Category Archives: Applications

how to tweak ubuntu

how to tweak ubuntu 10.04-installing Ubuntu-Tweak

Ubuntu 10.04(Lucid Lynx) is very fast and easy to customize but desktop settings and system configuration is still not so easy for the new users who just migrated from windows based system.That’s why in this post you will learn about a software(tool) that you can use to customize Ubuntu 10.04 in much simple way.That application name is ubuntu tweak,a free and open source software.

Tweaking Ubuntu 10.04 by Using Ubuntu-Tweak

Ubuntu-Tweak is an application for configuring ubuntu in more easy way and useful for both novice and advanced users.It allows you to change the look and behavior of desktop as well as to administrate system configuration that is usually not available in the GNOME or KDE desktop.

how to tweak ubuntu

A quick look at some important features of Ubuntu-Tweak

  • view basic information of your computer(CPU,Memory,Kernel,Distro..)
  • GNOME Session Control
  • Manage Startup programs
  • control desktop and mounted volume icons i.e whether they will apear and not.
  • Change Nautilus settings
  • Panel settings of GNOME
  • Power Management Settings with Advanced options
  • Security settings of the computer
  • other applications settings like Compiz

How to install ubuntu-tweak on Ubuntu 10.04

Method-A(From GUI)
1. Download ubuntu-tweak_0.5.4.1-1_all.deb file from the official website(Link is given below) of ubuntu tweak.
download ubuntu tweak

2. Then click on Download Now and open the file with GDebi package installer or just save it on your computer.

install ubuntu tweak on ubuntu lucid lynx

3. After the completion of downloading,installation process will begin automatically(If you have selected 2nd option in the above step then right click on the file and open with Gdebi package installer).A new window will appear click on install package to begin installation.

installing ubuntu-tweak

4.Installation will finish within a minute.

5. That’s all..Now you are ready to tweak your ubuntu computer.

Method-B(From Command Line Interface)
1. Open ubuntu terminal or shell from Applications->Accessories->Terminal or Hit CTRL+ALT+T.

2. Run the Following Command(Enter you login password if required)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

3. That’s have installed ubuntu-tweak successfully.

Using Ubuntu-Tweak
Click on Applications->System Tools->Ubuntu Tweak to start the application(ubuntu tweak).Now select the options from right sidebar and customize you system and desktop settings it in few mouse clicks.

tweaking ubuntu system settings

How to Make Strong Passwords

how to make strong password

The aim of this post is to help you in making your passwords(E-mail,Bank Account,Paypal,Alertpay or others password) strong to assure high security.

What is Password?

Password is an authentication mechanism which is required to use the system’s resource or to login.Authentication need two types of information – first one is username or e-mail ID which is public and second one is password,which is private i.e only known to the claimant.The passwords can be divided into two types – One time Password and Fixed Password.Here we will discuss about fixed password,which should be changed/rotate frequently.Since most of the system use the password authentication mechanism so the password must be strong.

Common Mistakes you must avoid in selecting passwords

1.Using mobile or phone number or any other number(which is declared as public i.e every body can figure out very easily through a little research online(by using Google) or offline) as password.
2.Number of Characters less than 8 .
3.Simple combination of numbers or characters like 1234,12345,asdf,qwer,zxcv,09876,lkjh,poiu,etc.
4.Same as username or to put name in field of password.
5.One password for all the accounts.
6.Writing password in a page or Diary.

Points to remember in making good and strong passwords
1.It should include Alphabate(Both Upper case and Lower case),Numbers(0,2,6..) and special Characters(*,@,),{,%,$,#…).
2.Number of characters should be as long as you can remember,in general minimum of 12 characters are recommended.
3.Try to Remember it(Don’t write anywhere and never share with anyone).If you have any problem in remembering long password or you are managing a lot of password then you can also take help of Some Encryption Software.Using the cryptography techniques you will have to remember only one strong password(Commonly known as master password) and it will encrypt all others passwords in to a file.Since it is encrypted so if anyone get those file then also he/she will not be able to recover your passwords from those encrypted files.Trucrypt and Gnupg are two great encryption tools for Ubuntu 10.04 that can be used to perform various cryptography actions like file encryption,disk encryption,e-mail encryption etc.
4.Frequently change or rotate your passwords between different accounts.

How to remember lot of passwords
Remembering lot of passwords is actually very simple.First make a strong password and then rotate or change some digits to make another password for another accounts and so on.
Password1(For Account1) : )qZl2&1#it?6A&e //15 characters
Password2(For Account2) : )rXm2&1#it?6A&F //Notice The Change : 1st and 3rd character : shifted up in a-z.
password3(For Account3) : )sWn2&1#it?6A&g
password4(For Account4) : )tUo2&1#it?6A&H
……………………………………and so on.

Algorithm for above password generation
1.Shift up by one position the second and fourth characters in a-z.
2.3rd character is shifted back by two position in a-z.
3.Last(15th) character is shifted up by one position and case is inverted(i.e from lower to upper and upper to lower).
4.All the other characters remains same(you can also apply some more concepts on these characters to make the password more strong).

So you can design this type of simple algorithm(It will hardly take 3-5 minutes) for generating lot of strong password and it will be easier to remember but keep the algorithm strictly private.

That’s ALL …End of the Password Fun!

how to play encrypted dvd in ubuntu 10.04

playing dvd in ubuntu

After installing the Ubuntu 10.04,some extra softwares i.e is not installed by default(Due to license problem) is necessary to install.. like adobe flash player, and library for playing encrypted dvd.

In general all the commercial DVDs use CSS(Content Scramble System),a digital right management(DRM) scheme which uses a proprietary 40 bit stream cypher algorithm.The CSS key sets are licensed by DVD copy control association to manufacturers so that they can incorporate them into their products like DVD movie releases,players and driver softwares.CSS key is nothing but a combine term for all the keys such as authentication keys,disc keys,player keys,title keys etc.

Due to this reason ubuntu can’t ship css library so it is not able to play encrypted DVD by default.
Hence in order to play dvd you have to install the libdvdcss2 or libdvdcss library(A free software library,part of Video Lan project for accessing and unscrambling DVD;encrypted with CSS).In ubuntu 10.04 you have to install libdvdread4 can to install it by either command line or using synaptic manager.

Using Command Line
step1 : Open the terminal(CTRL+ALT+T).

step2 : First, run the command

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4 (It may be installed,if so then move to next step).
step3 : Next, run this command :

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/
step4 : Now remove the dvd fr0m the tray and insert it again.Now Mplayer will open it automatically(If no then check the options).You can also play with VLC player.
step5 : That’s all…enjoy.I hope you are playing your dvd..if no then you may leave a comment about the problem.

Using Synaptic Package Manager(Recommended for older version)
step1 : Go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager.
step2 : search for ubuntu restricted extras.
step3 : check the box for installation.
step4 : Install the restricted packages by clicking on Apply changes.
step5 : Installation will complete and then you would be able to play you dvd well.
step6 : that’s all…

school computer hacks

 access blocked websites

Why do you Want to Hack School Computers ?

Before going to the actual matter related to the school computers first come to the point that why do you want to hack your school computers.I don’t know why? but I am giving you the common idea i.e what are the common goals that is directly or indirectly associated with the hacking of school compuetrs(I am trying to focus on some simple reasons you may have some special reasons).

Hence in general hacking school computer means

1. To gain administrative power to do some special task(That is not permitted to general user).

2. Students want to use social networking sites like MySpace,Facebook,Orkut..etc, whose access is blocked by default in most school computers.

3. They like to play online games, it may also comes against the school policy.

4. They may like to see pornographic videos or websites,and of course accessing these sites are banned by default.

5. Students also enjoy tempering with grades but administrative power as well as little research is required depending on the security policy of school.

6. In some schools accessing internet is totally banned for student account(Very bad!…unacceptable).

7. It may be obvious some times for us because we are humans and by nature we like to violate the rules.

Now it is little bit clear that why we want to hack our schools computers.Okay lets proceed to the next step –

1. Accessing blocked sites :

This is really very simple.What you have to do is just to use proxy servers.Using proxy server your computer will be connected to the proxy servers but you will be able to accessed blocked sites via proxy server , an intermediate server-computer that will do your work.Here is the list of some websites that will work as a proxy server for you.
Some websites that I had tested on my system and working fine :Just go the website and enter the website address in the url field.

Alternative Method : Get the IP address of the website i.e is blocked.Now try to connect using different form of IP address by typing in to your browser’s address bar.Type http and https interchangeably, sometimes it works.You can use the calculator(Click view scientific) to convert the number fr0m decimal to binary or decimal to hexadecimal.
e.g :  or
This method will work if your school computers use DNS(Domain Name System) based protection.So if you can  edit the dns mapping files that stores on the system(may be in each computer or centrally managed by the administrator) and used by  browsers to look up the domain-IP table;then also you would be able to use blocked websites.

2. Hacking administrator account :

There are many methods to gain administrative power or to access or temper with all the important files on the system.To do this one of the simple method is to use a live cd or pendrive(It is simple.because what you have to do is to download the ISO file and burn it on a CD or you can make your pendrive bootable by following some simple steps) having any linux distribution installed(such as Ubuntu or linux Mint).

Switch on the computer and insert the live bootable cd into the tray.Now booting will be start fr0m live cd instead of hard drive(By default,in special cases press F2 or F10 or F8 to change the booting options so that computer will boot fr0m live cd or pendrive).Since the linux is able to mount all the major file systems format like NTFS,FAT16 or FAT32.Booting andloading will complete within two to five minutes.So after loading the linux into the computer’s RAM you will be able to mount and use or temper with the whole hard disc.Now you are done.Do whatever you want and after shutting down remove the cd fr0m the tray and the windows operating system will work as normal.(Assuming that you didn’t temper with the windows system file..Remember this point and be careful).

What will we do if the BIOS password is installed in the system : In general it is not the case but if it occurs then first try some default BIOS password.You can get the list of Default BIOS password on the internet after getting the name and version of the BIOS,that you will see at the time of booting.You can also try to reset the BIOS by opening the CPU case,Find the lithium Ion battery(having round shape like a silver coin).Now remove the battery and again put it in the same place after 60 seconds.
Some common passwords includes :
AMI  cmos  Biostar   BIOS  setup  password
Award  AWARD_SW  lkwpeter  AWARD_PW  AMI!SW1
j322 h6BB CONDO condo admin 589721
award_? 1322222 256256 ?award Compaq  last
AM AMI~ ascend  djonet  autocad  BIOSPASS
AMIPSWD  SZYX  zbaaaca  TzqF  t0ch20x

Alternative Method : In old versions of windows you can also use simple commands to gain administrative power at the login promopt.This can be simply done by editing the system files which stores the login information.Follow these steps :

1. At the time of booting press F8 a boot menu will come on the screen,choose DOS.

2. Now you can change your working directory by using cd command.

C:\ cd windows

3. Next,type the command to rename .pwl extensions which contains the login information.

C:\windows>ren *.pwl *.pqr

4. Now restart the computer in normal way and type anything in the password place(when the login promopt will appear)You hacked! and know enjoy the administrative power.(in this method the windows will take this password as actual).

   Credit : RKJHA

how to protect against internet threats

secure yourself by making strong password

Increasing internet threats are becoming a big headache thesedays.Hence it seems very difficult to protect against internet threats during online activities.But with few basic precautions it is very easy to secure yourself fr0m most of the crackers and script kiddies;most of the crackers and script kiddies succeeded due to the ignorancy of the end user.Most people think that installing a good antivirus or a firewall or antispyware implies that I am hundred percent secure fr0m any internet threats OR some people don’t like to use any antivirus software as they feel that my computer become too slow OR some even don’t know that the cracker or script kiddies can harm up to such large extent.The username and password combination is most widely used authentication system but here is the common problem in choosing the password.
(1)most user like to use simple password such as 12345 or asdfg or.. so that they can remember easily;
But it can be hacked very esily using simple dictionary attacks.

(2)they want to use some familiar number or string such as name,cell,Date Of Birth or phone number,other card numbers.
But it can br easily guessed by some one who know about that user or these simple infr0mation can be easily obtained by doing some simple research(e.g by using social networking site like facebook,orkut,myspace or microblogging site like twitter).

Here is the simple tips so that you can protect yourself against the internet threats and feel safer –

#1.How to Make your password strong : Hard to crack

Make the password strong by combining :
1.upper and lowercase characters.
3.special symbols
e.g Ap8@V&R50#Wx
If you feel difficulties in the case when you have to maintain more than one password then remember one and add some extra character in front,last or middle to distinguished fr0m other password(recommended method)
e.g for account1 : Ap8@V&R50#WxZ1
for account2 : Ap8@V&R50#WxZ2 strong one OR apply some more concept and make your password stronger e.g : Bq9@V&R50#WxZ2 (*Hint : I have shifted one to the right in the digits coming before the first ‘@’ symbol and the remaining part is same only).
Alternative Method : Store the password in file(so that you will have to remember only a master password)and encrypt it using software like true crypt or GNU Privacy Guard.Both of these softwares are open source,free and available for all major platfr0m(Linux,Windows and Mac OS).
Downloading link :  Truecrypt GNU PG

#2.Precautions for those who use public computers/cyber cafe:

1. Don’t do online banking or purchasing works if it is so necessary then use on-screen keyboard(go to the start menu and search for that it should be installed by default).
[Because it will secure you fr0m the key loggers programs]

2. Always logout fr0m your logged in accounts e.g fr0m social networking websites like orkut or facebook before leaving the computer.
[because others may misuse your account for any purpose]

3. After using the cafe change your password as soon as possible.
[If the administrator is sniffing the traffic then he may get your password and other sensitive inf0rmation easily if  the connection is not encrypted]

4. Do not save the password at the time of logging. when firefox or other browser says “save the password” always click no OR simply go to the preference tab and change the setting such that it won’t offer to remember any password for the sites.(In firefox just uncheck the box that offer to remember the passwords).
[Otherwise anyone can easily view your password by clicking on show the saved password if the master password is not installed]

#3 Common precautions for all users :

1. Password recovery options are sometimes ignored by the users but it is an important point to note that the security question(s) in gmail/yahoo or other websites are as important as password.So make your security question harder to guess and associates the email accounts with each other so that one can be recovered fr0m other in case of any problem.

2.Use your credit card with trusted sites only and in case of secure connection you will see :
*The web address start with https instead of http
*A lock symbol appear near the right bottom corner(firefox).
*You can see the certificates information by right clicking and select “view certificates” to know more about the ssl provider and encryption level(It should be more than 128 bit).

3.Use good antivirus software like Avast antivirus(It is available free for home users) and always scan the external memory devices before transferring any data to your computer.You can shedule the scanning according to your need or choice. Download avast (Windows users) {It is optional for LINUX users as linux is almost Virus FREE although there are many open source virus scanners are available like clamtk: Download clamtk virus scanner}

4.For online banking or any other account ..always open their websites by typing their address in the address bar.It will prevent you fr0m the most common attack known as phishing attack in which you will submit your login information through a fake website(Although it looks similar to the original but the URl is different..or just similar hence see the URL carefully) and your information will be parsed somewhere else using some script languages like PHP,JAVASCRIPT.

5. Use good firewall to protect your computer fr0m the common online attacks and try to learn about the policy so that you can tune their settings according to your need and the security level you want.