Tech Friday

  • A Dark Web database full of 1.4 billion leaked passwords is a hacker's dream:
    • Researchers at 4iQ found a 41GB file that contains 1.4 billion passwords in clear text
    • Clear text means that the passwords are not encoded or encrypted. They are in human readable form
    • It appears that the 1.4 billion records have been aggregated from various sources
    • Researchers have tested some of the passwords and have verified that they are legitimate
    • "It is an aggregated, interactive database that allows for fast (one second response) searches and new breach imports. Given the fact that people reuse passwords across their email, social media, e-commerce, banking and work accounts, hackers can automate account hijacking or account takeover." wrote 4iQ
    • The database was discovered in a community forum on the Dark Web late last year and updated credentials were still being added
    • So far, no one is sure who is responsible for the database
    • There are Bitcoin and Dogecoin wallets for donations
    • Researchers reported that the data in the database demonstrated the dangerous tendency of people to reuse simple passwords across different platforms
    • Now would be a good time to ensure that you are using strong, unique passwords on each site, and to change your passwords!
    • Enable two factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible
  • New Windows 10 features coming in 2018:
    • Since it's release on July 29th, 2015 Microsoft has been adding substantial features once or twice a year
    • The public way Windows is tested provides insight into features that we should see soon
    • The Redstone 4 (version 1803) update may be released in the March/April timeframe
    • Features may include:
      • Timeline: Imagine a browser history, but for your desktop usage. You can find files, apps and sites you've previously accessed and this capability extends to PCs, Android handsets and iPhones running Cortana
      • Cloud Clipboard: Allows users to copy content (images, links, documents, etc.) from a Windows 10 PC to devices running Android, iOS or Windows 10 with the Microsoft Swiftkey keyboard
      • Sets: Tabbed windows that allow you to group related apps, documents, files, websites, etc into separate tabs in a single desktop window
      • Windows 10 Near Share: Similar to Apple Air Drop, allows Window 10 devices in close proximity to share content via Bluetooth
      • Cortana upgrades: Simplifications to the user interface. Collections, the ability for Cortana to track what you're doing and make recommendations
      • Lockscreen personalization: The Lockscreen can display your Cortana, Calendar, Mail and Windows Spotlight images without logging in
      • Enhanced Settings app: Easy to use and controls more settings which requires less digging to control the device
      • Fewer resets: Your customized settings will not be reset after an upgrade
      • Writing and gestures: handwriting recognition is improved and you can use two-finger swipe gestures to dismiss notifications on touch screen devices
      • Start Menu app settings: Access an app's settings from Start Menu tiles
      • UI improvements: A sleeker look and feel with Microsoft's Fluent Design Acrylic effect
      • Quiet Hours updates: Easier to use and customize
      • Storage: new features to easily free up space on your device
      • Startup: a new page in the Apps section that allow syou easily enable or disable apps that launch at startup
      • Sign-in options: users can set security questions to recover their account from the Lockscreen in the event of a forgotten password
      • Privacy: The Documents, Pictures, and Videos pages have been incorporated to let you control which apps can access this content
      • Microsoft Edge: A variety of updates
      • Windows Defender: a new security feature that isolates web pages in Microsoft Edge from each other and from Windows to help protect against zero-day attacks and malware
  • Can hackers use autonomous vehicles to kill us?:
    • Researchers have demonstrated that vehicles can be hacked
    • Teslas and other autonomous vehicles are really just computers on wheels
    • Cybersecurity is notoriously hard. Attackers can take their time to find one single flaw, defenders must constantly defend against any flaw
    • A single attack can compromise all instances of a flaw. Every Tesla (or other make) could be turned into a weapon
    • Most automakers are racing to bring autonomous vehicles to market, perhaps at the expense of security
    • Imagine thousands of Teslas used like cruise missiles, crashing into things like electrical substations or chemical plants at 100+ miles per hour
    • Or thousands of Toyotas suddenly stopping at highway speed
    • At the moment, the primary defense of the automakers is security by obscurity, their systems are not well-known to hackers and terrorists
    • The use of many foreign components adds to the risk of unintentional or malicious flaws
    • There are steps that can be taken to secure autonomous vehicles but it will likely take both business and government cooperation as well as closing markets to foreign competition
    • We need to develop chips that are specialize for security
Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more


Content Goes Here