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Category Archives: PC Security

What to do if all your computer files go poof

Washington Post: “As you toil away on your computers and other devices day after day, how many gigabytes of data are you churning out each year in the form of photos, financial records, creative endeavors and other priceless digital files? More importantly, what if the computer or external drive where all those files are stored suddenly dies? Unfortunately, mechanical drives last only about five to 10 years with normal wear and tear. Flash drives and newer solid-state drives have no moving parts, but their chips live only so long. Drives and devices also get dropped and run over. People mistakenly delete files and accidentally re-format their drive. Viruses and failed upgrades and installs corrupt data. So what do you do when your data suddenly goes poof? Don’t panic. Lost data can probably be recovered, though it can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Here’s what to do if disaster strikes — and how to avoid it in the first place…”

The perilous life of computer virus cracker making powerful enemies online

BBC: “Fabian is world renowned for destroying ransomware – the viruses sent out by criminal gangs to extort money. Because of this, he lives a reclusive existence, always having to be one step ahead of the cyber criminals. He has moved to an unknown location since this interview was carried out…Ransomware is a particularly nasty… Continue Reading

IBM X-Force Intelligence Threat Index 2019

“As the cyber threat landscape evolves, what we saw in 2018 is organisations across all industries are facing unmanageable levels of cyber threats brought on by the changing threat landscape, the risk of exposure and an ever-growing attack surface. The IBM X-Force Research team is a crack team of security professionals who run thousands of… Continue Reading

Nine Steps That Companies Should Take To Protect You

EFF: “Today we are announcing Fix It Already, a new way to show companies we’re serious about the big security and privacy issues they need to fix. We are demanding fixes for different issues from nine tech companies and platforms, targeting social media companies, operating systems, and enterprise platforms on issues ranging from encryption design… Continue Reading

Paper – Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features

In Control with no Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features, Jason Morris, Ingolf Becker, Simon Parkin – University College London Workshop on Usable Security (USEC) 201924 February 2019, San Diego, CA, USAISBN 1-1891562-53-3 http://dx.doi.org/10.14722/usec.2019.23008 – www.ndss-symposium.org: “Home computer users are regularly advised to install software updates to stay secure. Windows… Continue Reading

Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock

Krebs on Security – “Maybe you were once advised to “look for the padlock” as a means of telling legitimate e-commerce sites from phishing or malware traps. Unfortunately, this has never been more useless advice. New research indicates that half of all phishing scams are now hosted on Web sites whose Internet address includes the… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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