“Daniel” from “Microsoft” called me the other day. The number looked halfway legit so I picked up. He out and out claimed to be from Microsoft and said he was getting alerts from my computer. His voice sounded familiar–I think I’d talked to him before.
“Which computer?” I asked.
“Your Microsoft computer,” he said.
Someone I know got a tech support scam popup that said their computer was being hacked. I said to bring the computer over. I wanted to see it.
I found the malicious site in the browser history–I’ll tell you how to do that after I finish my story–and pulled the page back up. The computer played an MP3 file with a scary-sounding message and urged me to call an 888 number. So I called. I got voicemail. I left a message.
If you need to fix a chip, gouge or nick in an LCD display, you can do it with a dab of petroleum jelly and the edge of a credit card.
St. Louis-based security researcher Charlie Miller and his collaborator Chris Valasek got themselves in the news this week by hacking a Jeep driven by Wired journalist Andy Greenberg on I-64.
The reaction was mixed, but one common theme was, why I-64, where lives could have been at risk, rather than an abandoned parking lot?
I don’t know Miller or Valasek, so it goes without saying I don’t speak for either one of them, but I think I have a pretty good idea why they did it that way.
Guy Wright’s piece titled Internet Security: We were worried about the wrong things is a bit old but it’s an important point. Security is a moving target. It’s always a moving target.
I disagree, however, with the assertion that SSL (and its successor, TLS) were a waste of time.
I got a point-blank question in the comments earlier this week: Did Hillary Clinton’s home-made mail server put national secrets at risk of being hacked by our enemies?
Depending on the enemies, maybe marginally. But not enough that any security professional that I know of is worried about it. Here’s why.
So my buddy, we’ll call him Bob, runs Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for a big company. DLP is software that limits what you can do with sensitive information, in order to block it from going out of the company. The NSA wasn’t using DLP back when Ed Snowden was working for them; they probably are now.
Sometimes DLP blocks people from sending their own personal information. Doing so is their right–it’s their information–but from a security point of view, I’m really glad DLP kept them from e-mailing their entire life around in plaintext.
So, the reaction to my story about my coworker’s 10-year-old going all Scooby Doo on the guy who had the nerve to steal his dad’s car was definitely mixed. Most people, of course, lauded the 10-year-old’s detective work. Others pointed out the dark side.
And there is a dark side.
My son’s Asus Memopad 7 HD would not power up or charge, and my earlier non-invasive solution wouldn’t fix it. Here’s how I opened it up to disconnect and reconnect the battery.
Always try holding the power button and volume down button first because that’s easier (see the link above for details), but if that doesn’t work, proceed to open the case.
While you’re in there, you can also fix an issue that may be causing the power or volume buttons to be hard to press or malfunction entirely. Dropping the tablet a lot makes this happen. If you have young children, you probably understand.
Another malady these tablets can develop is a battery with a question mark when charging. This will sometimes fix that issue as well.
A college classmate contacted me a week or two ago. A relative of hers got scammed, and she wanted to know what to do.
“Get the charges reversed on the credit card,” was my simple response.
“What about cleaning up the computer?” she asked.
That’s the easy part. Read more