MORE on KRACK – what you can do now – and some NICE laptops just appeared. Nicest gamer I’ve ever seen!

dont usually write these emails this often (as you all well know) but I’ve been asked by quite a few of you what you can DO about KRACK – the new WIFI vulnerability that has recently made big news. Well – read on!  And as well I picked up some SUPER nice laptops that need homes including the BEST Gamer I’ve ever run into!


As I noted in my last newsletter – KRACK has exposed a huge flaw in all of our existing wifi networks.  And its serious, allowing a user to gain access to your network without your permission.
And – you read the Microsoft claims to have ‘fixed’ it.  Frankly that’s nonsense – its NOT an OS problem (Apple Mac OSX or Windows) – its a ROUTER problem (the device that both creates and controls access to your wifi network!)  MICROSOFT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

So Question – what can that DO and what can you do about it?

A user getting on your wifi network means they can get access to your resources on your local system. They can print on your printer.
Well – you say that’s not a big deal.  And no its not. Wastes a few sheets of paper.

What they CAN do is get access to your hard drive IF YOU ARE SHARING IT ON YOUR NETWORK.  If Drive C is set to be readable by everyone on the network (not uncommon in a house situation) then someone sitting in the bushes (or in a neighboring apartment!) could read whats on Drive C.
OR if you have a NAS (Network Attached Storage) then THAT could be accessed by the intruder for those are ALWAYS made shareable and readable to other computers (that is the point after all)
Also they can SIT on your network and watch every packet of information going between the router and all other devices.  So if you type your passwords and they are not encrypted someone attached to the network and running in whats called promiscuous mode can read ALL the traffic you send including passwords.

Obviously this could be a problem.
You can immediately UN-Share the resource. That would do it.  Then an attacker could not gain your information stored on a hard drive.  But you reduce the utility of the network (sharing things is very common) and as long as all things like passwords are entered on a secure page (HTTPS) they could not get that information.

Any current router (remember these attacks all have to come THROUGH your wireless router) has the ability to RESTRICT access by wifi computers, by whats called the MAC Address (Machine Address Code).  The MAC address is unique to every wireless card – whether it be in a phone, a laptop, an ipad, a desktop, a printer – whatever!

Where is this address? Often on the bottom of laptops.  On any physical wireless card.  Or in phones (often under the batter) – OR you can get your computer/device to reveal it to you.

IN my case on a mac you open Network Preferences, click on Wifi, and click on Advanced and we find at the bottom of the screen:
Wi-Fi Address b8:8d:12:30:06:5a  (my actual address by the way).

On my samsung phone (android) for another example:
   Under Settings-About Phone-Status-Wi-Fi MAC Address:  A0:CC:28:79:A3:5F (also real).
Windows computers you right click on the wireless adapter and look under properties.
Its ALWAYS 6 blocks of 2 characters seperated by COLONS.
The first 2 blocks by the way identify the MAKER of the wifi device or chip.  The rest are basically the serial number of your exact phone, wificard, ipad, laptop wifi card, desktop pci wifi card etc.
No two devices have the same 6 doublet address.

Now we can COMPLETELY protect yourself from KRACK by configuring your router so that ONLY A KNOWN LIST OF DEVICES can attach.
The method of doing this varies router by router, but we can help you if you want to do it.

For a general article:
Written in 2014 says MAC address filtering is no good.  And you don’t need it because WPA is so great!  LOL Before KRACK 🙂

And his saying Mac address filtering is no good is both nit picking and silly.  YES you can tell some wifi devices to pretend to have a DIFFERENT Mac address.   BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE THE LIST OF VALID MAC ADDRESS to know what you have to pretend to be if your system is locked down!

That’s NOT a problem in any home setting.  So ignore that silly part of the article. It gives some examples with Netgear and Linksys Routers.

Well – enough said don’t want to bore you or overwhelm you.   BUT WE CAN DO THIS FOR YOU for anyone who wants it done!

I just picked up a SUPER SUPER good gaming laptop computer -and its all set for a new home!

I just acquired a Clevo P775DM-3 laptop (sold in the US by Doghouse Systems, as the Mobius SS)

And its EASILY the best gaming laptop I’ve ever run across!
Check these specs out:

17.3″ (16:9) Full HD (1920×1080) LED-BackLit Display
Intel Core i7 7700 Processor (4.2 GHz)
16 GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory (goes up to 64gb!)
1 TB Solid State drive (optional second hard drive)
1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 Memory (optional SECOND graphics card!)
Full Size Backlit Keyboard with Numeric Pad
Biometric Fingerprint Reader
Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera
802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN + Bluetooth 4.0
6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
1 HDMI, 2 Mini DisplayPort, 4 USB3.0 Lan, Headphone, S/PDIF, Microphone

A review of it (actually a slightly lesser one) can be found here:

Kicks the Alienware and the Acer Predator’s behinds!

This unit is only 9 months old, and sold for $3250 new!  Make me an offer! It needs a home!

I still also have:

SUPER nice Dell a 5480 model which is only a couple of months old – 16gb 256gb SSD, i7 cpu and a Nvidia 930MX Graphics processor that is SERIOULY kick-butt!
VERY VERY nice unit!

Also one of the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 series – 13 inch, SSD, i7, flip-over convertible.

Picked up a 12 in rose gold macbook 2015  – needs a home!

also up for adoption a nice 2015 Mac Air, A Retina 13 2013-2014 Macbook pro, A 2010 27in Imac, and various others!
And I even have a 2011 (and a 2010 one as well) 17in Macbook pro – IMHO the best Macbook apple ever build (on which this is being written!)
A nice HP 13in X360 convertible!

A SUPER cute Lenovo Yoga Pro.  This is a 10in android tablet – that has a built in DLP Projector – and can project the desktop onto any surface 🙂

Can’t for the life of me think of a use for it myself – but Its SUPER cute!
And many more!

Cameras in the adoption corner!
I have 2 Canon 7D cameras – their semi-professional models.  And a Nikon D5200 (also semi professional)
Just got in a Sony A6300 mirrorless camera – and we have various others like Canon T2i, T3i, T4i and Nikon ones as well.
We also have some older film cameras for the vintage buff –

and a VERY NICE Museum piece – a Kodak 2-D from about 1909 in GREAT Condition complete with its original black box and the black cape you throw over your head to take the shot!  (The bellows have been replaced but other than that its all original) SUPER NICE shape according to a customer who is in the large format photography group

Enjoy folks hope you all enjoy my musings!  Any and all comments are very welcome!