Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

January 3rd, 2017:

IoT Security – Norton Core Router provides advanced protection

The new Norton Core router is designed to improve network security for smart home devices as it sits between then and manipulative agents on the internet.

The Internet of Things is a security problem. The Mirai botnet attacks drove the point home in October. There are more and less secure devices, but they all share the same basic weaknesses: they’re underpowered, making it hard to implement serious security systems, and their basic functions require them to accept requests from anywhere on the web. That combination makes them easy targets for hackers, who can use the devices to build botnets or launch ransomware attacks. And since those aren’t the kind of problems you can fix with a software patch, the security world has been at a loss for what to do.

Today, Norton announced a new approach to the problem: building a better router. Arriving this summer, the Norton Core is pitched as a single device that will keep your smart things in line. Instead of trying to secure devices one by one, the Core solves the problem at the network level, using the router as a hub to monitor traffic from every device at once. Your thermostat likely doesn’t have the processor power to run robust malware checks, but the Core does, and since it sits between the devices and the wider internet, it also has the power to block and quarantine devices as soon as something fishy turns up.

In hardware terms, the Core is basically a high-performance router in a cool-looking shell. It has a dual-core processor to power those virus scans, and dual-band antenna to support up to 2.5 Gbps of bandwidth. It’s not an out-of-the-box mesh system, like Google Wifi or Eero, but it does share some of the aesthetic properties and smartphone-based controls as those systems. I didn’t get the chance to test the Core rigorously, so it’s hard to say how it stacks up on delivering bandwidth, but at $279 for a single unit (or $199 on preorder), you won’t be paying too much extra for the security features. Those high-performance specs also mean the Core has enough processor power to run robust internal security checks and automatically download patches, making the device itself significantly less vulnerable.

Hardware – Dell 27 S2718D is thinnest monitor in world

The Dell 27″ Ultrathin become the world’s thinnest monitor profile by moving all the ports in the stand base.

Dell Unveils Ultrathin 27-Inch Monitor S2718D

The 27 Ultrathin Monitor (S2718D) is Dell’s latest display, and it boasts the “world’s overall thinnest profile.” We’re all used to fumbling around at the back of a monitor blindly trying to plug in a HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI cable, so Dell solved that problem and allowed this monitor to be incredibly thin by simply moving those ports to the stand base.

As for the display, it’s a 27-inch panel with a resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 running at 60Hz. It supports HDR output, but to a different spec than 4K TVs. Brightness is rated at 400 nits and it supports 99 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The contrast ratio is 1000:1 and the response time is 6ms gray-to-gray. Viewing angles are as expected: 178 degrees.

The monitor looks fragile due to how thin it is, but the hinge on the back is articulated meaning you can tilt and swivel it until you get the perfect angle for your viewing requirements. Dell will be launching the 27 Ultrathin on March 23 in the US at a cost of $699.99.

PENTEST Tools – NMAP 7.40 release

Happy holidays from the Nmap Project!  In case your Christmas break plans
involve a lot of port scanning, we’re delighted to announce our holiday
Nmap 7.40 release!  This version stuffs your stockings with dozens of new
features, including:

  *** 12 new NSE scripts
  *** Hundreds of updated OS and version detection detection signatures
  *** Faster brute force authentication cracking and other NSE library
  *** A much-improved version of our Npcap Windows packet capturing

There are many more improvements which are all describe below.  Nmap 7.40
source code and binary packages for Linux, Windows, and Mac are
available for free download from the usual spot:

If you find any bugs in this release, please let us know on the Nmap Dev
list or bug tracker as described

Here are the changes since Nmap 7.31 from October:

* [Windows] Updated the bundled Npcap from 0.10r9 to 0.78r5, with an
improved installer experience, driver signing updates to work with Windows
10 build 1607, and bugfixes for WiFi connectivity problems. [Yang Luo,
Daniel Miller]

* Integrated all of your IPv4 OS fingerprint submissions from April to
September (568 of them). Added 149 fingerprints, bringing the new total to
5,336. Additions include Linux 4.6, macOS 10.12 Sierra, NetBSD 7.0, and
more. Highlights: [Daniel Miller]

* Integrated all of your service/version detection fingerprints submitted
from April to September (779 of them). The signature count went up 3.1% to
11,095. We now detect 1161 protocols, from airserv-ng, domaintime, and mep
to nutcracker, rhpp, and usher. Highlights: [Daniel Miller]

* Fix reverse DNS on Windows which was failing with the message “mass_dns:
warning: Unable to determine any DNS servers.” This was because the
interface GUID comparison needed to be case-insensitive. [Robert Croteau]

* [NSE] Added 12 NSE scripts from 4 authors, bringing the total up to 552!
They are all listed at, and the summaries are

*** cics-enum enumerates CICS transaction IDs, mapping to screens in
TN3270 services. [Soldier of Fortran]
*** cics-user-enum brute-forces usernames for CICS users on TN3270
services. [Soldier of Fortran]
*** fingerprint-strings will print the ASCII strings it finds in the
service fingerprints that Nmap shows for unidentified services. [Daniel
*** [GH#606] ip-geolocation-map-bing renders IP geolocation data as an
image via Bing Maps API. [Mak Kolybabi]
*** [GH#606] ip-geolocation-map-google renders IP geolocation data as an
image via Google Maps API. [Mak Kolybabi]
*** [GH#606] ip-geolocation-map-kml records IP geolocation data in a KML
file for import into other mapping software [Mak Kolybabi]
*** nje-pass-brute brute-forces the password to a NJE node, given a valid
RHOST and OHOST. Helpfully, nje-node-brute can now brute force both of
those values. [Soldier of Fortran]
*** [GH#557] ssl-cert-intaddr will search for private IP addresses in TLS
certificate fields and extensions. [Steve Benson]
*** tn3270-screen shows the login screen from mainframe TN3270 Telnet
services, including any hidden fields. The script is accompanied by the new
tn3270 library. [Soldier of Fortran]
*** tso-enum enumerates usernames for TN3270 Telnet services. [Soldier of
*** tso-brute brute-forces passwords for TN3270 Telnet services. [Soldier
of Fortran]
*** vtam-enum brute-forces VTAM application IDs for TN3270 services.
[Soldier of Fortran]