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Java now has a built-in expiration date. What that's about (not obvious at first)

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
If you may have looked at the release notes for the latest (as of this writing) JVM update (Java 1.7 update 21), you may have noticed that it refers to an "expiration date" for this version of the JVM. What's that about, you may wonder?

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Getting around "Invalid screen name or password" error adding comments to Adobe ColdFusion docs

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Hopefully folks know that one can add comments to the documentation on the Adobe ColdFusion docs pages (like that for the the CF9 Developer guide or the CF10, by clicking the "discuss" link at the bottom of any documentation page. You'll be asked to login with a valid Adobe id.

But have you ever found that when you tried that, you get:

Invalid screen name or password. Please try again.

...even though you KNOW that you're entering the right id? Indeed, one that has been used before?

Perhaps it also happens on other Adobe site properties, and the trick I propose may work for you, also.

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CF911: New Adobe document about ColdFusion security hotfixes: required reading, I'd say

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Here's a new document from Adobe (new as of last week, it seems) that you may have missed, but which I would argue is REQUIRED READING for all CF admins and developers:

Important hotfix-related notes for ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion 10

What is this about? and why is it important? Read on below, as the document itself and current links from Adobe don't quite convey its significance, I think. For more perspective, I discuss below both what has happened to many folks after applying ColdFusion security hotfixes in recent years, and how this document helps.

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Solving seeming ColdFusion / MySQL 5.6 incompatibility, by updating CF's MySQL driver

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
If you're running ColdFusion 10 (and perhaps also CF 9 or earlier), you will find that if you update your MySQL installation to version 5.6, you'll get the following error from any SQL you try to run from CFQUERY (and perhaps other CF querying tags, like CFSTOREDPROC):

You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'OPTION SQL_SELECT_LIMIT=DEFAULT'

Summary: There is a reasonable explanation and a rather simple solution: update the MySQL driver that CF is using to at least version 5.1.22 of the driver, the first to support MySQL 5.6, because the one built into CF 10 (driver version 5.1.17) not only does not. More important, that older driver uses something that causes the failure above in 5.6.

That explanation of the "solution" may be enough for some to take the ball and run with it (and if not, I will offer more details on how to do that), though it should be noted that updating the driver is not formally supported, nor is MySQL 5.6 technically supported at all in CF10 (or 9). But for those who will press on knowing that risk, you now know what you need to do.

But as often, there's much more to this than meets the eye, so I hope you will follow along to learn more. I have broken this into two parts:

  • the problem (with what I hope is helpful explanation of what the real root of the problem is),
  • who's to blame (not Adobe, I will argue)
  • and the solution (with some caveats that even experienced folks, or those who don't care about "the problem", should still read.

And again, while I discuss this in the context of CF10, where I've seen the problem happen, it could apply also to CF9 (and it seems reasonable that it would), so all the information still applies, it would seem.

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Helpful keyboard shortcuts for working with "windowed" Remote Desktop: switching windows, more

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
If you're a user of Windows Remote Desktop and a fan of keyboard shortcuts (or someone looking to save time while working with a remote desktop session), you will want to consider this post.

Those who know the value of common Windows shortcuts, like alt+tab, ctrl+escape, alt+home, etc., will know those work against your local machine, unless you open a maximized remote desktop in which case they then work against the remote machine. And that's great, of course.

But what if you have a remote desktop opened as a window (one of many apps visible on your local desktop)? You may find it frustrating, if you mean to be doing the equivalent of an alt+tab WITHIN the remote desktop, while viewing it as a windowed app. The keys will again work against your local machine, like with any app.

Is there a way to do such common keyboard shortcut actions against the "windowed" remote desktop? Yes there is. I find that relatively few people know about these, and most are delighted to learn of them! :-)

Summary

See below for more discussion on these, but briefly...

Note first that you can use ctrl+alt+break to toggle a Remote Desktop between full-screen and windowed mode. That helps make these shortcuts all the more valuable, once you are viewing the "windowed" remote desktop, where you can use:

  • alt+pageUp: to switch application windows on the remote (equivalent of alt+tab)
  • alt+pageDown: to switch "backward" through applications (equivalent of alt+shift+tab)
  • alt+home: to show Windows "start" menu on the remote (equivalent of ctrl+escape)
  • alt+shift+home: to show Windows Task Manager on the remote (equivalent of ctrl+shift+escape)
  • alt+del: to show Window menu (top left menu) in current app (equivalent of alt+space)
  • ctrl+alt+end: to do the equivalent of ctrl+alt+delete on the remote
  • ctrl+alt+plus (the + key): to save screenshot of current remote screen to clipboard (equivalent of PrtSc, the "print screen" button)
  • ctrl+alt+minus (the - key): to save screenshot of current remote window to clipboard (equivalent of alt+prtSc)
  • alt+ins: to cycle through your remote desktop applications, one app at a time (equivalent of alt+escape)

Again, these shortcuts are for using when you are in a *windowed* remote desktop. Beware also that if any don't seem to "work" for you:

  • note that on some keyboards (especially more modern laptops), you may need to press a "function" (or "fn") key to execute the equivalent of one of the keys listed here. For instance, the "break" key may require fn+end, which means that first shortcut above can be a cumbersome four-fingered salute: ctrl+alt+fn+break
  • similarly, you may find that you have more than one set of the needed keys, such as pgup/pgdn, on your keyboard. One pair may appear on the top right, and another on the lower right, and/or within the numeric keypad. Be sure to try both, before giving up.
  • it could be that you don't have the the keyboard "focus" on the windowed remote desktop session. Click within the remote desktop to be sure
  • It may be that your keyboard (especially some modern laptops) may have the pageup, pagedn, home, and other keys used here mapped to some other keycode that Remote Desktop doesn't recognize (even though the keys may "work fine" for you for their normal use on your laptop). I have found a solution to that in 2018 and I intend to do a blog post with more on the solution.

For still more detail and discussion on these keyboard shortcuts, read on.

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Part 3: Adobe hotfix released for "Serious security threat for ColdFusion servers"

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Adobe has come out with a new security hotfix for a very serious attack on ColdFusion servers which had hit many (perhaps most) CF shops over the past couple of weeks, and it's vital that all shops apply that fix. (Even if you think you've protected yourself in other ways

There is a new Adobe CF blog entry pointing to the new hotfix, and I point that out rather than the technote for the hotfix itself, because as often is the case, there has been some useful discussion related to applying the fix. Indeed, there's a warning I've shared there about a problem (hopefully temporary) with the hotfix file for users of ColdFusion 9.0.2. (Update: the confusion about 9.0.2 is resolved. The technote has been corrected. See the comments in the Adobe blog entry for more details.)

Users of ColdFusion 10, 9.0.2, 9.0.1, and 9.0 should certainly proceed to implement the fix.

I address several questions and other observations about this hotfix below.

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Part 2: Serious security threat for ColdFusion servers [now covered by a hotfix]

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Since I posted my entry earlier today about a Serious security threat for #ColdFusion servers [not now covered by a hotfix], I have had many questions and discussions which lead me to share more info.

At first I was adding these as updates to the previous entry, but I fear that some who may have read it earlier in the day may then miss some of this new info, thus this "Part 2". You will definitely want to read part 1 before proceeding here.

[Update: And since writing this entry 2 weeks ago, Adobe has indeed now come out with a hotfix. I have more to say about that in the new Part 3: Adobe hotfix released for "Serious security threat for #ColdFusion servers". While you should proceed to get that fix in place, you'll likely benefit from reading parts 1, 2, and 3, as there's more discussed than just the thread and fix, itself, which could benefit you down the road.]

Among the new information shared below are such things as how the hack worked (not too much detail, though), how to determine what the exploit may have exposed, how to handle resolving things for many sites via scripting, how to lock down the /adminapi, /administrator, and /componentutils directories, and most important, why you should not skip all this just because "we already block all access to the CFIDE/adminapi" (and /administrator and /componentutils)". There may be exposure you're not considering.

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Serious security threat for ColdFusion servers [now covered by a hotfix]

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Hey folks, there's a fairly serious security threat out in the wild, and you may want to check if your server's been hit. (It may be old news to some, but for now it's hitting people in the past week or so.) It's been confirmed to have hit at least CF9 (9.01 and 9.0.2) servers, but it seems it would apply to as well to CF10 or down to CF 7, as it leverages the Admin API.

And note that it's NOT one that you're protected against by having applied CF security hotfixes. (Updated Jan 15 2013, as Adobe now has a hotfix for this. More below.)

There's quite a bit for you to consider regarding this recent threat, as I discuss here.

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