Browsers

Your Search Data is Being Leaked to Advertisers

Ever notice how when you search for something on one site, you suddenly start seeing advertisements for that ‘something’ following you around wherever you go on the Internet? May be you don’t even really pay attention anymore because it is so common. Indeed it is very common: Security researchers have found that roughly eight out of ten websites featuring a search bar will leak their visitor’s search terms to online advertisers like Google. This practice has the implication of breaching the users’ privacy and leaking sensitive information to a massive network of third parties who can then use this data…

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Windows Defender Throwing False Win32/Hive.ZY Alert

Windows users world wide are in a panic today as Windows Defender is throwing a false Win32/Hive.ZY Alert when certain popular apps (including Microsoft’s own Edge browser) are opened. A bad Microsoft Defender signature update mistakenly detects Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Discord, and other Electron apps as ‘Win32/Hive.ZY’ each time the apps are opened in Windows. The issue started Sunday morning when Microsoft pushed out Defender signature update 1.373.1508.0 to include two new threat detections, including Behavior:Win32/Hive.ZY. Microsoft is aware of the issue and is pushing out new security intelligence updates. To check for new security intelligence updates Search for and open Windows…

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Chrome’s Manifest V3 and Ad Blockers

In January 2023 Google Chrome is going to block extensions still using the old Manifest V2 rules. An extension manifest outlines the permissions and abilities a developer includes in an extension for Chrome browser. From Google’s perspective, Manifest V3 comes to enhance user privacy and security by: Limiting extension access to user network requests. Forcing authors to include all functionality within the extension, ending the practice of hosting code remotely. Moving network request modifications from the extensions to the browser. Replacing background pages with dedicated service workers to improve browser performance. The unintended consequences of the new manifest is most of…

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Malicious Chrome Extensions with 1.4M Installs

If you have any of the five below extensions installed in Chrome, remove them now! The five extensions flagged by McAfee purport to offer various services, including the ability to stream Netflix videos to groups of people, take screenshots, and automatically find and apply coupon codes. Behind the scenes, company researchers said, the extensions kept a running list of each site a user visited and took additional actions when users landed on specific sites. The extensions sent the name of each site visited to the developer-designated site d.langhort.com, along with a unique identifier and the country, city, and zip code of the…

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Japan Declares War on Floppy Disk for Government Use

Last week when I posted the article about Microsoft’s Biggest Release and seeing the image of all those floppy disks it took me back to my childhood. I honestly have thought floppy disks have gone the way of landlines, VHS and Betamax tapes. Especially considering many kids today only know the floppy disk as the ‘save icon’ not as removable media that was the standard of any PC up until the mid/late 90’s when CD-ROM’s took over. Then I come across an article today discussing how Japan is declaring war on floppy disks for ‘government use‘. Wait Japan?! I would…

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Why Are Hyperlinks Blue?

Ever wondered why hyperlinks are blue? Well, probably not…but still it is a fascinating read and trip down memory lane (at least for us older folks). Why Are Hyperlinks Blue | The Mozilla Blog Why we need to revisit the origin of blue hyperlink While musing over my recently published article, Why are hyperlinks blue, I was left feeling a bit blue Read more from blog.mozilla.org

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Google Sued Over Private Browsing

Found this absurd pending class-action lawsuit this morning via Linkedin news feeds. Google has been sued in a proposed class-action lawsuit that alleges it violated wiretap laws by collecting information about user behavior on the internet without permission while users were in “private browsing,” or incognito mode. Um…apparently these plaintiff’s don’t understand how “private browsing” or incognito mode is supposed to work. Simply put incognito mode prevents someone else who is also sharing the same device (PC, phone, tablet, etc.) as the user from being able to view your browsing/search history that occurred while in incognito mode. This is done by opening…

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And We’re Back…

After over a year hiatus, I am finally getting the blog up and running again. The Blog has been moved to a new hosting provider SiteGround and is now served over a secure connection (https).  The blog is loading a little slow right now, but the speed should start improving as caching and speed optimization to fully kick-in. After 13-years with GoDaddy, I started parting ways with them back in September 2019 by moving all my domains to a new Registrar, NameSilo. Overall, been impressed with both providers. NameSilo site is very simplistic and has been described as stuck in the…

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Microsoft Issues Internet Explorer Upgrade Warning

Long article short, Microsoft is telling people to stop using Internet Explorer. It is old, outdated, doesn’t have the functionality of newer browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and they have no interest in updating Internet Explorer. Yet, there are many companies (including the one I work for) that seem to be “stuck” on Internet Explorer. In our case, it is not because they can’t find someone to update the coding in the web application to work with a more “modern” browser, rather they don’t want to. When I ran into some issues last month when I was forced to switch over…

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Understanding Extension Permission Requests

Those who have used Google Chrome are already familiar with permission requests when a browser extension is installed. However, this is a relatively new feature in Firefox, which was added with Firefox 57 released in Mid-November 2017. The Mozilla Add-ons Blog gives a very thorough explanation about extension permissions and even address the ‘scary’  Access your data for all websites permission.

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