Tag Archives: encryption

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How to set up Picture Password on BlackBerry Android

The Picture Password feature is available on BlackBerry 10 as well as Android Priv and DTEK60 devices. It will allow you to unlock your device using a unique number and picture combination. It’s a simple to use, as all you do is move a grid to align a number over a specific secret location on a picture.  You choose the number, secret location and picture.

Why would you use Picture Password? You are out and about and don’t want anyone to shoulder surf you and easily guess the PIN or password you enter to unlock your screen. By using Picture Password, it is difficult for another person to guess your picture password, even if the person is watching you unlock your screen.

To be able to use Picture Password, you will first need to set up a screen lock that uses either a password or a PIN. Enter your Picture Password incorrectly more than five times, your device will prompt you to enter the password or PIN to unlock the screen.

NOTE: Whenever you restart your Android device you will not be able to use Picture Password to unlock your device. You will have to use either your password or PIN to start your device.

Posted in android, blackberry, google, mobile, privacy | Tagged , , | 0

How to securely erase Mac data using Disk Utility 12.x

mac_diskutilityWhen you delete a file from a hard disk, the file isn’t erased, it’s just removed from the computer’s records. This rule applies to both PCs and Macs. If you decide to use the Mac Disk Utility 12.x or move files to Trash they are actually not erased. They are in fact just removed from the computer’s records.

Computer files require to be overwritten if they are to be completely removed. So how can you do this securely, without leaving a single trace? Here is a simple method, which involves using Disk Utility (this app is built into Mac OSX):

  • Open Spotlight type > disk utility – you can also find it in the Utilities folder in Launchpad
  • Click > Security Options and move the slider to > Most Secure (the slider is found in Mac OSX
  • “Most Secure” – this writes over your data 7 times (with zeros) and is compliant with US DOD 5220-22 M standard
  • Once you’ve chosen the above option click > Erase and then ….. wait
  • Disk Utility will take some time (the time taken to erase your data depends on the amount of data that needs to be erased)
Posted in apple, privacy | Tagged , , , , , | 0

How to recover your Windows system login passwords

windows 8_logoIf you have forgotten your Windows XP, Vista or 7 login password, it can be very challenging to find a way to access your Windows account/personal data. In some instances, friends have resorted to re-installing Windows, as which ever way they turn they are faced with either paying over the odds for a password cracking tool or just find it plain difficult understanding how to password crack. Well it isn’t actually that difficult. 🙂

One gem I use is called Ophcrack. It’s very simple to set-up – all you need is basic Windows knowledge, which I’m assuming my readers have. It has cracked both Windows XP, Vista and 7 passwords for me (nothing on 8 as yet). For my technical readers, Ophcrack is a Windows cracker based on rainbow tables which brute-forces for your login passwords.

All you need to do now is follow these simple instructions to download and install the LiveCD ISO image onto a CD/DVD. This is very easy as you will see shortly:

Posted in privacy, windows | Tagged , , | 0

How to protect mobile app and browser passwords

PasswordMobile/website data breaches are in the news these days, so for the benefit of my readers this post will focus on securing your mobile website/app passwords. In most instances hackers are looking for scripting exploits on a website and/or via a browser (and this includes mobile apps) to key log/scrape data or inject malicious code.

Hackers are also looking for back-end access to the user centre database (SQL) to steal username and password credentials and upload them to sites such as Pastebin. Exposing a hack this way, damages the reputation and credibility of a website/business and in some instances can also affect its commercial operations. It also exposes your user credentials!

What makes a database hack all the more serious, is that users tend to use a single password for a number of websites (and mobile too as they will use the same passwords). One password can provide access to a multitude of user information including address, mobile and financial data, so it’s important users consider using different passwords for different sites.

Posted in android, apple, blackberry, google, malware, mobile, privacy, windows | Tagged | 0

BlackBerry Protect exploit identified in BlackBerry Z10

Blackberry Z10BlackBerry Z10 users should be aware that there is a privilege escalation vulnerability. Exploitation of the vulnerability requires not only that you enable BlackBerry Protect (which many of us have), use the feature to reset the device password, and download a specifically crafted malicious app, but also that an attacker gain physical access to the smartphone.

In the event all these circumstances happen it’s possible an attacker could potentially access or modify data on your BlackBerry Z10 device. Further reading on BlackBerry Knowledge Base clarifies that this vulnerability has a low mitigation risk level, given the circumstances mentioned above.

The obvious facts that you would have to have downloaded a malicious app (you could also block the app as BB10 apps prompt users to allow or block permissions) and the attacker have physical access to your device, makes this vulnerability reasonably low risk right now to Z10 users.

The affected software is BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.0.10.261 and earlier, except version 10.0.9.2743. To avoid this vulnerability, you should update to the latest Blackberry 10 OS version. To update Over The Air (OTA) to the latest BlackBerry 10 OS version > Settings > Software Updates. You also have the option to ‘Check for Updates’ if you don’t see the latest update available.

Posted in blackberry, malware, mobile, privacy | Tagged | 0