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Category Archives: PC Security

How to Tell if Your Account Has Been Hacked

Motherboard – How to check if your Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other accounts have been hacked. “Hackers routinely target high profile victims like politicians or wealthy cryptocurrency investors. But you could become a target too. Maybe an abusive former partner wants to stalk you, or a run-of-the-mill cybercriminal wants to get into your bank account. If you think you have been targeted, or worse, hacked, how can you even tell if someone got hold of your account? That’s actually a really hard question to answer, as different online services offer different types of data, and it’s usually not that easy to find. In this small guide, we’ll teach you the basic steps you can take to see if there’s any trace of an intrusion in your online accounts, such as Gmail, Microsoft’s email, Facebook, and Twitter. A word of caution: sometimes, you won’t be able to get a definitive answer on whether there’s been a breach. If you think there was, we suggest talking to a professional, such as your local IT store employee, or Access Now’s digital security helpline. Also, this guide only covers breaches of online services, if a hacker has broken into your computer, all these services could be compromised and the techniques described here wouldn’t necessarily help you detect that kind of breach…”

US-CERT issues guide on how to properly dispose of your electronic devices

ZDNet – “Over the past few years, there have been numerous reports, and studies about how second-hand devices that have been put up for sale still contained information from previous owners, exposing those individuals to scams, blackmailing, or identity theft. This week, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division part of the… Continue Reading

GAO – Actions Taken by Equifax and Federal Agencies in Response to the 2017 Breach

Data Protection: Actions Taken by Equifax and Federal Agencies in Response to the 2017 Breach. GAO-18-559: Published: Aug 30, 2018. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2018: Hackers stole the personal data of nearly 150 million people from Equifax databases in 2017. How did Equifax, a consumer reporting agency, respond to that event? Equifax said that it… Continue Reading

DHS announces US critical infrastructure at risk from Russia

WSJ – DHS Forms New Cyber Hub to Protect Critical U.S. Infrastructure Secretary Nielsen Says ‘Our Intelligence Community Had it Right’ About Russian Interference – What What What ⸮⸮⸮ [see my previous posting about this punctuation mark] As this article is behind a paywall – you may want to avail yourself via US-CERT of the… Continue Reading

These are the websites your clean-install Windows PC connects to by itself

MSPoweruser: “Since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has been accused of breaching privacy and connecting users to services without proper disclosure. The company now has released a list of websites and services that a Windows PC connects to after a clean install. The list mostly consists of Microsoft services which provide data endpoints to… Continue Reading

Chrome is flagging HTTP sites as “not secure”

In case you have not noticed, your workplace security team has no doubt started blocking your access to websites that are not using HTTPS encryption – via ZDNet: “Chrome will today start marking sites that don’t use HTTPS as “not secure. First announced two years ago, Google said it would flag any site that still… Continue Reading

Getting a password manager is the most important way to improve your online security

Washington Post – “…After testing password managers that work across browsers and devices, I recommend one called Dashlane. It’s the one simple enough that you’re likely to stick with it, though its features are neck and neck with rivals 1Password and LastPass, which are also fine choices. Dashlane, used by 10 million people, is free… Continue Reading

Whistleblower’s guilty plea and unmistakable trail of watermarks

Axios: “Reality Winner has pleaded guilty: “All of my actions I did willfully, meaning I did so of my own free will,” she told a court on Tuesday, per the New York Times‘ report. The former Air Force linguist earned the distinction of being the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration on charges of… Continue Reading

NYT: ‘Firefox Is Back. It’s Time to Give It a Try.’

As a decade long user of Firefox I am not sure why users have been so averse to dropping Chrome – perhaps this New York Times review will help you make the switch now: “Tech Review: After testing Firefox for the last three months, I found it to be on a par with Chrome in… Continue Reading

Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan

NextGov: “Many federal agencies don’t know how hackers are targeting them, can’t tell when hackers steal large amounts of their data and aren’t efficiently spending the cybersecurity money they have, according to a report and action plan released last week. Roughly three-quarters of federal agencies’ cybersecurity programs are currently “at risk” or “at high risk,”… Continue Reading

UK – Internet Safety Strategy green paper

“The Internet Safety Strategy looks at how we can ensure Britain is the safest place in the world to be online. The Strategy considers the responsibilities of companies to their users, the use of technical solutions to prevent online harms and government’s role in supporting users. The consultation covered various aspects of online safety including:… Continue Reading

Beginning July 2018 Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”

Google Chromium Blog: “For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018… Continue Reading