Ask Leo! #588 – Back doors, Who’s Using Memory, Ninite, and more…

Leo's Blog

Encryption, Padlocks, and Back Doors

Continue Reading: Encryption, Padlocks, and Back Doors
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Featured

How Do I Tell Which Program Is Using So Much Memory?

Occasionally, Windows will report that it is running low on, or completely out of, memory. When that happens, programs may start to misbehave, fail, or crash completely.

Of course, one of those failing programs could be Windows itself.

Recent versions of Windows have made it a little easier to determine which programs might be consuming more memory than is warranted, leading to the dreaded "out of memory".

Continue Reading: How Do I Tell Which Program Is Using So Much Memory?
https://askleo.com/21339

Ninite - Install Popular Free Applications Quickly, Easily, and Securely

One of the more recent scourges of the internet is "foistware": software you don't want that is installed – foisted on you – with software you actually do want. Avoiding foistware can be tricky and requires constant vigilance, even when updating software you've previously installed.

Ninite is a free bulk installation service and utility that allows you to choose from a selection of applications and install or update them all at once. Best of all, they're scrubbed of any foistware or malware.

Let's install some software using Ninite.

Continue Reading: Ninite - Install Popular Free Applications Quickly, Easily, and Securely
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Backing Up 101

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Glossary Term

brute force attack

A brute force attack is, in essence, an attempt to compromise encryption (or an online account) simply by trying every possible password.

In the case of an online account, attacks typically target a specific account. That account may be an account known to exist, perhaps by virtue of something as simple as an email address having been made public. The account may also simply be an account that is likely to exist, such as accounts using common first names at major email providers.

Regardless, the nature of a brute force attack is very slow, but also very persistent.

In practice, most brute force attacks against online accounts prioritize common passwords first. This gives them a surprisingly high success rate, even when log-in attempts are rate-limited.

Offline brute force attacks against encrypted data – including password databases – typically have no such time restriction. In this case, the complexity of the encryption algorithm, and the length of the passwords being used, determine how successful the attack will be and how quickly it may succeed.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

How do I stop Outlook.com from putting legitimate messages in the junk mail folder?

Roberto León Gómez writes:

I can't believe that Microsoft can not make some type of algorithm to stop spam. By simply using the input that users move to spam box. This information could be used to filter many mails that one gets every day or marked as spam or junk.

There must be many other patterns to detect spam or junk mail , that could be applied massively to user mail. Or why can Google and Yahoo do it ?

Leo writes:

That's exactly what they DO do. Spammers just keep changing their tactics to get around it all.

An Update to My Internet Security Book

Edy M. writes:

Hi Leo,

I don't know how many times I have received calls from those scammers pretending to be working for Microsoft. I know for a fact that Microsoft would never call you for something wrong with your computer unless you have an open ticket for a special case and for which you had called before in the first place. My reaction generally is to get very mad at them and hangs up. What I really would like to see in your book is a chapter on how to deal with these kinds of harrowing experience in order either to report or discourage those scammers or any other one for that matter.

As always, thanks for the good work you're doing, helping us stay safe in this crazy digital world out there.

Leo writes:

How to deal with is easy: hang up. Reporting and discouraging, to use your terms, is pretty much a waste of time. The people that you would report to already know, and hanging up is the best discouragement of all.

Ray Smith writes:

OpenDNS is awesome - we use it home. While it's malware/phishing protection is, in my opinion, quite weak, the content filtering capabilities are top-notch. I'd say OpenDNS is probably the easiest and best way to stop devices on your network from intentionally or unintentionally accessing inappropriate content. And, best of all, it's completely free for home use.

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