Thursday, December 17, 2009

X-IM Presents Encrypted Instant Messaging Application.

X-IM is a free secure Instant Messaging and Chat application. Communicate securely with anyone using full 256-bit Strong Encryption. Please see our website for full details about our encryption. There is no need to purchase a separate security certificate or anything else. The X-IM software will generate your own private keys when you install, and you can start communicating immediately with confidence. The interface is extremely intuitive and easy-to-use, whether you're a beginner or a pro. The Standard Version is completely free and fully functioning. The Pro Version removes ads from the interface and adds the ability to send encrypted Memos and File Transfers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Instant Messaging For Enterprises.

Instant Messaging (IM) is getting very wide distributed in business communication. IM has the speed of phone without the interruption of service, and the convenience of email without the any time loss. Main requirements are that the communication is secure, archived, centrally managed and conforms to internal policies. Gartner Technology Business research predicts that by the end of 2010, nearly 100% of corporate PC users with an usual email account will be IM enabled. What about you? Are you there?

"ICQ" For Enterprises

The addition benefit of IM Server to your company gives users the ability to choose the method of communication that best adopted for their needs and work processes. This leads to improved collaboration and productivity for todays fast-paced workplace. By implementing internal Instant Messaging Server, computer users get a secure and managable replacement to popular networks they would be probably using anyways. Trusted users can get access to their AOL account via transport gateway, which provides more control over client software and communication history.

Standards Powered

XMPP (Entensible Messaging and Presence Protocol), also known as Jabber, is the only IETF approved standard for real-time text communication and hence the de facto standard for use in enterprise, goverment and corporate enviroments. Supported by major market players, it is becoming a symbol of convergence and interoperability, for its numerous features, extensions and plugins.

* Presence, Avatars
* Messages, Chat, Multi-User Chat
* File Transfer
* Gateways to Jabber, AOL, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk
* vCards
* Service Monitor Gateway
* GroupWare Monitor Gateway
* IM - Email Interoperability
* Notifications and Alerts: Email, Calendar Events, Tasks
* Secured, closed Intranet configuration possible
* Multi-location architecture for redundancy
* Private and Public services
* Free or restricted account registration
* Widest choice of IM clients, Psi Beta recommended
* Built-in SOCKS proxy server for indirect file transfers

Top Secured

Security features are an important part of all communication products these days and IM Server comes with the best-of-breed features adopted in other server subsystems.

* SSL (Secure Socket Layer) 128-bit encryption, can be forced
* SHA1 login (Secure Hash Algorithm)
* PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) optional message encoding
* Access control to Gateways, Services
* Privacy lists allow/deny based on various criteria (jid, domain, service)
* XEP standard configuration XML files
* Service access limited to listed users
* Allow/ban rules for hostname/IP/external domains
* Server OS report for greater security
* Anonymous communication with trusted hosts


Above presence, chat, conferencing and sending files, users can be notified of incoming e-mails, administrators can be alerted of server status and with GroupWare anyone can display entries in shared calendars of other contacts from their roaster. The integrated IM Server takes the features offered to the maximum, while strictly adhering to policies enforced by the administrator.

* Full Unicode (UTF-8) support, no more issues with non-English alphabets
* IM Archive to comply with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act
* Latest XEP implemetation and conformance testings: Stream Compression, HTTP Binding, Privacy and Security functions, Service (Room/Transport) privacy processing
* IM message delivery via pipes
* SIP SIMPLE supported for presence and chat, tested with Counterpath X-Lite
* Shared roster to automatically populate contacts across a domain

Regulatory Compliance

All conversation between users can be logged and archived for administrative and legal purposes. To comply with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act, there's server-side chat Archive with the possibility of archive rotation and backup. Archives can be automatically deleted after a specified number of days, or kept indefinitely.

* Individual Message History
* Server Message Archive
* History Logging for chat rooms
* Backup Tool integration
* Copy to email option
* Communication can be reviewed in plain text files
* Presence logging, an automatic timesheet

Service Monitor Gateway and GroupWare Integration

After registering the new Service Monitor Gateway in Jabber client, users can see their calendar events, tasks and notes for the upcoming week or subscribe to a coworkers' shared calendar events, tasks, notes and FreeBusy status. All that's needed is to add a specially formatted JabberID to your contacts (roaster). Specifically for administrators, jids for monitoring service status were introduced, with frequent refresh intervals.

* Gateway
* Display status of GroupWare items- quick glance at events, tasks, notes
* Monitor administrator resources status of SMTP, POP3, IMAP, Web, IM, FTP, SIP, GW
* Shared calendars support- displays Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming, FreeBusy status
* GroupWare updated every 30 minutes or upon sending a message to roaster item
* Service Monitor uses 1 minute refresh interval

Transport gateways to most popular networks

Complete IM and SMTP Integration

After registering the new XMPP Email Transport Gateway in Jabber client, IM and email become fully interoperable. Through special URL prefix "xmpp:", IM features can be combined with server Filters and Rules actions, for unlimited usage scenarios.

* Gateway
* URL "xmpp:" support, in such case an instant message is sent instead of email
* Message coming to SMTP is sent to the XMPP server,
* Message sent from IM client to contact is sent to email
* Server Rules and Content Filter - Forward To/Send message XMPP URL "xmpp:" support
* Conditioned IM message delivery, e.g. xmpp:email?online sends emails to IM only if user is online
* Combines with forwarding rules (if message not spam etc.)
* Auto conversion to UTF8 when message is sent from email to IM
* Subject set from the first line of Body if not set at all
* < nick > support added for full display name

Integration Benefits

* Same password for all services, partly single sign-on approach
* Unified policies (passwords, expirations, trusted hosts)
* Centrally managed via the same administration interface
* Specialialized Email, GroupWare and Monitor gateways
* JabberID can be emailed to and vice versa
* Personalized content delivery via Filters, Rules, System Variables

Monday, December 7, 2009

CommFort Software Presents a Voice and Text Chat IM Client-Server for LAN or Internet.


CommFort is a multi-functional client-server LAN/Internet utility, includes an advanced text chat, voice chat and file/folder exchange system. It is powered for its thought-through text chat, which except the usual "smilies" offers convenient image inverting to dialogs. The low-latency voice chat gives the feeling of talking to a person standing next to you rather than sitting a globe away. And sending a file or an entire folder is just a matter of a mouse click; the automatic block size adjustment allows reaching the highest speeds possible when exchanging files over networks with 32 kbps through 1 Gbps of bandwidth. The program takes care of incomplete file downloads, automatically picking up broken file transfers and resuming them when the network is available.

PubliTronic BV Presents NetMessenger IM software


This instant messagin program that can be used for direct instant messaging via intranet, LAN and Internet networks. Unlike the products of instant messaging for Internet developed by other companies, AlpSoft NetMessenger is based on TCP/IP (not UDP) protocol. It supports guaranteed data delivery. AlpSoftNetMessenger was developed with the orientation on effective usage in the business environment.

General features:
Multiple recipients, File transfer, EMail notification, Message Filter and File Transfer are available in the current beta version.High security, AutoAnswering and realtime Direct Chat will be realised in the final version. Main module of NetMessenger has small size (about 190 Kbytes) and don't take a lot of memory resources.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Email messaging will die within 10 years.

According to research done by TalkTalk and the University of Kent it is clear that the trend of emailing seems to be vanished in the coming years. People are now advancing towards some new and modern ways of effective communication like social networking and instant messaging.

These new trends have badly affected the email communication as they have brought more speed and ease with them. Now a day’s people seems to be less communicating via email as they have got some secure social networks for communication and what would be better than an instant message.

The research carried by the above mentioned organizations found that 15 to 24-year-olds are more reliant on instant messengers like Skype and social networks like Facebook than they are on emails. Professor David Zeitlyn from the University of Kent is of the believe that this trend spells the end for email.

The same is case with Fax as the trends of this technology are also decreasing day by day. The less use of these tools and technologies shows that the new society is advancing very fast towards better ways of communicating with their loved one and this changing trend of technology will give birth to a more perfectly technical generation.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Businesses should make next step from email to instant messaging (IM) to improve security.

The stable growing in Web 2.0 communication services such as instant messaging (IM) and social networking networks - plus client-oriented applications that drive the services - means that heightened levels of vigilance are required against links and messages sent from hacked accounts, according to F-Secure.

According to the IT security and malware specialist, instead of logging in and out of the internet to send their email, many users are now constantly online with their computers and mobile phones.

This is, in part, being driven by the fact that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have grown rapidly as people are making use of the constant stream of fast communications that they enable.

Sean Sullivan, a security advisor with the Finland-headquartered F-Secure, said that cybercriminals are increasingly seeing opportunities to make money from hacking Facebook and other social networking accounts.

The high level of personal trust within communities of friends on these social networking services, he said, provides them an ideal cover for scams and for spreading malware.

"Email account addresses can be faked and people are used to getting mails from unknown persons, so they are skeptical of links sent via email", he said.

"It is often more difficult to recognise when a member of their social network has been hacked. People have not yet learned to be skeptical of the links forwarded by their `friends' on social networks, which can lead to infection from malware or to websites promoting rogue products", he added.

Sullivan went on to say that instant messaging is fun, personal and useful but everyone should also be aware of the new security risks involved.

"Links sent from hacked accounts and requests for financial help from so-called friends are bound to increase as social networking sites become ever more popular", he said.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Secure Unified Communications: Secure Connections While on the Move.

Unified Communications routes channels of communication through multiple modalities: email, VoIP, voice mail, cell networks, telepresence, Instant Messaging, etc. Ironically, the greater the number of communication options, the more time-consuming it can be to connect with a specific individual. Also, UC can sometimes present a larger attack surface for those with malicious intent.

Unified Communications (UC) has enormous promise as a coherent, integrated approach to incorporating the full spectrum of business communications modalities, and as direct path to cut through "communications clutter" resulting in accelerated time-to-action. It also offers a cost-effective way to more directly connect the company to its customers, employees to employees, and more tightly bind business partners and suppliers. In the September 2009 Aberdeen Report "Unified Communications: Gaining a Competitive Advantage While on the Move," reducing human latency (the time delay in initiating and reaching a contact) was revealed as a key benefit of UC, resulting in measurably increased efficiency and improved customer Increase Customer Sales with Email Marketing -- Free Trial from VerticalResponse intimacy.

However, these benefits are at risk if the UC ecosystem is not secured from unauthorized use, protected from malware attacks, and compliant with government and industry regulations.

Some of the newest real-time applications of UC are generating the greatest interest -- Voice over IP (VoIP), IP video, presence, instant messaging, Web collaboration -- and they create new security challenges. These challenges are compounded by the expansion of UC capabilities to include mobile endpoints such as smartphones and laptops. Because these devices are typically in motion, their communication paths often traverse the unsecured Internet outside the protection of the organization's firewall, whether via wireless carrier services, WiFi hotspots or other public networks. Securing these new real-time UC applications on mobile endpoints becomes crucial as adoption of UC throughout the enterprise continues apace.

Enterprises extending UC to these devices must contend with security issues such as UC infrastructure authorized access, exposure of enterprise resources and communications to untrusted public and private networks, unsecured physical devices and removable storage media, and uncontrolled or untested applications residing on the devices.
The Rise of Modality Convergence

UC has the potential to increase efficiency, improve customer intimacy and accelerate time-to-resolution for problem-solving and communications.

UC enables optimization of communications routing between several modalities. Examples of UC include receiving voice messages in an email inbox, making phone calls from a laptop computer, transferring calls between a smartphone and a desk phone, and using presence-enabled applications to determine whether the person to be reached is busy, available, in the office or the car, or "Not to be Disturbed."

If an individual or group can be reached by wireless or wireline voice call, voice mail, mobile voice mail, email, mobile email, instant messaging, text messaging, fax, Web conferencing, and now micro-blogging, how does one choose the most time-effective and immediate method of contact?

The irony here is that the greater the number of communications options, the more time-consuming it can be to connect with a specific individual, especially when the available communications modalities are not coordinated or well-integrated. UC therefore becomes increasingly important in mending the fractured digital communications landscape.
Reducing Latency: The Business Value of UC

Reducing human latency is a primary objective of UC. Human latency is defined as the delay in completion of a business process caused by waiting for humans to act on the process.

Best-in-Class companies (those ranking among the top 20 percent across selected performance metrics) were able to reach a designated contact within the organization on the first try 79 percent of the time. This is 39 percent more often than the Industry Average, and more than four times as often as the Laggards. Best-in-Class UC also makes respondents 31 percent faster in their response time to others trying to reach them from both outside as well as inside the organization, more than twice as fast as the Industry Average and over five times that of the Laggards.
Mobile UC

Because UC is ultimately about uniting today's disparate communication modes into an integrated whole, mobility always plays an enabling role. In fact, mobility is the one common denominator in every UC initiative. The recent emergence of the mobile device as the most reliable point of contact for an individual, along with the need to integrate the device into the organization's communications infrastructure, has become one of the primary drivers for increased UC adoption.

Mobile UC is that portion of the UC spectrum dedicated to full UC integration of the mobile client, whether smartphone or laptop softphone. This includes Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC -- see below) and mobile-to-IP-PBX integration. While the number of "road warriors" may diminish due to shrinking travel budgets, it may be the "corridor warrior" carrying their smartphone or laptop from office to conference room and back again who stands to gain the most from an organization's mobile UC initiative.
Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)

FMC is an important waystation on the path to full mobile UC integration because it unites the carriers' cellular wireless and fixed-line communications infrastructures.

When used with supported dual-mode smartphones (WiFi and cellular being the two modes), it can also allow for a seamless handover of calls-in-progress back and forth between Wireless LAN (WLAN), cellular and wireline networks.

A direct advantage of FMC is the routing of voice calls over the WLAN instead of over the cellular network. This provides a direct cost savings, especially as compared to international mobile roaming charges.
Beyond FMC

Mobile UC goes beyond FMC to connect wireline calls and cellular phones, irrespective of geographical location or wireless carrier. It enables a properly equipped mobile phone to appear as a fully-functional extension on the company voice network or Private Branch eXchange (PBX). Just as with desk-bound callers, this allows for the bridging of calls to cellular telephones, extension dialing, and other advanced features familiar to users of desk phones. Users on cellphones can easily transfer calls, conference with other parties, and toggle between multiple calls. Roaming outside the firewall on a public WiFi network can extend this "virtual office" capability anytime, anywhere.

However, along with these advantages come new security concerns. Strong user and device authentication is needed to prevent unauthorized access to the corporate network. Encryption of calls-in-progress to ensure corporate communications privacy over the public IP networks that the call will traverse is also required.
Protecting the Core Business Infrastructure

With the convergence of so many communications modalities within a unified infrastructure, security of the communications content becomes an essential concern. In the June 2009 report "Mobile Device Management: Bringing Order to Enterprise Mobility Chaos," fierce protection of corporate assets from rogue mobile access emerged as a best practice -- with 78 percent of the Best-in-Class enforcing organizational security compliance standards. This is 15 percent more than Industry Average and 70 percent more than Laggards

Despite this best practice, many organizations aren't as proactively protective of their UC assets as they are of their other corporate assets. It's as if there's less awareness of the potential for security risks in the voice or real-time messaging domain.

To those with malicious intent, converged communications can present a larger attack surface than other forms of data. UC introduces more end-points of different varieties and security postures that present a wider variety of potential security gaps. Once an attacker has compromised one point of vulnerability in a UC environment, other UC applications are immediately put at risk.

Only 38 percent of the Best-in-Class have a comprehensive security capability covering a broad range of UC modalities. Even this low rate of adoption far outpaced that of All Other respondents.
The Importance of Securing Real-Time UC

Real-Time UC is that portion of the UC capabilities spectrum that typically takes place in real-time ("synchronous") versus the usually time-delayed store-and-forward forms ("asynchronous"). Examples of real-time UC include "standard" voice telephony, Voice over IP, IP video, telepresence, instant messaging, presence, and Web collaboration. Unlike the asynchronous forms such as email and voice mail, which are often secured using the vendors' bundled security solution, real-time UC is often not secured unless it is addressed by a third-party or add-on appliance, performing deep-packet inspection, providing real-time encryption and decryption, detecting threats, and managing access control and associated UC security functions.

The technical challenges of encrypting and decrypting streaming or real-time media without introducing an unacceptable delay ("processing latency") are significant. Few solutions available on the market today provide zero-latency, fully encrypted, end-to-end, secure, real-time communications beyond the organization's firewall. Performing UC security at line-speed without unduly burdening the existing infrastructure is no small challenge.

This is precisely where the most significant security vulnerability resides -- when the real-time content crosses over the public Internet in its routing path. The combination of mobility and real-time UC are typically the most-in-demand UC capabilities, and in many cases are the primary drivers for broader UC adoption within the enterprise. This underscores the business-critical nature of incorporating a comprehensive real-time UC security solution.
In Summary

UC has enormous potential to integrate multiple business communications modalities into well-integrated communications pathways to enhance knowledge sharing, streamline operations and efficiency, improve workforce collaboration, and increase customer responsiveness. However, the lack of a comprehensive security solution for real-time UC undermines broader acceptance and penetration of UC within the enterprise. One major security lapse reverses years of progress.

On the other hand, within a well-integrated, real-time, secure environment, trust in new communications modalities can be maintained, and UC's promise of measurable efficiency gains may actually be achieved.

By Andrew Borg

Monday, November 9, 2009

VMware presents View 4 with software PC-over-IP.

Today VMware presented the most freshest version of their desktop software product, View 4. This new release has two main new features:

* A software-based, PC-over-IP remoting protocol is built-in
* View now runs on vSphere 4. (Completely new feature!!)

The remaining major features of View have not been updated, including:

* View Composer is the same as before.
* Offline VDI is still experimental.
* ThinApp is the same.
* VMware CVP (the client hypervisor) is still not available. (1H10 is the current ETA.)
* Windows 7 is not supported. (It’s there as “experimental.”)
* RTO Software’s Virtual Profiles product (which VMware announced they would OEM), is NOT yet included.

While there are many advantages to basing your VDI infrastructure on vSphere 4 (which we’ll look at later in this article), it looks like the only major new View-specific feature is PC-over-IP (despite the fact there are hundreds of people on the desktop team).

VMware’s software PC-over-IP protocol better be pretty good!
How good is the software PC-over-IP?

I have no idea. I haven’t used it yet. I did just get the release code from VMware for View 4 over the weekend, so Gabe and I will put it through its tests and see if PC-over-IP is as good as VMware claims it is. For the record, I don’t think PC-over-IP has to be as good as HDX—it just has to be good enough for people to use.

And certainly VMware claims it’s ready. Everyone there seems really proud of the work they did getting PC-over-IP to run in software. They claim their implementation works on the LAN and the WAN and across wide samples of latency, bandwidth, and packet loss. They talk about how it’s dynamically adaptive, both changing as network characteristics change and based on what’s on the screen (apps, text, Flash, etc.). VMware also points out that PC-over-IP remotes the entire client experience, so you get stuff like multiple monitors and USB redirection.

The idea for View 4 is that PC-over-IP will replace RDP with TCX as the “go to” protocol for View and will be used by everyone. My understanding is right now there’s only a client for Windows, but they want to release a Mac client in the future. And software and hardware PC-over-IP clients and hosts will be interchangeable, so you could also use a thin client device with a hardware chip in it with the software PC-over-IP of View 4.

In fact VMware is really proud of the ecosystem developing around PC-over-IP, even releasing a press release talking about it. (Although for some reason the first partner mentioned in the PC-over-IP ecosystem press release is Cisco, and after talking about their WAN optimization which has nothing to do with PC-over-IP, they talk about the security of the Nexus 1000V!?! Come on.. this is a press release just about PC-over-IP!) But if you get through that weird Cisco part of the release, you’ll see HP, Dell, Devon IT, and Wyse talking about how they support the protocol.

Obviously View 4 will still support RDP-based connections as well for older or non-Windows clients. VMware had previously some of Wyse’s TCX extensions for RDP to help make it a better experience. I assume that agreement continues, although I don’t know for sure. (I asked on Friday but haven’t yet heard back on that. I’ll update this when I do.)
Running desktops on vSphere 4

VMware will be spending a lot of time talking about how good vSphere 4 is and why it’s the best platform for desktop virtualization.

That may be true, but what’s kind of weird is that other desktop virtualization products like Citrix XenDesktop and Quest vWorkspace also have the ability to run on vSphere. So a “win” for vSphere, while certainly a “win” for VMware, is not necessarily a “win” for View. (Does that make sense?)

I guess really the win for View when it comes to vSphere is that when you buy View, you get the highest-end edition (Enterprise Plus) included with your purchase. (Brilliant move, btw!) Customers who chose vSphere for with non-View VDI products would have to buy vSphere licenses on top of whatever desktop product they’re using. (And vSphere isn’t cheap, starting a $800 per processor and climbing to a whopping $3500 per processor for the Enterprise Plus edition that comes with View!)

And even though there’s nothing stopping customers from buying the $3500 per processor license for their VDI environments, it’s most likely that customers will opt for one of the cheaper editions, believing that most of the high-end virtualization infrastructure features included in the top package don’t really matter for their VDI desktops. So while that might be true, it also means that since both VMware View editions do include the highest end vSphere edition, you really need to look at those features and consider them as part of the value you get with View that you wouldn’t get somewhere else. For example, VMware Distributed Resource Schedule (DRS) watches server load and dynamically moves VMs (via live migration) across physical hosts. This could allow you to consolidate VMs to fewer servers to shut down hosts to save power. And since DRS is part of the super expensive version of vSphere that’s included with View, you could claim that as a feature of View even though it’s technically made possible by the underlying vSphere.

by Brian Madden

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pidgin. Multi-Protocol Iinstant Messaging Client.

There once was a pidgin, a strange kind of pidgin... I am talking about that latest IM client from the Gaim series, named as Pidgin 2.0.0, which came after a long period of waiting and broke the download tops. Why Pidgin 2.0.0 and not Gaim 2.0.0 is an old story, of which I'm pretty sure you all are aware; the story begins a long time ago, when AOL used to complain about Gaim's original name, GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger. Now, when AOL trademarked the AIM acronym too, Gaim had nothing left to do than change its name again. Pidgin came as the most suitable alternative, as it best describes this application's purpose and usage. The word pidgin defines a second language used as a means of communication between groups of individuals who do not share a common language. Even though it was designed for the Unix-like operating systems, Pidgin can now run on platforms such as Windows, Solaris, SkyOS and Qtopia, beside FreeBSD and Linux of course.

The most popular feature provided by Pidgin would be the support for multiple protocols. Protocols like Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber, IRC, OSCAR (AIM, ICQ), Gadu-Gadu, .NET Messenger Service, Zephyr and others are working just fine with the stable Pidgin 2.0.0 version. Even though it does not offer exotic features, such as webcam support, voice messaging or built-in games, Pidgin gained enough popularity and through this version it has now become the download of the day on many freeware websites.

In order to have Pidgin running on your computer, you must first go through an ordinary manual installation, where you should be asked for some more or less, depending on your system, additional packages. Once you got through with the installation, things become very simple and intuitive. Simple and intuitive are actually the words I also chose to describe this application's interface. With a rather ordinary and not very friendly look, this interface provides a pretty good management and easy access to all of its functions and I must also admit it looks a bit better than the previous version.

At a first run, you will be asked to set up an account, where you will provide all related information, such as protocol, screen name, password, server a.s.o .You can then add (or edit the already existing ones) as many accounts as you want, from the Accounts place on the menu toolbar. You will not need any buddy list import as this is done automatically. It also benefits from a long plug-ins list that should provide you features such as auto-accept file transfer or the possibility to autoreply for
all used protocols. Another thing one could find useful would be, in my opinion, the way it handles the user's privacy. The privacy tool provides a well-defined list from where you can select which users are allowed to contact you and which of them are not. Any change will take place immediately. If you take a look at the Tools you will find also other exciting features provided by Pidgin. The one I liked the most was the Buddy Pounces. This option allows you to set alerts for whenever one or more of your buddies you select signs on/off, becomes idle or goes out of idle, goes away a.s.o. The alert you can set is either a notification or a sound or even a command that would be executed anytime the pounced buddy performs one of the selected actions.

Pidgin also provides an easy way of accessing the configuring panel for your preferences. The Tools -> Preferences path opens a dialog where you can define your own preferences regarding the interface, sounds, network connection or check options such as chats logging or the way according to which your status is turned to idle. This dialog also provides options related to the text formatting, such as font type, size or color. The themes list does not offer you many options by default; you can select the none option which will disable graphical emoticons or the default Hylke Bons, which is pretty simplistic and neither does it come with sophisticated pallet of graphical features. But you can install new themes very easily by simply dragging and then dropping them onto the themes list.

Contact aliasing and grouping multiple buddies into a single contact can also be counted among the enhancements Pidgins enjoys. I could also give it some credit here for the interesting way it manages the conversations using tabbed message windows and to the clever options of hiding/showing the empty groups or the offline users.

The Good

With an impressive power of customization, Pidgin 2.0 comes with all the good stuff provided by the former Gaim. The text-only version, here called Finch (which was formerly known as gaim-text), allows you to chat with your buddies from a command line in the same way as if you were in a graphical environment. The default configuration is worth mentioning too, as I find it very useful. For example when you close it, Pidgin goes to the system tray; in older versions I had to make this happen by myself.

The Bad

What I don't like about this version is that, the same as with the previous ones, it lacks themes, and the user interface is quite simplistic, not to say too standardized to a much too common model. I would also like to mention here the lack of support for webcam or voice messaging.

The Truth

Pidgin is an instant messaging client compatible with a variety of platforms, supporting a wide range of protocols and offering the possibility to log in to multiple accounts simultaneously. It comes with many popular features, such as file transfer and typing notifications but it also brings up unique ones, and a pretty large plug-ins collection.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Network Software Solutions Presents MyChat 4.3

MyChat is a client-server based chat software, it is perfectly organized for message sending and an exchange of files in a network.

MyChat can be runned in corporate or intranet networks, and also through the Internet.

The product will be useful to the companies to which need a resource of corporate dialogue, but usage of such IM systems, as ICQ is inadmissible because of possibility of information leakage. With MyChat such problems will not be: you install a server and can inspect all.

Possibilities of system will pleasantly surprise even the most exacting users. Program installation, and also its usage will not cause any difficulties.

Built-in FTP server - There is a built in own file multithreaded FTP server in MyChat. It uses for an auto update of clients when new versions are released and for exchanging files between users.

Alert messages - It is possible to send the important message to any amount of people in a chat. Also it is possible to request a confirmation about perusal to be assured that your message has been read.

History of messages - Dialogue history in common and private channels in the convenient form with possibility of search of messages on date, channel or user.

Script engine - With the help of script engine MyChat Script Language the server can handle various events that allows MyChat to co-operate with already working systems in your company.

The panel of contacts - Organize the list of the contacts. MyChat even can create it automatically for you!

Logging of all events - The server can record absolutely all: from system messages to private talks.

User groups - For more floppy control users can be united in various groups. Assign the rights to administrators, operators and usual users!

Obscene words and flood - Effective methods for usage limitation in a chat of obscene lexicon and the warning of spams-dispatches.

Ignoring - Someone too bothers you in a chat? Bring him in the ignore-list, and he cannot disturb you any more.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nuotex Presents An Instant Messaging Tool For Yahoo Messenger.

BuddyCheck tool will scan the hidden online status of your Yahoo! instant Messenger friends. It will constantly check to see if they are online, even if they are changed status to invisible or are using any hidden mode. It will notify you using a tray area balloon when a contact login on or off. It does this by sending special messages to the Yahoo! Messenger server from a separate account which you must create. You could use your regular Yahoo! Messenger account for this, but this is not recommended since only one application can be logged in at any given time into one account. You can customize the period after which each contact is checked again for change, and you can set individual checking periods for some of your contacts. You can also easily import contacts from any Yahoo! Messenger account that you have.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Security Of Instant Messaging Is Important Thing.

Instant messaging (IM) software, such as Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk, have moved beyond the world of high school chatter and into the world of corporate communications. Yet, in many cases, security policies and processes haven't caught up to this technology. It's now time to consider how instant messaging is, and should be, used in your organisation, and how to protect against IM threats.

Instant messaging policies

The first step is to clearly state your organisation's policy on instant messaging. Can users install and use IM software on systems owned by the organisation? If you have a strict "no outside software" policy, you may think you're covered, but keep in mind that Windows XP SP2 ships with Windows Messenger installed, creating a policy loophole.

Here's a set of questions you should consider when defining your organisation's IM policy:

Is IM use permissible on your network?
May users run IM software on systems owned by your organisation?
Does the organisation endorse/require a specific IM platform?
Is encryption mandatory?
Is IM acceptable for corporate use or for personal communications only?
Are there restrictions on the sensitivity of data that may be communicated via IM?
Is there a requirement to retain records of IM communication for any period of time?
Once you have a clear policy on IM use, educate your users on policy requirements and their responsibilities.

Instant messaging security measures

If you decide to allow instant messaging, blanket it with layers of protection to ensure you're organisation is protected against the viruses, worms and other malicious code that's become prevalent on IM networks. Run a modern antivirus program that includes IM scanning on all workstations, and consider a using network-based content filter that scans IM traffic for malware.

You also want to prevent the threat of eavesdropping on your traffic as it traverses public networks. Out of the box, IM software uses public servers hosted by the IM provider, which means all messaging must traverse the public Internet on its way to and from the server. If you think your users might send sensitive messages through IM (accidentally or intentionally), you should strongly consider encrypting that traffic. Unfortunately, encrypted IM is a relatively immature technology that typically requires a specialized client. One standout in this field is the free Trillian client by Cerulean Studios, which supports multiple IM networks and allows encrypted communications with other Trillian users.

The ultimate option in secure instant messaging is to run your own managed IM server or gateway. This eliminates the threat of outsiders intercepting internal messages as they cross the Internet by keeping the traffic on the local network, and it's actually easier than you might think. Many of these products allow you fine-grained control over the types and destinations of IM traffic on your network. In addition to the commercial products available, you may wish to consider the open-source Jabber IM server project.

Instant messaging is here for the foreseeable future and poses a significant challenge to information security professionals. If you're not able to block IM completely due to business requirements, you should certainly consider implementing strong controls to limit the risk this technology poses to your organisation.

Recommanding a program, Colasoft Capsa, to check if your IM is communicating safely.

By Mike Chapple From SearchSecurity

Wu Weisheng Presents LuLu Messenger version 2.3.0 for LAN

LuLu Messenger is a cool and easy to use software designed for chat and file exchange over a LAN network.

There are some key benefits of "LuLu Messenger for LAN":

· Instant Messages
· Picture Transfer
· Smileys
· Screenshot Transfer
· Files and Directory Sending
· Files and Directory Sharing
· Carbon copying(Cc, c.c.) Message
· Broadcast Messaging
· Platform Independent
· Handsome GUI
· IP Multicast Protocol
· Fast Transfer Speed
· Support Custom Faces
· Support Custom Emotions
· Language Customization Support
· Based on High-performance and Real-time ACE Network Library
· Based on Qt High-level GUI Library

Sunday, September 13, 2009

IMbrella Released An Instant Message Monitoring Software IMbrella Enterprise Monitor 3.0

IMbrella Software, a global supplier of instant message monitoring software to enterprises and educational organizations, has presented version 3.0 of its well-known IMbrella Enterprise Monitor. The latest version employs IMbrellas patent pending MessageStorm Technology to eliminate the need for custom hardware and/or proxy resets on every network PC.

While other IM monitoring solutions asks expensive hardware gateways or time-consuming proxy configuration, IMbrella can be installed on any admin PC station with entrance to the network. IMbrellas powerful new technology watches all network traffic, filtering and recording all IM sessions including AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ chat. Until now, secure instant messaging was an incredibly arduous mission for overworked IT Managers and CTOs," said Marty Schultz, President of IMbrella. Our latest release literally drops in and starts recording in minutes."

A free 15-day demo of IMbrella v3.0 with MessageStorm is now available at:

About IMbrella

IMbrella helps companies and schools harness the power of instant messaging while mitigating its liabilities. The Company is dedicated to providing an affordable tool whose simplicity and functionality helps overworked IT managers safeguard the exploding use of IM in their organization.

Based in Salem, NH, with offices in the Bay Area and South Florida, IMbrella now provides the most advanced and affordable software solution for organizations seeking to reduce the risks of unregulated instant messaging on their network. Transparent to network users, IMbrella installs on a central server in minutes (with no added hardware required) and immediately starts scanning and archiving all instant message traffic, including: AOL, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ. IMbrella is used by companies and schools to detect compliance violations, sexual harassment, intellectual property disclosures, copyright/patent infringement, excessive usage and insider trading.

New Message Processing Platform Is Presented by Sendmail

Sendmail, Inc., a supplier of secure email and instant messaging infrastructures, presented its latest version of its Sentrion Message Processing Engine, Sentrion MPE 4.0, at VMworld 2009 held in San Francisco this week.

According to a statement the Sentrion MPE 4.0 key new features consist:

* Centralized Reporting and data aggregation with on-demand, template-driven reports, and customizable report execution.
* System and Application Monitoring of the entire MPE, including hardware, OS and all MPE components.
* Full Configuration Version Control for tracking and managing all system configuration changes with support for full roll-back and configuration tagging.
* New Graphical User Interface consolidates the previous component-based interface segregation by collapsing the most critical Sentrion MPE components under a common UI framework.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

LAN Messenger in Win Popup Style. IP messenger.

IP LAN Messenger is a software tool that suggest you to exchange messages via the IP number of PC stations within designated blocks of IP addresses. If you manage thousands of IP addresses, you can send chat to thousands of computers. This unique application is made for using within your IP adresses range allocated to your business network. It also offers with realtime statistics which display you successes and failures of application.

IP Messenger also scan people who are using it in the network and automatically adds them your buddy list with the name set in the software. Its an open source, multi platform messenger based on TCP/UDP. IP Messenger also available in languages like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Instant messaging security. What are key factors?

Business IT message board users generally trust that the key factors around IM security is policy, enforcement and training. Apparently, individual business structures should solve how far they want to go with each of these, depending on the nature of the risk and its potential impact on the business processes, write Kate Danbury, head of information security, and Ollie Ross, head of research, at The Corporate IT Forum.

Everywhere, there is rising pressure from within corporates for IT to provide communication and collaboration technologies that users are familiar with and use extensively in home and social environments: most notably instant messaging. Instant Messaging supports productivity; it's fast, it's easy to use and it's the tool of choice for the new generation of office workers.

But from security sign, its risks are comparable with e-mail. It might also impact workforce productivity - at least until the novelty of 'chat' wears off - it can shortcut processes and undermine reporting and approval mechanisms, it's causal quality can be inappropriate for business conversations, and it can have an adverse impact on your network traffic. So deploying or switching on IM requires very careful consideration.

Firstly, decide where you would use instant messaging. Don't assume it's an all-or-nothing choice. Many of our members use IM internally across the enterprise without opening up the capability externally. Others use it as an effective tool between trusted partners (e.g. in an outsourced or support relationship). External IM is rarely used by businesses in the broader, public arena, thus minimising the risks associated with opening up the network.

Then decide what tool might best suit your requirements. Typically Forum members use proprietary solutions in-house rather than relying on consumer social networking tools.

Next, determine how IM may be used. Ensure your acceptable use policy offers clear guidelines around appropriate and inappropriate use, and that these really are understood and accepted by your users.

And finally, put a process in place that enables you to understand how instant messaging is being used, by whom and for what purpose. It's is widely recommended that usage is recorded and monitored. It is therefore auditable. Make sure your employees know this and understand the implications.

As drivers and business cases for collaboration increase so, too, does the risk that IT security becomes a business disabler. IM might offer true opportunities for your organisation. Or it could lead to real problems. It's a fine balance between having a 'safe and secure' network and helping the business to be as agile and reactive as it wants to be. And it's also very much about trust.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Microsoft® Office Communicator service extended the Secure Instant Messaging (IM)

Improve office co-workers abilities to find and communicate with each other.

Herndon, VA (PRWEB) August 11, 2009 -- Apptix (OSE: APP), the leading supplier of hosted Microsoft Exchange email, Microsoft SharePoint communication services, and VoIP phone services for small and medium businesses (SMBs), today presented it has extended the Secure Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence capabilities of its hosted Microsoft® Office Communicator service to mobile devices.

The service, Office Communicator Mobile, is a unified communications client that extends the reach of Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) secure IM subscriptions to mobile devices. Integrated with Microsoft Exchange, mobile users can directly access contacts within their Global Address List, and use the application's real-time presence information to learn another person's availability and status. Users can even choose to be alerted when contacts become available.
Directly from their mobile device, users can chat, one-on-one or with a group, in secure IM sessions with other Microsoft Communicator users - using a computer or mobile device. The mobile service features the rich IM capability with the familiar look and feel of the desktop version of Microsoft Communicator.

"By extending secure IM to mobile devices, Apptix enables employees to communicate and collaborate more productively," said Rick Rumbarger, Vice President of Product for Apptix. "Our service provides businesses the freedom to communicate using Instant Messaging from desktop to mobile within a secure environment."

Office Communicator Mobile is available for free to subscribers of Apptix's secure Instant Messaging and Web conferencing services, and is applicable for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Java enabled mobile devices. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Air Messenger LAN Server

The Air Messenger LAN Server is the most powerful network wireless instant messaging software available that has been developed especially for the LAN environment. With Air Messenger LAN Server running on a one workstation allows your entire office to send alphanumeric pages to anyone without the need of a modem line at each work station. All pages are sent over your existing network to the Air Messenger LAN Server for processing. Additional support has been implemented for SNPP that allows other messaging software that conforms to the SNPP protocol to send messages through the Air Messenger LAN Server as well (SNPP Forwarding Proxy Server). The Air Messenger LAN Server also supports ETAP which allows for message delivery confirmation when used with SMS systems like Nextel or other Digital Cellular Carriers. New in 5.0, the Kenwood FleetSync protocol was add. This allows you to send text message to your Kenwood FleetSync enabled 2-Way radios. Air Messenger LAN Server is a must-have for organizations that depend on alphanumeric messaging devices. In version 6.7 MX record lookup has been added for quicker delivery of e-mail pages as well as SSL (secure Socket Layer) support so that WCTP pages can be sent securely. Also in 6.7 a new mobile client has been added to allow mobile users to use the client independent of the server or connect through the server when in the office. The mobile client will also provide redundancy by downloading the data locally and using this data in stand alone mode should their be a LAN connection failure.

Key Features Of
Air Messenger LAN Server

Designed to integrate seamlessly into an existing network environment, Air Messenger LAN Server manages who sent what message to whom, and when. Taking full advantage of a networked environment. For current Release Notes click here.

* SNPP Forwarding Proxy Server
* SNPP Server Option
* ETAP Support for message delivery confirmation
* SMS Messaging Via GSM SMS Compatible Mobile Phone
* Send Pages Via SNPP, WCTP, TAP, Direct Connection TAP, or E-Mail
* SSL Support for WCTP.
* AM Mobile Client (Application for both standalone and client operations)
* Supports Kenwood's FleetSync Protocol.
* Delivery Fail Redundancy
* Internet Ready
* RAS Dial-Up for Internet (Win9x)
* Uses Windows Modem Drivers For Simple Setup
* Security Restriction When User Log-On Option Is Used
* Multiple Department User/Group Lists
* Manage Shared User/Group Lists
* Easily Runs On Any Work Station or Server
* Adjustable Scheduling
* Error Notification And Deliver Notification To Clients
* E-Mail Paging (MX,SMTP, POP3, Windows Messaging)
* Windows Messaging Support For E-Mail Paging
* Built In Web Server For Web Paging
* Built In SMTP Server For E-Mail Paging
* HDML Support for Cellular Web Browser Paging
* Detail Transaction Logging
* Multiple and Printable Reports
* And Many More Features
* Y2K Compliant

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Microsoft fights again IM spammers.

Redmond files law suit against firm accused of spimming Windows Live Messenger customers.

Microsoft has filed a law suit against mobile ringtone firm as part of its ongoing efforts to clamp down on instant messaging spam messages, which it says undermines users’ online privacy and security.

In a blog posting, Microsoft associate general counsel for internet safety enforcement, Tim Cranton, said Redmond is alleging that Funmobile “conducted a significant campaign to undermine the privacy of Windows Live Messenger customer accounts and to ‘spim’ our customers’ contacts”.

Microsoft is seeking to recover monetary damages as well as an immediate injunction to stop the activity. “Above all, we hope the lawsuit will send a clear message to all potential perpetrators that this kind of activity is not tolerated on our networks,” wrote Cranton.

Microsoft is alleging that Funmobile sent bogus IMs to customers, who were then asked for their IM username and password to log in. Once obtained by the company, these were then used to gain access to these accounts.

“They then ‘scraped’ or ‘harvested’ the contacts within each user’s account, and sent unsolicited bulk IMs to each of his or her contacts,” wrote Cranton.

Mickael Remond, chief executive of enterprise IM provider ProcessOne said the case highlights the dangers of using public IM clients.

“As enterprises increasingly use IM and chat applications for internal and customer communications, security is more important than ever,” he added.

“Enterprises need to be able to define the scope of their IM communications, and be able to set secure parameters. One of the benefits of IM over e-mail for enterprise security is actually that you can blacklist servers that can't be trusted, but also whitelist servers - for clients and partners, for example – who can be trusted.”

Phil Muncaster, 18 Jul 2009

Are You Sure About Your Instant Messaging Software Safety?

Instant messaging communication is a general and simple computer process involving PC users all over the world. It exists in peer to peer, spoken, written or gesticulated form. Today I'm going to concentrate on an instant messaging type of communication due to the fact that a vulnerability was identified in Lotus Instant Messenger. I suppose most of you know what instant messaging is. In fact, the name instant messaging can speak for itself. A potential denial-of-service vulnerability can be prompted by certain malformed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) records which make the IBM® Global Security Toolkit (GSKIT) component fail and thus provoke the application to terminate.

I suppose that most of you really know what Instant messaging is. However, in order to know more about it, let me remind you briefly what it is. Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is transmitted through devices connected over a network like the Internet. Next, do you know what Web conferencing is? Web conferencing is used to organize live meetings or presentations through the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants through the Internet. This can be either a downloaded application on a computer of each of the attendees, or a web-based application where the attendees go to a URL or in other words website address, to get in the conference.

So what is IBM Lotus Sametime? According to Wikipedia, IBM Lotus Sametime is a client-server application and middleware platform that offers real-time, unified communications and collaboration for enterprises. Those capabilities involve presence information, enterprise instant messaging, web conferencing, community collaboration, and telephony capabilities and integration.

Some features of Lotus Instant Messaging might be similar to other well-known instant messaging programs on the net, for example Skype or Yahoo! Messenger. One of the files related to Skype include but are not limited to the following: SkypeIEPlugin.dll. Also, some of the files related to Yahoo! Messenger might include but are not limited to the following: YAHOOM~1.EXE and ymsgr_tray.exe.

How can attackers exploit the Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing vulnerability? The Sametime server in IBM Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing 6.5.1 creates error messages for a failed logon attack with different time delays which depend on whether the user account exists. This allows remote attackers to enumerate valid usernames.M3.jpg

Sametime integrates with a wide array of software, including Lotus collaboration products, Microsoft Office productivity software which incorporates Microsoft Outlook, portal and Web applications. Some of the files related to Microsoft Office might include but are not limited to the following: bcmsqlstartupsvc.exe, mofl.dll and owc11.dll. Also, some of the files related to Microsoft Outlook include but are not limited to the following: ACCWIZ.DLL, cb5.dll, DATAACC.EXE, EFD.EXE and gapi.dll. This vulnerability only affects IBM Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing (Sametime) servers that have configured SSL connections with their LDAP server. What is the solution to this security issue? In order to fix this particular problem, customers should upgrade their version of GSKit. When and how should they upgrade GSKit? What particular version of GSKit should you upgrade to? The answer is provided below:

* Sametime 2.5 and earlier versions did not contain GSKit; so no action is not needed for these customers;
* Windows servers: GSKit version and any higher version of 6.0.5.xx does not contain the vulnerability.


Friday, July 17, 2009

IM Applications for IPhone. What's new in instant messaging software tools?

When push notification was installed to the iPhone system, a many of people were trying Instant Messagess pushed to their iPhone. I’d always figured Instant messaging applications were based around the “instant” part of the phrase, and someone pushing an IM to me might be disappointed if I don’t get back to them right away. Well, guess who’s been a big iPhone Instant Messenger since 3.0 came out? Go on, you’ll never guess. Yep, it’s me. I’d like my crow with a side of au jus, and a loaded baked potato, please.

First a quick word of warning: by no means are my comments here to be construed as any sort of a formal review. While I’ve tried to run all of these apps through their paces, I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling any of my comments a review — they’re more like first impressions.

That said, while there are 10 apps we tested out, it quickly became clear to me this was a race between Beejive and IM+ Push. The important criteria for me were: the ability to connect to multiple IM protocols (and multiple accounts of the same protocol), the ability to do push notifications, and the app not requiring its own server-side account to operate. Price, as they say, was no object. When you get right down to it, the difference between many of these apps is only $5-7. My afternoon brownie indulgence costs more than that.

Over the last week, I’ve been receiving push notifications from at least one of these apps during testing, if not more than one, and I didn’t notice a detrimental effect on my battery life — with the usual disclaimer that if I spent my entire train ride home IMing friends, I’d see a battery hit.

Without further ado, here are my findings.

IM+ with PushIM+ Push ($9.99)

IM+ Push is a very full-featured app with two specific features I enjoyed: I can set how long I’m online for up to three days (perfect for getting through a weekend); and I can change the wallpaper behind the messages. However, I found the app overall a tad on the slow side. As a speed comparison, by the time I had opened IM+ and viewed the IM, I would have also replied to the IM in Beejive. While it does claim to connect to Skype, I had some issues getting it connected, and never got a push from Skype.

IM+ LiteIM+ Lite (Free)

IM+ Lite is the free version of IM+ Push and the only differences between the two are that you can’t change the wallpaper and the push notifications are email only.

BeejiveBeejive ($9.99)

I found Beejive to be the fastest app in my tests. I could very quickly see what IMs had arrived, preview them and reply to them. Like IM+, I can change the background, but I can only be online for up to 24 hours (which was the standard time period for all the apps). There was one nice feature I found in Beejive that I couldn’t find a corresponding setting for in IM+: I can set how long I show as “available” after I close the app. One of the chief complaints from people I was IMing during this test were the frequent “crumpy is available”/”crumpy is away” notifications they were receiving. By staying “available” for 20 minutes, the person I was IMing with had a much better experience. It was a minor detail I hadn’t thought of until a few people complained about it.

One other feature I liked is I can set how many IMs from contacts are shown when I launch the app. The default is I only see the most recent message from each contact, but I set it do display more, up to and including all messages.

AgileAgile Messenger with Push ($9.99)

For the price, I found Agile Messenger to be a very poor solution. You can only connect to one account of each protocol (I have two AIM accounts: my personal and a work one). I also found the type size on the IMs to be too small to read, and there was noticeable lag when typing.

AIMAIM ($2.99/Free)

There are two AIM apps from AOL, one that’s free and one that’s $2.99. I’m grouping them together since the only differences between the two are that the free one has ads and the paid version does not. While I found the app to be very responsive, there are two big issues I had: I can only be signed into one AIM account, and all push notifications have an SMS-style popup. I couldn’t stop the pop-ups, but I could control how much information was displayed — the ranges are from “new IM” to the full contents of the IM, including sender information. The only reasons I’d recommend this app is if money really is an object, you only have one AIM account, and don’t mind the obtrusive pop-ups.

YahooYahoo! (Free)

Well, about all I can say is, “Yep, it connected to Yahoo.” You can only connect to one Yahoo account and there is no push notification, nor any announced plans for push.

PalringoPalringo (Free)

In my tests, Palringo failed on liftoff. It requires a server-side account, and when I went to setup the account via the iPhone app, the captcha image didn’t even display — really, who needs captcha on an iPhone app? The app does not currently do push, although as of this writing they have submitted a push version for approval. At this point, for a free IM app, I’d recommend IM+ Lite over this one.

skypeSkype (Free)

Since the purpose of this article is IM apps, I’m going to gloss over the voice portion of the Skype app, which is arguable its greatest benefit. However, I was able to connect to my Skype account and IM with friends just fine. There are no push notifications for IMs, however.

Fuze MessengerFuze (Free)

Fuze is another one that requires its own server-side account to run. You can also only connect to one account of each protocol, and there are no push notifications. Also, for some reason even after quitting the app, it kept me online, but I didn’t receive a test message I sent myself when I logged back in. As with Palringo, if you need an IM app that’s free, go with IM+ Lite.
Chart of Instant Messenger Features

For free apps, IM+ Lite blew the doors off the competition. I could connect to multiple protocols and multiple accounts.

In the paid category, while it was a close race, I felt Beejive edged out IM+ Push. While the ability to stay online longer than 24 hours was nice, I felt the speed and the ability to quickly see received IMs edged Beejive over the finish line.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Secure Peer-to-Peer Networks Give Trust to File Exchange.

These local Peer-2-Peers LANs let you transfer files of any kind with your close friends only, wasting concerns over virus dangers that have discouraged many people from using public file-sharing networks like Kazaa, Emule, Torrent.

Jackson West, PC World

Stephane Herry says that he founded his private file-sharing network GigaTribe out of frustration at not being able to share files with his friends on Kazaa. Every time he searched for a file that he knew a friend had uploaded, he saw only similar files uploaded by strangers.

Why not, Herry thought, create a peer-to-peer (P2P) application that permitted only trusted sources to share files? Such a network would be far more secure, because you’d be sharing files exclusively with people you know and trust--not with complete strangers, some of whom may wittingly or unwittingly be spreading viruses.

Herry’s idea is proving to be popular. Some of the biggest names in public peer-to-peer file sharing now offer private alternatives. In its latest release, venerable file-sharing client LimeWire now allows users to share files privately with contacts that it pulls from Google or LiveJournal contact lists. Azureus Vuze, a popular BitTorrent client, added a FriendBoost feature to speed torrent downloads by sharing them within a group of trusted users.

In the past few years, private file sharing has evolved, steadily improving in speed, security, and functionality. Depending on what you're looking for, you can probably find a software product or Web app that’s perfectly suited to help you and your friends (or coworkers) share anything from spreadsheets to home movies legally, safely, and privately.

We took a look at four applications that promise secure, efficient file sharing among private groups: QNext, GigaTribe, 2Peer, and LogMeIn's Hamachi.

QNext; click for full-size image.File sharing is just one of the features offered by QNext. It's primarily designed to serve as an integrated communications suite, with IM, voice, and video-chat components. But it also allows you to share files securely--with no size restrictions--and it has special photo and music capabilities as well. Finally, QNext even lets you gain remote access to your computer through a standard Web browser.

Installation and set up are painless. You simply download the software (QNext is available from PC World's Downloads library), install it, and create an account--and you can begin adding IM accounts and creating folders of files that you want to share. Network configuration and input device detection--for hardware such as microphones and cameras--is automatic. To add friends, you enter your log-in data for popular instant messaging systems like AIM and Google Talk, and then ask your friends to download, install, and register for QNext.

Once you have one or more friends enrolled in your list of QNext contacts, you can set up shared folders through “zones.” Click File, Share Content to open the QNext explorer. Then click Share Folders and Files and drag and drop the data you want to share. You can set up secure sharing by adding only QNext contacts, or you can make the files publicly available to anyone with a Web browser by selecting 'Broadcast to Web browsers'.

The interface of the application opens with a vertical list of contacts from the IM accounts that you added during initial setup. You gain access to more features, options, and settings by clicking the blue monitor icon for the Explorer. In the Explorer you set up groups of shared files and folders, as well as permissions for access--one folder could be public, another could be for one specific user. The Explorer is also where you manage other settings, including chat, video, and audio. From there, you can set up shared files and folders, and browse and search data that others have shared with you.

One particularly nice aspect of QNext is that other users needn't have the application installed in order to receive messages, shared files, or photos, or even to listen to music streamed from your shared library. QNext's servers make much of your content available publicly via browsers, if you wish, so you can simply send a URL over IM or e-mail. If you want the transfers to be private and secure, however, both parties must have QNext installed.

You'll also need to have QNext turned on and running if you or your contacts need to access the data or use the machine via remote access. This is great if you have a machine at home or at the office that is online around the clock anyway. If you use a laptop, turning off your machine, letting it lapse into sleep or standby mode, or losing your Internet connection will cut off anyone who is connected to a download or stream from one of your music playlists.

Another potential bottleneck is bandwidth. Contacts can access files and streams only as fast as your machine can upload--and since most personal users on networks have limited upstream bandwidth, simultaneously downloading or streaming more than a few files music from your machine will quickly push it to the limit.

QNext is a free download available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Versions for the iPhone, the iTouch, and Google Android-powered smartphones are currently in the beta stage.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Opera Browser Application Unite – File Sharing, Instant Messaging, Note Taking & more.

Unite is a ‘plugin’ that was installed to a version of Opera 10 Beta. It’s an incredibly small server integrated into the Opera browser. This platform enables you to run various plugins or mini applications that accomplish different tasks such as file sharing, note sharing, photo sharing, secure notes and instant messaging.

Unite eliminates the need for a third party server that would normally proxy or relay the content, such as Yahoo Messenger, Flickr, Twitter. It’s essentially like setting up a web server on your own computer, without the hassle of manually installing various software, configuring them and getting a DNS (Domain Name System) account. It also makes the installation of new functionality a “point and click” process.

You will now be able to start any of the services listed in the left sidebar, such as file sharing. They are designed to be extremely easy to use. For example, to enable File Sharing, click on the File Sharing icon and then on Start. To protect your privacy, it will ask you to select the folder that you want to share.

After you click the OK button, a web page will open that will showcase the content you selected in the previous step. On the left, you’ll see your files, on the right the instructions for sharing with your friends and the permissions. All your friend has to do to access the files is to paste the link given in the right sidebar. A regular webpage will appear in your friend’s browser along with download links for all the files.

All the files are hosted on your computer and are never transferred to Opera’s servers. For the duration you wish to allow users to connect to your Unite services, you need to have the computer and browser open. Be aware that transferring unencrypted sensitive information is not recommended, as all transfers are done using HTTP. The Photo, Media and File Sharing use the same underlying technology while adding specific controls for each media type like a Flash music player and photo thumbnails.

This technology is not limited to the 5 bundled applications: Fridge (secure notes), Lounge (instant messaging), Photo and File Sharing, Media Player. It’s open to developers and uses well-known open standards such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Below is a screenshot of the Lounge, a quasi-instant messaging application. To invite other people, the host needs to send a link to the other participants. They can use any modern web browser to join the discussion. It is similar in functionality to a private IRC channel.

The Fridge application lets you leave notes for friends or yourself, similar to the ‘Wall’ on Facebook or direct messaging in Twitter.

You can write applications — in the form of Opera Unite Services — that use this server to serve content to other Web users. Why is this exciting? Well, it allows you to interact with contacts, sharing data and services without the need for any third-party Web sites/applications to be involved at all. –Opera Developer Blog

Opera lets the geeks get a taste of the next paradigm shift in web browsing, a great way to win hearts, minds and developers. I’ve radically changed my tune about Opera after hearing from tens of fans and Thomas Ford, Communications Manager.

I invite each one of you to give Opera Unite a try. Download the alpha which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux; and let us know what you think in the comments. What applications should the developers start working on to further extend Unite’s functionality?

Author: Stefan is a computer science student who enjoys coding in C++, playing with 'network security' and supporting FLOSS. He's the guy behind the Tux Geek.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Secure Instant Messaging Issues

Many people talk about safety in the corporation from intruders—including, perhaps, its own employees. But who's protecting your instant messages from hackers attacks? Most companies don't pay a big attention for some personal calls, e-mails, and IMs, as long as the privilege isn't abused. But don't forget—they can legally monitor conversations on their equipment, whether phone or computer. So not only are your e-mails fair game, but so are your IM sessions.

While we're sure your messages are entirely wholesome and aboveboard, we're equally sure there are some you'd rather not have bandied around the department or forwarded to everyone. Fortunately, you can secure your personal IM messages without too much difficulty. Bear in mind, however, that no encryption scheme prevents keystroke capturing or copying unencrypted text from the screen by spyware and monitoring software; the messages are encrypted only while in transit, on your network, or on the Internet.

AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! include encryption in the enterprise versions of their software, but the easiest way to encrypt personal IM sessions is to download IMSecure, from Zone Labs ( The freeware version of this program will encrypt one IM account, and it also protects against buffer overflow IM exploits. AIM, MSN, or Yahoo! will all work with the freeware version. The Pro version encrypts multiple accounts and provides additional security features. Your correspondent must be running IMSecure as well; messages to recipients without the program are not encrypted.

IMSecure encrypts third-party, universal clients such as GAIM and Trillian, too. You can also find proprietary end-to-end encryption add-ons for MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. These function like IMSecure, but only for one product.

Another route to securing IM is to get a digital certificate. A Class 1 or personal digital certificate is issued by a certificate authority, which maintains a unique public key for your identity. We tested VeriSign's certificate system for AOL Instant Messenger, which costs $14.95 a year. The VeriSign solution is not actually integrated with AIM, but there are clear directions for acquiring and installing the certificate. You can also use the certificate to secure and encrypt e-mail.

You start by going to You can choose the 60-day free trial option or pay $14.95 a year with a credit card. After you fill out your name, billing information, and e-mail address, VeriSign sends an e-mail with a PIN number that allows you to pick up the digital certificate from its site with your browser. Once you have done so, your browser stores the ID. Next you export the ID to a file, following the instructions on VeriSign's site. You then import the certificate into AIM.

When you restart AIM, you will be asked for the security password, and AIM will start normally. Others who see your name on their buddy lists will see a lock icon next to your name, but there is no change in AIM's operation. When you initiate a session with another user who has a certificate, you will see a message at the bottom of the window that says "Encrypted conversation" and cites the user's name and certificate authority. If you use AIM from another machine, your buddies will not see the lock icon and messages will not be encrypted.

You can also get a free "personal e-mail certificate" from the VeriSign subsidiary Thawte ( The certificate works with IM as well and interoperates with VeriSign certificates. To install and use it, follow the instructions on the AIM and VeriSign sites. MSN, Yahoo!, GAIM, and Trillian do not currently support Class 1 certificates.

Digital certificates use public-key encryption. Your public key is on the vendor's servers, and the other user's secure AIM session retrieves your key, encrypts the message, and sends it to you, where your session uses your stored private key to decrypt it. While publicly vetted encryption, as used by AIM, is generally preferable, the proprietary algorithms used by IMSecure and other add-ons are probably sufficient for most users' needs.

by Bill Machrone

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Instant messaging applications (IM) with multiclient support.

A lot of multiclient instant-messaging (IM) services have cropped up that allow computer users to chat with each other over the Internet. Some can be installed onto your desktop, while others can be accessed online on the Internet. In either case, they're worth trying out, if you want to enjoy a fine experience communicating with your friends.

Multiclient IM resources

Adium Adium is my favorite multiclient instant-messaging tool for a few reasons. It supports practically any IM platform around, including AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook, MySpace, Google Talk (via Jabber), and more. It even has a plug-in for Skype.

You'll rarely have any trouble communicating with friends in the service. But its most redeeming quality is that it's open source. So, if you want to modify the code to fit your own IM desires, that's possible. And those in the open-source community are constantly improving the product, whose updates typically install with ease.

When you download Adium (it's available for Mac OS X), you'll have the option of choosing your IM service. By default, Adium takes on the same design as Mac OS X. But with the help of some plug-ins from Adium's site, called "Xtras," you can customize it as you see fit. Those add-ons include emoticons, dock icons, scripts, and more. I could go on about Adium, but I think that you get the point: if you're a Mac OS X user, it's worth trying out.

Adium takes on the look of Mac OS X by default.
(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

Digsby Digsby is a multifaceted tool that lets you communicate with friends over instant messaging, e-mail, or social networks. I recently took a look at its social-networking capabilities. After having the opportunity to use its IM services, I was just as impressed.

After installing Digsby on my Windows PC (Mac and Linux versions are reportedly on the way), I was able to log in to my accounts on AIM, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, and others. Digsby's app is designed well, with a more attractive interface than Adium's default skin. Digsby also gives you the option of sending an SMS text message from the application. Overall, I liked Digsby.

Digsby lets you chat with anyone at any time.
(Credit: Digsby)

eBuddy eBuddy is a Web-based multiclient instant-messaging app through which you can connect to AIM, Yahoo IM, MSN, Facebook, ICQ, and MySpace. Although it provides a bunch of options, eBuddy doesn't quite stand up to the competition. It's not as responsive as some of the other apps in this roundup, and I was unimpressed by its design. That said, I did like that I could view my Facebook friends' profiles by clicking on a link in the client. I also liked that the app opens in a separate window--I find it more convenient than switching to a tab. Plus, it's available for Android-based phones, as well as the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

eBuddy isn't the best-looking service, but it still works well.
(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

Meebo Like eBuddy, Meebo is a Web-based instant-messaging tool that lets you communicate with friends on AIM, MySpace, Yahoo, and MSN. You can also chat with Facebook and Google Talk friends.

When you go to the Meebo home page, you have the option of inputting your credentials for any of those services. The instant messaging on Meebo is outstanding. It's the same interface for all the sites, but you can get buddies' contact information, see their Facebook status, and even check out their entire Facebook profile by clicking on the appropriate link, which opens the profile in another tab. Meebo is one of the more popular multiclient IM tools on the Web for good reason--it's simple, responsive, and boasts support for a variety of clients. Even better, you can use it on your iPhone.

Meebo lets you chat with your Facebook friends.
(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

Pidgin Similar to Adium, Pidgin is an open-source IM client that allows you to modify it as you wish. If you don't want to do that, you'll still be satisfied with the software.

Once installed, Pidgin gives you the option of signing into your various IM accounts. You can chat with friends on AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, MySpace, and others at the same time. It's not as good-looking as some of its competitors, but it's designed more for the power user who wants to be able to chat with as many people at a time as possible. Pidgin is ideally suited for Windows machines, so that may be a problem for some. If you want to use an open-source instant-messaging platform on a Mac, Adium is your best bet.

Pidgin asks you to create accounts when you first start it up.
(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

Trillian Trillian is a desktop IM client that supports instant messaging on AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and Internet Relay Chat. Unfortunately, it's available only to Windows users at this time. The company is promising Mac and iPhone support in its follow-up version of the software, called Trillian Astra.

Overall, I was really impressed by Trillian. It supports the standard features like group chat, audio chat, and the option to view profiles. But having the ability to change skins was quite appealing. I was able to customize the experience to match my tastes. From dark to bright, there's at least one skin for everyone. Trillian is, quite simply, the most beautiful multiclient IM service in this roundup. If you want more functionality (such as bringing in your Google Talk contacts), you can also buy Trillian Pro, which costs $25.

Author: Don Reisinger

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do You Use Instant Messaging (IM) Chat online?

Instant Messaging software (IM), we thought we had it made in the shade when we stumbled over this unique way to communicate! Outside of talking face-to-face on the phone, IM was the next best thing. Texting instant communication was endless and cost was nonexistent. Well, those were the good old days of yore - you know, those days of glorious innocence.

Just as we were getting oh so comfortable, happily IMing away to each other, then came the cloak-and-dagger entrance of the treacherous “IM villains”. With their ominous arrival, the party abruptly ended. It seemed like overnight, our instant messaging (IM) turned into instant mercenaries, and the carnage was strewn all over the Internet.

First, it was one by one, then the numbers increased and starting growing exponentially, as friends began receiving, and inadvertently sending, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Then it went from bad to worse, as report after report surfaced describing the grisly results of innocent victims losing their identity because these villains had accessed their personal and confidential information. Truly this was the darkest of times for all IMer friends - regardless of the IM service we were texting on.

How could this have happened? And more importantly, how can we protect ourselves?

Well, I found out that these villainous hackers had accessed a nifty little program originally designed to benefit us, and twisted it to intercept our conversations traveling across the internet. They now have a profitable tool to use that intercepts our data packets and sends us a virus, and duplicates it by sending the same ugly bug to everyone on our Buddy List.

Once a hacker has gained access to our Buddy List, they trick our friends into thinking WE, (a trusted source), are sending them a file to download. Then when our friends innocently download the file, these villains can then access their computers as well, and use the personal and confidential information gathered to line their own pockets. How it affected businesses whose employees used IM to communicatewell, I will just let your imagination take over from therebecause the hackers let theirs do the same.

A lot of us were thinking that we had nothing to worry about because we had anti-virus software on our computers, and that provided the protection we needed. Wrong!

Anti-virus software is not designed to protect our data packets traveling across the internet. There are still no anti-virus applications that directly monitor IM traffic. This is due to the difficulty in finding IM traffic as it is often embedded inside http packets. And what is worse yet is that Forrester’s, Root stated that “In 2005 and 2006, we expect IM to get hit with some serious attacks”

But, don’t despair! I have discovered a cure!

In fact, I discovered the best of both worlds. What I have found is a computer phone (in “techy” terms known as VoIP - voice over internet protocol) that is optimally secure. One of the many features of the computer phone is the IM that is built into it. Thus, the IM instant messages are sent over optimally secure lines rather than openly public lines on the Internet — AND I can also actually talk to friends from my computer phone any time I want. The “good old days of yore” are back with even more !!!

Here’s what a computer phone is all about.

The computer phone was the creation resulting from taking the convenience and features of the telephone and combining it with the power of the Internet. Pretty ingenious I think! Although most computers have a built in microphone, some do not. Mine was one of those computers that did not. So, I ran down to a local store and bought one for $5. Then, much to my delight, I found out that it easily plugged into the back of my computer.

Here is what is really incredible about a computer phone. I can talk, IM, make 3-way calls, transfer a call to my cell phone if I am running out the door, and much, much more.

Actually, I have become so accustomed to the convenience of the features on my computer phone, that it actually becomes frustrating when I cannot IM a friend I am talking to on their cell phone or telephone. You see, often times, I find great sites to share with my friends, so I have to slowly spell out the location over the phone and repeat the letters so they get the right site, then wait for them to repeat it back to me, rather than quickly IMing them the site and letting them click on it right then and there.

One final word of wisdom — over 90% of all computer phone (VoIP) services out there do not operate on secure lines. The one I am using is optimally secure because they have their own proprietary high end encryption codec (code) with patented technology that is hosted in a professional facility. You just can’t get any better than that!

Want to try a computer phone out for yourself?

You can download the software and try it out for 7 days absolutely free and without any contract, obligations, or hassles. Here’s the place to visit Oh, and yes, you will love this.if you use a dial up connection to the internet, these computer phones work too, in addition to satellite, cable, and wireless connections.

Writen by Dee Scrip.

Dee Scrip is a well-known and respected published author of numerous articles on VoIP, VoIP security, and other VoIP related issues.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Companies controls use of instant messaging software within an office environment.

Modern companies have been advised to control workers' use of instant messaging rather than blocking it outright.

A new guide to securing instant messaging is the latest in the ‘Securing Social Media' series of guides from Network Box, and claims that companies are increasingly finding that their employees are often using instant messaging for a business reason such as customer contact, or contact with remote teams.

However Network Box claimed that many instant messaging services are not secure, and so IT managers should control which services are used and secure them effectively.

Simon Heron, internet security analyst at Network Box, claimed that employee education is the most important factor in securing instant messaging. Heron said: “We need to go through a similar education process with employees as for spam email.

“Broadly, the messages for employees are: only use the service approved by your IT department, don't trust anyone you don't know, don't click on shared links, keep your personal details to yourself, log out when you've finished, and keep your IM service and anti-virus systems up to date.”

The guide advises on the agreement of an instant messaging platform, whether employee access will be granted and ensuring that it is updated and secure.

It also claims that messaging should be monitored, stating: “It is important to ensure employees understand that this is a company system, in the same way that the telephone or email systems belong to the company. Instant messaging shouldn't be abused by employees any more than email or telephone should be. Set clear guidelines as to what instant messaging use is acceptable.”

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How Instant Messaging Helps You In Fight Against Financial Crisis.

There are lot ways that a hosted IM client can help you in today’s economical situation, whether you are unemployed or not. If you ARE employed, of course you can use a hosted Instant Messaging program to help you communicate with your co-workers, employees, and supervisors, along with clients. If you are unemployed, however, you can still used secure IM to your advantage. Even though you may not have a full-time job, you can use Instant Messaging software to network with acquaintances, colleagues, and others. You’ll never know what someone knows someone else who can give you the recommendation, tip, or introduction you need in order to secure the job of your dreams!

Communication skills are crucial in ANY job field, and instant messaging can only improve your communication (and typing!) skills. Since I have started using instant messaging on a daily basis, my typing speed (words per minute) has only improved. I can now almost type 70 words per minute! Being able to practice my typing every day only keeps my accuracy and speed up to date. So, in conclusion, if you have former co-workers and employers on your IM list, keep them on there. You’ll never know when they will think of you for a job opening they heard of!

Unified Communications (UC) Is Brought By Mitel-Itec To Mid-Market.

Johannesburg, 3 June 2009 - Mitel, a leading provider of IP business communications solutions, has partnered with Itec South Africa in anticipation of huge growth in the local IP telephony market. Both companies believe IP telephony will dominate developments in the telecoms sector over the next 18 months.

In terms of the agreement, Itec has been named an accredited Mitel distributor for South Africa.

“The partnership will enable Mitel to significantly expand its route to market as it allows us to take advantage of Itec's well-established national footprint,” says Andy Bull, director at Mitel. “There are natural vertical and horizontal synergies between our two companies; we help people respond to real world business challenges with communication solutions that drive productivity, improve performance and reduce costs.”

Frank Mullen, chief operating officer of Itec Enterprise Solutions, says the partnership, which is aimed at the medium enterprise segment, forms part of the group's ongoing strategy to join forces with companies which products complement its own. “Mitel is a leader in unified communications, integrated business applications and research and development,” he says. “This agreement enables us to offer real value-added solutions to our clients, and means we can leverage Mitel's expertise in IP telephony.”

IP telephony uses the Internet's packet-switched connections to exchange information that has traditionally been carried over the telephone network. Calls travel as packets of data on shared lines, which enable companies to lower telecoms costs as they no longer pay Telkom fees.

This aggregation of voice, video and data onto a single IP-based network, known as unified communications, encompasses all aspects of an organisation's communication requirements, including e-mail, SMS, fax, voice and video.

“It combines multiple IT capabilities, enabling an efficient approach to communicating,” says Bull. “It's a level of location-independent communication, which means that work is where you are, not where your office is.”

Among the benefits of unified communications are lowered costs, improved employee efficiency and productivity, enhanced responsiveness to customers, suppliers and partners, and streamlined IT management, along with lower total cost of ownership.

One of the flagship products to be distributed by Itec is the Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform (ICP). It provides organisations with a highly scalable, feature-rich communications system designed to support businesses of all sizes. The 3300 ICP offers enterprise IP-PBX capability, as well as embedded applications, including standard unified messaging, auto-attendant, ACD and wireless.

It operates across virtually any LAN/WAN infrastructure, and provides seamless IP networking. It also gives companies the opportunity to IP-enable their legacy PBXes so that they can protect their existing investments while still deriving all the benefits of a converged infrastructure.

At user level, the 3300 ICP supports a large range of desktop devices, including entry-level IP phones, Web-enabled IP devices, wireless handsets, and full-duplex IP audio conference units. It also supports applications, including multimedia collaboration, mobility, customer relationship management and unified messaging.

LAN Instant Messaging Software - LAN Messenger

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