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I want to add a guide for Opera, as it is also considered among the top, most used browsers in the world.  :)

For Opera users:
  • Start the Opera browser.
  • Click on the "Opera" tab menu located at the top left corner.
  • From the menu, select "Extensions" and from the sub-menu, click on "Extensions manager".
  • On the new window, select "All" and click the X button, on the top right corner of an extension to remove it.
Afterwards, reset Opera to complete the process.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 / Re: Annoying Windows 10 Upgrade icon
« on: October 27, 2015, 09:00:39 am »
I just want to make a note, that this KB3035583 update is a recurring one! I keep marking it with the "Hide update" feature and it keeps coming back - 4 or 5 times now>:( 
So, my suggestion is to not run Automatic updates, and keep checking for it in the "Installed updates" section and for the GWX icon.

Internet and Networking Security / Re: Which is the Most Secure Browser?
« on: October 20, 2015, 10:32:21 am »
@Vermon - it is interesting if herdProtect didn't detect Firefox and Chrome (if you have them installed), because they run ads to support themselves (although you can also add AdBlockers to them). I don't know if those detections were just False Positives. As for the big amount of files - this is a browser that has more tools than other browsers in-built so the features based on security and privacy to work effectively.

@never - you are right that WhiteHat Aviator should have made their source code open since the release of the browser, but as I have read they are a small team and even released the browser only for Mac OS X at first. From January this year the source code was made open, so its a positive note. I wonder if they were trying to fix vulnerabilities in their modification of the Chromium code, on their own and they didn't post the code for security reasons...
Anyway, I have noticed that other browsers indeed detect the update section of the Aviator site. It appears that it shows an invalid security certificate which expired on 4.9.2015 (more than a month ago).  This is disturbing and I agree that is quite the trust issue!
The i2p network program you posted might be a good solution for privacy and it looks it can be put on any browser. However, it is more tech-orientated and some users might want to read more about it before using it. I thank you for that information, because it will be very useful to me (I hope to others as well).

There is a new Ransomware Trojan that popped up a few days ago. It is called "hairullah@inbox(.)lv". It is distributed like most ransomwares do - through email attachments with malicious content, aggressive spam or through websites hosting exploit kits.

If you get infected, the Trojan will stay hidden for a while until it scans your system seeking to exploit files with the following extensions: txt, zip, rar, pdf, jpg, msi, iso, xml, inf, dwg, rtf, csv, avi, doc, xlx, db. After such files are found, they will be encrypted with the extension “id-0123456789_hairullah@inbox(.)lv”, where the numbers in the extension may vary. After the encryption the user will be asked to pay a ransom to unlock his files via a message that can re-appear after every restart of the machine.

Some researchers believe that this particular Ransomeware targets files only on a computer’s data storage that have been mapped and assigned a letter, such as HDDs, SSDs, and any removable drives.

Do you know any information regarding this Ransomeware? If you have come across it – with what security software did you remove it and have you somehow managed to get your files decrypted?

Cryptowall has become a very devastating ransomware. It encrypts files on your computer and asks for a large ransom to “potentially” get them back via an encryption key. There is no telling that if you pay, all of your files will be restored or that you will be provided with a key, and if that key would work or not.

In Cryptowall 1.0, the ransomeware made a copy of important files and encrypted it, while just deleting the original files. In this way, the original files could be recovered with data recovery tools. Then Cryptowall 2.0 came in, with that restoration ability gone as it also could delete Shadow Volume copies of Windows and system restore points as well. It was also using individual TOR gateways for payment for each user that fells victim to it. By using a private TOR network, the creators can stay hidden from authorities. The RakhniDecryptor.exe and RectorDecryptor.exe from Kaspersky are tools that could be used in order to decrypt at least some files, although those tools were made specifically for other ransomware Trojans.

Cryptowall 3.0 - the latest version, encrypts your files using a mixture of RSA and AES encryption, which can be “unlocked” only by a private decryption key that only the creators of the ransomware know. The RSA cryptosystem used in Cryptowall 3.0 may vary from 1,024 to 4,096 bits, and the 256-bit length of the AES key used, makes the encryption so strong that it can take literally billions of years to brute-force all the possible variations of the decrypting key with a super-computer. It would take 1 billion years to crack a 128-bit encryption key with a super-computer, experts say. Also, the AES algorithm encrypts files many times – the more bits it is, the more times it encrypts a file. Not to mention that some users report that Cryptowall 3.0 uses Chinese characters – modern Chinese contains more than 3,000 symbols in its alphabet, so any attempt to crack the code seems really infeasible.
Here is our article about Cryptowall 3.0 -

You can remove the dreadful virus with an advanced anti-malware program, but most of your files might remain locked. So far, there is no real solution found to help decrypting files of the victim users. The ransomware is built by people, so there might be a weak-link to be found somewhere.

Do you have any ideas? What do you think should be done? What methods have you tried and what have you done to prevent such an attack from happening?

Internet and Networking Security / Which is the Most Secure Browser?
« on: October 08, 2015, 05:25:39 pm »
I have used plenty of browsers with many different features. The question about internet security arises. Which browser is the most secure?
There are a few things to consider here - how much time does it take to patch vulnerabilities; does the browser block ads and/or has virus and malware scan integrated in it; does it track your personal data and if so, what kind and how, e.g. cookies...
In this article, we have covered some pretty interesting facts about the most popular browsers:
So I have found out what time does it take for the most popular browsers to change their code, in order to patch vulnerabilities and exploits:
  • Google Chrome - up to 15 days
  • Maxthon Cloud Browser - up to 15 days
  • Mozilla Firefox - up to 28 days
  • Internet Explorer - up to 30 days
  • Opera - up to 48 days
  • Apple Safari - up to 54 days
Less used browsers such as Opera and Safari may need a longer time to update their code, but usually less vulnerabilities and exploits have been discovered for them in general.

WhiteHat Aviator, SRWare Iron and Maxthon have an Ad-blocker integrated with their default installation.
Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Comodo Dragon and many others have an option to add an Ad-blocker as an extension, but also incorporate some basic virus protection for files downloaded.

Unfortunately, all above-mentioned browsers use cookies to track data in some way, to be supported by ads in order to provide a free service and so on. Anonymity on the Internet is pretty much gone, but it can be achieved through the browsers Tor and WhiteHat Aviator as they have the most features related to it and to me they can be considered as the most secured browsers.

What do you think? I am interested to see your comments on the matter!  8)

Web Browsing Practices / Re: Is Maxthon Web Browser Safe?
« on: October 06, 2015, 08:50:08 am »
@Vermon - thank you for that post, it was very helpful and now I feel a bit safer surfing the net with Maxthon!
And undoubtedly, for me, it's the fastest browser I have used so far.  :)

Web Browsing Practices / Re: Is Maxthon Web Browser Safe?
« on: October 01, 2015, 06:51:02 pm »
I have heard of the browsers Tor and Comodo Dragon before. But, Tor is based on anonimity. It hides your IP address and changes your location every time you log in from it. As for Comodo Dragon I have yet to try. People tell me, it scans pages about tracking so it could be a good browser to log into sites, with sensitive information credentials.

What other browsers do you know of?  ???

Windows 7 / Suspicious Windows 7 Update
« on: October 01, 2015, 06:23:22 pm »
Yesterday, some really weird and suspicious Windows 7 update showed in my Windows Update agent.
The update is listed as important, yet it failed to install once and after that it couldn't go through at all.
No information was attached to the update's "More Information" section, since it was all in scrambled letters...
You can get a glimpse of the weird symbols, from my update log:


Download size: 4.3 MB

You may need to restart your computer for this update to take effect.

Update type: Important


More information:

Help and Support:

At first I thought that this could be a Windows 7 exploit of some sort. Fortunately, I thought wrong.

After a 12 hour, almost nerve-wrecking, wait upon any official news about the subject, an answer came in.
A Microsoft spokeperson said the following:
"We incorrectly published a test update and are in the process of removing it"

I was sort of relieved after hearing the news, but, alas, still kind of troubled by this. Why did it take so much time for an answer?
Is Microsoft hiding something? Are their operating systems compromised, or at least were compromised temporalily?
What are your thoughts on this? Did you witness the update's misshaps with your own eyes?
Has something like this ever happened to you and do you feel safe after this?

I found this program to be very useful and time efficient. It is called Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU).
It currently supports only Windows OS (from Windows XP to Windows 10), but it can clean old video card drivers from brands such as nVidia, AMD, Intel and SurfacePro 3;D
It also cleans their leftover items such as registry entries, driver versions in the system folders (like the Driver Store) and also creates logs of files it has removed (mainly, some registry entries)!
It saves a lot of time and manual work and many errors can now easily be avoided with it!

What is your experience with video drivers? How hard it was for you to completely remove them from your system?
What other issues have you come across by trying to uninstall them properly?
What other issues have you found that video drivers can cause?

Do you know any noteworthy tips and tricks about dealing with bad video drivers??

Web Browsing Practices / Is Maxthon Web Browser Safe?
« on: September 30, 2015, 12:19:38 pm »
No matter if you have used the Maxthon browser before or not - do you feel safe browsing with it? Do you find it trustworthy? Why?

Also, what features have you found useful? Anything that can make it safer? I see it has a feature for clearing private data and browsing history in the Settings menu. All that data should be stored on a user's computer, but at the same time it is a cloud browser? Is any of that data stored in the cloud? What do you think and what have you found about the matter? ??? I am also not sure about what happens when you download files through it - does the browser has any anti-virus or anti-phishing scanner inbuilt?

Share your opinions and experience below.

Web Browsing Practices / Maxthon Web Browser
« on: September 29, 2015, 04:08:43 pm »
The Maxthon browser has been around for quite a long time now – more than 10 years. If you still haven’t heard of it, now is a good time. It has a lot of nifty features and half of them are either not found or tend to be ignored in other browsers.

Maxthon is a multi-platform cloud browser and offers support for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows Phone, iOS and Android. It offers a great synchronization between these operating systems and different devices. Maxthon stands out for its cloud services like Cloud Push and Cloud Download, which, respectively, let you send data to other devices (even over SMS) and save Web downloads to cloud storage instead to your computer.

The browser supports HTML5 in a unique way, combining both the WebKit and Trident rendering engines, which can be switched between via its Ultra and Retro modes. This is a very clever implementation as it serves the purpose to render and load any Web pages over the Internet and both layout engines are not found together in any other browser.
Maxthon has standard extension like other browsers – Favourite Bookmarks, Tabs, Pop-Up Blocker and using a master password for multiple sites. But, it also has other unique and very useful features included with its installation – AdBlock Plus, Mouse Gesture and Multi-Search.

AdBlock Plus is a great filter that blocks ads using both images and flash. The Mouse Gesture feature can be used to navigate through the internet by moving the mouse in patterns and giving commands that way such as Forward, Back, Refresh or even Hide. The Multi-Search allows you to search the Web for keywords via multiple search engines at the same time, also being able to choose how many, and which engines to include.

Many users report that Maxthon runs smoothly on different devices, cross platforms. Also, that it uses less memory and is faster than other browsers they have used.

If you haven't used this browser before, you can give it a go and share your first impressions of it below! :)

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