It was beginning to seem like hackers had developed a fetish for water, or water systems. Earlier this week, an entire city's water control system controlling water and sewage systems was hacked into, in part because system admins saw fit to protect the system using a weak three-character password. Around the same time, it was being reported that hackers broke into an Illinois water plant and ultimately caused a water pump to burn out. Turns out it was just faulty equipment.
There is a lot of emphasis on computer security these days. Strong passwords, encryption, the whole nine yards. Apparently no one told a community called South Houston in Texas, USA. According to various confirmed reports, the municipality was using a simple three-character password to protect its Internet-facing SCADA system, which controls water and sewage systems. This system was accessed by a hacker known only as pr0f as a proof of concept. Yikes.
Success always comes at a cost, and for Google's immensely popular open source Android platform, success has attracted the attention of malware writers. In fact, Android is again the most targeted mobile platform on the planet by malware authors, and during a time when mobile malware growth is at an all-time high, according to McAfee's Third-Quarter Threats Report for 2011.
This the time of year when everyone starts compiling lists of the best and worst holiday gift ideas, what with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday shopping season all on the horizon. Security firm F-Secure put together its own list, but rather than swing one or the other, the protective folks at F-Secure meshed them all into a single "Top Ten Most 'Dangerous' Holiday Gifts for Cyber Monday 2011."
It’s not uncommon to see a free iPad scam pop up in your Facebook feed, but the latest apparent hack is a little more about shock than profit. An as yet unknown attack appears to be flooding some users’ feeds with images of gore and pornography. Facebook has acknowledged an increase in reports of such content, ans is investigating.
At Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) launch event, the new Face Unlock feature was called ‘beta’, and it turns out with good reason. At a recent Samsung demo event, one reviewer had the chance to play with the Galaxy Nexus and test out the Face Unlock feature. After setting up the device to recognize him and unlock the phone, he was able to unlock the device with a picture of himself on a second phone. Oops.
One Russian and six Estonians have been arrested (or have a warrant for their arrest) and charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in a 27-count indictment for allegedly hacking millions of computer systems in more than 100 countries and participating in a "massive" scheme to reroute Web surfers to rogue servers. By doing so, the seven individuals accumulated millions of dollars in fraudulent online ad revenue, the DoJ said.
Can you remember the last time you installed a third-party firewall? It was almost a necessity back when Windows XP was the latest and greatest consumer OS from Redmond, and as far as Check Point is concerned, there are still some big time benefits to be had from standalone firewalls like the new ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2012 the company just released.
Yesterday was no ordinary Tuesday. It was Microsoft’s eleventh Patch Tuesday of 2011. In keeping with Microsoft’s practice of releasing a lower volume of patches during odd-numbered months as compared to even ones, this month’s Patch Tuesday only contains four security bulletins, which is half of what the company shipped in October.
A clean, efficient, and smoothly running PC only makes your life that much easier as a user: Your data is organized and accessible; your operating system is free of errors and other third-party problems; your system, well, works – and it works nearly as well as it did the first day you installed the OS.
In short, apps that help protect your system from yourself, from the outside world, and from its persistent push toward chaos are critical parts of the PC user experience, period. As it just so happens, we’ve come up with a list of the 21 best programs that can help prevent (or mitigate) PC performance problems before they make your life miserable.