Articles

Thu
22
Oct
John Lister's picture

Adblockers Hijacked To Snoop On Users

Two ad-blocking Chrome extensions have been removed from distribution after they were altered to collect user data. People who've already installed Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender should now remove the tools. Instructions for removal are near the ... end of the article. Both Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender started out as legitimate extensions which users could integrate into the Chrome browser to block ads. They had a combined total of 250,000 downloads, and ironically that success seems to be what ended up causing the problems. New Owners Manipulate Extension The original developer sold the ... (view more)

Wed
21
Oct
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Parents Name Baby after ISP for free Internet

A couple have reportedly named their daughter after an Internet company in return for 18 years of free mobile broadband. Perhaps fortunately the girl now only has "Twifia" as a middle name. The couple took up a promotional offer from Swiss company ... Twifi. It made the offer to any parents who named their child with Twifia or Twifius. It's not clear why the offer covers these variations rather than the brand name itself. The deal requires a parent to upload a photograph of the birth certificate with one of the names on it and await verification. They will then get 18 years of service for the ... (view more)

Tue
20
Oct
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Windows 10 Brings MS Office Start Menu Surprise

Microsoft has added links to Office web apps on Windows 10 computers without asking permission. It's more of an irritation than a damaging problem, but it's certainly safe to say some folks are irritated. The links appear to have been added by an ... automatic update, with some users reporting their computer restarted without warning and they lost some work that hadn't been saved. (Users can set Windows 10 to only restart automatically at set times such as during the night to stop this happening.) The links appear in the Start Menu alongside other apps as a single tile that contains several small ... (view more)

Mon
19
Oct
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Windows 10 Start Up Process To Change

Microsoft is to warn Windows 10 users when an app will start up automatically when they start their computer. The move is designed to prevent the start up process being slowed down against the user's wishes. Users already have the ability to ... manually decide whether an app starts up automatically when they switch on their computer. The change is to the way apps are set when they are originally installed. Which apps should start up automatically is a balancing act. With some it's important to start up automatically for functionality purposes, such as having anti-malware software running right ... (view more)

Wed
14
Oct
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Microsoft, Military Tackle Bonet Preceding Elections

Microsoft says it has disrupted "one of the world's most persistent malware operations." The action against "Trickbot" reportedly involved working with the US military. Trickbot is a botnet , created by infecting computers with malware then ... hijacking and combining their resources for further malicious activity. The operators largely built it using bogus emails that tricked users into opening a file attachment or clicking a link that downloaded and installed malware. The uses of Trickbot have included stealing login details such as online banking credentials; accessing sensitive data; and ... (view more)

Tue
13
Oct
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Yelp to Label 'Racist' Businesses Online

Review site Yelp is to highlight businesses that have been accused of racist behavior. Critics argue the policy is open to malicious abuse. Yelp says over this summer it has noticed a surge in reviews which warn users of racist behavior. However, it ... believes many of these may be written by people reporting to social media or news reports of such activity, rather than from their own experience of using a business. According to Yelp, it needed to change its policy to deal with two issues. The first is that its rules only allow reviews based on first-hand experience. The second is that it ... (view more)

Fri
09
Oct
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Apple Sues Over Bogus Recycling

Apple is suing a recycling company it suspects of reselling more than 100,000 devices rather than disposing of them. It warns they may have been rebuilt with counterfeit components that pose a safety risk. In a three year period, Apple sent more ... than 500,000 iPads, iPhones and Apple Watches to GEEP Canada for recycling. However, it later carried out a security audit and discovered Apple products were being stored at the recycling center in a separate location, and that this location wasn't covered by security cameras. Apple then checked its database and scanned online where it found 18 ... (view more)

Thu
08
Oct
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How to Disable Bing Results in Windows Search

Windows 10 users can once again disable Bing Internet results from showing up in the Windows search taskbar. Unfortunately, it involves editing the Registry rather than changing a settings menu. One of the "improvements" of Windows 10 is a combined ... search function. Users who type in a search through the Start menu will not only see results from the computer itself (for example, matching filenames) but also website results retrieved from Microsoft's Bing search engine. While theoretically this could be useful in some cases, some users find it frustrating or intrusive, particularly with the ... (view more)

Wed
07
Oct
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Google Launches App Security Team

Google is creating a dedicated security team to hunt for bugs in "sensitive" Android apps. It will concentrate on the nature of the app rather than how widely its used. The new team will working in a different way to Google's existing program that ... offer bounties to independent security researchers who spot bugs in apps from the Google Play Store. To get the most "bang for its buck," that program only covers apps which have more than 100 million downloads. While it's logical enough to prioritize those apps as the number of people affected by a security breach will be highest, it doesn't take ... (view more)

Thu
01
Oct
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COVID-19 Changes Ransomware Tactics

COVID-19 hasn't had much direct effect on the world of malware, but it may be why ransomware scams are getting scarily efficient. So says Microsoft in its latest "Digital Defense Report." The report is based on Microsoft's experiences through its ... built-in and standalone security measures on consumer and business devices and networks. It covers the year from July 2019 though June 2020. (Source: microsoft.com ) Microsoft suggests COVID-19 itself hasn't made much difference to most forms of malware. That's something of a surprise given more people are working from home and thus sending ... (view more)

Wed
30
Sep
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Fitness Trackers Could Boost Urban Planning

Fitness tracking company Strava is to share four billion pieces of user data. Unlike previous glitches, it's a deliberate action designed to help urban planners. The news came to light as Strava sent an email to customers to remind them that its ... user agreement gives it the right to share and sell user data as long as it is in completely anonymized form. Users can opt out, but their data is collected by default. The company is bundling the data, which includes details of walks and cycle rides, as a commercial product called Metro. The idea is that buyers such as urban planners and cycling ... (view more)

Tue
29
Sep
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Google Maps Now Shows COVID Hotspots

Google has added an optional setting for its Maps tool showing the levels of reported COVID-19 infections in an area. However, users need to check exactly what area the data covers. For now the feature is only available on mobile apps rather than ... the desktop website version. It's also rolling out slowly, and may not be available immediately. Once available, the feature is accessible by tapping the layers button in the top-right corner of the screen. That's the button with an icon similar to a diamond with a v-shape underneath. This will then show the map in marked areas. Each area will have a ... (view more)

Thu
24
Sep
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Office 2019 Won't Be Last Of Its Kind

Microsoft is releasing a new "buy it once" version of Office. It's a surprise follow-up to Office 2019 and is an alternative to the ongoing subscription of Office 365. Right now very little is known about the new product as it's only come to light ... through a single line in a blog post that's otherwise about business tools Microsoft Exchange. That line reads: "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021." (Source: microsoft.com ) A perpetual release is another way of saying that users only have to pay once to purchase the software ... (view more)

Wed
23
Sep
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Hospital Hacker Must Pay $1.5M, Jailed 5 Years

A man who was part of a hacking gang that stole medical records and tried to blackmail an accounting company has been sentenced to five years in prison. Nathan Wyatt was a member of a group calling themselves The Dark Overlord. British-born Wyatt ... had previously been extradited to the United States. He was charged with conspiracy against the US, threatening damage to a protected computer, and aggravated identify theft. Originally Wyatt pleaded not guilty. He later changed his plea to guilty on the conspiracy charge and received a five year prison sentence and ordered to pay $1,467,048 in ... (view more)

Tue
22
Sep
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Chinese Apps TikTok, WeChat Won't Be Banned

A judge has blocked a Department of Commerce ban on a Chinese messaging app. The judge said there wasn't enough specific evidence against the app to override free speech complaints. The department introduced the ban on WeChat (along with video app ... TikTok) following an executive order from the President. The ban meant it was illegal for app stores to distribute or update the apps in the US. The ban also outlawed US use of WeChat's mobile payment facility, which is hugely popular with American citizens of Asian descent. One estimate puts the number of US users at 19 million. In both cases, the ... (view more)

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