Asus, Linksys router exploits tell us home networking is the vulnerability story of 2014

If you’re using network-attached storage, video surveillance equipment, or remote router management software, beware of dodgy firmware—it’s become ground zero for hacker exploits, as recent debacles with Asus and Linksys routers emphatically illustrate. The message is clear: In 2014, vulnerable routers, NAS boxes, and other connected devices are leaving our home networks wide open to attack.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2097903/asus-linksys-router-exploits-tell-us-home-networking-is-the-vulnerability-story-of-2014.html

XP Support is ending soon

Windows XP has but 59 days left to live.

After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)

Read more at Microsoft.

If you’re still running XP, it’s really time to upgrade. Now.

Security Essentials for Windows XP to live on until mid-2015

Good news for procrastinators! Microsoft had previously announced that Security Essentials for Windows XP would no longer be updated after April 2014. This past week they reversed themselves, announcing that they would continue to issue new signatures and updates for Security Essentials for XP until mid-2015. This means if you are using Microsoft Security Essentials for your antivirus, that will continue to provide a measure of protection for a while longer. It does NOT mean that XP will be a safe place to be after April, but it’s better than nothing. Read the whole article if you like.

CryptoLocker Ransomware Infections

Here’s the second notice from US-CERT about an increasing number of ransomware infections. The malware has the ability to find and encrypt files located within shared network drives, USB drives, external hard drives, network file shares and even some cloud storage drives. If one computer on a network becomes infected, mapped network drives could also become infected. Victims are told they have three days to pay the attacker through a third-party payment method or they’ll lose their data.

The takeaway is, do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.

Read all about it at http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-309A

Free OCR

Did you ever wish you could extract the text from a scanned document or picture?

Free-OCR.com is a free online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. You can use this service to extract text from any image you supply.
This service is free, no registration necessary.

http://www.free-ocr.com/