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Security Bits – Password Trackers, IOHIDeous, Meltdown & Spectre

Security Bits – 5 Jan 2018

Security Medium 1 — Password Managers as Trackers

Security researchers have found that less-reputable tracking firms have deployed JavaScript which uses invisible forms to trick password managers into entering information which can then be used as a kind of super-cookie that users cannot delete, and hence, track them around the web.

This problem affects all features that auto-fill usernames and passwords, whether or not they are native to the browser, or, provided by third-party plugins, so this affects everyone who saves passwords in their browser in any way.

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NC #659 Solving Network Problems, 2017 What Apps Am I Still Using Part 1, Security Bits

This week I was on the Clockwise Podcast episode 220 at relay.fm/…. Leo Laporte and Megan Morrone talked about my iOS 11 settings Mind Map of Doom on iOS Today episode 372 at around 57:30 into the show. Helma from the Netherlands brings us some networking tips. I bring you the first half of my 2017 Year in Review where I talk about the different software and hardware I’ve told you about during the year and tell you whether they’re still in use and why (or why not). Then Bart Busschots is back with Security Bits where we have two Security Mediums, the HP Keylogger, and Mailsploit.

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2017 in red

2017 Year in Review Part 1 – What Am I Still Using?

I’ve always thought it might be interesting to look back on all of the products I’ve reviewed over the years and see what I’m still using. That would be a gargantuan effort, given that I’ve been doing this for over 12 years!

But then I thought, maybe I could look at the past year and see what products are still valuable and what just fell away over time and maybe a quick discussion on why. I went through every blog post to see what I talked about in 2017, so here goes.
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Security Bits – HP Keylogger, Mailsploit

Security Medium 1 — HP’s Accidental Keylogger

Some HP laptops shipped with a keyboard driver from Synaptics in which a developer debugging feature was accidentally left enabled. The effect of this mistake is that the driver has built-in support for logging all keystrokes via WPP (a debugging tool that’s built into Windows).

This sounds bad, really bad, but thankfully it’s not actually as bad as it sounds.

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NC #657 Making Holiday Labels, Pocket Casts vs Downcast, Patreon Changes, Security Bits

Tom Merritt was on Chit Chat Across the Pond to talk net neutrality. I confess that after all my “I have made fire” talk about writing a script for chapter marks, it didn’t actually work. Learn how to make Holiday Card Address Labels using plain old Apple Contacts. Rush Sherman asks our first ever video Dumb Question – why do I use Downcast when I clearly said I used Pocket Casts before? Patreon did a major shift in how they charge patrons and pay creators, and I wanted to tell you how I feel about it and what hopefully will be changing. In a rare moment of music enjoyment, I suggest you buy If Every Day Were Christmas from Slau Halatyn. Bart Busschots brings us Security Bits about the macOS Root Bug, a HomeKit Bug, and changes to iOS Backup Encryption.

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Security Bits – 08 December 2017 – macOS Root Bug, HomeKit Bug, iOS Backup Encryption

Security Medium 1 — macOS High Sierra Root Bug

A nasty bug was found in macOS 10.13 High Sierra — it was possible to cause the root account to become enabled, and to do so with a blank password.

To trigger this bug all you had to do was go into the control panel, click the padlock to un-lock the sensitive settings, change the username to root, enter no password, then hit enter. At this point the authentication would fail, but, the root account would have been made active. Hit enter again, and root with a blank password will be accepted as valid. At this point you can do anything in the control panel, no matter how restricted your account is in theory, and, anything you can get full terminal access as root.

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NC #655 Follow Up on Chapters, Reader View and Adding Workouts, Show Hidden Files, Mind Map iOS 11 Settings, Security Bits

I’m still working on how to get chapters in the podcast (this show might have them!) Follow up tips from Mike Price and Kaylee Dayo on Reader View. How Sandy and Allister saved Thanksgiving with their tip on saving a workout from last week. Bart brings us a Tiny Tip on a trivially easy way to show and hide hidden files in macOS Sierra and High Sierra. I mind mapped all of the settings in iOS 11, and it was utter madness. In Security Bits Bart and I talk about how Face ID isn’t broken, we learn about USB bugs in the Linux Kernel and how there’s a vulnerability in Intel chips you might need to know about.

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Security Bits – 26 November 2017 – FaceID Isn’t Broken, USB Bugs in Linux Kernel, Vulnerability in Intel Chips

Security Medium 1 — No, FaceID isn’t Broken, but it Does Have Limits

A snazzy demo to the press had headlines all over the press screaming about how FaceID had been broken. But as is so often the case with stories like this, the devil is very much in the detail.

What the hackers really found was that it’s bloody difficult to trick FaceID — it takes a lot of time and effort, and even after you put all that investment in, your spoof only works in very carefully controlled circumstances.

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NC #653 iOS Clean Install, iPhone X Second Look, Animoji Karaoke, Hue Motion Sensor, Security Bits

Possible replacement for Clarify (but maybe we don’t need it), a clean install tip for iOS from Joop Bruggink, a second look at iPhone X after a bit more time, my attempt at Animoji Karaoke, Denise Crown brings us her review of the Hue Motion Sensor. Then we have an installment of Security Bits with Bart Busschots.

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Security Bits – Child Smart Watches, IRS Not Worried about Equifax, Microsoft Office DDE, Eltima Hacked

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