Security Alerts

avast! components causing slowing in Windows

Claus at grand stream dreams, linked in his recent Anti Virus Software Updates blog posts an interesting article about issues Windows users were having with high CPU load. The culprit as it turns out was an optional (though installed by default) of avast! antivirus (both free and premium versions) called avast NG. The article (which has been Google Translated from another language) includes step-by-step instructions on how to uninstall the unwanted components (warning: restart required to complete the removal) as well as screenshots (in a another language). On my three systems (generic Windows 7 Desktop, HP Windows 7 Laptop and Gateway Windows 8.1),…

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Extension Signing Coming Later in 2015

This is a really good idea as all too often people end up installing extensions (knowingly or unknowingly) which end up making unwanted and undesired changes to their Firefox browser. I don’t think it is going to have that big of a negative impact as this will be a way to prevent the bad extensions from being installed. Problems I could see though would be folks running a fresh install or profile and trying to install an add-on that has been abandoned by the developer. Extensions that change the homepage and search settings without user consent have become very common, just…

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Firefox and POODLE Attack

Google researchers announced recently of the POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) Attack which hackers take advantage of sites (around 0.3%) still using the outdated (introduced in 1996) SSLv3 security protocol. Mozilla has announced that SSLv3 will be disabled, unfortunately it won’t be until Firefox 34 which will be released on November 25th. However, user can (and are urged to) install the SSL Version Control extension which will disable SSLv3 on the fly. I would not be surprised though if Mozilla pushes out Firefox 33.1 update to have SSLv3 disabled in the coming days or weeks. Google Chrome is already testing changes to disable…

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The End Is Near (again) For Windows XP

If you are still one of the nearly 39% still using Windows XP you have been warned. Microsoft will end support April 8, 2014….may be…they been trying since 2010 to get users and businesses to move away from Windows XP. Now Microsoft is urging businesses “to modernize their IT infrastructure by upgrading to the more secure, more “modern” Windows 8.” I don’t think so. If Microsoft is going to really due away with XP support (as well as IE6) businesses are going to move to Windows 7 or even Linux. These options are cheaper than re-training everyone how to use…

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Fake ‘Java Repair’ Email

There is an email going around claiming to be from Oracle (the makers of Java) that contains a link and/or attachment to download a Java update. Clicking the link or opening the attachment can result in malware being installed on your system. If you get one of these emails, discard it, it is not real. Bottom line, Oracle is not sending out emails to let Java users know there is an update. If you are not sure you have the most recent version of Java, you can go to Oracle’s site and check.  via eweek

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Browser Plugin Vulnerability Alerts

Normally, I don’t re-post from my Firefox Blog, but these browsers plugin vulnerabilities affect other browsers (such as Chrome & Safari) besides Firefox. Dangerous vulnerability in latest Java version Version: Java 7 Update 10 Issue: Can be used for Cyber attacks (even on fully patched Windows machines) Recommend Action: Browser plugin should be disabled or sandboxed (see Work Around below)) Work Around: For those who MUST have Java, use Firefox 17 is or newer. The Java plugin will be installed but ‘sandboxed’. The plugin will not execute/run until the user gives permission ‘click to play‘ on a per site basis. The user will…

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