Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

September, 2018:

Facebook security – Data Breach for 50M users may impacts Instagram and other tie-ins

A new Facebook security vulnerability where 50 million accounts were compromised also impacted Instagram and other social media direct tie-ins with FB account & should be reviewed by impacted users

A Facebook hack which left the accounts of more than 50 million users compromised may have also affected third-party apps such as Tinder, Spotify and Instagram, if people used their Facebook account to register for the services.

The added repercussions of the massive security breach were confirmed by the company later Friday, during a follow-up conference call with reporters. Facebook acknowledged that not only had hackers obtained the ability to access Facebook accounts of affected users, they could also access any other service in which a Facebook account was used for registration.

Windows Admin Center 1809 release

Windows Admin Center (formerly “Project Honolulu”) is the future of server management. It’s a locally deployed, browser-based GUI management solution that lets IT administrators manage Windows servers, failover clusters, hyper-converged clusters and Windows 10 machines from a simplified and integrated UI experience.  WAC 1809 is designed to eventually replace management consoles (MMCs)

Windows Admin Center 1809 Reaches General Availability

This week’s Ignite conference will see lots of announcements from Microsoft. But before the week even got started, Microsoft announced that version 1809 of the Windows Admin Center and Software Development Kit (SDK) had reached general availability, ready to support Windows Server 2019. Windows Admin Center (WAC) is a web-based GUI management tool for Windows Server. Microsoft is investing heavily in WAC and it is likely that it will replace the management consoles (MMCs) that have been part of the OS since Windows 2000.

Windows 10 v1809 – New Features video resources SEP-2018

U-Tube is a great free training resource … Below are links to see forthcoming features for Windows 10 v1809 which will become publicly available on 10/02/2018

Ransomware – Port of San Diego business systems infected SEP-2018

The Port of San Diego is still operating as normal, but it’s business computers have been hit with a ransomware attack & they are working with authorities.  This example illustrates the dangers associated with these malicious attacks & the need for best preventative practices:

The Port of San Diego has been hit with a ransomware attack that took down some of its computers.  The attack, first noticed on Tuesday, knocked offline IT systems that handle issuing park permits, receiving public records requests, and administering other business services. The port itself remains open. “Public safety operations are ongoing and ships and boats continue to access the Bay,” Port of San Diego

It isn’t clear which ransomware strain struck the port, which declined to answer questions about the attack. However, the hacker’s ransom note demanded payment in Bitcoin to free the infected computers. The port refrained from disclosing the amount.

Ransomware infects a computer with malicious code that locks the computer down. To free the system, victims are asked to pay up, usually in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Security experts warn against paying these ransoms, however; sometimes it’s just a lost cause and there’s no way to unlock ransomed systems.

Hackers typically attack via phishing emails or by breaching online systems protected by weak passwords. The Port of San Diego administers 34 miles along San Diego Bay, so a ransomware attack could’ve had disastrous consequences had spiraled out of control.

Vivaldi – v2.0 release new features

Vivaldi 2.0 – Your browser matters

September 26, 2018 – Today’s update includes Sync, Resizable Tab Tiling, Floating Web Panels and over 1,500 improvements since the first version of Vivaldi. Take control of your most important application – the browser – with the most powerful version of Vivaldi yet.

The vision of Vivaldi is simple – you should be in control of how your browser looks, feels and works. It should adapt to your style, have the features you need and be built with values you can stand by.

Vivaldi 2.0 is a big step forward in achieving that vision. Since our first version, we have made over 1,500 improvements that have been possible only because of working closely with you all, at every step.

Changelog from 1.15 to 2.0

[New feature] Implement Syncing of Bookmarks, settings, etc. VB-27
[New feature] Add options to support for floating/overlay panels VB-18296
[New feature] Make tiled tabs resizable VB-5064
[New feature] List layout for Visual tab cycler VB-19167
[New feature] Add predefined shortcuts for moving tabs left and right: Windows/Linux = “Ctrl+Shift+PgUp/PgDn”; macOS = “⌘+⇧+↑/↓” VB-41415
[New feature] Tile new tabs in a tab stack VB-40851
[New feature] Holding Command/Control opens new tab on history buttons VB-42075
[New feature] Web panel suggestions with faviconsVB-42007
[New feature] More Speed dial suggestions by using favicons VB-42244
[New feature] New 2.0 Welcome Page VB-39395
[New feature] Updated Default Themes for 2.0: Added “Vivaldi” as our new default theme, replaced “Redmond” with “Beach” VB-23107
[New feature] Minimum active tab width setting VB-42587

Office 2019 – New Features video resources SEP-2018

U-Tube is a great free training resource … Below are links to see new features for Office 2019

Windows 10 Enterprise – More efficient WSUS x64 updates

More efficient WSUS x64 updates coming for WIN10E.  Reductions from about 4.8GB to 2.6GB are projected for WIN10E features update

Microsoft announced a new approach on Thursday to reduce the download size of Windows 10 feature updates, but it only affects organizations upgrading x64 systems using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

Previously, Microsoft bundled its x64 and x86 Windows 10 feature updates together via Electronic Software Distribution files for users of WSUS, which is Microsoft’s free update management system for organizations. However, starting on Sept. 27, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. PST, Microsoft will offer its x64 Windows 10 feature updates in separate downloadable packages for WSUS users. This new policy will show up in WSUS for “versions 1703, 1709, and 1803” of Windows 10, the announcement explained.

The new policy will reduce about 2.2GB from the current download size of about 4.8GB for x64 system users, Microsoft’s announcement suggested.

VPN – Excellent Privacy tool for home use SEP-2018

As PC Magazine reflects, VPNs are an excellent privacy tool for home users

When you use a VPN, you’re adding a layer of obfuscation to your online activities and digging an encrypted tunnel between your traffic and anyone who tries to spy on you. That makes sense when you’re out and about, using Wi-Fi networks that aren’t your own. But at home, a VPN can help protect you from other threats and may let you access streaming content that would be otherwise unavailable

Outside your home, it’s hard to tell which networks you encounter are safe. If you’re at a coffee shop, for example, how can you tell which Wi-Fi network is legitimate? Unless the SSID is posted somewhere, you’re just going to have to guess. Clever bad guys will set up access points with familiar names, hoping to trick people into connecting. Once victims are online, the bad guy does a man-in-the-middle attack, intercepting all the information victims send and receive. This includes a lot of mundane stuff, to be sure, but it can also include bank accounts, login information, and worse.

But there are threats to consider when at home. The biggest one is from the company that provides you access to the internet. The US Congress has allowed ISPs to sell data about users and their online activities to anyone interested. ISPs say that this information will be anonymized, but the idea is still unnerving.

ISPs aren’t the only ones interested in what you’re doing online. The fallout from the 2013 Snowden leaks has revealed that NSA surveillance is far more pervasive than previously believed. A VPN makes it much harder for an outside observer to correlate your online traffic to you.

And then there’s net neutrality, or rather the lack thereof. The rules that would have ensured a free and open internet where ISPs were barred from creating fast and slow lanes or throttling traffic to certain sites have been thrown out. While net neutrality needs to be enshrined in law in the US, using a VPN may help prevent the throttling and restrictions by ISPs that could be allowed in its absence

Apple – iPhone XS with stronger glass drop tests SEP-2018

Apple’s new iPhone XS phone appears to have stronger glass surviving 3-5 feet drops with less damage than past iPhone X

I’ve done my fair share of drop tests in my time at CNET, and I’ve never come out of one without a broken phone. Until now. Try as I might, the iPhone XS would’t crack.

I took Apple’s new iPhone XS phone through my typical four-drop tests, the same one that cracked last year’s iPhone X on the first fall. But while the new iPhone XS looks a lot like last year’s X, with a stainless steel frame and glass on either side, this time it may just be that glass that sets the iPhone XS apart — and above.

At last week’s launch, Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, said the iPhone XS is “covered on the front and the back with a new formulation of glass that is the most durable glass ever in a smartphone.” After four falls from up to 5 feet onto the concrete sidewalk, this iPhone XS came out almost intact. It has a few tiny dents and scrapes on the frame and the side of the camera, but the glass is nearly flawless.

Facebook – Security breach impacts up to 50 million users SEP-2018

Facebook discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, the company announced on Friday

Facebook discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, the company announced Friday. “This is a very serious security issue, and we’re taking it very seriously,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a call with reporters.  Facebook shares, which were already down about 1.5 percent before the announcement, extended losses after the disclosure and ended down 2.6 percent.

The company said in a blog post that its engineering team found on Tuesday that attackers identified a weakness in Facebook’s code regarding its “View As” feature. Facebook became aware of a potential attack after it noticed a spike in user activity on Sept. 16.

“View As” lets users see what their profile looks like to other users on the platform. This vulnerability, which consisted of three separate bugs, also allowed the hackers to get access tokens — digital keys which let people stay logged into the service without having to re-enter their password — which could be used to control other people’s accounts.