software

Tue
04
Oct
John Lister's picture

8 Tools that can Help Keep Your PC Secure

At Infopackets we're often asked to recommend security software and tools or give our opinion on specific products. While every product has its pros and cons, as the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. With that in mind, I ... thought I'd run down the actual tools I use in my day to day life rather than when we're testing out products. That means trying to find the balance of staying protected without taking up too much time and attention or computing resources. Permanent My main anti-virus software is Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7. It's ... (view more)

Wed
13
Jul
John Lister's picture

New Research Promises to Halt Ransomware in its Tracks

Researchers say they've found a way of severely limiting the damage ransomware causes. Meanwhile California legislators are mulling over new laws specifically aimed at the tactic. Ransomware involves attackers remotely installing malicious software ... that encrypts files and makes them inaccessible without an unlock key. In many cases, this means victims can't access the data and may be unable to use the computer at all. The attackers then demand a fee to provide the unlock key. The tactic has led to controversy over whether victims should pay the fee , something critics say merely encourages ... (view more)

Thu
02
Jun
John Lister's picture

Bloatware from 5 Major PC Firms 'A Security Risk'

A security firm says that laptops from five major PC manufacturers have inherent security flaws which make the systems open to attack the very first time they are used. The problem deals with the automatic update tools installed by the manufacturer. ... Duo Labs explored the pre-installed manufacturer software on laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo. In total, they found 12 vulnerabilities which they described as being ridiculously simple to exploit. (Source: duo.com ) The software is what's officially known as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) software, but commonly referred to ... (view more)

Thu
28
Apr
John Lister's picture

Hackers Weaponize Obscure Windows Feature

Microsoft has detailed the intricate and carefully crafted attack techniques of a longstanding group of online spies. They include taking advantage of a now-retired Windows feature for easier updates. Thankfully for home users, the attacks from the ... group Microsoft dubs "Platinum" have been highly targeted at government, defense, communications and intelligence agencies and organizations. That's promoted speculation a government may be behind the attacks. The details come in a report by Microsoft's Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting. It notes that while some attacks are ... (view more)

Tue
29
Mar
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Alters Windows 10 to Please China

Microsoft has finished work on a special edition of Windows 10 for Chinese users. It appears to be designed to keep the country's authoritarian government happy. The edition is known as Windows 10 Zhuangongban, which translates as Specially Provided ... Edition, and will be aimed mainly at government agencies and government-owned businesses. The new software is described in an article on Chinese website Caixin, though its unclear how free the site was to cover the news without either direct censorship or self-censorship. Software Meets 'Special Needs' Based on an automated Google ... (view more)

Fri
18
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: What to Expect if you Ditch Windows and Go Linux

Infopackets Reader 'Kathy aka VJ' writes: " Dear Dennis, In regard to John Lister's article ' Windows 10 install surprising users ' - how about an article about switching to Linux instead of Windows 10, including a how to, cost, warnings, software ... compatibility, etc. I've just about had it with Microsoft and it's aggressive tactics, trying to get me to install Windows 10 with its 'gotcha' updates . As such, I am thinking it's time to get myself out from under the Microsoft umbrella. I am expert with MS Office and would hate to switch, but if it won't run under Linux, I may have to stick with ... (view more)

Tue
29
Dec
John Lister's picture

Computer Bug Means 3,000 Cons Get Early Release

Washington state officials have confirmed a software flaw has meant more than 3,000 prisoners have been mistakenly released early. Amazingly, the problem was known about by staff at the Washington State Department of Corrections since 2012, before ... anything was done. State governor Jay Inslee confirmed the figure may be as high was 3,200 and dates back to 2002. He's ordered that all releases be manually checked and approved until a software fix is in place next month. The problem involves a computerized system that tracks prisoner release dates, specifically, those who have been granted ... (view more)

Wed
09
Dec
John Lister's picture

New 'Bootkit' Malware Sidesteps Security Software

A newly-identified piece of malware has achieved arguably the ultimate goal of cybercriminals. "Nemesis" is able to infect a Windows computer before the operating system is loaded. The malware is a particularly nasty form of a rootkit . That's ... software which is able to inappropriately access some of the core components of a computer (both hardware and software), often disguising its actions. A rootkit is a serious problem because it's often completely undetectable, which means that it can easily override antivirus software to carry out malicious tasks. In this case, the Nemesis ... (view more)

Wed
19
Aug
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Scan-and-Block Piracy Fears May Be Unfounded

Some of the terms and conditions applying to Windows 10 users appear to give Microsoft permission to block software it suspects is illegal. However, it seems the clause may be a case of a careless cut-and-paste, rather than a firm policy. The text ... appears in the Microsoft Services Agreement. That's not strictly the terms and conditions of Windows 10 itself, but rather Microsoft's various online services. It's come to wider attention because so many of these services are used by apps built into Windows 10. Microsoft Can Block Games and Peripherals Among the agreement's clauses ... (view more)

Wed
29
Jul
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Program Adapted to Predict Stem Cell Outcome

Software developed to hunt down bugs in programs for Windows has been adapted for stem cell research. Though the two tasks sound nothing alike, they both involve calculating the link between cause and effect. New Scientist reports that the software ... is known as the Reasoning Engine for Interaction Networks, or RE:IN. It's been made available through Microsoft's research unit to several scientists who specialize in stem cells. (Source: newscientist.com ) A stem cell is effectively the blank slate of cells in mammals. As well as dividing to produce more stem cells (meaning that the body ... (view more)

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