Free Unlimited Storage Ending For Google Photos

Free Unlimited Storage Ending For Google Photos

For several years now, most of the big tech companies have been using the lure of free to grow their respective user bases. Free unlimited data on phone plans. Free, unlimited storage on cloud drive plans, and the like.¬†Free can get expensive for these firms, however. Over time, most of them have slowly backed away from that approach, either outright discontinuing their free offerings or putting hard limits on the amount of free space/bandwidth they’re offering. Google is the latest such company to take that step. They’ve been offering free, unlimited photo storage on their Google Cloud service for more than five years. On June 1st, 2021, that will be coming to an end. You’ll have fifteen Gigs free, and after that, you’ll be charged a premium. Fifteen Gigs is still quite a lot of photographs, so Google’s revised offering is still quite generous, and note that there is one exception to the new rule. If you’re a Google Pixel owner (any model) you’ll retain free, unlimited photo storage. The company’s stated reason for the change is to bring their service offering more in line with current industry standards, and that’s completely understandable. Free unlimited is one of those concepts that looks good on paper and sounds amazing. In the end, few, if any companies have pockets deep enough to actually maintain that approach in the long run. Note that in addition to the coming storage limit change, Google is also implementing a housekeeping rule. If you have a Google Cloud account and you haven’t logged into it for more than two years, and you’re over the new storage...
Flash Player Will No Longer Work On Firefox In January

Flash Player Will No Longer Work On Firefox In January

File this away under the least surprising announcement ever. Actually, it’s not so much an announcement as a reminder that on January 26, 2021, when Mozilla releases Firefox 85, the option to re-enable Adobe’s Flash Player will be gone, effectively eliminating Flash on the browser. Firefox is the latest in a string of browsers to have made the same move. In fact, as of early 2021, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any browser that will still support Flash. It’s been a long time coming, and although it’s bound to cause some consternation, it’s a good move. When the internet was in its infancy, Flash was a seminal application and incredibly important to the development of the early web. Just about every decent website in existence made heavy use of Flash to enhance the capabilities of their sites. Unfortunately, as the web matured, it became increasingly apparent that Flash had more than its share of problems. For a time, new critical security flaws were being discovered in the code faster than Adobe could patch them, and it put broad swaths of the internet at risk. Time and technology advanced and Flash was, in addition to being increasingly less secure, an increasingly less robust web development option as competing products could do more, and do it more securely, to boot. All of that slowly led us to a point where the major browsers began developing a roadmap to gradually phase out Flash support, and now, that day is arriving. Some browsers have already ended support, and Mozilla will follow suit early next year. If you’re still relying on Flash to power...
Discord Being Used By Hacker To Distribute Malware

Discord Being Used By Hacker To Distribute Malware

If you’re a gamer, and you make frequent use of Discord, there’s a new threat you should be aware of. Recently, hackers have been seen using a malware strain called ‘TroubleGrabber’ on a wide range of Discord servers. TroubleGrabber isn’t the worst malware strain we’ve ever seen, but it is highly problematic. Classed as an Info Stealer, it’s designed to collect and exfiltrate gaming login credentials and system information. Researchers at Netskope first discovered the malware strain in the wild, and note that in terms of capability, it bears a number of similarities to another Info Stealer called AnarchyGrabber. Although TroubleGrabber is very new, having only been spotted for the first time in October 2020, the hackers controlling it are wasting no time in terms of its use. Based on data collected by the Netskope researchers, TroubleGrabber accounted for more than 85 percent of all of the malware attacks targeting Discord servers during the month of October (2020). So how does one become infected with this malware strain? Well, according to the research team, TroubleGrabber is most often disguised as a software crack or some type of game cheat, though it will occasionally present itself as a simple Discord Installer. The Netskope team was rather impressed to find more than a thousand different poisoned binaries in use. So it doesn’t really matter what kind of games you play, if you make regular use of cracks or cheat codes, it’s highly likely that you’ll run across this strain. Worse, the hacker behind it was also found to have placed a “helpful” instruction video on youtube, which teachers other hackers how...
Windows 10 Displays Going Dark Issue Fixed By Microsoft

Windows 10 Displays Going Dark Issue Fixed By Microsoft

If you run Windows 10, version 2004, you may have noticed some unusual shenanigans going on where your system’s monitor is concerned. If you’re using a tablet or laptop, with a display that’s built into the machine itself, it may flicker periodically. If you’re using a desktop PC with a standalone monitor external to the CPU, then when you activate the drawing function in certain applications (Word, Whiteboard, or others) the screen may go dark. Sometimes, the effect is only temporary and sometimes, it just stays off until you reboot, which exits the program in question. In either case though, after you experience the issue, if you go to your Device Manager page, you’ll see that your graphics card has been flagged as having issues. It’s not your graphics card, it’s Windows, and although the issue only impacts a small percentage of the OS’s massive user base, it has been an infuriating issue indeed. If it’s something you’ve been pulling your hair out over, there’s good news; it has been resolved and the fix is in! Actually, it was addressed with little fanfare during October’s non-security preview cumulative update, KB4577063. However, the company only updated the advisory concerning this bug in particular on October 28th, so until quite recently, few people were aware that it had been resolved. Despite the fact that it took an inordinately long time to track down and fix, and despite the fact that the company was slow to update their site and let everyone know the issue was a thing of the past, this is great news. As mentioned, while the display issues associated...
Older Android Phones May Have Site Loading Issues In 2021

Older Android Phones May Have Site Loading Issues In 2021

By now, just about everyone is aware of the importance SSL certificates play in keeping data away from prying eyes on the web. After some scares in recent years, it has thankfully become the standard, and according to Google’s latest statistics, more than 95 percent of the traffic passing through its network is encrypted. Unfortunately, if you have an older Android device, there’s a fly in the ointment you should be aware of. As of September 1, 2021, a partnership between Let’s Encrypt and IdenTrust is coming to an end. These are just two of a number of encryption authorities on the web, and the end of their partnership is more important than you might think. Let’s Encrypt only came into being in 2015. In order to gain traction early on, they entered into a partnership with IdenTrust and issued ‘cross-signed’ certificates. Starting on September 1, 2021, the cross-signing feature goes away. Older platforms, and software that hasn’t been updated since 2016 will see certificate compatibility issues because those systems don’t trust Let’s Encrypt’s root certificate (ISRG Root X1). For Android users, this includes any device running a version older than 7.1.1. Those devices won’t trust a Let’s Encrypt certificate that isn’t cross-signed, because they don’t know they’re supposed to. According to Google, this is going to impact roughly 34 percent of all Android devices in use today, so it sounds like it’s going to be a major issue. The good news though, is that there’s a relatively simple fix. Just download and install Mozilla’s Firefox browser on these devices and you’ll avoid the issue entirely because Firefox uses...
Recent iOS Update Addresses A Number of Security Vulnerabilities

Recent iOS Update Addresses A Number of Security Vulnerabilities

If you use an Apple device running iOS, then you’ll want to update to the latest version (14.2) immediately. In the latest update, Apple has patched a trio of ‘Zero Day Vulnerabilities’ known to have been used by hackers to exploit unpatched systems. The three issues addressed are as follows: CVE-2020-27930 - This issue is a remote code execution flaw in the iOS FontParser that allows attackers to execute commands arbitrarily, passing them through this gateway. CVE-2020-27932 - This is a privilege escalation issue in the kernel of iOS that allows an attacker to run malicious code with kernel-level privileges. CVE-2020-27950 - This one is a memory leak in the iOS kernel that allows an attacker to retrieve content from any iOS device’s kernel memory. The three flaws have been chained together in attacks against vulnerable system, and collectively, they allow an attacker to take complete control of any vulnerable device. The fixes for the issues described above are also available for iPadOS, with the release of version 14.2, and watchOS 5.3.8, 6.2.9, and 7.1. If you have an older generation iPhone, you can also make sure you’re protected by downloading iOS version 12.4.9. These issues appear to be related to a trio of recently discovered and patched flaws in ChromeOS and a single Zero Day issue found in Windows 10. According to Shane Huntley, the Director of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, none of the recently discovered issues had anything to do with any sort of election targeting. Although as is the case with issues like these, Google declined to provide specific details about how these attacks work or...