security

The Bad Guys Do Not Have A Video Of You Looking At Porn

Security warning: the bad guys don't have a video of you looking at porn

The bad guys know where you live.

The bad guys know your old passwords.

But the bad guys do not have a video of you looking at porn. They’re lying to scare you.

If you get an email asking for money and threatening to release an embarrassing video taken with your laptop camera, it is a scam. […] continued

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Decoding Russian Cyberattacks: The Difference Between Hacking And Meddling

Russian cyberattacks - the difference between hacking and meddling

There is a difference between Russian hacking, on the one hand; and Russian meddling in American society and interfering with our election, on the other hand. The terms are used interchangeably and imprecisely in news coverage. Let’s try for clarity. Knowing the difference will help you sort out the claims flying back and forth in the headlines. […] continued

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“The Perfect Weapon” Is The Perfect Book For 2018

The Perfect Weapon by David Sanger

The Perfect Weapon by New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger, is the most important book you will read this year.

Before I describe the book, let me start with something essential to know about it: The Perfect Weapon reads like a thriller. It does not get technical or difficult. […] continued

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Security Warning: Malicious Email Reaches Epidemic Levels

Email messages are trying to hurt you

The onslaught of spam email with malicious links has reached epidemic levels. I’ve never seen it this bad. I hear from clients every day about dangerous email messages. I get 5 or 10 or 20 a day myself.

This is my new suggestion: Assume every message you receive is phony. […] continued

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Your Neighbor Is Not Calling You: 3.4 Billion Reasons Not To Answer The Phone

Robocalls and neighbor spoofing

It’s not your imagination. Your cell phone is ringing off the hook with automated spam calls – 3.4 billion robocalls in April alone, a 35% increase from the previous year.

Advances in call technology make it easier for the bad guys to make higher volumes of calls. VOIP calls can be placed inexpensively from anywhere in the world. […] continued

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FBI Warns That Your Router Is Possessed By Demons; Government Recommends Panic

Technopanic 2018: the bad guys control your router

Hundreds of thousands of routers – maybe yours! – are infected by malware linked to the Russian government. The bad guys behind the malware attack, Sofacy Group, are believed to be directed by Russia’s military intelligence agency. It’s the same group that hacked the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election. […] continued

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Around The World In 80 Taps: Google Pay, Apple Pay, And Contactless Payments

NFC mobile phone payment

I never used a credit card in Australia. I bought coffee and sandwiches and souvenirs and dinners and clothing, but I never pulled out my wallet. I never used cash, either.

I tapped.

You should tap.

Australian merchants accept mobile payments with Google Pay or Apple Pay for almost every transaction. […] continued

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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2018

Computer and online safety 2018 - Stop, Think, Act

These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2018. You can download a copy here.

You will be safe if you are cautious. Stop and think before you click on links, before you call unfamiliar phone numbers, before you install programs, and before you fill in passwords.  Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. […] continued

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Meltdown & Spectre: What You Need To Know About Intel’s Security Disaster

Meltdown & Spectre - Intel's security disaster

Nearly every modern processor has security flaws that potentially could allow hackers to steal data from any computer or server. The two related problems, code-named Meltdown and Spectre, have the technology industry in a tizzy and spilled over to the mainsteam press a few days ago. They are difficult to fix and alarming to read about. […] continued

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The 2017 Bruceb News Year In Review

The 2017 Bruceb News Year In Review

A year ago I wrote this prediction: “The word of the year for 2017 is “chaos.” Write it down, seal it in an envelope, open it up a year from now and see if I got it right.”

I think I get full marks. (Although Dictionary.com chose “complicit” as the word of the year, which has a certain snarky charm.)

We are in a transitional time in technology, with a handful of very large companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – accumulating power and wealth and dominating the landscape. […] continued

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Apple’s Security Disaster And What It Means For A Golden Key

Apple's security disaster

On Tuesday, the word spread that Apple’s latest release of its operating system for Mac computers, MacOS High Sierra, had a terrible, dangerous problem. Anyone could sit down at any Mac computer and in seconds log in to an administrator account, with full permission to install programs, change passwords, read files – to do anything to the computer. […] continued

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Security Warning: Do Not Click On Links In Email Messages!

Do not click on links in email messages!

Do not click on links in email messages unless you are 100% certain they lead somewhere you want to go.

We are being assaulted by a torrent of phony email messages from criminals. The messages look legitimate. The links lead to fake websites that will try to steal your password or credit card number. […] continued

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Do Not Call The 800 Number!

Do not call the 800 number for "tech support"!

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published on March 2, 2016. Phony warnings about viruses continue to be the most common online scam in 2017.)

If your computer displays a message while you are browsing the Internet claiming that you have been hacked or infected with a virus, it is a lie by criminals. […] continued

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The Case Of The Missing Eye

Security - the case of the missing eye

Let’s track down a bad guy. Looking through the clues will help you catch the next criminal that tries to trick you with a malicious email message.

I received many reports last week of phony messages that appeared to be from Microsoft, Paypal, and others. There are some examples below. One of them was clever in an interesting way that will remind you of how careful you need to be. […] continued

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It’s Time To Improve Your Passwords! Scary Stories About The Bad Guys

password-petname

The bad guys aren’t kidding around. They’re after you. Some day soon you will be walking down the street and a 400 pound hacker will galumph out and make a scary face and shout, “Give me all the passwords in your wallet!” and stomp off cackling and steal all your money from his couch. […] continued

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