Start Using Difficult Wi-Fi Passwords

If you have an easy, guessable password that contain words found in dictionaries, you might want to alter your approach, because you are subjecting your password to be cracked easily. Having a weak password compromises all systems, from mainframes, servers, desktops, phones and network systems. With network devices, wireless networks particularly access point routers have been using encrypted passwords or passphrases to secure wi-fi networks.

128 bit WEP was widely used initially, but have given way to a more secure WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). WPA was created by the Wi-Fi Alliance to replace WEP. TKIP or Temporal Key Integrity Protocol was brought in as the protocol of choice, but it had its shortcomings. WPA was eventually replaced by WPA2, and in turn, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced the AES protocol.

Of all protocols available, experts recommended WPA2 AES because of its strong encryption. Having a weak password or passphrase jeopardizes the security of a network. It’s recommended that administrators choose strong passwords. Such passwords can be obtained from free password generator programs that can generate a random combination of alphanumeric, case-sensitive characters sprinkled with a few special characters in between.

Yesterday, a WPA cracker service was announced. The $34 service says it can crack a password in less than 20 minutes.

The service leverages a known vulnerability in Pre-shared Key (PSK) networks usually used by home and small-business users.

To use it, the tester first submits a small file that contains an initial communication between the WPA router and a computer. Based on that information, WPA Cracker can then figure out whether the network is vulnerable to a type of attack.

While this job would take over five days on a contemporary dual-core PC, on our cluster it takes an average of 20 minutes, for only $17.

The $34 price tag is for the whole cluster. Using half the cluster costs $17, but the job could take 40 minutes.

All the more reason for users to start using difficult Wi-Fi passwords.

Video Subtitles Editor

Most of us who make videos resort to our old Windows ways when it comes to editing videos, placing subtitles, etc. Well, there are several Linux applications that are available for free. Mygnulinux.com shares with us several programs that do just that. They are: Ksubtitleripper, a KDE-based application, OGMRip and Avidemux.

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10 Best Open Source ERP Systems

Enterprise Resource Planning is a software package that manages business functions. LinuxLinks.com provides 10 of the best open-source ERP systems that are available for free. None in the list are going to make SAP or Oracle shake in their boots, but here is the top 10 list:

  1. Openbravo – Designed with broad business functionality.
  2. Compiere – ERP & CRM solution for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  3. Apache OFBiz – Enterprise software framework.
  4. ADempiere – Business solution offering ERP, CRM & SCM functionality.
  5. opentaps – Based on Apache OFBiz.
  6. Dolibarr – Compact ERP & CRM
  7. OpenERP – A complete ERP and CRM modular system
  8. ERP5 – Mission critical software for industrial organisations and government agencies
  9. webERP – Complete web based accounting & ERP system for SMEs.
  10. PostBooks – Full-featured, fully-integrated accounting, ERP, and CRM system

Canonical Plugins Explained

What exactly is Canonical Plugins? WordPress.org explains

Canonical plugins would be plugins that are community developed (multiple developers, not just one person) and address the most popular functionality requests with superlative execution. These plugins would be GPL and live in the WordPress.org repo, and would be developed in close connection with WordPress core. There would be a very strong relationship between core and these plugins that ensured that a) the plugin code would be secure and the best possible example of coding standards, and b) that new versions of WordPress would be tested against these plugins prior to release to ensure compatibility. There would be a screen within the Plugins section of the WordPress admin to feature these canonical plugins as a kind of Editor’s Choice or Verified guarantee. These plugins would be a true extension of core WordPress in terms of compatibility, security and support.

Google DNS Benchmarked

Last week, Google made a couple of public DNS servers available to the general public. The claim was Google’s DNS was much faster than any DNS servers available to date. Andrew Brampton ran a series of tests to determine if this claim was indeed true. He tested Google’s DNS against OpenDNS, Sky/Easynet and Plus.net domain name servers. His findings were indeed interesting.

He found that OpenDNS is still faster than Google’s DNS servers, but Google’s DNS is faster than Sky/Easynet and Plus.net. In the meantime, I’ve already set my DNS servers to Google’s. I will probable leave it there since we are only talking microseconds here. Like Andrew’s conclusions, I expect Google’s servers to be optimized and tuned in the near future. It will only get better.