security

Fri
06
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Windows 10 1709 Won't Install

Infopackets Reader Jose B. writes: " Dear Dennis, For the past few months, my PC has tried to upgrade to Windows 10 version 1709, but each time it fails to install. Whenever I use my computer I receive a pop up message on my desktop stating that ' ... Your device needs the latest security updates . Microsoft can't install important security updates on your PC until you install the most current version of Windows 10.' When I look at my Windows Update history, it says the upgrade to version 1709 failed (repeatedly) . When I manually check for updates, it says: ' Your device is at risk because it's ... (view more)

Thu
22
Mar
John Lister's picture

US Blamed for Sophisticated Router Malware

Last week security researchers said a piece of malware named "Slingshot" was so sophisticated it was backed by a government. Now it appears that government was the United States and that the revelations may have compromised an anti-terror campaign. ... The original reports didn't name the country involved. That might not quell controversy, however the reports came from Kaspersky Labs, a security company based in Russia. Slingshot exploited a bug in a specific brand of routers. In simple terms, it was able to take advantage of the way the router updated its operating software on an ... (view more)

Thu
15
Mar
John Lister's picture

Trump Blocks Broadcom, Qualcomm Tech Deal

President Trump has blocked a Singapore-based company from taking over a major American tech firm. He says the proposed Broadcom buyout of Qualcomm posed a credible national security risk. The deal would have been the biggest in tech history. ... Qualcomm makes a wide range of computer and gadget components with a particular emphasis on those used in communications devices such as phones. It helped develop key systems used to carry data over cellphone networks, allowing smartphones and tablets to get Internet access without relying on WiFi. Broadcom had offered $140 million to buyout Qualcomm. ... (view more)

Mon
05
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I Need Norton Identity Protection and Similar Services?

Infopackets Reader Marjie H. writes: " Dear Dennis, I just received an email offer from Norton Security asking if I would like to enroll in the Norton Identity Protection. In order to do so, the form says I need to provide my social insurance ... number. The protection being offered is free, so long as I renew my Norton Antivirus subscription. From what I understand, this service includes protection against personal credit, credit cards, bank, social insurance number (SSI), etc. My question is - with all this information they are asking for, what is the possibility they could be hacked and all my ... (view more)

Tue
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google Exposes Unfixed Microsoft Edge Security Flaw

Google has revealed a security flaw with the Microsoft Edge browser before Microsoft released a patch. It's a controversial move with arguments across both the tech and security industries. The flaw in question is somewhat complicated. In very ... simplified terms, the flaw is to do with how Microsoft Edge converts website code into what users see on their computer screen when visiting a website. Google realized that it could work out precisely when the browser would access part of the computer's memory and use this knowledge to effectively set a booby trap. That could then force the computer to ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jan
John Lister's picture

Chrome Extensions Labelled Rogue

A security firm says four malicious extensions for Google Chrome were downloaded a total of more than half a million times. It's asking why Google's vetting process didn't weed the malware earlier. Extensions in Chrome are similar to add-ons for ... other browsers - namely, third-party tools that improve the web browsing experience. Common examples include ad-blockers, password managers and tools for downloading videos from web pages (such as Youtube). Because extensions have some level of access to a user's Internet data (and even some control over their browsing), Google has some security ... (view more)

Wed
20
Dec
John Lister's picture

'Password' Still a Common Password in 2017

A security company has released its list of the worst passwords of 2017. As always with this annual survey, it tells us more about culture than security practices. The list comes from SplashData, which compiles the rankings based on how many times ... particular passwords appears in leaked lists of user databases (mainly among English language users). The survey this year totaled more than five million passwords, though it's worth noting the company deliberately excluded leaks of passwords from adult sites. (Source: cnet.com ) The most common are hardly any surprise with "123456" beating out " ... (view more)

Mon
18
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 7 Users: Security Updates End January 2020

Infopackets Reader Jerry K. writes: " Dear Dennis, I've read that the Windows 10 free upgrade ends at the end of this year. I have Windows 7 on my main PC and and my wife has Windows 8 on her laptop. In all, I find Windows 7 easier to use. Can we ... continue using Windows 7 and 8 indefinitely? Can you give me a few good reasons why I should get the free upgrade? " My response: I have been receiving a lot of questions lately similar to this, so I will try and answer this as best I can. First let's address your first question: no, you cannot continue using Windows 7 or 8 indefinitely (at least, ... (view more)

Thu
14
Dec
John Lister's picture

Trio Admits Hijacking Home Devices

Three Americans have plead guilty to hijacking more than 100,000 internet-connected devices. The group of infected machines (known as a "botnet") was then used to attack websites using a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) to make websites ... unavailable. While most DDoS attacks are carried out on PCs, this attack in particular targeted weaknesses in smaller devices that use the Internet. This included routers, digital video recorders and wireless cameras. That's a significant point, as the tech security community has generally treated security flaws in such devices as a lower ... (view more)

Fri
24
Nov
John Lister's picture

Windows Bugs Could Be Much More Serious

A key security feature in Windows doesn't work as planned. It's not a vulnerability in itself, but means that hackers who find bugs in software are much more likely to be able to do damage. The problem is with Address Space Layout Randomization ... (ASLR). It deals with the way a computer organizes different programs in memory. As an analogy, it's like organizing vehicles of different sizes and makes in a parking lot. Most operating systems support ASLR, which means that when a program starts up and needs to use the computer's memory, it's assigned a random location. In the analogy, think of cars ... (view more)

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