Where are your software installers going?

Microsoft can send samples of software from your PC using the Automatic Sample submission feature in Windows Defender. This would mean that even software that you develop or test will be pushed to their servers. Developers need to ask themselves if this is ok or not and turn off this feature in Windows 10.

The door is usually open for Microsoft when it comes to whitelisted services. Unless you are using a computer that is controlled by your organization’s policy, etc. This means the Windows Defender service can send samples of software to Microsoft for analysis. Including software you develop in-house. One must ask themselves what Microsoft is doing with the installers after they “analyze” them.

I’m also finding myself thinking of how attackers can exploit this in a way that can mean impersonating a piece of software that is meant for someone else’s system….

Take a look at this engineer’s experience here:
https://medium.com/sensorfu/how-my-application-ran-away-and-called-home-from-redmond-de7af081100d

iOS Security

I’m sure both Google and Apple take security seriously when it comes to their mobile OS. But I actually place my trust in Apple over Google because Apple is the creator of the device and the OS. With that said they don’t allow people to look at their source code. Apple also does a pretty decent job of gatekeeping their App Store. Google Android source code can be modified to run on different hardware platforms and each of these hardware vendors have their own set of privacy and security policies. Software and the data can get messy and over complicated. With Apple, you get Apple policy. Read more here.

I would like to share this news with you because it made me happy:

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/09/a-message-about-ios-security/

Apple Support

I really have to give a shout out to Apple support for making my day better. I had a screen issue with my 13″ MacBook Pro and it was still under warranty. Called support folks on Friday the 16th. They sent me a box on Monday the 19th and I shipped my computer to them that day. They were able to fix my screen and have my precious computer back to me today the 22nd. I’m a happy customer. Just disappointed there isn’t an authorized Apple repair store closer to my location. Doesn’t matter, I’m happy I have my computer back and it’s just like brand new.

Thanks Apple.

ALERT: Fake Lightning cable

If you are an Apple user please be aware of where you get your lightning cable from. Don’t borrow one from someone. Don’t accept or purchase a cable that doesn’t come from Apple directly.

A hacker has modified a Lightning cable in order to gain remote access to your device. I believe it works via wireless so the attacker needs to also be in close proximity to your device.

Read more here.

Browser privacy settings

If you run Chrome or Firefox or any other of the popular browsers you can do a few things to the settings in order to keep your data a little more private.

I’m talking more specifically about Google Chrome right now, but the same concept applies to all.

Here’s some settings to look for:

  • Turn off sync and services
  • Turn off offer to save passwords
  • Turn off payment methods
  • Turn off Addresses and more
  • Turn off allow Chrome Sign in
  • Turn ON Do Not Track
  • Turn off Allow sites to check for payment methods
  • Turn off Preload Pages
  • Site Settings – Notifications – Do not allow any sites to use notifications or prompt for them

These are just a few of the settings you can use to your advantage with any browser. Just make sure you check all your settings before using a specific web browser.