Friday, July 25, 2008

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day to all you law firm IT and other IT folks out there.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Check you DNS server

Is the DNS server you use safe?
Recently, a significant threat to DNS, the system that translates names you can remember (such as to numbers the Internet can route ( was discovered, that would allow malicious people to impersonate almost any website on the Internet. Software companies across the industry have quietly collaborated to simultaneously release fixes for all affected name servers.

You can run a check at on this page.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ISP operator need to patch their recursive DNS servers now

SANS reports information about the DNS bug discovered by security researcher Dan Kaminsky is now public knowledge and recursive DNS server should be patched immediately.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Internal Threats: the Disgruntled Employee

The strong passwords and other security measure will not keep out the most danger threat to network security will not keep out the most dangerous threat: disgruntled employees.

SFGate, the web home of the San Francisco Chronicle has the scary story of how a disgruntled city computer consultant has taking over San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network by changing the admin passwords and refusing to had over the new passwords.
(07-14) 19:23 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually commandeered San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network, altering it to deny access to top administrators even as he sits in jail on $5 million bail, authorities said Monday.

Terry Childs, a 43-year-old computer network administrator who lives in Pittsburg, has been charged with four counts of computer tampering and is scheduled to be arraigned today.

Prosecutors say Childs, who works in the Department of Technology at a base salary of just over $126,000, tampered with the city's new FiberWAN (Wide Area Network), where records such as officials' e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates' bookings are stored.

Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the system, authorities said. He initially gave pass codes to police, but they didn't work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code even when threatened with arrest, they said.

He was taken into custody Sunday. City officials said late Monday that they had made some headway into cracking his pass codes and regaining access to the system.

I though it was interesting that the guy actually lives in Pittsburgh. I'm sure that make this incident, as bad as it already is, a federal crime as well. Oops wrong Pittsburg, as pointed out in the comments, "Pittsburg (no "h") is a town about 40 miles east-northeast of San Francisco."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Legal IT vs. Corporate IT

Here's a very interesting post from Prism Legal that explores the difference between Legal IT versus Corporate IT. The content is the result of a panel discussion at the Strategic Technology Forum in Lisbon, hosted by LegalWeek last month.

Here's the panelist list of differences:
* In legal it’s about words; in corporate it’s about numbers. This makes a big difference in how CIOs present business cases to management.
* Lawyers resist change, industry embraces it.
* Corporate management asks “what’s the business case?” Law firm management asks “what are other firms doing?”
* Legal market software suppliers are few; corporate many. A corollary: legal software vendors are less innovative.
* Corporations do zero-based budgeting, meaning CIOs have to justify items each year. In law firms, budgeting is a continuous and incremental process without the need to justify each year.
* “There is no PowerPoint in law firms.”

The panelists were David Coates, IT Director of Bond Pearce and formerly of UBS; Jason Haines, Director of IT, Allen & Overy LLP and formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC); and Malcolm Simms, IT Director, Eversheds LLP and formerly of Disney/ABC Television Group.

I think they did a great job of pointing out the differences, but I didn't understand "There is no PowerPoint in law firms."

The Prism Legal, Ron, goes on to say:
All of these resonated with me. One comment on “no PPT in law firms.” I think this difference has a deeper meaning than many may think. Presentations are not just about content; they are about guiding or controlling a conversation. When I started as a manager in a large law firm, I met frequently with the management committee to discuss tech projects. Discussions wandered and were, as a consequence, often unproductive. So I decided to use a presentation as a way to help guide the discussion. The resistance to my doing so was palpable. I wish I had had a chance to pose this hypothesis to the panelists for confirmation or rejection.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Testing Sazell

For more information see this TechCrunch story.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Social Media in Law Firms

Why are there no large law firms listed on this list? Are large law firm's engaged in social medial beyond blogging?

Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester writes:
Understanding how companies staff, organize, and prepare for social media/computing is one of my top interests personally and professionally. Having been a former Online Community Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, I want to make sure companies do it right. I’m often asked which companies have one of the two emerging roles, (companies love to benchmark against their peers) so I’ve decided to start a list.

The first role is the Social Computing Strategist, the second is the Community Manager, although the titles vary, and sometimes it’s a part-time function, there’s clearly a trend as corporations staff.

It’s important to note, that in the end, these skills (the ability to communicate online) will disperse and grow to many employees. Generation Y comes to us with these abilities built it as a “digital natives”– yet the need to organize will still occur, it’s a knee jerk reaction to every corporation.

Is there room for social media in law firms, both large and small?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection 2 is now out of beta

The Unofficial Apple Weblog reports Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection 2 is now out of beta.
This is news that is certain to make Mac based Windows Admins (of which I am one) very happy: Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection 2 is finally out of beta. The final release includes all the new features that Microsoft added, some of the highlights include:

* The ability to open multiple instances of Remote Desktop without resorting to a hack (though I do believe that each connection spawns a new instance of the app itself).
* Redesigned UI
* Support for Network Level Authentication (which makes connections more secure)

You can get more info about this release from the MacBU blog post.