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You are here: April 2022

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Let’s talk a little bit about our Alexa devices

Alexa has recently been the topic of discussion as of late. I don’t really find anything wrong with it, it does what I want, I play a very interesting game, learning different interesting things it can do, and I don’t use it for sensitive things.

I did once tell it to buy what was in my cart, but I do all of my searching using Amazon’s web site or application for IOS.

In one article read, it talks about how Amazon does use our voice data to target advertisements towards us. To me, I don’t pay attention to adds, they’re mainly banners, and even if it was text, if it is not what I want, I don’t go clicking or pressing enter or double tapping on them.

I know that on our shows, we had said that it doesn’t pay much attention until it hears its word, but how do you think it hears its word? By listening all the time. I don’t think all that data is stored, and looking at the voice recording section of my account doesn’t yield any other interaction except for skill interaction or even routine interaction such as my morning update one that got created where i get weather, some good news, what is in my calendar, and even if packages are arriving that day.

Routines are quite interesting and we can do a podcast on it one of these days.

The first article which we’re talking bout is Report says Alexa voice data used to send you targeted ads – How to stop it now which comes from komando.com and talks about research that has been done.

Even though the research is very valuable, me personally, I’m not worried about it only because it has to know what its word is and it must listen for that.

What I’d do is push the bottom button on the third generation models which then turns red. It must be its microphone button. Then, its not listening to anything.

You can follow the article to get other instruction on how to delete your voice data, or limit how long it is available to Amazpon.

Komando.com also has other Alexa things that might be valuable to you, so check it out.

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The Security Box, podcast 92: Conti did not do what they said they would do, attacks health care providers and more

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Security Box, podcast 92. The RSS feed has the program on it, and as announced, we welcome Blue Streak Radio as a broadcast partner airing the box each Friday morning at 8 am CT, 6 am PT.

If you need a download because you can’t use RSS, no problem! Here is the 153.51mb file for you to have.

In our first hour, we cover some of the news that crossed our desk as well as perused the blog covering things. I’ll have more articles coming soon, including two of them I mentioned I have not read yet tht were sent to our list.

Here are the full show notes for this program, and I hope you enjoy the program as much as I have bringing the program to you! Hope you will enjoy it, and contact me with questions, comments and other concerns if you’d like. We welcome the comments.

Hello everyone! Welcome to the security box, and this is program 92. On this program, we’re going to talk about Conti, again.

The article is titled: Conti’s Ransomware Toll on the Healthcare Industry which was quite interesting when I read it.

Besides that, we’ll see what others found of interest through the landscape and I’ll talk about some stuff as well including the Who’s Who directory and updates on it.

I hope that you enjoy the program as much as I have bringing it to you, and welcome Blue Streak Radio to the program. They’ll air this program on Friday morning Central time.

Thanks so much for having an interest on the program.

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Facebook Marketplace has a new tactic

I saw this in the current newsletter but I first saw this on breaking tech news from Komando. I initially skipped it, but then I saw it again while looking at my email and decided to read it.

I’ve never personally used facebook marketplace, but it seems to be another place where you can selll and buy things.

According to the article, there are 4 signs to look for when dealing with people, especially through this platform.

A listener to the show decided to post something for sale, and someone said they wanted to buy it with no questions asked.

If the seller went through, the article indicates that tey would’ve been out $500 and the buyer asked for this money to make the Zell account valid.

I recent went through my bank and signed up for Zell. I’ve never used it, but i’d rather have it for people who want to pay that way.

To read the full article, please read: Avoid this clever scam tactic being used on Facebook Marketplace.

I hope that this is of help to people who may be familiar with this platform. Stay safe!

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Elon Musk reportedly buys Twitter

Well, the news is out. News aagencies including KNX is reporting that Elon Musk has baught Twitter. This is a tech blog, and not surprisingly, Kim Komando and staff put out a breaking news yesterday about it. You can read the article titled Musk would be good for Twitter and America.

While I’m not a big fan of Donald Trump, I understand why he was supposedly banned. He was supposedly banned because he was tweeting things that could have caused havoc to various people. Be that as it may, we don’t know if Elon’s buyout will allow him to come back to twitter.

The biggest thing read from this article is that he will be getting rid of the board. The board is supposed to be a middle ground on making decisions for the company, but apparently we know they’ve been involved in doing nothing about a lot of things. One of them was a 2016 ordeal that involved our good friends in Russia. While I know what that is, and I thought we covered it, I’m not sure of its spelling and its not coming up directly in search.

What I do know is that the company will become private, and the code in some parts will become open so people know what algorithm is used and how its used.

I believe Facebook (Now known as Meta) should do the same thing. Reveal to the public how things are running so we can see if it is fair or not.

I’m not going to comment on whether people like Trump will come back or not, we’ll have to see. What we also know is that he wants to deal with the massive bot problem we have on Twitter. I say, good luck with that.

Read the news about this through here or other sites? Good thing? Bad thing? Sound off in the comments, oits free!

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Google is finally doing something about all these malicious apps that take advantage of accessibility features?

In an article I spotted today in Kim Komando’s newsletter, Google is finally doing something about all these malicious apps tht Google apparently has that take advantage of the accessibility features of Android.

Google is banning this popular type of app from the Play Store is the article title and is worth a read.

Here is one blog post that talked about this problem. Those people who need accesibility features are those who need the phone to talk, magnified or braille support. It is not meant, says Kim’s article, to record calls, turn on the camera, exfiltrate data or anything else of that nature. While I added a few of these to that list, we know that that article is not the only one I’ve covered about android accessibility issues.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this in podcasts, and this … I think is a welcome sign for those who want Android because its cheaper.

Thoughts are welcome.

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Vulnerabilities found, 22 critical in DHS first round of bug bounty program

Hello everyone,

I’ve been contemplating this article that talks about the first round of the DHS vulnerability findings. If my memory serves me correctly, this is interesting as they’re the last of the government agencies that are now doing this.

Its better that hackers tell the companies instead of exploiting the bugs, I always say, and 22 critical seems like its a small number, but its really not compared to other companies that we may not know of that may have more.

Hackers find 122 vulnerabilities — 27 deemed critical — during first round of DHS bug bounty program is the article title which came from Cyberscoop.

The agency awarded at least $125,000 in bounty money for these bugs which is a great start.

Do feel free to read more, the article was quite interesting.

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This week’s topic for the security box, Conti and what they’ve been up to up until now

Hello folks,

I’ve been contemplating how to cover such an excellent article that Brian Krebs covered, that I decided to cover it this way.

The article goes in to approximately how much money could’ve been lost by what Conti did, as well as some research papers linked as PDF files had to say.

Ont top of that, I’ll lead the discussion with some quoted material directly out of the article that we can talk about, and I’ll referenceeeee thquotes as I always do by letting you know what I write VS the quoted material.

For those whooo want to listen live, the show is on the independentttttttttttttttt artist channel on Wednesday at 11 am PT, 1 PM CT and scheduled to go until 2 PM PT, 4 PM CT unless there’s a lot to say while discussing this topic.

It’ll also play on blue streak radio Friday Morning at 8 am CT. It’ll also be posted here as a podcast through this site for those who can’t make either airing. I’ll also replay it on the same independent channel at some random time between the show’s airing and the next week.

Oh yes, the article. The article is titled Conti’s Ransomware Toll on the Healthcare Industry and I hope you enjoy the read as well as the upcoming podcast.

Thanks so much for reading, listening and participating! We appreciate the support.

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Here’s another article on the linovo fiasco with their laptops

In a prior blog post Kim Komando talked about 100 different laptops that were vulnerability prone to quite a few things.

To add to this, i saw an article send to TSB’s list from Ars Technica titled 100 Lenovo models fixed to prevent unremovable infections which may have more information than the prior blog post.

I don’t mind putting several sources out, especially if it may contain different information or written differently.

People can decide on what they want to read, so make sure you’re protected if you use these laptops and computers.


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beware of this


Link is below


So obviously, scammers are calling saying you have a gift which is real
and after you sign for it well you are scammed.

Its really getting tricky I guess they have wized up a lot.

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More Lapsus$ news, very much details thanks for private chats

Brian continues to write about Lapsus$ which seems to have folded according to what I’ve read. This time, Leaked Chats Show LAPSUS$ Stole T-Mobile Source Code is the article and it goes in to a lot of detail on who these guys are and what they tried to do.

From what I can gather reading, this group was not deterred by being disconnected from whatever they were on to get what they wanted.

I’m going to leave this on the blog, and just note for listeners who don’t know there is an update that they should look at this.

Since this group may be down, this doesn’t mean anything, as there could be more learning and trying their craft.

Stay safe!

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The Who’s who directory update its pretty fake now a days but once true

Hello everyone, welcome back to the blog.

Well, the day of finding out what is going on with the who’s who directory now comes to an end.

According to Kim Komando, this particular directory was once prevelent about 30 years ago.

While we don’t know what happened, Kim indicates that something must have happened because now they do want to charge up to $900 which is what I found in my research on this topic when I started getting email myself.

blog post

In the prior blog post, I linked to this AARP article which just seems to be the accurate info which is the basis of my research and confirmation from Kim.

I used to listen to Kim many years ago, and lost track of her when she left Los Angeles. I’m glad that we were able to connect, and the answer I got was precise and seemed to confirm what I’ve seen.

If you get any of these emails, just be skeptable, and don’t hand out info just because it says its a directory.

Thanks Kim, I hope that this is of value to our subscribers as well. You’ve been a great help!

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Over 100 laptop models need to be updated

There are several CVE’s issued for flaws that could take over a laptop.

When an update rolls out covering more than 100 models of a particular brand, it’s time to listen. Lenovo just released security updates covering more than a million laptops vulnerable to malware. Keep reading for ways to protect your computer.

In one case, drivers which were to only be used during manufacturing were found to be enabled and actors could take advantage of this. Eset research was credited for finding these vulnerabilities.

For full details, please read komando.com’s article Security updates issued for 100+ laptop models over malware risk – Update now as there are 20 different laptops brands that are affected by this problem. Stay safe!

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We’ve all seen spam texts, but this one has a new trick

Hello folks,

We’ve seen the spam texts claiming that we are to win a free gift since we’ve paid our bill. Usually, they come as texts messages to us, and from what I’ve seen, they aren’t so bad as they just seem to ask for information.

komando.com is now indicating that this may be changing. I’ve seen a few group texts of the same type, and they were sent to a bunch of numbers in the same prefix in my case.

This group thing, according to komando.com will apparently send you links with potential malware.

I’m not sure if it is IOS or Android malware, my hunch is that it would be Android, but then again, it could be both like Pegasus has been.

For full details, I urge everyone to read the article New spam text can’t be blocked – Here’s how to protect yourself and be aware of what you might get.

Thanks so much for reading, and hope you find this of value!

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The Security box, podcast 91: The Advanced Persistent Teenager

The hacking scene has changed, and it involves quite a different group of people, the teenager. While it is common to be skeptible, we had a great discussion on two different articles as well as covering other topics like 5g and some of the news read throughout the landscape and posted to the blog.

Do you not have RSS? No problem! Here is the 199.1mb file. I’d like to personally thank those who participated throughout the program and we look forward in returning to the airwaves in a week timne.

Here are the show notes that you can have which has links to the two articles we used as part of the discussion.

Hello everyone, welcome to podcast 91. We’re dealing with the teenage hacker in two different articles. As I’ve determined, there is only one article on the advanced persistent teenager which can also be labeled APT.

The first article we’re covering is: A Closer Look at the LAPSUS$ Data Extortion Group which was read all the way back near the end of March.

This will then lead us in to our other article The Original APT: Advanced Persistent Teenagers which was also good and in depth. I got confused by headings, but this article is only one article part long.

We’ll also be taking any comments and questions from the audience on Clubhouse and we’ll see what else we have to offer.

Make sure you check the blog for continuing article writing, we continue to post stuff although there was a lapse of posting lately, but it hasn’t been that long.

Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the program!

Before I go, please feel free to reach out with any comments or something you think we should discuss. I’m going to try and get better on getting things read, email and RSS is definitely an overload at times. Thanks so much for reading, listening and participating if you chose to do so.

Remember to visit the network main page and donate if you wish, and if you can. It’ll go to keeping things running including the web site, music for the independent channel and much more. Enjoy the show!

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The Technology podcast, podcast 362: Michael in Tennessee

Our RSS feed has been updated with the tech podcast which we’ve not done in quite awhile.

Here is the 81.4mb file for you to have if you don’t have RSS.

Hello folks, welcome to the tech podcast. Its been quite awhile since we’ve done a tech podcast, but its appropriate seeing how the Security Box ran almost 3 and a half hours. Today on the first tech podcast since 2021, we’re going to have Michael in Tennessee talking about some of the security landscape and what he’s read of late. Lots to talk about and maybe there might be some solutions that people can think about here too. The program is over 1 and a half hours and I’m glad I did it this way.

I’ll be looking at releasing some more stuff soon! Thanks for reading, listening and finding what we have to say of value.

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thinking about installing google play on windows11, think again

This appeared in my google search feed today from win11.

So google play is not part of windows 11.
There is a software package called toolbox that will declutter your windows, and install google play.
It will also install some malware which almost doesn’t do much right now.
To be honest in my opinion microsoft could fix part of this issue by adding google play as a native app on their store or make something that could do what this does or whatever.
Its a shame that a free opensource tool is abused in this way.
Now because of this we will see a lot more scrutiny on opensource software as a whole.
That could be a good thing but that will insure that companies don’t use it.
Just think for a second about that.
Because of bastards like this, we may not be able to install nvda because its a potential security risk.
We may have to buy and use jaws for everything.
The guys that make this don’t care but us users sure do.
Really should be a toolbox but who knows.

Soon enough people will say github is bad, cloudflare is bad, the cloud is bad, anything that is free is bad.
Microsoft defender is bad enough now I have to exclude my cloud drives before they are all deleted.
It would be nice if something was done and the idea continued but it won’t

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something to think about

If you are a cloud user that has multiple backups of stuff, good for you.
If you are one of those modern users that just uses the cloud and thats it you may want to make offline storage options, etc.
While google will probably never shutdown as will microsoft, and any large companies this could happen to anyone.

So in summery, a cloud company shut down suddenly taking everything with it.
No resets, no anything.
Its possible users may get back up and running but you can see my issue with a microsoft account.
Now I use one on one of the systems and while I have a pin when I pulled my new system out of sleep it required a revarification of everything for no reason.
I couldn’t even turn it off.
Thankfully it was not a laptop so I pulled the powercord and plugged it back in.
It started up and I used my pin to log back in again.
I have not retested it but I think I will have to turn off sleep signin which is unsecure but if I can’t just repin after waking up I won’t bother at all.
For myself even if I do make a microsoft account I will make a local as soon as I can even if that account stays in the system with a pin as backup.
Win11 is pushing you and 10 does actually pushh.
As long as you have a stable network its ok.
One of the things with the pandemic is that networks got upgraded to 300 by 100 instead of 100 by 20 on the basic fibre plan so that is good and nice and quite fine.
Lets hope amazon or google never shut down.

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Amazon about to raise prices, we’ll be paying more

Kimn is sending out a notice about Amazon upping their prices by at least 5 percent. While I recently baught a bluetooth keyboard to better aid me using my phone, I definitely thought the $12 in taxes almost flip me out of my chair. But it might be worse, depending on what you buy.

Please feel free to read the full piece by Komando staff titled Amazon prices are going up – Here’s why and how to save and be prepared.

More later.

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T-mobile is just … t-mobile


Tmobile is just tmobile. Whether you read it as t-mobile or tmobile, we’re in big trouble according to this article just received titled T-Mobile tried (and failed) to recover your stolen data by paying off hackers where we know about the breach that was.

Back in 2021, we covered t-mobile.

blog post on podcast 66

Unfortunately, the company hasn’t really learned, although it is not well covered that you can pay these actors in some type of agreement whereby they won’t sell the data after getting a sum of money.

Just in case you didn’t hear the beginning of the fiasco, we also covered the program on Podcast 60.

blog post

Today’s article comes to us from Phone Arena. T-Mobile tried (and failed) to recover your stolen data by paying off hackers is the article, and it is worth talking about.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know exactly what data landed where and just how many bad actors had the chance to look at a treasure trove of names, addresses, birthdates, social security numbers, driver’s licenses, phone numbers, IMEI, and IMSI numbers for a possible havoc-wreaking angle.

There is linked material here, so I better not do too much quoting or its going to break. Better read this one. Make it a great day.

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I’ve been bugged a bit, what is the who’s who directory and is it really real?

Hello everyone, welcome to the puzzle of the day.

I’ve been getting a bunch of email telling me that I’ve gotten an entry in to the whos who directory.

According to this aarp article ‘Who’s Who’ Directory Scams with a subheading of With vanity publishers, fame and honors can cost you a small fortune, we do have something to worry about.

Many many years ago, I was asked about what this was, and the person in question didn’t even respond.

In the recent sample, they’re apparently emailing from a domain called hospitaltests.com and links to some redirect page at whoswhodirectory2021.com which makes it very interesting.

According to the article linked, there may be very legitimate directories published, but some may want to take as much as $900 just to get you published.

I’m curious on whether anyone has gotten picked, filled out the form and what their experience was? Read the article I’ve linked from AARP and let’s discuss.

I’ve reached out to someone to see if they’ve heard of this. When I hear back, I’ll be in touch with any updates.

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