Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 02:04 AM AKST


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Peeping into 73,000 unsecured security cameras thanks to default passwords

TechIf you have a webcam, and you didn't change the default password, you should stop reading and do it now. An article on Network World has the details: "Yesterday I stumbled onto a site indexing 73,011 locations with unsecured security cameras in 256 countries …unsecured as in “secured” with default usernames and passwords. The site, with an IP address from Russia, is further broken down into insecure security cameras by the manufacturers Foscam, Linksys, Panasonic, some listed only as “IP cameras,” as well as AvTech and Hikvision DVRs. 11,046 of the links were to U.S. locations, more than any other country; one link could have up to 8 or 16 channels, meaning that’s how many different security camera views were displayed on one page.
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Now may be a good time to change all your passwords

TechBy now you've probably heard or read that Hackers nabbed 1.2B passwords in colossal security breach. A Russian gang hacked into more than 420,000 web and FTP sites, amassing username and password combinations and millions of email addresses, according to Hold Security.

"Whether you are a computer expert or a technophobe, as long as your data is somewhere on the World Wide Web, you may be affected by this breach," Hold Security warned in a blog post published Tuesday. "Your data has not necessarily been stolen from you directly. It could have been stolen from the service or goods providers to whom you entrust your personal information, from your employers, even from your friends and family."

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New Catalog Brings NASA Software Down to Earth

TechNASA: "From the rudimentary but effective Apollo Guidance and Navigation System that landed the first humans on the lunar landscape to the code used to manage robotic missions to explore other planets, software has always been at the core of NASA’s mission successes.

When NASA develops this software, we know the code may have uses beyond the original mission. One of our missions is to ensure that the technologies we create for aeronautics and space missions, including software, have the opportunity to be turned into new products and processes that can benefit the lives of people on Earth. Technology transfer allows us to offer added value to taxpayer investment in cutting edge research and development."

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After seven months and no Microsoft patch, Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability is revealed

TechFrom an article at "Microsoft has failed to deliver a fix for a remotely exploitable flaw in Internet Explorer 8, despite being informed of the vulnerability in October 2013.

The bug in Microsoft's browser, discovered by Belgian researcher Peter 'corelanc0d3r' Van Eeckhoutte, can be exploited if a user opens a link to a malicious web page (known as a drive-by download) or by opening a booby-trapped email attachment.

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Malvertising up by over 200%

TechA timely warning: "Online Trust Alliance (OTA) Executive Director and President Craig Spiezle testified today before the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, outlining the risks of malicious advertising, and possible solutions to stem the rising tide.

The consequences of malvertising include cybercriminals capturing users’ personal information or turning devices into a bot for the purpose of taking over that device and using it in many cases to execute DDoS attacks against a bank, government agency or other organization."

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New dual-carbon battery trumps li-ion in safety

TechFrom an article at Slashgear: "Power Japan Plus has unveiled its new battery dubbed the Ryden Dual-Carbon, which boasts being both more durable and safer than currently used lithium-ion cells. Among the new battery's various features, it is nearly completely recyclable.

The Ryden Dual-Carbon battery is said to harbor no heavy or rare metals, which are found in many common batteries. The newly developed battery has both anode and cathode electrodes made of carbon, and utilizes a chemistry that is currently under wraps due to pending patents."

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TechAn article of interest to users of the Internet: "Antivirus is dead, according to the company that invented it. Symantec is amending its 25-year-old anti-malware product because antivirus software alone doesn't work. "We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way," Symantec's senior vice president for information security told the Wall Street Journal."
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Computer Security Basics

TechTips and tricks to better, safer, faster Internet and general computer use.

Web Browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer is a dangerous way to surf the web. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned users of this more than once. Instead, I recommend Firefox or Chrome for web use.

"Download Mozilla Firefox, a free Web browser. Firefox is created by a global non-profit dedicated to putting individuals in control online. Get Firefox today!" Official download site:

A decent alternative is Google's "Chrome" browser. "Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier." The official download site is at: This is available for your PC, tablet, phone, etc. as well.
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Microsoft Internet Explorer Use-After-Free Vulnerability Being Actively Exploited *UPDATE*

TechThe Department of Homeland Security's United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is aware of active exploitation of a use-after-free vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer. This vulnerability affects IE versions 6 through 11 and could lead to the complete compromise of an affected system.

US-CERT recommends that users and administrators enable Microsoft EMET where possible and consider employing an alternative web browser until an official update is available.

Here's how to fix the problem:

1. Install another Web Browser, such as Firefox or Chrome. Download Mozilla Firefox, a free Web browser. Firefox is created by a global non-profit dedicated to putting individuals in control online. Get Firefox today! Here is the Official Site for the download: After installing Firefox, it will ask you if you want to make this the default browser. Check "Yes." To get the Chrome Browser (also free), go to the Official Download Site: "Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier."

2. Do Not Use Internet Explorer. People say to me "It came with the computer", which doesn't mean, clearly, that it is safe. It will allow an attacker to take over your computer, and gain access to all your information. This is not the first time that the government has warned against using Internet Explorer.

I am a former Tech Adviser and Computer Security guy, and I can assure you that this is good, free advice.

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Google invents smart contact lens with built-in camera

TechAn article on Extreme Tech provides information about the new invention: "Google has invented a new smart contact lens with an integrated camera. The camera would be very small and sit near the edge of the contact lens so that it doesn’t obscure your vision."

"This invention, from the Google X skunkworks lab, comes in the form of a patent that was filed in 2012 and was recently published by the US PTO. Earlier this year, Google announced that it was working on a smart contact lens for diabetics that provides a real-time glucose level reading from your tears. As far as we can tell, there’s no timeline for real-world trials of either variety of contact lens — but we can tell you that the technology to create such devices is very nearly here. Way back in 2011, a smart contact lens with an LED display was trialed in the lab."
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Web Browser Security Test

Tech Go to: You should NOT be able to load this page. If you can, there is a problem: read the page to find out what it is. If you cannot load the page, (you should see a message similar to the one shown below) then you're good to go.

This is what you SHOULD see:

It's a test to see if your web browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) allows revoked Security Certificates. If the Certificate is revoked, then troublemakers can see your password(s), and any other info. Never visit a site with a revoked Security Certificate!
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Here's How To Protect Yourself From The Massive Security Flaw That's Taken Over The Internet

TechContributed by a reader: "Yesterday, security researchers announced a security flaw in OpenSSL, a popular data encryption standard, that gives hackers who know about it the ability to extract massive amounts of data from the services that we use every day and assume are mostly secure.

"We've put together the following guide to the so-called Heartbleed bug for those who want to understand what all the fuss is about, and how they can protect themselves."

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9 must-dos if you're sticking with Windows XP

TechSubmitted by a reader: "Without updates after April 8 Windows XP is expected to fall prey to any number of zero-day attacks for which Microsoft will provide no defense, but there are some things die-hard XP users can do to make their machines safer.

In its threat report for the second half of 2013, security vendor F-Secure sets down nine of them, including some for home users:"

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Firefighting Robot: NRL Autonomy Lab Hosts Shipboard Fire Robotics Consortium

Tech"The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR), partner in the Navy's Damage Control for the 21st Century project (DC-21), recently hosted robotics research teams from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to demonstrate the most current developments of advanced autonomous systems to assist in discovery, control, and damage control of incipient fires.

Fighting fires, inherent by its extreme unpredictability, high temperatures, and rapid decline of environmental and structural integrities, can at times prove challenging to even the most seasoned firefighting veteran. Add to this scenario a cloistered platform, say many levels down inside a seagoing ship, and the challenge is exponentially increased resulting in extreme risks to human life. Yet, given these risks, a shipboard fire must be contained and extinguished for the safety of the crew and continued mission readiness of the ship."

The Firefighting Robot
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Trend Micro Report Details Exploit That Could Brick Your Android Device

TechA reader writes: "Security outfit Trend Micro is warning Android users that a recently discovered vulnerability in Google's open-source platform could allow cybercriminals to do "substantial damage" on smartphones and tablets. By exploiting the vulnerability, a hacker could effectively put an Android device in an endless reboot loop, thereby making it unusable.

Exploiting the security hole is as simple as releasing a malicious app that performs certain tasks in the background. To the average user, it would be difficult to tell anything shady is taking place -- there are methods to make it look like an app simply crashed and caused a reboot.

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