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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    I have Piriform's Speccy, an "Advanced System Information" tool. One of its options is to save the sysinfo as an XML file. I did that and clicking on it opens it in IE. Here's the top of what I see. What's the point of this, other than of interest to people who make web pages?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    XML lets you (a developer) define your own data format. It isn't meant to be read in its raw form, although of course you can. Instead, you usually would associate it with a style sheet to make it display nicely in a browser, if the data was meant for direct presentation, or you would use it as a data storage and sharing format to be processed by other software. Although XML is very verbose (a lot of metadata relative to the amount of data), as plain text there are no cross-platform problems, and the basic syntax is non-proprietary so others can write programs to mine the data.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    XML lets you (a developer) define your own data format. It isn't meant to be read in its raw form, although of course you can. Instead, you usually would associate it with a style sheet to make it display nicely in a browser, if the data was meant for direct presentation, or you would use it as a data storage and sharing format to be processed by other software. Although XML is very verbose (a lot of metadata relative to the amount of data), as plain text there are no cross-platform problems, and the basic syntax is non-proprietary so others can write programs to mine the data.
    Could I get you to go further and make a guess as to why Piriform would make this available? Another choice the user has is to get a URL such as this one: <http://speccy.piriform.com/results/A4xtKSTS9kbRHgMF0lvD5Rm>. What are they thinking the Speccy user might want the XML for? Or should I try to ask Piriform directly? (<http://www.piriform.com/>)

    Thanks for the great info you've given me so far.

    Dick Moores

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Hi Dick,

    One reason why Piriform might make available the xml and url save options for system information would be if someone is experiencing a problem with their computer and an support person needs to see the system information for the computer that is experiencing the problem.

    It would be easy to e-mail the xml file or send the url to the support person so they can use it to help them try to solve a problem.

    Robert

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Sendek View Post
    Hi Dick,

    One reason why Piriform might make available the xml and url save options for system information would be if someone is experiencing a problem with their computer and an support person needs to see the system information for the computer that is experiencing the problem.

    It would be easy to e-mail the xml file or send the url to the support person so they can use it to help them try to solve a problem.

    Robert
    Thanks, Robert, but the latest version of Speccy enables the user to "publish" his specs. Here's the URL I just created with Speccy, with one click: <http://speccy.piriform.com/results/sj6s6MDxOkDBiCj9cJnQ36N>. Take a look.

    Dick

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    And here's that URL as a link.

    Dick

  7. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Dick,

    If you create an .xml file from Speccy then right click on it you will be given options of programs that can open it up so you can see what it looks like. Below are the options I get.

    This publishing of the Speccy file looks like a neat thing to add to your signature making it easy for people to check your setup w/o having include the details in your posts. I think I'll give it a try.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Moores View Post
    Thanks, Robert, but the latest version of Speccy enables the user to "publish" his specs.
    Some people might not want their system's intimate details on the web, since it providers more information to an attacker.

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    Some people might not want their system's intimate details on the web, since it providers more information to an attacker.
    I was thinking of emailing the link to just those I've asked to take a look at my system. Do you think an attacker would be able to find <http://speccy.piriform.com/results/sj6s6MDxOkDBiCj9cJnQ36N>?

    That's an innocent question. I'd really like to know.

    Thanks,

    Dick

  10. #10
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    I'm not really too concerned about the information contained in the Speecy document. It's just hardware. The only software listed is the Windows Version. It also doesn't contain any information about my router and other security measures. Knowing about the computer doesn't help if they can't get that far.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  11. #11
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Moores View Post
    I was thinking of emailing the link to just those I've asked to take a look at my system. Do you think an attacker would be able to find <http://speccy.piriform.com/results/sj6s6MDxOkDBiCj9cJnQ36N>?
    Normally, no, that's too random. But if you posted it to a forum...

    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    I'm not really too concerned about the information contained in the Speecy document. It's just hardware. The only software listed is the Windows Version.
    Social engineering takes many forms. Spear phishing spam about driver or BIOS updates might tempt some people.

  12. #12
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    Social engineering takes many forms. Spear phishing spam about driver or BIOS updates might tempt some people.
    Could you explain what you mean by "spear phishing spam"?

    Thanks,

    Dick

  13. #13
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Moores View Post
    Could you explain what you mean by "spear phishing spam"?
    Phishing messages typically target millions of users at once, so that even if a very small percentage respond, the attacker will gain some useful information. Most of these messages are easy to ignore because they purport, for example, to come from a bank or online service you've never used. Spear phishing is a social engineering attack customized to an individual based on information about that individual and therefore can be much more convincing.

  14. #14
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    Ah. Got it. Thanks very much.

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