tools

Thu
24
Aug
John Lister's picture

AI Struggles to Write Malware

Artificial Intelligence tools aren't as useful for writing malware as it first seemed. However, they may be useful for phishing scams and other social engineering. Two recent security company reports covered by The Register explored how malware ... scammers are particularly interested in AI tools that generate material. The theory goes that such tools could write code designed to exploit vulnerabilities in software and websites. (Source: theregister.com ) It's not a completely outlandish theory as some users have found such tools can efficiently write code for a particular task. It can take ... (view more)

Fri
02
Dec
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Defender May Hurt Performance

Microsoft Defender has come in last in two separate tests of Windows 11 security software. It's a surprise result given it generally did well on Windows 10. There's some comfort for Microsoft, however, as the nature of the testing means many users ... won't notice that much difference in practice. That's important given Microsoft Defender (previously Windows Defender) is built-in to Windows 11. The first rankings came from AV-Test, which describes itself as "The Independent IT-Security Institute." It ran a series of tests on 19 products using "realistic test scenarios" and "real-world threats." ( ... (view more)

Fri
20
May
John Lister's picture

Facebook Drops Location Tools

Facebook is to ditch some tools which tracked a user's location. It seems to be more about the tools being little used than a sudden interest in boosting privacy. The tools all involved tracking a user's location in real time and using the ... information to provide some sort of service. Perhaps the best known was "Nearby Friends" which lived up to its name, telling users if anyone they knew on Facebook (or at least anyone who also had the feature switched on) was in the area, allowing for semi-spontaneous meet-ups. The tools also included localized weather alerts. In both cases, many users ... (view more)

Fri
24
Dec
John Lister's picture

Microsoft 'PowerTools' Make Windows Easier

Microsoft has a bunch of potentially-useful Windows 10 and 11 tools available to install. Rather oddly though, they aren't part of the Windows Update system. Instead users must manually download and install the "PowerToys" tools from independent ... software site GitHub. While that site is generally safe, users can follow the link from Microsoft's powertoys page to make sure they get the latest edition. The package includes 11 tools which generally offer simple solutions to very specific problems. Many are based on the work of independent developers. Find Your Mouse Easily Mouse utilities is ... (view more)

Wed
17
Apr
John Lister's picture

Ad Blockers Could Be Hijacked

A feature used in several ad blocker tools could be used to "booby trap" websites according to a security researchers. It appears to be a low but credible risk. The problem is all to do with the way many ad blockers work. In simple terms, they ... maintain a blacklist of URLs that host ads and other unwanted material. Whenever a website tries to load an ad from an URL on the list, it's blocked from doing so. Since last summer some ad blockers, including Adblock Plus, added support for a feature called "$rewrite." With this feature, the ad blocker won't just block the unwanted URL from ... (view more)

Thu
12
Jul
John Lister's picture

New FB, Messenger, Whatsapp Tools Prevent Scams, Fake News

Facebook is testing new tools to stop people being fooled by bogus messages. Meanwhile it's subsidiary "Whatsapp" is working on ways to stop hoaxes and other false information. The Facebook trial is for a series of tools relating to the direct ... messaging elements of the service, which includes messages through the website itself and via the dedicated "Messenger" app for mobile devices. The tools are aimed at messages which come from people or organizations the user hasn't previously communicated with, which carry a higher risk of being bogus than from genuine contacts. The ... (view more)

Wed
22
Nov
John Lister's picture

Website User Tracking 'A Major Security Risk'

More than 400 leading websites could be compromising user security by collecting everything the user types - whether or not the user is aware. A Princeton University study also found the collected information was not always adequately protected and ... anonymized. The problem highlighted by the study was the use of third-party tools that website owners can use to find out more about how people navigate their site. These tools often track precisely where the user moves a mouse cursor along with information they type in, even if they then delete it. In principle these "session replay" tools can be ... (view more)

Wed
25
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Gmail Tools Easily Merge Data with Other Apps

Gmail users can now add third-party tools to merge email messages with other programs - without the need to manually load a specific app, then copy and paste data. The idea is similar to using browser extensions on a web browser, but will likely ... raise privacy and security concerns. Google already has its own tools that connect Gmail with other services. For example, users who receive a message confirming a flight booking or restaurant reservation can often add the relevant information to their Google Calendar tool with a single click. The Google Translate tool is also built in to Gmail. Now ... (view more)

Wed
11
Oct
John Lister's picture

Bogus 'Adblock Plus' Opens More Ads

Users of a popular ad-blocking tool have been warned to watch out for a bogus version of the tool. One copy of the fake Adblock Plus was downloaded 37,000 times before being removed from the Google Chrome store. The legitimate version of Adblock ... Plus is one of the most popular tools available as a Chrome extension: a third-party tool that can be added directly to the browser itself. The makers claim that more than a hundred million devices are actively using the tool. The bogus version is particularly ironic, though not in a way that victims would appreciate: rather than block ads, it ... (view more)

Thu
08
Jun
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Accused of 'Unfair Security Behavior'

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has filed a formal complaint accusing Microsoft of acting unfairly over the way it promotes its own security products. Microsoft says it is acting to keep Windows users protected. Kaspersky previously complained to the ... Federal Anti-monpoly Service in its home country of Russia. That led to several changes to Microsoft's policy, including rewording a message that suggested users uninstall third-party security software and use the built-in Windows Defender instead. Now Kaspersky has taken the issue to the European Commission, which oversees competition issues ... (view more)

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