Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – January 17, 2013

A link between video games and real-world violence? – The Obama administration is asking for another look at the impact of fantasy violence. Let’s hope we can tell the difference between what’s distasteful and what’s dangerous.

The NRA’s ‘Practice Range’ Misfire – If video games are the problem, why is the NRA pushing a video game?

Watch Porn Online? Beware Ransomware – Virtual sex is not always safe sex; you could catch a virus that shuts down your system.

Facebook Graph Search is an awesome tool for phishing attacks – Think of it like Google hacking on steroids. Attackers learned long ago that Google is a virtually endless treasure trove of valuable information—sensitive data, and seemingly innocuous tidbits that can be used to hack into a network or account. Facebook Graph Search raises the bar—and not in a good way—by delivering that same capability with a more personal context.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Update Facebook privacy settings – No, Graph Search doesn’t affect your privacy settings, but it surely makes digging up information about you really easy. Now’s a good time to review what you’re sharing and how you’re sharing it.

Stay Connected After Disasters With Microsoft’s HelpBridge App – HelpBridge lets you put together a list of friends and family members you would want to notify in the event of a natural disaster. Then in an emergency, the app lets you quickly send email or text message alerts letting those people know you’re safe or require help. It can also post an emergency message on your Facebook Timeline.

5 steps to enhance your WordPress business website – OptimizePress is a WordPress theme that lets users create sales letters, squeeze pages and other features for their online business. As noted in How to Build an Online Business From Scratch, using a template such as OptimizePress will speed up the process of building your website and will allow your site to function as a sales funnel as well as a blog. This article will show you how to build an online business using OptimizePress.

Nokia caught decrypting HTTPS traffic — for your own good – Whoops. Nokia’s been caught decrypting HTTPS traffic on their Asha/Lumia phone series and configuring phones not to report what amounts to a man-in-the-middle attack. Nokia claims this is part of providing better service, but circumventing security isn’t the way to make that happen — even if the company doesn’t store the data.

Facebook dials up teens, cheapskates with free calling – In search of its fountain of youth, Facebook gives away voice calls in its Messenger for iPhone app.

Beam Toothbrush Connects to Your Smartphone, Can Tattle to Your Dentist – The Beam Brush looks like a chunky vibrating toothbrush, but the chunkiness merely makes way for a AA battery and a Bluetooth chip that wirelessly reports your brushing habits to your smartphone.

Verizon six strikes anti-piracy policy throttles you after fifth offense – Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, Verizon, and Cablevision have all agreed to play ball with the media industry to inconvenience their customers accused of piracy. Few details beyond the “six strikes” policy have been released from any of the ISPs going along with this scheme, but now TorrentFreak has gone public with leaked documents about Verizon’s implementation.

Security:

Yet ANOTHER Java zero-day claimed – but this time you’re laughing, right? – Irrepressible cybercrime investigator and reporter Brian Krebs has written about yet another Java zero-day exploit. This one, it seems, targets an exploitable vulnerability even in Oracle’s most recent release, Version 7 Update 11, also known as 7u11. Details of the exploit are sketchy, because the underworld is playing this one very close to its chest.

“Southwest Airlines giveaway” Facebook scam doing rounds – A new survey scam is targeting Facebook users, misusing the name of well-known Southwest Airlines to supposedly offer two free tickets to any destination within the U.S.

Beware! Malicious Europcar invoice emails spread Trojan horse attack – SophosLabs has intercepted many emails today, attempting to infect Windows computers via an email purporting to be an invoice from a car rental company. Find out more about what to watch out for.

Zaxby’s Chicken Chain Warns of Possible Credit Card Thefts – At least 100 restaurants’ customers are at risk of credit and debit card fraud after a U.S. fast food chain announced it’s found data-swiping malware on some of its franchises’ computer hard drives.

Bouncer kit perfect for laser-focused phishing campaigns – Researchers have unearthed a new type of phishing kit that allows crooks to target specific users and keep away others in order to keep the scheme hidden from knowing eyes and security firms for as long as it’s possible.

Researchers Claim Linksys Routers Vulnerable to Remote Root Exploit – Researchers at security consultancy and vulnerability research firm DefenseCode claim to have uncovered a root exploit zero-day affecting the default installation of an unknown number of Cisco’s Linksys routers. DefenseCode tested the exploit on the Cisco Linksys WRT54GL model and believe that other models are vulnerable as well. They aren’t entirely certain how many router models are impacted by the flaw, but they note that Cisco has sold some 70 million Linksys routers.

Adobe patches actively exploited ColdFusion vulnerabilities – Adobe released security patches for its ColdFusion application server on Tuesday, addressing four critical vulnerabilities that have been actively exploited by attackers since the beginning of January.

Company News:

AMD files suit against former employees for alleged document theft – AMD has filed a suit against multiple former employees alleging theft of thousands of confidential documents. All four are now employees of Nvidia, which raises ugly questions about what secrets were stolen — and where they ended up.

YouTube said to be investing more cash in Vevo – YouTube already owns a small stake in Vevo but is reportedly looking to up that investment, according to AllThingsD. If indeed the video giant does partner with Vevo, the way consumers view content on the site will supposedly stay the same — which means watching big label music videos for free.

Google Nexus 7 tops iPad in Japan: Is this a trend? – Google’s Nexus 7 is making serious market-share headway against Apple in Japan, according to Nikkei. Based on a survey of 2,400 consumer electronics stores in Japan, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet had 44.4 percent of the market versus the iPad’s 40.1 percent, according to Nikkei, Japan’s largest business daily. The survey was done by market research firm BCN in December.

RIM gets Visa approval for mobile payments via NFC – Research in Motion announced Wednesday that credit card company Visa has approved RIM’s security management system for use in mobile payments made with smartphones or tablets that use a Near Field Communication chip.

Webopedia Daily:

Phablet (phone tablet hybrid) – A term used to describe a half-smartphone and half-tablet mobile device (a phone-tablet hybrid). A phablet is a small pocket-sized mobile device that is a bit larger than the size of an average smartphone, with a touch screen ranging in size from 5 inches (e.g. the Sony Xperia Z) to 6.1 inches (e.g. the Huawei Ascend Mate device). While larger than a smartphone, the phablet is much smaller than most tablets and can be held and used in one hand. Phablets typically use 3G or 4G networks for cellular calls and are Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Google has been accused of many things, but KILLING A DONKEY? – The Marketing Monster of Mountain View has felt the wrath of the US Federal Trade Commission on several occasions. But callously running down an innocent pack animal in rural Bostwana? Surely that’s stooping to a whole new level?

Dvorak: Unpredicting the Future – My regular readers know how much fun I have debunking top ten lists and predictions for the future. I normally spend the first few weeks of January chiding the various prognostications published by online and print journals. So let’s get down to it!

Technical paper: Deeper inside the Blackhole exploit kit – For those interested in exploit kits and how they work, Gabor Szappanos has published the second (and concluding) part of his technical paper looking at the Blackhole kit. Recommended reading for all those that want a little more detail as to how one of the most prolific and widely used crimeware kits actually works.

Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend was born and died on social media – The hoax about the death of the famous football player’s girlfriend was wholly constructed on the Internet, but it was those same online tools that left a trail that also revealed the truth.

Developer Outsourced Job to China to Watch Cat Videos – He failed to realize that daily VPN log-ins from Shenyang, China might arouse suspicion.

Today’s Quote:

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

–     Benjamin Franklin

Today’s Free Downloads:

Free File Camouflage – Want to save a copy of your personal file on a USB Pendrive but you are worried that, in case of theft, someone will be able to access your data? With Free File Camouflage you can hide your files inside a JPEG image!

Wireless Network Watcher 1.56 – Wireless Network Watcher is a small utility that scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network.

JavaRA 2.1 – Removes old and redundant versions of the Java Runtime Environment. Simply select “Check for Updates” or “Remove Older Version” to begin.

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