Category Archives: News

Current events and developments happening with the Internet.

Watch Out for WordPress Vulnerabilities

At SWCP, we love our WordPress. This site is run on WordPress, we support the platform and strive to make it as easy and safe to use as possible, and we even host meetings at Ideas and Coffee to discuss how to use it most effectively. After all, WordPress is now used by up to a quarter of all sites on the Web, and there are thousands of themes and plug-ins to make it look and behave pretty much any way you want. But all that success brings with it a downside, which is that now the bad guys have begun to target it. The latest attack is both frightening and dangerous. Somehow – the means is still unknown – hackers have been able to inject code that sends visitors to a fake ad site. These sites are loaded with evil ransomware that can take over the user’s machine. More information can be found here. Before freaking out, note that: The redirect only attacks first-time visitors. Regular visitors and the site administrators will therefore be unaware of this and unaffected by it. Apparently, only users with out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player (yet again), Adobe Reader, Microsoft Silverlight and Internet Explorer are vulnerable. For some reason, the flaw is not detectable by most anti-virus programs yet. So users need to be alert. If you visit a site and are redirected to another, do not click on anything. Instead close your … Continue reading

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Stopping Windows 10 Upgrade – UPDATE 2

UPDATE, Feb. 6, 2016 – It’s starting to look like the reason Microsoft is so determined to move users to Windows 10 is that it is essentially spyware. One independent researcher installed it on a test PC with all telemetry and feedback turned off, and found that Windows 10 was still communicating with Microsoft almost constantly. Over 8 hours, the machine made nearly 4,000 connections with over 50 servers. Not only is the sheer volume mind-boggling, what on Earth are they monitoring? And why? More testing is needed, and is sure to be done. We’ll keep you posted as to what is found. UPDATE, Feb. 2, 2016 –   Microsoft has gotten even more pushy about Windows 10 installation. As we predicted below, the installation upgrade has been changed from “optional” to “recommended“. This means to avoid it from installing it altogether, you need to go to Start > Control Panel > Windows Update, and click on the “Change settings” item on the left. Under “Important Updates” make sure that “Install updates automatically (recommended)” is not chosen. The best, albeit most inconvenient, choice is “Check for updates but let me decide whether to download and install them.” If you choose “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them“, the machine will fetch all the files and hide them on the computer. And this makes it much easier for Microsoft to secretly install the new OS. Under “Recommended updates“, … Continue reading

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The Expanse Gets Real

Almost exactly a year ago, we first mentioned that The Expanse was coming to Syfy. The first season is half-over now, and we’re delighted to say that the long wait was very much worth it. The series has been rightfully hailed as “the best new science fiction series in years” – in terms of story quality, special effects, and the marvelous, intricately-detailed universe it explores. The Expanse totally rocks. We’re not alone in thinking so, for the series has already been renewed for another season. Depicting life, death, and politics two hundred years from now, the series is set at the critical tipping point where the human race has colonized our Moon, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt but is still stuck within our Solar System. The Expanse realistically depicts the claustrophobia of living and working in crowded tin cans far out in the void, and all the gritty problems and diverse dangers that entails. Part noir detective story and part political thriller, it’s an utterly-engaging dive into darkness, both within and without. Now with five volumes published, but still not complete, the epic book series is being written by “James S.A. Corey“, the pen name for the writing team of Ty Franks and Daniel Abraham. We were first interested because Daniel, as mentioned before, used to be Southwest Cyberport’s crack Technical Support Director. We are of course, immensely proud that “we knew him when” but as card-carrying sci-fi loving geeks, … Continue reading

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