security

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)

Thu
25
Feb
John Lister's picture

FTC Cracks Down on Poor Router Security

ASUS has agreed to government supervision for 20 years after exaggerating the security of its routers. Officials say the company put hundreds of thousands of computers at risk. The company has agreed to a settlement in response to Federal Trade ... Commission (FTC) charges. The alleged breach of rules wasn't in the security flaws themselves, but rather that ASUS continuing to market the routers as "safe" was misleading to customers. Among ASUS's bold claims was that its routers could "protect computers from any unauthorized access, hacking, and virus attacks." This ... (view more)

Wed
24
Feb
John Lister's picture

Pentagon to Upgrade 4M Seats to Windows 10

The Department of Defense plans to upgrade four million staff members to Windows 10. It's a major boost for Microsoft given the security needs of the DoD. Historically, government organizations have been slow to update operating systems. That's ... often because of the complexity of doing so across an entire network; for example, having to weigh up the problems of different computers on different systems, plus the hassle of having too many computers out of action even temporarily during an upgrade. Major upgrades such as this have caused concern in the security community - especially when ... (view more)

Tue
23
Feb
John Lister's picture

Apple Refuses Court Order to Unlock Encrypted iPhone

Tech company leaders are backing Apple in its defiance of a court order to make it easier for the FBI to access a murderer's iPhone. However, a poll shows public support for officials despite Apple's claims that the order threatens security. The ... case involves a phone belonging to Syed Farook who, along with his wife, shot dead 14 people in California last December. He was killed in a police shootout, but the FBI wants to examine his phone to see if it contains any details about the planning of the attacks and links to terrorist groups. FBI Needs More Than 10 Password Attempts The ... (view more)

Mon
01
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Script Errors in Firefox, IE, Chrome

Infopackets Reader 'dbrumley' writes: " Dear Dennis, I've had a problem lately with Firefox when visiting Amazon's website. I get a pop-up window saying a 'script on this page is either busy or not responding'. There are 3 buttons that say Stop ... script, Ignore error, and Debug script, along with an option that says 'Don't ask again'. I've tried using the 'Stop script' button, which closes the window, but the browser slows down and the window re-appears. The 'Ignore error' button does the same thing. The 'Debug script' button opens a window with what looks like HTML, but I can't make heads or ... (view more)

Thu
21
Jan
John Lister's picture

LastPass Password Manager a 'Phishing Risk'

A security researcher says he's published proof that users of password manager tool LastPass could easily be tricked into handing over login details. LastPass insists there is no bug with the service itself, but has made some changes to mitigate the ... issue. Sean Cassidy published details of the potential attack at a security conference. He says the way LastPass operates makes it too easy to create bogus looking login pages that could fool users into handing over their login credentials. According to Cassidy, two main problems combine to create the phishing risk. One is that LastPass ... (view more)

Tue
19
Jan
John Lister's picture

MS to Ditch Support for Win7, 8 on Newer PCs Next Year

In a move surely to upset many users, Microsoft has said it will be ditching support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on most new PCs. Some other PCs will lose support next July, earlier than many expected. The change is to do with the Skylake micro ... architecture for processors released by Intel in August 2015. Many PCs purchased recently will be running Skylake, as will most in the future. Until now, Microsoft had promised to offer extended support for Windows 7 until January 2020 and for Windows 8.1 until January 2023. Extended support means Microsoft continues to fix bugs and issue security updates, ... (view more)

Wed
13
Jan
John Lister's picture

Windows 8: No More Security Updates; 8.1 Upgrade a Must

Microsoft has officially dropped support for Windows 8. The move leaves an estimated 30 to 50 million devices needing an upgrade to get security and usability updates. The move, which takes effect with this weeks updates, is potentially confusing as ... Windows 7 is still supported by Microsoft. Additionally, this isn't the usual support timetable that applies to older editions of Windows. Instead, Microsoft is simply dropping support for Windows 8 where users haven't applied the first major batch of updates. Previously that was known as a service pack, but in this case Microsoft chose to ... (view more)

Thu
31
Dec
John Lister's picture

9 Million At Risk from Browser Security Tool

A popular antivirus browser extension has been labeled as a security risk by Google. The tool in question is called Web TuneUp and is a browser extension by AVG; in this case, the problem involves Web TuneUp and the Chrome Browser, but the threat ... itself likely includes other browsers as well. Web TuneUp works by validating links that appear on a web browser page, such as on a search engine results list. It then warns the user if a link points to a page that could compromise security. It's arguably overkill, given that Chrome includes similar tools - plus the fact that Google itself ... (view more)

Wed
30
Dec
John Lister's picture

MS Defends Windows 10 Policy to Copy Hard Drive Keys

Microsoft has confirmed it automatically uploads Windows 10 disk encryption keys to its servers. The company says it was a deliberate decision based on weighing up the worst case scenarios. The encryption key in question is not related to logging ... into and running Windows itself. Instead its an encryption of the entire hard drive of the device running Windows 10. This means that if somebody physically steals your computer, they can't make any sense of the data, even if it's been copied to another device (using a disk image backup, for example). Encryption Key Would Help Computer Thieves ... (view more)

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