2018 Newsletter: 46/68 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meeting This Week:

Tuesday Group - Tuesday Sep 18th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

The usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meetings Next Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Sep 25th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Digital Photography - Friday Sep 28th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tech Tips:

Who told you that you could install a new BROWSER, Avast?!:

See the response on Reddit to Avast installing a new browser without permission. WHAT?

“Came home from vacation and turned on my computer to discover that — surprise! — Avast had decided to install and run Avast "Secure" Browser, without my knowledge, consent, or permission, and attempted to import all my bookmarks, set itself as my default browser, and start automatically every time the system started.

That's a big no. If you install something without my knowledge or consent, you're a virus, plain and simple. Avast is uninstalling now. Farewell.”


Avast and its "Secure" Browser were installed either automatically (how?) or somebody in one of the other SIGs has installed them without knowing the above consequences (one hopes that it wasn't deliberate).


If anyone can think of any other explanation, we would be happy to hear it.


Windows 10 has started 'warning' users not to install Chrome or Firefox:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the BGR Article [ Boy Genius Report ] written by Jacob Siegal @JacobSiegal September 13th, 2018 at 8:00 PM.

“Microsoft Edge is undoubtedly an improvement over Internet Explorer, but a vast majority of Windows 10 users prefer Chrome and Firefox. In fact, nearly 60% of the worldwide market uses Chrome (according to StatCounter), which has to be the reason why Microsoft is resorting to questionable methods in order to convince Windows 10 users to stick with Edge rather than switch to another browser, such as Firefox or Google Chrome.

With just a few weeks left to go until Microsoft is ready to roll out its Windows 10 October 2018 Update, a few testers have reported seeing a new warning prompt when they try to involve a third-party web browser, stating: "You already have Microsoft Edge — the safer, faster browser for Windows 10."

They're then given two options: "Open Microsoft Edge" or "Install anyway." Windows 10 also gives users the ability to disable the prompt altogether, but if any technologically illiterate individual sees a window pop up informing them that the software they are about to install is "unsafe," chances are they will heed that warning.

From Twitter: Sean Hoffman @SeanKHoffman @MicrosoftEdge What kind of slimy marketing cesspool crap is this Microsoft? I proceed to launch the Firefox installer and Windows 10 pops this up? If I wanted to use your browser, I would.

3:55 AM - Sep 12, 2018”

Very unprofessional, Microsoft!

Read more

China watches, hears and remembers ALL:

Referred by John Mathews.

According to the ABC 7.30 Report on Wednesday Sept 12 2018, surveillance cameras built by Chinese companies are watching streets, Universities and Defence establishments all over Australia.

The report starts:

Banned Chinese cameras are being used by the Australian Government.

Security cameras made by Chinese surveillance companies are also being used at a series of classified facilities including an Adelaide Air Force base and a Canberra office block home to an annexe of the nation's intelligence agencies.

Leigh Sales: Whenever you see a security camera on a street corner, a bus or even in your home, chances are they may have been made by a Chinese surveillance company.

In the US, the two big brands that make most of them, Hikvision and Dahua, are already banned due to allegations of foreign espionage.

7.30 can reveal, that here in Australia, cameras made by those firms are not only used in everyday locations, they've been found inside an Adelaide air force base and at the office of one of Australia's intelligence agencies.”

Ed: Remote access via the internet allows real-time viewing from any of these cameras; the passwords are apparently available online.

Continue reading the transcript (click on Transcript a little way down the page) or see a video replay of the 7.30 Report at the top.

Hammer and Sickle
Image: 7.30 Report


Password hassle from Google:

Ed: I just received an email from Google with the Subject: "Help us protect you: Security advice from Google" telling me that someone was trying to login to my Gmail account using a less secure device.

So I followed their links and turned OFF the feature, thinking that I would then be more secure.

Naturally, Google didn't tell me that this less secure device was Thunderbird, and that it was me trying to login. Don't they know my IP address?

When Thunderbird went to check Gmail it then gets erroneous password failed messages.

Google considers every other App than its own to be less secure. In the meantime, I was getting password failed every 10 seconds or so from Thunderbird.

Apparently Google has been sending these "Help" messages out to its customers since 2017, and today I was the lucky one.

I finally found a proper explanation and a link to turn off this new "feature".


A followup email from Google with Subject: Critical security alert for your linked Google Account:

Access for less secure apps setting has been

turned on for your linked account


Access for less secure apps setting has been turned on for your Google Account

aoehfiuweafhiawefihewfiuweaf@gmail.com. If you didn't change it, you should check what


Check activity (LINK)

You received this email to let you know about important changes to your Google Account and services.

© 2018 Google LLC,1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

†Not my real Gmail address — Ed.


Greens happy big tech has spoken out against encryption backdoors:

See iTWire article written by Sam Varghese 11 September 2018.

“Australian Greens' Digital Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John says he is thrilled that some of the world's big technology firms have put the privacy of their users ahead of their own profits by condemning the Federal Government's Assistance and Access Bill.”

If the big tech companies buckle and insert encryption backdoors into their software (and promise to keep them secret), how long would it be before the crims, scammers and others discover the details? One day? Two?

Online banking, formerly secret opinions or business transactions would never be safe again.

Absolute madness.

Read more.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

Link to — Sydney PC & Technology User Group
All Meetings, unless specifically stated above, are held on the
1st Floor, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.
Sydney PC & Technology User Group's FREE newsletter — SubscribeUnsubscribe
Go to Sydney PC & Technology User Group's — Events Calendar
Changing your e-mail address? Please e-mail your new address to — newsletter@sydneypc.com
DISCLAIMER: This Newsletter is provided "As Is" without warranty of any kind.
Each user or reader of this Newsletter assumes complete risk as to the accuracy and subsequent use of its contents.