December 2017

How web trackers exploit password managers

Most web browsers come with a built-in password manager, a basic tool to save login data to a database and fill out forms and/or sign in to sites automatically using the information that is in the database.

Users who want more functionality rely on third-party password managers like LastPass, KeePass or Dashlane. These password managers add functionality, and may install as browser extensions or desktop programs.

NoScript WebExtension update improves user interface

A new version of the Firefox security extension NoScript was released today. NoScript is the most recent WebExtensions version of NoScript.

The developer of NoScript maintains two different versions of the extension right now: NoScript 5.x, a legacy add-on for Firefox ESR and Firefox pre-57 versions, and NoScript 10.x, the WebExtensions version that is been released shortly after the release of Firefox 57.

Google pulls crypto-mining Chrome extension Archive Poster

Google removed Archive Poster from the Chrome Web Store the other day after reports emerged that the extension abused user devices to mine crypto-currency.

Archive Poster's main function improved Tumblr, a popular blogging site. It allowed users to run actions -- reblog, queue, draft or like -- from blog archives.

Archive Poster had more than 105,000 active users and a near perfect rating before Google pulled the extension from the official Chrome Web Store.

Registry Live Watch for Windows

Registry Live Watch is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices. The primary purpose of the program is to monitor a Registry key for changes.

I stumbled upon the program on Major Geeks today. It is quite old; the release dates back to the year 2009. The fact that it has not been updated for years means that it is abandoned by its developer and that you should not expect updates for it.

How to clean up the Windows Program Files folder

Win32 programs have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the installation process. Programs may install in various directories, may write to the Registry, or run on system start without asking the user about it.

Most programs install in one of the "official" program folders. There is c:\Program Files\ for 64-bit applications, and c:\Program Files (x86)\ for 32-bit programs.

Firefox 57.0.3 bug fix release

Mozilla released Firefox 57.0.3 on December 28, 2017. The update is for the Release channel of the Firefox web browser for all supported operating systems.

The release notes list a single issue that is fixed in the release:

Fix a crash reporting issue that inadvertently sends background tab crash reports to Mozilla without user opt-in.

The link to the bug leads to a protected page that users without proper permission cannot access. It appears that Firefox did send data about crashes to Mozilla even if users did not opt-in.

A detailed Windows Resource Monitor guide

The Windows operating system comes with plenty of built-in tools to analyze resource usage. The most prominent one is probably the Windows Task Manager, as it highlights resource usage of individual processes, and gives admins and users options to kill any misbehaving ones.

The Performance Monitor and Resource Monitor are two additional tools that admins and experienced Windows users may use to analyze performance or resources related issues on Windows PCs.

Windows 10: GPU performance in Task Manager

Microsoft added a bunch of smaller features and improvements to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

One of the new features displays the GPU performance in the Task Manager provided that a compatible driver is installed.

You can launch the Windows Task Manager with the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc. If this is the first time opening the Task Manager, you need to switch from the -- completely unusable -- default display mode to the full Task Manager by clicking on "more details".

AutoBootDisk: copy Linux distributions to bootable USB drives

AutoBootDisk is a free cross-platform program that you may use to copy Linux distributions to a bootable USB drive so that you can boot Linux from these devices right away.

Programs like UNetbootin, Universal USB Installer, or Rufus let you copy operating systems to USB Flash drives to boot from them. All support Linux, and some support Windows and other operating systems as well.

Thunderbird Audit reveals unpatched security issues

A recent security audit of the email client Thunderbird and the encryption extension Enigmail revealed unpatched security issues in the email program and in Enigmail.

The report has not been released yet as issues are not yet patched in the Thunderbird program. The researchers found 22 vulnerabilities in total in both programs; three of the vulnerabilities received a critical rating, five a rating of high.

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