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You may love your messaging app, but your messaging app may not love your privacy and security. WhatsApp, arguably the most popular messaging app in the world with a billion users, made a significant step in April by introducing end-to-end encryption built on the Signal protocol, much to the chagrin of governments and police forces.

End-to-end encryption

In 2014 EFF published the first edition of its secure messaging scorecard, which rated dozens of chat apps based on set criteria. EFF’s rankings were not designed to push people to any one tool but to clearly set out what’s working and what isn’t. The digital rights group has now retired that scorecard and is working on a new one.

WhatsApp had originally scored pretty well but like any product, it’s not perfect. “There is one tiny problem with WhatsApp and a couple of others. For example, they don’t create the data locally,” said Filip Chytry, manager of mobile threat intelligence at Avast. “My recommendation is to find the apps that are actually encrypting the messages stored locally on your device.”

EFF’s Bonneau noted competitors to WhatsApp that are making a strong effort on security. “Signal is really popular among the tech crowd for sure. I think ChatSecure is doing a nice job,” he said.

Default settings mean a lot

Encryption is a must-have, but it’s not the absolute standard yet, as we saw with the recent launch of Google’s Allo. The app has encryption turned off by default, a feature that has attracted criticism from security pros and even Edward Snowden, who called it “dangerous.”

Open-source code is the responsible choice

Whether the app maker has its code open to review says a lot about the app, too. There’s an old mindset in security: If you don’t tell anyone how something works, it will be harder for people to break it or take it apart. That attitude has since been debunked, as the security community embraces open-source as a way to spread ideas and collaborate.

You’d also be wise to avoid backing up chat histories to the cloud, Hagemann continued. Storing encrypted data on a third-party server puts it at risk if it involves transmitting private keys to the server operator.

Never underestimate modesty

No security tool is perfect, and any qualified security engineer will make this clear to the consumer. “A lot of tools out there promise everything. They’ll throw around terms like ‘military-grade’ or ‘unbreakable’. That’s a sign of amateurs designing the tool,” said Bonneau.

We’ve even seen WhatsApp subjected to theoretical attacks and flaws that could undermine its security. It still stores metadata, for example. “Tools that aren’t self-critical at all or don’t list the limitations or threats that it doesn’t protect you from, it’s probably a sign that the people who designed it aren’t really trained security engineers,” Bonneau warned.

End-to-end encryption on by default is still by far the strongest measure of an app’s security. But there’s plenty to consider, from permissions to open-source code. Remember, any app that makes lofty promises should be investigated. Security is hard, and user vigilance is key.

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Hbo Needs To Be The Next Netflix

HBO Needs to Be the Next Netflix

Netflix and HBO don’t like each other. Well, at least HBO doesn’t seem to like Netflix. And Netflix? Well, it would love to have HBO content on its streaming service, but it’s not fond of the fact that HBO has no desire to do so. In fact, HBO has clearly drawn a line between its service and chúng tôi reasons that such a move makes sense. After all, the company has been successful at offering cable-subscription services for years and with new, original programming to offer like True Blood, Game of Thrones, and The Newsroom, it’s obviously seeing an opportunity to expand its presence in the entertainment world and achieve something far more grand.

But the truth is, HBO won’t be able to do anything of the sort until it realizes that the market is changing. HBO needs us all to remain on cable services in order to drive its revenue. And although that will likely continue for the foreseeable future, a decade from now, it’s entirely possible that we’ll have all cut the cord – or at least moved on to the next big thing.

If all of the rumors surrounding Apple’s plans in the television business are true, something major is about to happen. There has been talk that Apple might try to be its own cable provider, while other reports have suggested it’s simply partnering with cable providers to deliver channels and entertainment services to them wherever they might be.

Meanwhile, a cord-cutting phenomenon is growing around the world as people realize that investing in stream-video services might actually be a better financial move than sticking with cable companies that charge exorbitant fees for their content.

Those two issues could prove to be major problems for HBO. Apple has been a major change agent in the industry for years, and if it’s planning on changing the entertainment paradigm, who knows what could happen next? And all of that fails to acknowledge that Google appears to be laying a foundation for its own television offering that could rival cable providers.

[aquote]HBO can only be successful if it goes for streaming dominance[/aquote]

For its part, HBO seems content to stick with its gameplan of offering its paid service along with a companion streaming app. But the truth is, the company can only be successful if it goes after the true prize: streaming dominance.

Yes, HBO needs to be the next Netflix. HBO needs to find a way to stop relying so heavily on cable providers and stop forcing its HBO Go users to be subscribers. Believe it or not, there are many people out there that would love to have access to all HBO content for just several dollars a month, and if the company could bolster that offering with other television shows and movies, it could be entirely possible that Netflix would have a huge, concerning contender in its midst.

That HBO might go to a paid model with HBO Go isn’t so crazy. Right now, non-HBO subscribers can buy the company’s shows on iTunes or the Google Play marketplace. Therefore, it wouldn’t be such a huge leap to make its streaming service available to everyone.

Fix: A Media Driver Your Computer Needs Is Missing

You usually get the “A media driver your computer needs is missing” error while installing Windows on your system if you don’t have the correct installation media. This issue can also occur if the files in the media are corrupted.

Depending on whether your firmware is in BIOS mode or UEFI mode, you need to prepare a healthy installation media with MBR or GPT-supported Windows partition, respectively.

In addition to these, there may also be a few other possible reasons for the error, such as the actual absence of SATA/RAID/PVSCSI drivers.

Since the disks with different partition styles need different types of installation media, you need to re-create one appropriately. 

Before you begin, it’s best to know the following things to be able to create an error-free installation media:

The apps to create an installation disk on other OS (Linux or Mac) may not properly create a Windows installation media. So, it’s always better to do so from a Windows system itself if possible.

It’s better to use USB drives as installation media instead of CD/DVD, even if you have such devices on your computer, as they are more prone to failure.

You can’t use a recovery disk to install Windows. It does not include all the files and drivers necessary for the installation.

Also, methods like directly making a USB installation disk from media creation create a GPT partition compatible Windows installation drive only, so you may encounter the above error if you try using it on an MBR-based hard drive. This is why we recommend using Rufus instead, as it allows you to choose a partition type while creating the media.

With that out of the way, here’s how you can create the USB installation drive:

First, you need to create a Windows ISO file. If you use other methods to download or create one, make sure to check its hash (see above).

Go to Microsoft’s Windows download webpage and select the Windows version.

Run the Media Creation tool and accept the license agreements.

Uncheck Use recommended options for this PC and change the options according to the PC where you need to install Windows. Then, select Next.

Download and launch the latest version of Rufus.

Choose your USB drive under Device.

Set Image option to Standard Windows installation.

Set Volume label as you want and File system to FAT32.

If you are trying to install Windows to a BIOS/MBR-bases SATA or RAID setup drive, you need a proper driver, such as Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver (IRST). If the USB installation media doesn’t have such a driver, you need to download it and then load it to the PC.

Download the proper driver from official websites on another computer.

Extract the driver to a different USB flash drive and then connect it to the PC where you have the above error.

Select the driver from the list and hit Next.

After the process completes, the disk should show up, and you can continue with your Windows installation.

If you encounter this error on VMware ESX, you need to install the PVSCSI driver instead of a SATA or RAID driver. The method to do so is slightly different for the VMware ESX or ESXi.

Scroll down to the new CD/DVD Drive and set the drop-down box to Datastore ISO File.

Then, continue with your Windows installation.

The exact steps may differ depending on the type or version of the software, but the general process is the same.

You can also convert your Boot mode from BIOS to UEFI to be able to install Windows from a GPT-supporting installation media without any issues. All the latest systems are made for UEFI-based disks, so it’s better to change to it if possible.

Before you begin, check whether your computer supports UEFI mode or not. If it is a new PC with x64 system architecture, it should support UEFI. For older computers, check with the motherboard manufacturers first.

Then, if you are reinstalling Windows on your PC, which already has an OS,

First, make sure to back up any data you want, if possible. While the method here doesn’t lose your data, it’s better to be more careful.

Enter the command bcdedit.

If it shows Windowssystem32winload.efi, you already have UEFI. If it shows Windowssystem32winload.exe, you have a legacy BIOS, so you can follow through with the remaining steps.

Enter the commands below:

mbr2gpt /validate

mbr2gpt /validate /allowFullOS

mbr2gpt /convert /allowFullOS

On the BIOS interface, search for your BIOS mode option and set it to UEFI. Different motherboards use separate interfaces and options, so check official sources if you can’t find the option.

Save and exit BIOS.

Now, you can directly create a USB installation disk through media creation or use built-in options to create a GPT-compatible media and use it to install Windows.

And if you are installing Windows on a new PC, you can use a different method. This method is not suitable for the above situation as you need to wipe all data from your disk.

Power up your PC and boot to BIOS. You can press the BIOS key multiple times as soon as the computer starts booting to do so.

Change the Boot order to boot using the installation drive if you haven’t done so already.

Then, save and exit the BIOS.

Now, boot using the installation media and set your language preferences.

Here, enter the following commands:

diskpart

list disk (check the disk number for the disk where you want to install Windows)

select disk # (replace # with the disk number from above. For instance, select disk 0)

clean

convert gpt

exit

Then, continue with the installation.

If you meet all the requirements for the installation media as we discussed above, it is possible that your USB drive is corrupted. You can run the CHKDSK tool from a working Windows system to repair any possible corruption. 

Open Run.

Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.

If you don’t have access to another PC,

When you get to the Install now screen, press Shift + F10.

Here, enter the following commands:

diskpart

list volume (note down the drive letter of the USB drive)

exit

If CHKDSK finds but can’t resolve some errors, you need to use another USB device instead.

How To Fix ‘This App Has Been Blocked For Your Protection’ Error

The ‘This app has been blocked for your protection’ prompt appears when your system’s list of trusted authorities does not include the digital signature of the app. It is a security feature to protect your system from harm but your system can also block apps due to the improper configuration of services. 

These normally appear as bugs in a system or an insider build. You can debug this issue by installing system updates as soon as they are available. Updating OS also updates root certificates, and new digital signatures may become authorized.

If you encounter the error even with an updated OS, you need to apply the possible solutions below.

The most common reason for the error is the Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode policy being enabled on your system. This way, if an app doesn’t have a valid digital signature or Publisher, your system won’t allow you to open it.

However, you may also encounter the error on default programs if there’s some issue with your OS. If your system is fully updated but you get the error on apps you don’t think will harm your system, you can temporarily disable the above policy to run the app.

Open Run by pressing Win + R.

Type gpedit.msc and press Enter to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.

Check Disabled and hit Ok.

Open Run.

Type regedit and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Navigate to ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem

Note: If you are part of a domain or connected to a school/work account, you need to contact the admin and have them make the necessary changes for your user account or computer.

If you encounter this error while trying to open the MMC snap-ins like the Device Manager, Local Security Policy Editor, etc., it’s likely because a different policy is restricted from the Group Policy. Similar to the above case, you need to enable it to resolve the error. If you are part of a domain, you need to make these changes on the GPO relevant to your local computer instead.

Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Restart your PC and check if the error persists.

It is possible to launch the file using the elevated Command Prompt to bypass the error. To do so,

Then, Open Run.

Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.

Press Enter to run the file.

Windows Defender SmartScreen is another security feature to protect your system, which can block your apps. We don’t recommend disabling it, but you can do so if you believe the application it is blocking to be harmless.

However, make sure to re-enable this feature when you stop using the app.

Open Settings by pressing Win + I and go to Privacy & security.

Then, open the file showing the “This app has been blocked” prompt and check if you can launch it this time.

Your system will block any files you download from the internet directly. Depending on your user account control settings, this blockage can lead to the above error message. You need to unblock the file from its properties to resolve the issue.

Go to the file that shows this error.

Select it and press Alt + Enter to open its Properties.

Near the bottom of the General tab, you will see an unchecked Unblock box.

Some applications will update their digital signatures after they are expired. So, make sure to update the application to the latest version. If no later updates are available, you need to report the error to the manufacturer. In the meantime, you can use alternative applications.

Also, sometimes the app can contain bugs that make your system mistake its digital signature as unauthorized. You need to uninstall and then reinstall it in such a scenario. We recommend reinstalling the latest version to perform both tasks at the same time.

Launch the Run command.

Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open Programs and Features.

Then download the latest installer from the official website and install the program.

Your system uses Cryptographic services to verify the digital signature of your apps. So, you need to make sure this service is running properly.

Open Run.

Type services.msc and press Enter to open Windows Services.

Then, open Run again.

Type powershell and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Windows PowerShell in Admin mode.

Enter the following commands:

Stop-Service cryptsvc

Rename-Item -Path "C:WindowsSystem32catroot2" -NewName catroot2.old

By default, your system will automatically update root certificates when it encounters an untrusted source or during a system update. However, you may have unknowingly disabled such a setting. To check and enable this setting,

Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Restart your PC to apply the policy.

If you suddenly started experiencing this error on a previously accessible application, you can try restoring your system to an appropriate restore point. This method will remove all the errors that occurred afterward.

Open the Run dialog box.

Select a suitable restore point and follow the on-screen instructions.

Amd Vs. Intel: Which Cpu Is Likely To Be Faster This Year?

This year we’ll see an historic fight for laptops, as AMD’s first truly competitive mobile CPU seeks to dethrone Intel’s decades-long dominance. Although full details of AMD’s mobile Ryzen 4000 chips aren’t known—and Intel has two more cards to play this year in Tiger Lake U and Comet Lake H—we think we can forecast what to expect if you’re looking for a new laptop. Join us as we make odds on who will win this match, looking at performance and battery life potential for both ultraportable (sub-three-pound) and heavier-weight (gaming/workhorse) laptops.

IDG

Intel and AMD’s top contenders for each class of CPU.

Platforms matter: It’s not just a CPU

One thing you should remember as we actually see laptops based on Ryzen 4000 CPUs, as well as Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake U and Comet Lake H, is the fact that they are just platforms. You cannot simply say one CPU is better than the other without factoring in the laptop around it, and how it’s optimized for that CPU. You also shouldn’t compare an ultraportable, sub-three-pound laptop’s performance against a six-pound gaming/workhorse slab. Larger and heavier laptops generally have far more cooling and power potential, to push that CPU harder.

Single-threaded performance in ultraportable laptops

Where it gets a little tricky is Intel’s odd circumstance of selling new 10th-gen, 10nm Ice Lake CPUs alongside “10th-gen,” 14nm Comet Lake CPUs. Although still based on Intel’s older 14nm process, these mature chips can run at clock speeds up to 20 percent faster than those in Intel’s 10nm chips. There’s a good chance that Intel’s Comet Lake U chips can slightly outperform both Intel’s 10nm chips and AMD’s 7nm chips in light-duty tasks.

Multi-threaded performance in ultraportable laptops Graphics performance in ultraportable laptops

Odds in favor of: AMD

Battery life in ultralight laptops

Odds in favor of: Intel

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

We think Intel laptops may have the battery lead in the 13-inch category, due to years of investment in low-power technologies.

Single-threaded performance in gaming/workhorse laptops

Odds in favor of: Too close to call

Multi-threaded performance in gaming/workhorse laptops

Odds in favor of: AMD

Intel’s wildcards

Intel hasn’t said much about Tiger Lake U, but it’s expected to hit higher clock speeds than today’s Ice Lake CPUs. If it’s released as a four-core CPU, it’ll likely lose in multi-core performance to AMD—but it just might sneak away with better performance in single-threaded and lightly threaded tasks.

What that isn’t likely to help with, though, is the power efficiency of AMD’s 7nm chips. AMD has already showed off the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, with 8 cores and a powerful RTX 2060 GPU inside of an impossibly thin and light, 3.5-pound profile. 

Odds in favor of: AMD

Asus

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 features AMD’s new 8-core Ryzen 7 4800H as well as a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU in a 3.5-pound package that we don’t think could be equaled by a laptop based on today’s Intel H-class CPUs.

Battery life in gaming/workhorse laptops

Regardless of the size of laptop, battery life is always affected by the size of the battery, the screen size and resolution, the motherboard, and other optimizations around it. Asus told PCWorld its ROG Zephyrus G14, with a 35-watt 8-core Ryzen 7 and GeForce RTX 2060, should produce about 10 hours of run time. Asus also said its TUF gaming laptops with 90Wh batteries will give up 8.7 hours of battery life and 12.3 of video playback, with Ryzen and either Radeon or GeForce graphics aboard.

Intel-based laptops with discrete graphics can run the gamut from pretty impressive to pretty awful, based on how they’re configured and how big the battery is. Laptops with G-Sync, for example, bleed battery life because the GPU is always on.

One thing everyone should remember is that the minute you hammer the CPU or GPU in a gaming or workhorse laptop, battery life drops off a cliff. If you get 10 hours of run time for web browsing, expect an hour in gaming. Gaming on a laptop is still primarily done when plugged into the wall, so the battery performance just doesn’t matter quite as much as it does on a super light laptop.

Odds in favor of: Too close to call.

Odds in favor of: AMD

Using Gatekeeper To Help Secure Your Mac

macOS comes with a security feature known as Gatekeeper, which can help prevent unwanted apps from launching on your Mac without your permission. It can also prevent potentially malicious apps from launching because it can be used to limit the kinds of apps that are allowed to open on your Mac.

In lieu of the recent Sparkle updater framework vulnerability having been uncovered in a variety of popular macOS apps, now is a great time to set up your Gatekeeper settings to prevent potential issues with malware on your Mac in the future.

In this tutorial, we’ll be showing you how Gatekeeper works and how you can configure it to keep your Mac just as secure as you want it to be.

What is Gatekeeper?

Gatekeeper is a security system Apple launched with OS X Mountain Lion and OS X 10.7.5 Lion that is still present in macOS today. The feature allows you to limit the types of apps that are allowed to launch on your computer, preventing unwanted apps from launching on their own and also preventing malicious apps from baiting and switching on unsuspecting users.

Gatekeeper is configured from the Mac’s System Preferences app, and from there, users can manually configure what their security options will be. As you might expect, Apple programs macOS to be as secure as possible out of the box and leaves it in the responsibility of the user if they choose to tamper with the stock settings (unless you’re on OS X Lion – then it defaults to the weakest security setting possible).

In what ways does Gatekeeper protect me?

As noted in an Apple online support document, Gatekeeper can filter apps based on their origin, preventing apps that aren’t from a secure origin from ever opening on your Mac in the first place. The system comes with three different filter options:

App Store: Enabling this option means that only apps downloaded from the Mac App Store will be allowed to be opened on your Mac.

This is the most secure option and prevents any software downloaded from the internet, whether intentionally or by accident, from being launched executed on your Mac.

App Store and identified developers: Choosing this option means that apps downloaded from the Mac App Store and apps downloaded from the internet that have a signed Apple Developer ID certificate included in them will be allowed to launch, but not rogue third-party software downloaded from the internet that hasn’t been created by a developer with a signed Apple Developer ID.

This is a good medium-strength option, but then, it’s open to potential risks because any third-party app using a third-party update method could be susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks, as we learned from Sparkle, and it’s always possible some hacker could come up with a way to spoof an Apple Developer ID certificate and include it in a malicious app.

How to configure Gatekeeper

So now that you understand the gist of what Gatekeeper is about and what it can do for you, let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to configure Gatekeeper with your favorite settings so you can use your Mac the way you want to.

There are a few steps you have to take to get to the Gatekeeper settings on your Mac, so just follow along with us using the steps below:

4) If your password was entered correctly, the Gatekeeper preferences section should unlock, allowing you to pick from:

App Store

App Store and identified developers

So… what now?

Depending on how you’ve configured Gatekeeper, your Mac may or may not let you open some apps you’ve downloaded from the internet.

If you’ve chosen a more secure option, such as “App Store” apps only, then when you attempt to launch an app downloaded from the internet instead of the Mac App Store, you will be greeted with an error message, such as the one below:

The reason we’re getting this message is because Gatekeeper was set to only allow Mac App Store apps to run, and we downloaded Cyberduck from the developer’s website in our web browser. macOS knows that, and since it wasn’t downloaded from the Mac App Store, it prevented the app from executing to protect us based on our settings.

Just imagine – what if that was a malicious app instead of Cyberduck (which we know isn’t malicious)? If that were the case, Gatekeeper would have just saved us from potentially messing up our computer.

Gatekeeper isn’t perfect

Gatekeeper, as easy to use as it is, isn’t perfect. In fact, Symantec, a security research company known for their Norton antivirus software, notes on their blog that it has been possible for hackers to bypass Gatekeeper before, and it’s likely not the last time that a good hacker who knows what he or she is doing will be able to accomplish this.

For this reason, we want to emphasize that all Gatekeeper does is help improve the security of your system from malware. It’s not a full antivirus replacement, and it’s not going to replace common sense in those who need to practice safe internet downloading techniques. It’s a line of defense that can help you stay safe, but it’s not an impenetrable wall; all security systems have their weaknesses.

Conclusion

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