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February 26, 2020

Security

Google Password Checkup intro screen

Google’s Password Checkup Surprisingly Robust

An accidental launch of Google’s Password Checkup utility points out some possible security compromises and “less-than-best” practices in my password stable. I take corrective action, but it’s slow and intense work. Sigh.

USB Condoms Are No Joke

When you plug into a third-party USB port for power, all the data pins remain active, ready to be sniffed, attacked, or even exploited. By routing only power leads through, a USB condom stops such attacks cold.

An obvious scam, why do people still fall for it?

I get my fair share of phishing and other scam emails. I’ve gotten messages from Nigerian princes, State Lottery Authorities in several US states, and I’ve been told that an unknown philanthropist in Australia has left me millions in his will. I get these emails mostly to my so called junk address, an email I

Toolkit Item: ShowKeyPlus

Given that Windows Activation is almost (I repeat: almost) foolproof in Windows 10, there isn’t much reason to find, know or use OS keys anymore. But sometimes — especially when activation problems present, perhaps with a suggestion that a key is invalid or suspect — a Windows OS keyfinding tool is essential. No self-respecting Windows

MS Readies Defender Name Change

A name change from Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender and at least one MacOS Defender offering (Advanced Threat Protection, or ATP) strongly suggest that Defender has cross-platform tendencies if not yet a definite roadmap and timeline.

Multiple Takes on Win10 Hardware Requirements

Everybody, even Microsoft, knows that the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 fall far short of providing a positive user experience. Another, new MS Docs item provides more useful guidance on minimum hardware configs. Let’s compare and contrast them, OK?

June 1903 Updates Block Certain USB Device Pairings

Here’s an interesting note from the Windows Support team. Dated June 11, 2019, it coincides with the “Patch Tuesday” updates for Windows 10 that month. The title explains things: “Some Bluetooth devices may fail to pair or connect after applying June 11, 2019 or later updates.” In simpler terms, this means that recent security updates

Chinese Military Seeks Windows OS Alternative

Seems like China is looking for ways to do its own computing thing, independent of the west. Some of this is being forced upon them, as with Huawei’s recent decision to accelerate development of a Windows replacement code-named Hongmeng (see Week 22 Newsbytes for more info).That move comes as Microsoft has stopped licensing Windows to

UEFI Secure Boot Ins and Outs

Because Secure Boot blocks unrecognized software elements from loading during the boot process (before Windows starts running), it may interfere when you’re installing or updating boot-related software, firmware or drivers.

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