Archive - November 2017

Are you using MacOS High Sierra? Anyone could log into your device

Protecting our personal data requires much more than simply relying on an efficient online privacy tool such as CyberGhost VPN. We always have to make sure our devices are protected with strong passwords, that our operating systems are up-to-date so that security flaws are fixed, we should try not to connect to unprotected public WiFis, only visit HTTPS websites and of course, never go online without CyberGhost VPN.

However, sometimes, these measures may not be enough. The latest version of MacOS High Sierra – 10.13.1 (17B48), released in September – has a flaw which allows people to enter the word “root” when prompted for a username, and provide no password when logging on to the device. Once someone logs in, they’ve essentially authenticated themselves as the owners of the computer. They can add administrators, change critical settings, lock out the current owner, and so on.

Bear in mind that there’s no need to do this yourself to verify it. Doing so creates a “root” account that others may be able to take advantage of if you don’t disable it.

The glitch grants anyone to access the file system for a Mac, exposing private documents on that particular device.

The bug appears to have been first noticed by Lemi Orhan Ergin, founder of Software Craftsman Turkey, who noted it publicly on Twitter.

#MacOS flaw leaves your #personaldata exposed. Find out how to stay safe! Click to Tweet

Although Mac devices are generally regarded as extra secure and less prone to hacking and malware infections, this is a major and very dangerous flaw.

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Happy Computer Security Day 2017!

Since 1988, each year on November 30th, everyone honors International Computer Security Day! Ok, maybe not everyone, but they should. Although there are no happy times for cyber security in general, you should still celebrate your computer’s anniversary!

No need to buy a cake and blow out candles, just take a moment (actually, roughly around 5 minutes) to make sure your device enjoys optimum security. Because if your computer is safe, you and all your precious data will be safe as well.

So, take advantage of the significance of this day and simply follow some useful tips on computer security and digital privacy:

  1. Keep your computer safe from any possible virus or hack

Sadly, hacks, data breaches and online crimes have started to occur more frequently that anyone would expect. No one can guarantee you full proof of these situations, but some computer security risks can be avoided. Here are some signals that your computer warns you about whenever it suffers a form of infection.

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Social media and news channels blocked in Pakistan

Protests have covered the entire Pakistan on Saturday, November 25th after thousands of citizens have demanded the resignation of Law minister Zahid Hamid.  The Law Minister introduced new parliamentary bills which Pakistani people consider weaken the judicial system under religious considerations.

Therefore, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has decided to take all news channels off air and also blocked the access to popular social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The media block has created a big frenzy especially on Twitter where many journalists from the region have taken a stand and were continually reporting on the situation from Pakistan.

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: privacy issue from Google, Uber data breach and more

The media has always abounded in online privacy news, especially in the recent months. This last week has been quite special and we had witnessed both good and bad (although more bad than good) news. Looking at all of them closely, you can’t help but become utterly confused about how you should look upon technology these days.

Apart from the big and worrisome news regarding the end of net neutrality, several other cyber security-related things have happened. Let’s start with the most recent ones that also happen to be stories.

Mozilla to warn users about dangerous websites

Mozilla Firefox has announced that it will release a new useful feature that will warn users if they visit a website that suffered a data breach. This is part of a collaboration with “Have I Been Pwned” website that helps you check if your data has been hacked based on your email credentials. Now, this is useful stuff! However, the option won’t stop you from accessing the website, it’s just an informational procedure.

Read more about this news.

Equal online shopping practices inside the EU

The EU came up with a new proposal that will put a stop to geo-blocking online issues. Don’t get too overexcited!

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Freedom on the Net Report 2017 reflects a worrying increase in digital censorship

Another year has passed in the realm of digital freedom, leaving the global situation more and more precarious, especially in the context of various elections taking place throughout the world.

According to Freedom House, which surveyed 65 countries for its ‘Freedom on the Net 2017’ report (87% of the world’s Internet users), the state of the Internet freedom around the world has little cause for celebration, as this year continues to present a world where few societies give their citizens access to a free, uncensored Internet.

Thus, nearly half of the 65 countries assessed in Freedom on the Net 2017 experienced declines during the coverage period, while just 13 made progress, most of it minor. Less than one-quarter of users reside in countries where the internet is designated free, meaning there are no major obstacles to access, excessive restrictions on content, or serious violations of user rights in the form of unchecked surveillance or unjust repercussions for legitimate speech.

However, in one of the world’s leading democracies, the United States, the use of “fake news”, automated “bot” accounts, and other manipulation methods gained particular attention and caused a decline in the country’s overall Internet freedom. While the online environment in the US remained generally free, it was troubled by a proliferation of fabricated news articles, as well as aggressive harassment of many journalists, both during and after the presidential election campaign.

 

The usual suspects and some unexpected improvements

Of the 65 countries assessed, 32 have been on an overall decline since June 2016. The biggest declines took place in Ukraine, Egypt, and Turkey.

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The end of net neutrality knocks on our doors

As recently announced, the FCC had to come up with the final proposal regarding net neutrality until November 22nd. Yesterday, Ajit Pai announced that it will dismantle net neutrality rules, giving giant telecom and web companies full power on deciding what online content to deliver to their customers. Additionally, the end of net neutrality would mean that ISPs can either slow down or speed up web services at their own will. Clearly, only big companies will afford to offer the best connections to consumers.

FCC Chairman mentioned the new proposal would actually mean restoring internet freedom since it forces ISPs to be transparent on the costs they require users for each web service they provide. Customers can simply choose a service plan according to their needs and preferences. Basically, American citizens will pay different costs for a basic internet service and will have to pay more if they want to access music or movie websites, for example.

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Secure your online payments with CyberGhost VPN this holiday season

Update, November 22nd: and here is the great surprise! On Black Friday, you get 75% OFF on a 3-year CyberGhost VPN subscription! Connect to CyberGhost and you can enjoy anonymous and secure online activities, at the price of USD 2.75/month. Plus, you’ll get exclusive access to our NoSpy servers. The NoSpy servers are NSA-proof and guarded 24/7 in our Romanian HQ solely by the CyberGhost team. Find out more about the Black Friday offer and our NoSpy Servers.

Black Friday and Christmas holiday shopping season are approaching. Don’t you just love this time of the year? Well, so do hackers; they just can’t wait to catch you off guard and make a small mistake to get all your money (aka credit card details). In a way, it’s hacking season as well.

Since you’ll be doing online shopping more or less, you need to secure your online transactions. Apart from a few tricks you can apply to stay safe online and prevent any fraud, a VPN is actually the best tool you can use to make sure your online payments are safe and sound.

A VPN comes in handy even if you buy from previously tested online stores, but especially when shopping from a new website.

Choose CyberGhost VPN to protect your online transactions

CyberGhost VPN always safeguards your financial details including when you connect to a public or unknown Wi-Fi network or when you travel to a foreign country.

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