A couple of last minute additions to Patch Tuesday address security holes in Windows XP
Today is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's time to download a collection of security fixes from Microsoft. Otherwise known as Patch Tuesday, today's collection includes seven security bulletins, including two late additions that fill up patch remote code execution holes in Windows XP. These are some of the last updates Windows XP will ever receive, as Microsoft plans to stop supporting the legacy OS on April 8, 2014.
Android is by far the biggest target of mobile malware
Security firm Kaspersky says it has logged 10 million dubious Android applications to date. It comes down to a numbers game for cyber criminals, and since Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet -- market research firm Canalys estimates that Android accounted for 80 percent of smartphones shipped in 2013 -- it attracts the most attention from malware writers.
Rovio responds to reports of NSA taking advantage of leaky apps
Several news agencies on Monday reported that the National Security Agency and its U.K. counterpart (Britain's Government Communications Headquarters) have been working together to collect data from dozens of so-called "leaky" smartphone apps, including Rovio's popular Angry Birds game. Top secret documents claim these apps transmit all kinds of user information over the web, which spy agencies scoop up and store. Having been called out specifically by several reports, Rovio issued a statement denying it collaborates with any spying organization.
Additional customer information obtained in December attack
Target's massive data breach in mid-December was frustrating enough as it is without tossing additional personal identifying information into the mix, but personal emails sent out yesterday to Target shoppers confirm that the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and even email addresses of customers were obtained in the attack.
Surely by disconnecting your PC from the Internet and bashing your cable modem with a hammer you'll be safe from the prying eyes of the National Security Agency (NSA), right? Wrong. Like a bad sci-fi movie that keeps unveiling unlikely technologies, it's now being reported that the NSA has been using radio waves to tap into offline PCs since at least 2008.
Let's not sugarcoat things, the McAfee brand isn't one that's well respected among enthusiasts, and it surely didn't help matters that its founder, John McAfee, had quite the adventure the past couple of years, one which started with him being wanted for questioning in a murder investigation in Belize to Mr. McAfee saying he played the "crazy card" in Guatemala to escape capture as part of a conspiracy by the Belize government. Suffice to say, we're not the least bit surprised Intel has decided to phase out the McAfee brand, we just wonder why it took so long.
Today marks the first day of a brand new year, but if you have plans of traveling abroad, be advised that the same old laws apply. That includes the government's right to search and seize your electronic devices without a warrant. The controversial law comes up in headlines every once in a while, and is again making the rounds after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the policy.
By far the biggest revelation of 2013 was that of the U.S. government's overreaching National Security Agency (NSA) and its PRISM surveillance program. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the government's ability to spy on various forms of communication by leaking several documents to the press, and since doing so, new information keeps coming out. One of the most recent reports claims the NSA routinely intercepts computer deliveries in order to exploit vulnerabilities to aid with spying.
Security vendor F-Secure is ringing in the holiday season with a limited time Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition offer. Up through January 31, 2014, you can snag an F-Secure Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition license for $80, which remains valid for the life of your PC or 7 years, whichever comes first. Even better, F-Secure has an exclusive offer for Maximum PC readers -- two licenses for the price of one!