Computers

The Tech Corner is a technology news and advice column presented each week courtesy of Melvin McCrary at Georgia Computer Depot in Cedartown.

Windows/MacOS/Linux virus spreads via Facebook Messenger

Do Not Click on any Facebook messages with video links sent by anyone, even your friend.

Security researchers have discovered a campaign on Facebook Messenger where users receive a video link that redirects them to a fake website that installs malicious software.

Spam campaigns on Facebook are all too common these days. A few years ago, researchers found cyber criminals using booby-trapped JPG images to hide the malware in order to infect Facebook users with variants of the Locky ransomware, which encrypts all files on infected computers until a ransom is paid.

Do not look at images or video links sent by anyone, even your friend, without verifying it with them, and always keep your paid antivirus software up-to-date.

Pirate Bay founders ordered to pay music labels $477,800

Two of the three co-founders of The Pirate Bay — Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg — have been ordered by a Finnish court to pay record labels $477,800 in compensation for copyright infringement on the site.

Last year in a similar case, Helsinki District Court in Finland ordered Peter Sunde, the third co-founder of The Pirate Bay, to pay nearly $395,000 (350,000 Euros) in damages to several major record labels, including Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music.

All the three co-founders of The Pirate Bay were facing criminal copyright infringement and abuse of electronic communications charges in a Belgian court but were acquitted after it was found that they sold The Pirate Bay file-sharing website in 2006.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the world’s major labels, with support from Finnish Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Center, filed a lawsuit in November 2011 in the Helsinki District Court against The Pirate Bay.

Besides ordering the founders to jointly pay compensation of 405,000 euros (over $477,800) to record labels, the District Court also ordered them to “cease-and-desist” the illegal operations of The Pirate Bay.

Simple exploit allows attackers to modify email even after sent

Security researchers are warning of a new, easy-to-exploit email trick that could allow attackers to turn a seemingly benign email into a malicious one after it has already been delivered to your email inbox.

Dubbed Ropemaker (stands for Remotely Originated Post-delivery Email Manipulation Attacks Keeping Email Risky), the trick was uncovered by Francisco Ribeiro, the researcher at email and cloud security firm Mimecast.

A successful exploitation of the Rope maker attack could allow an attacker to remotely modify the content of an email sent by attackers.

“While the use of these web technologies has made email more visually attractive and dynamic relative to its purely text-based predecessor, this has also introduced an exploitable attack vector for email.”

To protect from such attacks, users should rely on web-based email clients like Gmail, iCloud and Outlook, which aren’t affected by Ropemaker-style CSS exploits.

Android 8.0 Oreo released; new features make it even better

The new updated mobile operating system, which has been available for the last few months in developer beta, will arrive on your Android devices by the end of this year.

Android Oreo has been developed keeping “Security” in mind, with Google cracking down on the fastest-growing problem of Android malware with a new anti-malware tool called Google Play Protect.

“Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger,” Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google said.

Wi-Fi aware (neighborhood aware networking – nan)

Android Oreo has also added support for a new connectivity feature called Wi-Fi Aware, also known as Neighborhood Aware Networking, which allows apps and devices to automatically find, connect to, and share data with each other directly without any internet access point or cellular data.

Wi-Fi Aware is basically a combination of WiFi Direct and Nearby features to offer more reliable connection compared to Wi-Fi P2P, allowing users to share data at high speed with a longer distance communication compared to Bluetooth.

Prior to Android 8.0 Oreo, developer apps could listen for a broad range of system broadcasts or changes on an Android device such as Wi-Fi turning on or a picture being taken, which negatively impact system performance and battery life.