The Tech Corner is a technology news and advice column presented courtesy of Melvin McCrary at Ga. Computer Depot in Cedartown.
Microsoft ‘Bing Predicts’ and the future of gambling
‘Bing Predicts’ made headlines recently by beating the Las Vegas odds in predicting winners for week one of the NFL season. Its previous successes include correctly predicting the outcomes of all 15 games in the 2014 Brazil World Cup and almost all the results of the 2015 Academy Awards, including the winners of best picture, best director, best actor, and best actress. In regards to predicting NFL winners, the AI algorithm take into account such diverse variables as a team’s previous margins of victory, player statistics, stadium surfaces, weather conditions, and so on.
Netgear Routers under Attack
Threatpost has posted a story about a previously disclosed Netgear exploit that is now publicly being used to hack Netgear routers. It allows a remote user to gain access to the administrative section of routers without knowing login credentials as long as Remote Administration is enabled on the router.
After the router is compromised, attackers are modifying its server settings so that any DNS requests are being routed through the hackers’ servers. This allows them to perform man-in-the-middle attacks or redirect users to fake banking and shopping sites in order to steal credit card information or account credentials. It has been reported that approximately 10 thousand routers have been affected by this vulnerability.
This exploit was first discovered by Compass Security who informed Netgear about the vulnerability on July 21, 2015. A month later, Netgear sent them a beta firmware to test and Compass confirmed that the vulnerability was fixed. Netgear never released the firmware to the public and thus this vulnerability still exists. On September 29, 2015, Shellshock Labs also discovered the vulnerability and publicly disclosed it. It appears that this defect has been around since April of 2013. All Netgear users should disable Remote Administration on their routers. The known affected Netgear models are JNR1010v2, JNR3000, JWNR2000v5, JWNR2010v5, N300, R3250, WNR2020, WNR614, and WNR618.Call us and we will email you instructions on how to disable remote administration and change your password.
Darkode Returns Following International Raids
The main administrator was not arrested. It’s been a little more than a week, and darkode has returned. Originally the main admin known as “Sp3cial1st” had posted a statement on Pastebin (hackers favorite place to exchange information) declaring that he wanted to wait and see who all of the 70 users arrested were before bringing the forums back online.
The message states that that darkode will operate from a Tor hidden web service, but each user will be given their own address to the forum. This allow the darkode admins control over who gets access, preventing people from accessing a hacked account without the proper url; it would also allow them to monitor who views what by creating an individual log file for each user, meaning they could quickly weed out leakers. Darkode had a problem with people using hacked accounts to leak information to law enforcement and journalists.
Official Windows 10 upgrade details are unclear
Upgrade to Windows 10 within the first year and it is free… forever. Really Microsoft, that’s not hard to spell out.
The best answer came from an official company spokesperson is in a blog post by Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems. In it he states:
“We announced that a free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch. This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost.” That’s ok, but it’s buried in a blog. Microsoft should put this on the Windows 10 front page itself. And yet, despite all this, the myth that Windows 10 will eventually add a subscription cost for free upgrades continues. On multiple occasions this year Microsoft has said it sees itself as a service company moving forward and that it views Windows long term as a subscription service, not a buy once platform as it has been up to now.
Calculator or Hidden App? Teens Are Disguising Content With Apps
Teenagers are more tech savvy than most adults. They chat on their smartphones with their peers, download all the popular apps and are greatly familiar with their device settings. Another recent thing that a lot of teens do on their smartphones is hide pictures, messages and apps. Find out how teens are doing this and discover what you should be looking for on teens’ phones.
The most popular way to hide apps or any other content on your phone is by using an app that does that. Both Apple Store and Google Play have a lot of hiding apps for download and the majority of them are free.
One such app is KeepSafe (Android or iPhone, free). It allows you to upload pictures and videos into the app from the phone gallery and keeps them secured under a password. An interesting aspect of this app is that it has a built in feature called Safe Send. You can send a picture that will be visible for 20 seconds before self-destructing. The application developers claim that KeepSafe Safe Send is like Snapchat but works with everyone, even if they don’t have the app. The recipient receives a link via text message that takes them to the picture that the KeepSafe user sent.
Vault (Android or iPhone, free), is also a popular hiding app that allows users to hide photos, videos, text messages, contacts and apps. Just like KeepSafe, it is only accessible via password. The application is free, however if you upgrade you can have additional features such as creating a decoy Vault account. When a parent or adult insists on seeing the content of an app, teens can show them a fake app through Vault.
Smart Hide Calculator (Android, free) and Secret Calculator (iPhone, free) appear as calculators on the icon and when you open them. Hide it Pro (Android, free) is a functioning audio manager that can be used to turn volumes up and down. The user usually has to perform a combination of tasks in order to access the content, for example, pressing and holding a specific button and entering the password.