internet

Thu
09
Mar
John Lister's picture

Report: CIA Hacking Smart TVs, Listening In

Leaked documents suggest the CIA has a program for spying on people through home devices such as Smart TVs. However, it appears such attacks are highly targeted and often require physical access to the TVs. The claims come through a batch of 8,761 ... documents released by WikiLeaks, which says they come from the CIA. That agency has yet to comment on their authenticity and have not yet been independently verified. The documents are said to detail some of the tactics the CIA have used to improve digital surveillance. The overall message is that the agency appears to be concentrating more on ... (view more)

Tue
31
Jan
John Lister's picture

Internet Piracy Warning Program Ditched

A controversial program of warning letters for suspected copyright infringers has been dropped. The organization behind it says it was a successful education program but critics say it failed to have much impact. The "Copyright Alert System" was set ... up by the Center for Copyright Information, made up of the main producers of TV shows, movies and music in the US. It struck a deal in 2013 with the five largest Internet providers to send up to six warnings to customers after the copyright holders made a complaint of alleged infringement. The precise format was up to the Internet firm, ... (view more)

Thu
05
Jan
John Lister's picture

CES 2017 Brings Smart Hairbrush and Listening Fridge

It's the week of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and this year smart home gadgets seem to be attracting attention - rather than the latest TV technology. Everything from fridges to hairbrushes is getting some form of upgrade ... from gadget makers. One big story is the attempts by firms such as Google and Amazon to get their voice-operated "virtual assistants" connected to home devices. While gadgets such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo already control of some more common smart tech such as automated lighting and thermostats, several manufacturers showed ... (view more)

Fri
30
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

How to: Send a Fax Online the Internet for Free

Infopackets Reader Karin S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently received a letter in the mail from the government requesting additional information on my account. The letter states that I can mail or fax in my information back to them (they won't ... accept email attachments for some reason). As such, I would prefer to fax the information as that is the fastest method. I would like to know if you can recommend a good, free fax service over the Internet that I can use to send this information? Thanks! " My response: I did a bit of research, and there are two popular websites offering free faxes ... (view more)

Thu
17
Nov
John Lister's picture

Smart Devices a 'Major Threat' when it comes to Cyber Warfare

A Harvard lecturer has warned Congress that only government regulations can prevent serious consequences from security attacks on the "Internet of Things." Bruce Schneier says there's little market incentive for buyers or sellers to fix a problem, ... should a problem arise. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing number of devices that can now be connected to the Internet, making them "smart devices". Rather than just computers and phones, the Internet of Things covers everything from thermostats to cars, often with the Internet connection allowing users remote ... (view more)

Thu
28
Jul
John Lister's picture

Smart Devices Could Expose WiFi Passwords, or Worse

Are smart devices a security risk? Security firm Rapid 7 seems to think so. According to the researchers, a range of Internet-connected light bulbs had at least nine security flaws. While the potential consequences are hardly life or death, it could ... be a blow to the concept of smart devices in the home. Osram's Lightify range of light bulbs lets users control lighting via a smartphone or tablet app. The idea is partly to allow more precise controls, such as dimming a bulb or even changing its color, and partly to allow users to remotely access the lights. For example, if a home owner is ... (view more)

Wed
15
Jun
John Lister's picture

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules

An appeals court has upheld rules on net neutrality that stop broadband providers blocking or slowing web traffic. The legal battles will likely continue, but this week's verdict is a big blow to those arguing to block the rules. Net neutrality is ... the principle of treating all Internet traffic in the same way with the only exception being illegal content. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tried several times to bring in rules to enforce the principle, with bans on carriers deliberately slowing or blocking some types of traffic (such as streaming video) or taking payments ... (view more)

Thu
09
Jun
John Lister's picture

Report: Millions of Online Databases Unsecured

Belgian computers are most exposed to hacking according to a new study, with the US in 14th place. It's all because of millions of computers having open, unsecured connections to the Internet. Research firm Rapid7 looked at the full range of data ... connection services on the Internet beyond just the more familiar HTTP that most users use while browsing the web. These include FTP (file transfer protocol) SSH (secure shell for remote connections), and SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), used for many email services. To carry out the research, the company embarked on the massive task of ... (view more)

Fri
25
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a VPN? Are VPNs Safe for Online Banking?

Infopackets Reader Janie T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I wanted to know if I should use a VPN (virtual private network) to connect to my bank website. A service I came across called saferweb.com claims that they will encrypt my connection, but I don't ... know if they can be trusted or not. What do you think? PS: I love your daily infopackets letters - they are very informative. " My response: This is a good question. When visiting saferweb.com I noted the following statements on their site: "Safer Web gives you an extra layer of security against Internet hackers. By hiding your IP, we keep your ... (view more)

Tue
22
Mar
John Lister's picture

Kindle eReaders May Lose Connectivity if not Updated

Owners of older Kindle eReaders have been warned to update their devices today or temporarily lose Internet connectivity. The loss won't be irreversible, but will cause added hassle. The issue affects all Kindle eReader models released before 2013. ... That includes the Keyboard, Touch and DX versions, along with the 5th generation and earlier of both the standard Kindle and Paperwhite editions. (Source: amazon.com ) The only unaffected models are those released from 2013 onwards, specifically the Paperwhite 6th and 7th generation, the 7th generation standard Kindle and the Voyage model. The ... (view more)

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