Tuesday, February 28, 2023

When interests align

from here and here

Advertisers and malware operators are like two peas in a pod. They'll both stuff junk in your inbox to suit their own financial interests without any regard to your wishes. Somehow one is regarded as much worse than the other, though. It's a mystery as to why. One runs their crap on your computer and the other runs their crap in your brain.

Deny All The Things mug

Product Page

I'm not sure whether I prefer Deny All The Things or Deny Everything, but this is the one that was actually available so...

Monday, February 27, 2023

Key In Absentia

from here and here

If Kia and Hyundai can put an end to the Kia Challenge with a software update, the question I have is why didn't they do it sooner? You know, before people died.

Is it also electrified?

found on Acid Cow

It kinda reminds me of an electric fence. I'm sure it wouldn't be practical to try and electrify just the wire when it's in contact with the undercarriage of the car, which is also metal and therefore conductive. Maybe instead of a constant current there could be a trigger system that fires when you try to tamper with it and then gives a shock like a cattle prod.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Asking for a friend

from here and here

In an apparent case of life imitating art, the satirical conspiracy theory "Birds Aren't Real" has started to become real as scientists are turning dead birds into surveillance drones. Not only is this sure to bake a few brains, it's probably going to put actual birds in danger of being shot, which in turn will make them fodder for the avian surveillance apparatus.

You wouldn't right-click a friend, would you?

found on Dump A Day

I absolutely would right-click, along with anything else it takes to sour them on the prospect of NFTs. Friends don't let friends get sucked into crypto.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Department of Duh-fense

from here and here

I really expected better of the Department of Defense. I mean, defending things is supposed to be their entire raison d'etre. You'd think they wouldn't get tripped up by forgetting to password protect a server, but I guess they're just as fallible as everybody else. 

Thieves exploiting major vulnerability to steal Dodge Ram trucks

Watch on YouTube

This news report makes an excellent point. Vehicles are now computers on wheels, and need the same kind of effort to protect that more traditional computers do. Something to keep in mind when you're choosing your next vehicle.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Spam by any other name

from here and here

Just when you thought spam had faded away into obscurity, it finds a way to come back in new and unusual places. This is just the beginning. AI-powered machine generated content is going to flood every monetizable avenue you can imagine and some you'd never even guess. So long as there's a way to make money, some people are going to exploit it.

It's still awfully public

found on Izismile

I'm not sure how putting urinal in a public place reduces public urination. Anyone who uses it is still urinating in public.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

That sinking feeling

from here and here (image source)

Sometimes I wonder what average folks think of when they hear computer security terms. Obviously phishing has nothing to do with water (unless maybe you're using a yacht as bait or something)

Beware Of Malware sticker

Product Page

If you want to make crooks think twice about messing with your unattended laptop (why is it unattended again?), this sticker could do the trick. It's not much of a deterrent, but if there's lower hanging fruit around they may go after that instead.

Monday, February 20, 2023

First World Security Problems

from here and here

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion in certain circles, but Twitter erecting a barrier in front of the laziest form of 2 factor authentication isn't that big a deal. Not only because there are more secure options that are still free for the people who really need 2FA, but also because the vast majority of people don't really need it. In fact, the vast majority of people aren't even using 2FA right now. 

While it would be good if everyone was using 2FA for things like their bank or their email account, it is a foolish consistency to think we need it for everything.

It's Sudden Blue Screen of Death

found on Reddit

If your hockey rink can do this, just imagine all the cyber threats it's vulnerable to. You could be looking at a red screen of ransomware instead.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Give yourself to the update

from here and here

It's the update we've all been waiting for. The one that removes Internet Explorer.

You won't need a doorbell after this

found on Acid Cow

You'll either hear your visitors groaning about getting Rick Rolled or, if their phone is loud enough, you might even hear the opening of the song itself. Who needs a doorbell after that?

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Who'll scoop out the "Privacy Sandbox"?

from here and here

It appears that, under Google's new scheme, while you browse you're going to be added to various "interest groups" and then be shown ads based on those groups, and it'll up to you to go in and clear out/block the groups you don't want. 

In other words, the "interest groups" are the turds in the privacy kitty litter and you may well find that the job of cleaning it out never really ends.

Fishing for a fisherman

Watch on YouTube

I don't think the alligator was planning to take up fishing, but it was inadvertently (I hope) baiting the fishing rod's owner to retrieve his property, and if the owner had been less cautious then he might have wound up being the alligator's lunch. Judging by the comments on the video, some others would have definitely been gator food.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

How about some defense of the computers

from here and here

Withholding security patches for over a year is not a good look on anyone, regardless of how well loved your products are. 

Is "more public" really what you want in a restroom?

found on Dump A Day

This is definitely "more public". That much is not in question. I'm not sure that's an improvement, however.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

One more reason to use Incognito Mode

from here and here

There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for keeping secrets, which is why you should be using every tool at your disposal to protect your privacy from the forces of surveillance capitalism.

If The Computer Gets A Virus, Can I Take A Sick Day? mug

Product Page

In some places you probably will get at least some time off while your PC is getting cleaned. How long and how permanent that is may vary.

Monday, February 13, 2023

You'd think they'd have better defenses

from here and here

Who the heck is in charge of the DoD's app store, and how did so-called "unapproved" apps get into it? I feel like if it's in the store that is implicit approval. Maybe the person responsible didn't have the authority to make that approval but then they probably shouldn't be in a position where they're able to do that - which brings us back to the question of who the heck is in charge.

Find a VPN that won't judge you like that

found on Imgur

Some would say just use a VPN, but the VPN effectively takes on the role of your ISP at that point. So since all the traffic your ISP used to be able to see will now be visible to your VPN provider you need to find one that's worthy of the trust you'll be placing in them. There are generally more options available to you with VPNs than there are with ISPs, though, so it should be an easier problem to solve.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Ad blocker blocking

from here and here

Don't let your guard down just because a site feels entitled to put garbage in your browser. It's your computer, you decide what content goes on it and what doesn't, and if they block your ad blocker, take your browsing elsewhere. You don't need them or the risks they're trying to force on you.

No candy bars for you

found on Izismile

Forgetting your password is completely normal, and you're probably more secure because of it because you can't be tricked or lured into giving it out in exchange for chocolate (as people have done in the past). So long as you employ a memory aid like a password manager or are able to reliably use the Forgot Password feature then you should be good.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

The street finds its own uses for things

from here (image source)

"The street finds its own uses for things" describes a situation where things are used in unanticipated ways, which is one of the core aspects of hacking. Hacking isn't confined to computers, of course, there are life hacks and car hacks and food hacks and hacks for everything in between (even shopping carts apparently). While I'm not endorsing violence, I can't ignore the creative problem solving on display here.

Lee Evans : Why Do I Always Forget My Passwords?!

Watch on YouTube

I can't say I've ever encountered the one about being asked for individual letters from my password, but I wouldn't put it past some sites. I know there have been some that stored the plaintext form of the password and that would have definitely enabled such a weird authentication scheme. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Scam Messaging Service

from here and here

Opting out of having a cell phone isn't easy. There are lots of things I can't do, lots of sites I can't use, lots of accounts I can't restore, etc. But you know what? there are more ways to get scammed over SMS than there are people I want to talk to, so no thank you. I wonder if the same thought has crossed the mind of this person who recently got scammed by a phony Canada Post text.

When there's a Very Important Pooper visiting

found on Reddit

You might naively wonder aren't all events there supposed to be private - but that would be forgetting that they're called "public" restrooms, not private restrooms.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

As if we needed more reasons not to click on ads

from here and here

Ads on Google Search (among other places, most likely) have apparently gotten considerably more dangerous lately. Careful where you click. 

Computer Virus sticker

Product Page

I know we don't hear about computer viruses much anymore, but I think we would do well to remember back when they were the dominant form of malware. Things were handled so much differently then than to how they're handled now. Can you imagine business owners demanding computers be plugged back into the network before the infection was removed? 

Monday, February 6, 2023

Doing crimes and having a blast

from here and here

I guess not everyone knows quite how flammable gasoline is, and somebody found out the hard way while doing something they ought not to have done. I wonder if he still hade his eyebrows when the police caught up with him.

Quick! Try to blend in!

found on Acid Cow

The people who are better at blending in to the background don't have to do as much work, so you could say there's an evolutionary advantage to being able to camouflage yourself even in the retail environment.

Friday, February 3, 2023

That's no moon

from here and here

There are few things as absurd as a spy balloon. Imagine a spy you can see coming miles away. How much are you going to leave out in the open for them to see? Since people are going to see it coming, maybe you should consider making it look like something else, like a novelty balloon. You know, like a disguise.

Don't expect to get privacy if you don't give it

found on Izismile

When was the last time you gave your four-legged friend privacy when they did their business? How's that little dog supposed to even know what privacy is if it's never been given to them?

Thursday, February 2, 2023

I just had a QNAP

from here and here

It's hard to believe, but the year is 2023 and people are still creating products with SQL injection vulnerabilities. I can only guess that the Q in QNAP doesn't stand for quality. It might stand for quick, because that's how fast you can get pwned with a vulnerability like that.

The Bitcoin Kid

Watch on YouTube

Imagine pulling off one of the biggest bitcoin heists and seemingly getting away with it with little more than a slap on the wrist. I wonder who that kid was and if he wound up working in the security industry - or if he even needs to work at all anymore.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

They're hooked on hopium

from here and here

I think this is probably true for just about everyone on the receiving end of spam, which is why the spammers need so much imagination to believe any of us will pay them. The problem is it's not absolutely everyone receiving spam. There are still a few hold-outs, still a few people out there who fork over their hard earned cash on absolute garbage (or maybe it's not hard earned after all and that's why they're so open to wasting it). Those are the people keeping spammers' hope alive.

Checking for unauthorized treats

found on Dump A Day

Who better to locate unauthorized treats than a pack of ravenous kittens?