Articles

Wed
15
Aug
John Lister's picture

Mock Election Site Hacked By Pre-Teen

An 11-year-old boy hacked a replica of a Florida election website in just 10 minutes. Officials have downplayed the incident saying it's not an accurate recreation of how such hacking could work. The hack took place at DefCon, an annual conference ... for people interested in computer security. It often has competitions and demonstrations of security vulnerability - and certainly isn't a place you would want to connect your wireless device to unknown WiFi networks. One of the events at the conference was the DefCon Voting Machine Hacking Village. Participants, including many children, attempted ... (view more)

Tue
14
Aug
John Lister's picture

Chromebooks Could Run Windows 10

Google is reportedly working on an option to run Windows on Chromebooks. It could remove one hurdle to people buying the devices, but won't be suitable for the lowest-spec line of Chromebook machines. Chromebooks are portable computers than run an ... operating system called ChromeOS. It's effectively a souped-up version of the Chrome browser, which means most of the processing is actually done by remote servers, rather than on the machine itself as with conventional PCs and laptops. This type of setup reduces hardware demands, meaning it can get by with cheaper components as well as being ... (view more)

Mon
13
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: WD My Book Read Only (Remove Write Protect)

Infopackets Reader Larry O. writes: " Dear Dennis, I don't know what's going on but all my files on my external western digital 'My Book' are marked as ' READ ONLY '. I have tried formatting the My Book drive using File Explorer, but it tells me the ... drive is write protected. I have looked but there is no tab or switch on the USB drive to unlock or disable the write protect . I have also tried formatting the drive with Windows Disk Management but it fails. Also, if I right click the drive partition in Disk Management, the delete option is missing. I am at a complete loss. I have searched for ' ... (view more)

Fri
10
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Microsoft Visual C++ Hangs During Install

Infopackets Reader Joe P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. I am trying to install 'ON1 Photo Editor' on my machine which requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable. The installer package for the ON1 Photo Editor ... includes the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable as part of the installation. During the installation, however, the Microsoft Visual C++ hangs during the install and does not proceed. I have let it sit for over 24 hours and nothing happens - the installation hangs and ultimately fails . I should also mention that my Windows Update is also broken ... (view more)

Thu
09
Aug
John Lister's picture

EU Wants to Ban Apple Lightening, Quick Charge

Officials in Europe want all phone companies to use the same technology for charging mobile devices. If the rules go ahead, it could mean Apple has to ditch its custom 'Lightning' port, and Qualcomm's 'Quick Charge' (used by Android devices). The ... European Union is running an "impact assessment study" to decide whether to push the policy and if so, whether to seek a voluntary agreement or impose rules. If it opts for the latter, manufacturers might decide it is easier to use the relevant charging port format worldwide rather than make specific handsets for Europe. (Source: independent.co.uk ) ... (view more)

Wed
08
Aug
John Lister's picture

US Military Bans Fitness Trackers, Citing Spy Risk

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has banned military staff from using geolocation tools such as GPS-enabled fitness trackers in "operational areas." The move follows fears such data could be unintentionally public and threaten security. Earlier ... this year fitness tracker company Strava published a worldwide map showing the most popular routes for its users to run and carry out other exercise activity. The map showed routes in increasing levels of brightness depending on their popularity. Middle East Bases Unintentionally Mapped Several users then spotted several routes in countries such as ... (view more)

Tue
07
Aug
John Lister's picture

New Android Pie Improves CPU, Battery, 'Wellbeing'

The next edition of the Google Android operating system for phones and tablets will include measures to help users spend less time on their mobile devices. The update also makes notifications more useful and addresses battery life problems. The ... changes come in a new version of the operating system that's officially called Android 9.0 but nicknamed Android Pie (or "Android P"), continuing a pattern of naming updates after food. It's already available for Google's own Pixel phones and will then start gradually rolling out to other models, though older handsets may not get the update. ... (view more)

Thu
02
Aug
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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)

Mon
30
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Best Anti Ransomware Software Free - 5 Steps

Infopackets Reader Kevin L. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have been researching the best anti ransomware software for 2018 and came across your website. I was wondering if you had any recommendations? While searching for the best anti ransomware software ... (free), many websites have their own opinion on what anti ransomware software is the best, but most require a paid subscription. What is your opinion on the best anti ransomware software for PCs? " My response: I've answered this question in depth before (in a round about way) with my guide on How to Prevent Ransomware in 2018 - 10 Steps . This ... (view more)

Thu
26
Jul
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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
John Lister's picture

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)

Mon
23
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Classic Shell Start Menu Empty / Blank

Infopackets Reader Steve J. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks so much for your website and all the wonderful tips you have provided us over the years. I recently upgraded my main PC to Windows 10 and with your advice I installed Classic Shell to replace ... the horrid Start menu that comes default with Windows 10. I proceeded to click the Start button after the installation finished, but for some reason my Classic Shell Start menu is blank and it's been like this for a few weeks now. I installed Classic Shell on my laptop as well and it has all its icons. What gives? " My response: Whenever I work on ... (view more)

Subscribe to Articles