Trending February 2024 # Protect Your Computer Against Autorun Infections With Usb Immunizer # Suggested March 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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USB flash drives are, undoubtedly, amazing tools that improve our portability and allow us to easily transfer files from one computer to another. With an ever-growing popularity, they are used by everyone and are becoming a preferred target for hackers and other cyber criminals to plant viruses and other harmful code.

The key action: Prevention

Ok, it might seem obvious and common place, but prevention is the key here. Like you should always do online, be careful with the sites you visit and the files you download and place on your USB sticks. Also, be sure to have a protection system enabled on your computer, with an updated antivirus and, if possible, an enabled firewall.

Whenever you are in doubt if a file is safe, do scan a file with your antivirus software. In addition, you should periodically scan the entire flash drive for infections as another important safety measure.

Protecting Your Computer

So now, after the preventing part is done, your USB stick is clean. But what about all the other sticks other people put in your computer? Some antivirus programs do scan a USB stick as soon as it is plugged in, but some others (especially the free ones) do not, so even if you scan the drive after plugging it in, by that time the autorun programming has already been run and your computer is infected, which means that this way is not good enough.

Luckily, someone has this covered: let’s meet USB Immunizer, developed by BitDefender Labs.

USB Immunizer is a small piece of software that just silently sits on your taskbar and acts when needed, that is, when you plug in a USB stick. The program’s action is simply to stop the triggering of autorun of USB flash drives. It also has an action to “immunize” them.

But what does this “immunization” consist of? Usually, the autorun information is stored inside a file named chúng tôi which is hidden. This file can contain harmless information such as the drive’s name or icon, but it can also be used to place a harmful piece of coding in order to spread viruses, malware and other infections. USB Imunnizer’s immunization process securely replaces the chúng tôi file by a clean one (also hidden) which, due to some technical tricks, Windows cannot mess with – it cannot be deleted or overwritten, unless the drive is formatted or accessed outside Windows. As it turns out, there can only be a single chúng tôi inside a drive, which means that there really is no way that Windows creates another chúng tôi file. Inside the software, immunization happens as the .gif below shows:

After immunization, autorun.inf, which is usually just a file, is now turned into a folder, just like the screenshot below illustrates (in order to see it, you have to set your system to visualize hidden files):

USB Immunizer comes with an option that, when enabled, automatically immunizes all the new USB flash drives plugged into your computer so that you do not have to do it every time “by hand.” The program is available in several different languages, but it cannot be changed whatsoever, even in the menu: instead, it sets its language according to the operating system’s Region and Language settings.

This is a free program working on all Windows versions, so be sure to take a look and improve your computer’s and USB drives’ security.

Diogo Costa

Diogo (@diogocostaweb) is a Biologist with a grip on computers and technology. Running Windows systems all his life, has a big interest in discovering new apps that increase productivity or simply make things more interesting. He lives in Portugal and has photography and music as main hobbies. He is also the author of the page chúng tôi a page for short (but useful) computer tweaks and tutorials.

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Common Print Security Threats And How To Protect Against Them

Converting what you have on the screen to a physical document on paper is a convenient way to store and share information. You can see and feel the information, mark the paper if there is a need for corrections, and store it securely if you need to. Print offers convenience and easy access to your information even without electricity. With this convenience in print, there are common Print security threats. This article will show you some common print security threats and how to protect against them.

With the world becoming increasingly digital, print security is taking more of a back seat. We usually think of security breaches as happening to our digital devices; however, security breaches can still happen in print and print devices.

Common Print Security Threats

Print information can be vulnerable whether in digital form or on paper. Here are some common print security risks and how to minimize or eliminate them.

Misplaced printed documents

Forgetting printed documents in the print tray

Data in motion attack

Printer hacking

Stealing the device

Unsafe device or document disposal

Paper jams

Outsourced print jobs

Faulty printing device

Protecting your data against some common print security threats 1] Misplaced printed documents

Misplacing documents after they are printed can be a common way to have sensitive information seen by others. Whether it is at the print shop, your office, or anywhere in between like public transportation, restaurants or anywhere you may stop.

Solution

Important printed documents should be treated carefully just like their digital counterparts. If the documents are very important, try to get them to their destination as quickly as possible and without any unimportant stope in-between.

2] Forgetting printed documents in the print tray

You may share an office space with lots of people, but this does not mean that all persons share the same level of clearance for every data in the office. There may be one network printer that is shared by all and this can be a weak link where sensitive data can get seen by others. This can be even more likely if parts or all of the documents printed are forgotten in the printer tray. It could be also the fact that the printer is far from you so that when the document is sent it is in the printer until you can get there physically. This could allow others to read or even record the document while you are trying to get to it.

Solution

If you work with very sensitive data, they should be printed on a separate printer than those used for more common information. These printers should also be located in places that not everyone has access to. It would also be good to get printers that require physical confirmation before they print out that information. This means that not everyone can access the print, even if it is held by the printer.

 3] Data in motion attack

Solution

Make sure that the printed and other devices (routers, ports, etc.), are regularly updated. Get the latest driver and firmware updates from the manufacturer. Ensure that WI-FI is password protected and guess WI-FI is separate from the company’s WI-FI. Ensure that sensitive data is encrypted.

4] Printer hacking

Printers and other printing devices are usually weak links in your network. They can be hacked remotely or physically if they are not adequately protected. Without proper access control, persons can hack the devices physically.

Solution

Protect your network devices with proper software and firmware updates. It is also good practice to protect them physically with locks and keys. Ensure that you have proper access control. Printers that are used for sensitive information should be kept where only authorized persons can access them with proper access devices.

5] Stealing the device

Without proper security and access control for devices, they can be physically stolen. If the device is physically stolen, persons can have access to the data, stored passwords, user names, and other sensitive information that is on the printer.

Solution

Practice proper access control for your property. Treat printers just like you would protect your computer. Keep printers and other devices locked so that unauthorized persons cannot access them. The mistake people sometimes make is thinking that a printer alone is useless to people. However, the right person with the right set of tools can get information from a printer. And as previously mentioned, unprotected printers can be a gateway to other devices on your network.

6] Unsafe device or document disposal

When devices have reached their end of life, they are sometimes disposed of in ways that anyone can access them. A discarded printer may still have enough information that a knowledgeable hacker could use. Documents that are to be disposed of because the data is no longer needed or possibly because of a misprint, may still contain enough sensitive data that can be used by malicious persons.

Solution

Ensure that the printing device is properly disposed of. You may need to have the memory removed and check for printed documents that may be in the printer. Check to see if your manufacturer or a reputable company would dispose of the device for you. It is also good to invest in a good paper shredder that will be used to destroy documents before disposing of them. If you dispose of large volumes of documents with sensitive data, it may be a good idea to assign persons for this job.

7] Paper jams

Paper jams are ways that sensitive data can be left in a printer. You may not be able to remove it yourself but the person who does may not have the clearance to see the data that is on the document. paper jams may leave parts of even whole documents in a printer without you even noticing it.

Solution

Whenever you print, make sure that you know the number of pages that are to be in the document. Also ensure that if there is a paper jam, and the information is sensitive, supervise the person who is clearing the jam. If the printer needs to go for repair, make sure that the company is reputable. If the repair is in-house ensure that the person repairing is reputable.

Read: Cancel jammed or stuck Print Job queue in Windows

8] Outsourced print jobs

If you have print jobs that are too large for your organization to print, you may have to outsource them. This means that your sensitive data will be seen by others outside of your organization. This means that your information is at risk and you do not have a lot of control over what will happen to it.

Solution

If you have a lot of sensitive data to print, it may be a good idea to invest in printing equipment. If this is not possible at the moment, make sure to outsource your printing to reputable companies. Ensure that you have a proper paper trail of which company printed so that you know where the information is leaked if it should happen.

Read: What is Double Printing or Ghost Printing? Cause and Remediation

9] Faulty printing device

Your organization may have a printer that is malfunctioning and this can cause a security breach. If this printer is shared by multiple persons, the type of malfunction could cause sensitive data to be unintentionally shared. For example, a printer that is double printing/ghost printing could print ghost print sensitive data from a previous print job onto other print jobs. Printers that double print/ghost print may leave sensitive data on internal parts due to the type of ghost print/double print. This could be seen when the printer is opened for repair.

Solution

Keep printers that print sensitive information separate from other printers. If that is not possible, make sure that malfunctioning printers are repaired promptly. Ensure that printer repairs are done by reputable persons.

Read: Scanner and Printer won’t work at the same time

What threats can printers pose?

Ensure that the printer is updated as often as possible, and update the firmware and driver. Make sure that the other devices on the network are also updated regularly. Printers that will be used to print sensitive information should be isolated from the main network, they should also be physically protected from unauthorized persons.

How can you secure print documents?

Some manufacturers of printers have a secure print feature built into their printers. The secure print allows users to choose to secure print certain documents or all documents. With secure print enabled for some or all documents. The printer will not release a print job until a pin is entered. If you print sensitive data in an environment where the printer is used by multiple persons, it would be wise to invest in one of these printers.

Protect Your Eyes From Your Phone’s Screen With The Cf.lumen App By Chainfire

The booming smartphone’s market has made the mobile manufacturers to improve their device’s performance and the appearance. The android world is now comprised of phablets with a huge screen and a bright display to attract the customers. Moreover other designs including the handy android devices to the huge android tablets have attractive screens to occupy the minds of people with their elegance. Most people use their android devices for prolonged hours which ultimately hurt their precious eyes. Are you a victim of your android device’s bright displays too? Then here is a best solution to soothe your eyes with this little app- CF.lumen.

The popular android developer Chainfire who has developed many android apps and exploit scripts, has once again got our attention with his latest app submission in the android market named CF.lumen which runs on rooted kitkat devices. The new app is intended to protect your eyes from your phone’s display by modulating your phone’s display automatically according to the external conditions.

CF.lumen adapts the colors on your Android device based on the position of the sun, or your custom configuration. When using the default settings, your display will get a warmer tint (lower color temperature) when the sun is down, vastly reducing strain on the eyes. This will take some getting used to, though! The colors also match closer to common artificial light sources, than the daytime light you get from the sun. Blue light makes your brain want to stay awake, and a lower color temperatures reduces the amount of blue displayed. Using this in the evening also reduces your brain’s effort to keep you awake at night, and can be beneficial to your sleeping pattern. During sleeping hours by default a red filter is used. Red strains your eyes the least, and retains your night vision.

The app also uses the ambient light sensor on your device to detect the lighting conditions in your surrounding and adjust the device’s brightness accordingly. There are many colour filters available in the app like red, green, blue, amber, salmon and also an option to adjust the filter manually to suit your comfort. The enhanced image processing techniques used in this app preserves the detail in the screen by converting them to gray-scale before converting them to your selected filter.

The one noteworthy feature of this app is that it includes the colour adjustment settings for the people suffering from colour blindness. The master color filter setting also has an option for color blindness enhancement, with settings for protanopia/anomaly, deuteranopia/anomaly and tritanopia/anomaly. These options redistribute colours across the spectrum, in theory enhancing clarity and colour detail.

The app also comes in Pro version which includes unlock the option to start at device boot and unlock notification options. In Pro mode, the notification adds convenient buttons to quickly disable the current filter or switch to sleep mode, and you can switch the notification to when enabled mode, which shows the notification only when a colour filter is active.

The Good

Simple UI for beginners

Intelligent colour adjustment based on location

Ability to use light sensor for brightness adjustment

Customisation for colour-blind people

The Bad

Nothing in this column

Get it on the play store using the link below.

  Download [root]CF.lumen

How To Protect Your Site From Canonical Triggers

What happens when search engine spiders get lost? They cannot figure out what way to go on your site.

They sometimes get confused or other sites are sending them to another way to get to the same page on your site.

Some servers use mod_dir which causes additional issues by redirecting the domain without a training slash to the domain with a trailing slash so chúng tôi redirects to chúng tôi

It is very rare that this ever causes an issue. But, it is a reason when link building that you should always use the trailing slash in a link you add. It is the proper way to link to a site. Ever notice how the Open Directory and many other directories require their editors to add the trailing slash?

Canonical means the “Authoritative Path”.

This is how you tell the Search Engines that these are the pages of your site. Since you are essentially talking to robots, you need to take extra precautions because robots “do not think”. If a robot is caught in a loop or sees pages that are actually the same but have 3 to 6 different paths to get to, it will consider these additional pages.

Canonical issues can take many forms and problems with them are becoming rare thanks to sitemap programs and the increasing awareness of the factors. Yes, they do still exist and can be caused by an webmaster that has no knowledge of the SEO factors involved in developing proper website architecture.

Duplicate Content Issues

Duplicate pages are also caused by using the same contact form with different dynamic variables. So a form may be contact.asp?id=california and the same form may also be contact.asp?id=new york. This means that Google sees the exact page with different ways to get to it and treats it as spam.

The simple fix for this is a rel=”nofollow” tag or banning chúng tôi wildcards in the chúng tôi file. This is becoming a common task on many dynamic sites, I have added this here because we can consider this a potential canonical trigger as the path becomes duplicated.

Relax! There are many simple fixes:

Always program the site to be friendly by using Absolute Links when developing navigation and adding links to internal pages of your site. Absolute links can also help in preventing automated content stealing, which sites try to own your content by and ranking with it, and “theoretically” it is extremely possible that a third party site can take your content and rank for it while you get hit as a duplicate page and no longer rank for it.

Use the rel=”nofollow” in the href tags of pages that go to a secure server, and or pages that go to dynamic forms. This tells the spiders right off not to count the pages as a link, in effect helping them understand the priority of the page from the href relevancy command. This can help increase internal page quality as well by removing the potential trigger for “Mad Lib” spam.

Use a Canonical URL redirect fix. I have listed many here in my 301 and Canonical Redirect Tutorial. I am still looking for the Mac WebSTAR Canonical version which would be appreciated.

Robots.txt out files and wildcards. Not all search engines use the wildcards. Yahoo does, MSN does, Google does as well these may be best used bu identifying the robot and the path.

It’s always great to learn all avenues that can help secure the proper architecture of websites.

Alan Rabinowitz is the CEO of SEO Image, a New York based SEO and Internet Marketing company which focuses on corporate branding and positioning in search engines.

How To Use Your Favorite Smart Assistant On Your Computer

Smart assistants have reached the point where they can help you with just about anything, but they aren’t restricted to smart speakers or the smartphone in your pocket—they work just as well on your computer, too.

Whether you’re using a desktop or laptop, we’ll show you how to get Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa up and running. If you prefer the built-in Windows and macOS options—Cortana and Siri, respectively—we’ve got those covered as well. We won’t dive too deep into the assistants’ voice commands or features, but we will touch on some of the common ones.

Amazon Alexa

Amazon has an official Windows app, which you can download and install from here. A recent update added hands-free voice control, which means you can now shout, “Hey, Alexa,” and get the assistant to do your bidding without touching the mouse or keyboard.

Launch the app and you’ll be asked to sign in with your Amazon account (you’ll need one to use Alexa). If you want to use voice control or hands-free operation, you’ll next need to give the app permission to access your computer’s microphone. You can always change these allowances later in the app’s settings.

Any of the voice commands you’re used to saying to your Amazon Echo work on Windows as well. Just use the “Alexa” wake-up word, followed by your request. Ask to hear music, check the weather forecast, look up information from the internet, and so on.

No official Alexa app for macOS exists yet, but Reverb is a fine (and free) substitute. After installing Reverb from the Mac App Store, sign in with your Amazon credentials, and you’ll be able to start speaking commands to your MacBook or Mac desktop.

Reverb is a neat option for getting Alexa on a Mac. David Nield

Another option is to use Alexa on the web. This will work anywhere you can use a browser, from Chromebooks to MacBooks to Linux computers. Fire up Alexa in the Browser, built by developer Sam Machin, and you’ll again need to log in with your Amazon account, then allow the site to use your computer’s microphone.

Google Assistant

You can get a taste of Google Assistant’s functionality on the web. David Nield

At the time of writing there’s no way to get Google Assistant on a Windows or macOS computer, at least not in its full form. As far as desktops and laptops go, Google seems to be saving Google Assistant for Chrome OS computers, which often have a dedicated button that launches the utility.

However, you can load up Google in any web browser on any computer, then tap the microphone icon, to get an approximation of the Google Assistant experience. You’ll need to grant the website access to your computer’s microphone to say commands like: “What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?” or “How old is Barack Obama?” Google will then read responses back to you as search results show up on your screen.

If you’re signed into your Google account, it works even better. Simply ask, “What’s next on my calendar?” or “Show me my photos from Sydney,” and Google will tap into Google Calendar and Google Photos to complete your request.

Ultimately, this is just voice control of the Google search engine, though, not the proper Google Assistant. You can’t stream music, for example, or control your home’s smart lights. For all those extra commands, you’ll need to wait for Google to release an official desktop app.

Windows and Cortana

Cortana is ready to do your bidding in Windows. David Nield

To have Cortana respond to “Hey, Cortana,” no keyboard or mouse is necessary. Simply go to Windows Settings via the cog icon on the Start menu, then select Cortana and Talk to Cortana. The same dialog box also lets you set up a keyboard shortcut for the assistant and have it appear on your computer’s lock screen.

Besides the usual assistant commands covering weather, calendar appointments, and more, Cortana can also control different parts of your computer. For example, you can tell Cortana to turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on or off, or to launch specific apps.

As yet, there’s no way to launch Cortana on anything other than a Windows computer. No web interface is available, so that’s not an option, and there’s no program either. If you absolutely must have Microsoft’s smart assistant on your Mac, your only option is to install a Windows emulator such as Parallels Desktop.

macOS and Siri

Siri comes built into macOS, and gives you lots of options. David Nield

Open the Apple menu on your Mac, then choose System Preferences and Siri to set how the digital assistant works on your macOS computer. You can enable or disable the “Hey, Siri,” voice activation, control Siri’s presence on the lock screen, configure a keyboard shortcut, and turn voice responses on or off.

As with Cortana, you can get Siri to control your computer. Commands include: “Turn Bluetooth on” (or off), “Lower the volume,” “Make the screen brighter,” and “How much disk space is available?” You can also use Siri to launch individual apps such as Safari and Mail.

Unfortunately for Windows users with a fondness for Siri—and perhaps with an iPhone—it doesn’t look like Apple will be pushing its digital assistant to non-Apple hardware anytime soon. While some Apple apps are available through a web browser and the iCloud portal, Siri isn’t one of them.

Micron Challenges Conventional Computer Architecture With New Chip

Micron is challenging conventional computer architectures conceived decades ago with Automata, a highly parallel processor that can change its behavior to process the task at hand.

The Automata processor, which was announced this week, has thousands of modified memory cells that can be turned into processing units, said Paul Dlugosch, director of Micron’s Automata processor technology development. The memory cells are nonvolatile, and can be erased and reprogrammed to solve a certain problem, Dlugosch said.

“This is indeed a new architecture, it’s based on memory,” Dlugosch said, adding that the processor has been under development for seven years.

What’s new

The customized column of memory in Automata can gang up to process tasks quicker than on conventional computers, Dlugosch said. There are no fixed data sizes, and with a compiler, instructions can be created on the fly targeted at solving specific problems. Data is spread across memory units in parallel for processing, and unlike conventional computers, there is no need to wait for data to be shifted out of memory.

Dlugosch said Automata challenges conventional computer architectures at work since the 1940s in which data is pushed into a processor, calculated and pushed back in the memory with the help of instructions and logic units. One such computer architecture was derived in the 1940s by mathematician John von Neumann. But chip-level limitations and programming languages hamper the ability of current CPUs and GPUs to parallelize tasks, Dlugosch said.

Automata combines logic and DDR memory interfaces, but won’t replace conventional CPUs, Dlugosch said. Automata needs a CPU, FPGA (field-programmable gate array), network processor or other host computing units to feed high-level instructions.

“We make no claims that the Automata process will run on its own,” Dlugosch said. “The Automata processor must be programmed.”

For now, Automata can be used as a coprocessor for applications in areas such as bioinformatics, security and video processing.

“We’ll see the Automata processor grow in popularity and grow as the dominant analysis engine for unstructured data,” Dlugosch said.

What it means

Automata could be an attempt to get the memory bus out of the way and put the processor in the same package of memory cells, said Nathan Brookwood, analyst at Insight 64.

“They’re basically arguing that in order to get better performance, you have to put processing close to memory,” Brookwood said.

The concept of Automata has been around for decades and a handful of startups have pursued tight integration of memory and processing elements, analysts said. Earlier constraints revolved around programming models or memory implementation.

“The basic notion has been around for decades, but the DRAM companies have always seen themselves in a silo that doesn’t include processors and the processor guys have always looked at DRAM as a nasty business, so neither has ever tried to invade the other’s turf,” Handy said.

“Maybe this time something will actually work,” Brookwood said.

A lot of Automata’s effectiveness lies in the compiler provided with Micron’s software development kit. The compiler purposes Automata’s architecture and memory units, after which the raw data is streamed through the processors. Once data is loaded, Automata identifies data patterns, and defines behavior of the processing units to crunch the data.

Dlugosch called Automata a “zero instruction set” processor with the ability to create its own instructions to focus on the targeted problem. The chip has interface logic to buffer input streams and uses high-level instructions from a host processor to control the device at a system level. Automata doesn’t receive instructions that represent a program or algorithm.

Automata may be years away from practical use, but Dlugosch said that Automata won’t replace DRAM. Outside of DDR memory, Handy said that Automata processor architecture has the flexibility to be built around SRAM, flash or other emerging types of memory like MRAM (magnetoresistive RAM), PCM (phase-change memory) or RRAM (resistive RAM).

Automata won’t replace FPGAs either, Dlugosch said. FPGAs, which are widely used for hardware prototyping, are functionally similar to Automata with fast throughput and the ability to be reprogrammed. By comparison, Automata is based on memory architecture and applies more to data analytics than hardware or code testing, Dlugosch said.

Micron has partnered with the University of Missouri and University of Virginia to research, test and write applications for the Automata processor. The company did not say when the chip would officially ship, but the Automata software development kit will be available next year.

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