Monday, June 29, 2009

SCOM 2007 Post SP1 Hotfixes

I just set up System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1 for my organization and I know that this a Microsoft product and it will have fixes even after a service pack. The Kevin Holman blog ( on the Microsoft TechNet is updated frequently and has links and description of the SCOM 2007 post sp1 hotfixes as well as SCOM 2007 R2 hotfixes. I have experienced some inaccurate data displayed in SCOM and I am hoping one of these hotfixes will fix that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

World of Warcraft Account Hacked

My wife's World of Warcraft account was hacked a few days ago. The hacker change the password and email address so you could not login to the account. They took everything from all her toons and transferred 2 level 80 characters to another server. She contacted Blizzard and they were able unlock her account and she is waiting for a GM specialist to try to recover the characters and stolen items. What is bothering me is that this was a brute forced attack. My wife's account was known to no one including me. As a bit of a Grey-hat hacker this sort of stuff is interesting to me. My guess is that they used the Armory to find a target; that's what I would do. My wife had good gear and special items. Somehow they we able to find the userid or email and brute force a password from either the WoW client or the WoW account web page. Since hacking the web has been around for a while there are more safeguards around the WoW web site. The client does not disable your account if you attempt to many unsuccessful logons, so my guess is that they used a program that brute forced the password from the client. The hard part was getting the userID. I will have to investigate a little further to find out how they did it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Agent proxying needs to be enabled for a health service to submit discovery data about other computers

In Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1 you may get the error message:

Agent proxying needs to be enabled for a health service to submit discovery data about other computers

This looks like it is coming from the Root management server, but the details give you a GUID to the actual server with the error. It looks like this:

Details:Health service ( FED0B867-F9AE-ACAF-4CCF-311DD92789C9 ) should not generate data about this managed object ( 66A10C3E-EF01-28E2-6F41-E15C782B906D ).

In order to get the actual name of the monitored device you need to use PowerShell. Don't use the PowerShell that you find in Programs -> WindowsPowerShell 1.0 since this does not have the SCOM snap-in included. Go to Programs -> System Center Operations Manager 2007 -> Command shell then execute the following command. Replace the GUID with the one that your alert specifies.

Get-MonitoringObject -id:'FED0B867-F9AE-ACAF-4CCF-311DD92789C9' | ft DisplayName

Then to enable Proxying: 

Access the Administration Node and locate the agent under Agent Managed.  Right click the node you found after you execute the above command.  Select Properties.  Click the Security tab.  Check  Allow this agent to act as proxy…

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

US Postal Service increase rates on Flat Rate Shipping

I sold a few items on Ebay to try to get some extra cash and I used to use the US postal service flat rate shipping boxes to ship domestically in the U.S. The price used to be a reasonable $4.95 for a 11" X 8.5" X 5.5" or 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" x 13-5/8" medium size box. They have recently increased the shipping price to $9.85 for the same box. This upsets the "Ebay economics" since the minimum you can expect to pay of an item on Ebay is about $10. If you sell and item that is moderately expensive then you can make up the difference in shipping. For instance 10% of $100 is $10 dollars. So if your item is less than $100 then a significant amount of your sale goes into shipping. This could be the begining of a shift from online purchases to brick and mortar purchases. Once what was more convenient to purchase online my be more cost effective now at the retail store since shipping is going to force online retailers to charge more for shipping or product or both. Keep a look out for rising shipping costs and how it will affect the online retail market.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Most Baffling IT Terms Explained

HP came out with an explanation of what they consider the most baffling IT terms. Here are the top terms:

  • VoIP (Voice over IP): A T-Mobile survey found that one in ten respondents thought VoIP can improve visibility for the visually impaired! It actually stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and literally refers to the ability to transmit the voice over the Internet.
  •   Petaflop: This is a word you'll probably see in conjunction with discussions of supercomputing. A petaflop can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second; it is a measure of performance for the fastest computers in the world.
  • ASP: This one is particularly tricky because it's an acronym with two meanings. An Active Server Page is an HTML page that includes one or more scripts (small embedded programs) that are processed on a Microsoft® Web server before the page is sent to the user. An Application Service Provider is a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network.
  • Kernel: This is the central component of most computer operating systems, responsible for managing the system's resources and the communication between hardware and software components.
  •   Megahertz (MHz): This is unit of measurement used when determining a computer's processing speed. It literally means one million cycles per second. Accordingly, Gigahertz (GHz) and Terahertz (THz) equal one billion and one trillion cycles respectively.
  • Deduplication: This is a method of reducing storage needs by eliminating redundant data from a device. Deduplication is also sometimes known as "intelligent compression" or "single-instance storage".
  •   Robust: This is probably one of the most commonly used, yet least understood, terms in IT marketing materials. A "robust" product can be one that doesn't break or fail easily; for example, an operating system in which any individual application can fail without disturbing the operating system or other applications can be said to be robust. Robust is also sometimes used to mean a product or solutions designed with a full range of capabilities.