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Configure Windows 8 & 8.1 To Provide Secure Wireless Access Point Services to Wi-Fi Clients - Turn Windows 8 into an Access Point

Posted in Windows 8 & Windows 8.1

Configure Windows 8 & 8.1 To Provide Secure Wireless Access Point Services to Wi-Fi Clients - Turn Windows 8 into an Access Point - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

windows-8-secure-access-point-1-preWindows 8 and Windows 8.1 (including Professional edition) operating systems provide the ability to turn your workstation or laptop into a secure wireless access point, allowing wireless clients (including mobile devices) to connect to the local network or Internet. This feature can save you time, money and frustration when there is need to connect wireless devices to the network or Internet but there is no access point available.

In addition, using the method described below, you can turn your Windows system into a portable 3G router by connecting your workstation to your 3G provider (using your USB HSUPA/GPRS stick).

Windows 7 users can visit our article Configuring Windows 7 To Provide Secure Wireless Access Point Services to Wi-Fi Clients - Turn Windows into an Access Point

To begin, open your Network Connections window by pressing Windows Key + R combination to bring up the Run window, and type ncpa.cpl and click OK:

Figure 1. Run Command – Network Connections

 The Network Connection window will appear, displaying all network adapters the system current has installed:

Figure 2. Network Connections

Let’s now create our new wireless virtual adapter that will be used as an access point for our wireless clients. To do this, open an elevated Command prompt (cmd) by right-clicking on the Window 8 start button located on the lower left corner of the desktop and select Command Prompt (Admin). If prompted by the User Account Control protection, simply click on Yes to proceed:

Figure 3. Opening an elevated Command Prompt

Once the command prompt is open, enter the following command to create the wireless network (SSID). The encryption used by default is WPA2-PSK/AES:

Revealing & Backing Up Your Windows 8 – Windows 8.1 Pro License Product Key

Posted in Windows 8 & Windows 8.1

Revealing & Backing Up Your Windows 8 – Windows 8.1 Pro License Product Key - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

windows-8-backup-license-product-key-1aBacking up your Windows License Product Key is essential for reinstallation of your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 operating system. In some cases, the Genuine Microsoft Label or Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) containing the product key, is placed in an area not easily accessible by users e.g inside the battery compartment in newer ultrabooks/laptops, making it difficult to note the product key.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily download and store your Windows License Product Key inside a text file with just two clicks!

The information displayed under the System Information page in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (including professional editions), includes the Windows edition, system hardware (CPU, RAM), Computer name and Windows activation status. The Windows activation status section shows us if the product is activated or not, along with the Product ID:


Figure 1. System Information does not show the Product Key

Product Keys and Product IDs are two completely different things, despite the similarity of the terms.

The 20 character Product *ID* is created during the installation process and is used to obtain/qualify for technical support from Microsoft and is of no use during the installation process.

Installing The ‘Unsupported’ Profilic USB-to-Serial Adapter PL-2303HXA & PL-2303X on Windows 8 & 8.1

Posted in Windows 8 & Windows 8.1

Installing The ‘Unsupported’ Profilic USB-to-Serial Adapter PL-2303HXA & PL-2303X on Windows 8 & 8.1 - 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 votes

profilic-pl2303-driver-installation-windows8-1aThanks to the absence of dedicated serial ports on today’s laptops and ultrabooks, USB-to-Serial adapters are very popular amongst Cisco engineers as they are used to perform the initial configuration of a variety of Cisco equipment such as routers, catalyst switches, wireless controllers (WLC), access points and more, via their Console Port. The most common USB-to-Serial adapters in the market are based on Profilic’s PL2303 chipset.

With the arrival of Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and upcoming Windows 10, Profilic has announced that these operating systems will not support USB-to-Serial adapters using the PL-2303HXA & PL-2303X chipsets, forcing thousands of user to buy USB-to-Serial adapters powered by the newer PL-2303HXD (HX Rev D) or PL2303TA chipset.

The truth is that PL-2303HXA & PL-2303X chipsets are fully supported under Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and we’ll show you how to make use of that old USB-to-Serial adapter that might also hold some special sentimental value.

Make sure to download our Profilic Windows 8/8.1 x64bit Drivers from our Administrative Tools section

We took our old USB-to-Serial adapter and plugged it in our ultrabook running Windows 8.1. As expected, the operating system listed the hardware under Device Manager with an exclamation mark:

profilic-pl2303-driver-installation-windows8-1Figure 1. Prolific Adapter in Device Manager


A closer look at the properties of the USB-to-Serial adapter reveals the popular Code 10 error which means that the device fails to start:

The Importance of a Network Analyzer – Packet Sniffer. Must-Have Features for Demanding Engineers & Administrators

Posted in Network Fundamentals

The Importance of a Network Analyzer – Packet Sniffer. Must-Have Features for Demanding Engineers & Administrators - 4.4 out of 5 based on 5 votes

important-network-analyzer-packet-sniffer-features-1aNetwork Analyzers, also known as Packet Sniffers, are amongst the most popular network tools found inside any Network Engineer’s toolkit. A Network Analyzer allows users to capture network packets as they flow within the enterprise network or Internet.

Engineers usually make use of Network Analyzers to help uncover, diagnose and fix network problems, but they are also used by hackers to obtain access to sensitive information and user data.


Features Offered in High-Quality Network Analyzers

When dealing with network problems, engineers usually follow standard tests to try to identify the source of the problem and make any necessary corrections. These tests usually involve checking the source (Client or Network device) IP address, Gateway, DNS server, Nslookup and performing a few ICMP Echo Requests (aka Ping) to verify connectivity with the local network and destination IP.

These methods are usually enough to diagnose simple problems, but are clearly inadequate when dealing with complex network problems. This is where a high-quality network analyzer comes into play.

Any typical network analyzer will capture and display packets, providing basic packet information such as time of capture, source & destination MAC address, source & destination IP address, Layer 4 protocol information (TCP/UDP flags, ports, sequence/acknowledgement numbers) and the data payload. While this information is extremely useful information, it often means that additional time is required by the engineer to locate the data stream/conversation of interest and track down all associated packets.

Further analysis of the captured data usually increases the difficulty and expertise level required to make sense of the information captured.

Let’s take a look at the most important features high-end network analyzers have, that helps simplify complex troubleshooting in our everyday routine.

Download your copy of Capsa Enterprise Network Analyzer now!

Real-Time Network Card Utilization

Real-time network card utilization is a very handy ‘visual tool’ as it shows the bandwidth utilization of the network card used to capture packets.

When configuring SPAN on Cisco Catalyst switches to monitor a switchport that connects to a router or server, the real-time visual representation of network traffic has proven to be extremely useful as it’s much easier spot packet bursts and other traffic patterns.

important-network-analyzer-packet-sniffer-features-1Figure 1. Capsa Enterprise real-time network utilization

Configurable Buffer Size

All traffic captured by the network analyzer is stored in a special buffer. This buffer usually resides in the workstation’s RAM and can be saved on the hard disk, so that additional analysis can be performed later. While most packet analyzers allow the buffer size to changed, its size is usually restricted to a few MB.

The ability to use an extremely large capture buffer e.g 1024MB or 1 Gigabyte, is necessary when performing analysis of heavy traffic where a couple of hundreds of MBs are typically required.


IP Conversation Tracking & Transaction Sequence Diagrams

A high-quality network analyzer smartly presents all captured information in an easy-to-understand manner, making it easy and fast to locate any IP Conversation between hosts:

Choosing a Web Application Security Scanner - The Importance of Using the Right Security Tools

Posted in Security Articles

Choosing a Web Application Security Scanner - The Importance of Using the Right Security Tools - 4.0 out of 5 based on 3 votes

choosing-web-application-security-scanner-1In the world of information security there exist many tools, from small open source products to full appliances to secure a system, a network, or an entire corporate infrastructure.  Of course, everyone is familiar with the concept of a firewall – even movies like Swordfish and TV shows like NCIS have so very perfectly described, in riveting detail, what a firewall is.  But there are other, perhaps less sexy utilities in a security paradigm.

Various concepts and security practices – such as using complex passphrases, or eschewing passphrases entirely, deeply vetting email sources, safe surfing habits, etc. – are increasingly growing trends among the general workforce at large, especially with the ubiquity of computers at every desk.  But security in general is still unfortunately looked at as an afterthought, even when a lack thereof begets massive financial loss at a seemingly almost daily level.

Security engineers are all too often considered an unnecessary asset, simply a menial role anybody can do; A role that can be assumed as yet another hat worn by developers, system administrators, or, well, perhaps just someone who only shows a modest capability with Excel formulas.  Whatever the reason for such a decision, be it financial or otherwise, the consequences can be severe and long-lasting.  Sony underestimated the value of a strong and well-equipped security team multiple times, choosing to forego a powerful army in lieu of a smaller, less outfitted and, thus, thinner stretched but cheaper alternative.  This, in turn, yielded among the largest multiple security breaches to ever be seen, especially by a single corporation.  Were their security department better outfitted with the right tools, it is quite possible those events would have played out entirely different.

Using the Right Security Tools


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