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Daily Archives: October 21, 2018

  • Patch Lady – 31 days of Paranoia – Day 21

    Posted on October 21st, 2018 at 23:19 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ever heard of swatting?  It’s when someone calls the police and tells them that something is happening that isn’t just to harass the person.   The police arrive at the door with sirens going and guns pulled thinking they are walking into a situation where someone is being hurt or robbed by someone or held at gunpoint.   It can often lead to horrible consequences.  Just the other day I heard of something that made me go… really?  Has it gone THAT far?

    You can now sign up in the Seattle area to be on a swatting list so that the Police know that should they get a call to the address that it may be a swatting event, and not just a normal incident.  So the police are now put on notice that an individual or business may be harassed.  At times the person harassed is involved in online gaming and the swatting is done to enable others to watch the harassment.  Other times Technology journalists like Brian Krebs have been swatted and harassed.

    Bottom line it’s a prank that isn’t funny one bit.  And it’s a bit sad that police departments have to set up programs to ensure people don’t get hurt.

    Doxing is another term that is a side effect of having so many databases and so many ways to post information.  Someone either researches or has access to private information and then posts that information to the web.  Often it can be phone numbers, or addresses or other private information that when the information is posted to a public venue, it can put the person at risk, or encourage harassment.  The best way to anticipate doxing is googling yourself and seeing what information you can find about you, your family members, phone numbers, addresses, and then attempt to lock the information down.  In some databases you can unsubscribe and ask that your information be removed.

    Technology can be used for good, but there are times like this that technology brings out the worst in people.


  • Horowitz: Defending against Win10 bug fixes

    Posted on October 21st, 2018 at 09:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    One of my favorite security writers, Michael Horowitz, has a new blog post, Defending against Windows 10 bug fixes.

    Those of you who follow along on this site, or read my Computerworld articles (or can speculate as to the origin of the “MS-DEFCON” terminology) know how important it is to protect your Windows 10 (and, increasingly, 7) machine from Microsoft’s pushed problems.

    Software always needs bug fixes. Still, it is widely understood that Windows Update, which installs bug fixes for Windows, is itself dangerous. Too many bug fixes create new problems. It has gotten so bad that every techie paying attention knows to wait before installing the latest “updates.” Let someone else experience the inevitable bugs that new fixes create.

    Good stuff.

  • A must-read article on Microsoft’s Windows strategy, from Peter Bright

    Posted on October 21st, 2018 at 07:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you haven’t yet read it, take a while and look at Peter Bright’s latest article in Ars Technica.

    The title needs parsing — “Microsoft’s problem isn’t how often it updates Windows—it’s how it develops it” — but don’t let that throw you off.

    Bright argues, persuasively, that the root problem with Win10’s instability isn’t solely due to the ridiculous pace of two new versions per year. Rather, the fundamental source of our angst lies in how Microsoft mis-manages the development process.

    Patch Lady Susan and I have been deeply embroiled in this argument for a long time, as you know. Bright brings a new perspective, and one that’s made me re-think several of my positions.

    It’s entirely possible that the absurd breakneck pace of change we’re seeing masks a complete breakdown in Microsoft’s ability to produce reliable software.

    All I know for sure is that Windows is on a vicious downward spiral.

    I don’t recommend Windows to any of my friends any more.