Articles

Tue
14
Jul
John Lister's picture

'Winky Face' Email Takes Control of PCs

An email with a "winky face" for a subject line has helped a malware campaign become one of the most widespread in the world. It's a scam to expand the reach of the Phorpiex botnet which distributes spam and malware from infected machines to others ... online the Internet. According to researchers at security company Check Point, Phorpiex jumped from the 13th most detected malware campaign in May to the number two slot last month. It reports that one in 50 organizations suffered at least one attempted breach from Phorpiex last month. (Source: zdnet.com ) Ransomware, Botnets and Blackmail The ... (view more)

Mon
13
Jul
John Lister's picture

Zoom Video Conferencing a Major Risk on Windows 7

Windows 7 computers running the Zoom videoconferencing tool are at risk from a "zero day" vulnerability. It's a reminder of the dangers of an outdated operating system. The problem will be fixed in a patch by Zoom itself rather than from Microsoft. ... Microsoft dropped support for Windows 7 on January 14 this year, meaning it doesn't offer security updates or fix any bugs. A zero day vulnerability is one that is known by somebody other than the developer or manufacturer before a fix is ready. In effect, the developers have "zero days" of head start distributing the fix before people can start ... (view more)

Wed
08
Jul
John Lister's picture

Facebook Accused of Empowering Extremists

Two years ago Facebook commissioned an audit on its effect on civil rights. The results are in, and they don't make for pretty reading. The report makes a series of suggestions for Facebook to change its policies, but the company says it won't ... implement all of them. Arguably the most damaging conclusion in the report is that Facebook isn't just hosting extremist views and hatred, but that its very setup may actually be encouraging and boosting such material. The biggest criticism is that Facebook's own algorithms may have pushed users towards "self-reinforcing echo chambers of extremism." The ... (view more)

Tue
07
Jul
John Lister's picture

Windows 10: MS Rethinks Control Panel, ALT + TAB

Microsoft has unveiled the latest batch of changes coming to Windows 10. Most are usability improvements, though fans of the Control Panel might be concerned. The changes come in the latest release in the Windows Insider Dev Channel. That's ... recommend only for the most technically confident users and is the first place that new features and changes are tested by people outside of Microsoft itself. One change had already leaked, namely the appearance of the tiles in the Start menu. They will now be partially transparent and will reflect the user's choice of a light or dark theme, the idea being ... (view more)

Mon
06
Jul
John Lister's picture

Win10 May 2020 Update Delayed For Some

Microsoft has delayed the latest major Windows 10 Update for some users. The various workarounds aren't ideal, so affected users will probably need to be patient. The problem affects the May 2020 Update, taking Windows 10 to version 2004. It's the ... first of this year's scheduled two major updates that includes new features. Microsoft has previously blocked updates for some specific computers where it knows there will be a significant compatibility problem with hardware. This particular block appears more generic, with the affected users seeing an error message reading: This PC can ... (view more)

Wed
01
Jul
John Lister's picture

25 Android Apps Steal Facebook Passwords

Google has removed 25 malicious Android apps which tried to steal user Facebook logins. As always, it's worth checking devices to see if these apps are installed, because they won't automatically uninstall from phones even being ousted from the Play ... Store. This particular batch of apps didn't have a common subject, but each promised to carry out a basic function, including: a flashlight, file cleaner, or card game. Hidden deep inside each app was malicious software that ran behind the scenes. The malware came alive each time an app was opened on the phone, specifically checking to see if the ... (view more)

Tue
30
Jun
John Lister's picture

Windows Defender, Edge Update: Slow PCs, Errors

Current news floating around the Internet suggests that Windows 10 has developed a couple of bugs likely linked to recent updates, namely: slowed performance and confusing security scan messages. The good news is both problems can be solved to some ... extent. One problem is with update KB4559309 , which replaces the original version of Microsoft's Edge browser with a new version based on the same code behind Google Chrome. Details are still hazy, but some users have reported general slowdowns after the update regardless of whether they use Edge. This can affect apps, games and web pages. The ... (view more)

Mon
29
Jun
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Gets File Recovery Tool

Microsoft has released a tool for recovering deleted or corrupted files. However, it may be too technical for many casual users. Windows File Recovery only works with Windows 10 version 2004, which is the latest branch of Windows 10 released on May, ... 2020. The Windows File Recovery is only available through the dedicated Microsoft Store, rather than users being able to download and install it from a website. (Source: microsoft.com ) It might therefore seem natural that the tool would be in an easy-to-use format aimed at a mass audience. Instead, it runs on the command line, meaning users can ... (view more)

Fri
26
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Hide User Accounts Windows 10 Login Screen

Infopackets Reader Sam G. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your incredible service in helping me to set up a secure remote desktop using OpenVPN - now we can connect remotely to our office PC without worries of ransomware. Currently we have 10 ... people in the office and some of those users have unrestricted administrator access on the system. I would like to know if it's possible to hide user accounts in Windows 10 from the login screen? This is a security concern in case an employee's laptop was stolen - I don't want someone having access to our network remotely and trying to guess login ... (view more)

Wed
24
Jun
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Start Menu Gets New Look

Microsoft has unveiled Windows 10's new look Start menu. The changes are largely cosmetic but could make it a little easier to use. There's no official word yet on when the changes will take effect. Normally such a revamp would be noticed through ... the Microsoft Inside testing program, but in this case Microsoft has currently only shared images of the new look on its Facebook page. (Source: betanews.com ) Color Clashes Under Control The main changes are to make the Start menu fit in better with the rest of the desktop. For example, the list of recently used apps (which appear on the very left ... (view more)

Tue
23
Jun
John Lister's picture

Chrome for Android Gets Improvements

If you use an Android phone, there's a good chance you use the mobile edition of Chrome to access web pages. If so, that experience is about to get a little safer and easier. Google has unveiled a range of changes to Chrome for Android including ... enhances security checks, a display tweak that could extend battery life, and an easier "autofill" tool for online forms. Safety Check Tools Added The first change is the addition of Safety Check, a feature that's currently only available on desktop versions of Chrome. It makes it easy to carry out three basic checks: Making sure ... (view more)

Mon
22
Jun
John Lister's picture

SnapTube App Accused of Massive Subscription Fraud

An Android app with 40 million downloads has been linked to large-scale fraud against phone and tablet users. The "SnapTube" app reportedly tricks users with a free trial that leads to an expensive and unwanted subscription. The operators of the app ... say they were previously victims of illegal activity by an advertising partner but have now fixed the problem. SnapTube is a tool that was downloaded from the Google Play Store 40 million times before being removed. It was billed as a way to download videos from Facebook and YouTube, something that's not possible with those services own ... (view more)

Fri
19
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Remote Access to Work Computer (Secure)

Infopackets Reader Steve T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I run a small business, and with the COVID-19 pandemic we have been forced to work remotely from home. The problem we are currently facing is that there are important files on our office PC (server) ... that I need to share with other employees. Right now I'm having to send these files by email and it's a nightmare. I've looked into using TeamViewer to connect remotely to another computer , but the fees they charge are quite high. Also, I am worried that if TeamViewer got hacked, someone might be able to gain access to my network. The reason I'm ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jun
John Lister's picture

Facebook Users Can Opt Out of Political Ads

Facebook chief says the site will let users opt-out of seeing political advertising for this year's US presidential elections. But the site won't seek to block controversial content posted by politicians themselves unless it breaks the law. Writing ... in USA Today, company chief Mark Zuckerberg announced a voter registration drive. Facebook will have a dedicated section with information about how to register, cast a vote, or arrange mail-in or early votes. The section will include verified content from election officials. This section will be promoted at the top of user's news feeds and on ... (view more)

Wed
17
Jun
John Lister's picture

31 Android Selfie / Photo Editors Are Actually Malware

Android users should check for 31 rogue beauty-related apps that Google has deleted from the Play Store, but could still be installed onto phones. They can unleash unwanted advertising and open web pages without permission. The apps all have ... different names, but largely offer filters to supposedly enhance self-portrait photographs. Suspicious Typos According to White Ops, which identified the apps, the full list is as follows. Note that many of the app names include apparent spelling and typographical errors: Beauty & Filters Camera Beauty Camera & Photo Editor Pro Beauty Camera ... (view more)

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