Our latest edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as an IE flaw allows attackers and advertisers to track cursor movement, Microsoft will retire its Live Mesh PC-sync service in February, Yahoo has revamped its e-mail service & continues overhaul on Flickr, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Google drops Exchange ActiveSync support for free email accounts
Google’s decision to restrict support for enterprise-class syncing is the latest move in a bid to move customers to its paid products and to push free Gmail users to its mobile apps. Official Google blog post with full list of services being shut down can be read here.
- Firefox ‘porn mode’ finally to match competition
Private browsing in Firefox gets an overhaul so it can work alongside a regular Firefox window, and the Firefox OS simulator hits a milestone.
- Firefox’s new “Servo” rendering engine was purpose-built for multiple cores
- Firefox drops animated themes in version 18
Mozilla announced this past Tuesday on its Add-Ons Blog that animated themes would no longer work in the upcoming Firefox 18, due to performance updates packaged in that version.
- Chrome search refinements on their way
Google’s performing a little bit of liposuction on search in Chrome, in an attempt to make accessing search faster.
- Cloud synchronisation can crash Google’s Chrome
On Monday, Google’s Gmail service was unavailable, but a side effect of that was somewhat unexpected; Google’s Chrome browser on the desktop started crashing for many users.
- Google eyes Evernote challenge with Drive features
In a Google+ post, the search giant said that it is launching a “save to Drive” extension to its Chrome browser. You can learn more about the extension in our ETC post here.
- Google rules out Gmail and Drive apps for Windows 8
Google has revealed that it has no plans to develop dedicated apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 for its business app products such as Gmail or Drive.
- Microsoft to retire Live Mesh PC-sync service in February 2013
As of February 2013, Microsoft’s Live Mesh PC-sync service will be no more. SkyDrive is its replacement.
- Good-Bye 386: Linux to drop support for i386 chips with next major release
Linux got its start on a 386 processor, but 21-years later, the Linux kernel developers have decided its time to say good-bye to the venerable Intel processor in its next major Linux kernel release: 3.8.
- Canonical adds photo functions to Ubuntu One
Canonical has added new photo functions to its Ubuntu One cloud storage service. After users log in, the Ubuntu One web site now automatically displays thumbnails of all photos found in their cloud storage in a new “Photos” section. Users can browse the photos or display them as a slideshow.
- Ubuntu One ‘Referral Space’ Goes AWOL
Up to 20GB of free space can be gained through the affiliate scheme, but the bug means that Ubuntu One is – at the time of writing – no longer showing accrued space in users’ accounts. (Update: The bug has been fixed, but if you experienced problems with this you can read about the details here.)
- Steam Linux to Launch Open Beta Next Week
‘Steam for Linux’ will be available for everyone to try from next week, after spending just over a month as a limited beta.
- Yahoo Mail revamp aims for speed, simplicity
CEO Marissa Mayer introduces the new version of Yahoo’s longstanding e-mail service, which now has a consistent look throughout the different platforms.
- Yahoo continues overhaul on Flickr for web, iOS
Yahoo continues to overhaul its products, possibly signaling the beginning of a renaissance for the beleaguered search company.
- Yahoo becomes AVG Secure Search provider
The deal gives Yahoo potential exposure to AVG’s 143 million users, and gives Secure Search users access to an alternative search provider.
- Instagram photos disappear from Twitter feeds
Picture this: The photo-sharing app completely turns off all support for the microblogging site.
- Former top Apple fanboy now rocks all Android devices
Former Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki says he’s purged all iOS devices from his life.
- Bitcoin exchange gains backing from French bank
The Bitcoin-Central exchange has partnered with French financial institutions to provider users with payment accounts and deposit guarantees.
- Text messages direct to your contact lens
New technology that will allow information, such as text messages from a mobile phone, to be projected onto a contact lens worn in the human eye has been developed by Belgian researchers.
- IE flaw allows attackers, advertisers to track cursor movement
Advertisers have been using a flaw in Internet Explorer to log the mouse movements of users, an issue that could be used to log authentication data entered via virtual keyboards.
- Microsoft Confirms Internet Explorer Security Flaw, Promises Patch
Microsoft has already confirmed in an emailed statement that Internet Explorer is affected by a security flaw that allows attackers to track users’ mouse position, but the company has now published a blog post to reveal that it’s also working on a fix.
- Windows 8 Security Hole Allows Users to Reset Account Passwords in Minutes
Windows 8 was designed to be a much more secure operating system, so it bundles several new tools and improved features to make sure that it’s harder to break into than any other Windows version. Sadly, it appears that Microsoft has forgotten to fix an important password reset hack that also works on Windows 8 predecessors, including Windows Vista and Windows 7.
- Apps for Windows 8 easily hacked
Windows 8 offers several vectors that enable attackers to manipulate or modify apps, according to Justin Angel. On his private homepage, he has described how hacking such apps is easy because, he says, the encrypted data is stored locally – along with the encryption algorithm and the hash key.
- Windows 8’s Picture Password Is Totally Hackable
The new Picture Password feature was officially released in October, together with the new Windows 8 operating system, and has been described as a new, innovative and a lot more secure way to protect your touchscreen device. But Naven Jones of Uncoveror.com has found a way to quickly hack any Windows 8 computer using the Picture Password. And it’s not rocket science to do it.
- New Mac trojan tricks users into paying pricey cell phone fees
A scam that’s targeted Windows users for years comes to OS X. – Researchers have discovered new Mac-based malware that’s designed to trick users into paying pricey subscription fees.
- New ‘Dexter’ malware strikes point-of-sale systems
The malware has apparently infiltrated hundreds of point-of-sale systems worldwide, with America and the U.K. atop the list of targeted countries.
- Hotmail & Outlook can be hijacked using Cookie Handling Vulnerability
Hotmail and Outlook, the popular email service from Microsoft is reported to be susceptible to hijacking using ‘stolen’ Cookies. A cookie handling vulnerability has been discovered that can allow cybercriminals to gain access to the accounts of Hotmail and Outlook users.
- WhatsApp closes hole again, but not in all versions
The game of cat-and-mouse around the security of WhatsApp has entered the next round: since The H’s associates at heise Security demonstrated that the Android version remained vulnerable to account hijacking about a week ago, the WhatsApp developers have released WhatsApp 2.8.8968 (and subsequently version 2.8.9108) on Google Play, saying that this version offers improved phone number verification.
- How an Internet-connected Samsung TV can spill your deepest secrets
Hack demonstrates the growing vulnerability of consumer devices. – If you use a Samsung “Smart TV” that’s connected to the Internet, there’s a chance Luigi Auriemma can hack into the device and access files stored on connected USB drives.
- Joomla sites misused to deploy malware
The Internet Storm Center reports that a large number of Joomla sites are currently deploying malicious code and infecting visitors with malware; some WordPress sites are also thought to be affected.
- Intruders hack industrial heating system using backdoor posted online
Same control systems are used by FBI, IRS, and Pentagon. – Hackers illegally accessed the Internet-connected controls of a New Jersey-based company’s internal heating and air-conditioning system by exploiting a backdoor in a widely used piece of software, according to a recently published memo issued by the FBI.
- Botnet hidden in the Tor network
The Security Street blog has found a botnet client, the operator of which is hiding behind the Tor network. This trick makes the work of security experts and criminal prosecutors much more difficult. The malicious botnet software, called “Skynet”, is a trojan that Security Street found on Usenet.
- Android app verification service misses 85% of sideloaded malware
Research by a professor at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has found that Android’s built-in app verification service misses about 85 percent of known malware.
- Lost+Found: Metasploit phishing, hacker bounties and Android malware
Too short for news, too good to lose; Lost+Found is a roundup of useful and interesting security news. In this edition: Metasploit goes phishing, Windows 8 password resets, defacing (or not) by git pull, C# rewards, Commander X spotting, and Android malware.
- LogMeIn, DocuSign Investigate Breach Claims
Customers of remote PC administration service Logmein.com and electronic signature provider Docusign.com are complaining of a possible breach of customer information after receiving malware-laced emails to accounts they registered exclusively for use with those companies. Both companies say they are investigating the incidents, but so far have found no evidence of a security breach.
- New Findings Lend Credence to Project Blitzkrieg
“Project Blitzkrieg,” a brazen Underweb plan for hiring 100 botmasters to fuel a blaze of ebanking heists against 30 U.S. financial institutions in the Spring of 2013, was met with skepticism from some in the security community after news of the scheme came to light in October. But new research suggests the crooks who hatched the plan were serious and have painstakingly built up a formidable crime machine in preparation for the project.
- FTC’s Second Kids’ App Report Finds Little Progress in Addressing Privacy Concerns Surrounding Mobile Applications for Children
Kids’ Data Still Collected, Shared without Parents’ Knowledge, Consent – The Federal Trade Commission issued a new staff report, “Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade,” examining the privacy disclosures and practices of apps offered for children in the Google Play and Apple App stores. The report details the results of the FTC’s second survey of kids’ mobile apps.
- Facebook privacy settings get reworked once again
The social network overhauls its settings, not for the first time, in an attempt to make things easier for people to understand, and phases out the option to block people from searching for your profile.
- Microsoft Blocks Free Windows 8 Activation Flaw
Back in November, software pirates found a way to activate a Windows 8 copy at no cost by simply using the Windows Media Center upgrade key provided by Microsoft for free as part of a limited time offer. Although the Redmond-based technology titan hasn’t provided too many details about it, it appears that Microsoft has quietly patched the bug and all users who attempt to exploit it are provided with a traditional “Activation error” message.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- How to Fix a Stuck Pixel on an LCD Monitor
- What Is Disk Fragmentation and Do I Still Need to Defragment?
- Secure Yourself by Using Two-Step Verification on These 16 Web Services
- The Best Free Programs for Using Virtual Desktops in Windows
- How to Fix the “Firefox Is Already Running” Error
- Desktop Fun: Starscapes Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- How to Do a Full Shutdown in Windows 8 Without Disabling Hybrid Boot
- Get Real Multitasking on Android With These 8 Floating Apps
- Add a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the Microsoft Robocopy Command Line Tool
- How to Pin Any File to the Start Screen in Windows 8
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- The Truth About Wi-Fi Signal Strength
- A Perfect Example of Why You Never, Ever Buy a Used Keyboard [Humorous Image]
- Life Before and After Cell Phones [Comic]
- The Ships of Star Trek [Chart Wallpaper]
- So Your Laptop’s Fan Has Stopped Working Then? [Humorous Image]
- How Many People Are In Space Right Now Tells You Just That
- What Really Happens When You Unsubscribe from Product Newsletters [Comic]
- Keeping a Computer Tower Cool the Easy Way [Image Set]
- Browse Through Radio Shack’s 1983 Computer Catalog [Scanned Image Set]
- Cozy Christmas Cabin at the North Pole [Wallpaper]
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- Photography With HTG: 10 Tips for Better Christmas Photos
- The How-To Geek Guide to Custom Photo Bokeh
- How To Make an Incredibly Easy Panoramic Photograph With Any Camera
- How to Make Scanning Big Pictures Easy With (Freeware) Microsoft ICE
- How to Cancel or Delete a Stuck Print Job in the Windows Print Queue
- What Is Postscript? What Does It Have to Do With My Printer?
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- Universal Remotes are not so Universal After All
- He Really Needs Some Tech-Support at the Moment
- Adventures at the Pawn Shop
- Very Competitive Wages
- The New Diversification Strategy
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Which Famous American Building Is More Radioactive Than A Nuclear Power Plant?
- Who Is Considered The Father Of Table Top War Gaming?
- What Catapulted The MP3 Into Popular Use?
- What Purpose Does The Penny Aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover Serve?
- The Speed Of Electricity Was First Measured By What Method?
- Which Spacecraft Was The First To Use Integrated Circuits?
- What Was The First Text Message About?
- Published 12/16/12