I have already talked about why I am no longer using Windows 10, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has some great reasons why I will continue to avoid using it until it is appropriately fixed.
Folks, the security community has been screaming about this for 15 years now. We may ought to see ourselves running back to “dimpled chads” before things start to get even more stupid.
With Russia already meddling in 2016, a ragtag group of obsessive tech experts is warning that stealing the ultimate prize—victory on Nov. 8—would be child’s play.
More and more, looking at security protocols and evangelizing for practical InfoSec and OpSec habits, I feel like I’m eventually going to turn into Battlestar Galactica’s Commander Bill Adama: “I will not have a networked computer on my ship!” Much of our vulnerability is thanks to Congressional “protections” such as the CFAA and–especially–the DMCA which specifically outlaws security research and penetration testing.
The rise of the Internet of Things threatens to make it much easier to cause real-life damage through cyberattacks.
Suggestions from the basic (tape on the webcam) to the elaborate (carry a bug scanner). All of them fairly practical.
Should you tape over your webcam? We’ve got the answer to this and all your other biggest security questions.
The “Macs don’t get viruses” nonsense was never really true; it was only “common knowledge” because there was no practical reason to write viruses for Macs–the “security through obscurity” maxim protected the ecosystem since the mid-1980s. Since the rise of Apple’s marketshare in the 21st century, there has been an increase in the threat of malware and other nasty bits of code infecting so-called “immune” Macintosh computers. Once upon a time, antivirus for Mac was considered a joke and a ripoff. Today, it is an understated necessity.
Enter AVG–long have they been one of the bastions of security in the PC sphere, their flagship antivirus utility is now available for Mac. It’s a lightweight application that offers the level of protection one would expect from AVG on a PC, and it even scans for known PC and Android threats to prevent you from unwittingly spreading an infection to other devices!
In addition to AVG’s antivirus, they also offer a useful cleaner app that scans your Mac for detritus that can bog down the system and cause a loss in performance or valuable hard drive space. Many applications leave behind small breadcrumbs–configuration files or other nonessential bits of code–in the OSX Library or System folders, usually as hidden files or folders that even most advanced users wouldn’t necessarily know to look for after uninstalling. The AVG Cleaner app scours your hard drive for this kind of refuse and eliminates it. I ran it once and regained an easy 3.5GB of space!
It’s a brave new world out there, and we’re better off being prepared than we are posturing with austerity. You don’t have to use AVG, but for the price, it can’t be beat!Also on:
With the proliferation of biometric security infiltrating every aspect of our lives over the next few years, it’s only a matter of time before the locks are broken. Oh, wait…they already are. We have already given up our privacy, our metadata, and–in many cases–our thought processes. Are we going to let corporations control our bodies now, too?
For now, an Illinois statute is the strongest check on corporate use of biometric data such as fingerprints and facial profiles.
We are already seeing this with software companies showing up at arms trade shows. Weaponized software marketed not for governments to wage cyber warfare against their adversaries, but to track and control their own citizens more efficiently. Orwell warned us about this 70 years ago. Did we listen?
Moral economy and software development: software without politics is recipe for totalitarianism
Everyone fails to recognize that the decentralised nature of Android is–while being a “mainstream flaw”–is one of its greatest strengths. Yes, Google wants to have more control over its operating system, but that goes against the very nature of what they intended when they began developing it. The point of the matter, though, is that very little would change if that asshole had used Android instead (considering the likely application of Paranoid Android in such a case). Actually, the whole matter would likely be less of an issue politically because there is not one entity to subpoena. The FBI could subpoena Google to do something, but Google could (in good faith) say that there is nothing they can do if an alternative OS were installed. The takeaway here should not be how much more secure iPhones are (they aren’t necessarily), but that compulsory cracking like this is dangerous to freedom at large.
“There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.”
Justice Antonin Scalia
Tim Cook and Apple are telling the US Government to get bent, and for good reason: encryption is vital to our individual security and to undermine that is to undermine our entire society. If the “good guys” can have a backdoor into your house, it’s only a matter of time before the bad guys copy the keys.
If your first reaction is to shrug and say, “I have nothing to hide,” I hate to break it to you, but you’re not clever enough to understand the implications, so go sit down at the kids’ table and let the grown-ups argue.
As a side note (full journalistic disclosure): If you read this website, you already know my opinions on Apple are complicated, but I do use a 2010 Macbook Pro daily, and I encourage most “casual users” to consider adopting OSX machines as their daily drivers. Despite this, I do loathe iOS since the move to “flat design”, and I vehemently refuse to “upgrade” OSX past Mavericks for design reasons as well as “integration features” that annoy me.
A Message to Our Customers
Source: Customer Letter – AppleAlso on:
I keep a Foscam IP camera like the one in this story around just to tinker with. They are anything BUT secure, though!
A 3-year-old boy living in Washington received quite the scare when he started hearing a voice talk to him at night. After telling his parents, Mom was shocked at what she found.