Ok. Here it goes… The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has completed and released their report regarding the huge 2017 data breach and information leak of Equifax, the world’s largest credit monitoring company, and yes, it’s equally as stupid and enraging as anyone with a functioning brain thought it was. Why? Because of the company’s sheer laziness and arrogance, they failed to install a simple, basic security patch to their database that would’ve prevented the data breach. DEAR. FREAKING. GOD! When anyone complains about updating their computers or smart devices, remind them of this.
Should you discover on your Android device this morning that your favorite 3rd-party video player, ringtone app or storage manager has vanished, it’s okay; it was for your own good. This morning, Google removed a whopping 300 apps from the Play Store that allow the hijacking of your phone as part of a botnet’s distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, while pretending to be legitimate programs. The botnet in question is called WireX, which was behind the DDoS attacks of many online content providers and delivery networks between August 2nd and 14th, while sometimes acting as ransomware (with the intention of demanding money from those inflicted).
Many consider the Macau region of China to be the gambling capital of Earth, so — according to Bloomberg — in an effort to improve bank security (while also allowing China to monitor how their money moves in and out of the country), they are upgrading all 1,200 of their ATMs with facial recognition cameras. Here’s how they’re going to work: a user wanting to make a withdrawal will need to enter their PIN, followed by staring into the facial recognition lens for six seconds for identity verification. So, cool (in terms of technology) AND creepy (in terms of privacy and liberty) at the same time, but it is THEIR money and THEY want to track it NOW!
Are you planning on spending time with your extended family this holiday season? Are you also the designated computer/techie/gadget-person of the family that EVERYONE tells their computer issues to or asks how to set up their devices? If so — I feel your pain — then you should consider having them take a seat and watch this series of internet security videos. If fact, you should probably REQUIRE them to watch it. Courtesy of a security company called Varonis, this course has five in-depth lessons on topics such as: creating a good and secure password, how to know what websites to trust, how to better protect your smartphone, and even a lesson about the internet of things (if they get something like a Nest, WeeMo, Amazon Echo, Google Home, or any other smart device like those). Continue reading “Finally, Here’s an Internet Security Basics Course for the Whole Family; Just in Time for the Holidays!”
Opera had already launched an unlimited VPN service for iOS earlier this year after their acquisition of SurfEasy last year (2015), and now it’s doing the same for (us) Android users. What’s Opera VPN, you ask? Opera’s VPN service will allow you appear as if you’re in a different country such as the US, Canada, Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as letting you to block ad trackers. You can also bypass content restricted by your location with the VPN app, and the BEST PART is that Opera’s app does NOT have a data limit; meaning you can use it whenever you want, wherever you are, and as much as you want. HUZZAH!
Even though the U.S. Department of Defense have their recommendations and standards for formatting old drives, this method from YouTube channel __ makes the DOD’s method look amateurish. This method can be called the “Molten Copper Overwrite™,” which ensures total and COMPLETE destruction of the hard disk drive, making it nothing more than an unusable block of metal, or a nice modern art-inspired paper weight. … Continue reading This is Probably The BEST WAY to Erase a Hard Drive…
Last Wednesday (because REMEMBER, The PractitioNERD is currently NOT a news/breaking news kind-of website), Dropbox put their money where their mouth is by announcing their next step toward stronger account security through the implementation of USB security keys. Users will be able to use USB security keys for two-factor login in order to allow users to use their traditional password login with a physical device, instead of the six-digit authentication code delivered through SMS. These USB keys are MUCH more secure than SMS codes and authentication apps as they are unable to be intercepted by attackers nor be copied by conventional means. Continue reading “Dropbox now allows using a USB Key for Two-Factor Login”
As hackers get more brazen, it’s becoming a huge hassle to change our passwords due to the multitude of services we keep signing up for. Thankfully, there are password managers like KeePass and LastPass (among a lot of others) to help ease the pain and annoyance of dealing with security over multiple sites and services, but it’s not the definitive answer to the problem. Google’s going to take a stab at that problem with Project Vault, a secure device that plugs into any desktop or mobile device that supports microSD. This device runs its own ultra-secure operating system partitioned from the rest of the host device’s storage with 4GB of storage for your most sensitive data. Continue reading “Google’s Project Vault Aims to Secure your Devices with a microSD Card”