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Found 12 results

  1. Google has rolled out an answer for those occasions when a bad mobile connection stops you using search. The Google app will now queue searches if there's no connection and deliver results when a connection is re-established. A new feature available on the Google app for Android removes the obstacle of beginning a search when there's no mobile signal or only patchy coverage. The updated app will now queue searches if there's no connection and deliver the result when a connection is re-established, Google says in a blogpost. The new offline capabilities for search join similar improvements to its other apps, such as Google Translate, Google Maps, and its lightweight search-result pages, which aim to patch up key features when a poor connection would otherwise break them. "Mobile networks can sometimes be inconsistent or spotty, which means that even if you have a connection when you start your search, it might fail before you get your results back. With this change, search results are saved as soon as they are retrieved, even if you lose connection afterwards or go into airplane mode," Google explains. While the feature doesn't enable offline search per se, it is a workaround to the problem of searching when there is no connection or if the signal is dropped, for example, while driving through a tunnel, in an underground train, or in a remote area. The updated Google app for Android will now monitor in the background for a decent network connection and once one is found, it delivers a notification detailing the number of results that are ready to view. Despite the additional background activity, Google says the feature "won't drain your battery", and since it features streamlined search-result pages, it shouldn't impact data usage. The feature is available in the latest version of the Google app for Android. Article source
  2. New Locky variant uses a weaker encryption method New Locky variant comes with offline mode support During the past days, the crooks behind the Locky ransomware have amped up their operations and distributed hundreds of thousands of spam email that contain malicious files, which when opened, will install a new version of the Locky ransomware that can work without an Internet connection. Finnish security firm F-Secure observed the campaign and pointed out that on July 12, the group behind this ransomware sent out a whopping 120,000 spam email messages every hour in two massive surges of activity. As with past Locky campaigns, these files were ZIP archives that contained a JavaScript file, which when executed installed the Locky ransomware. New Locky version appears on the same day of the spam surge According to German security vendor Avira, its researchers have stumbled upon a new Locky version that can work in "offline mode." Avira's experts said they detected this new variant on July 12, the same day when the spam surge happened, but they have reported independently from F-Secure, so it is not officially confirmed that the spam wave delivered the new variant, even if all clues point to it. This new Locky version is very different from past Locky variants, who needed an Internet connection to start the encryption process. Because of this, network administrators discovered that by shutting down Internet access to a company when they detected one Locky infection, they could also stop subsequent computers from being compromised. New Locky version uses a much simpler encryption scheme Locky's authors seem to have addressed this issue and have now created a variant that can work around this limitation, albeit using a weaker encryption method. "That [speaking of Locky's offline mode] makes it tougher to block," said Avira's Lyle Frink. "But, this new variant may have the weakness that once someone has paid the ransom for their private key ID – it should be possible to reuse the same key for other victims with the same public key." This comes in handy for corporate environments, where Locky's authors are known to ask for more money than usual, just because they managed to infect a computer holding more precious data. Victims can pull the computer from the enterprise network, reinfect it, pay the ransom, and then use the decrypter to recover the files at a lower price. This is possible because the Locky offline version generates the same ID per computer, unlike its online version that generates different IDs per infection, not per computer. Locky spam flood on July 12, 2016 Article source
  3. People are aware of the risks that come with using Wi-Fi, but generally believe public hotspots, like those on airports, are secure. Those are the results published in Norton’s latest Wi-Fi Risk Report 2016, which said 64 percent of UK’s adults assume public Wi-Fi is safe enough to use. However, Norton says this couldn’t be further from the truth. "We know many consumers believe that using a password to access public Wi-Fi means their information is safe, but that’s not necessarily the case", said Nick Shaw, vice president and general manager at Norton EMEA. By using these networks, people often offer their private data, even banking information, to hackers on a plate. Besides using unsecure Wi-Fi networks, the problem also lies in unsecured mobile apps, both on Android and iOS mobile operating sytems. Norton says that 25 percent of the most popular Android apps in the UK transmit personal data without encryption. The security firm offers a solution, though -- an app called NortonWiFi Privacy, helping consumers protect their private data from prying eyes. "Norton WiFi Privacy helps protect information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, and denies access to hackers who may be eavesdropping on the same network", Shaw added. The report is based on a poll of more than 9,000 people, across nine markets. It can be found on this link. Article source
  4. VPN services have become an important tool to counter the growing threat of Internet surveillance. Encrypting one's traffic through a VPN connection helps to keep online communications private. But, what if your VPN service is compromised by a gag order? This is a question many Proxy.sh customers are asking themselves. Millions of Internet users around the world use a VPN to protect their privacy online. One of the key benefits is that it hides one’s true IP-address from third-party monitoring outfits, countering a lot of unwanted snooping. However, law enforcement is not always happy with these services and in extreme cases can compel VPN providers to start logging internal connections to catch a perpetrator. This is what appears to have happened to Seychelles-based VPN service Proxy.sh. Earlier this month the company excluded one of its nodes from its warrant canary. “We would like to inform our users that we do not wish any longer to mention France 8 (85.236.153.236) in our warrant canary until further notice,” the company announced on its website, and via email to its customers. Proxy.sh’s warning The warrant canary states that no warrants, searches or seizures of any kind have been received, but this is no longer true for the French node. The fact that this has been announced indirectly suggests that the company is not allowed to communicate about it publicly. TorrentFreak reached out to Proxy.sh hoping to get some additional information. While no further details were provided, the VPN provider strongly advises its users not to connect to the ‘compromised’ node. “We recommend our users to no longer connect to it. We are striving to do whatever it takes to include that node into our warrant canary again,” Proxy.sh says. “The warrant canary has been particularly designed to make sure we could still move without being legally able to answer questions in a more detailed manner. We are happy to see it put to use after all and that our users are made aware of it,” they add. The announcement will come as a shock to most Proxy.sh users and many will be wondering what they should do next. A good question, but unfortunately not one with an easy answer. Leave or stay? Some users may be inclined to leave. Why stay with a VPN provider that’s partly compromised if there are many other alternatives out there? This is a logical and understandable response. On the other hand, one can also value Proxy.sh’s transparency in the matter. The company takes its warrant canary seriously where other VPN providers, with or without a warrant canary, may have stayed quiet. Ironically, the fact that Proxy.sh received a gag order increases the trustworthiness of the company itself, although that comes at a price. We suspect that there are only a few VPN providers that would suspend their operations “Lavabit style” on receipt of a narrowly targeted gag order that doesn’t compromise its service as a whole. Considering the fact that only one node is in question, the request does appear to be rather targeted in this case. It’s also worth keeping in mind that many large Internet companies including Google and Facebook receive gag orders on a regular basis. Most users have no clue that this is happening, and others simply don’t care. Trust? VPN users who would prefer their VPN provider to shut down instead of complying with a gag order should leave, that much is clear. But how do you know that the next choice will be as transparent as Proxy.sh? As is often the case it all boils down to trust. Do you trust your VPN provider to handle your private communications carefully, and to what degree does a gag order on one of the nodes change this? How one answers this question is a matter of personal preference. Most of our questions to Proxy.sh remained unanswered, presumably due to the court order, but the company was able to provide some additional details on their compliance with orders from various jurisdictions. While the company is incorporated in the Seychelles, it also complies with orders from other jurisdictions it operates from. “Our company respects the law everywhere it operates, but it still has the option to cooperate fully while ceasing any further operations in any specific jurisdiction,” Proxy.sh says. “Depending on the level of threat to our users’ privacy and according to our legal advisers, we take the decision to bring updates to our warrant canary either for a specific node or for a whole country.” Article source
  5. When it comes to playing online games, the better our connection speed is, the more we can enjoy ourselves. But what type of connection is actually best for our needs in the end? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answers to a confused reader’s question. The Question SuperUser reader dpiralis wants to know why a VPN-based ping is faster than a non-VPN ping: Why is a VPN-based ping faster than a non-VPN ping? The Answer SuperUser contributor peterh has the answer for us: Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here. Article source
  6. If you access the Internet using an Ethernet connection, and you have a limited data plan, use this guide to set your connection as metered on Windows 10. Windows 10 is an operating system designed to take full advantage of an internet connection without any restrictions on how much bandwidth it uses to perform tasks, such as download drivers and updates, sync settings, connect with cloud services, let you get access to the World Wide Web, and everything else. While this isn't a problem for many users, not everyone has an unlimited data plan to access the internet. Many users connect to the World Wide Web through metered internet connection plans, which most of the time have a limit on the amount of data they can send and receive. If you have a metered internet connection, setting your network connection as metered within Windows 10 will help to reduce the amount of data you're allowed to use in a given month. The problem is that the operating system only offers this option for Wi-Fi or cellular data connections, and it appears that Microsoft assumes that anyone connected to a network using an Ethernet connection has unlimited access to the internet. However, if you know your way around the registry, you can still set an Ethernet connection as metered to reduce the internet data usage. In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to set your wired network connection as metered by modifying the registry. How to set an Ethernet metered connection on Windows 10 Important: Before you make any changes, make sure to understand that you'll be modifying the Windows registry, which could be a dangerous game that can cause irreversible damage to your computer when changes are not done properly. It's recommended that you do a full backup of your system before proceeding. You've been warned! 1. Use the Windows key + R to open the Run command, type regedit, and click OK to open the Windows registry. 2. Browse the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost 3. Right-click the DefaultMediaCost key and select Permissions. 4. On the Security tab, click the Advanced button. 5. Next to TrustedInstaller, click the Change link. 6. Type Administrators, and click the Check Names button to make sure you're typing the correct object. 7. Click OK. 8. On the Advanced Security Settings for DefaultMediaCost, check the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects". 9. Click Apply. 10. Click OK. 11. On Permissions for DefaultMediaCost, select the Administrators group, and then make sure to check the allow Full Control box. 12. Click Apply. 13. Click OK. 14. On the DefaultMediaCost key, you'll find different entries, including for 3G, 4G, Default, Ethernet, and WiFi with their default data values: 1 or 2. The data value 1 means that the connection type is non-metered, and the data value of 2 means that the connection type is metered. Double-click the Ethernet DWORD (32-bit) Value key, and change the value to 2. 15. Click OK. 16. Close the registry and restart your computer to complete the process. Once you set a metered connection, the operating system will stop using the internet in many ways. For example: Windows updates will no longer download automatically. However, priority updates will continue to download when available. Apps will no longer update automatically. Live Tiles on the Start menu may stop downloading updates. Offline content may not sync with other devices. In the case you want to revert to the original settings, using the same instructions mentioned above, make sure to change the Ethernet key data value from 2 to 1. If you want to verify your Ethernet connection is set to metered, you can use apps, such as the desktop version of Outlook, which will detect and alert you that you are using a metered connection, as you probably won't see any "Metered network" statics on the App history tab in Task Manager. Obviously, you should also notice a reduced amount of data usage at the end of the month on your internet connection plan. While this is a handy workaround to help you to control the data usage of the operating system, remember you will still need to control how much data you personally use to browse the web, watch videos, and everything else to not go over your data cap. Credit to
  7. The integration of Cortana with native search on Windows 10 devices have made the digital assistant, even if not used, a feature that cannot be easily disabled without losing access to search as well. While there are options to use third-party search tools like Everything, XSearch or any of these desktop search programs reviewed here, it is probably not something that most users will resort to. One thing that bothered me ever since Cortana was added to Windows 10 was that it added web search results to search. I found those to be completely useful as I use search solely to find local items. I have talked about how to turn off web search on Windows before, and how to make the search in Windows 10 really fast. Note: Before anyone jumps in stating that they like Cortana and Web Searches. That's fine, completely. I'm not saying, don't use Cortana or the built-in functionality, but if you don't, then there is little reason to keep it around, is there? Cortana: Block outbound network connections There are two types of outbound network connections that Cortana makes: web search, and "network traffic to Bing.com to evaluate if certain Cortana components are up-to-date or not". I don't want to rehash what I described already, so please check out the link above that leads to a resource that explains how to turn off web search on Windows 10. This article concentrates on the traffic to Bing.com instead. Step 1. Open the Group Policy Editor with a tap on the Windows-key, typing gpedit.msc, and hitting enter. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security > > Outbound Rules (note: skip LDAP name if not present). Right-click on Outbound Rules and select > New Rule from the selection menu. Step 2: This opens the New Outbound Rule Wizard. On the Rule Type page, make sure that Program is selected. Click on the next button. Step 3: Select "this program path" on the Program page, and add the following path using copy and paste to it: %windir%\systemapps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\SearchUI.exe Click on Next afterwards. Step 4: Make sure "block the connection" is selected on the Action page. This prevents the program from making outbound connections. Click on the next button. Step 5: Make sure Domain, Private and Public are checked on the Profile page. Domain: Applies when a computer is connected to its corporate domain. Private: Applies when a computer is connected to a private network location. Public: Applies when a computer is connected to a public network location. Click on the next button afterwards. Step 6: Add a name and an optional description for the new rule, e.g. Block Cortana Outbound Traffic. Click on Finish to close the wizard and add the new rule to the system. You can hit cancel to prevent the rule from being added to Windows Firewall. Step 7: Right-click on the new rule that you have created in the Group Policy editor, and select properties from the context menu. Step 8: Switch to the "Protocols and Ports" tab, and make sure the following is listed there: Protocol Type: TCP Local Port: All Ports Remote Port: All ports Undo the change To undo the change, right-click on the firewall rule that you have created and select the delete option from the context menu. Alternatively, useful for testing, select disable this rule instead which makes sure it is not applied but not deleted. Third-party firewall While the configuration path to block Cortana outbound connections may be different, the core parameters that you enter when configuring the new firewall rule are the same: Program path and name: %windir%\systemapps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\SearchUI.exe Rule: Block all outbound traffic Protocol: TCP Ports: All Credit to
  8. It’s much easier to retrieve data from an individual gadget or device than it is to hack into a major vendor’s network, and nearly every smart product is set up to automatically and routinely to record and store customer data locally. If we look at the connected home, it immediately becomes apparent why the ability to properly and securely erase all personal data is so important. According to recent Census data, the average American moves to a new home 11.4 times over the course of their lifetime. When you look at connected household products like smart refrigerators and thermostats, they have a much longer lifecycle than the average period of time a person stays in one residence. That’s why protecting the enormous amounts of data transmitted through digital devices to these gadgets is vital. Consider this: As a home owner or renter, it’s an added benefit to be able to control the temperature within your home and automatically adjust and personalize the settings based on who is inside the house at that very moment and do this all straight from your smartphone – even if you’re on-the-go. But what happens once your 12-month apartment lease has ended or you’ve sold your home? That added functionality ceases to be useful and if the data hasn’t been properly and completely removed from the thermostat, it could be relatively easy for a cyber-criminal to potentially access and steal it. Even relatively mundane metadata related to when you arrived home each evening could be used over time to extrapolate behavioral patterns and trends. So in a worst-case scenario, a criminal could leverage that personal information for nefarious purposes, such as identity fraud or theft. Let’s not forget about the buoyant sharing economy that’s seeing the likes of Uber and Aribnb gaining in popularity around the world. These shared service providers simplify the entire user experience and automate it in such a way that users’ credit cards are linked directly to the apps. This strategy has clearly been paying off – investment bank Piper Jaffray says Airbnb enabled about 40 million room nights in 2014 and estimates that it could reach 1.5 million listings in 2015 – up from the one million listings it had in mid-2014. But something is still missing from this business model and could jeopardize their user adoption and growth rates drastically. These shared service providers – and other businesses – should have a built-in security feature that completely and permanently erases all personal information – including names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers – when users stop using them. Users should then receive a verification report within their accounts confirming all of their personal information has been properly and completely removed. To customers, this would offer the dual benefits of an improved customer experience and an absolute guarantee that their personal information and sensitive data won’t be compromised. It then becomes a point of differentiation for these already-successful businesses and could catapult them to the next level and help them cement customer loyalty, boost adoption and grow sales consistently. Given the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports a total 577 data breaches were recorded thus far in 2015 (through September 29, 2015) and more than 155 million records have been exposed, I’d say making this change could have a huge impact on Airbnb, Uber and other businesses. The truth is that many manufacturers have prioritized ease-of-use, cross-channel functionality and customer experience optimization when developing and launching new products in the market: and rightfully so. After all, we live in a world where consumers don’t just want the most personalized, relevant customer experiences from businesses, they demand it and will go to a competitor if a business fails to deliver. Now this is where a small, but very important, change needs to occur. Rather than separating product development and data security into two separate categories, both need to be equally involved at all stages of product development. It only takes one mishap where an individual’s data is leaked – be it accidental or an intentional cyber-attack – for consumer trust in the entire IoT market to be eroded. If manufacturers want to build IoT features and capabilities into their products and generate a consistent stream of revenue and boost customer loyalty, they need to automate the proper and complete removal of data into product design from the start. Making this a reality is perfectly achievable, but it requires changes to the way products have traditionally been developed and supported. One of the first things I’d like to see happen is that IT and data science teams are invited to the same table as product developers, UX/UI designers and engineers at the earliest stage so that when a product is even in the conceptualization stage, data protection is being considered and integrated directly into it. As a society, we also need to invest more time, resources and money into educating consumers and businesses on the responsible use, patching and disposal of internet-enabled gadgets and devices. This education needs to start from an early age in the same way that children are taught to avoid dangerous individuals and crime. Only when these changes happen will manufacturers be able to scale their products and businesses for long-term growth and success. Article source
  9. WifiHistoryView is a brand new application by Nirsoft for Windows that lists all wireless connections the PC it us run on made in the past. The portable software program gets the information from Windows itself, which stores the data in the directory C:\windows\System32\winevt\Logs\Microsoft-Windows-WLAN-AutoConfig%4Operational.evtx by default. While it is possible to look up the information in the event log directly, one of the main advantages of WifiHistoryView is that it is a lot faster and provides quick options to browse or sort through the information. WifiHistoryView review The program, just like all other Nirsoft software, is portable which means it can be run from any location once it has been unpacked. You can put it on a troubleshooting flash drive, burn it to DVD, or keep it in any folder on the local system and it will run fine from any of those locations. The application uses the typical tabular Nirsoft layout. The data is parsed on start and the following information are provided for each data entry (among others): Event Time: The data and time of the event. Event Type: The type of event recorded, e.g. connected, disconnected or failed to connect. Network Adapter Name: Name of the wireless adapter. Local Mac Address: Mac address of the wireless network adapter. Profile Name: the name of the WiFi profile. SSID: The SSID of the wireless network. BSSID: Mac address of the access point. Encryption: If the connection was encrypted. Other information that may be displayed include the interface GUID, BSS Type, BSSID Company, PHY Type, Event ID, Event Record ID and the Disconnect Reason for disconnect events. A click on a column header sorts the data automatically which can be useful if you want to sort by different parameters than date and time. This allows you to sort by network adapter name, event type or profile among other things. Another interesting option provided by WifiHistoryView lets you load an event log file manually. This can be useful if you need to analyze the connection profile of another PC among other things. Naturally, there is also an option to export all the data or partial data to various formats including HTML, XML and txt. Closing Words WifiHistoryView is a specialized application that may help you troubleshoot wireless connections or analyze them. For instance, the disconnect reasons may provide information that you can use to prevent future disconnects from happening, or you may use information to pinpoint issues to a particular access point. WifiHistoryView Article source
  10. My daughter and my son have upgraded their laptop and desktop respectively. We cannot get homegroup to connect. I am on Windows 7 SP1 Professional. I am the homegroup owner. My family are in Brighton today, I was thinking about removing homegoup from all operating systems and starting again as in the past that sorts it out. To save that any ideas. All services via cmd services.msc for homegoup are enabled.
  11. Hi friends, I have installed latest version of bluestack And Everytime I download a game or install, it ask me to log in google account And when I do It says no internet is connected and ask me to connect wifi (in bluestack) and when I do that, it keeps on connecting to wifi and stays like that. This never happens in previous version. I have taken screenshots but this forms dont have image upload option
  12. Hello Everyone!Below is the screenshot of WFC - inbound block rule. My question is, are they supposed to be there? And I want to block a domain. How and where to block it? Example domain - *.example.com