Tag Archives: Cyber Security

macOS New App release – SimpleumSafe

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Product Announcements – Simpleum Media GmbH of Hamburg, Germany is proud to join the European Cyber Security Months in October 2017 again this year. In celebration, the German company halves the price of their software this weekend to facilitate the access in the encryption also in terms of price. Under the motto “Now everybody can encrypt” the company offers SimpleumSafe for Apple Mac, enabling users to encrypt data without technical knowledge.

SimpleumSafe is an easy-to-use app for password-based encryption of personal and professional data. Thanks to proven AES-256 encryption technology, used by government, banks and industrial enterprise, all kinds of digital information are well protected against attacks from the Internet, as well as unauthorized access.

Ingeniously simple, simply ingenious:
SimpleumSafe combines intuitive operation and ease-of-use. Much of what users have already learned during daily use of the Mac can be applied using the Encryption-App.

Opening the safe and decryption of files is done via a user-defined password. Moreover, SimpleumSafe offers numerous tools for importing, organizing, tagging, and editing of the files. SimpleumSafe is designed for the average consumer, who wants to protect and archive personal information, as well as for companies who are interested to protect personal information and secret documents from unauthorized access.

Why choose SimpleumSafe?
Nowadays it is not enough “only” to encrypt your data to be protected. If you want to view, edit and organize the encrypted files, they also must be protected. It is important not to leave any trace on the system, and even if a Trojan looks over your shoulder, it can not copy all your files to the Internet.

SimpleumSafe goes a different way than most other encryption programs. After authorization with a password, the files are not provided in the file system. Otherwise they would be completely vulnerable from this moment on. SimpleumSafe makes its own file system and has its own finder. Thus the files remain encrypted for the entire time.

Features:

  • Simple and intuitive usability
  • Strong encryption with AES-256
  • Extensive support of Drag & Drop
  • App-to-App Drag & Drop: you can e.g. drag a mail, appointments, contacts, photos etc. directly into a safe
  • Organize files similar to Mac Finder
  • Mark files and folders with tags
  • Store safe locally, on USB device, and in the cloud
  • Create as many Safes as you want
  • Comment files and folders
  • Mark files as Favorites for fast access
  • Number of files and size is only limited by the free space of your device
  • Show file content for Microsoft Office and iWorks documents, PDF, Images (jpg, png, gif, tiff), Text (txt, rtf, rtfd), Movies (mp4, mov), Audio and more
  • Picture viewer

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X Version 10.10 Yosemite or higher
  • 64-bit processor
  • 49 MB

Special Price: SimpleumSafe for Mac is available from Friday, 29.09.2017 till Sunday, 01.10.2017, for the promotional price of $8.99 USD (instead of $17.99) in the Mac App Store – in German and English.

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macOS New App Release – Enigma 1.0

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Product Announcements – B-Eng of Fehraltorf, Switzerland has released Enigma 1.0, the company’s powerful new utility to encrypt files on any Mac computer. Easy-to-use, yet powerful, Enigma is the tool of choice when it comes to privacy protection. With a simple and straight forward user interface, you can easily protect your data.

Enigma uses military standard and government standard encryption algorithms that are strong enough to withhold almost any attack. Using a computer with a performance of 2 Gigaflops the estimated time for cracking this encryption is 9.1732631e50 years, this equals to 1.1*10^77 possible combinations.

Main features of Enigma for Mac:

  • Military grade encryption
  • Single click encryption / decryption

“With cyber security already an ever-evolving threat, we decided to provide a tool that helps with protecting sensible data. As app developers we indeed have data that we want nobody to see, and Enigma was developed just for this purpose. Once a password is set, encryption can simply be done with a right click, and decryption is just as simple,” according to Christian Schaffner, General Manager of B-Eng. “Of course, the rules for using a secure password still applies, the best encryption does not help at all if a weak password is used.”

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.6 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 1.1 MB disk space

Enigma 1.0 is 2.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

macOS New App Release – iLocker for Mac 1.0

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Product Announcements – ProtectStar of Miami, Florida has released iLocker for Mac 1.0, their new app and file security utility for macOS. Users of shared Macs can password protect their personal apps, files, and folders by simply dragging and dropping them into the iLocker app window. With a quick entry of a password, the objects are protected from unauthorized access by other users.

iLocker for Mac is the perfect solution for parents who share their Mac with younger family members and worry their kids might access things they shouldn’t. With a simple drag-and-drop and password entry, apps like Apple Mail, Photos, Contacts, Safari, and even games can be prevented from opening without a password. This helps keep kids safe and their mind on homework while using the family Mac. The app also easily prevents the opening of selected files and folder, via the same simple drag-and-drop procedure.

“In many families, everyone shares the same computer, making it harder to keep your kids away from files, folders, and apps they shouldn’t be accessing. iLocker for Mac takes care of all that with just a few clicks of a mouse and taps of a keyboard,” says Chris Bohn, President and CEO of ProtectStar. “Parents can even set time limits and schedule access to apps and files to make sure their offspring are doing their homework, instead of trying to beat the next level of their favorite game!”

iLocker also tracks failed access attempts of protected items, so you’ll know exactly when the unauthorized access occurred. In addition, it makes use of the latest MacBook Pro feature, Touch ID. By using their authorized fingerprint, users can unlock their apps and files in an instant.

The app is also perfect for office situations where more than one user accesses the same Mac, or when users are called away from their Mac in an office setting. An automatic-exit feature locks protected apps after a specific period of time away from the keyboard, increasing security.

Features:

  • Securely protects apps, folders, and files with a password
  • Securely monitors access of personal data such as files and folders
  • Allow kids access to only specific games, applications, and files
  • Schedule for each app or all apps to allow usage for specific days and times
  • Immediate pop-ups alert users to security breaches
  • Logfile protocol tracks unauthorized attempts to start access apps and files
  • Deep Detective (TM) protects against known and unknown attack attempts
  • Smart protection against ransomware threats
  • Blocks execution of potentially malicious Java code
  • Can be set to run at login for automatic protection
  • App can’t be quit without entering the password
  • Supports Touch ID sensor on latest MacBook Pro models
  • Purchase includes 1-year of technical support and free upgrades
  • 24/7 Support by email

iLocker for Mac also offers smart ransomware protection via ProtectStar’s intelligent Deep Detective (TM) feature. The exclusive feature constantly monitors and protects critical system areas and personal data with an additional layer of prevention against Mac-encrypting ransomware attacks like KeRanger and other malicious methods. Deep Detective observes all accesses to your macOS apps, folders, and files, reporting known, and thanks to modern heuristic methods, unknown hacker attack attempts.

“iLocker is a great way for parents to make sure their kids are working on their English paper, and not talking to their buddies via the Messages app,” continues Chris. “By creating an easy to maintain usage schedule, they’ll know Junior is working schoolwork, even if the parents aren’t home from work yet. Plus, the app gives peace of mind by protecting against hacker threats to your Mac’s files, which contain precious family memories, valuable information, and more!”

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.11 or higher
  • Supports macOS 10.13 macOS High Sierra
  • 64-bit processor
  • 70 MB
  • Internet connection for activation and updates

iLocker for Mac 1.0 is only $19.90 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the ProtectStar website.

In-depth Crytography Book Available for FREE!

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As I have mentioned before, I routinely listen to the Security Now podcast. In episode #600 Steve Gibson talked about the book “A Graduate Course in Applied Cryptography“. This book is being compiled by noted Cyber Security researchers Stanford University Professor Dan Boney and New York University Professor Victor Shoup.

While the book is still in development, you can download the most recent version (December 9, 2016 version 0.3) as  PDF file. The book provides high level overviews of many cryptography subject areas, as well as a deep-dive into the technology. As the authors say in their Preface:

A beginning reader can read though the book to learn how cryptographic systems work and why they are secure. Every security theorem in the book is followed by a proof idea that explains at a high level why the scheme is secure. On a first read one can skip over the detailed proofs without losing continuity. A beginning reader may also skip over the mathematical details sections that explore nuances of certain definitions.

An advanced reader may enjoy reading the detailed proofs to learn how to do proofs in cryptog- raphy. At the end of every chapter you will find many exercises that explore additional aspects of the material covered in the chapter. Some exercises rehearse what was learned, but many exercises expand on the material and discuss topics not covered in the chapter.

If you are interested in computer security, you may want to add this 710 page book to add to your library.


See my other Cyber Security articles


 

Podcast – Security Now

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Podcasts – I have been listening to the Security Now podcast since it began. It has been published weekly now for over 10 years. The latests episode as of this writing is #626. While they began as short programs of under 30 minutes, they have rapidly grown to around two hours per episode.

The show is presented on the TWiT Network and features Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson. While, as the name implies, the focus is on computer security, they also will talk about Tech in general and Science Fiction from time to time. The more recent episodes cover the security news that has occurred over the past week (almost always something new). They sometimes address questions from their large international audience, with occasional deep-dives into an issue of computer technology or security.

The program is well done and I recommend it to anyone interested in computer security, or who simply uses a computer, tablet or smart phone.


See my other Cyber Security articles


 

macOS New App Release – SimpleumSafe

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Product Announcements – Simpleum Media GmbH of Hamburg, Germany is pleased to announce a website sale promotion, offering a 30% discount on SimpleumSafe for Mac. The company is also introducing their new Store. SimpleumSafe is an easy-to-use app for password-based encryption of personal and professional data. Thanks to proven AES-256 encryption technology, used by government, banks and industrial enterprise, all kinds of digital information are well protected against attacks from the Internet, as well as unauthorized access.

Ingeniously simple, simply ingenious. SimpleumSafe combines intuitive operation and ease-of-use. Much of what users have already learned during daily use of the Mac can be applied using the Encryption-App.

Opening the safe and decryption of files is done via a user-defined password. Moreover, SimpleumSafe offers numerous tools for importing, organizing, tagging, and editing of the files. SimpleumSafe is designed for the average consumer, who wants to protect and archive personal information, as well as for companies who are interested to protect personal information and secret documents from unauthorized access.

Features:

  • Simple and intuitive usability
  • Strong encryption with AES-256
  • Extensive support of Drag & Drop
  • Organize files similar to Mac Finder
  • Mark files and folders with tags
  • Store safe locally, on USB device, and in the cloud
  • Create as many Safes as you want
  • Comment files and folders
  • Mark files as Favorites for fast access
  • Number of files and size is only limited by the free space of your device
  • Show file content for Microsoft Office and iWorks documents, PDF, Images, Text, Movies, Audio and more
  • Target directory chooser (Import, Copy, …) shows the last 10 used directories for faster selection
  • Picture viewer

New in Version 1.3.0 for Mac:

  • App-to-App Drag & Drop: You can e.g. drag an mail, appointments, contacts, photos etc. directly into a safe.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or higher
  • 30.2 MB

Special Price:
SimpleumSafe 1.3.0.1 for Mac is available 22nd thru 23rd of July 2017, for the promotional price of $12.60 USD (instead of $17.99) on the Simpleum website. It is available in German and English.

What Can Websites Find Out From Your Browser?

Tech Tip – We all visit different websites on a daily basis. How much can those sites tell about you when you click on a link to a page they host?

It turns out that there is quite a bit of information they can pull. One way to get an idea of the information that can be harvested from your browser is to load Webkay. This web page will then give you a report of the information they were able to pull from your browser.

One way to protect your privacy while browsing is with StartPage.

macOS New App Release – Camera Guard Professional

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Product Announcement – ProtectStar Inc. of Miami, Florida has released Camera Guard Professional 2017, the company’s new safety software solution for macOS. Camera Guard Professional ensures that no hacker, spy or malware can observe you or listen in on you. With just one single click, not only the camera, but also the microphone will be completely protected.

The app brings back privacy at the work place and in the children’s room at home with a single click. It is an uncompromising, unprecedented solution, specifically protecting the webcam and microphone of iMacs and MacBooks.

When Camera Guard is installed, a single click is enough in order to secure the camera and microphone. This safety tool from then on reports all applications and processes that try to gain access to the camera and microphone. The user then decides if they wish to allow access to the eyes and ears of the Mac Computer. Or alternatively, not allow access. All accesses and warnings are protocolled in a log file.

The personal settings of the Camera Guard are also protected by a PIN number which is equipped with special hacker protection in order to prevent the software itself from being manipulated.

At the core of Camera Guard is the intelligent Deep Detective. This detective not only recognizes well known malware (for example the Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor, which specifically takes over the control of the integrated webcam), it also identifies attacks of previously unknown malware. Just like an alarm system or personal firewall, all attacks from hackers, spies and trojans are detected and blocked using heuristic methods. At the same time the software uses minimal system resources.

After the NSA documents from the archive of the whistleblower Edward Snowden became public, it was clear: Not only data thieves and computer scammers are interested in invading the privacy of the user. Also secret services use every possibility at their disposal to gain access. Taking over the computer webcam or the built in microphone from afar is no longer just science fiction.

Supported Languages: German and English

System Requirements

  • Mac OS 10.11 or higher (OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra)
  • 30 MB free hard drive space
  • Internet connection for updates and activation

Camera Guard Professional 2017 offers protection of the microphone, the Deep Detective, protection against well-known and unknown access attempts, a protocol in a log file, password protection and a 24/7 support via email. The pro-version costs just $29.90 (USD) and is available from the website. There is also a free version of Camera Guard available that offers protection of the webcam and safety information over accesses.

Tech Tip – Private Browsing with StartPage

Product ReviewmacOS Toolkit – I don’t recall where I first saw StartPage, but I installed the extension into Safari a few weeks ago and have been using it on a regular basis.

So, what is StartPage? StartPage is a search engine company based in the Netherlands. The potential benefits of StartPage include:

  • it is outside the reach of US law enforcement agencies
  • it uses secure connections over HTTPS
  • it does not collect search information
  • it provides private click-throughs using a proxy

The basis of the search engine results is Google, so the results of the searches are as good as any when using StartPage. StartPage is provided by Ixquick “the world’s most private search engine. Ixquick has been third-party certified by EuroPriSe, a European Union privacy initiative.” If you visit the StartPage website, you will see the very prominent statement that “StartPage does not collect or share any personal information!“. Many have become concerned with this as some ISPs have begun to ‘harvest’ search history information from their clients.

Beyond the search anonymity, sites listed in the StartPage search results are accessed through a proxy service that “allows users to surf the web with complete privacy. The proxy lets users browse websites safely and anonymously, without passing on any private, personally identifiable information to the websites they view.

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A portion of a search using StartPage is shown above. In the list of search results will be links very similar to those seen in a Google search. If you click on a link there, you leave the protection of StartPage and are browsing just as if you had been using Google. There is a “proxy” button besides each link in the search list. If you click that link then the page is retrieved through a StartPage proxy making your website visit invisible. You will encounter slower page loading when going through the proxy. StartPage provides a full description of how their proxy works here.

I think that this will become a standard part of my macOS Toolbox. While I am using StartPage with Safari, it is compatible with most browsers. There is also a Ixquick Search App that provides anonymous searching on mobile (iOS and Android) devices.  If you are concerned with your web browsing privacy, this may be an option you want to look into.


See my other macOS articles


 

macOS, iOS New App Release – VPN Unlimited

Product announcement – KeepSolid of New York, New York has released VPN Unlimited, featuring a DNS Firewall. This new version blocks malware, ads and tracking web resources. In addition to a top-notch VPN service, now VPN Unlimited has all users might need to browse the web securely, privately and protected.

DNS Firewall is a unique solution that combines three tools – anti-tracking, ad-blocking and anti-malware – in one. By just changing an IP address, you are not totally protected from tracking systems. In the new update, VPN Unlimited solves this issue, stops them from spying on your browsing activities. An ad-blocking function bans nearly all ads both on websites and in apps, which is pretty unique even for ad-blocking apps. It works smoothly on iOS and Android, as well as on desktops. VPN Unlimited will also filter traffic to prevent malware from infecting your devices.

In case users want to block some site that is not listed as a spammy one, they can manually add it to the Black List in the app. As well as add some web resources to the White List so they never get banned. White lists have a higher priority than Black lists.

Thanks to the DNS Firewall, users will have a long sought-after ad-free and safe web browsing experience. In the near future, KeepSolid will add a possibility to set up DNS Firewall on routers and Windows Phones too.

About the service:
VPN Unlimited creates an encrypted tunnel, and all user activity travels through it. This means that all the data they send or receive is hidden from hackers, sniffers, and spies because it is inside that tunnel. A tunnel is established between your device and one of 1200+ reliable servers of VPN Unlimited, located in 70 regions around the globe.

Not only your connection will be protected, your geographic location and IP will be hidden too. This will let you surf the web without any restrictions or limits. Whether inside your country, or on a business trip, or on vacation, you will have access to your favorite web resources even in the regions with strict internet censorship.

VPN Unlimited is a cross-platform service, available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Windows Phone, Linux, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. VPN Unlimited for macOS is free and can be downloaded from the website or from the Mac App Store. The free iOS version can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.