Archive for June 7, 2017

PSA: Beware Of A Piece Of Malware Called Fireball

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 7, 2017 by itnerd

A new malware has recently been detected by the security firm Check Point. This malware is called Fireball and has infected over 250 million computers worldwide.

The malware, called Fireball, acts as a browser-hijacker but and can be turned into a full-functioning malware downloader. Fireball is capable of executing any code on the victim machines, resulting in a wide range of actions from stealing credentials to dropping additional malware. this malware has two main powers. It can run any malicious code on the victim’s computer. It can also hijack and manipulate infected users’ traffic to generate fraudulent ad revenue.

This operation is run by Rafotech, a large digital marketing agency based in Beijing. Rafotech uses Fireball to manipulate the victims’ browsers and turn their default search engines and home-pages into fake search engines. This redirects the queries to either yahoo.com or Google.com. The fake search engines include tracking pixels used to collect the users’ private information. Fireball has the ability to  spy on victims, perform efficient malware dropping, and execute any malicious code in the infected machines, this creates a massive security flaw in targeted machines and networks

How Do You Protect Yourself? 

Fireball is spread mostly via bundling i.e. installed on victim machines alongside a wanted program, often without the user’s consent. In that context, it is important to make sure to only install software from a legitimate and trusted source. It is also important to only run legal software and not install any pirated software.

How to know if you’re infected by Fireball?

To check if you’re infected by the Fireball malware, Check Point has laid out some simple points. If the answers to the questions asked below are no, you might be infected with adware.

You simply need to open your web browser. Take a look at the home page and default search engine–was it set by you? Can you make changes to them? Do you recognize the extension installed in your web browser?

To remove most of the adware, you simply need to remove the application from your computer. On Windows, you can do from Programs and Features list in the Windows Control Panel. On Mac, locate the Applications in Finder and drag anything that you think is suspicious to the trash.

You are also advised to scan and clean your computer using a good anti-virus app and adware cleaner software. You can also look for Extensions/Add-ons list in your web browser and delete anything that you think is suspicious.

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Review: Asus Transformer Mini T102H

Posted in Products with tags on June 7, 2017 by itnerd

The Asus Transformer Mini is a entry level, 10.1″ Windows 10 tablet that has a bunch of things going for it. For example, it comes out of the box with a cover that doubles as a very nice keyboard (which is detachable). Typing on it was very good as the keys had a substantial amount of travel to them. Thus typing was easy for a touch typist like me. It also comes with a pressure sensitive stylus that you can draw lines with varied thicknesses in apps that support that functionality. There’s two buttons on the stylus as well that can be programmed. Both of these are extras or not available on many other tablets.

The tablet itself has a 10.1″ display that does 1280×800 resolution in a 16:10 aspect ratio. It was a very bright display where the colors simply looked amazing. The speakers are pretty good too when I played videos from YouTube with stereo separation. They were, loud, clear, and distortion free. The back of the tablet has a flip out stand that swings out of the back panel. It can stop at a wide range of angles, from straight up to an almost horizontal. It also has a fingerprint reader for security reasons which works with Windows Hello. Connectivity is pretty strong as it comes with a microSD card reader on the top of the tablet, and on the left there are a headset jack, a micro HDMI port, a micro USB port for the charger, and a full-size USB 3.0 port for connecting memory sticks, hard drives, etc. It also comes with 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connectivity. The whole package weights less than 2 pounds.

Under the hood, you get 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage on top of having Windows 10 on board with an Intel quad core processor. Integrated Intel HD Graphics are on board as well along with a 2 megapixel web cam. I was able to open lots of tabs in Microsoft Edge as well as not have it slow down when I tossed a copy of Microsoft Word on it to see what it can do. As long as you’re not playing Overwatch or something on it, you’ll have no complaints on the horsepower front. Speaking of power, I got ten hours of battery life which is in line with its competition.

The best part is the price. Expect to pay $549 Canadian which given what comes in the box is a pretty good price. If you’re in the market for a versatile tablet, take a good hard look at the Asus Transformer Mini. It’s got more than enough to warrant your immediate attention.