Articles

Mon
21
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Clear Google Play Store Badge / Notification (Stuck)

Infopackets Reader Samuel D. writes: " Dear Dennis, Recently my Galaxy s6 phone notified me via the Google Play store icon that an update was available for BlueMail (which I use for emails). I updated BlueMail, but the Google Play icon still has a ... badge stating that there is one update available for BlueMail. It seems that the Google Play store badge won't go away . I've tried updating the app again but there is only the option to 'launch app' and no updates. I've tried rebooting the phone and yet the Google Play store icon is still showing updates . I've searched Google for ' Google Play ... (view more)

Thu
17
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Windows Defender: Tamper Protection, Plus More

Microsoft is adding an extra layer of security to Windows 10: it's blocking malware from tampering with Windows Defender. That's a security tool that's available commercially to businesses but is also built in to Windows 10 without extra cost. ... Tamper Protection tackles a rather cheeky tactic used by some malware creators, namely having the malware access Windows Defender and switch off key features. The idea is to reduce the likelihood of malware being detected in action. The feature has been in testing since April, 2019 and is now ready for a public rollout. Naturally Microsoft is keeping ... (view more)

Wed
16
Oct
John Lister's picture

Chrome to 'Freeze' Unused Tabs, Reduce RAM Usage

Google is introducing more options to deal with the Chrome browser using too much computer memory. It's implementing less severe options for users with multiple tabs open. The way Chrome was originally designed means every open tab uses up computer ... memory (RAM). That can mount up substantially if you are accustomed to having many tabs opened when Chrome is launched, or even with Chrome is idle. In turn this will significantly slow the computer down on older systems that don't have enough RAM to begin with. Since 2015 Chrome has had a feature called "Tab Discarding" that kicks in ... (view more)

Tue
15
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Windows 10 Safe OS Phase Error

Infopackets Reader Shelby C. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am in a huge hurry to upgrade my machine to Windows 10 because there won't be any more security updates for Windows 7 in January 2020, when Windows 7 reaches its end of life. I have tried to ... upgrade using the Upgrade Assistant and Windows 10 media, but I keep getting ' SAFE_OS phase error during Replicate_OC operation ' error, whatever that means. Windows 10 simply won't install on my machine! I have looked at articles all over the Internet including one from the Windows Club and none of them work. I really need your help! Can you please ... (view more)

Mon
14
Oct
John Lister's picture

Android Malware Changes Own Icon to System Apps

Malware creators are using new tactics to avoid their malicious Android apps being exposed. The scam involves hiding and even disguising apps as legitimate ones once they've been installed. Fake Apps Receive Fake Praise It's a twist on a ... well-established scam in which malware is distributed through apps that appear to perform a basic function such as reading QR codes, or turning the camera flash into a flashlight. Thanks to a host of bogus rave-reviews in the Google Play store, the only way to spot something is amiss is that the apps will ask for specific access permissions that are clearly ... (view more)

Fri
11
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

MUST SEE Video - Indian Tech Support Scammers Infiltrated!

Dear Infopackets Readers, For the past 5+ years I've been writing articles about fake tech support scammers based in India. In fact, I just published an article about "Expert4Help" scam last week. Here's how the scam works: While browsing the ... Internet, you may suddenly receive a full screen "virus warning". The warnings appear even when browsing legitimate websites (Amazon.com, for example). The warnings are often accompanied by a computer-generated voice, which says that the computer is infected and that you must call "Microsoft support" to "fix" the "problem". These warnings are meant to be ... (view more)

Thu
10
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Malware Infects Legit Downloads On the Fly

A new piece of malware can intercept Internet traffic to spot people downloading legitimate installation files and replace them with "infected" copies. Security company Kaspersky went as far as calling it "impressive" from a technical, if not moral ... standpoint. Kaspersky has dubbed the malware "Reductor," after a term that appears in some of the code. It discovered the malware in April, 2019, so the fact it's only just going public suggests it took some serious analysis. (Source: securelist.com ) The malware's operation is exceedingly complicated, but one a machine is infected with ... (view more)

Wed
09
Oct
John Lister's picture

Twitter Accused of Data Violation in Ad 'Mix Up'

Twitter has apologized for using customer security contact details for advertising purposes. Its underwhelming announcing has gone down badly with privacy groups and could have legal consequences. The blunder involved Twitter's advertising services, ... specifically tools called "Tailored Audiences" and "Partner Audiences." It works like this: advertisers upload their own marketing lists of email addresses and phone numbers to Twitter, along with an ad. Twitter then compares the marketing list to its own database of customers. It then shows the ad only to people who appear on ... (view more)

Tue
08
Oct
John Lister's picture

Latest Win10 Update Breaks Printing, Crashes Explorer

The latest Windows 10 update is designed to fix problems with printers. Instead it seems to be causing more problems. The update in question is Microsoft patch KB4524147 , which is marked as a "critical" update for those users running Windows 10 ... version 1903. It addresses an Internet Explorer scripting engine security vulnerability (CVE-2019-1367) . Another highlight of this update is a fix for "an intermittent issue with the print spooler service that may cause print jobs to fail." Unfortunately some users report quite the opposite has happened with regard to their printers. Since ... (view more)

Fri
04
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Scammed by Expert4help.com? Here's What to Do

Infopackets Reader Tricia B. writes: " Dear Dennis, I stumbled across your article on PC / Web Network Experts after researching Expert4help.com scam . A few weeks ago I was using my PC when suddenly I received a popup virus alert stating that my PC ... was infected. I called 1-833-257-8555 and spoke to a man with a thick Indian accent . They then connected to my PC remotely and installed some antivirus software to 'fix' the 'problems'. They then wanted me to sign a 3 year contract with them for $898 . I told them 'No,' and that I would pay $350 for a 1 year contract. They kept insisting that I ... (view more)

Thu
03
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Privacy Controls for Maps, Assistant, Youtube

Google is making three changes to make it easier to control privacy while using its services. Now, Google Maps, YouTube and the Google Assistant have the option to control privacy settings in more detail. The company's privacy chief Eric Miraglia ... wrote that controlling privacy and security settings should be as easy as using the services themselves. That might provoke some skepticism from critics who believe Google wants to maximize the amount of data it stores about people. (Source: blog.google ) Google Maps Goes Incognito The first change is to Google Maps, which is now getting an " ... (view more)

Wed
02
Oct
John Lister's picture

Major VOIP Security Flaws Discovered in Android

Researchers say they discovered eight security flaws in the way Android handles voice calls through the Internet. Unlike most such bugs which involve specific apps, these problems were with Android itself. The good news is that the researchers ... reported all of the bugs to Google while carrying out the project and most have now been fixed. However, it does raise concerns about the development and design of the system itself. (Source: github.io ) The researchers looked at the three latest Android versions (7, 8 and 9), specifically addressing the components that allow Voice Over Internet ... (view more)

Tue
01
Oct
John Lister's picture

Words With Friends DB Hacked; 620M Accounts Leaked

The word "hacked" is worth 16 points in Scrabble. It's also what appears to have happened to a database of 218 million users of the popular online game "Words With Friends." A few weeks ago game creators Zynga said it "recently discovered that ... certain player account information may have been illegally accessed by outside hackers." It didn't give any detail on numbers, but went on to say that account login information may have been accessed. (Source: zynga.com ) Now a hacker has come forth and is attempting to sell the details of 620 million Zynga game accounts, of which 218 million ... (view more)

Thu
26
Sep
John Lister's picture

Latest Internet Explorer Bug a Massive Risk

Microsoft has issued an emergency patch for Internet Explorer. In the most extreme circumstances, a user simply visiting a website could give a hacker complete remote control of a computer. Between Chrome's dominance and Edge becoming the default on ... new Windows machines, Internet Explorer is far from popular and is now used on around 8 percent of desktop computers. However, that still means around a hundred million machines could be affected by this bug. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) It's a sign of how serious the problem is that Microsoft has issued an emergency patch, or as it calls it, an out-of- ... (view more)

Wed
25
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Yum [Errno 14] PYCURL ERROR 22 - 404 Not Found

Infopackets Reader Steve T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am running Centos 6 32-bit (i386) on a virtual machine and recently I started having 'PYCURL ERROR 22' every time I use 'yum list updates' or 'yum -y update' to list and download updates. The ... error message says ' [Errno 14] PYCURL ERROR 22 - The requested URL returned error: 404 Not Found '. I have gone to the wiki.centos.org/yum-errors as the error message suggests, but have not been able to find a solution to this problem. Can you help? " My response: I asked Steve if he would like me to connect to his virtual machine using my remote ... (view more)

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