Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 18, 2012

Five free tools to keep your Windows PC running malware-free – You know you have to stay on top of those insidious malware threats, but what’s the most effective (and affordable) solution? It’s a constant battle, the protection of a PC against malicious software. The second you think you have your machine clean, something else appears — no matter what piece of software you use to combat this plague. Even so, you still need to have some protection installed. So I thought I’d list the five tools I prefer for keeping Windows as malware-free as possible. They don’t cost a dime, and they’re about as reliable as a malware removal tool can be.

How to Automatically Download Virtually Anything as Soon as It’s Available – The internet really does have everything, and it’s all available for download without lifting a finger. A series of helpful scripts, all installable in a few minutes, can transform your computer into an automatic media downloading machine.

New test results highlight Windows security struggles – The latest results are in from, an independent organization that tests consumer-security suites. Except for a few bright spots, the numbers are a bloodbath of lower scores.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Ubuntu Unity: A beginner’s walk-through – Jack Wallen has been proclaiming Ubuntu Unity the single most efficient desktop on the market. This time he decides to illustrate a simple task and how Ubuntu Unity’s approach is easy and efficient.

Five chat client apps to make business collaboration easier – Efficient communication within a business is vital if you want your users to get the most out of collaboration.

How to use your Android as a Webcam – On a PC with no built-in Webcam and not ready to purchase one, either? Luckily your Android device makes a great stand-in for a Webcam. We’ll show you the steps.

Customizable Shortcuts for Firefox Lets You Create Key Commands for Anything – Firefox has no shortage of keyboard shortcuts for popular commands, but if you really want to control everything about your browser experience, Customizable Shortcuts is a Firefox add-on that lets you set your own commands for almost every feature or command Firefox offers.

How to Network Windows 8 – When we think of Windows networks, we typically think of clients, servers, user accounts, domains..etc. However, peer-to-peer networking is less complex to deploy and manage and often a perfect option for small businesses without IT. Here’s a guide on creating a peer-to-peer network with Windows 8.

Top 10 iOS Apps for Small Businesses – We picked 10 outstanding iPhone and iPad apps that can help you keep your small business going when you’re on the go.

Facebook Basics for Small Business – Social media is here to stay, so it’s up to small business owners to get on board and learn how to make the most of these new marketing channels. Let’s start with three basic tips for Facebook.

10 cross-platform tools that can make your job easier – With mixed-platform environments on the rise, you need tools that can handle whatever systems you’re supporting. Here are 10 invaluable cross-platform applications.


Microsoft issues workaround for IE 0-day exploited in current attacks – Microsoft has issued a security advisory with advice on how to patch a Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability recently spotted being exploited in the wild by attackers that might be the same ones that are behind the Nitro attacks. News that there is a previously unknown Internet Explorer vulnerability that is actively being misused in the wild by attackers that are believed to be the same ones that are behind the Nitro attacks has reverberated all over the Internet yesterday. The existence of the flaw and a working exploit for it has been revealed by security researcher and Metasploit contributor Eric Romang, who discovered it on 14 September while monitoring some of the infected servers used by the Nitro gang in the recent Java attacks.

Bogus “Refund Pending” emails targeting PayPal customers – Fake PayPal notifications about a bogus refund are hitting inboxes around the world, trying to trick users into following the offered link and supposedly log into their accounts in order to receive it. Unfortunately for those who fall for the ruse, the link will take them to a page that looks like PayPal’s login page, but is actually a fake one mimicking PayPal’s, and all the information submitted into it gets forwarded directly to the phishers behind this scheme, who can then use it to hijack the victim’s PayPal and probably even gain entrance to other online accounts.

Malware attack blasted out in “Important Changes to Microsoft Services agreement” email – If you received an email, apparently from Microsoft, claiming to be about “Important Changes to Microsoft Services Agreement” would you trust it?

Online daters targeted by blackmailing scammers – According to the BBC, the scheme starts with a woman initiating contact with men on dating sites or social networks. After chatting with her a bit and seeing how she looks like via webcam, the men get a proposition that few refuse: she will strip for them and they will reciprocate.

HitmanPro scores “100” in AV-TEST Malware Detection Tests – SurfRight, a developer of tools that give users more control over their PC security, today announced the results of the HitmanPro static malware detection and removal tests, performed by the independent test organization AV-TEST. Commenting on these excellent results, Maik Morgenstern, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of AV-TEST said “The static (Zoo) detection rate of HitmanPro is far above the industry average. The static detection of prevalent malware was also flawless. Both the detection and the remediation of active components is equal to the industry average. The remediation of further components is better than the industry average. Summarized, the product showed results that were superior to the industry average for the tested criteria.”

Flame Malware Details Surface, Point to More Viruses – The Flame malware discovered in May may be older than researchers previously thought and could still be operating in the wild.

Company News:

Google Buys Instagram Rival Nik Software – Google on Monday announced it has acquired Nik Software, maker of the popular Snapseed photo editing and sharing app.

Red Hat Fights Patent Claim with GPL Open Source Counterclaim – Open source Gluster comes under patent attack and Red Hat responds with a GPL counter-claim of its own.

Google creates entrepreneur day, ends IE8 support for Apps – Sydney will host the technical entrepreneur day in October. Keynote speakers will be Google Australia Managing Director Nick Leeder, Engineering Director Alan Noble, and local Head of Google Enterprise Stuart McLean. Google says that space is limited, and people wishing to attend should register their interest for a chance to attend.

Microsoft announces Office 2013 prices and packaging – For the upcoming release of Office 2013, Microsoft customers will have to choose between traditional software and Office 365 subscriptions. Here’s what’s in store.

Motorola unveils its first Intel-powered smartphone: Razr i – The Razr i is the Intel version of the Droid Razr M for Verizon Wireless. It’ll sell in Latin America and Europe.

Webopedia Daily:

Card Skimming – The act of using a skimmer to illegally collect data from the magnetic stripe of a credit, debit or ATM card. This information, copied onto another blank card’s magnetic stripe, is then used by an identity thief to make purchases or withdraw cash in the name of the actual account holder. Skimming works by replacing a card reader like an ATM with a camouflaged counterfeit card reader. The counterfeit reader records all of the data on a credit, debit or ATM card as it passes through the skimmer. In addition to ATMs, other locations where card skimming happens include restaurants, taxis or other businesses where an employee will take the card from the actual account holder in order to run the charge. In these instances, the thief has fitted the card reader with a skimmer, or uses a hand-held skimmer hidden in a pocket.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Facebooker jailed for LOL car crash post – A woman allegedly drives drunk and smashes into another car. She posts a seemingly lighthearted comment about it on Facebook. A judge tells her to close her account. She doesn’t.

How Children Learn: A World Tour of Class Portraits – Since 2004, Julian Germain has been capturing the inner lives of schools around the world, from England to Nigeria to Qatar, in his large-scale photographs of schoolchildren in class. Classroom Portraits (public library) is part Where Children Sleep, part Bureaucratics, part What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets part something else entirely — a poignant lens on a system-phenomenon that is both global in reach and strikingly local in degree of peculiarity, revealed through more than 450 portraits of schoolchildren from 20 countries. (recommended by Michael F.)

NASA space tech: From Pioneer to Curiosity – As Voyager celebrates its 35th birthday and Curiosity starts on the most exciting Mars mission ever, we look back at the IT under the hood of six NASA projects that have made science fiction into everyday fact.

A nail in the HTML5 coffin? – What can an enterprise IT leader do when a social media titan publicly shuns the very tool that was supposed to make cross-platform mobile development possible?

The Evolution of the Apple iPod Nano – Of all the iPod models, the nano has had the most varied career. We take a look at all seven generations.

Today’s Quote:

“It ain’t what we don’t know that hurts us, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”

–     Mark Twain

Today’s Free Downloads:

Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller – Download and run the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller to remove all versions of Adobe Flash Player from all browsers on your machine.

LinuxLive USB Creator 2.8.16 – LiLi USB Creator is a handy, easy to use application designed to enable you to create a bootable Live USB key with a Linux on it.



Filed under downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 18, 2012

  1. hipockets

    There is a good article about a security issue at — “Temporarily Fix A Serious Security Flaw In Internet Explorer With Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)”

    The installation includes a pdf guide for (a) explaining what EMET does (which was too technical for me) and (b) configuring the download (which is easy). It runs in the background, uses very little resources, and does not conflict with other security apps.

    Configuration consists of telling it which programs on the computer should be monitored. I chose to list almost all of the .exe files on my computer, which might be overkill. It took me about 5 minutes to do it..

    • Hey Hipockets,

      The usual great article by Rick.

      Kudos to Microsoft for coming to grips with this (as best as they can) for the moment. Unfortunately, the offered solution is leagues ahead of a typical users grasp of the concepts – I suspect the install will be avoided by all but the most experienced. Best advice remains: stop using IE.

      It would be cool to believe that the average user could deal with an issue like this – but, it just ain’t so. Not even close. Very sad, given the push (years now) to attempt to educate users – and, not just related to security issues.

      We’re getting dumber. 🙂



  2. hipockets

    !!!!!! Very important article:
    “Seemingly real Microsoft e-mail is spreading malware, be careful”