Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blog Re-design

Hello everyone,

As I am sure you have noticed, this blog has just undergone a re-design. It’s intention is to ease navigation and provide access to previous posts which you may find helpful.

I hope you like the new image at top of the page in addition to adverts no longer being present at the end of every page. Please let me know if you don’t like this new design and I will endeavor to improve it for you.

Thank you.

VideoLAN Releases VLC Version 2.2.3

Last week the well-known open source media player VLC created by the VideoLAN non-profit organization was updated to version 2.2.3.

This update is available for Linux, Apple Mac OS X and Windows. It addresses at least 3 security issues (more details are not readily available) mentioned here (3rd party library security issues), here (stack overflow (defined) and here (RealRTSP module). This update is available for download for the above operating systems from this page.

If you use VLC, please update as soon as possible to benefit from the security fixes version 2.2.3 includes as well as the more than 30 general software bugs that were also addressed.

Thank you.

Blog Comments Policy

In the past week this blog has received vast numbers of spam comments attempting to be visible on this blog. While the comments themselves appear legitimate and are often complimentary/thankful they are either originating from the same IP address and/or wish to promote a website using a shortened URL.

When making a comment you are asked for your:

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Email address: Email addresses are not visible publically. However, they must not advertise any website or service.

I am not overly concerned about the domain name of an email address only the local part (yourname in the following example) namely yourname@domain.com If the domain is found to be malicious, your comment will not be published. If your email address advertises your business e.g. info@example.com I will publish your comment provided it meets the additional guidelines below.

Name: This is visible publically. Your name can be real or fictitious but again must not advertise any website or service.

Website: This is also visible publically. If you choose to add a website to your comment, any website using a shortened link will not be published. Any website link provided will be vetted before publishing since I do not wish for them to be used as advertisements or for spreading malware.
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For Off-topic Comments / Questions: Within reason off-topic comments will be published if they are vaguely related to what is being discussed in a blog post.

Any comment asking what blogging platform I am using will not be published since this blog uses WordPress.com

If you encounter a technical issue with this blog, please use the Contact Me page to notify me and I will do my best to resolve it for you. However, I cannot guarantee that this blog will display correctly on all devices and within all web browsers (past and present).

While I do wish to encourage collaboration/interaction on this blog being asked the same questions repeatedly becomes too time consuming to address them all and leaves less time to publish new content.

I must apologise that earlier approved comments on this blog broke the above rules and did link to websites that were undesirable, such comments/links have now been removed. My apologies if you visited these websites. Any website present/linked to within a comment or post on this blog is not an endorsement by me.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

200th Blog Post Published

Hello everyone,

I hope all is well.

With the publishing of a post on the 13th of March, this marked this blogs 200th post. I wish to thank my dedicated readers for posting comments and questions on this blog over recent months. February saw my routine Security Update Tuesday post reach over 340 views in a single day and 827 that month, a fantastic achievement! I’m so humbled that it was visited this many times, I hope you found it useful.

This year so far has seen a fast pace of security updates being released for web browsers, computers (Linux, Apple and Microsoft), phones (Apple iOS and Google Android) as well as many popular open source applications. I hope that my coverage of them has been useful to you.

If you feel that I post too often about security updates, would like to see less updates discussed, would like to have other content/points present in those posts or you have other suggestions/questions, please let me know by posting a comment or by contacting me.

Before making a comment on this blog I would request that you review the “Comments Policy” before posting to provide your comment with the best chance of being published. This has become necessary due to the large number of spam comments being received.

My purpose with posts discussing updates, how to install them and other useful information concerning them is to make it easier for you whether you work for a large corporation/company, are a small business owner or you are consumer/personal computing user to benefit from the free updates that are made available. Often these updates are easy to install and can make a positive/significant difference to the overall security of your digital devices.

As always for the content that I post I try make it easy to understand and practical to use. I do not believe that you need to know all of the technical details of security issues in order to be safe from them.

Here’s to the next 100 posts and beyond!

Thank you.

Microsoft Announces End of Support for Older Versions of Internet Explorer and .Net Framework

Later this month on the 12th of January Microsoft will be changing the versions of Internet Explorer that they provide security updates for. This was briefly mentioned in a previous post of mine.

This means that in order to continue to receive security updates for Internet Explorer you need to have the most recent version of Internet Explorer installed for your version of Windows. Microsoft provides a table within this post which shows the supported Internet Explorer versions for each version of Windows. A detailed FAQ on the changes is also provided here.

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Internet Explorer is not the only Microsoft product that will have a change in the supported versions on the 12th of January. The .Net Framework will also see changes. Specifically, v4.0, v4.5 and v4.5.1 will no longer receive security updates from that date going forward.

This does not affect versions 3.5 and 3.5.1. Microsoft has provided further details and an FAQ within a blog post. That post suggests upgrading to version 4.5.2 or later of the .Net Framework and give details of how to check which version of the Framework that you currently have installed on your system. Download links for the updated versions are also provided.

For details of the changes in versions 4.5 and later of the .Net Framework, please refer to this knowledge base article.

I have checked the version of the .Net Framework that is installed on my Windows systems and it’s 4.5.2. If I recall correctly, it was offered as an Important update (along with the routine updates) in January 2015 and I opted to install it at that time. While that version will continue to receive updates, I will test 4.6.1 and migrate to it should my applications continue to work as normal.

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Update: 10th January 2016:
Further discussion and information concerning the end of support for older versions of Internet Explorer is provided here and here.

In addition, according to the Sophos blog post linked to above (the first discussion provided) Windows 8.0 will no longer be supported as of the 12th of January 2016. Please update at no charge to Windows 8.1 as soon as possible if you are using Windows 8.0. See question 7 and the answer of this FAQ for more details.

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Update: 10th February 2016:
Yesterday Microsoft made available the .Net Framework version 4.6.1 as an Important update shown within Windows Update for any Windows system that does not already have it installed.

I completed the testing of 4.6.1 on all of my personal systems more than 2 weeks ago and my .Net applications continue to work as normal.
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I hope that the above links and information are useful to you in installing any upgrades to Internet Explorer and/or the .Net Framework that may be applicable to you in order to receive security updates for those products going forward.

Thank you.

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Aside:
The version of the .Net Framework installed on my systems is 4.5.2 since I haven’t yet migrated to Windows 10 but hope to do so later this year. I’m using Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 at this time.
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100th Blog Post Published

I wanted to mark my 100th blog post by thanking my dedicated readers. This blog continues to receive increasing numbers of visitors with September setting a record (by a significant margin) for the numbers of visitors. I also wish to thank those who have contacted me with questions and words of encouragement, they are much appreciated!

I hope that my coverage of how to stay safe from the most recent security vulnerabilities and malware is of assistance to corporate staff, small business owners and consumers alike. It’s my pleasure to assist you all.

I believe that this blog has remained true to its goal of providing easy to understand and practical steps to improve your IT security. If you have any questions or suggestions for future posts or just want to say hi, please feel free to post a comment or contact me.

Here’s to the next 100 posts and beyond!

Thank you.