Security

Fri
09
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Phone, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)

Infopackets Reader Nathan J. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently received an email stating that hackers have hacked my phone. As proof of their hack, they gave me the last 2 digits of my phone number. They claim to have uploaded spying software on my ... phone and have supposedly 'caught me' visiting raunchy websites. To keep this quiet, they are demanding bitcoin payment of $800 USD. How can they hack my phone like this? Can they hack my PC too? Should I be worried? " My response: This is yet another version of the same scam that is currently going around the Internet. Related: How to Fix: Hackers ... (view more)

Thu
08
Nov
John Lister's picture

Hackers Sell Stolen Facebook Messenger Messages

Facebook messages are being sold online for the equivalent of 10 cents per user. It comes as the company unveils an "unsend" feature for messages sent in haste. The message for sale follows a breach of Facebook last year when hackers were able to ... take advantage of a security flaw to gain access to 50 million accounts. Ironically the hack took advantage of a 'View As' feature that's meant to protect privacy by allowing users check which parts of their account and data are publicly viewable. 81,000 Users Hit By Message Leak The offer on a hacker forum claims to include details of some ... (view more)

Tue
06
Nov
John Lister's picture

CPU Hyper-threading Reverse Engineered to Spy on Processes

One of the most useful features in computer hardware has a security flaw. It's to do with the way processors handle information. All computing tasks are reduced down to a set of calculations. The central processing unit (CPU) is the "brain" of the ... computer that physically carries out these calculations. Each modern-day CPU has one or more cores , which is essentially multiple "brains" on a single CPU chip. A multi-core CPU means that multiple calculations can be done at once, which reduces the time to carry out a task. Many processors also use a technique called ... (view more)

Mon
05
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Ads Falsely Labeled 'Approved By' US Senators

A report suggests that Facebook approved advertisements falsely claiming to be paid for by each of the 100 sitting US Senators. The VICE News investigation uncovered a major loophole in what was meant to be a transparency measure. Following ... revelations of Russian interference with bogus posts and ads designed to disrupt the US political system, Facebook brought in several measures to restrict who is allowed to post such ads. One such measure was a new rule stating that any political ad must carry the name of the person who has paid for it, similar to the rules on broadcasting. The rule also ... (view more)

Wed
31
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows Defender Gets 'Sandbox' Protection

Microsoft is beefing up Windows Defender, the built-in antivirus and antimalware security tool in Windows 10. It's now using the same sandbox technology that's used in other tools, including some major web browsers. The concept of a sandbox is taken ... from the child's play area of the same name. It's a metaphor about the way the child has an area to play in freely and do what they like, but also has clearly defined boundaries. Fortunately, computer code tends to follow instructions better than a child told to stay in the sandbox. In computing terms, the sandbox is a concept about access that ... (view more)

Thu
25
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Email, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)

Infopackets Reader Sam G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I get emails from hackers a few times a week saying that they have cracked my email account. As proof, they have supplied me with the correct password for the account. The message goes on to say that ... they have planted a Trojan on my computer which allows them to spy on me. Here's where it gets interesting. The hackers say I have been visiting websites of people in the buff. They are demanding I pay them bitcoin (worth $831) to keep this quiet, otherwise they will send images from the purported site I've visited and also a picture of me on my ... (view more)

Wed
24
Oct
John Lister's picture

Home Gadget Promises More Secure Email

A new gadget is designed to keep emails "totally secure and private." It comes with a big financial and convenience cost, however. Helm is promoted as an alternative to web-based email such as Gmail. It's based on the idea that such services pose a ... risk because they could be hacked or the providers forced by a court to hand over messages. Instead, Helm wants people to use a personal email server in their home - a bit like an ultra-secure mailbox. Normally email servers are bulky and require considerable technical knowledge. Device Requires Physical Key The Helm device is instead ... (view more)

Thu
04
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Cracks Down On Browser Scams

Google is taking several more steps to make browser extensions safer. It's giving users more control and cracking down on some common rogue practices. The changes are to Chrome's extensions. Also known as add-ons with some browsers, extensions are ... third-party tools designed to improve the online experience using a web browser. For example, an Amazon extension lets users send text on a web page (such as a lengthy article) straight to their Kindle e-reader as a document with one click. By nature, extensions need some degree of access to and control over Chrome itself, which sometimes means the ... (view more)

Wed
26
Sep
John Lister's picture

Firefox Download Bug Could Crash Windows

A security researcher has found a way to crash the Firefox browser and even Windows itself. Sabri Haddouche has demonstrated the technique to highlight the risk that it could be misused. The bug is shown off at Haddouche's site Browser Reaper, which ... he created to chart his interest in denial of service attacks. Normally such attacks involve flooding a website with bogus visits until it is overloaded and becomes unavailable to ordinary users. However, Haddouche has been exploring the technique from the other perspective: forcing a browser to deal with so much traffic that it crashes. Epic Name ... (view more)

Tue
25
Sep
John Lister's picture

Electronic Vote System Escapes Court Ban

A judge in Georgia says she is "gravely concerned" that electronic voting machines could be hacked. But she says it's too late to scrap them for this year's elections. Amy Totenberg was ruling on a lawsuit originally filed May 2017 against Georgia's ... Secretary of State. It called for the use of the Direct Recording Voting machines to be banned for the elections. Among the arguments in the lawsuit were that the system doesn't create a paper trail for verifying any discrepancies; that the software on the machine could be altered or replaced without detection; and that the system makes it ... (view more)

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