security

Tue
12
May
John Lister's picture

Thunderbolt Flaw Could Bypass Security, Encryption

A researcher has found a major bug with Thunderbolt port technology that could undermine major security measures on multiple computer systems. There's a big mitigating factor though: an attacker would need extended physical access to the computer in ... order to carry out the exploit. Thunderbolt is a technology that is similar in concept to USB, but adds fiber optic to the usual copper wires. Compared to USB, Thunderbolt has high speed and capacity. Common uses include super-fast device charging (including laptops), 4K video, and extremely quick data transfers. Originally Thunderbolt was only ... (view more)

Mon
20
Apr
John Lister's picture

How to Fix Windows Defender Glitch

The latest Windows 10 update blunder temporarily left some users without full use of the system's in-built antivirus / antimalware protection. Though enthusiasts quickly spotted a workaround, the problem has now been fixed with a Windows 10 update. ... The initial problem wasn't actually a system update to Windows 10 itself that caused the issue, but rather an antivirus definition update file for Windows Defender. Essentially, a "definition update" contains details of the latest known threats that the tool can immediately deal with. For some users, the problem only arose when running a full scan ... (view more)

Thu
26
Mar
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 to Only Get Security Fixes

Microsoft is switching to a "security updates only" model for Windows from May until further notice. The idea is to limit the risk of creating bugs while many people are working from home without IT support staff. The change affects what are known ... internally at Microsoft as C and D updates. Those roll out on the third and fourth week of the month and contain previews and testing of new features that are planned for a main release the following month. Microsoft will continue with the B update on the second Tuesday of each month, unofficially known as Patch Tuesday. However, this will now only ... (view more)

Wed
25
Mar
John Lister's picture

Critical Security Flaw Hits Windows 7 and 8 Hardest

Microsoft has warned users of a significant unpatched security flaw in Windows. It's offered some key steps to take while the problem is being fixed. The problem affects all currently supported versions of Windows, though Windows 7 and 8 machines ... are affected 'critically' according to the Microsoft advisory bulletin. Attacks on Windows 10 machines are considerably more constrained due to its enhanced security features. Microsoft says its currently only aware of targeted attacks on Windows 7 machines, though that could change now the bug has been made public. (Source: microsoft.com ) Adobe ... (view more)

Tue
24
Mar
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Warning: Windows Defender May Break (Workaround)

Windows 10's built-in security tool Windows Defender has stopped working properly for some users. There's a workaround for those who want added peace of mind. Exactly what's causing the problem isn't yet clear, but some users are finding both manual ... and automatic scans produce messages such as: "Items skipped during scan: The Windows Defender Antivirus scan skipped an item due to exclusion or network scanning settings." In other cases, the error message reports that the entire scan was skipped. The message isn't proving particularly helpful as it's not clear what items are actually being ... (view more)

Thu
12
Mar
John Lister's picture

New Ransomware Exploits Excel Format

A new ransomware variant takes advantage of a Microsoft Excel feature. It's a good reminder to keep security software up-to-date. The variant has been reported by security company Lastline. It involves a known ransomware called Paradise that ... operates in the familiar fashion: the attackers find a way to get remote access to a computer then encrypt files and demand a fee to restore access - sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars, or much higher. In this case, the attackers try to trick victims into opening a file attachment that creates the opening for accessing the machine. The ... (view more)

Thu
05
Mar
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Malware-Free Cyber Attacks on the Rise

Most online attacks don't involve malware, according to newly published figures. It's the first time "fileless techniques" have been in the majority. The figures come from an annual report by security company CrowdStrike. It says it analyzed its own ... customer data along with that from investigations into known attackers and data from reported incidents. According to the report, malware-free attacks made up 51 percent of the total during 2019, up from 40 percent the previous year. The tactics were particularly prevalent in North America, making up 74 percent of attacks. (Source: zdnet.com ) As ... (view more)

Wed
26
Feb
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Chrome Users: Update Now to Patch Critical Bug

Google has issued a critically important update to its Chrome browser due to a nasty zero day bug. The browser should update automatically for most users, but the bug is serious enough that it's a case of checking to ensure that the update has been ... successfully applied. The update fixes three security problems, one of which is a critical. It means hackers were actively exploiting the problem before Google fixed it - meaning the update process gave users a zero day head start on the bad guys (hence the term, ' zero day exploit '). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google isn't saying much at all about ... (view more)

Mon
24
Feb
John Lister's picture

Gas Pipeline Shut Down After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware forced an unplanned shutdown of a US gas pipeline for two days. It's not yet clear if the attackers intended to have that effect. The full details, including the identity of the pipeline and its operators, have been kept under wraps. The ... only official information that's been made public comes from a security alert bulletin by the Department of Homeland Security (DoHS). (Source: us-cert.gov ) The attack started as an all-too-familiar "spear phishing" attack. That's a deliberately targeted email that tries to fool somebody (that typically works for a corporation) into clicking on a ... (view more)

Thu
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google: OEM Mods Make Android OS Less Safe

Google says phone and tablet makers who alter Android's code to add security measures may actually be undermining security. It says device manufacturers should stick to Android's own measures. Jann Horn of Google's Project Zero security team ... specifically pointed to an alteration made by Samsung for the Galaxy A50 phone, which he says contained a bug that made the device vulnerable to attack. He says he discovered and reported the bug to Samsung in September 2018 but it wasn't patched until Samsung's security updates released this month. (Source: blogspot.com ) Ironically Horn believes the ... (view more)

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