Windows 10 -Technical Preview

Windows 10's Coolest Features In 5 Animated GIFs

So as many of you may have heard Windows 9 will not be Windows 9. This may sound confusing or weird but Microsoft is not wanting to follow one numerical step behind Apple’s OS X. Now because Microsoft isn’t naming Windows 9 what will it be called? Well as you have read and heard about it will be called Windows 10! It was originally thought about being called Windows One to follow OneNote and OneDrive but Microsoft is breaking away from the past and because of that Windows 10 was born!

So now that we have Windows 10, you might be asking yourself… whats it going to be like and hows it going to operate? Well my friend I have an answer! Microsoft has a program called “Windows Insider” and what this program does is allows Windows lovers to download and install the technical development version of the current software listed. The program allows you to download and install the normal preview edition as well as the enterprise edition. Now just because its released for testing doesn’t mean the program is stable so when using the technical preview you may experience crashes and freezes. The preview is also only recommended for people with high experience in the Windows world and with operating system installs. So now that you have a good enough background with the program and software lets get started!

Please note before we start a few points.


  • You CANNOT boot this off a flash drive. The OS MUST be installed!
  • The program requires you to make an install disk or flash drive using the iso file provided.
  • Make a recovery disk before the install to make sure you don’t loose anything.
  • The install asks for a product key so make sure this is on hand during the install. (will be provided)
  • You will need a Microsoft account to join the program. (LINK)


  • Windows 10's Coolest Features In 5 Animated GIFs

    First, You are going to need to log on to the windows insider page and sign in (LINK)
    Next, After your signed in we have to prep your PC for the install. Go to the following links and review all the requirements. (LINK)

    To begin the download first go to the following link (LINK)
    Now that your on that page we need to write down your product key and pick what build and version you want. See figure 1
    After copying the key and deciding what version and build were using download the iso image. See figure 2
    Finally, we have to extract the ISO image to a USB.

    Figure 1
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    Figure 2
    ” alt=”” class=”imgLz frmImg ” />

    For this part I used unetbootin to extract the ISO image to a flash drive. The rest of this process will be based off of that software but should still be that same way for other programs.
    To start make sure you know where your ISO file is and have the location handy.
    After that start unetbootin. It may ask for permission but just say yes.
    Next, click “Diskimage.”
    Now, click the file finder tab or the “…” and import the ISO file. See figure 3.
    After you imported the ISO make sure the USB drive has been selected correctly and click “OK” to begin the extract process. This may take a while so go make yourself a sandwich. :)
    Now that you have created the USB drive open the file folder and check the drive to make sure the files are there. If they are their then continue but if they are not then repeat the this step.

    Figure 3
    ” alt=”” class=”imgLz frmImg ” />

    First, turn off the PC you want to install the OS on and then plug the USB drive in.
    Next, Turn the PC on but enter the boot loader. (key varies)
    Now that your in your boot loader click the USB drive and continue.
    After that just follow the install as if it were a normal OS install.
    Now your done!

    Hope this helps


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7 Keyboard Shortcuts Users Keep Hitting By Mistake
It happens even to the most experienced of users: the accidental keyboard shortcuts. No matter how often you use your computer, weird things can start happening when you’re going too fast, when you lean on your keyboard, and of course, when you’re cat or child decide it’s party time, and your keyboard is a dance floor/drum set. Very experienced users know how to fix each and every problem, but many of us sometime encounter a weird problem we’re not sure how to fix, mainly because we’re not sure how it happened.

Has your cat ever walked on your keyboard just for a second, causing the entire display to flip on its side? Have you ever tried typing your password over and over again, getting an error even when you were sure you’re doing it right? Have you ever tried changing your keyboard language, and managed to close the entire program you were working on by mistake? If one of these things or something similar ever happened to you or someone you know, this guide is for you.

Bookmark, save, and share with friends. Next time you’ll know what to do, and more importantly, how it happened!

My Display Is Flipped!

common keyboard mistakes

If this never ever happened to you or to anyone you know, raise your hand now. I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t encountered this weird problem at least once. While it’s very easy to do by mistake, especially for cats and children, it’s not always easy to remember how to fix it. So how does this happen? Ctrl+Alt+Arrow Keys. When you hit this combination, no matter which arrow, your display will flip in the direction of the arrow you used. It’s pretty simple, but very disturbing when it happens by mistake.

So how do I fix it? Ctrl+Alt+”Up Arrow” will do the trick, and will restore your display to the right orientation.

This Thing Keeps Saying My Password Is Wrong!

keyboard mistakes

This one is very common, and probably the easiest one to recognize, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Yes, it’s the notorious CAPS LOCK, especially when trying to type in a password. Why do we need this key on the keyboard, I will never understand. Not only is it ever-present, it’s also huge, and right above the shift button. A mistake waiting to happen if I ever saw one.

When you accidently hit caps lock when just typing, it’s not so bad. When you’re typing a hidden password, though, it can turn into a disaster. I once had myself locked out of an account on a website after getting my password wrong too many times. The darn caps lock was on, and it took me way too much time to realize what was going on.

So how do I fix it? If you get your password wrong twice in a row, CHECK THE CAPS LOCK. It’s probably on.

My Num Pad Stopped Typing Numbers!

keyboard mistakes

These days, most keyboard include a number pad, even on laptops. And where there’s a num pad (and even where there isn’t, really), there’s a Num Lock button. If you’ve ever tried to use your num pad and ended up scrolling as if you were using arrows, you’ve probably turned your num lock off. The num lock button, while it’s on, makes sure your num pad outputs numbers. When it’s off, the num pad keys turn to arrows, and you’re not getting any numbers. Since it’s mostly useless, it’s very easy to hit by mistake.

So how do I fix it? This is a no brainer: Make sure your num lock is on, if you want to type numbers. Note that on some laptops, you need to use the Fn key in order to toggle num lock. When this is done by mistake, it’s even more difficult to discover what’s happened!

My Display Keeps Changing Size!

Have you ever innocently scrolled a page, only to have it become huge or tiny within seconds? This rather amusing effect is usually caused by the Ctrl key being pressed, or even stuck, while using the mouse’s scroll wheel. When you hit Ctrl and scroll, you’re actually zooming in and out of the page (very useful to know, if you haven’t been using it). You can achieve the same effect by pressing ctrl and the plus or minus buttons, whether intentionally or not.

So how do I fix it? If you’re zooming in and out and didn’t mean to do this, check your ctrl key. If you’re not actively pressing it, tap it a few times to make sure it’s not stuck, or read “Everything Has Gone Insane!!!!” further down this post.

The Arrow Keys Scroll My Entire Excel Spreadsheet!

OK, I’ll admit this one is rare, but when it does happen, it’s really annoying. Have you ever worked on an Excel spreadsheet (or some of the other rare programs that are actually affected by this), and suddenly found that the arrow keys scroll the entire spreadsheet instead of moving between cells? Something so simple, and yet it can drive a person insane when trying to get some work done. The solution to this mystery is simple: the Scroll Lock key.

Already absent from many keyboards, this key is a relic from of times past, and doesn’t really affect most of today’s software. It does, however, work in Microsoft Excel, and several other text editors. It’s function is to turn your arrow keys into scroll keys, instead of have them move the cursor.

So how do you fix it? Well, this one is simple. Turn off scroll lock!

I’m Trying To Change Language, & Weird Things Keep Happening!

keyboard mistakes

Ah, my favorite mistake, and the one that keep happening to me over and over again. If you only use an English keyboard, you’ve probably never encountered this, but anyone who had to switch between languages or layout probably knows this. Sometimes you’re trying to switch languages by pressing Alt+Shift, and when you resume typing in the other language, all sort of crazy things start happening. What’s going on?

What’s  happening is that for some reason, the keyboard didn’t catch the “shift” part of the shortcut, and only took the “alt” into account. In many programs, hitting alt is the same as opening the menus on top. When you hit alt and then a combination of letters, you can activate pretty much every function in the menu, using only the keyboard. Very useful when you actually want to do this, but not so when you only want to switch languages. I can’t count the number of times I managed to close the entire window, when I was only trying to switch languages.

(I’m not even going to go into the “typing in the wrong language” problem. I can write a whole post about this one.)

So how do I fix it? Stop for a second after hitting alt+shift; do you see the letters highlighted on the menu as seen in the screenshot? Don’t go any further. Hit escape, and then alt+shift again, this time with intention!

Everything Has Gone Insane!!!!

You’re trying to type, and weird things keep happening. Capital letters come out of nowhere, your text is randomly highlighted or disappears, and your windows keep minimizing for no apparent reason. If you’re really in trouble, you may even lock your entire computer without meaning to. And the thing keeps beeping! What’s going on?

common keyboard mistakes

Yes, the infamous sticky keys. While these could be very convenient for people who have trouble holding two keys at the same time, it’s nothing but a nuisance to anyone else. And the worse thing: they can be activated by mistake. Sticky keys make it so you don’t have to hold the shift, ctrl, alt and Win keys in order to activate their special functions. You can hit shift, let it go, and then hit a letter. You will get a capital latter.

How do you activate it? Usually by tapping on the shift button five times in a row. When you do that, a beep sounds, and the above dialog box appears. If you’re not paying attention, you might just hit yes without realizing, it is the default answer after all, and you’re stuck with sticky keys.

So how do I fix it? If you’ve managed to activate sticky keys by mistake, tapping five times on the shift button will turn them off. You won’t see a notice about it, but you’ll hear four beeps, and then a distinctive downwards beep. Sticky keys are now off!


These are most likely not the only annoying keys people hit by mistake. When writing this post, I was trying to include the most common keyboard mistakes I could think of, especially those that keep happening to me. Not being a newbie, I’m aware that if something happens to me, it can sure happen to people who don’t use a computer for their livelihood.

Is there an annoying keyboard shortcut I forgot to mention? Does something like this keep happening to you? Tell us your stories, and of course, how to fix it!

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Ninite is fast, easy, and unwanted third-party software free

The next time you want to install your favorite browser, update iTunes, or get the latest security release for Flash, do yourself a favor. Skip the vendor’s site and go straight to instead.

This cleanly designed web service offers immediate access to more than 80 programs, utilities, and runtime environments in a dozen categories. It’s completely free for personal use (a Pro version is available for businesses). Ninite will save you time, and it guarantees that you won’t have to deal with the potentially misleading dialog boxes that can result in unwanted third-party software—being installed on your machine.

Here’s how Ninite works:

You visit and click check boxes to select one or more programs from the categorized list.

When you’re finished, click the big green Get Installer button and wait while the Ninite back end builds an installer that targets the correct versions (32-bit or 64-bit, XP or Windows 7, and so on).

Download that installer, run it, and let Ninite do the work of downloading the files and silently installing them in the background. It automatically refuses any toolbars or other third-party software that the regular installer runs.

When it finishes (very quickly, in my experience), you’ll find the shortcuts to your newly installed programs on the Start menu, where you can run them and go through any required initial setup steps.

It really is that simple.

And here’s a bonus: If you save the installer and rerun it later, it will find and install any newly added updates for the apps in your selection.

I spoke with Ninite’s co-founder, Patrick Swieskowski, about the service and how it works. (If you’re curious, by the way, Swieskowski pronounces the first syllable with a soft I—nin rhymes with win. But he acknowledges that most people pronounce it with a long I, like Nine.)

Is it legal? In the arcane world of software licensing, who knows? But Ninite’s terms of serviceseem clear enough to me: “By using Ninite you certify that you have read and agree with the license agreements and restrictions of any software you install with Ninite.” As Swieskowski explained, it’s no different than hiring a friend—or the kid down the street—to set up a new PC for you.

Is it secure? I’m comfortable with the checks and balances. The installer goes out to official sites to download the code you install; Ninite doesn’t host any files on its own. Before it begins an install, it checks the digital signature of the file to ensure that its hash matches the known good version you’re expecting.

One of the most interesting Ninite options is the way it handles URLs. You can save a selection of software as a single URL, which is constructed from the names of the products. So if you want Mom to install the latest versions of Firefox, iTunes, and Skype, send her this link: When she visits that site, she gets a custom installer that sets up those three programs without any dialog boxes:

You can even use custom URLs on the fly to install single programs. You want Skype? Go to Flash? Try (or if you use Internet Explorer).

For now, Ninite  is available for Windows and Linux only, but a Mac version is in the works. Highly recommended.

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CryptoLocker look-alike searches for and encrypts PC game files

If you’re a gamer (or anyone else), this is not a screen you want to see.
Bromium Labs


Crypto-based “ransomware” has become a lucrative business for cybercriminals. Since the arrival of CryptoLocker on the scene last year, a number of copycat malware packages have appeared to compete in the cyber-extortion market, encrypting victims’ photos and other personal files with a key that will be destroyed if they don’t contact the malware’s operators and pay up. Recently, a new variant has emerged that seeks to raise the stakes with a particular class of victim by specifically seeking out files related to a number of popular PC games, as well as Valve’s Steam gaming platform.

The malware, which is a variant of the crypt-ransomware called TeslaCrypt, superficially looks like CryptoLocker. But according to a number of security researchers who have analyzed the malware, it shares little code with CryptoLocker or its more well-known successor CryptoWall. And while it will also will target photos and documents, as well as iTunes-related files, as Bromium security researcher Vadim Kotov noted in an analysis on Bromium Labs’ blog, TeslaCrypt also includes code that specifically looks for files related to more than 40 specific PC games, gaming platforms, and game developer tools. The games include both single player and multiplayer games, though it isn’t clear how targeting some of the multiplayer games would affect users other than requiring a re-install.

The games targeted include a mix of older and newer titles— for example, Blizzard’s StarCraft II and WarCraft III real-time strategy games and its World of Warcraft online game are targeted. Also on TeslaCrypt’s hit list: Bioshock 2, Call of Duty, DayZ, Diablo, Fallout 3, League of Legends, F.E.A.R, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Minecraft, Metro 2033, Half-Life 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Resident Evil 4, World of Tanks, Metin 2, and The Elder Scrolls (specifically, Skyrim-related files), as well as Star Wars: The Knights Of The Old Republic. There’s also code that searches for files associated with games from specific companies that affect a wide range of titles, including a variety of games from EA Sports, Valve, and Bethesda, and Valve’s Steam gaming platform. And the game development tools RPG Maker, Unity3D and Unreal Engine are targeted as well.

These files are all targeted by their file extension, Kotov reported. “Concretely these are user profile data, saved games, maps, mods, etc,” he said. “Often it’s not possible to restore this kind of data even after re-installing a game via Steam.” Ars has reached out to Valve for comment on what users can restore from online, but hasn’t received a response.

Kotov also discovered the delivery vehicle for TeslaCrypt: a WordPress site that had been compromised by attackers, which was (and still is) redirecting site visitors to a page with a malicious Flash component served up by the Angler exploit kit—the heir apparent to Blackhole. The exploit Flash movie, hidden in an invisible banner, attacks Internet Explorer (up to IE 11) and Opera browsers with JavaScript that opens an IFRAME to the Angler exploit page. (Attempts to contact the owner of the site have gone unanswered, and the URL that serves up the Flash attack keeps changing.)

The ransomware “dropper” package performs a scan for a number of virtual machines (including Kaspersky Labs’ sandbox, VMware, VirtualBox and Parallels) by checking for telltale driver files. Then it drops a pair of Internet Explorer Flash exploits to download and install the malware—identifying it as CryptoLocker. Like CryptoWall, it uses Tor to communicate with a command and control server, and gives the victim a link to a Tor “hidden service” site—either presented within the malware itself, or reachable through a Tor gateway URL.

And just as with CryptoWall, this TeslaCrypt variant’s encryption scheme has yet to be cracked. Once files are encrypted, the only way to recover them at present is to pay the malware’s masters. The variant analyzed by Kotov had Bitcoin code directly integrated into the malware to make it easier for victims to pay; other TeslaCrypt variants allow payments via PayPal MyCash cards, making it easier for victims unfamiliar with Bitcoin to pay up—though they may charge a premium for that option.

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Microsoft Is Phasing Out Internet Explorer Starting With Windows 10

Microsoft made it official this week that the standard web browser to ship with Windows 10 will not be Internet Explorer (sigh of relief). It will not only have a new name, it will be a completely different browser, designed from scratch (yay!). It will even come with neat new features, including letting you write directly on webpages from your touchscreen, making sites more readable, and saving sites for offline reading (cool!).

But Internet Explorer will be sticking around. (Wait, what?!)

Yup. Microsoft’s new browser (currently codenamed “Project Spartan”) will be built on a different software platform from IE, so it won’t be backwards-compatible. That means Microsoft will continue to ship IE with Windows to ensure that corporate apps keep functioning properly.

“We recognize some enterprises have legacy websites that use older technologies designed only for Internet Explorer,” said Jason Weber, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer program manager, in a blog post. “For these users, Internet Explorer will also be available on Windows 10.”

In other words, don’t get mad at Microsoft. Blame your IT department for building apps in Internet Explorer. And South Korea (which passed a law in 1999 requiring that banks and retailers use digital certificates — created by Microsoft, and available exclusively on Internet Explorer).

IE is mostly going away for good, though. In Windows 10, Spartan will be the primary way people access the Web. If you buy a Windows 10 PC, you’ll likely never even notice that IE is installed on your computer.

Meanwhile, Chris Caposella, Microsoft’s marketing chief, said this week that Microsoft is looking to name its new browser. Acknowledging what a poisonous brand Internet Explorer has become, the company said it has whittled it down to four new names, all of which test better with Google Chrome users than “Internet Explorer.”

Internet Explorer has become synonymous with bugs, security problems and outdated technology. Even as it’s improved dramatically in recent years, it continues to lose serious ground to rivals.

Once the most-used web browser, Internet Explorer had been on a steady downward trajectory for years. Its share of the browser market fell below the 50% threshold in 2010 and sank below 20% in October, according to browser usage tracker StatCounter. Google’s Chrome is currently the leader, commanding nearly half of the market.

Microsoft has finally woken up, and just wants to kill the thing altogether. A fresh start makes sense.

Ironically, Microsoft allowed IT departments to dig a hole so deep that it might be years before Internet Explorer will die once and for all.

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Java Logo

Should you use Java? If you don’t need it, don’t install it; plenty of Java exploits and vulnerabilities can really make your day unpleasant, not to mention the crapware that Oracle puts on your system whenever you go to install Java.

As Windows users have experienced for some time now, the very company that officially distributes Java is also one that seemingly benefits from a revenue arrangement with Whenever you go to install Java on a Windows machine, you have to resist the urge to blindly click through the prompts to get the installation up and running. If you do, then you’re also going to install an annoying Ask toolbar on your system—and make your default search provider in your browser. Yuck.

Those installing Java on OS X haven’t had to deal with such an issue, but that’s all changing now. According to numerous reports, the latest version of Java for Mac now also comes with Ask software—specifically, the “Search App by Ask,” which you’re asked whether you want to install as part of the Java installation process.

To Oracle’s credit, the company is fairly clear about the arrangement in the online instructions for installing Java on OS X.

“Oracle has partnered with companies that offer various products. The installer may present you with the option to install these programs when you install Java. After ensuring the desired programs are selected, click the Next button to continue the installation,” reads Oracle’s description.

As Engadget notes, Oracle’s decision to bundle crapware with Java has led to 20,000+ signature online petition that asks the company to reconsider its decision—a petition that’s been alive for more than two years, we should note.

“It is demeaning for a respected corporation such as Oracle to resort to such techniques only to make a small profit. Ask Toolbar hijacks user’s default search engine and forwards them to Ask search engine which resorts to various misleading advertisement techniques in order to confuse the unsuspecting users into clicking on their paid ads,” reads the petition.

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It can take up to six months for Antivirus software vendors to catch a zero-day exploit.

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy book cover


Antivirus software likes to make a point of popping up a small window in the system tray to show you when they have updated their detection definitions. So your software is up to date and ready to catch all the latest malware, right?

In a test described in its State of Infections Report Q4 2014, Damballa analyzed tens of thousands of sample files that enterprise organizations sent in for review. The files that its Failsafe scanning system detected as malicious were also scanned by the four most commonly deployed antivirus products, although Damballa declined to name names.

They found that within the first hour of identification of suspicious code, the antivirus products only caught 30% of the malware. After 24 hours, 66% of the files were identified as malicious, which means one-third of the files were still slipping through. After seven days, the identification rate rose to 72%. After one month, it identified 93% of the malicious files, and it wasn’t until six months later before all malicious files were identified.

This kind of inaccuracy is compounded by the fact that there are so many attacks on companies on any given day. Damballa cited a 2015 Ponemon Institute report that showed the average enterprise receives 17,000 malware alerts weekly from their IT security products. Only 19% of the attacks are deemed to be reliable and just 4% are ever investigated, which suggests security teams don’t have the time or resources to do anything about it.

In a real-world environment, an antivirus product would scan a file just once, usually when it first arrives via email. If the average security team receives 17,000 weekly alerts, or 2,430 alerts every day, then AV products with a 30% accuracy rate on day one would miss 796 malicious files every day.

Damballa’s conclusion is that while prevention-based defenses remain important, companies need to put greater emphasis on detection and response. “If you can reduce the time between the initial infection and its discovery and remediation, you reduce your risk of damage,” it wrote.

Naturally, Damballa happens to sell one of those discovery solutions, but its recommendations were not entirely self-serving. It recommends automation to handle detection, since 86% of companies surveyed report being short-staffed with cybersecurity experts.

“If security teams can integrate high-fidelity detection with response mechanisms, like endpoint security tools and network access control systems, they can make headway. Instead of a judgment call, decisions are policy-driven,” it said.


Mind the gaps

Don’t be mistaken: antivirus software is a crucial part of any security arsenal and every day malware scanners the world over detect and throttle millions of malicious software strains. This is not a category of software that we should live without.

Antivirus tools work by scanning both static files and programs running in memory. They use several techniques to try and detect malicious activity.

Signature scanning, which looks for known patterns in files, is a well-established method of finding software nasties, as its scanning code runs in memory, looking for potentially malicious activity as it happens.

These are solid, reliable tools but when attackers are determined enough, antivirus software alone may not stop them from grabbing your data.

The malware industry thrives on zero-day attacks – exploits using obscure or completely unknown vulnerabilities. A hacker smart enough to devise one – and there are plenty – can get past malware detectors.

The smart IT manager uses complementary technologies to reduce the risk of attack, and one is to look at the potential delivery channels for malware.

Ugly sites

One way in which attacks are delivered is via drive-by downloads. Employees visiting legitimate work sites are relatively safe, but when they visit less savory sites online they run the risk of being infected by rogue JavaScript running in the browser.

Web protection software can reduce that risk by blacklisting certain sites or groups of sites. Filtering web access is a good way to reduce the risk of infection by simply prohibiting access to sites that are not necessary for work.

It can also be a worthy complement to antivirus software that will attempt to detect anything installed via the browser. This multi-faceted protection is a basic tenet of modern cyber security.

All it takes is for one user to open a file or click a link and you can wave goodbye to the integrity of your network

Another important vector is email. This has gained huge traction among attackers, who use it for phishing, and in some cases spear phishing targeting specific companies.

Attackers can gather information about a company’s organizational structure and employees. The list of sources here is endless, ranging from annual reports through to social media posts.

These can be used to socially engineer employees to obtain login details or have them open a file containing a zero-day attack.

Employee training is all-important here but it must be backed by a technological solution too. All it takes is for one user to open a file or click a link to a fake IT administrator page asking them to enter their single sign-on password as part of a security audit, and you can wave goodbye to the integrity of your network.

Big phish

The best way to counter threats delivered via email is to choke them off before employees even see them. Monitoring and filtering emails is therefore an important part of any corporate cyber-security strategy.

Email can be scanned for viruses, and it can be controlled still further by scanning for known spam signatures and characteristics. This alone can root out the lion’s share of malicious or pestering emails, increasing employee productivity as well as reducing the risk of compromise.

Adding blacklists for known bad domains and whitelists for recognized sources, such as business partners and customers, can be an extra-useful technique for locking email down.

The further that companies can keep unscrubbed email away from their IT architectures the better. Pre-filtered email streams contain not only infected files but also large volumes of spam, which serve only to clog bandwidth and servers.

Having these filtered offsite by a third-party service mitigates the problem, ensuring that only clean communications touch company servers.

Patch and mend

Even after all these measures have been taken, there is still the chance that a company’s systems can be compromised.

The likes of Gonzalez, or the Sony Pictures hackers, are determined assailants. The battle doesn’t stop with web protection or email scanning.

Making sure the software running on the network is up to date is an important aspect of any cyber-security strategy so that attackers can’t exploit any of the known vulnerabilities in the average operating system or application.

Patch management processes and tools are critical, especially as companies grow larger and IT infrastructures become more complex. Understanding what has been rolled out and when can help IT administrators prevent dangerous holes from appearing in the system.

All of these measures, layered onto antivirus software, can help to reduce the risk of a successful cyber attack.

Here’s the dirty little secret of cyber security, though: nothing is 100 per cent secure. The key is to make things so difficult for attackers that they decide to move on to easier targets.

The way to do that is to layer your defenses, using multiple tools and protecting different parts and communications channels of the IT infrastructure.

Managing it centrally also gives you a single point of access, helping you not only to quash incidental attacks but also to spot any emerging trends that could indicate a sustained, targeted assault on your company.

This concept reflects a long-established military strategy: defence in depth, in which layers wear down an attacker’s ability to mount an offensive.

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Millions at risk from ‘Freak’ encryption bug

microsoft windows also vulnerable to freak encryption bug

• Microsoft admitted in a security advisory that “all supported releases of Microsoft Windows” can be exploited by the encryption bug

• Apple said it had developed a software update to address the vulnerability

• Google has said it had also developed a patch, which it provided to partners that make and distribute Android devices.


IF you think your online communications are secure, you should think again.

Microsoft has issued a security warning about a bug, FREAK, that could let attackers spy on your data.

FREAK, which stands for “Factoring RSA Export Keys,” was discovered by cryptographers with the French research establishment INRIA, Spain’s IMDEA research institute and Microsoft Research. They found that Safari’s SecureTransport and Google’s OpenSSL clients could be “tricked” into accepting a less-secure encryption key from a Web server because of a flaw left over from 1990s-era U.S. government export controls on encryption technologies.

Those controls required encryption systems exported from the U.S. to have weaker standards than those sold in the U.S. While today’s requirements are no longer so stringent, those export-grade security connections may still be enabled for many Web sites.

Discovered by encryption and security expert Karthikeyan Bhargavan, the bug uses software to encrypt data passing between web servers and web users.

The computer giant suggests millions may be at risk of losing data.

A working group established to monitor the bug estimates that 9.5 per cent of the web’s most popular websites could be vulnerable to attacks.

Initially, it was thought the bug would only affect users of BlackBerry and Android phones, and those searching through Apple’s Safari web browser.

However, in a statement released last week, Microsoft said it “affects all supported releases of Microsoft Windows”.

In the same release, Microsoft offered a number of solutions to remove the vulnerability from some of its software.

However, they added that other programs might encounter “serious problems” as a result of running the fix.

Microsoft are continuing to work on a separate security update to remove the bug.

If you are concerned and want to take actions to protect yourself, view detailed workarounds available here.

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TrueCrypt + Norton AntiVirus = BSOD, disgruntled users

Symantec struggling to deliver fix, offers ‘mitigation options’

Updated Encrypted disk users who upgrade to Norton 2015 have been confronted by the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Norton 2015 appears to trigger a crash on Windows 8.1 PCs that runs a disk encryption driver, according to user complaints about the problem in a thread on a Symantec support forum.

Many of those affected are running TrueCrypt but the issue is by no means limited to that utility, affecting other full-disk and file encryption utilities as well.

Users began complaining about the issue in mid-December and it is still not fixed. Downgrading to Norton 2014 has been suggested as a temporary stopgap ahead of a more comprehensive fix. The four page thread features scores of users complaining about problems.

In response to queries from El Reg, Symantec – the developers of Norton anti-virus – said it was working on a fix.

TrueCrypt and its derivatives are non-conforming to WMI PNP requests as described by Windows documentation.Norton is aware of this issue and is working to provide a fix as quickly as possible to its customers. In the interim, we are working with our customers on mitigation options. Our top priority is ensuring that our customers are protected and we will continue to share information as it becomes available.

We learned of the problem from Reg reader Sam who hit problems when he attempted to use Norton anti-virus in conjunction with the SafeHouse, another disk encryption utility.

“The BSOD is for the disk driver for the encrypted disc as soon as it tries to access it,” Sam explained. “It’s not just TrueCrypt, several disk encryption programs have the same issue.” ®

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Disable the webcam on a Windows PC

Many mobile computers have webcams built-in nowadays so that users can use it for communication. Webcams can be used to video chat for instance using programs such as Skype.

While that is great for users who use it for that, others who never use a webcam may want to consider disabling it on the system instead.

Government agencies like the FBI have used computer cameras in the past to monitor users through webcams connected to computer systems, all without triggering the recording light that is usually on when the camera is in use.

The effectiveness of attacks targeting webcams depends on a number of factors including vulnerabilities in the software itself but also malware that is running on the target PC.

Hackers too can exploit these vulnerabilities as well and make use of malware.

Considering that there is no need to keep the cam enabled at all times or at all if it is never used, you may want to turn it off on your system instead to avoid things like this from ever happening to you.

Disable the internal camera

disable camera

Here is what you need to do to disable the internal camera of your PC running Windows.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the start menu or start screen (Windows 8).
  2. Type Device Manager and select the first result from the list.
  3. If everything worked out fine, the Windows Device Manager should open.
  4. If not, try the following approach instead: Use Windows-R to open the runbox on the system. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter.
  5. Locate Imaging Devices and there Integrated Camera. If it is not listed there, you may want to check under Sound, video and game controllers to see if it is listed there instead.
  6. Right-click on Integrated Camera and select disable from the context menu.
  7. Confirm the prompt that appears
  8. The camera has been disabled and cannot be used anymore unless it is enabled first.
  9. To enable it again, repeat the process but select enable from the right-click context menu to do so.

There are other options to deal with cameras. You can for instance close the lid of the laptop when you are not using it, put tape on it to block its view, or simply point it towards a different direction if you are in a situation in which you do not want to be monitored or recorded

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