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security

Another day, another apocalyptic prognostication of computer security doom, this time focusing on the omnipresent USB connection. It's called 'BadUSB', and it's a malware proof-of-concept created by security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell that exploits a flaw in and resides in the firmware that controls the basic function of USB devices. The researchers claim that it's not a problem that can be patched, saying that they're "exploiting the very way that USB is designed," but in the end all they've done is highlight that you shouldn't go around plugging USB drives, devices, or whatnot that you don't trust into your computer.

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Microsoft has issued a security advisory that affects users of all currently supported versions of Windows, including Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Windows RT. Though no immediate action may be required from the user on select platforms, it is important to know what is happening as it relates to the improper issuance of SSL certificates, which Microsoft says "could be used in attempts to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks."

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The UK government is looking to reinforce powers of security services to require internet and phone providers to maintain records of customer email and calls. Emergency laws are to be introduced into the Commons next Monday, following private talks and gaining support of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be new board to oversee the functioning of new powers. The move is an effort to continue protecting UK citizens from external threats.

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1Password is a solid solution for those who require apps to store randomized passwords. Agile Bits, the development house behind the service and apps, have announced version 4.0 for Windows on their blog. Sporting rather old and basic apps for both Windows Phone and Windows, this is welcomed news as what's contained in the release is a bunch of revamped features.

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Earlier today, eBay issued a press release letting users know that a cyberattack "compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data." Users will be asked to change their passwords just in case, though they noted that eBay "has seen no indication of increased fraudulent account activity." This is sadly just one of many attacks recently, and something that won't be going away anytime soon, if ever.

Attacks like this are nothing new, over the years plenty of big-name sites have become victim to similar cyberattacks. Retial chain Target has been all over the news lately, and there's also vulnerabilities like the recent Heartbleed Bug that affected Google, Facebook, Yahoo and dozens of other sites.

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The Governor of Minnesota signed a new bill into law that prohibits the sale of any smartphone without anti-theft software pre-installed. The idea is to deter criminals from stealing handsets in the first place by allowing users to remotely disable and wipe a phone's data, rendering it useless. If a stolen phone is remotely disabled, there wouldn't be any monetary incentive left in the endeavour.

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Enpass is a popular cross-platform app for storing and backing up your passwords and other important information securely as well as syncing the information across devices. The Windows Phone app also offers a customizable password generator that you can use to create strong passwords to use online.

The Enpass Password Manager & Information Keeper app has been recently bumped to v4.0.0.0 and adds a bunch of new features apart from some UI improvements and bug fixes.

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John McAfee and his new company, Future Tense Private Systems (FTC), have released an encrypted messaging app for mobile users. The app is named 'Chadder' and it is now available on Android and Windows Phone 8.1, with an iOS version due in the coming weeks. The app is meant to address the growing concerns of mobile users who worry about government eavesdropping, especially after the Edward Snowden leaks in the news.

Chadder is a simple app, currently described as 'early beta'. That means users shouldn't expect a robust or feature complete experience, but at least the core of the service is supposedly up and running. The app encrypts messages with only odd characters coming through if someone were to intercept the communications.

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Microsoft is issuing a fix for the "zero-day" vulnerability found in Internet Explorer last week. The update should be rolling out to all users any time now. In addition to updating Internet Explorer, Microsoft is also providing a fix for Windows XP, despite the fact that the operating system is no longer officially supported. The fix was issued because support for XP ended recently.

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Microsoft has issued a security advisory for Internet Explorer due to a "zero-day" limited, targeted attack vulnerability it's found "in the wild". Versions of IE include Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11. "Zero day" means it came without warning and "in the wild" means it's already being exploited. There's no mention of Windows Phone having the issues, but if you use Windows in general, it's something to be aware of, but not something to panic about. Here's why...

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While the release of Windows Vista was plagued with burden and its legacy was remembered as such, one excellent feature to rise out of the wreckage has served its way through Windows 7 up to current day Windows 8 operating systems. The feature that we are referring to is, of course, Microsoft’s BitLocker Drive Encryption – full disk encryption at the click of a button.

WARNING: Disk Encryption is a delicate process, please be sure to backup your data before beginning. WPCentral, Mobile Nations, Smartphone Experts are not responsible for any data loss caused by a failure to read instructions carefully or ignoring our recommendation to backup ALL of your data before beginning. Please be sure to read the entire article before beginning your encryption journey. If you have doubts about anything, please ask in the comments below before proceeding.

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We have been announcing the end days of Windows XP for some time now, and if you are not planning on upgrading your poor sad operating system to a nice new shiny one, then we are a bit of a loss what more to say. Microsoft on the other hand, has one more trick up their sleeves; they are willing to shell out a $100 instant savings credit if you trade up your existing Windows XP machine.

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The sunset for Windows XP is approaching and if you have not left the operating system that launched twelve years ago – it is really time to move on now. Next month, support will be cut for the platform and your PC will become vulnerable to the terrible wrath of internet diseases and attacks. If you are feeling a bit stubborn and are digging your heels into the dirt, checkout this infograph that Microsoft launched on their developer network – it may change your mind.

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So, you want to adopt BYOD?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the current hot trend. (And has been for a while, really.) There are many perceived advantages for a company that allows employees to bring their own devices to work and have access to your company resources, but is BYOD right for you? Can you make mistakes when developing your BYOD policies? Can you really let any device connect to your resources?

Lets look at a few top issues that you should be aware of.

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Most people would agree that Microsoft has come a long way from the dark days of frequent malware attacks and security flaws making headlines. Microsoft has now shared the untold, and thrilling, story of the Security Development Lifecycle at SDLstory.com with anecdotes of the early days, and never-before-seen video footage and photos of the key players.

While in the earliest days, hacking was just an underground hobby, the media attention that security attacks received made it fascinating for cybercriminals as an opportunity for fame. The romanticism of breaking the web just because you could do it became a high. But as time went on, the attacks became more and more malicious, exploiting software for financial gain.

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Next week, Microsoft is set to patch a collection of security loopholes that have served as a major vulnerability within Internet Explorer. A few months ago, security firm FireEye, discovered that they could exploit machines by using a piece of code that was drilled up by hackers. A second security confirm, Websense, later confirmed the issue and now a patch is ready to be sent out this Tuesday.

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