Windows 10

For those of you that are using W7 the dilemna is when [or if] you will upgrade to W10. At the moment you probably have W7 locked down and are aware of the risks involved in using the OS – as well as the programmes that you run. An old rule of thumb was never

Bitcoin – is there a future?

Theoretically, Bitcoin is a great idea. Financial transactions that are “almost” impossible to trace. But, ever since day one it has been shrouded in controversy. The Looming Problem That Could Kill Bitcoin The man who took over stewardship of Bitcoin from its mysterious inventor says the currency is in serious trouble. The way things are

The making of a vulnerable Internet

This story is the third of a multi-part project on the Internet’s inherent vulnerabilities and why they may never be fixed. The seven young men sitting before some of Capitol Hill’s most powerful lawmakers weren’t graduate students or junior analysts from some think tank. No, Space Rogue, Kingpin, Mudge and the others were hackers who

Sick of memorizing passwords?

Passwords are a bane of life on the Internet, but one Turing Award winner has an algorithmic approach that he thinks can make them not only easier to manage but also more secure. The average user has some 20 passwords today, and in general the easier they are to remember, the less secure they are. When

Windows – always looking in

Many of you have been [and still are] using Windows 7 for quite some time. There are a few out there who know how to lock down most of this OS, but for the rest of you here’s a reminder of how much info MS slurps up about you. So, when you finally move to

How security flaws work: The buffer overflow

The first self-propagating Internet worm – 1988’s Morris Worm – used a buffer overflow in the Unix finger daemon to spread from machine to machine. Twenty-seven years later, buffer overflows remain a source of problems. At its core, the buffer overflow is an astonishingly simple bug that results from a common practice. Computer programs frequently operate

Your Sunday morning coffee read

The only thing that I’ve ever wanted for Christmas is an automated way to generate strong yet memorable passwords. Unfortunately, large swaths of the security community are fixated on avant garde horrors such as the fact that, during solar eclipses, pacemakers can be remotely controlled with a garage door opener and a Pringles can. It’s

Linux workstation security checklist

This is a set of recommendations used by the Linux Foundation for their systems administrators. All of LF employees are remote workers and we use this set of guidelines to ensure that a sysadmin’s system passes core security requirements in order to reduce the risk of it becoming an attack vector against the rest of

Have we already lost the war?

In a post-Snowden world most IT people are painfully aware that most of us would not win a fight against a well-funded organisation, or government, that wants the data on your network, laptop or device. When someone is targeted by such an entity, they won’t go for the ever-popular “spooks” style secret bugging or custom

Is Tor secure in 2015?

IBM is warning corporates to start blocking TOR services from their networks, citing rising use of the encrypted network to deliver payloads like ransomware. While the rise of ransomware is worrying, the biggest attacks emanating from TOR exit nodes are familiar old favourites: SQL injection, vulnerability scanning, and denial-of-service. IBM’s advice came just before news

Software uninstallers

Whenever you want to uninstall software on Windows, you have two core options to do so. You may install it using Windows’ remove a program control panel applet or use third-party tools for the job. The native option in Windows gets the job done most of the time but lacks advanced features such as cleaning

Free six-part course +

Following on from yesterdays post, it’s time to move along to encryption. For those new to the subject this is a great primer. We all know that even mentioning encryption throws a lot of people into a cold sweat. This course is a  great way to guide newbies toward the basics and make them comfortable with the

Windows 10 and Privacy

As I have often noted, many of the readers here are the “go to, defacto IT” providers for family and friends. Here are a few link that might help you with W10. O&O ShutUp10 – Free antispy tool for Windows 10 O&O ShutUp10 means you have full control over which comfort functions under Windows 10


You may not wish to use this because you already use a PM – don’t you! But what about your mum. She could probably work with a Qwertycard without to much hassle. The basic principle is the Qwerty Card functions as a ‘password generator’ and management system, using three components: a secret key unique to the card,

Thermal Imaging steals your pin

A device which can be attached to smartphones is capable of stealing customers’ PIN numbers using thermal imaging. Thermal imaging equipment – once the sole preserve of only the best-equipped attacker – is now available as a readily available iPhone accessory costing less than £200. The kit creates an increasing risk to push-button security devices.