Tag Archive | Security

Brace yourselves, Windows XP is waving goodbye to your PCs on 8th of April

WIN XP logo

Here we are, end of the line, time’s up. Windows XP has ended its cycle of life. The operative system many people have enjoyed since 2001 and the oldest OS in Microsoft’s history will be permanently marked as obsolete on 8th of April. It’s fate was decided by a purely legal reason; XP is ten years old, and Microsoft policy (given origin by user feedback in 2002) declares that after such timespan, the product will no more receive any further updates. No fixes, no security updates, nothing. And hackers are already preparing for enjoying the time to come, breaking into an OS that’s old and doomed to be only a good remembrance, by reverse-engineering the last patch to see vulnerabilities or exploits. XP is still used by around 30% of users worldwide, second only to Windows 7 that holds steadily its primate for being stable and light. Read More…

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How the Lost Mode works on iOS 7 devices and iCloud

One of the biggest changes involved in the iOS 7 update came out this week is the Lost Mode in iCloud. Lost Mode allows any device connected to your own Apple ID to be locked down with a 4 digit PIN code and seamlessly track its movements on the map. But how secure this can be? And how does it work?

How to activate the Lost Mode

Lost Mode can be activated only through Find my iPhone, either on icloud.com/#find or from the iOS app, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. After having selected the lost device, you have three options. Play Sound, Erase, and Lost Mode. Play sound simply makes the device ring an alarm even if it is silenced or audio is muted, while Erase will delete every content on it, even if after doing so it will be impossible to locate it again.

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An iOS 6.1 bug allows to bypass the Lock Screen PIN

It’s not the first time it happens, but with the new iOS 6.1 update the bug came back once again, which allows to bypass the Lock Screen PIN on the iPhone.

Procedure is quite simple; tap the emergency call button and hold the power button. Once you get the message “slide to turn off” cancel it. You’ll se the top bar will turn blue; make an emergency call and end it immediately.
After getting back to the lock screen, press and hold the power button and after a couple of seconds tap the emergency call. You will get in the Cellular application where you can see the contacts and the photos saved on the Camera Roll. Though you can’t use other applications except this one.
Anyway, this workaround may not work on all devices, since you can get a black screen only which brings nowhere.

Here’s the video from The Verge showing how you can do it.

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Whatsapp Messenger may have some privacy problems

Whatsapp Messenger (horizontal logo)

Whatsapp Messenger is currently the most used cross-platform messaging application ever used worldwide. Even the launch of iMessage in iOS 5 didn’t stop it, since the limit of Apple-only devices was too strict to make it a true contender if you weren’t a regular Mac user.
Best of all, it does everything you need for a minimum price compared to the cost of a single SMS (there were many chains about it going “paid”, but they weren’t true at all).

In order to work properly, Whatsapp Messenger needs you to grant the access to your contact list, and that’s the problem for Dutch and Canadian data protection authorities, since there isn’t to option to select individual contacts, so the user wouldn’t have the control of the data sent to servers.

Whatsapp, which introduced data encryption in fall 2012, declared that they’re going to change the privacy settings in order to avoid some serious legal problems and heavy fees by both authorities, which meanwhile will continue monitoring the situation.

 

In Italiano

Whatsapp Messenger è attualmente l’applicazione di messaggeria istantanea multi-piattaforma più usata al mondo. Addirittura il lancio di iMessage con iOS 5 non è riuscita a fermarla, dovuto al limite troppo restrittivo riguardo ai dispositivi esclusivamente Apple, impedendo quindi di diventare un vero contendente se non siete utenti Mac abituali.
Il punto di forza risiede però nel prezzo, minimo in confronto al costo di un SMS (ci sono state molte catene di Sant’Antonio riguardo al fatto che sarebbe diventata a pagamento, ma erano tutti falsi).

Per poter funzionare correttamente, Whatsapp Messenger necessità l’autorizzazione per accedere ai contatti, ed è qui che risiede il problema per le autorità garanti per la protezione dei dati dell’Olanda e Canada, dal momento che non esiste l’opzione di selezionare quali contatti devono essere inviati ai server impedendo all’utente di scegliere quali informazioni condividere.

Whatsapp, che già a fine 2012 aveva introdotto la criptazione dei dati, ha dichiarato che cambieranno le impostazioni a riguardo per prevenire l’arrivo di multe anche molto salate da entrambi gli enti che nel frattempo continueranno a monitorare la situazione.

Megaupload returns with Mega and 50GB of free storage for everyone

Mega.co.nz (home screen)

One year ago, Megaupload was closed by the american FBI and it’s founder Kim Schmitz, known as Kim Dotcom, arrested. Now in 2013 Dotcom returns with Mega, featuring 50GB of free upload space for everyone.

Made in New Zealand because of the USA which is still trying to get the extradition, Mega was launched in a big style with a huge party. In the first hour of life, it counted the outstanding number of 100.000 registration and counting as of now.

Already during the release, Mega experienced (and still is) heavy server loads due to the high request, and uploading might not work for everyone.

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