Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015-03-02 WTKM Talking Points (March 2nd 2015)

Superfish (on some Lenovo laptops) is a real risk!
A test for Superfish is here, removal instructions are here.

Confirmed sensation: Microsoft will allow all Win 7 & 8 users to upgrade to Win10 for free – for one year (only?). But then the licensing will kick in? A rented operating system? Home user be careful! Microsoft does not give anything away for free; that is the first concrete step to get us all to accept a licensing model, that means yearly payments. This way Microsoft will in the medium and long term make oodles of money more than by selling the software.

More dangerous bugs in Adobe Flash Player! Current officially released version is! The catch: Many fake updates around! Mostly the user is tricked to download and install a fake plugin that then installs a keylogger to collect log in info & passwords. User beware! 

Renewed warning: CryptoWall (new CrypotoLocker variant) spreads through advertising networks.
When you see advertisements your computer is not sufficiently protected or it is already infected with malware!

Finally: Microsoft takes on scam tech support phone call organizations (PDF).
If MS succeeds I expect the crooks to move off-shore and do the same from India.
Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit attorney Courtney Gregoire has an article and a video about these scams on her blog. Here is Ms. Gregoire's advice:
  • If anyone calls you and claims to be in any way affiliated with Microsoft IT IS A SCAM!
  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate person you personally know and trust and/or are already a customer of.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
  • Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
The supposed hack attack on French news media (after Charlie Hebdo shooting) was no attack at all. It was a simple server cockup.

In Canada it is now illegal to install computer programs without consent. Why not in the US?

375 of the 500 largest companies do not protect their web sites from typosquatters. That causes real danger when you mistype a web address in your browser. Be careful!
As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

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