Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 25, 2014

New attack completely bypasses Microsoft zero-day protection;  Make voice calls through WhatsApp;  How to Use Your Smartphone Camera to Search;  How to e-mail yourself a Web page with just one click;  Free utility finds unwanted programs uninstallers miss;  The Epic App Brings Kids’ Books To The iPad;  LinkedIn Tells You More About Who’s Viewed Your Profile;  Samsung Unveils The Galaxy Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo And Gear Fit;  IRS exposing Social Security numbers online;  Books Every InfoSec Professional Should Read;  Introduction to Linux – A Hands on Guide;  Microsoft Cuts The Xbox One Price In The UK;  Social media is causing a surge of lice in teens.

Counter-terrorism expert lists 10 impacts of NSA on cloud security – The NSA is so good at collecting intelligence that it has the potential to create a police surveillance state that could never be shut off, counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke said during his keynote address at the Cloud Security Alliance Summit taking place Monday at the RSA Conference. Since such technology is available around the world to many governments, “the task of controlling them is more important than it has ever been,” Clarke said. He concluded his talk by saying, “I believe we can have both security and civil liberties, but we can only do that if we keep a very close eye on the government and demand transparency and oversight and tell them we are not willing to trade our civil liberties for greater security.”

Free utility finds unwanted programs uninstallers miss – Belarc Advisor’s complete inventory of your system helps you spot potentially unwanted programs that CCleaner, Revo Uninstaller, and Windows 8.1’s own uninstaller don’t list.

Soon you will be able to make voice calls through WhatsApp – WhatsApp will soon be introducing free voice calls over the app for Android and iOS users, while BlackBerry and Windows Phone will be supported later.

How to Use Your Smartphone Camera to Search – Whether you’re trying to identify something you’d like to buy, checking for deals or looking for information on what you see in the world around you, visual search apps can help.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

What people think about passwords, email snooping and personal data – At the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Fortinet published new research that shows where Millennials and Gen-Xers stand in regards to passwords, online marketing practices, email snooping, and their personal data.

Google’s Schmidt: We don’t (yet) have a connection inside your brain – In conversation with Glenn Beck, Google’s executive chairman explains that humans can still occasionally be useful — for now.

New TextSecure delivers smoother encryption – Open WhisperSystems’ TextSecure update takes some cues from WhatsApp’s functionality, but more importantly it frees messaging from traditional SMS networks while still sending messages between phones.

Type Machine for Android Securely Archives Everything You Type – Typing on mobile devices has gotten better over the years, but it’s still not something to relish. The worst is when you’ve got a big block of text and an app crashes, or a web site becomes unresponsive. You’ll never have to worry about that again with Type Machine for Android. This app plugs into the accessibility service to archive all the text you enter–don’t worry, it seems perfectly safe.

How to e-mail yourself a Web page with just one click – There are lots of ways to “clip” a Web page. But what if you want to e-mail a Web page to yourself? Sure, most browsers have a “save page” option, but that’s not the same thing. Rather, there are times when you might want to revisit a site at later time, either because you don’t have time to read it now or you need to follow through on it later. In those cases, it can be helpful to e-mail yourself a link, effectively turning your inbox into a to-do list so the site doesn’t get forgotten. Here’s how you can accomplish that with just one click.

LinkedIn Tells You More About Who’s Viewed Your Profile – The business-focused social network on Monday introduced a new Who’s Viewed Your Profile section, complete with more “visual analytics and actionable insights designed to give you more ways to manage your professional identity.” The new page offers insights such as the industry your viewers work in, the keyword searches that led them to your profile, how viewers found you, what regions they live in, what profession they’re in, and their employer.

WinZip Moves To The Cloud With Launch Of ZipShare, A Way To Zip, Manage & Share All Your Online Files – WinZip, makers of the file compression utility first launched in the early 90′s that still sees north of 30 million downloads per year, is today making a shift to the cloud. The company is launching ZipShare, a file zipping, management, encryption, and sharing service that works with the major online file hosting platforms.

Infographic – The Tablet Race: The iPad vs. the Rest.


How to make your gloves touchscreen capable – Add smartphone-friendly fingers to your favorite gloves, and you’ll never have to take them off. Take that, Polar Vortex!

Mark Zuckerberg wants to friend the whole world via – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a victory lap through Mobile World Congress Monday, right on the heels of Facebook’s $16 billion purchase of WhatsApp—and WhatsApp’s announcement that it would roll out free phone calls to all of its 465 million users. But Zuck’s keynote (which was really a sit-down chat with The Facebook Effect author David Kirkpatrick) wasn’t all about WhatsApp. Zuckerberg wanted to talk about his initiative, and he did a terrific job staying on message.

Use mobile dictionary apps even when offline – The Merriam-Webster and mobile apps are two of the most popular dictionary apps in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The Android versions of the apps and Merriam-Webster’s iOS app can all be used offline, which should come in handy when you’re on a plane or in a remote location without Internet access.

Samsung Unveils The Galaxy Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo And Gear Fit – Samsung has announced three new smartwatch devices at MWC this year, including the successor to last year’s Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2, as well as a sleeker version called the Neo, and a fitness- and fashion-focused wristband device called the Samsung Gear Fit.


Wi-Fi roaming starts to take flight with Hotspot 2.0 – Smooth roaming from cell to Wi-Fi networks is finally seeing the light of day, with deployments at 21 U.S. airports and at two smaller sites in Europe debuting on Monday. Wi-Fi networks at some of America’s biggest airports, in a park in Warsaw and at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona are using Hotspot 2.0, a set of technologies that vendors and service providers around the world have pursued for more than two years. The specification lets users get onto Wi-Fi as easily as they roam onto cellular networks, eliminating the need to choose a network, log in or give a password.

Qualcomm Cuts $100 Off Its Toq Smartwatch – As the dust settles over Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm just announced a modest price drop for its Toq smartwatch from $350 to $250.

SanDisk squeezes 128GB on to a microSDXC memory card – In order to make this latest high capacity memory card a reality, SanDisk had to stack 16 memory die on top of each other. Each one of those is thinner than a strand of hair. The end result is a card that, while offering masses of storage space, isn’t cheap with an MSRP set at $199.99.


The Epic App Brings Kids’ Books To The iPad – Adults have great digital reading experiences thanks to iBook and other apps, but such programs are not exactly kid-friendly. So for many kids under the age of 12 or so, the iPad is for games and movies, and reading is mostly done on physical books. A new startup called Epic! aims to finally bridge that gap by bringing a totally kid-friendly bookshelf and book reading experience to the iPad. Co-founded by online gaming veteran Suren Markosian and former YouTube exec Kevin Donahue, Epic is an all-you-can-read app aimed at kids aged 12 and under that provides access to some 2,000 titles for online and offline reading. The subscription service costs $9.99 per month.

“Introduction to Linux – A Hands on Guide” – This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter. (Registration required.)

Say goodbye to Facebook e-mail – E-mail service, you say? Yes, the social network actually had a service for e-mail addresses that users could get when they signed up — not to be confused with Facebook Messages, Chat, or Messenger. Very few people actually used the service, according to the social network, hence, its retirement.


New iOS flaw makes devices susceptible to covert keylogging, researchers say – Researchers said they have identified a flaw in Apple’s iOS that makes it possible for attackers to surreptitiously log every touch a user makes, including characters typed into the keyboard, TouchID presses, and adjustments to the volume control. The vulnerability affects even non-jailbroken iPhones and iPads running iOS versions 7.0.4, 7.0.5, and 7.0.6, as well as those running on 6.1.x, researchers from security firm FireEye wrote in a blog post published Monday night. They said attackers could carry out the covert monitoring using an app that bypasses Apple’s stringent app review process. The app uses multitasking capabilities built into iOS to capture user inputs.

Apple’s ‘Gotofail’ bug sucks, but here’s 8 ways to stay safe online – Apple’s “Gotofail” bug is a big deal because customers were exposed to risk for a long time. The only positive of this appalling oversight is that it illustrates why users of any platform should embrace the following security tips.

Advanced threat detection for remote users: Manage and secure your devices from the cloud – OPSWAT GEARS is a network security management platform for IT and security professionals that provides advanced threat detection and compliance enforcement both for devices in the network and for remote users.

New attack completely bypasses Microsoft zero-day protection app – Researchers have developed attack code that completely bypasses Microsoft’s zero-day prevention software, an impressive feat that suggests criminal hackers are able to do the same thing when exploiting vulnerabilities that allow them to surreptitiously install malware.


Banking Trojans emerge as dominant mobile malware threat – A new report finds that number of mobile malware modifications designed for phishing users’ banking and bank card information jumped by a factor of 20 last year.

RSAC: Can Windows Updates Protect Against Malware? – Are your PCs all configured for Automatic Update? If not, you’re risking more than just missing out on the latest version of Internet Explorer. At the RSA Conference, Simon Edwards, Technical Director of London-based Dennis Technology Labs, presented the results of a study showing that keeping Windows up to date seriously improves your security. “I’m the same as everyone else,” said Edwards. “I write articles about security and always give the same advice; install antivirus and update your system. But what’s that update worth? With this test we’ve quantified it.”

Study: IRS exposing Social Security numbers online – The research revealed an alarming failure to safeguard sensitive data. Identity Finder uncovered an estimated 630,000 Social Security numbers exposed online in form 990 tax returns. The most affected group were tax preparers—many of which used their personal SSN rather than their PTIN (preparer tax identification number). However, directors, trustees, employees, donors, and scholarship recipients were all impacted as well.

Company News:

LinkedIn censors self to launch in China – Business social network LinkedIn has trumped Facebook and Twitter by launching a localised site for China, although the US firm admitted it would be subject to government censorship requirements. The English language version has been used by professionals in China for over a decade and has over four million users, but the firm needed a Simplified Chinese site in order to tap the 140 million professionals living in the Middle Kingdom, according to LinkedIn China president, Derek Shen.

Investor Icahn blasts eBay board, calls for company to spin off PayPal – Investor Carl Icahn has ripped into the eBay board of directors and called for the company to spin off its PayPal unit in a colorful letter to eBay stockholders released Monday.

Twilio Brings Communications to the IBM Cloud Platform – Twilio today announced a partnership with IBM that brings the power of Twilio’s software and cloud-based communications platform to the IBM Cloud Platform, Codename: BlueMix. Starting today, IBM clients can rapidly deploy Twilio solutions when building applications in IBM BlueMix. From in-application dialing, conference calling, group texting, mobile app distribution, two-factor authentication and more, IBM BlueMix customers can now leverage the Twilio platform to easily integrate the communications solution that meets their specific business needs.

Centrify and Elastica Partner to Provide Comprehensive Cloud Security Solution for SaaS Applications – Today at the RSA Conference 2014, Centrify, the leader in Unified Identity Services across data center, cloud and mobile, and Elastica, the innovator in data science powered cloud security solutions, announced a joint solution to protect enterprises as they adopt cloud services. Centrify and Elastica have integrated their solutions to ensure users’ access to cloud applications are authenticated against users’ identities and are extended for use in policies, controls and analysis of cloud application usage.

Games and Entertainment:

Microsoft Cuts The Xbox One Price In The UK – The Xbox One will soon be a bit cheaper ‘cross the pond. Starting this Friday, the Xbox One will be £399.99 in the UK. That’s a drop of £30 from its launch price. While the cut will certainly make the console a bit more attractive, the PS4 is still less expensive and raking up impressive sales numbers. It’s unclear if the Xbox One will see similar price cuts in other markets.

Thief (2014) – Early on in Thief, master burglar Garrett says to his accomplice, “It’s not how much you steal—it’s what you steal.” He then spends the next twenty hours pilfering knives and spoons at four gold apiece. Why do I bring that up? Because the hypocritical anecdote sums up this fun, but ultimately forgettable reboot of the classic stealth series held so deeply in the hearts of legions of gamers. Let’s dig in.


Rideable Super Mario Kart races into reality (for kids anyway) – A battery-powered Super Mario Kart toy car speeds its way from the video game realm into your home, ready to take young Marios for a spin.


Gearbox suing 3D Realms over Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction RPG – While the long, strange saga of Duke Nukem Forever finally concluded with 2011’s heavily panned release, the aftershocks of the game’s development continue to this day. Case in point, Gearbox has filed a federal lawsuit to prevent Duke Nukem creators 3D Realms and Apogee Software, along with developer Interceptor Entertainment, from using the Duke Nukem IP as planned in a new game.

Xbox One comes bundled with free Titanfall download starting March 11 – Microsoft seems determined to highlight EA and Respawn’s Titanfall as the must-have title of the season for the Xbox One. The company today announced that a bundle including an Xbox One console and a download code for Titanfall will be available for a “limited time” starting March 11, all at the system’s current asking price of $499.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 “Rise of Electro” trailer arrives – The latest in the growing line of trailers being released for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, “Rise of Electro” arrives with a solid look at Electro, Spiderman, and a city being simultaneously blown up and electrified. When pieced together with the previous trailers, it offers a tad wider look at the story in general, and is a solid teaser for the upcoming flick.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Privacy concerns about data collection may lead to dumbing down smart devices – A new wave of smart devices sensors and Internet of Things collecting data will make it hard to remain anonymous offline. Will the public wake up to the risks all of that data poses to their privacy?

Hilariously, social media is causing a surge of lice in teens – It actually makes sense. If you scroll through your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed right now, you’ll see countless pictures of a bunch of friends pressing their heads and faces up against one another to fit into the selfie shot. If there’s ever been an effective way to spread lice, it’s rubbing one’s head all over someone else’s.


Books Every InfoSec Professional Should Read – Richard Howard, CSO of Palo Alto Networks, has a list of 20 books he believes information security professionals need to read. When Security Watch pointed out that 20 titles may seem a little intimdiating, Howard distilled his list down to the following top five, in no particular order: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, Kingpin by Kevin Poulson, We are Anonymous by Parmy Olson, Confront and Conceal by David Sanger, and Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stollhave.

With Netflix deal, Comcast hangs ‘Kick Me’ sign on net neutrality – If the implications of Sunday’s announcements are troubling, so is the timing. Earlier this month, Comcast announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable in a $45.2 billion deal that would extend the Internet and cable provider’s already considerable reach. (Time Warner is the second-largest cable provider after Comcast in the U.S. and the third largest broadband provider.) Should that deal go through—and consumer groups are very much opposed to it—Comcast would have even more muscle to extract concessions from the Netflixes of the world.

VC Tim Draper: Maybe US will end up with 60 states – High-profile venture capitalist says his plan to split California into six different states could get other states thinking the same thing.

880-pound asteroid slams into moon, watch it go boom – The prevalence of loud action movies shows just how much humans enjoy a good explosion. You won’t find many bigger than what happened on the moon in September last year. Footage of an 880-pound asteroid smashing onto the lunar surface was just released, showing a bright flash at the impact site.

Something to think about:

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”

–     Ralph W. Sockman

Today’s Free Downloads:

evasi0n 1.0.6 – An untethered jailbreak application designed for all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini devices running iOS 7.0 through 7.0.6

USBFlashCopy 1.9 – USBFlashCopy is a small Windows utility to back up your flash drives and storage cards on the fly. It runs in the background and copies files from inserted media to a safe location on your hard drive.

DAEMON Tools Lite – DAEMON Tools is an advanced application for Microsoft Windows which provides one of the best optical media emulation in the industry. With DAEMON Tools you can back up your physical CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray discs into “virtual discs” or so called “disc image” files, which run directly on your hard drive.

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers – A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA. “NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US,” said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in a speech at the Cloud Security Alliance summit in San Francisco on Monday. “Non-US companies are using NSA revelations as a marketing tool.” Clarke was also a member of the intelligence review group set up by President Obama in 2013 to scrutinize Uncle Sam’s spying operations and come up with surveillance techniques that won’t unnerve the entire world. He also served as a special advisor on cyber security for former US president George Bush. In his speech at the CSA, Clarke claimed that it “makes sense for some governments to wave the bloody flag of the NSA scandal … they want localization so local companies can do better against international companies.” And indeed, European governments are making moves to keep more data within the EU.

Zuckerberg: Snowden NSA Revelations Have Brought The Tech Industry Closer – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of the U.S. government’s surveillance dragnet of Internet users has had one positive impact, according to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: it’s made rivals in the tech industry more open to working together. “The NSA issues, I think they’re a real issue, especially for U.S. Internet companies,” he said today. “Trust is such an important thing when you think about using any Internet services and sharing personal information.” Zuckerberg was speaking during a Q&A keynote at the Mobile World Congress conference here in Barcelona, and was asked whether the NSA revelations might jeopardize the mission of the coalition, which has the big-ticket ambition of connecting everyone in the world to the Internet and of which Facebook is a leading/founder member.

Encrypted Android phone is only the beginning for Blackphone and Silent Circle – Blackphone, the Swiss start-up that’s launching a smartphone with encrypted communications, is planning a series of devices around the same idea, one of the company’s co-founders said on Monday. “It’s not the only device we will ever do,” said Jon Callas during an interview at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona. “There’ll be other security and privacy-enhanced mobile devices.” The Blackphone handset, which is being unveiled at the event, goes on sale in June for $629. It looks like a typical Android smartphone and is based on a security-hardened version of the OS called “PrivatOS.” Standard applications include secure calling and text messaging, encrypted file transfer and video chat.

Kim Dotcom extradition hearings delayed – Kim Dotcom will be waiting until nearly the end of 2014 to find out whether American courts will get their hands on him: an extradition hearing due in April 2014 has been delayed, with a new date yet to be set. That’s led the Megaupload founder to accuse the New Zealand government of interfering in the judicial process, to delay the hearings until after the country’s election, due in either October or November. The extradition hearing had already been delayed from November 2013. Fairfax NZ reports that Dotcom believes the delay “will save Prime Minister John Key embarrassment during an election campaign”.


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