Tagged With security

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An anonymous 22-year-old security researcher who goes by MalwareTech has, at least temporarily, managed to find a kill switch for the ransomware that spread across the globe yesterday. He insists his discovery was entirely accidental but experts credit his quick action for mostly stopping the malware from spreading to the United States.

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Fears of a hacking campaign targeting centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron came to fruition in a last minute information dump Friday evening. The leaked memos and emails appeared online just hours before a legally-required midnight media blackout on election coverage. Voters will head to the polls on Sunday amidst confusion over what information the hacked documents actually contain.

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You've spotted an app, site, or service you like the look of, it's completely free to use, and so you're ready to sign up — but how can you tell the service is above-board and legit? That you're not going to be subject to nefarious dark pattern tactics or see you or your teens sensitive data shared with advertisers. Before joining a service that seems to good to be true take the steps below. Common sense and a little digging can usually save you from the shadiest apps.

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Open up a web browser or power up a smartphone — pretty much essential for modern-day living — and you're walking straight into a privacy minefield. That much you know. Especially after the news earlier this week that Unroll.me, a popular service that lets you unsubscribe from multiple email lists with a single click, was selling data it had mined from all your mail. What you might not realise is that your surrendering of your privacy isn't just an accident — it's the purposeful design of a particular breed of app makers and web designers employing a practice known as "dark patterns."

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You may have noticed in your travels around the internet that your browser's address bar occasionally turns green and displays a padlock — that's HTTPS, or a secure version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, swinging into action. This little green padlock is becoming vitally important as more and more of your online security is eroded. Just because your ISP can now see what sites you browse on doesn't mean they have to know all the content your consuming. Below is the rundown on HTTPS, so you can better understand this first, and easiest line of defence against potential snoopers and hackers.

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The hacker's name is Janit0r. You've probably never heard of him, but perhaps you've heard of his work. Janit0r is reportedly the one behind a particularly gnarly but undeniably fascinating form of malware called BrickerBot. BrickerBot, as the name implies, will brick internet of things (IoT) devices that fail a simple security test. This is surely illegal, but I love it.

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The classic non-apology goes something like this: "I'm sorry if you were upset." It's a sneaky way of expressing regret for how one's crappy actions made another person feel, rather than the crappy actions themselves. But the CEO of Unroll.Me — whose parent company was revealed this weekend to have sold Unroll.Me's anonymised customer data to Uber — has invented a whole new level of terrible, borderline sociopathic non-apology. He's not sorry that you were upset about your data being sold. He's sorry he got caught.

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It seems like every day there's news of another significant data breach, so here's today's: An internal investigation by the InterContinental Hotel Group, which owns Holiday Inn, has revealed that guests at more than a thousand of their hotels had their credit card details stolen. The company identified malware on front desk systems used between September 29 and December 29 in 2016, but that malware may not have been erased until the investigation was completed in March 2017.

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Now that Australian ISPs are officially required to collect metadata about customers communications, you may need to take online privacy into your own hands — and VPNs are the best way to do it.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) software effectively encrypts your online activity to help you surf the web free from the prying eyes of eavesdroppers. VPNs come in all shapes and sizes with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Let's take a look.

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Not all applications and browser add-ons come in peace. So you need to know a few warning signs to look out for if you want to make sure that only legit software makes it onto your machine. Here's how to avoid bad actors and weed out any shady apps that have already taken root.

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Somewhere along the way your mobile phone went from being a way for your friends and family to reach you, to becoming a portal through which marketers and spammers can bombard you with calls you're not interested in. It's sort of like the landline, only much, much more irritating. Here's what you can do to reclaim your device.

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Even as our tech gets increasingly sophisticated and intelligent, sometimes it's falling for the oldest tricks in the book that breach the security walls we've put in place — like clicking on dodgy links or shady attachments that we shouldn't. You don't have to get tripped up by these simplest of scams though, if you know what you're looking for.

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So you're still using Microsoft Word. Seems like an odd decision in the year 2017, but I didn't come here to judge. I'm legitimately curious why some people continue to pump their money into the MS Office Suite, despite mounting evidence that the software offers shitty security and a historically terrible user experience. So why bother?