Monday, September 21, 2015

Apple devices massive attack

Recently I wrote here about security for end users, comparing Apple and Linux softwares with Microsoft Windo

Unfortunately, I have just learned that a massive attack is ongoing on several Apps for Apple's mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, etc).

I have read many technical news with their "weird" jargon. And here is, in simple words, what happened:

Software developers need XCode, a software tool provided by Apple itself. Many of them downloaded a Chinese version of the tool, instead of Apple's original version. So, the softwares built with these forfeit version of XCode are all compromised. Roughly, there may be something around 400-500 softwares compromised.

What damage can they cause?
According to BBC, "[...]the perpetrators would also be able to send fake alerts to infected devices to trick their owners into revealing information. It added they could also read and alter information in compromised devices' clipboards, which would potentially allow them to see logins copied to and from password management tools"

What can be done?
You should remove the App if it is one of the compromised. You can read here is a list of some of them, but this list is not complete. Good news: Apple is taking car of it for you! According to CNBC, "Apple said it was cleaning up its iOS App Store to remove malicious iPhone and iPad programs identified in the first large-scale attack on the popular mobile software outlet". Bad news: Apple has not finished it's cleaning job.

Please, just do not go on installing any Apps just because the daughter of the distant cousin of the neighbor of your friend's dentist told you "it rocks"!!! It does not matter which device you have, you might be in for it.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How safe is your computer?

Ok, now I got REALLY disappointed  with this. The very know antivirus AVG has been recording users sites to make a commercial use of it.  And as you can read, AVG themselves said it!

For most of you, this may not mean too much. But if we think about it, what else could it send to somewhere else in the world? What takes me to the question: WHY do we MUST be antivirus-dependant?

Windows Weakness
If you have MS Windows installed on your computer, you just cannot avoid it. Even worse: you need it. MS Windows by itself cannot offer enough security against malwares. Microsoft has even released it's own AntiVirus (MS Defender), starting on Windows 7. But guess what: unuseful, as you can (and you should) read here.

So, what can you do? For a few of human beings, there is no way but keep under Windows insecurity. These guys work with software that only work in Windows.

But, take a look at what you do daily with your computer: Internet, Internet, Internet. Sometimes some text and spreadsheets. Are there alternatives? Hopefully, YES!

1) Apple computers!

You can be safer with an Apple computers. They are fancy, fast and MUCH safer than Windows. Okay, they had a serious breach in their own computers in 2013. But when you read about it, it was not exactly an Apple problem, but one of the most common components you can find around: Java.

Please, do not panic. First, you have been using Java for a long time, in your DVD player, in many modern cars, in internet bank security, etc. Yes, there was a problem, but solved. one day the rain will start right when there is no place for you to hide, no umbrella and after your time and resources on that wonderful hair stylist. There are things you cannot avoid!

Take a look at some opinions on this subect:
- ZDNET, 2014: "Sorry to say that Apple platforms are still more secure"
- CNET, 2010: CNET asked many security guys: Which one is safer?

2) Linux
Well, I probably am not the most adequate person to speak about it, because I just make strong use of it, for almost 90% of my needs. But, no antivirus! simply like that. Maybe because not so many people use it, because hackers (ugh, wrong word but everybody says that!!!) are not so interested, because it is completely different to operate (in the way I do).

If you MOSTLY use internet, you should try to focus on iPad/iPhone/Android. They are very uncomfortable to type a lot (like this text), but light and safer. Many claims that you need (you MUST) have an Antivirus. I would tell you: do not install what you do not need!!!

But if you like the comfort of a keyboard, and your main use is internet, you should give Linux a chance.

Read this article: If my mother-in-law can use Ubuntu Linux, everybody can!