New Mac Trojan Pretends To Be Flash, Tricking Users To Install Fake Flash

In case you haven’t heard it yet, Mac users are now ripe to be targeted by a new malware known as Flashback which relies on users who don’t yet have Flash on their Macs.  This trojan horse tricks Mac users to download the fake Flash installer and install it onto their Mac systems.  Mac users can also be infected by this fake Flash installer by visiting a malicious link (i.e., website).  Once Flashback trojan is on a Mac system, it will deactivate security software, inject malicious codes into Mac applications, and sending users’ information back to the malware owner (i.e., hackers).

I can imagine hackers come up with an attractive malicious websites such as a fan website for a very sexy and famous movie star, and then promise some type of pornographic images belong to such movie star if a user clicks on a certain link or installs the fake Flash (i.e., Flashback).  Of course, the hacker can use a trick where it checks to see if a user has already had Flash.  If a Mac user has already had Flash on his/her system, hacker can preprogram the website to show something else more attractive so a user will click on the malicious link to acquire the trojan anyway.  If a Mac user isn’t yet installed Flash on his/her Mac, then the preprogramming website can maliciously present the fake Flash so the user can install it.  I also don’t see why not hackers won’t go as far as sending malicious web links in emails, instant messengers, and so on to infect Mac users with Flashback trojan.

Basically, I advise one not to install Flash when a strange website wants one to do so.  One can always visit the official website of Adobe to install Flash.  Also, one can visit YouTube to acquire a legitimate Flash link, because YouTube will let one knows if one has Flash or not and point one to a legitimate Flash link so one can obtain Flash this way.

Flash may not be necessary as the world wide web moving forward in days to come.  Why?  HTML5 has now become ever more popular.  Many big web services such as Google has now begin concentrating on producing HTML5 web applications.  For an instance, users who don’t have Flash can still view YouTube videos by using a compatible browsers that support HTML5, because Google has programmed HTML5 to perform similar video functions as Flash for YouTube.

In conclusion, one needs not to install Flash and just use HTML5 in replacement for Flash, therefore one can stay away from this Flashback trojan. Flashback trojan can still infect users who click on malicious web links.  So, it’s important for users not to open up strange web links for now.  Hopefully, Apple will release some kind of fix to allow users to be able to actively protect themselves against the mechanics of Flashback trojan.

Source:  http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/09/mac-trojan-pretends-to-be-flash-player-installer-to-get-in-the-door.ars?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+
arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Technica+-+Featured+Content%29

Pandora Drops Listening Hour Cap

I was a fan of Pandora till I figured out that my listening hour was capped.  Luckily, Pandora has now revamped its service by dropping the 40 hour listening cap for free accounts, and if not for being a current Spotify customer I definitely have my ears for Pandora again.  Nonetheless, users who aren’t fonded of paying for Spotify, a now more awesome Pandora is probably what these people are looking for when it comes to listening to free music.  According to Engadget, Pandora also rolls out newer design for its website.  The newer website’s design relies on HTML5.

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/21/pandora-rolls-out-html5-redesign-to-everyone-drops-40-hour-list/

How Desperate Is Flash?

Adobe is hyping up its next version of Flash which will be Flash 11.  Adobe promises Flash 11 will come with 64 bit support.  In this day and age, 64 bit support should come by default, and so for Adobe to promise 64 bit support for its next release of Flash should not be a surprise and should not be something that we have to drop our jaws for.  For now, Adobe is releasing Flash 10.3.  This release of Flash 10.3 is to provide additional features for developers, and these new features have to do with audio functions.  These functions are canceling noise and echoes, detecting voice, and automatic adjusting microphone’s volume levels.

Adobe is continuing to push harder in its development of Flash, because HTML5 is the biggest threat yet Flash has to face sooner or later.  HTLM5 is still behind Flash in various features.  Still, give it time and HTLM5 will do just as much as Flash.  I think the biggest threat that HTML5 has going for Flash is not about who has more features, but it’s all about the standard.  Although users do not care about the standard of software development and so on, but in the end the dictation of what is standard of the software industry does translate into the ease of use.  Once HTLM5 becomes the standard, browser users do not need to install anything from a third party such as Adobe and yet they can do pretty much everything with HTML5.  Have a need of playing games over the web?  HTLM5 can handle that for Flash!  Have a need of watching videos over the web?  HTLM5 can handle that for Flash!  Have the need of create a standard HTLM web page but more modern since HTLM5 is more capable than its predecessors, well Flash can’t do that as well as HTML5.  The gist is that users don’t even need to know what is HTML5, because the standard makes HTML5 and the browsers one of the same!

I don’t think Flash will ever gain the upper hand once HTML5 becomes the only standard, but Flash can retain some followers if Adobe upgrades Flash to be more appealing.  How appealing?  How about let start with Flash will be even more efficient in using computer resources — to a point where even a weakest smart phone device out there can still use Flash without a hitch.  I notice my 2010 Macbook Pro’s temperature rises tremendously by just firing up Flash!  Second, Flash needs to be more secure.  I don’t know how secure Flash is now, but I notice too many complaints about how Flash gets to be so insecure in term of computer security.  Here is my proof, and I didn’t have to do much to get the proof — clicking the very first link inside Google’s search results of the keywords “How secure is Flash?” and I get the story “How secure is Flash? Here’s what Adobe won’t tell you.”  About reliability, Flash tends to crash unexpectedly with Firefox 4 beta.  OK, I know it maybe Firefox 4 beta’s fault since this version of the very browser is still in beta, but strangely I don’t see Silverlight and HTML5 have this problem.  If Adobe goes extra miles to make Flash works better than anything else on the market to a point where people prefer to install Flash than using HTML5, then Flash may have a winning chance.  I have to say, I don’t see that will happen!

In conclusion, I have a strong feeling that Flash will lose the popularity contest against HTML5, but if Adobe makes features that we cannot go without Flash — we have everything to gain such as HTML5 will be improved too so it can compete against Flash.  Flash 11 will come out soon, because it has to sink in with everyone fast to prove that even when HTML5 comes out, Flash can still be even more awesome.  Unfortunately, HTML5 is very capable too and so Flash has to have to come up with a miracle.  My verdict is that Flash won’t have a winning chance!  I hope Adobe will prove me wrong, because you and I have nothing to lose but with a better Flash to play with!

Source:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20040457-264.html

A Look At Firefox 4 Beta’s Features

Firefox 4 is still in beta, but it’s already building up nicely!  The list of new features is awesome!  Let jump right into what it has and can do…

It allows you to modify a tab into an app tab — which means right click on a tab that you visit often and make it into an app tab will forever make the the tab sticky and will not go away, but you have the option to demote an app tab into a normal tab which will go away.  This is an awesome feature, because it saves you time from reopening the frequent tab that you will visit often.

It allows you to organize tabs!  How?  Hundred of opened tabs won’t confuse you anymore since you can drag and drop each tab into a virtual box, and in this way each virtual box acts as a group of different kind of tabs.  Let say you have 20 tabs that are opened, five tabs belong to news, five tabs belong to music, five tabs belong to technology, the last five tabs belong to miscellaneous stuffs, and you can put each five tabs of the same niche into the same box.  Group them that way, you’ll find open hundred of tabs a little easier to navigate than a stream of tabs across the browser’s top portion.  If you incline to ask, how can I tell which box of tabs stands for what?  Don’t worry, Firefox 4 allows you to name each box, and so you will know what tabs are in which kind of box.

It allows you to use a new feature known as Firefox Sync!  With this feature, your browsing history, saved encrypted passwords, RSS bookmarks and so on are constantly being updated and synced with all computers in your network and abroad as long you remember your Firefox Sync account’s user-name and password.

It allows you to install new add-ons without restarting the browser!  This is a minor improvement, but it’s important.  No longer one has to be annoyed by restarting the browser just to see a new installed add-on works it magic.

It is fully support HTML5.  We all know how HTML5 will change the game when it comes down to what will run within your browsers!  For an example, videos may not be played in Flash but in HTML5 since HTML5 is fully compatible and is a standard with all browsers and less resource hogging than Flash (a theory which needs to be tested).  HTML5 is the next generation of HTML, and so many websites will upgrade to HTML5 and abandon HTML’s previous versions.  This makes the more compelling reason to have Firefox 4 as a browser choice since nobody wants to stare a the computer monitor and  to sigh at the incoherent display of a website, because a browser is not supporting HTML5, right?

It allows you to use multitouch on Windows 7!  This feature is still blurred to me, but I think a smart person like you will get it before I do!

It allows a whole lot more, but my mind is already overwhelming with the new features above!  Smoke is coming out of my head!  Don’t laugh, it’s steaming!  Put an egg on, you won’t see it droops, but it’ll cook nicely!  Not overwhelming like me?  Head over to here to see additional new features of Firefox 4 beta.