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Tom Briant

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth"s Weekly Web Wrap-up for August 14 2016

Slide Show:
Apple's most controversial decisions that made the iPhone better

How to make your old MacBook Pro run like new again

Don't go for the cheapest option when you're buying a computer – here's why

For your long-term satisfaction, it's worth spending the extra bucks if your budget allows for it. You'll thank yourself if you do.

You'll notice my powerful laptop is a MacBook Pro, but I'm not saying that Apple computers are better than Windows laptops here. A Windows laptop with an i7 would also scream past any task you throw its way.

I shopped at Amazon's first real-life bookstore ever and it was freaking awesome

Amazon Books is the best of both worlds. I get that experience of browsing the shelves, which, as a card-carrying nerd, I love a lot. But I also know I'm getting what is almost definitely the best price possible, thanks to Amazon.

The Dangers of the Deep Web

The new documentary Down the Deep, Dark Web explores the promise and perils of the deep web—the part of the internet that isn’t indexed through search engines.

An interviewee said:
“For years, anyone who wanted to do things in secret, to buy drugs or stolen goods, found it very difficult to do in the real world.  Because in the real world, you needed to meet the seller, and then you need to pay him somehow.  When we’re speaking of the Darknet, we’re talking about a new commercial arena.  A new marketplace where the identities of the buyer, the seller and even the money itself is hidden from law enforcement.”

“I want it to be very clear what the Darknet is.  You install software that essentially hides your activity.  Such as TOR."

Here's what happens when 20,000 hackers invade Las Vegas for a week of hacking, booze, and debauchery

The Internet of Things will always be vulnerable

Lots of devices are being connected to the internet:  Cars, household appliances, medical devices, etc.  And all of them can be hacked — with potentially deadly consequences.

As worrying as these scenarios may be, they all boil down to one cause really: whatever their form, all of these devices and technologies are, put simply, computers that connect to a network. And therein lies their almost absolute nature to remain vulnerable to attacks, as well as a target of such. The moment computers stopped being hulking cabinets that required physical presence and access in order to use, the moment it was possible for computers to communicate with one another even if far apart, they have become vulnerable.

Microsoft has inadvertently demonstrated the intrinsic security problem of including a universal backdoor in its software after it accidentally leaked its so-called "golden key"—which allows users to unlock any device that's supposedly protected by Secure Boot, such as phones and tablets.

And while this means that enterprising users will be able to install any operating system—Linux, for instance—on their Windows tablet, it also allows bad actors with physical access to a machine to install bootkits and rootkits at deep levels. Worse, according to the security researchers who found the keys, this is a decision Microsoft may be unable to reverse.

Comment: Microsoft just demonstrated why Apple was right to stand up to the FBI

My main argument was that something as powerful as a master key to unlock an iPhone would eventually fall into the wrong hands.

And Microsoft has just proven my point, even with code that was never intended to leave the company’s possession …

ArsTechnica reported that Microsoft accidentally leaked a universal backdoor to Windows.

Code that would inevitably be handed over to law enforcement agencies would be a million times more vulnerable. And that is why Apple was absolutely right to resist pressure to create a master key to unlock the iPhone.

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