This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as Windows 8 Pro downgrades to Windows 7 and Vista will be possible, the Ubuntu Live CD is now dead, Guild Wars 2 is suffering an ongoing password attack, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Opera 12.50 Will Block Installation of Third-Party Add-Ons by Default
Opera has released a new snapshot for the upcoming version of the browser, 12.50. The current revision introduces a new security system for installing add-ons from repositories that are not moderated by the browser maker.
- Opera 12.50 Prepares for Windows 8, Adds Touch Support
Opera has released a new snapshot for the upcoming version 12.50 of the browser that comes with support for Windows 8 touch devices. Development of the feature is not definitive yet, but it should also work with Windows 7-powered touch devices.
- Opera 12.50 Ditches The Out Of Process Plugins
After announcing that the final build of Opera 12.02 will disable the out of process plugins by default, it looks like the folks from Norway decided to implement the very same “feature” for the 12.50 builds too.
- Mozilla Lays Out Firefox Enterprise 17 Release Plans
Mozilla developer Alex Keybl has now detailed the plans for how Firefox ESR 10 users will migrate (or not) to the next ESR release. The plan is for the next ESR to be based on Firefox 17, which should be out around November 20th.
- Apache Web software overrides IE10 do-not-track setting
Microsoft’s new browser is set by default to tell advertisers not to track user behavior on the Web, but Apache’s Web server has become a new obstacle to that Microsoft approach.
- Windows 8 Pro Downgrades to Windows 7 and Vista Possible
Among the various versions that Windows 8 will arrive in, one will enable users to downgrade to one of the older releases of the platform. To be more precise, owners of the Windows 8 Pro SKU will be able to downgrade the platform to Windows 7 or Windows Vista, should they consider the older OSes better fitted for their needs.
- Firefox OS app store images leak onto Web
The purported images of the store include a list of app categories, such as business, reference, games, and more.
- Mozilla retires Firefox Home iOS app
Mozilla has ceased development of its Firefox Home mobile app for iOS-based devices and has removed it from Apple’s iTunes App Store.
- Betas of Ubuntu 12.10 derivatives released
Betas of most of the official derivatives of Ubuntu have been released alongside the beta version of the standard Unity-based desktop edition of Ubuntu 12.10. As with the desktop beta, these new versions bring together the various changes and enhancements that the developers have been working on.
- First alpha of Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10
The developers of the GNOME desktop-based Ubuntu derivative have, under the name Ubuntu GNOME Remix, released their first alpha version of the distribution. Based on the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” release, the developers describe the Remix as a developer snapshot to “give a very early glance at the next version”.
- OpenSUSE 12.2 Linux finally arrives
It took longer than expected, but openSUSE 12.2 is now available.
- Cinnamon 1.6 Will Bring Cinnamon 2D
Cinnamon 1.6 will include features like a notification applet, Expo grid view, workspace names, keyboard navigation, Cinnamon 2D, configurable Alt-Tab, configurable panel heights, windows quick-list, and scale, expo, & brightness applets.
- Linux Mint Explain Nautilus Fork, Call New Version a “Catastrophe”
Linux Mint’s reaction to the ‘controversial’ changes introduced in Nautilus 3.6 was simple: fork it. Now plans for that fork, named Nemo after the captain who pilots the Nautilus in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Mysterious Island novels, have been discussed in detail by Mint’s project lead, Clement Lefebvre.
- It’s Official: The Ubuntu LiveCD is Dead
Ubuntu 12.10 will increase the maximum size of its disc image from 700MB to 800MB, thereby making it too big to fit onto traditional CD-R media.
- Desktop Linux Revolt: How KDE Survived Its User Backlash
How does a Linux desktop survive a user revolt? The recent history of KDE suggests some answers.
- Can Android Replace Windows?
The growing popularity of tablets within the pantheon of end-user computing devices has helped drive BYOD and cloud projects within the enterprise, made cell-phone networks a common remote-access option and brought relief to laptop-lugging road warriors worldwide.
- Why Chrome Hasn’t Killed Mozilla Firefox
A look at how the browser wars have evolved over the past four years since Chrome was first released and its impact (good and bad) on Firefox.
- Google acquires free security service VirusTotal
Google’s product portfolio might be getting some new security features soon thanks to the purchase of VirusTotal.
- Amazon backtracks, will offer $15 opt-out for ads on Kindle Fire tablets
After negative feedback on forced ads, the company reverses course and will allow users to opt-out of “Special Offer” ads — for a fee.
- Tumblr jumps into advertising with two feet
Once scorning ads, the microblogging site is now opening its arms to the prospect by hiring Groupon sales exec Lee Brown.
- Microsoft puts Windows 8 users at risk with missing Flash update
Last month, Adobe released a batch of critical security updates for Flash Player. Those updates are available for every modern browser except one. Microsoft has yet to release the update for IE 10 in Windows 8, and may not do so until next month.
- Firefox, Opera allow crooks to hide an entire phish site in a link
A shortcoming in browsers including Firefox and Opera allows crooks to easily hide an entire malicious web page in a clickable link – ideal for fooling victims into handing over passwords and other sensitive info.
- Google suspicious sign-in alert contains a trojan
Unknown attackers are attempting to persuade email recipients to open attachments that contain a trojan by claiming to be from The Google Accounts Team. A new email supposedly from “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the subject “Suspicious sign in prevented” is being sent en masse claiming that a hijacker has attempted to access the mail recipient’s Google Account.
- Spam from ‘friends’ is actually result of Facebook hole
Facebook has fixed the problem and says spammers are using friend lists they scraped before the fix to send new e-mails.
- Guild Wars 2 officials say ongoing password attack affects 11,000 accounts
Password crackers have hacked more than 11,000 accounts belonging to players of the popular game Guild Wars 2, in part by using credentials siphoned from an unknown fan site that was recently compromised, game officials said.
- Phishing attacks via text spiked this week — researcher
The unexpected onslaught has pushed phishing to the top of the list of text-based threats, a researcher says.
- Widely used fingerprint reader exposes Windows passwords in seconds
Fingerprint-reading software preinstalled on laptops sold by Dell, Sony, and at least 14 other PC makers contains a serious weakness that makes it trivial for hackers with physical control of the machine to quickly recover account passwords, security researchers said.
- New open-source app extracts passwords stored in Mac OS X keychain
A software developer has released an open-source app for the Mac that, when run with administrator privileges, dumps all the passwords belonging to other people currently logged on to the machine.
- New Kernel Vulnerability Affects Ubuntu 11.04
There’s a single kernel vulnerability (CVE-2012-3400), discovered by various developers, related to some errors found in Linux kernel’s UDF file system (used to mount DVDs and CD-ROMs), which could allow an unprivileged local user to crash the system. A new Linux kernel update for the Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system is available for all users.
- Hackers turn remote maintenance tool into trojan
Hackers are using remote maintenance tool NetWire, which can be used to monitor computers running Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris, as a trojan. Anti-virus software companies have responded by identifying the program as malware.
- Malicious malware targets journalists, free press organizations
An opportunistic assailant attempted to deceive Committee to Protect Journalists and load malicious malware onto a computer belonging to the the organization’s director.
- Secret account in mission-critical router opens power plants to tamperin
The branch of the US Department of Homeland Security that oversees critical infrastructure has warned power utilities, railroad operators, and other large industrial players of a weakness in a widely used router that leaves them open to tampering by untrusted employees.
- BEAST creators develop new SSL attack
Security researchers Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong – who released details of an attack on SSL/TLS last year, along with a tool called BEAST – are preparing to present a new attack on SSL/TLS at the Ekoparty Security Conference in Argentina later this month, according to Threatpost.
- Apple’s iOS and Android are new favorite malware victims
Cybercriminals are working on more complex schemes to wage attacks on PCs, laptops, and smartphones. A new report shows that every single device that connects to the Internet is in danger.
- Experts: Google’s ‘Aurora’ hackers still at it years later
Attacks on Google and others three years ago have similarities to new attacks, including use of rare zero-day vulnerabilities.
- BitTorrent study finds most file-sharers are monitored
A Birmingham University study indicates that an illegal file-sharer downloading popular content would be logged by a monitoring firm within three hours. The team said it was “surprised” by the scale of the monitoring.
- Study shows hackers more focused on passwords than those who create them
Survey shows depth to which Internet users are ignoring core precautions, using weak passwords, and storing sensitive data in email.
- Mobile users tend to distrust their phones
A new survey shows that more than half of U.S. cell phone owners are concerned about apps leeching their private and personal information.
- Difficult for PC viruses to stay invisible indefinitely
Security watchers say that while malware such as Rakshasa are stealthier and can stay well hidden embedded in hardware chips, it is often difficult to implement and will eventually be detected.
- Why the Apple, FBI and AntiSec UDID debacle won’t go away
The publishing of 1 million anonymized Apple UDIDs allegedly found on an FBI agent’s computer brought AntiSec’s actions front and center. With denials from Apple and the FBI, you might think it’s over. Not so fast.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- HTG Explains: Is ReadyBoost Worth Using?
- The Best Websites for Downloading and Playing Classic Games
- Who Provides Internet Service for My Internet Service Provider?
- How To Get Email Notifications Whenever Someone Logs Into Your Computer
- Desktop Fun: Moody Skies Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- HTG Explains: What The Windows Event Viewer Is and How You Can Use It
- HTG Explains: How Windows Uses The Task Scheduler for System Tasks
- The Best How-To Geek Articles for August 2012
- How to Enable Firefox’s Built-in PDF Reader
- How Windows 8′s Backup System Differs From Windows 7′s
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- How We Learn To Hold Our Keyboards [Funny]
- Time for Some Bleach, Disinfectant, and What Else? [Image]
- There’s Only One Place It’s 100% Safe to Facebook at Work
- Will You Survive The Undead Apocalypse? [Action Flow-Chart Wallpaper]
- The ‘Ultimate’ Home-Brew Computer Tower [Humorous Image]
- The Harry Potter Periodic Table of Characters [Wallpaper]
- The Relative Effectiveness of Common Computer Repair Techniques [Comic]
- An Outrageous Breach of Privacy [Comic]
- Remove a Digital Camera’s IR Filter for IR Photography on the Cheap
- Get Hands On with Raspberry Pi via Free OS-Building Course
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- Learn How to Securely Delete Files in Windows
- Store Private Files Securely Using a Portable File Encryption Tool
- Keep Your PC’s Data Safe Using Create Synchronicity
- How to Backup Profiles, Repair, and Tweak Windows Settings Using D7
- Learn How to Use Windows 7′s Advanced Search Operators
- Learn Even More Windows 7 Search Tricks to Find Files Easier
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- They are in for Some Heavy Resistance
- A Complicated Genie Lamp
- A Smaller than Expected Cruise Ship
- Negative Customer Feedback
- Carts and Baskets
- Blended Content
- Downloading White Papers
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- What Information Sharing System Was Briefly More Popular Than The World Wide Web?
- Which Song Was Requested By Carl Sagan But Not Included On The Voyager Records?
- What Was The First Modern Web Search Engine?
- Which Television Show Contains An Entire Movie Hidden Within It?
- The SEGA Saturn Featured Fewer Game Titles Because Of What?
- The Jedi Archives Are Modeled After Which Earth-Based Library?
- Why Is Facebook’s Color Scheme Blue-On-Blue?