John Lister

Tue
23
Apr
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Hugely Popular Android Apps Exposed As Scam

Six very opular Android apps have been exposed as scams to defraud advertisers. The scam also drained batteries and sucked up mobile data on the handsets. The six apps are AIO Flashlight, Omni Cleaner, RAM Master, Selfie Camera, Smart Cooler and ... Total Cleaner. All were in the official Google Play store but have been removed since their real purpose came to life. The revelation came after three security companies - Check Point, ESET and Method Media Intelligence - worked with news site Buzzfeed to investigate risky apps. They concentrated on apps which were widely used and required permissions ... (view more)

Thu
18
Apr
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MS Office Now Top Target for Hackers: Report

Hackers are now far more likely to target Microsoft Office than web browsers according to a security firm. Kaspersky Labs says the big problem is that fixing some of the most common MS Office flaws would cause serious compatibility problems. The ... figures are based on the number of users affected, rather than the sheer volume of attacks. That's arguably more informative as it doesn't treat all attacks as equally significant. Kaspersky compared the last three months of 2018 with the same period in 2016 and found a dramatic difference in just two years. Browsers and Flash Less of a Problem In the ... (view more)

Wed
17
Apr
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Ad Blockers Could Be Hijacked

A feature used in several ad blocker tools could be used to "booby trap" websites according to a security researchers. It appears to be a low but credible risk. The problem is all to do with the way many ad blockers work. In simple terms, they ... maintain a blacklist of URLs that host ads and other unwanted material. Whenever a website tries to load an ad from an URL on the list, it's blocked from doing so. Since last summer some ad blockers, including Adblock Plus, added support for a feature called "$rewrite." With this feature, the ad blocker won't just block the unwanted URL from ... (view more)

Tue
16
Apr
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Internet Explorer Bug Affects All Windows Users

A security researcher says an Internet Explorer flaw could affect people who don't even use the outdated browser. It's a reminder of the dangers of opening unexpected email attachments. John Page has published details of the bug which affects ... version 11 of Internet Explorer (the latest) on both Windows 7, 8 and 10. The bug involves a file format called MHT. It's a format that's not used much these days but used to be common back when Internet Explorer was king. It's used to download an entire web page (including images and other media) into a single file. It's not needed today as browsers can ... (view more)

Thu
11
Apr
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Website Sign-Ups Hijacked by Email Spammers

Scammers have found a creative way to bypass spam filters, effectively tricking legitimate sites into sending the message on their behalf. It's a reminder that human skepticism is always a key part of cyber security. The new scam was spotted by Sam ... Cook of Comparitech who spotted something amiss in an email from the British Newspaper "Archive," - a perfectly legitimate organization. The scam email asked him to confirm his email address for registering an account with the site. The problem there was that Cook hadn't attempted to register. In fact, this was the first time he ever ... (view more)

Wed
10
Apr
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Microsoft Gives Up on USB Removal Warnings

Microsoft is changing a default setting in Windows 10 that means it's now OK to remove a USB device without properly "ejecting" it from the operating system. It's an acknowledgement that many users simply don't use the "eject" feature. The fact is, ... using the "Safely remove hardware and eject media" on the Windows task bar (near the clock) is the correct way to eject USB media. This method is necessary because of read and write buffers to the device are constantly active. If the buffers are not flushed before the device is properly ejected, it could mean ... (view more)

Tue
09
Apr
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Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Updates Optional

Microsoft is going back to its old policy of letting users choose what Windows updates they get and when they get them, albeit with some restrictions. It's also going to put updates through more testing before rolling them out. One of the biggest ... change (and perhaps most controversial) with Windows 10 was the abandonment of the old policy by which users could take a case-by-case approach to downloading updates . The default in Windows 10 for home users has been that everything downloads and installs automatically, though exactly when this happens varies from device to device. That's partly ... (view more)

Thu
04
Apr
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Facebook Asks New Users for Password to Email Account

Facebook has asked some new users to provide passwords for their email accounts. It's provoked fury among critics who say it goes against basic rules of online security. Often when a user signs up for an online service they provide an email address ... as a form of identification. The service will normally check the address is genuine by sending a code or a link in an email to the address, thus proving the user does indeed "own" that address. However, some people signing up to Facebook have instead been seeing a screen that offers to confirm the email address automatically. The screen includes a ... (view more)

Wed
03
Apr
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Microsoft adds 'Tamper Protection' to Windows Defender

Microsoft will add a "tamper protection" feature to the built in antivirus tools in an upcoming Windows 10 update. It's designed to stop malware from switching off key security features in Microsoft Defender. Initially the changes will be available ... for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which is a subscription service for businesses. However, Microsoft appears to have revealed it will later become available to home users of Windows 10. (Source: zdnet.com ) The idea is to prevent rogue apps from disabling some of the weapons in the Microsoft Defender arsenal, in turn making it far ... (view more)

Tue
02
Apr
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Facebook's News Feed to be a bit Less Mysterious

Facebook is to tell users why a particular post has appeared in their news feed. However, it won't be telling the full story. One of the most controversial elements of Facebook is its news feed algorithm, which is responsible for showing 'news' from ... friends when a user logs into Facebook. At one point, this simply consisted of everything the user's friends had posted or shared in chronological order. This arguably became impractical, as both the number of users and the range of content users could share or otherwise interact with had rocketed. The argument is that the sheer amount of content ... (view more)

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