During a recent talk with LogMeIn CEO Michael Simon, I learned about the company’s new LogMeIn Central dashboard for IT managers, designed to help them keep tabs on thousands of computers at a time.
I also heard about the new version of virtual network service Hamachi, which makes it a competitor to standard (and expensive) virtual private-networking products in the enterprise.
We chuckled a bit about the version of LogMeIn that’s embedded in the dashboard of some Ford F150 pickup trucks, so their owners can remotely control their office PCs. And I heard about a LogMeIn technology, just now reaching the market, that enables not just remote diagnostics of computers but also access to data on the hard drives of PCs that are turned completely off. Gulp.
That last technology, part of Intel’s VPro system architecture, has just started to ship in a few new PCs. It’s designed for corporate networks so that support personnel can get into a machine–to run a backup, for example–regardless of whether it’s running Windows, has crashed into a blue screen, or has been shut down. As long as the PC is plugged into the wall and to an Ethernet connection, the computer, even though in an off state, will continue to draw a small amount of power (about 4 watts) while it monitors the network for control packets.
The technology is getting built into motherboards using the Q45 support chipset. Only a few corporate desktops use this technology, in particular HP’s DC 7900 and Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M58 lines.
Simon told me that the technology does not provide a wide-open backdoor. There are security protocols. The user has to agree to use the technology, and like all LogMeIn remote-control products, remote access isn’t possible unless the computer’s owner agrees to it. And in many ways, it is similar to current remote-access products that rely on “Wake-on-LAN” packets to power up a PC so it can then be controlled remotely. The difference here is of degree.
Archive for September 22nd, 2009
Posted by Xeno on September 22, 2009
Posted by Xeno on September 22, 2009
“A recent bug in Google Apps allowed students at several colleges to read each other’s email messages and some were even able to see another student’s entire inbox. The issue occurred at a small handful of colleges, admitted Rajen Sheth, senior product manager for Google Apps, but he declined to say how many other institutions were affected. However, according to Donald Tom, director of IT for support services at Brown University, one of the institutions undergoing the transition, he got the impression that a total of 10 schools faced the problem.
While the glitch itself was minor and was fixed in a few days, the real concern – at least at Brown – was with how Google handled the situation. Without communicating to the internal IT department, Google shut down the affected accounts, a decision which led to a heated conversation between school officials and the Google account representative.
Details of the Glitch
In the case of the Google Apps glitch, which began on Friday, September 11th, a couple of students notified Brown’s Computing and Information Services department (CIS) that they were able to read emails belonging to other students. The CIS department contacted Google on the following day and sent out an email to the 200 students whose mailboxes were in transition, asking them whether or not they were experiencing the same problem. Some were. The affected students could either see entire inboxes belonging to another classmate or, in other cases, saw less than 100 messages that did not belong to them.
In the end, only 22 out of the 200 students were affected, but the fix was not put into place until Tuesday. That means that the students had access to each other’s email accounts for three solid days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) as well as parts of Friday and Tuesday before the accounts were suspended by Google.
Oddly enough, this situation seems to be acceptable, according to Tom, who, reports Brown’s daily newspaper, “praised Google for its prompt response.” (We don’t know about you, but if someone else could read our email for three days, we wouldn’t exactly call that “prompt.”)
- via New York Times