security

Tue
28
Jul
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Relaxes Windows 10 'Mandatory Updates'

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 users will be able to block or undo some updates to the system. It's a minor exception to the recently-instated policy that all updates are mandatory. In previous editions of Windows, users have always had the ... choice of whether or not to download a new feature or security update, including whether or not it was installed automatically, or manually. Last month Microsoft raised eyebrows when a page on its site revealed that users of the Home edition -- the one aimed at the general consumer market -- will have all updates downloaded automatically. The ... (view more)

Thu
23
Jul
John Lister's picture

No Service Packs For Windows 10; Support ends 2025

Microsoft has confirmed it will support Windows 10 for at least ten years. The statement answers some questions, but raises other queries. The confirmation comes via a change to Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet . That's the page that ... explains exactly when it plans to stop offer support for each of its operating systems. The listed dates for Windows 10 are October 13, 2020 for the end of mainstream support and October 14, 2025 for the end of extended support. (Source: microsoft.com ) Although XP's support was extended several times (owing largely to the reluctance of many ... (view more)

Mon
20
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Three Alternatives to Using Adobe Flash

Infopackets Reader Sam R. writes: " Dear Dennis, Is there an alternative to Adobe Flash? I just read John Lister's article ' Flash Blocked in Firefox over Security Risk ,' and I'm concerned that Flash might download a virus onto my system. I'm also ... concerned that Flash is a major CPU hog which slows down my system. If there is no alternative to Flash, and I block Flash entirely, how can I watch YouTube videos? " My response: Unfortunately there is currently no alternative to Flash on Windows systems that allows you to play Flash content (that I am aware of). There are, however a few ... (view more)

Wed
15
Jul
John Lister's picture

Flash Blocked In Firefox Over Security Risk

Mozilla has blocked Adobe Flash from running by default in the Firefox browser, citing security concerns. Meanwhile, Facebook's security chief has called for Adobe Flash to be killed off permanently. Adobe Flash is widely used for both videos and ... animations, including ones which play automatically on a website. The technology has fallen from favor over the years, however, thanks to problems with both performance and security. It's a popular target for malware creators as it is so widely used by users, regardless of their operating system or browser. A big part of the decline came when ... (view more)

Thu
25
Jun
John Lister's picture

Navy Spends $9.1M to Keep Running Windows XP

The US Navy has paid $9.1 million for ongoing support for Microsoft Windows. What makes it really amazing is that the ongoing support is for Windows XP. The payment comes from the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. It covers support for ... XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003. It only covers a temporary extension and there's an option for the Navy to extend the support coverage until 2017 with a total price of $30.8 million. The Navy isn't completely clueless about how outdated the software is. It's running a program to upgrade to more recent software and previously ... (view more)

Wed
17
Jun
John Lister's picture

Facial Recognition: Should Permission be Required?

Plans to draw up guidelines for how firms use facial recognition technology have fallen apart after civil liberties groups withdrew from talks. They say businesses aren't making a serious offer at an acceptable compromise. Businesses and consumer ... groups have been taking part in facial recognition guideline talks since early last year. They've been organized by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a government agency. The idea behind the talks was to avoid the need to draw up and implement legislation, something that could be politically tricky. The ... (view more)

Thu
11
Jun
John Lister's picture

Kaspersky Labs Hacked "By Government"

Kaspersky Lab, one of the biggest security software firms, says its own internal network was attacked by hackers. The company heavily implied that a national government was behind the hack. Owner Eugene Kaspersky says the hackers were able to access ... confidential internal data relating to research and development into new and improved security techniques. The attack didn't delete or change any data, or affect any performance. The company is also quick to stress that no customers were affected by the move and that it's products continue to work as designed. Attack Method Impressive, ... (view more)

Tue
09
Jun
John Lister's picture

New Cloud-Based Antivirus Strategy Unveiled

A new security firm says it has come up with a way to stop malicious software before it reaches a user's computer. The "Isolation Platform" will initially be offered to business users, but remains to be seen how practical the solution is. According ... to makers Menlo, the main problem with most security tools are that they are based around the idea of examining programming code on a user's computer, and trying to determine if the code is malicious. Only if everything appears to be OK is a program allowed to run on the computer. Menlo says that's flawed because malware ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jun
John Lister's picture

US Patriot Act Replaced To Limit Online Snooping

President Obama has signed a law that will limit the government's power to collect data from the public's online and telephone activities. The USA Freedom Act should make it harder for officials to simply collect data in bulk. The Act replaces the ... measures in the 2001 Patriot Act , which extended the government's surveillance powers as a response to the September 11 attacks . That led to the National Security Agency launching a program by which it effectively collected as much data as possible and held on to it so that it could then look back for details on particular individuals ... (view more)

Wed
20
May
John Lister's picture

FBI Wants to Ban Secure Internet using Backdoors

Some of the largest tech firms are urging President Obama to drop plans to make it easier for law enforcement and security agencies to access Internet communications. They say the President should resist any idea for such firms to implement ... mandatory "backdoors." The proposal means that firms are only allowed to use encryption if they also build in a way that makes it possible for law enforcement groups to access the data in an unencrypted form. The "key" to unlock the data would effectively be split into two parts: one held by the Internet firm, and the other by the ... (view more)

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