UPC Broadband WiFi Router susceptible to a simple brute force attack

Many Internet users in Ireland are well aware of the Eircom wireless router hack that showed just how easy it would be for someone to compromise the poor security design of some Wifi routers. In Eircom’s case, they were providing all their Broadband customers with routers that could be compromised and accessed by hackers, simply by using the digits of the routers default SSID. Hackers figured out that by using the digits set up by default when you turned on your Eircom wifi router, you could generate the routers password within seconds by compromising the poorly thought out security algorithm.

Now it seems, UPC broadband is the latest Irish broadband provider that could fall foul to potential hackers. It seems our ISPs, in an attempt I can only assume, to make the set up and install of their routers a simple task for their less tech savvy customers – does nothing but create holes for hackers to exploit.

Recently an Irish IT company, discovered that UPC’s broadband routers are susceptible to a brute force attack based on the algorithmn used to generate the passwords that they stick to the back of all their routers.

The hack is definitely not as easy to exploit as the one Eircom introduced, but it’s still very attainable to any serious hacker or even a hobbyist who just wants to leech their neighbours broadband connection.

Check out the article from PlanIT Computing on how UPC’s routers can be exploited and what you can do to prevent an attack on you.


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How to insert a Google Map into a Word Document

Maps for Office : Apps for Office

There are many ways to “skin a cat” as they say. But if you’re looking to do something a little less barbaric such as inserting a Google Map into a Word document, it may not be that straight forward.

If you’re lucky enough to be using the latest version of Word from Microsoft’s Office 2013 suite – things can’t get any easier than using the great Maps for Office app that we recently published to the Office Store. The Maps for Office app allows you to search for a location, add a pin, choose your preferred size and insert the map directly into your document. You can’t really get much easier than that now can you? If you’re interested in finding out more about this app, visit the Office Store and download it today.

TRY MAPS FOR OFFICE (15 Day Free Trial)

If you’re not lucky enough to own a copy of Word 2013, you’re not really out of luck since there are a number of other ways to insert a Google Map into your Word document.

I’ve outlined what I feel is the easiest way to achieve this (without using our app of course!).

First, create your map!

  1. Go to http://maps.google.com and search for the location you wish to use for your map in the search box at the top of the page.
  2. When you’ve found your desired location, it’s time to position it and choose your desired zoom level.
  3. You can click the map and drag it to centre the location on screen.
  4. Click the “+” and “-” buttons on the maps slider to zoom in and out on the map as needed to get the map exactly as you’d like it to appear.
  5. Once you’re happy with how the map looks, you’re ready to insert it into your Word document.~


Insert Google Map into your document…

  1. Open the Snipping Tool program in Windows. Do this by clicking the Windows key on your keyboard and typing “Snipping Tool”.
  2. When the Snipping Tool window opens, select “New” and your mouse cursor will change into a cross hair.
  3. Select the map by clicking, holding and dragging the mouse cursor across the area of the map you’d like to copy
  4. Open your Microsoft Word document, select the location where you would like to place the map into your document and press “Ctrl-V” to paste the map into your document.
  5. And that’s it!

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Maps for Office – App for Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)

Maps for OfficeI’m sure most of you have at some stage wanted to include a map in a document that you want to send to your customers or friends. This tends to be a tedious process. First, you visit your mapping website of choice, i.e. Bing Maps or Google Maps. After searching for the location you want to display, you’d probably take a screenshot, copy the it into paint and crop it to the size you wanted, before then inserting into your Word document.

Well now that process has got a whole lot easier.

If you have a copy of Microsoft Word 2013, you can visit the Office Store and download a free 15 day trial of Maps for Office. Maps for Office is a Google Maps generator that allows you to create maps using Google Maps. All the features you would expect from zooming, Satellite and terrain views and of course searching by location are available in a very neat task panel. From here, you can generate the map exactly as you want it, before clicking a button to insert it directly into your Word document.

This app will also work with Excel 2013 & Powerpoint 2013. Unfortunately you will not be able to insert the generated map into Excel or Powerpoint due to the API limitations of apps for Office.

Maps for Office uses the Google Maps API and although not required, it is recommended that you generate your own Google Maps API key before using the app. You can get your own Google Static Maps API key by following the steps below.


Step 1 : Get a Google Account

Firstly, you will need a Google Account. If you do not have one, you can create one here https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount

Step 2 : Create Your Key at the Google API Console’

  1. Visit the Google APIs Console https://cloud.google.com/console 
  2. Log in with the Google account you just created
  3. Click “Create Project”
  4. Give your project a name and click “Create”
  5. On the resulting page, in the left-hand menu, choose “APIs & Auth -> Registered Apps”
  6. Click “Register App”
  7. Give your App a name and choose “Web Application” under platform.
  8. In the left hand menu, choose “APIs” and Enable Static Maps API.
  9. Return to the Registered Apps page and select the App you created.
  10. Click the “Browser Key” option and you will see your API Key.


Step 3 : Enter API Key into Maps for Office

  1. Copy the API Key value from the “API Access” page in the Google API Console
  2. Click the “Change API Key” link at the footer of the Maps for Office App
  3. Paste your API Key into the “Enter Your API Key” field and choose save
  4. You should now be able to use the Maps for Office app!

This app is also available for purchase  at https://store.office.com/maps-for-office-WA104150524.aspx

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Free Go SMS Pro Themes

If you have an Android phone, you probably love the fact that there are plenty of apps that allow you to customise the look and feel of your Mobile device. Google Play Store hosts lots of different “homescreen launchers” that can easily be themed and modified exactly to your taste. My personal favourite is the Go Launcher homesceen launcher app. The problem with Homescreen launchers is that they tend not to replace the built in Email client, SMS or Phonebook, which means, your homescreen looks great, but once you open a message, you’re back to the dreary old Android default look and feel.

Thankfully, the developers of Go Launcher recognised this fact and developed a host of other apps to replace the default Android applications. So not only can you get a great homescreen launcher, but you can also get your hands on the great Go Contacts and Go SMS Pro.

The name “Go SMS Pro” suggests that this is a paid app and in fairness to the developers, I probably would buy this app, only that it is actually free. You can of course avail of additional functionality by paying a small fee, but the basic free version of the app will be enough for most users.

Once you have Go SMS installed, you can download thousands of themes from the Google Play Store. There are hundreds of free Go SMS Pro themes and plenty of high quality paid Go SMS Pro themes.

From time to time, I like to play around with Go SMS Pro by creating my own  new themes for Go SMS Pro – just to make my phone look, well… great! :)

I decided to release a number of the themes I created on the Google Play Store so everyone can enjoy the apps I’ve created. Here’s a selection of themes that you can download to your phone, but remember, you must have Go SMS Pro app installed on your phone before you can use these. Enjoy!


Free Go SMS Pro Theme

Download Go SMS Pro Underwater Theme

Go SMS Pro Summer Theme

Download Go SMS Pro Summer Clouds Theme

Go SMS Pro How at the Moon Theme

Download Free GO SMS Pro Theme – Howl at the Moon

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Facebook – a place for the old and boring

A few weeks ago, I decided to go cold turkey with Facebook and removed the app from my phone. And I can honestly say that I haven’t missed it one bit.

I guess, like a large majority people, that without even noticing, Facebook had become a big part of my life. Every bored minute I had, would without doubt end up with me looking at Facebook. Whether I was sitting in traffic, waiting on a bus or sitting in a cafe, I would have without doubt navigated my way to Facebook.

To this day I’m still unsure what the draw was for me. Was it that I felt I would miss out on something or that prior wood gear about something before me – I’m really not sure.

What’s probably more surprising is that I’m not the only one tuning out of Facebook. It turns out that teenagers are also no longer interested in being part of the Facebook world. One such teenager recently wrote an article about how she and none of her friends have joined the Facebook revolution.

But this is no surprise to the People at Facebook, they know all about this trend amongst teenagers apparently. Yes, they however believe it is easy to explain. Teenagers they say, are more interested in being easily able to share content via apps such as Snapchat and instagram, and the restrictions imposed by Facebook for teen users is just making it harder for them to share.

I’m not convinced at this response at all. Facebook for me has become a place of utter dribble from middle aged men and women who want to share information to make their dull lives look amazing to people they hardly know.

If I think back to that time long ago when I was a teenager, the last place I’d want to be, is around adults. I certainly wouldn’t want to be around people who like to broadcast to the world how great their other half is, or a long story on the latest, saddest story they can find on the internet. Nor would I want to be bombarded with the type of music my Mam or Dad danced to when they were teenagers.

No, I would want to be as far away from an adult as I possibly could so that I could say what I want, when I want and without a judging adult looking over my shoulder.

Teenagers see Facebook as somewhere their Mam, Dad, aunties, uncles and even their grandparents hang out, hence they turn to somewhere that the old generation have yet to hear of. Facebook just isn’t cool anymore.

How Facebook will fix this is hard to see. It could spell disaster for them in the future of they don’t figure something out.

Facebook is a long way from dying, but could the writing be on the wall? Only time will tell I guess…

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