NC #551 Amazon Prime Now Miracle, Asus Chromebook Flip, Dell’s Certificate Fiasco

This week was Thanksgiving in the US so I’m going to start out by telling you a story I call “A Thanksgiving Day Miracle”. After that, George from Tulsa joins us to give a review of the Asus Chromebook Flip. He mentions this in his review, but I specifically asked for help this week because I was hanging out with my family instead of working on the podcast most of the week. I also urged George to go long, so he included a bunch of other awesome information. It’s in the style only George can deliver of course. I was going to give you my impressions of the iPad Pro after a few weeks of use (after the gushing had worn off) but I think I’ll hold off on that for a week because Bart joined me in an out of band Security Lite episode to talk about the Dell certificate fiasco. It’s really interesting and really important that we get the knowledge out there about what happened, who should be worried, how worried they should be and most importantly to hear how to fix this very serious problem.

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George From Tulsa Flips Over the Asus Chromebook Flip

Guest Blog Post by George from Tulsa:

Asus Flip Book showing NosillaCast home pageWhat’s the problem to be solved? We hear that a lot from Allison, and for good reason. Right now, I hope I’m a solution, not a problem. Earlier this week Allison posted a request for user submissions so she could have more Holiday this Thanksgiving and less Podcast. Hey, I know my Okie drawl can seem tedious to many of you hard chargers out there. Isn’t that why there’s a fast and faster setting on your podcast player? Problem solved.

My own immediate problem is that when I volunteered to send in this segment, Allison requested it run five minutes, or more. When you’ve heard me before, I tried to use no more than three. Thus my Mission Impossible is to fill five minutes, give you your money’s worth in tech content, and not undermine Allison’s goal that you “Stay Subscribed!”

You know how technology that solves one problem can create another?
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eDellRoot – Dell’s Certificate Fiasco

What Happened:

Dell logo with a red scary line through it

  • This week it emerged that Dell started rolling out an updated version of it’s Dell Foundation Services software (or crapware as I call it) that comes with a root certificate that gets installed into Windows. The certificate shows up in the Windows Certificate Manager as eDellRoot.
  • Initially it was thought it only affected laptops sold since August, then it emerged that it was on Desktops too, and the last shoe to drop was that the cert was also being pushed to people with older Dell computers via updates to the Dell software.
  • This root cert is installed with its ‘PRIVATE’ key, and all computers have certs with the same private key, and the password ‘protecting’ that private key is dell.
  • A second, similar cert was found later in the week also from Dell called DSDTestProvider.
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