US CERT warning – Backoff POS agent impacts over 1000 businesses

US CERT warning related to dangers of point-of-sale malware that attempts to steal credit card numbers and sensitive customer information 

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA14-212A

QUOTE: Over the past year, the Secret Service has responded to network intrusions at numerous businesses throughout the United States that have been impacted by the ‚ÄúBackoff‚ÄĚ malware. Seven PoS system providers/vendors have confirmed that they have had multiple clients affected. Reporting continues on additional compromised locations, involving private sector entities of all sizes, and the Secret Service currently estimates that over 1,000 U.S. businesses are affected.

These variations have been seen as far back as October 2013 and continue to operate as of July 2014. In total, the malware typically consists of the following four capabilities. An exception is the earliest witnessed variant (1.4) which does not include keylogging functionality. Additionally, 1.55 ‚Äėnet‚Äô removed the explorer.exe injection component:

* Scraping memory for track data
* Logging keystrokes
* Command & control (C2) communication
* Injecting malicious stub into explorer.exe

 

Windows 8.1 Upgrade..

OK, so you may have issues when upgrading to Windows 8.1, or if the Windows 8.1 upgrade is pushed through without consent. Some have found the push to be very annoying, trouble following it, and a strong desire to want to go back to Windows 8..

See here for a few of the complaints..

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-windows_update/ms-forced-install-to-windows-81-after-i-click-on/98113c9b-0057-435b-9e24-07f8165fb829 

You do NOT want to go back to Windows 8.

Windows 8 as it first appeared is old hat and needs to go, so how do you fix the issues in Windows 8.1? The simple answer is:

UPGRADE your hardware drivers from the COMPUTER or MANUFACTURER websites.

It is a whole lot easier and quicker to do this than it is to revert back to Windows 8. Also, there are improvements which make Windows 8.1 the better choice, and you will benefit from continued updates and upgrades up until Windows 10 appears.

No more whining please and do as I have asked. Your computer experience will improve.

Smile

Removal instructions for Health Alert

What is Health Alert?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Health Alert is adware. These adware applications display advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing.

https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/159907-removal-instructions-for-health-alert/

Microsoft Internet of Things

Un link :: Un Blog :: La ventana IoT de MS al mundo :-)

Microsoft Internet of Things (http://blogs.microsoft.com/iot/)

PepLluis,

How to Add or Remove Favorites from Home in Windows 10

In Windows 10, File Explorer opens to the Home folder by default which shows your Favorites, Frequent folders, and Recent files.

‚ÄĘFavorites = Displays all of your Favorites in “C:Users(user-name)Links”.
‚ÄĘFrequent folders = Displays up to ten folders that you frequently opened on the system.
‚ÄĘRecent files = Displays up to twenty files that you most recently opened.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Favorites in the Home folder for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

How to Add or Remove Frequent folders from Home in Windows 10

In Windows 10, File Explorer opens to the Home folder by default which shows your Favorites, Frequent folders, and Recent files.

‚ÄĘFavorites = Displays all of your Favorites in “C:Users(user-name)Links”.
‚ÄĘFrequent folders = Displays up to ten folders that you frequently opened on the system.
‚ÄĘRecent files = Displays up to twenty files that you most recently opened.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Frequent folders in the Home folder for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

How to Add or Remove Recent files from Home in Windows 10

In Windows 10, File Explorer opens to the Home folder by default which shows your Favorites, Frequent folders, and Recent files.

‚ÄĘFavorites = Displays all of your Favorites in “C:Users(user-name)Links”.
‚ÄĘFrequent folders = Displays up to ten folders that you frequently opened on the system.
‚ÄĘRecent files = Displays up to twenty files that you most recently opened.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Recent files in the Home folder for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

Removal instructions for SafePCRepair

What is SafePCRepair?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that SafePCRepair is a browser hijacker. These so-called “hijackers” manipulate your browser(s), for example to change your startpage or searchscopes, so that the affected browser visits their site or one of their choice. This one also displays advertisements.

https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/159865-removal-instructions-for-safepcrepair/

Cut and paste is not your friend

I was working on some code the other day and as a block of code I needed was very similar to one I already had I did what everyone does & used cut and paste. Unfortunately, I missed out changing one of the variable names in the new block and  spent a long time working out what had gone wrong.

 

Moral of the story ‚Äď be careful how you copy code

Microsoft Security Advisory Notification Issued: October 29, 2014

Security Advisories Updated or Released Today

* Microsoft Security Advisory (3009008)
– Title: Vulnerability in SSL 3.0 Could Allow Information
Disclosure
– ¬Ľtechnet.microsoft.com/library/se¬∑¬∑¬∑/3009008
– Revision Note: V2.0 (October 29, 2014): Revised advisory to
announce the deprecation of SSL 3.0, to clarify the workaround
instructions for disabling SSL 3.0 on Windows servers and on
Windows clients, and to announce the availability of a Microsoft
Fix it solution for Internet Explorer. For more information see
Knowledge Base Article 3009008.

Pisando Fuerte – Con una simple pulsera

En mas de una ocasi√≥n me hab√©is le√≠do escribiendo sobre ‘Wearables” e “IoT” cuantific√°ndolo en t√©rminos de “punta del iceberg” , pues bien :

Hace exactamente¬†dos a√Īos, junto a un publicista con perfil comercial estuvimos¬†barajando una propuesta¬†(que por cierto no prospero)¬†cuyo objetivo era dotar de una pulsera a¬†todos los¬†¬†usuarios de un conocido parque :-)¬†con el objetivo de¬†mejorar su experiencia en t√©rminos de localizador, control de accesos, medio de pago, un mont√≥n de¬†utilidades…¬† y adem√°s¬†evitar cargarle con toda la parafernalia de objetos innecesarios como tarjetas de pago, tarjetas de identificaci√≥n, m√≥viles, etc. pues¬†es obvio que son esos¬†los objetos¬†que mas¬†estorban cuando te precipitas sobre los railes del tan conocido drag√≥n.

Largo tiempo despu√©s, o sea en fecha 28 de Octubre 2014 leo la implementaci√≥n de una gran¬†visi√≥n : “MagicBand –¬†How Disney Transforms the Customer Experience with a Wearable” (puedes clicar el link despu√©s de leerlo todo el post¬†y quedarte de pasta de moniato como yo !)

Vaya!! que buena idea! pero… no se me hab√≠a ocurrido a mi?

La madurez nos ense√Īa que los t√≥picos, son t√≥picos y a veces o√≠mos frases como “cualquier Estadounidense puede llegar a ser presidente”. Seg√ļn el mismo ‘argumentario’¬†me atrever√≠a en afirmar con cari√Īo que “cualquier par de tontos pueden triunfar en estados unidos con una buena idea”. Sin embargo matiz√°ndolo bien es todo lo contrario, la lectura quedar√≠a como “la¬†tecnolog√≠a con madurez empresarial¬†permite convertir una buena idea¬†en una¬†facilidad que consiga cambiar la forma en que percibimos las cosas mas cotidianas”,¬† a la vista esta¬†: una pulsera que apenas llega a los 50 cents, eso si con inspiraci√≥n, receta y una gran complicidad. Dicho sea de paso no disponible en todos los pa√≠ses :-)

Bravo por la estadounidense que ha sido capaz de ver el gran potencial de una propuesta simple con una gran repercusión, tan solo aprovechando el uso de tecnologías que están sobradamente maduradas y disponibles en cualquier país desarrollado.

Y lo mas importante; Bravo! por hacer realidad algo que en pa√≠ses como el nuestro termina siendo un ” y a pekin… pa ke? ”¬†como frase colof√≥n¬†por parte de los de¬†operaciones.

Lo mas duro de digerir¬†y¬†la recurrente “con lo que esta cayendo”,¬†es que cuando lo implementemos aqu√≠ en Spain seguramente se lo compraremos a la compa√Ī√≠a suministradora del parque estadounidense.¬†Es evidente que¬†no podr√≠a ser de otra forma… si viene del pacifico seguro que¬†se trata de tecnolog√≠a punta! ¬†o quiz√°s como presuntamente ocurre seg√ļn los medios de comunicaci√≥n en algunos¬†ayuntamientos… ahorraran un mont√≥n de dinero de sus contribuyentes implementando sistemas de eficiencia energ√©tica que pagaremos a una multinacional francesa.

LoL!

Con todo esto :¬†mientras aqu√≠ “los avanzaos” somos fantasiosos y no nos comemos un rosco, en otros¬†lugares rentabilizan las¬†ideas y crean negocios.

Espero sinceramente que el 2014 sea un gran revulsivo para cambiar mentalidades y adaptarnos a un nuevo escenario mundial, donde el desarrollo tecnológico es una importante locomotora que de ninguna forma podemos dejar pasar.

PowerShell in Depth second edition ebook

The ebook for PowerShell in Depth second edition is available from Manning – http://www.manning.com/jones6/

Insurance and Financial organizations – Changing the Security Mindset

This excellent article from “Insurance and Technology”¬†magazine, highlights the need for organizations to take security protection¬†seriously by performing a risk assessment, developing an incident response plan in advance, and exercising the principle of continuous improvement in both technology and human behavioral controls … Just as one does not wait until it starts raining to patch the roof, each organization must also prepare in advance and in a comprehensive manner

http://www.insurancetech.com/security/changing-the-security-mindset/a/d-id/1317045

QUOTE: As cyber attacks evolve in number and complexity, financial services organizations must embrace proactive security strategies. Cyber security is rapidly evolving as an area of concern for insurers, with data breaches occurring more often than ever. Recent data from the Ponemon Institute reveals that 43 percent of businesses have experienced an attack in the past 12 months, and the changing motivation behind them is posing an even greater threat to the industry.

‚ÄúToday, the main driver in hacking is financial,‚ÄĚ says Jerry Irvine, CIO of Prescient Solutions and member of the National Cyber Security Task Force. ‚ÄúCriminal, governmental, and third-party organizations are all financially driven.‚ÄĚ

Modern-day criminals want to be more than nuisances or political rebels, says Irvine, and today’s technology isn’t complex enough to block their attacks. Modern solutions are designed to protect environments with physical perimeters, but the growth of cloud technologies and evolution of hackers’ abilities are rendering these ineffective. Hackers don’t have new tools, but more of them are discovering and exploiting the flaws within existing systems.

He recommends that insurers begin by conducting a risk assessment, a process significantly more complex for organizations than for consumers. In addition to defining regulatory and compliance requirements, insurers must detail and inventory everything that relates to their data. This involves determining which apps access each set of data, as well as categorizing information as critically confidential.

To minimize damage in the event of a data breach, carriers should have an incident response plan, says Kirstin Simonson, underwriting director for Travelers Global Technologies. Many businesses lack a responsive strategy, she says, or a team in place to mitigate the effects of a cyber attack.

Leadership – Importance of research and probing questions

John Maxwell’s leadership blog shares excellent advice regarding the need to ask meaningful questions and seek the best solutions during project research phases.

http://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/curiosity-may-have-killed-the-cat-but-it-will-build-the-leader

QUOTE:¬†¬† ‚ÄúI have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.‚ÄĚ – Albert Einstein

Curiosity = Asking … You only get answers to the questions you ask. There is a yawning chasm separating the person who neither formulates interesting questions nor asks for help and the person who poses profound questions to others and solicits their advice. People who fail to ask questions live in a mental fog. Trapped in the limitations of their own perspective, they have difficulty seeing their present situation clearly or discerning the best path forward. Conversely, people who seek ideas and input from others strengthen their decision-making, work smarter, see their surroundings with sharper clarity.

Immature leaders try to accomplish everything alone. They lean on their own understanding, and when it runs out, they fall flat on their faces. As leaders mature, they learn the value of putting together a team of people to help them think more intelligently.

Mozilla Firefox Upgraded to 33.0.2

Firefox Notes
Version 33.0.2, first offered to Release channel users on October 28, 2014

Check out “What‚Äôs New” and “Known Issues” for this version of Firefox

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/33.0.2/releasenotes/

Spybot Search & Destroy Weekly Update – October 29, 2014

2014-10-29 Adware + Firseria + InstallMonetizer PUPS ++ SoftwareMile + UpToDown Spyware + Marketscore.RelevantKnowledge Trojan ++ Win32.Agent.ekyu ++ Win32.DownLoader.elf + Win32.HLDS.flood ++ Win32.Madang.A + Win32.Ramnit.F Total: 2601222 fingerprints in 812028 rules for 7358 products. ¬Ľwww.safer-networking.org/about/updates/

How to Turn Taskbar Notification Area System Icons On or Off in Windows 10

System icons, including Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Action Center, Input Indicator, and Notification Center are special icons that are part of Windows. For these icons, you can change how the icons and notifications appear, and also whether they show up at all. You might turn off a system icon if either you or your computer manufacturer have installed a similar program. If you turn a system icon off, you can always turn it back on later.

Turning off a system icon removes the icon and turns off notifications.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off system icons on your taskbar notification area in Windows 10.

Read more…

How to Open the Control Panel in Windows 10

In Windows 10, there are a few different ways to find and change your settings: PC settings, Control Panel, the Settings charm, and Search. Most of the settings that you’ll want to change can be found in PC settings.

In PC settings, you can change most Windows settings, such as changing your screen resolution, adding and removing devices, personalizing the lock screen, changing the date and time, and adding user accounts.

The Control Panel includes some additional settings that you might use less often, such as customizing the desktop.

This tutorial will show you how to open the Control Panel in Windows 10, and to change it to display with the Category, Large icons, or Small icons view.

Read more…

JEA ToolKIt helper

 

JEA ‚Äď Just Enough Admin ‚Äď brings Role Based Access Control to Windows. It enables you to delegate specific cmdlets to specific users on specific endpoints.

 

A tool to help you create and mange JEA configurations is now available form

 

http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2014/10/24/introducing-the-jea-toolkit-helper.aspx

 

A white paper on JEA is also available from the same link

Swift Programming 101: Mastering Protocols & Delegates (Part 1)



Step-by-step tutorial teaches you protocols and delegates in Swift!

http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/31369/swift-programming-101-mastering-protocols-and-delegates

All the best! 
Kevin McNeish 
Author: iOS App Development for Non-Programmers book series 
Twitter: @kjmcneish 

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