John Lister

Thu
02
Aug
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Gov't Staff Revert to Typewriters After Ransomware Attack

Staff of a local government in Alaska have switched to typewriters after a ransomware attack crippled their computer network. Officials are currently rebuilding the system from scratch. The attack hit Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which covers the ... region just north of Anchorage. The problems began on July 24, though officials believe the malware may have been on the system for several weeks before activating. IT staff spotted the ransomware attack thanks to antivirus software , but had to start manually removing some of the more sophisticated elements. They also reset all passwords as a security ... (view more)

Wed
01
Aug
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Google Bans Apps That Hijack Device Resources

Google is to ban several categories of apps from its app store. They include so-called "cryptomining" apps that can suck up a resources from a device for somebody else's financial benefits. The changes come in the latest update of the Play Store ... Developer Policy. The relevant apps will no longer be available through the official Play Store, meaning that although users can still install them, they'll get much less prominence and exposure. The ban is specifically on apps that use a device's processor for mining cryptocurrencies. In very simple terms, mining involves computers racing to solve a ... (view more)

Tue
31
Jul
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Chrome Security Warnings Revamped: What You Need to Know

If you use Google's Chrome browser, you may have started seeing warnings that a website is not secure. Here's what it means and what's changed. What's the change? Google has changed the way it displays information about websites in the space on the ... left of the address bar at the top of the Chrome display. Originally this space was only used to indicate when a website was secure via a padlock symbol. Later on Google gave this more emphasis, adding the word "Secure" and marking both in green to stand out. Until now, the fact that a website isn't secure hasn't been explicitly stated: it's just ... (view more)

Thu
26
Jul
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Google Fights Phishing Scams using USB Key

Google says it's suffered zero phishing attacks since it started making staff use a physical key to log in to work accounts. Of course, it's possible it's been hit with attacks it doesn't know about. The measures were taken to prevent against ... phishing attacks in which scammers try to trick victims into following a link and opening a bogus website that appears to be from a legitimate organization. The idea is that they then type in login details which the scammers can use to access their account on the real website. This can be particularly problematic with business accounts that may house ... (view more)

Wed
25
Jul
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Microsoft: Phishing Scam Targets Politicians

Microsoft says hackers have targeted at least three candidates for Congress. Security experts say the group behind the attacks has been linked to Russia's intelligence services. The revelation came at the Aspen Security Forum in a speech from Tom ... Burt, Microsoft's head of Customer Security ... (view more)

Tue
24
Jul
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Google Hit With $5 Billion Antitrust Fine

Google has been fined $5 billion USD for breaking antitrust rules. European officials ruled it had acted unfairly in the way it linked its own services with Android devices. The fine comes from the European Commission, the administrative wing of the ... European Union, whose competition rules apply in 28 countries. It says Google breached the rules through the restrictions it places on companies that want to use its Android system on phones and tablets. Although the system is technically open source, regulators say three elements of Google's set-up go too far in promoting its other products and ... (view more)

Thu
19
Jul
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Scientists: Internet 'At Risk' of Climate Change

Researchers say key physical infrastructure that keeps the Internet working could be underwater within 15 years. They say the effects of climate change over the next century will have an impact on the equipment sooner than later. The researchers, ... from the Universities of Oregon and Wisconsin, explored the risks to US-based infrastructure including both the cables that carry Internet data and the key 'nodes' in the network such as colocation centers. These facilities not only route Internet data, but also house the computers where many websites are physically stored. Major website often rent ... (view more)

Wed
18
Jul
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Chrome to become Slower, Use More Memory to Tackle Malware

Google is updating the Chrome browser to give it better defenses against major security threats. It comes at the price of reduced performance and a larger memory footprint. The changes are to address two security bugs labeled Meltdown and Spectre by ... researchers. They take advantage of a flaw in almost every computer processor built since 1995, which is (as of this day) 100% of all computers, tablets, smartphones, laptops - and anything else that uses a processor. The flaw is in regard to a processor feature, which is designed to speed up a computer's response time. It works by using spare ... (view more)

Tue
17
Jul
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Courts: Facebook Accounts Can Be Inherited After Death

A German court has ruled that Facebook accounts can be inherited. It's the latest attempt to solve the problem of what happens to online data after somebody dies. The ruling came from the Federal Court of Justice, Germany's highest court, and ended ... a six-year legal process. It began with the death of a 15-year-old who died when she was hit by a train. Her parents asked Facebook to give them access to her account, meaning they could see the contents of private message exchanges. They said they wanted to find any clues as to whether the death was suicide or an accident. As well as giving the ... (view more)

Thu
12
Jul
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New FB, Messenger, Whatsapp Tools Prevent Scams, Fake News

Facebook is testing new tools to stop people being fooled by bogus messages. Meanwhile it's subsidiary "Whatsapp" is working on ways to stop hoaxes and other false information. The Facebook trial is for a series of tools relating to the direct ... messaging elements of the service, which includes messages through the website itself and via the dedicated "Messenger" app for mobile devices. The tools are aimed at messages which come from people or organizations the user hasn't previously communicated with, which carry a higher risk of being bogus than from genuine contacts. The ... (view more)

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