New Versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome Tout Security

On the Internet there are two main ways of getting a malware infection – links or attachment on emails, or from visiting fake, rogue, or compromised websites.  So browser security has become an important consideration, perhaps the most important consideration, when deciding what browser to use.

Microsoft will be releasing Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 8 in the fall.  IE 10 will be available for Windows 7 users by download.  Several major changes in the browser will improve its overall security.  ...

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A Really Scary Hacking Story

This story is very very freaky.  Here is the link to the original article in Wired.  Exploiting security flaws on Amazon’s and Apple’s web sites, Mat Honan’s Google account, Twitter account, and Apple ID accounts were breached, and and with it his email accounts.  The hackers then erased all the data in his MacBook and iPhone.  None of this information was backed up, and Mat lost everything, including every picture he had of his newborn daughter.

This was possible ...

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Is Security Training Worthwhile?

In an article on Sophos, the question was posed “Is security training a waste of time?”  There were some examples of training with poor outcomes.  80% of West Point cadets given 4 hours of computer security immediately fell for a test phishing scam.   Employees at internet security firm RSA opened an infected XML attachment to an email that allowed their “secure” network to be breached by real-life hackers.  At the end of the article, it is suggested that ...

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Software Upgrades Avoided by 60% of Users

I recent survey by several leading software manufactures found that only 40% of users accepted alerts requesting them to download an install an upgrade, update, or security patch, even when the updates are free of charge.  The reasons given most often were:

  • The end users didn’t know if the alert was valid or not, were concerned the alert was fraudulent, and that they risked downloading malware or some else as bad.
  • There was no perceived or explained benefit to the end ...
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Mom Hacks Kids Grades

Here’s a fun story from Sophos of a Pennsylvania mom who hacked school district computers in order to improve her children’s grades.  She did this while working as an employee of the school district, so this in not quite the feat you might think it is.  Nevertheless, she was able to access a lot of other secure personal and payroll records for the district, using the Superintendents user ID and password.  Point being that you never know who ...

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50% of Spam comes from Asia

Where does all the spam come from?  Well, almost half (49.7%) of it originates somewhere in Asia, with India leading the pack at 11.4%.  This does not mean that Indians or other Asians are the “perpetrators.”  What this means is that computer users in Asian have become unwitting accomplices after having their poorly secured or unsecured computers hacked and added to some cyber-criminal’s botnet.

Here are the top 10 Spam relaying countries in the world for April to June 2012.  They ...

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Windows 7 Surpasses Windows XP–Finally!

It has been nearly 3 years since Windows 7 was launched, and it has finally surpassed the 11 year old and somewhat long in the tooth Windows XP in percentage of Windows computers in use.  Windows 7 has a 42% share with windows XP falling to 41% as users replace their older systems.  Windows Vista, never very popular with users, has a 7% share, down from its highest share of 13%.  It is expected that Windows 7 with achieve 48% ...

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Beware Facebook Photo Tag Announcements–They Could Be Malware

Malware is spreading on the Facebook platform posing as emails from Facebook saying you have been tagged in a photo.  Clicking on the link will redirect you to a malware download site, and then almost immediately to Facebook, so you may not even know that this has happened.  Please be careful opening these emails.  It is usually a better course of action to simply go to your Facebook page and search for the photo tag there.  Of course, in this ...

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Beware Facebook Photo Tag Announcements–They Could Be Malware

Malware is spreading on the Facebook platform posing as emails from Facebook saying you have been tagged in a photo.  Clicking on the link will redirect you to a malware download site, and then almost immediately to Facebook, so you may not even know that this has happened.  Please be careful opening these emails.  It is usually a better course of action to simply go to your Facebook page and search for the photo tag there.  Of course, in this ...

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Happy System Administrator’s Day

Today is System Administrator’s Day.  Yes, this is official.  Today is a day to remember those shy, quiet,  and largely unseen gnomes who run your computer world.  I am one of those guys.

So send your favorite computer buddy (you know the one who you call when you get that goofy error message) a little shout out by email, text, or Facebook.  Trust me, they will appreciate it.

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