Do Not Track is no more effective than placebo

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2018 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: do not track, placebo, fooled you, security

To the cynics among us it will come as no surprise that the Do Not Track option on your browser does almost nothing to protect your privacy.  The option was conceived as an additional string sent out with your metadata, DNT:1, which the website you connected to would receive and honour.  That, of course, is the rub.  You have to trust sites which depend, at least in part, on advertising revenue to refrain from targeting you with advertisements.  This does not happen apart for a very few exceptions which has led Mozilla to consider incorporating stronger protections in their browser. 

Follow the links from Slashdot to learn more.

Cpfbe4jWgAAR-_B.jpg

"According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, a quarter of American adults use "Do Not Track" to protect their privacy. (Our own stats at Gizmodo Media Group show that 9% of visitors have it turned on.) We've got bad news for those millions of privacy-minded people, though: "Do Not Track" is like spray-on sunscreen, a product that makes you feel safe while doing little to actually protect you. "

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Slashdot

Wondering if your email was included in a data dump?

Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2018 - 01:40 PM |
Tagged: security, firefox, Have I Been Pwned

Have I Been Pwned has been around for some time now, letting you determine if your email address was included in one of the disturbingly frequent data breaches which have occurred in the past few years.  FireFox Monitor is a new site which uses that database to search email addresses users enter, with two added features. When you submit your email, it turns it into an SHA-1 hash which is then compared to the emails in the database, offering you a bit more protection if you so desire.  You can also request that your email address be monitored, with automated searches sent in occasionally so you don't need to remember to check on them yourself.  According to the discussion The Inquirer has with Mozilla, there are plans to integrate this into Firefox to make it even easier to keep tabs on your emails.

Capture.PNG

"Mozilla on Tuesday debuted a service called Firefox Monitor that it has been testing to help people see whether their email addresses have been compromised."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Are you sure you want to bite into that Apple?

Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2018 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: apple, security, webroot, webkit, SecureAnywhere

There is a bit of a fuss being made by Apple fans today, as once again reality contradicts their claims of the invulnerability of their favourite devices.  The less serious but still active bug is more an inconvenience than a threat, but having your device crash simply because you visited a webpage is more than a little embarrassing.

The second vulnerability involves SecureAnywhere and while it has been mitigated in recent updates (9.0.8.34) it was unpatched for quite a while.  The patch was released several months ago, but it is only this week we are learning about it, with the justification offered to The Register following the usual claims that letting people know might expose more devices to the threat.  Security through obscurity can lead to delayed upgrades as users wait to see if a patch has negative effects, while leaving themselves open to attack.  In this case the vulnerability was only effective on an already compromised device, hopefully that reduced the number of people targetted.

codling_apple_f.jpg

"Details of a locally exploitable but kernel-level flaw in Webroot's SecureAnywhere macOS security software were revealed yesterday, months after the bug was patched."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Reopening a cold boot case

Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2018 - 03:31 PM |
Tagged: security, Lenovo, dell, apple

Many, many moons ago a vulnerability was discovered which would let you grab some or all of the data last written to RAM.  A computer in sleep mode could be powered off, the firmware specifically modified and then booted from a USB drive, allowing an attacker to extract data from the RAM.  This requires physical access and a specific skill set but does not take all that long.  This new attack is used to grab the encryption keys from memory, which then allows them to gain access to the data stored on your encrypted drives.  The Inquirer reports that there is a solution to this resurrected vulnerability, however it is only easy to implement before a system is provided to customers, worrying for companies using these commonly deployed brands.

lap-top.jpg

"But F-Secure principal security consultant Olle Segerdahl, along with other researchers from the security outfit, claim they've discovered a way to disable that safety measure and extract data using the ten-year-old cold boot attack method."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Why hack into Apple devices when the userbase is willing to pay to have their device infected?

Subject: General Tech | September 10, 2018 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: apple, security, app store, Adware Doctor

Adware Doctor is a $5.00 app available on the macOS app store which is a rip off of Malwarebytes for Mac with some extra data harvesting included.  The app will grab all your history from Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and send it off to parts unknown as well as a list of running processes which implies it can get around Apple's sandbox implementation.  The researchers who discovered this also informed The Register of other apps which have the same behaviour, including Open Any Files, Dr. Antivirus, and Dr. Cleaner.  The new version of macOS, due in the near future, should ameliorate this issue but in the mean time you should check what apps you have installed on your devices and reconsider your next purchase on the App Store carefully.

adware-doctor.jpg

"As Wardle – an expert in Apple security – noted, Adware Doctor, which sold for $4.99, was the fourth-highest grossing app in the "Paid Utilities" category of the macOS App Store."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Of Intel, Foreshadow, horses and barn doors

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2018 - 12:29 PM |
Tagged: Foreshadow, Intel, hyperthreading, L1TF, spectre, security, patch

In a move which should not come as a shock to anyone, Intel removed the wording which was revealed yesterday along with their Foreshadow patch for desktop CPUs prohibiting publishing comparative performance results.   The reason Intel would rather you didn't post performance comparisons, pre and post patch, is that along with the microcode update HyperThreading needs to be disabled which has a noticeable effect on any multi-threaded application.  Debian were of great help with this, refusing to deply the microcode patch with the gag order in place. 

Red Hat foreshadowed what you will see with their results from the server chip patches, The Register notes as being "from a +30 per cent gain, to -50 per cent loss and beyond. Most HT testing, however, showed losses in the 0-30 per cent range."

187032066-612x612.jpg

"Intel has backtracked on the license for its latest microcode update that mitigates security vulnerabilities in its processors – after the previous wording outlawed public benchmarking of the chips."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Your smart plug's connected to your idiotbox, the idiotbox is connected to your WiFi, the ...

Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2018 - 12:59 PM |
Tagged: iot, security

Belkin offers a smartplug called the Wemo Insight which provides real time energy usage stats, allows you to program your lights to turn on and off at various times and is a decent  replacement for The Clapper; it is also a fairly serious security risk.  The UPnP protocol it utilizes is vulnerable to a buffer overflow attack which could allow an attacker access to other devices connected to your WiFi network.  The proof of concept provided by McAfee shows a successful attack on a Roku, initiated from the smartplug, as you can see over at El Reg.

Perhaps you should keep that old tech if you don't like touching light switches.

"The flaw, spotted in Belkin's Wemo Insight smartplugs, would potentially allow an attacker to not only manipulate the plug itself, but also allow hopping to other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi home network."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Your Android may suffer a Meltdown

Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2018 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: Android, galaxy s7, Samsung, security, meltdown

Researchers in Austria have found a way to utilize Meltdown to hack Galaxy S7 smartphones, a bad sign for security.  It was previously discovered that ARM's Cortex A75 was susceptible to the vulnerability but this is the first time we have seen this exploit successfully used on a Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890 chipset.  Even better is that these researchers have discovered variants which can affect older chipsets, meaning that far more phones may be vulnerable than we ever imagined.  You can take a peek over at The Inquirer, if you are looking to ruin your day.

Droid_torture_rack.png

"IF YOU LIVE IN THE PAST then best pick your ears up as researchers have found Samsung's Galaxy S7 is vulnerable to hacking due to a chip security flaw."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

About time Intel thought of ME!

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2018 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: security, patch, intel management engine, Intel, IME

A bit before Christmas last year, Intel provided sysadmins with a lovely present, vulnerabilities in the on chip Intel Management Engine which you could not even tell if they had been used to breach your systems.  Intel have now publicly released four advisories pertaining to the IME, so that interested parties can investigate for themselves.  These were already released to system builders and patches released, after a quite a long delay.  This is better late than never ... assuming you are not running anything older than a fourth generation Core processor. 

The Register has links to the advisories if you are interested in a little light reading.

Intel-Inside.jpg

"Now that Intel's advisory is public, it's clear that Chipzilla has known the particulars for some time, and has been privately working with computer manufacturers to push fixes ahead of disclosure. For example, Lenovo emitted firmware fixes in April, and Dell no later than June."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Spectre doesn't stand a ghost of a chance on the new Chrome, nor will your available RAM

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2018 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: chrome, security, spectre

Chrome's predilection for gobbling up vast amounts of RAM will soon increase to new levels but it is for a very good reason.  Chrome 67 will offer a Site Isolation feature which will protect you against a variety of Spectre attacks.   When you have this feature enabled in Chrome each site would be isolated, with the a single renderer process per page.  This means coss-site iframes and pop-ups will be unable to read data from other pages; in fact a single site may spawn multiple render processes, each running in isolation.

There is of course a cost, The Inquirer was quoted an increase of 10-13% in RAM usage ... so better get a 128GB kit.

d3aql.png

"The new feature basically splits the render process into separate tasks using out-of-process iframes, which makes it difficult for speculative execution exploits like Spectre to snoop on data."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer