Category Archives: Malware

Just buy a new PC? Make sure to get rid of all the bloatware!

For years, Windows users have been dealing with Bloatware — pre-installed, mostly-useless software that burdens and bogs down almost every new Windows PC. It is not unusual for a new PC to have dozens of programs pre-installed, ranging from virus scanners to Skype to cheap video games, all stealing valuable storage space, RAM, and CPU cycles. Meanwhile, of course, on the other side of the blindingly white picket fence, Macs come with a bunch of first-party (and mostly first-rate) Apple applications — and that’s it. For Windows advocates, this has always been a particularly tough bone of contention: Even though Windows 8, in its base state, is faster and more stable than OS X, it’s hard to extol the virtues of a crud-laden, $300 PC from Dell or Acer.

How did the Windows OEM ecosystem ever end...

Android Malware Can Spy on You Even If You Turn Your Phone Off.

It looks like a breakthrough for the bad guys that create spyware for mobile devices: a newly discovered Android malware program can actually track you after you’ve shut down your phone.

Well, after you think you’ve shut down your phone, anyway.

Recently spotted by AVG anti-virus software company, the malware (which affects Android phones, and which does not yet have a catchy nickname) tricks phone owners into thinking that they’ve shut down their devices. Pressing the power button on an infected phone calls up a fake Power Off button onto the screen. When tapped, only the phone’s screen, sound alerts, and notification lights are actually powered off.

While in this state, the spyware can reportedly make calls, take pictures, and send and receive messages.

Not. Cool.

The malware is hidden inside...

Decrypt This: 2014 was the biggest year for malware yet

Time to pack up your booze and party hats. I’ve got one more roundup which is sure to make you think twice before downloading that latest New Years music mix online. Whether it was a cash register down at Home Depot, SCADA systems installed at nuclear power plant facilities, or even just the webcam perched at the crest of your laptop, if there’s any lesson we learned in 2014, it’s that nothing is safe from the ever-present threat of malware and the hackers that create it. In this final infection inflection I’ll cover the biggest stories that popped up and even give you a glimpse of what you can expect on the wires in 2015. NSA Leaks While they technically began in June of 2013, the biggest bombshells from Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA documents arrive in the first half...