Articles

Thu
19
Apr
John Lister's picture

Passengers Live Stream Crashing Plane

A Southwest Airlines flight earlier this week had to perform an emergency landing due to an engine fire at approximately 32,500 feet. Passengers aboard the plane raced to sign up to in-flight WiFi so they could broadcast what they feared were their ... final minutes. The Southwest Airlines flight 1380 from La Guardian to Dallas made an emergency landing after an explosion in one engine caused shrapnel to puncture a window, causing rapid decompression. One woman died as a result of the incident. Several passengers used on-board wireless Internet to share photos while the plane was in the air, with ... (view more)

Wed
18
Apr
John Lister's picture

Apple to Launch 'Netflix' Style Magazine Package

Apple has bought a company described as "the Netflix of news." It's sparked speculation Apple will launch its own 'unlimited magazine' subscription deal. The purchase is for a company named "Texture," which lets subscribers pay $9.99 a month for ... access to more than 200 monthly magazines in digital format. The package includes some major titles including Vanity Fair, National Geographic, GQ and Entertainment Weekly. The company was started by six leading magazine publishers as a one-stop shop for targeting people interested in reading digital magazines. The magazines are viewable ... (view more)

Tue
17
Apr
John Lister's picture

Police Link Smartphone Hand Photo to Jail Dealer

A drug dealer was convicted after his phone revealed his fingerprint. It wasn't from a log-in scanner, but rather an unfortunate side effect of a photo he took. Police in Wales seized a phone from a property they raided after receiving a tip-off ... that it was being used to sell drugs. The phone included the app called "WhatsApp," which is a very popular tool used to send private messages to friends. The app is prevalent among some users because the messages are encrypted in transit, meaning that the company behind WhatsApp is unable to hand over the contents to law enforcement ... (view more)

Thu
12
Apr
John Lister's picture

Amazon Patent Eavesdrops, Targets User Ads

Amazon has patented a system for listening to devices in order to better target advertising to users. But it says it doesn't use the feature in its gadgets. The patent dates back to an initial application in 2011, but the most recent version was not ... approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office until last November and has only recently been made public. The basis of the patent is 'sniffer' technology, though that's used as an analogy to reflect the idea that the devices wouldn't permanently capture and store what people were saying. Instead they would use trigger words. Saying 'Like' Would ... (view more)

Wed
11
Apr
John Lister's picture

New Ransomware Demand: Play Video Game, Not Cash

A newly unleashed ransomware attack doesn't force victims to pay money to regain access to files. Instead, it demands they play a video game. It's not clear yet what the point of the attack is, though it's most likely the work of a prankster who ... wants to test their skills at creating and distributing ransomware without doing any permanent harm. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files on a computer and normally only unlocks them if the victim pays a fee. In most cases every file on the computer is encrypted, meaning that victims are locked out of their systems and unable to access ... (view more)

Tue
10
Apr
John Lister's picture

YouTube's Under-13 Policy In Question

Consumer groups say YouTube is breaking the law by collecting data about pre-teens without parental permission. They've asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate. The alleged breach is of the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act ... (COPPA), a federal law that significantly restricts the way sites can handle data about users aged under 13. That's why many major websites that have user accounts officially ban pre-teens from signing up with their services. That's not quite the case with YouTube. Users do have to be 13 or older to get a Google account, which is necessary for some ... (view more)

Mon
09
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Remove JSCoinMiner Browser Malware (Step By Step)

Infopackets Reader Bob S. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for the article on Browser Cryptomining scams . I have a related problem. I use Firefox browser and Norton keeps telling me that I'm infected with ' JSCoinminer ' for every single web page I ... visit - for example, eBay.com, Amazon.com and even Infopackets.com! I have tried to remove the infection using Norton, Malwarebytes and also Norton's 'Power Eraser' but the infection persists. The error message reads: Norton blocked an attack by: Web Attack: JSCoinminer Website / An intrusion attempt by thrillingos.herokuapp.com was blocked ... Web ... (view more)

Fri
06
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Windows 10 1709 Won't Install

Infopackets Reader Jose B. writes: " Dear Dennis, For the past few months, my PC has tried to upgrade to Windows 10 version 1709, but each time it fails to install. Whenever I use my computer I receive a pop up message on my desktop stating that ' ... Your device needs the latest security updates . Microsoft can't install important security updates on your PC until you install the most current version of Windows 10.' When I look at my Windows Update history, it says the upgrade to version 1709 failed (repeatedly) . When I manually check for updates, it says: ' Your device is at risk because it's ... (view more)

Thu
05
Apr
John Lister's picture

Chrome Browser PC Scans Come As Surprise

Google Chrome users have been surprised to discover that the Chrome browser scans their computers in search of malware. It doesn't appear to be a reason to panic, but arguably Google could have been more up front about it. The scans were spotted by ... Kelly Shortidge who works at a cyber security company. She noticed that the chrome.exe executable file (which is visible in Windows Task Manager) was scanning files in her Windows documents folder. On further investigation, she discovered Chrome has been doing this since around October, 2017. The scans are being done through Chrome Cleanup, a tool ... (view more)

Wed
04
Apr
John Lister's picture

Apple Watch May Have Blown Murder Alibi

A murder suspect's alibi has been thrown into doubt by data on the victim's Apple Watch. The smartwatch appears to show the victim died much earlier than the suspect claims. Caroline Nilsson is accused of killing her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson in ... 2016. Police were called to the house just after 10 pm when a neighbor saw Caroline come out of the house wearing a gag. Myrna was found dead inside the home. In her defense, Caroline claims that her mother-in-law was followed home by a group of men in a utility vehicle and argued with them outside for 20 minutes. Caroline claims she was in her ... (view more)

Tue
03
Apr
John Lister's picture

Google Cracks Down On Cryptomining Scams

Google is banning Chrome browser tools that harness a computer's power to 'mine' virtual online currencies for a third party. It seems Google gave up trying to distinguish between different levels of legitimacy in such set-ups. The whole concept of ... "cryptomining" using a web browser may seem baffling to many users. In the simplest terms, the cryptomining program could automatically load when visiting a particular web page or would always remain active (if it was through a browser extension). The users' computer would then "mine" (using mathematical equations) until a ... (view more)

Thu
29
Mar
John Lister's picture

Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Chief Finally Caught

A man has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than a billion dollars in cyber attacks. The tactics were so outlandish, they almost sounded like the words used by Richard Pryor's character in Superman III. The unnamed man was arrested in Spain ... after an investigation that involved officials from six countries on three continents plus private cyber security firms. The man is alleged to have led a gang that attacked more than 100 banks and other financial institutions around the world. The gang has been operating for at least three years using three forms of malware, known as Anunak, ... (view more)

Wed
28
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Speech Synthesis Gets More Realistic

Google says it's made the most realistic computer speech simulation ever. It uses artificial intelligence to reproduce the way humans put words together. The idea of Google's "Cloud Text-to-Speech" is to go beyond the traditional approach when ... dealing with speech synthesis. That effectively boils down to recording a batch of sound files of different syllables, then patching them together to form words. That works well for some languages such as Japanese, where speech patterns are very regular, but not so well for language such as English that have more complexity with pronunciation. Full ... (view more)

Tue
27
Mar
John Lister's picture

Facebook Admits: We Log All Your Calls and SMS History

Facebook users have been shocked to discover it stores the phone numbers of people who've never signed up to the site, along with the SMS and voice call histories of some users. But Facebook insists that users have explicitly given permission for ... such data storage. The site's data storage and sharing policies came back under the spotlight with the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, when a journalist revealed that information gathered about users and their friends for a psychological study was shared without permission for use in political ad targeting. Since then, many users have been taking ... (view more)

Fri
23
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: OpenVPN SMB Not Working; Can't Resolve Names

Infopackets Reader Paul P. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks so much for your informative website. I have read a few of your articles on OpenVPN, and set up a free VPN connection to my home PC. Now I can connect to my personal, free VPN using my Android ... smartphone when I'm away from home without having to pay for a VPN service! It works so great I decided to connect my laptop to the VPN - however I am not able to resolve machine names on my network. For example, when try to access \\home-pc using Remote Desktop, it won't work. The only way I can make it work is if I enter in the IP address of the ... (view more)

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