Out of date, vulnerable browsers put users at risk

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Is your browser up to date? According to the results of a new survey from Kaspersky—a security software vendor—nearly a quarter of the browsers currently in use are out of date. Surfing the Web with a vulnerable browser is a recipe for disaster.

The Web browser has evolved to become the primary software used on many PCs. People access their email, surf websites, create documents and spreadsheets, access cloud-based file storage and sharing sites, and share with others on social networking sites—all through the browser. Attackers no this as well, which is why it is exceptionally risky to use a browser with known vulnerabilities.

Kaspersky gathered anonymous data through its cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network. Kaspersky researchers analyzed the browser usage data from millions of customers around the world, and uncovered some concerning trends.

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Study finds 25 percent of Android apps to be a security risk

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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According to a new report from Bit9—a security vendor with a focus on defending against advanced persistent threats (APT)—there is a one in four chance that downloading an Android app from the official Google Play market could put you at risk. Bit9 analyzed 400,000 or so apps in Google Play, and found over 100,000 it considers to be on the shady side.

Does that mean that the sky is falling, and everyone with an Android smartphone or tablet should abandon it immediately? No. The research by Bit9 illustrates some issues with app development in general, and should raise awareness among mobile users to exercise some discretion when downloading and installing apps, but it’s not a sign of any urgent crisis affecting Android apps.

Use discretion rather than blindly
granting permissions to apps.
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Windows 8 raises the bar for PC security

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Windows 8 is officially here. Microsoft held an event in New York yesterday to launch the new OS, and spent a lot of time talking about cool features and introducing a plethora of hardware options available with Windows 8. One thing Microsoft didn’t talk about much, though, is security—and the new features in Windows 8 that will keep your PC and data safe.

As with every previous iteration of the Windows operating system, Windows 8 is the most secure version yet. That really goes without saying, and amounts to little more than marketing hype. Each new version includes the security features of the previous one, but improves on them and adds new features to address potential risks missed by the predecessor. Not to suggest that Windows 8 is invulnerable, but it should be expected that it’s more secure than Windows 7, or any previous version of Windows.

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Webroot SecureAnywhere 2013 adds protection for Mac OS X

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Webroot SecureAnywhere 2013 is here. The new security suite from Webroot includes a variety of updates in the areas of performance, and the overall user experience. But, the most notable feature of SecureAnywhere 2013 is that it now also protects Mac OS X.

Let’s start with a look at SecureAnywhere in general. While the overall goal of the software is the same as competing antimalware and security suites, and it seems logical to compare them, SecureAnywhere is a whole new approach. Webroot completely threw out its flagship products, and started over by building SecureAnywhere around a more proactive philosophy based off the acquisition of Prevx.

Webroot logo
Webroot SecureAnywhere is a whole different
approach to defending against malware.
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Kaspersky Lab announces a brand-new OS focused on security

Katherine Noyes , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Katherine Noyes has been an ardent geek ever since she first conquered Pyramid of Doom on an ancient TRS-80. Today she covers business and tech in all its forms, with an emphasis on Linux and open source software.
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The past two years or so have brought a new breed of scary malware to the forefront of public attention, including the infamous Stuxnet worm that was discovered back in 2010.

Following hard on Stuxnet's proverbial heels, of course, were Duqu, Flame, Gauss, Shamoon, and Wiper, to name just a few examples.

These new threats are generally thought to be state-sponsored in many cases and developed for cyberespionage against specific targets; another factor in common is that they tend to work through Microsoft Windows.

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Microsoft plans patch for critical flaw in Word next Tuesday

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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It’s the first Thursday of October. Do you know what happens on the first Thursday of each month? Microsoft provides an advance notification of the security bulletins it plans to release on the second Tuesday of the month—more commonly known as Patch Tuesday.

Following an unusually light Patch Tuesday in September, Microsoft was forced to deal with the specter of a zero-day exploit being used in the wild to attack Internet Explorer. Microsoft responded with an out-of-band patch reflecting the urgent nature of the threat.

IT admins will be a little busier in October. According to the Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for October 2012, Microsoft has a total of seven new security bulletins slated for release next week. Six of the seven are rates merely as Important, while the seventh—a patch for a flaw affecting all supported versions of Microsoft Word—is rated as Critical for Word 2010.

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Microsoft pushes out critical security updates for Internet Explorer

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Microsoft has published an out-of-band security bulletin—MS12-063—to address a vulnerability that is being actively exploited in attacks in the wild. In addition, Microsoft also released an update to resolve a critical flaw in Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer 10—which is the default browser in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Microsoft has responded quickly in its investigation of reports that a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer is being actively exploited. Microsoft issued a security advisory with workarounds, and mitigating factors to help customers guard against attacks pending a fix. Then, it released a one-click Fix-It tool to protect customers while kicking its developers in to high gear to create a more permanent fix.

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