Hey Happy Monday everyone! I'm sure you've heard about the Yahoo security breach (full article listed below). If you have a Yahoo account, I highly recommend that you change your password just to be safe.
It was about a month or so ago, that I made this same suggestion for your LinkedIn account when they were hacked. As a best practice, you should change your online passwords often and you shouldn't use the same password for every site. Create a password that is STRONG. Some sites offer guidance to let you know how STRONG your password is, but if you use a site that doesn't offer that you can use Microsofts' quick password checker.
here are a few password suggestions from Microsoft.
Create STRONG passwords
A strong password is an important protection to help you have safer online transactions. Here are steps you can take to create a strong password. Some or all might help protect your online transactions:
Length. Make your passwords long with eight or more characters.
Complexity. Include letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers. Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. However, password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing "and" to "&" or "to" to "2."
Variation. To keep strong passwords effective, change them often. Set an automatic reminder for yourself to change your passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites about every three months.
Variety. Don't use the same password for everything. Cybercriminals steal passwords on websites that have very little security, and then they use that same password and user name in more secure environments, such as banking websites.
Yahoo Security Breach Shocks Experts
Company failed to take even basic precautions to stop 450,000 usernames and passwords from being exposed.
A Yahoo security breach that exposed 450,000 usernames and passwordsfrom a site on the huge web portal indicates that the company failed to take even basic precautions to protect the data.
Security experts were befuddled Thursday as to why a company as large as Yahoo would fail to cryptographically store the passwords in its database. Instead, they were left in plain text, which means a hacker could easily read them.
"It is definitely poor security," Marcus Carey, a security researcher at Rapid7, said. "It's not even security 101. It's basic application development 101."
Yahoo declined a request for an interview, and only emailed a statement confirming the breach that occurred Wednesday. The company said that an "older file" containing roughly 450,000 user names and passwords was stolen from its Contributor Network, a subset of Yahoo's massive network of Web sites.
Membership in the Contributor Network consists of freelance journalists who write content for Yahoo Voices. The network was established following Yahoo's 2010 acquisition of Associated Content.
Less than 5 percent of the stolen data had valid passwords, Yahoo said. "We are taking immediate action by fixing the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of this data, changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo! users and notifying the companies whose users accounts may have been compromised," the statement said.
The breach had ramifications far beyond Yahoo, because the portal allowed people registering with the Contributor Network to use credentials from other sites to log in. Carey identified some of the other sites as Google's Gmail, Microsoft's Hotmail, AOL, Comcast and Verizon.
A hacker group called D33Ds Companytook credit for the breach, and posted a statement on its website saying the attack was a warning. "We hope that the parties responsible for managing the security of this subdomain will take this as a wake-up call, and not as a threat," the group said, according to media reports. "There have been many security holes exploited in Web servers belonging to Yahoo! Inc. that have caused far greater damage than our disclosure. Please do not take them lightly."
The hackers claimed to use a common attack method called a SQL injection to access the database that fed the server hosting the site. A SQL injection typically involves sending commands through a search field or a URL to break into a poorly secured site.
Tony Perez, chief operating officer for Sucuri, who used to work with defense contractors in developing secure applications, said Yahoo's overall security lapses were a disservice to its users. "It makes you wonder. If a property like Yahoo at that scale is doing that, and they did it for their Yahoo Voices, what's the probability of that also occurring in their other properties?"
The Yahoo breach occurred a month after professional social networking site LinkedIn acknowledged that 6.5 million usernames and passwords were stolen and posted on a Russian hacker forum. In that case, the passwords had been stored using a cryptographic method called hashing.
After 12 betas, 1 release candidate, and more than a year of work Mozilla has officially released Firefox 4, the latest version of its popular open-source browser. In the first 24 hours since it has become available, Firefox 4 has been downloaded over 5 million times, according to Mozilla’s official download stats page. In comparison, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded 2.35 million times in its first 24 hours of availability.
Available for download on Windows, Linux, and Mac, The new version of Firefox 4 introduces a much-improved user interface, significant performance enhancements, strong support for the latest Web standards, and noteworthy new features like built-in support for synchronizing bookmarks and other browser data.
The new release arrives at a time when the Web is enjoying an unprecedented level of competition and a rapid pace of evolution, with the release of Internet Explorer 9 last week and with a “new kid on the block” steadily gaining market share, Google’s Chrome.
Firefox 4 has a dramatically redesigned user interface that's quite a departure from the one seen in previous versions, but it also bears a striking resemblance to Google Chrome. The tabs now sit above the address bar which, combined with the lack of a menu bar, maximizes the amount of screen space devoted to actual web content. A Windows Start menu-style Firefox menu contains the most common menu commands with the Bookmarks menu accessible from the Bookmarks toolbar, if you choose to leave it visible. It's possible to restore a more traditional appearance though, with a menu bar and tabs below the address bar.
Tabbed browsing has been given a makeover with an intriguing new feature called Tab Groups. Multiple windows full of tabs can be managed from a single visual overview without cluttering up your desktop and Task Bar with lots of windows. This is useful if you're addicted to tabbed browsing and juggle tabs related to different tasks and projects. Tabs can be dragged and dropped between groups, groups can named or resized so, for example, more important Tab Groups are bigger than less important ones.
Like Chrome, individual tabs can be 'pinned' so that they can't be closed which is useful for web applications, such as Google Docs, that you might always want accessible. If you start typing the address of a web page that's already open in another tab, Firefox offers to take you to that tab without reloading the page.
Being a loyal Firefox user for years, recently I made the switch to Chrome as my default browser. My decision was based solely on speed, the quicker I can open web pages the better. With Firefox’s new speed enhancements redesigned interface, I might just have to switch back.
Last night at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, the final version of Windows Internet Explorer 9 was released and is now available for download.
Microsoft opted, this time, not to offer IE9 support for Windows XP. So, the 9th version of the IE9 web browser can only be installed on Windows Vista or Windows 7, a decision that has spurred a lot of critics, as an estimated 60% of the computers in the world are running on the Windows XP operating system.
The new web browser promises a better Internet browsing experience. Given that IE is losing its share to popular browsers like Firefox and Chrome, Microsoft expects to strike back with IE9. Let’s take a look at what’s new in the new Internet Explorer:
The new IE9 interface is surely inspired from the best of Chrome and Firefox. The first big change is in the location of the URL bar which now aligns with the tabs, occupying minimum vertical space on the screen. The toolbar on the top combines most of the settings and other tweaking buttons go provide optimum space for the web pages. The address bar is ‘smart’ in the sense that it gives suggestions from your bookmarks, history and relevance of the query you’re typing in it. The tabs can be separated from window by dragging them out to form a new window – something that you can do also in Chrome and Firefox. The new tab also shows your most visited & bookmarked sites for easy access.
There is a considerable improvement in the software load time. The browser does seem to load faster than any of the IE versions in the past. The most welcome addition is ‘hardware acceleration’ which uses GPU to process graphics heavy web pages thus taking off the load from CPU and improving load times. This is most likely to improve your game demo and video preview experience.
IE9 introduces support to HTML5. It’s definitely not 100% HTML5 as the HTML5 standards are not final yet. We are expecting a lot of improvement in the support with future updates to IE9.
Now you can directly drop the Facebook URL to taskbar of the browser and IE9 will automatically add links to relevant pages of Facebook (Feed, Profile, Inbox etc.). Microsoft has partnered with several popular service providers to enable this feature.
Power users will find this feature very useful. Those obsessed with speed can now follow recommendations from the add-on performance adviser to get the most out of their browser. The performance adviser detects the programs, scripts and apps that slow down your browsing experience and provides a one-stop solution to turn them on or off.
Improved Download Manager:
Learning from Firefox & Chrome, Microsoft has included a nice download manager which is a central place to manage and track all your downloads. There’s nothing new or revolutionary in it, but it’s a feature we all got used to after Firefox introduced it.
The feature that Chrome introduced is now available in IE9. You can easily switch to private browsing mode that lets you browse anonymously without any of the site collecting any information from you.
What’s your take on IE9? Do you think it poses a serious competition to Firefox or Chrome?
Mozilla Labs, pieced together with the help of the community, designed this amazing mobile phone concept named “Seabird” as part of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series. The concept is nothing short of incredible. The entire tech blog world is currently talking about it, and with good reason.
Let's start by saying that this device is purely a concept, and Mozilla has no intention of producing it. The Mozilla Seabird is a product of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series, which is an open call to share ideas about improving the Internet, Mozilla, and its Firefox browser. The Seabird is an 'Open Web Concept Phone' by Billy May, that has been refined by community feedback since its 2009 introduction. May describes the project as "an experiment in how users might interact with their mobile content as devices and technology advance."
In concept, the device isn’t too different from what is currently on the market – there’s a large touchscreen, sleek body design and camera. It does step it up a notch by including dual pico projectors to enable users to project what’s on their device to a larger screen or wall as well as an infrared keyboard for typing. The Mozilla Seabird also envisions an embedded Bluetooth dongle with could be used as a form of a 3D mouse.
While we likely won't see anything like this for some time, it's exciting to think of the possibilities. To learn more about this concept, please visit the Mozilla Labs page.
Mozilla has launched an early beta version of the next Firefox browser (Firefox 4) and plans to release further beta's for testing every two to three weeks. The goal, Mozilla said, is to improve the development process by receiving feedback from developers quickly and getting fixes and changes tested earlier than in previous Firefox development cycles.
The most noticeable improvement to Firefox 4 has to do with the look of the browser. The tabs have been moved to the top to make it easier to control the tools in the web browser itself. Also, if you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the menu bar was replaced with a single Firefox button so you can get to the most-used options with just one click.
Under the hood, Firefox 4 integrates a new add-on manager that provides users with more space to handle add-ons, themes and plug-ins. Developers will also be able to build Firefox add-ons more quickly using the new Jetpack SDK to safely connect to existing libraries.
With Firefox 4, users will no longer have to restart the browser in order to install a new add-on or recover from a crash. When a plug-in crashes or freezes, you will be able to resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
Firefox is known for its add-ons, where it has established one of the richest environments for new capabilities, positioning it as a platform unto itself. Add-ons, extensions and apps are becoming important for browser vendors because it creates additional options for its users.
Future beta releases of Firefox 4 will enable users to synchronize settings, passwords, bookmarks, history, open tabs and other customizations across multiple devices.
If you are interested in helping Mozilla test the future Firefox, download the beta version of Firefox 4 by clicking on the link below. If you are interested in downloading the latest official Firefox release (version 3.6.8) click on the link below.
Firefox 4 Beta