Blackberry Contacts – Wireless Sync “Not Available”

Problem: User has a Blackberry. Is part of the company’s BES. Syncing wirelessly is the company’s default setting when deploying Blackberries. This particular user did not have the option. When I checked her Wireless Sync settings under the Contacts–> Options — >Desktop, it said “Not Available”.

I tried the following steps:

1. From your Blackberry, go to Options>Advanced Options>Enterprise Activation.

2. In the email field, press and hold the ALT key and type CNFG. Once you enter this a hidden menu should appear.

3. Change the “Wireless Sync” option to No and Save, then exit the menu.

4. Wait 30 seconds and repeat step 2.

5. Change the “Wireless Sync” option to Yes and Save, then exit the menu.

After trying the above steps, the option was available. I set the Wireless Sync to “Yes” however after a while the Enterprise Activation kicked in. After activating to 100% I checked the Wireless Sync option again and it was back to “Not Available”.

Solution: Had to check with the BES server folks. The user’s profile on the BES server did not have the Wireless Sync option enabled (guess they missed that option for her). Thus, every time I forced it, using the steps above, it was reset to “Not Available” after the Enterprise Activation sent down her Address Book Options from the server. After they enabled the option on the server, I waited about 10 minutes, and then noticed the Enterprise Activation process started again. After it completed, the Wireless Sync option was set to “Yes”

Rogue Facebook apps can now access your home address and mobile phone number | Naked Security

Time to revisit your facebook privacy settings again:

Facebook has announced that developers of Facebook apps can now gather the personal contact information from their users.

Read more…Rogue Facebook apps can now access your home address and mobile phone number | Naked Security.

Problem Connecting To Shared Network Drive

Problem: Mapped shared network folder would intermittently disconnect itself, and user could not remap it.  When trying to remap it, user would get one of the following errors messages:

“Local device name is already in use”

“The drive could not be mapped because no network was found”

“The [\\Server Name\Folder] is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource.”

Rebooting would fix the issue temporarily, but the disconnect would reoccur within an hour or so.

His colleagues did not have this problem, nor did the user have problems getting to other servers, the Internet, email application. He could ping the server by name, but could not map to the shared folder, by name or IP.

Microsoft’s KB890413 says the following:

This issue may occur if you log on to the Windows XP-based client by using a different connection type than you use to connect to the file server. If you created the network drive through a local area network (LAN) with your current user credentials, the mapping information does not contain any user information. When you log on to the computer, the operating system establishes only a partial connection to the share, and the network drive is considered used. Later, when you access the network drive, the connection is fully restored.

If you use another connection type such as Remote Access Service (RAS) to connect to the file server, the logon credentials used are different from the credentials that you used to create the network mapping. When you try to access the network drive to restore the connection, the operating system tries to use the logon credentials of the RAS connection. If the file share server does not accept the logon credentials of the RAS connection, the operating system cannot access the share. Then, the operation system tries to re-create the mapping to the already-used network drive, and the error occurs.

And their solution to this problem is to remove the existing network mapping and to remap the network drive. This did not work in my case, instead resulting in the error messages mentioned above.

I thought it might be the Symantec Protection Agent that was installed, so I uninstalled that, but the problem persisted. Tried putting the user on another switch port and VLAN (thus different subnet/IP), but that did not help either. The Windows Firewall was not being used.

I tried mapping the drive with my credentials, but I had trouble as well. I tried mapping by IP, no worky. I deleted all temporary files, cookies, and made sure there were no saved passwords under his profile (check that in Control Panel –> User Accounts, Advanced tab –> Manage Passwords):

The problem persisted. I then remoted into my desktop from the user’s laptop, and had the user map to the network drive using his credentials. That worked! So the problem was definitely with his laptop, and not an authorization/account issue.

I was about to rebuild a laptop for the user when I thought I should check one more thing.

Solution: I checked the local host file (C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) on the user’s laptop and he had an entry for the server name pointing to an old IP address. Even though the IP address listed was alive (it was being used by another server), which is why I was able to ping it, as soon as I removed the entry and pinged the server by name, it came back with a totally different IP address. Tried mapping to the shared folder again, and it worked!

I don’t know why the user had entries in his host file, but he’s an application developer, so that partially answers the question 🙂 .

Note: User’s machine running Windows XP Professional w/ Service Pack 3

Fake PayPal Phishing E-Mail

Spam. We all get them. Some come with attachements that are just viruses or trojans. Some come from folks in Nigeria who want to give us $2000 cash. Some purportedly come from financial institutions looking to verify your info. What we need to remember is that NO bank, NO credit card company, NO financial institution will ever send you an email asking you to click on an embedded link to verify your info. Below is a typical example of such a spam message (one I actually received today). I will also show you how easy it is to spot that it’s a fake.

It apparently came from PayPal. Specifically, security at PayPal.

This message is actually very believable. No misspellings like the usual spam. They even give you a “Reference Number” that looks official. But what you will notice is, if you hover over the link they want you to click (without actually clicking on it), you will see the actual address the link points to. In this case, even though the link says “”, in the status bar you can see that it actually goes to If you actually click on the link, you will be brought to a site where you will asked to enter in your paypal credentials. And THAT’S how they get your info and steal your identity. The method is called “phishing”.  It works by basically sending out mass emails to addresses harvested from newgroups, forums, blogs, etc. From the millions of emails that are sent out, some unsuspecting recipients will bite. So be vigilant. Don’t fall for these scams. Never email you info. And when in doubt, simply CALL your financial institution and speak with a customer service representative, directly.

Facebook – How To Opt Out Of Instant Personalization

Facebook is getting bigger and sharing more info. It’s time to revisit your privacy settings and make sure you’re not opting into anything automatically.

First stop is “Instant Personalization“, which basically allows FB partner sites to gather your info. Opt out by going to your Account –> Privacy Settings, then click on the Edit Settings under Instant Personalization:

Instant Personalization

Once there, you need to uncheck the setting that allows partners to personalize their site based on your public info:

Uncheck Instant Personalization

Secondly, you’ll need to block each application (partner website) individually. This was harder to find.  Currently, there are only three partner sites. I was able to block them by doing the following:

Click on the following FB FAQ:!/help/?faq=17105

This will open up the How Do I Opt-Out of Instant Personalization faq. From there, click on the partner links individually, and select “Block Application” from the left column. Remember, you have to do this for each partner:

Block Applications

Once done, you can confirm these sites are blocked by visiting the Blocked Applications section of the Privacy Settings –> Applications and Websites:

Blocked Applications

Finally, block what info your friends can share about you to partner websites by editing the settings in the What your friends can share about you page under Privacy Settings –> Applications and Websites:

Here you can edit what can be shared and what cannot. I unchecked everything so that nothing can be shared about me.

Call me paranoid, but in an age when identity theft is rampant, you shouldn’t be automatically opted into sharing your personal info.

Facebook’s New Features and Your Privacy: Everything You Need To Know – PCWorld

This is getting SCARY. So basically, unless you opt out, when you’re logged into FB, and visit a partner site (Currently Yelp,, Pandora – but I’m sure the list will grow), the partner site will know you’re a FB user and will ask you if you want to “personalize” the site. By that they mean, they will custom tailor the site based on your “Likes” and “Recommendations” listed in FB. So they will have access to your FB “Public” data. If that’s not creepy enough, how about knowing that they will not have to delete the info they gather about you, from their servers, ever! Also, they will have access to your friend’s data, unless you’re friends specifically block the partner site.

Read more…Facebook’s New Features and Your Privacy: Everything You Need To Know – PCWorld.

Christmas, Amazon and Zbot – it’s that time of year again – Sophos

Malware/Trojans spreading via emails linking to fake Holiday E-Cards purportedly from “your friend” or your “Online Banking Team”.

Christmas, Amazon and Zbot – it’s that time of year again – Sophos.

Potent malware link infects almost 300,000 webpages • The Register

Make sure your IE has the up-to-date patches (or switch to Firefox) and update to the latest Adobe Flash

Potent malware link infects almost 300,000 webpages • The Register.

A security researcher has identified a new attack that has infected almost 300,000 webpages with links that direct visitors to a potent cocktail of malicious exploits.

People who visit infected pages receive an invisible link that pulls code from a series of sites tied to 318x .com. The code looks for insecure versions of Adobe Flash, Internet Explorer, and several other Microsoft applications, and when they are detected it exploits them to surreptitiously install malware known as Backdoor.Win3.Buzus.croo. The rootkit-enabled program logs banking credentials and may do other nefarious bidding, Landesman said.

Another program which can help determine if you have all the latest updates and patches for your installed applications is Secunia PSI.

Savvy kids can access explicit online worlds: FTC | Reuters

Savvy kids can access explicit online worlds: FTC | Reuters.

For parents, one way to restrict access is to use the free service OpenDNS. Simply go to and sign up. Download and install the dynamicIP updater client and install to your PC. This updater gives them your IP and allows them to filter your requests as you prefer.

On the settings page, set your filter preferences:

Then configure your router DNS servers to point to those provided by OpenDNS: and  When a PC on your network reboots and gets an IP address from your router, it will also assign the OpenDNS servers to the PC.

And your done! You can block specific web sites or types of  websites or allow only a few websites. Of course, the child can bypass this by manually configuring their PC to use a different DNS server, but depending on their age and level of expertise, they wouldn’t be doing that. If they get to that point, it may be time to talk to your kids. If that doesn’t work, you may need to use a firewall between your cable modem and router 🙂 .

Put Back The “x” in Firefox

Downloaded and installed Firefox 3.5 yesterday, and the first thing I noticed was that the “x”, the close button, was missing on the tab, when only one tab is open.

WithoutXWhere did it go? I don’t know if it’s a bug, or a feature, but I miss it.  Sometimes I want to close a page without closing the whole browser. Well, doing a little digging on the internet, I found a solution.

Basically, you need to do two things.

1. Add the following lines to the userChrome.css file (if you don’t have one, create it using notepad or download this one ; right-click and choose Save As):

/* Add tab-close-button to last tab*/
.tabbrowser-tabs[closebuttons=”alltabs”] >
.tabbrowser-tab >
.tab-close-button {
display: -moz-box !important;
.tabbrowser-tabs:not ([closebuttons=”noclose”]):not ([closebuttons=”closeatend”]) >
.tabbrowser-tab[selected=”true”] >
.tab-close-button {
display: -moz-box !important;

This file is usually located in the chrome directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\RANDOM.default\chrome

The words in red obviously will be different for your computer and your profile.  Save the file you created (or downloaded) there.

2. You need to open up Firefox, and in the address bar type in about:config for the url, to open up the config page:


You’ll get a warning that you might void your warranty! Click on the button to continue:


That will open up the config page. Scroll down to “browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab”, doubleclick on it to set it to false


Restart your browser and…

WithXTada! It’s back!