Microsoft Security Essentials misses 39% of Malware.

Microsoft Security Essentials which is a free product from Microsoft , now given to every Windows 8 and 8.1 users in name of Windows Defender. Has failed to detect 39% of the Malware in Dennis Test.
Microsoft_Security_Essentials_icon
Norton Internet Security received the strongest protection rating online casinos in DTL”s tests, detecting 99% of malware(result includes false positives),while Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 provided the best overall level of protection.

Full Scores and Details of individual antivirus programs can be downloaded from here

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas coming to iOS ,Android and Windows Phone

Rock Star Games has announced that very soon it will release the classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on mobile platform. Not just on iOS and Android but also on Windows Phone. No release date or pricing is provided yet, but it is expected to be released this December. So get ready to live in the early 90’s in the gangster world of Carl Johnson.

GTASA

iMessage gets hacked.

Is iMessages really secured? This question has been in mind of the many people who uses iMessages , after the NSA PRISM incident. Well sometime back Apple published a statement on their website that iMessages are protected by end to end encryption and there could not be any man in the middle attack , and even Apple could not decrypt the iMessages. You can view the statement by Apple here.

But this is not the case, iMessages can be intercepted by man in the middle attack and even Apple can decrypt the iMessages.

Here is a video that show a security researcher group doing a man in the middle attack on iMessage.

 

 

 

Apple launches iPhone5C and iPhone5S

Apple September 10th Event

Why I think Apple is falling but yet making profit.

By now most of you have seen the event either live in person or in video. (If not here is the official link) Apple launched two iPhone the iPhone5C and the iPhone5S and iOS7 the next generation operating system for Apple’s iPhone.

Everyone got glimpse of both iPhone5C and iPhone5S on the internet, before it was announced. From a company that had a good level of keeping a new product secret, this was not expected,even we saw a year before that iPhone5 photo was leaked before it was launched. Well that won’t hurt the product but it does kills the element of surprise when we see the product for first time during the event.

iPhone5C

The iPhone5C which is a plastic iPhone, Apple will say its high quality polycarbonate, but it no way looks high quality. when I first saw the leaked images I thought it was fake some cheap fake iPhones. But during the even I just could not believe my eyes that these plastic iPhones were actually from Apple.It looks like one of those fake iPhone you get from unknown company on which they misspell the word “iPhone” but this time its from the company called Apple and they did not misspell the word.As a company which is known for its elegant design in all its product the iPhone5C seems out of place. I wonder if Steve Jobs was the one who really designed the products and Jony Ive only who took the orders and put the design on paper. Have you looked at the iPhone5C with the cover from back side? here have a look at this picture.

iPhone5C
iPhone5C with case becomes “hon”

Now tell me which company will make a product that will make their own products name partially visible? “iPhone” became “hon” really a company which is known for its attention to details this was not expected. I am very much sure if Steve Jobs was alive he would have put a bullet in the person’s head who designed iPhone5C and its cover.

iPhone5C without case-ahitagni-dot-com
iPhone5C without case

iPhone5C with case
iPhone5C with case

And even if Apple made a plastic looking iPhone , when I saw it before the release i thought the price point will really be cheap. That will make it popular in developing countries where phones are NOT sold on contact, and people has to may more for a phone then in the developed countries. Say if the price of iPhone5C was $99 without contact worldwide then I am sure it will sell like hot cakes, because then its price will come at par with the cheap Android phones that people of developing countries buys who are looking for a smartphone. And if they got a option t select from Apple iOS7 on iPhone5C to laggy low spec Android devices with very low internal memory, they will definitely pick the iPhone5C over other devices.
Some may argue that Apple will make a loss if they give away iPhone5C for $99 without contact, but no they will not, why? I will come back to that in a moment in my post.

iPhone5S

The iPhone5S, it has got a 64bit processor the first phone it the world to get a 64bit processor and a native OS and apps built to support 64bit processor which is truly remarkable. We can expect more better performance of games and apps. Also the implement ion of OpenGL 3 is a great plus. But being said that it would make sense to have a bit larger screen on the iPhone5S as its packing more punch on precessing and graphics, it would be nice not to have all those graphics goodness cramped in a small screen, it would have been better to increase the size of the screen a bit which would have added to the enjoyment of experience of the new graphics boost on iPhone.

The new iPhone5S in three different colors.
The new iPhone5S in three different colors.

Another new feature of the iPhone5S is the most rumoured finger print reader, the Touch ID that uses your fingerprint to be used as passcode to lock and unlock your phone. Well from the event video it looks like they implemented it very well. The fingerprint scanner is right in the home button. Apple says that the finger print are stored in after being encrypted on the device itself and are not backed up in iCloud server, or given away to 3rd party. Apple did not even allow it to Apple Developers. But after the recent NSA incident. I wonder if they are telling the truth or even if they are telling the truth NSA will find out a way to get all the fingerprints and add it to their collection along with email,phone call , messages, photos they have collected of every individuals. What is more problematic is that earlier if you were concern about your security you could have sent emails.messages and make phone conversation in code words, and not taken pictures, and used to keep the iPhone in such a way that did not connect to outside world (in context with how they can listen to you even when the phone is off) but now even if you don’t have a iPhone NSA can get your fingerprint if you just use a iPhone5S be it of your friend or at the store whats stopping the fingerprint scanner to stop scanning your finger when you are placing your finger on it to go to home screen when you are just looking at the phone in the store? (well till now there are no proof of it and its just my own personal thinking, but who thought about PRISm or xKeystore either,right?)
Apple also made improvements on the camera by increasing the sensor size, the way that HTC One did with a 4MP camera, Apple did similar to the 8MP camera, and I believe that will definitely be a good for the photos. Its not just the megapixel and sensor its also the Apples software that process the photos, which I personally the quality of photo it produces, personally i even liked the photos produced by iPhone back in the day when it packed a less MP camera over then mobile phones which had a higher MP.
Apple also had a new flash to go along with the improved camera sensor, this new led will emit a light which is more natural to the environment and surrounding of the picture taken. All theses seems good on paper but I can’t say how much of a improvement it is over the iPhone5 until the iPhone5S is launched and we can see the photos taken with both phones to compare.

Why Apple will still make money and earn profit even if the products are not appealing?

Well I always liked every products that have been made by Apple so far. But iPhone5C is the first product that Apple made that I don’t want to buy. Trust me I am what you will say “a true Apple Fanboy” yet I don’t like the iPhone5C. It just does not look and feel Apple. I can’t tell it for sure how many people will pick iPhone5C over iPhone5, I guess that is the reason why Tim Cook made the iPhone5 unavailable upon the release of iPhone5C.Nor can I say how many people will not buy iPhone5S for security concerns over the fingerprint scanner after the NSA incident. But what I can say for sure is that Apple will still make a hug he profit. You wonder,Why?
Take an example of any average iPhone user, if you had iPhone for a year or more I am sure by now you have spent a lot of money on apps and digital media that you purchased from iTunes that you can’t move to another device of different platform, so say if a person has spent $300 on digital content on iTunes with his iPhone, and then its time for that person to get an upgrade of phone as his contract is to end, what will that person select? iPhone or other phone of different platform?
The fact that its the digital content and apps that makes a smartphone truly smart and now the mobile phone is a vital part of entertainment when most of our lives are getting busier and we are on the go, makes us stick to the platform which we have used for a long time.

DoS attack on iOS and OSX for WebKit engine.

A new exploit in Apple iOS and OSX has been found which crashes any application which contains certain characters of Arabic text.It crashes applications running on iOS and OSX that uses WebKit engine. But I have seen that same character set does not crash WebKit application on different platform. So we can be assured that the bug is of Apple not WebKit engine as a whole. (I tested Google Chrome on Linux)

Versions effected are, iOS 6 , 7 beta and iOS< 6 ,Mac OS X 10.8

Version not effected Mac OSX 10.9 beta and OSX<10.8

This fatal error can be reproduced if

  • You send text message to your iPhone with the set of characters.
  • You sen iMessage to Mac of iPhone.
  • Those set of characters are displayed on applications like browser.
    On Mac,I tested on Safari which crashed the whole Safari browser, but while on Google Chrome it only crashed the tab where the link was opened. In case you were wondering Firefox did not crash.If you are feeling adventurous and want to test which applications will crash the you can head to this link. Note this may crash your browser, if it does not then you will see the set of arabic characters.

Google Chrome crash

Exploit Link: http://zhovner.com/tmp/killwebkit.html (Warning it may crash your WebKit browser) , copy paste the link I have deliberately not hyperlinked as to stop people from accidentally clicking it.

 

Area 51 exists !

Since childhood many of us were fascinated by the existence of Aliens , UFOs and Area 51. Well I cant be sure of the first two but I can surely tell you that Area 51 does exists in real world.Recently in a declassified document by CIA they acknowledges that Area 51 does exists.But it makes me sad that they said the area is not for research and study about UFO but it is for testing of the U-2 and other spy planes.

Well don’t be dishearten , who knows they may be lying to hide the real truth ! Aliens and UFO may still exist. Like after the NSA PRISM, who will trust the Government, right? So all the fans of Aliens and UFOs enjoy the photos below.

 

Area 51 Satellite Image
Area 51 Satellite Image

 

Recently declassified map of Area 51
Recently declassified map of Area 51

Go to source link for more info.

News Source: AP

Death To Privacy.

One after another secure email services are going down.

After the PRISM incident where it was told that big corporates like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail were allowing the NSA and US Government to have access of innocent people’s private data. The secure email services are getting shut down in fear of NSA.

Recently a secure email service Lavabit used by the NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden got shutdown in fear of NSA takedown. Soon after that another secure email service Silent Circle also shuts itself down.

Lavabit shutsdown
Lavabit shutsdown

Yes when an email service gets shut down it does create a lot of problems but I will say the decision was good keep in mid its better that no one have access to your data(as the company is shutdown all the files are deleted from the server) then some official to have access to without proper reasons.

Silent Circle secure email shutsdown
Silent Circle secure email shutsdown

But a new secure email service is on its way. It is to be released in 2014 by the famous Kim Dotcom. Yes the creator of Megaupload and MEGA.

Hope more and more secure email service will come along in years to come then we can finally have a secure communication with our friends and family without the fear of someone spying on us.

Windows 8.1(Windows Blue) Review

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview Evaluation copy. Build 9431

 

Windows Blue or Windows 8.1 is a recent update of Windows 8. Which is currently in a preview edition. I tested the Windows 8.1 Pro 32 bit Evaluation Copy on my laptop. Before I begin let me tell you the specs of my laptop it’s a Dual-Core with 1 GB RAM , why did I selected a low hardware over high end, because I wanted to test how it performs on low resources. At higher resource even the worst built software may perform kind of OK more over I wanted to test how it performs over Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7. While testing a OS I use it for a week and I try out the basic task which all people does like, web surfing, email , music, movie, document editing, etc. And I also try other things which only few people does like installing IDE of certain programming language and installing other developer tools which worked fine in previous versions of the OS. And I do write the review of the OS using the same OS itself. (Except using photo editing or other tools which I don’t have license on the new OS or the software does not work on the new OS)

 Installing the OS

The installation went smoothly after I downloaded the iso file I used tool provided by Microsoft to make it in a bootable flash drive. You could skip this step and burn the iso into a DVD and use it to install.

Installation works same as Windows 8 so I won’t go into the details.

Most noticeable change that you will see at first.

You can directly boot in to Desktop Mode if you want.

Still No Start Menu.

Still feels like the UI is designed for touch screen rather then traditional Keyboard and Mouse.

Problems encountered while using Windows 8.1

My laptop has a Realtek sound card, on installation of Windows 8.1 the sound stopped working, resolved by installing the latest drivers (for Windows 7/8) from the official manufacturer website.

My laptops touchpad scroll stopped working, older drivers were unsupported, no driver for Windows 8 or 8.1 , tried to use 3rd party drivers but still no joy. And screen brightness control keys did not work by default (worked after installing Windows updates), while other function and multimedia keys worked fine.

Windows 8.1 Start Page

 

(While these problems were entirely related to my laptop which is fairly old model, you may not even have these problems on your laptop if its new or other model then mine,  mentioned because you should be ready to download and install drivers if it does not work, keep in mind that if your network card is not supported you should have access to other working PC or dual boot your computer before you install Windows 8.1, having said that we should note this is a preview copy and not final, it’s natural that something won’t perform as desired. It’s to be noted that my touch pad works fine in other Windows versions with driver)

Using the OS.

After I finished installing the OS and driver for my sound card. I started installing my day to day software. I installed Google Chrome and synced my bookmarks and plugging, installed VLC, winrar, and MS Office 2010. All went perfectly smooth. Problem faced was one of the old software that I use (which still works in XP and Windows 7) Google Talk that I frequently use. The installation went fine but it will never sign in to Google account, keeps throwing an error message about problem in connecting, even though the internet works fine. Well its an old software Google did not push any updates to it for quite a long time. But the fact that it still works in Windows XP and Windows 7 but not on the Windows 8.1 was a bit of disappointment for me. And yes Google Talk Plugin for browser works fine.

Ok, hard core Windows fan may have already started hating me, please don’t there are many things I liked. Even though I don’t have any state of art GPU in my laptop just the regular Intel on-board graphics card, the screen looked crisper then it use to when I used Windows XP or even Windows 7, its to be noted that I did not install the default drivers provided by the manufacturer, the Windows 8.1 installed the required drivers itself. I linked my Microsoft account with my laptop and visited the Store, very much same as with Windows 8, installed one app to test (Twitter) downloaded & installed fine and worked as it should no complains.

Twitter App getting installed from the Windows App Store

Even though I have set the boot to Desktop in my machine the missing Start Menu kept bothering me. (remember I am my day to day task on this computer ) so I had to install a third party Start Menu, strange as it may sound the first which I installed had compatibility issue with Windows 8.1 ! Tried to check solutions online but it failed to resolve any problem. So I uninstalled it and installed another one that works fine.  If you care to use it on your own Windows 8.1 or even Windows 8 it’s called Start Menu 8 made by IObit (note I am not sponsoring the company by any mean, there are many other companies that makes start menu for Windows 8 which you can use if you like)

Except for the scroll on my touch pad and issue with gesture controlled things in Windows 8.1 and after I installed the third party Start Menu Windows 8.1 is pretty much usable. The boot time is very fast considering the low specs of my laptop, it booted faster than Windows XP or Windows 7. But Windows 8.1 did give me more trouble with BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) then Windows XP or Windows 7 (while installing Windows updates)

Games

We all know the next best thing a computer is useful for is playing games. While the latest and greatest games are not tested by me. I went ahead and tested the most use applications in office environment next to MS Office. Yes I am talking about Minesweeper and card games like Solitaire. Well to be able to play that game you need to have a internet connection , a Microsoft account and time to download it. Yes the basic games also needed to be downloaded. Well it may be because it’s a preview copy, but seriously you are making a 2GB plus size ISO (for 32 bit) how hard is it to squeeze in a game or two? Well its not COD, games size are not that big.

Xbox service not available.

While people may argue why bother I will just download it from the internet. Yes that what we have to do but, what if the person who just installed the OS and other important software decides to go out of his/her house without internet, and decides to play a game after he/she is bored with work(which he/she does offline like making PPT and Excel sheets for his/her office) Well MS has decided you should not be able to play games at least not without a Microsoft Account and Internet connection and the time to download the games. Minesweeper is a 105 MB download well not that big in size you will say, but if you like me lives in a country where internet is slow and pricy you will think otherwise.

You need to download even the basic games.

(Note: I did not download any games)

Ok lets surf Internet and play online games

Lets come to the default IE. Yes I am a Web Designer come developer and I hate IE, ever since IE6 (before that I was not developing anything for the web) I hate IE. But I will still use IE for a while and let you know how it performs. Just because I like my readers of the blog. Well as most of the cool things of web nowadays is HTML5 I decided to check it first. So how does the new IE 11 performs on the Microsoft’s new operating system ? Poorer then other modern bowser. HTML5 score is very low, even lower then some of the basic Android phones.

HTML5 Test Score for IE 11

 

IE 11 on Windows 8.1

 

While using for email, social networking , surfing you won’t feel any difference, if you are a developer or designer for the web and works with HTML5, CSS3, JS, etc you will definitely feel that Google Chrome is much better.

 

Default Apps

Most of the default apps that comes with Windows 8.1 is metro apps. As metro apps open in full screen when you start , it can make some apps less useful. While some apps do looks good when it starts in full screen , like the photo app, yes we all generally like to see photos in full screen so goes with the default video app. But some apps when opened in full screen makes it less useful. Example the default pdf reader app. And if you download the Adobe reader from the Microsoft Web Store it will also run in full screen. Well I don’t know about you but many a times I have opened a pdf file and used Word, Excel or PowerPoint while viewing the data from pdf . That can not be done with the pdf readers with Metro interface. Yes there is a solution you can get the normal pdf reader from Adobe website directly.

Another thing that I hate about this metro apps is that the ads inside the apps. I mean I am already seeing ads in browser when I visit web pages,and you show me ads in mobile apps but now you have to show ads inside apps which runs on my PC too?

Ads inside PC apps!

 

Useful Shortcut that will make using Windows 8.1 bit easier.

 

Closing Metro Apps: Alt +F4

Starting Windows applications quickly: Windows Key + R (and type the app name in Run dialogue example mspanint for Paint application ,excel for MS Excel)

Open Windows Explorer (My Computer to look for your files): Windows Key+ E

Something like the start menu bot not the same: Windows Key + X

 

 

Developers (skip this if you are not)

Well my developer friends I tried to install , run and do some coding (not at all in anyway better than you) on popular tools to check how well its compatible with Windows 8.1

Windows Visual Studio 2012 compatibility with Windows 8.1 (I know the latest is Windows Visual Studio 2013, buts its supported very well as its used to make Windows 8 Apps)

Visual Studio 2012 install error

Visual Studio 2010 on Windows 8.1

Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate installed fine but did throw error while installing, works file (I did some projects on asp.net stuffs only, did not test other features)

Windows Sky Drive service deeply integrated with Windows 8.1
Windows Sky Drive service deeply integrated with Windows 8.1
News App in Windows 8.1
The default news app of Windows 8.1
Twitter app docked
Twitter app docked.

My final conclusion.

So as of now what I fell is that if you have a touch screen based device and willing to learn new way to interact with your computer go ahead with Windows 8.1 (when it releases) or if you already use Windows 8 then you should update to Windows 8.1 But if you have an old computer or if you don’t want to learn new way to use your computer and want to stick to the way you have used your computer for all these years don’t update to Windows 8.

 

Yahoo is planning to give your old email address away to anyone who wants it.

If you still haven’t heard Yahoo has made a new decision that it is going to reuse old emails. Yes you heard it right if you have not logged in your email address then it will be given to a new user if that new user wants to register that name). Well this is the worst decision move taken by any tech industries in the history. A huge security problem is bound to happen. It would be easy as a pie to impersonate some one. Well some of you have already got the idea what I am talking about, to those who don’t, let me explain it to you.

Yahoo Email

In present time in the cyber world, email has become a person’s identity. If the email address is accessed by some one else then that can cause identity theft. You may argue that how an email address that has not been used over 12 months is important to any person. Well let me tell you it can be very important. Let me give you one example. Suppose Mr. B had an email in Yahoo, but then he moved to say Gmail when it become popular. (A lot of people including me and people I know moved to Gmail from Yahoo)
And them Mr. B continued to use Gmail. And did not pay much attention to old email from Yahoo. All he did was use the email address of Yahoo while registering in Gmail. (When asked to enter a secondary email address) Now if Mr. B dod not know about this news of Yahoo and does not login to his account in Yahoo it will be released. And someone can claim it, and may reset the password of Mr. B’s Gmail account. (provided that person knows Mr. B’s Gmail address) and then lock out Mr. B from other services like Facebook, Twitter etc, where Mr. B used is Gmail address. So think what level of problems can be caused by this move by Yahoo.

Well there are many more possibilities to cause harm and loss to the original user of the email through social engineering, which I wont discuss here, but you did get the general idea.

Yahoo made the decision on June 12, users have 30 days to claim their inactive accounts before they are released. So get login in Yahoo email address to stop Yahoo giving away your email.

In Love with Technology & everything else…