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Week in Geek: Windows 7 nearly Five Times more Secure than XP

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This week we learned how to force a browser to remember passwords, customize folder backgrounds and icons in Windows Explorer, improve photography by learning the elements of exposure, sync encrypted files with Dropbox and SecretSync, found out how you backup your data, and more.

Photo by Loozrboy.

Weekly News Links

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  • Report: Windows 7 almost five times more secure than XP
    Windows 7 is four to five times less vulnerable to malware infections than is Windows XP. Those are the findings of Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report, which detailed in depth the state of software vulnerabilities, exploits, security breaches, and malware in 2010.
  • Microsoft: One in 14 downloads is malicious
    The next time a website says to download new software to view a movie or fix a problem, think twice. There’s a pretty good chance that the program is malicious.
  • Mac scareware becomes more visible – Update
    Going under the name “Mac Defender”, “Mac Security” or “Mac Protector”, a fake anti-virus application is getting attention as professional criminals target it at Mac users.
  • How bad is the Mac malware scare? (FAQ)
    Macintosh users are being targeted with malware that poses as an antivirus warning and tries to trick people into paying for software they don’t need. This FAQ sorts through the facts to help determine how serious the issue really is.
  • Android malware subscribes to premium SMS services
    Security specialist Sophos reports that various apps on the Android Market have attempted to make users in China subscribe to premium SMS services without obtaining permission.
  • PSN hacked again, 2 days after coming back online
    Just two days after Sony started turning parts of the PlayStation Network back online, it seems to have been hacked again.
  • Sony hacked again, used to host phishing site
    With Anonymous Denial of Service attacks and then the twin hacks of PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment, Sony’s online infrastructure has been taking a battering over the last few weeks—and it’s not over yet.
  • Expert: Sony attack may have been multipronged
    When it comes to the attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network, the only thing we’re sure of is what we don’t know: how it was done and who did it.
  • Researchers cancel SCADA hack talk
    Dillon Beresford and Brian Meixell were planning to perform a demonstration of how to attack critical infrastructure at the TakeDown Conference but cancelled after they were “asked very nicely” to refrain from providing that information.
  • Facebook, spammers are in ‘arms race’
    Within days of Facebook rolling out new security features designed to block spam, several new social-engineering attacks were spreading that somehow managed to get by the company’s antispam defenses.
  • Facebook Prepares to Launch Bug Bounty Program
    Facebook is working on setting up a bug bounty program that would encourage security researchers to discover vulnerabilities on its platform and report them responsibly.
  • Rapid-release idea spreads to Firefox 5 beta
    Mozilla released a beta version of Firefox this past week, its first on a new quick-release plan intended to bring features to browser users and Web developers sooner.
  • Mono team presses on with new startup after Attachmate layoffs
    The Mono project, which produces an open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET runtime and C# compiler, was dealt a serious blow earlier this month when Attachmate laid off the global Mono development team. Mono creator Miguel de Icaza responded to the tough break by assembling a plan to ensure that Mono will land on its feet and continue moving forward without Novell.
  • Bill Gates giddy over Skype acquisition
    Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates couldn’t be more pleased to see his company acquire Skype.
  • Jobseekers fear career fallout from social media
    More people in Singapore are including online and social media platforms in their job hunt, but there is also growing apprehension over the potential career fallout from social networking sites, finds a new survey by global recruitment agency, Kelly Services. (*Applicable information for wherever you may live)

Random TinyHacker Links

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Super User Questions

If you have questions then Super User has the answers you are looking for. Here are some of this week’s most popular topics.

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How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap

Enjoy reading through our hottest HTG Main articles from this past week.

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Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side

Add a bit of fun to your weekend reading with our most popular ETC posts of the week.

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One Year Ago on How-To Geek

Tweak your Firefox and Chrome browsers over the weekend with these great posts from one year ago.

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How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup

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Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 05/22/11

Comments (4)

  1. Hatryst

    Only 5 times more secure?
    Well, at least it is like 20 times better than XP :)

  2. Ivydapple

    Yaaaaaaay, I’m running 7. That makes me happy. :D I liked XP, but 7…7 is just plain awesome. The interface is so much prettier. I <3 Aero. :D

  3. Robyn

    For the most part, Windows 7 Home Premium seems fine. It’s those little annoyances that come under the header of security that I find a bit irritating, like having to formally log on to the desktop sitting next to the laptop using this long login name and password because the Home Premium edition of Windows 7 – whilst it has the “Remember Credentials” tickbox – forgets my login when I reboot the PCs, which, with Windows, you really have to. Also, it’s not green to leave them running unused. Apparently Windows 7 Pro does remember credentials, so it’s not about security, it’s about Microsoft wanting to flog the higher-priced version.

  4. whiplash55

    Windows should require full password log in like Linux and Mac even for admins so serious drive by exploits would be more difficult. UAC is a start but it opens a hole by not requiring passwords, it can be easily exploited with an escalation hack. Windows 8 needs to fix that.

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