/versions. It is free to download and install, and quite powerful. The FreeBSD version of Linux is stable and fairly well supported. If you have an interest in Linux it is a great place to start.
Microsoft's Support portal. Microsoft's knowledge base is famously difficult to use and dictionary-like, in that you almost have to know the problem to find the solution just as with a dictionary you need to know how to spell the word to find it. But it is also unequalled in the amount of information it contains. Besides the official knowledge base this site also links to the public newsgroups sponsored and monitored by Microsoft.
Network Solutions WhoIs. Network Solutions is the commercial arm of ICANN, the folks who run the numbering system of the Internet, and this is their WhoIs portal. WhoIs is a tool that allows you find out who owns or is responsible for a domain name or IP address. So, at this site you can enter the name of a domain (apple.com, for example) and find out who owns it and how to contact them, or you can enter the IP address (126.96.36.199) and find the same information. This very useful for finding certain types of inept spammers, amongst other things.
Panda Software Virusmeter. Ok, this site may be more interesting than useful, but it is quite interesting. The Virusmeter, located at the right side of the screen, indicates current virus activity. Click it and a separate window will open that allows you to select virus activity by virus, location or total activity. During the initial first hours of a virus attack this can be an amazing, if slightly frightening show for an IT Geek to watch.
SANS Incidents Log. The SANS Institute is a respected security and system admin training school and runs this "Internet Storm Center" or log of security related events. The information is often quite detailed, but even when it is the handlers use humor and skill to deliver nuggets of information that even the most techophobic can use.
Slashdot. Slashdot is the legendary geek news portal. While originally an alternative computing site Slashdot has mutated over the years and offers a large selection of technical news items as well as computer stories. Worth browsing occasionally if for no other reason than to take the pulse of the GeekNation.
Symantec Security Response. While there are many Anti-virus companies out there, none make researching viruses and their removal as easy as Symantec/Norton. When you need a specialized removal tool, this is the place to come.
ThinkGeek. First, we have no association with ThinkGeek, nor do we get a referral fee if you buy something from them - but you should buy something from them anyway. A fun, ironic and iconic site, they sell the best T-shirts (for example, one with pi taken out to over 4,000 digits, spelled out in the shape of pi itself) as well as tech toys, cubicle goodies, etc. The best place to tickle your inner-Geek.
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