Week in Geek: Windows 8 Security Flaw – Passwords Stored in Plain Text When Using Picture or PIN Login
This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as new malware seeks to lock Skype users out of their PCs, Dell will stick to Windows 7 after Windows 8 debut, Mozilla Thunderbird users now get 25 GB of cloud storage for free, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Firefox Nightly introduces streamlined installer on Windows
Mozilla has introduced a new feature in nightly builds of Firefox for Windows that streamlines the install process for the open source browser. The new “Stub Installer” downloads a small executable that users execute and which in turn downloads the actual installation files from Mozilla’s servers.
- Mozilla rereleases Firefox 16 after fixing critical flaw
The browser was pulled from download after only a day, to fix bug that could reveal which Web sites a user had visited.
- Firefox Debuts New Developer Toolbar
Firefox makes developing for the Web faster and easier with a unique Developer Command Line. The new tool provides easy keyboard control over Firefox Developer Tools and is intuitive, completing commands and parameters for you. Blog post includes video.
- Firefox Beta adds ‘preliminary support’ for Social API
The new application programming interface is intended to let developers integrate social features directly into the browser, though it doesn’t sound like it’s ready for prime time yet.
- Flash Websites Won’t Load in IE 10 Unless Microsoft Approves Them
Internet Explorer 10, the version that’s currently available to Windows 8 users only, won’t load Flash websites unless Microsoft places them on its very own whitelist (this limitation applies to the Metro-version).
- HTTPS Everywhere plugin from EFF protects 1,500 more sites
Members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation have updated their popular HTTPS Everywhere browser plugin to offer automatic Web encryption to an additional 1,500 sites, twice as many as previously offered.
- Thunderbird Users Get 25GB of Cloud Storage for Free
Mozilla has rolled out Thunderbird 16, with a short list of modifications and even a shorter one for known issues. The new revision sees Box.com added to the list of online storage services you can use with Thunderbird Filelink service.
- Google Extends Microsoft Office Support Due to Customer Complaints
Google announced on October 1 that it would drop support for older Microsoft Office formats in its Apps service, but the Mountain View-based company is apparently reconsidering the decision due to consumer complaints.
- Microsoft’s new Office Web Apps to roll out to Office 365 users in late October
As part of a SharePoint Online service update later this month, Microsoft will deliver the new versions of its Office Web Apps to Office 365 users.
- Windows 8 Won’t Allow 18+ Rated Games
Microsoft promises that the Windows Store will provide access to up to 100,000 apps by February 2013, but it seems that the Redmond-based technology company is planning to block 18+ rated games.
- Microsoft (finally) allows Xbox Live account migration to a new country
While there are many benefits to an Xbox Live membership, with more to come, one of the frustrations for a select few has been the inability to change country associations for your Xbox Live account. If you had an Xbox Live membership and then moved to another country, you were basically stuck, and forced to give up all of your achievements to make the switch. Now, according to a post on the Xbox Forums by an Xbox Live Ambassador, Microsoft is for the first time allowing Xbox Live members to migrate accounts.
- Did You Know: Microsoft SkyDrive Has a “High” Startup Impact on Windows 8
Microsoft SkyDrive is clearly a helpful cloud storage service that’s already integrated into several apps developed by the Redmond-based technology company, including Office 365 and Windows 8. When it comes to the latter however, SkyDrive may slow down the startup process, as Windows 8’s very own Task Manager tells us.
- Dell to Stick to Windows 7 after Windows 8 Debut
Microsoft will unveil Windows 8 on October 25, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all consumers and businesses will instantly make the move to the new operating system. Dell says it will continue to offer Windows 7 to its buyers, even after the Redmond-based technology company rolls out the new Windows iteration.
- Linux Could Boot Up in Under a Second
The boot speed of an operating system is a major feature in today’s market, either for commercial operating systems or free distributions. What if there is a possibility to improve the boot up speed of a Linux OS to under a second?
- Linux Is Now Safe from Microsoft’s UEFI
The Linux Foundation has proposed a solution for the current conundrum Linux is facing, with the introduction of Secure boot specification for UEFI.
- Official Ubuntu One App for Mac Enters Beta
A beta build of Ubuntu One for OS X has been released by the Ubuntu One team. The team say that the client will ‘give all users regardless of platform, access to all the great benefits of Ubuntu One.”
- Ubuntu 12.10 Adds Option to Disable Dash Online Searches
After the huge pressure exercised by the community, Canonical has implemented an option to stop the online dash searches.
- Ubuntu Add Legal Disclaimer to Unity Dash
- Dreamlinux Distribution Is Dead
Dreamlinux, a Linux distribution based on Debian and Morphi, featuring a selection of the best applications designed to meet most of the users’ daily needs, is now officially dead.
- “Can you fix my Windows 95 computer?”: How to troll a tech support scammer
The Internet gets mad—and hilarious—in exposing an obnoxious tech-related scam.
- First Critical Windows 8 Security Flaw: Logon Passwords Stored in Plain Text
Microsoft says that Windows 8 is the most secure operating system ever, but the first critical security flaw has already been discovered. Passcape Software developers have discovered that Windows 8 stores user accounts passwords in plain text whenever the user switches to a picture password or a PIN.
- New Kernel Vulnerabilities Affect Ubuntu 11.10
Canonical has announced that a new Linux kernel update for its Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot operating system is now available, fixing two security vulnerabilities discovered by various developers in the Linux kernel packages.
- Skype users targeted by malicious worm that locks them out of their PCs
Security researchers have detected a new malware campaign that attempts to infect Skype users by sending them booby-trapped links from contacts in their address book.
- Fake Windows Defender Is Trying to Steal Your Money
Security companies warn that a new fake antivirus is aimed at Windows users looking for a security tool, attempting to convince them to pay to get rid of inexistent malware. The fake tools mimic the GUI of Windows Defender depending on the Windows version you’re running, be it Windows 7, Windows Vista or XP.
- Beware of fake Bad Piggies apps on Chrome Web Store
“Bad Piggies”, a mobile game that was quietly launched by software company Rovio Mobile, is one of the most popular games to be launched in the late period. Unfortunately, it’s also a security risk if installed via third-party, free, extensions from the Chrome Web Store that claim to be the original app.
- 3G flaw makes any device vulnerable to tracking
A flaw in the way some aspects of the 3G protocol are implemented could result in a third-party attacker being able to precisely track the location of any 3G-enabled device.
- Verizon iPhone owners have 30 days to opt-out of sharing location, search data and more with advertisers
If you’re the brand new owner of a Verizon iPhone, you’ve got 30 days to opt-out of sharing information including anonymized location data as well as demographics like age, gender, sports teams, dining habits and more.
- Apple tracks iOS browsing behaviour by default
Apple, by default, tracks web browsing behaviour and location to better serve you ads. You have to specifically opt out of this tracking per individual iOS device that you own.
- Microsoft: Windows XP infected twice as frequently as Windows 7
Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report for the first half of 2012 reveals that the company has to remove malware from systems running Windows XP twice as frequently as from systems running Windows 7 or Vista.
- Microsoft’s Bing Is the Most Poisoned Search Engine – Security Company
Security company Sophos released a study which reveals that Microsoft’s very own Bing service is the most poisoned search engine on the Internet. Search engine poisoning is a malicious tactic used by online attackers that brings dangerous entries on the first page of search engines, most of them displayed for very popular keywords.
- Deadly exploit briefly massacres World of Warcraft
Something goes terribly wrong in the most popular massively multiplayer role-playing game in the world as players fall waste to a megabug.
- Google and Yahoo Irish search domains hijacked
Irish websites Google.ie and Yahoo.ie went offline on Tuesday afternoon after their DNS servers were apparently hijacked to point to those of a third party, resulting in visitors being redirected to an ‘allegedly fraudulent’ address.
- SOPA reincarnates to hold your computer hostage
We all thought SOPA was dead, but new ransomware claims differently. Want your computer back? You’ll pay the SOPA fee.
- Symantec: Russian criminals sell Web ‘proxy’ with backdoors
Anyone who thought they were downloading Web proxy software was instead installing a Trojan horse tied to a Russian black hat operation.
- Symantec: Data-stealing hackers use DDoS to distract from attacks
Cybercriminals are distracting banks and other businesses with a DDoS attack while they quietly lay siege to sensitive data on the network, which they can use for credit card cloning and other fraud.
- ‘Project Blitzkrieg’ Promises More Aggressive Cyberheists Against U.S. Banks
Last week, security firm RSA detailed a new cybecriminal project aimed at recruiting 100 botmasters to help launch a series of lucrative online heists targeting 30 U.S. banks.
- How much do Google and Facebook profit from your data?
Savvy Internet users know that all the great stuff they get from the Internet for “free”—the searches, the social networks, the games, even the news—isn’t really free. It’s an exchange, where companies are able to take user data, sell it to advertisers, and make money that allows them to give themselves a paycheck while keeping you afloat in free digital services.
- Ransomware risk heightened with BYOD
With the rise of ransomware in the recent quarter, enterprises are increasingly at risk when end-users circumvent corporate policies, especially on personal devices.
- Phishers are becoming smarter, more targeted: Websense
Attackers appear to have figured out how to use the grammar check feature when writing their phishing scams, but that’s not the only area in which they’ve improved.
- Hack In The Box: researcher reveals ease of Huawei router access
At Hack In The Box researcher Felix “FX” Lindner has shown how Huawei routers are easy to access with their static passwords and how one machine could give an attacker access to an entire network.
- A Look Into the Default Windows 8 Apps
Did you know what the essential Windows 8 apps and their respective functions are? This guide should help you with that.
- Want Norton 2013? Read this review first
In this article you will learn about the real performance of their latest security suite and some surprising facts about the 2013 version.
XKCD indulges in a sarcastic and humorous look at the monopoly busting process and how some companies have managed to “avoid” the problem.
- The Lasting Legacy of Steve Jobs
Love him or hate him, you likely respect him. Wired reflects on the legacy of Steve Jobs on the one year anniversary of his passing.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- How To Get a Better Wireless Signal and Reduce Wireless Network Interference
- How To Troubleshoot Internet Connection Problems
- Why Is the Localhost IP 127.0.0.1?
- HTG Explains: What is the Windows Page File and Should You Disable It?
- The Most Useful Bookmarklets to Enhance Your Browsing Experience
- Desktop Fun: Wolves Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- How to Enable Click To Play Plugins in Firefox
- 6 Ways To Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen
- How to Get All the Windows 8 Editions on One Install Disk
- How To Use Windows 8’s Gestures on a Laptop Trackpad
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Viewing the Future Through the ‘Eyes of the Past’ [Humorous Image]
- Reasonable Prices? [Comic]
- Grab a Copy of Plants vs. Zombies for Free; Courtesy of the ADA
- Hurricanes Since 1851 [Visualization]
- The Evolution of Link’s Swords [Wallpaper]
- Clever DIY Display Showcases Game Consoles While Concealing Cables
- Smart Phones Shockingly Energy Efficient; Lead to Decreased Household Power Consumption
- When Your Kids ‘Beautify’ Your Laptop [Humorous Image]
- OSU Marching Band Delivers Impressive Half-Time Tribute to Video Games
- Internet Explorer 9 Commercial (The Honest Version) [Parody Video]
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- The How-To Geek Guide to Getting Started with LastPass
- Supercharge Your Dropbox Account with Space Upgrades, Apps, and More
- The How-To Geek Guide to XBMC Add-Ons
- Hardware Upgrade: The HTG Guide to Picking the Right PC Monitor
- How to Pin Apps With Custom Parameters to the Taskbar in Windows 7
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- Neutrality Comes With a Price Sometimes
- No Crowdsourcing Allowed
- The Problem with Intellectual Property
- Technical Madmen
- Lots of Qualified Applicants
- The Man with No Facebook
- A Sociable Hermit Crab
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- The First Google Doodle Celebrated What?
- Video Gamers Contributed To Breakthrough Research For What Illness?
- What Is The Oldest Electrical Coding System Still In Use?
- What Was The First Random-Access Memory Device?
- Who Was The First Woman In Space?
- What Was The First Cooperative Play Console Game?
- Which Character Was Created Because Of Nintendo’s Inability To License Popeye?