Browsers and browser extensions

Firefox Focus Browser For Mobile Devices – Mini Review

As you may know, Firefox Focus is an open-source Firefox-based internet browser specially created for mobile phones, providing both security and enhanced user privacy.

Firefox Focus can be downloaded for free from either Google Play Store (Android) and AppStore (iOS). By default, the browser deletes the browsing history, passwords, bookmarks and cookies and forbids the ads to follow you on the internet. This way, you don’t need to go into private browsing when accessing porn or sensitive content.

When you access a site, it gets erased by default when you close the browser. If you want to keep it in the history, you have the option to open the website with another browser.

Firefox Focus allows the users to customize the security level.

Unfortunately, the browser lacks some features that are present in all the modern browsers. When pressing on the rubbish bin icon, all the history is deleted. You can refresh and go forward, but there is no multi-tab functionality.

Please test it and let us know if it is suitable for your needs.

Security solutions and antivirus software

AppCheck Anti-Ransomware Is A Nice Security Software You Should Use At Home (Free) Or At The Office (Paid)

As you may know, the ransomware malware is that type of virus that encrypts all your data and asks for a ransom if you want everything back. It has grown a lot lately, becoming a big threat for both enterprise and home users.

In this article I will make a mini-presentation of AppCheck Anti-Ransomware, a complementary security solution that has been designed by Checkmal to run alongside your antivirus software on Windows.

AppCheck Anti-Ransomware is created by a Korean developer and can run on both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows systems, being available as a free and a paid software. The free version provides basic anti ransomware protection, while the pro version provides some functions that may become useful in a corporate environment.

The installation of the app is very easy and straightforward and the app works by itself after installation, but you should configure it as you like if, from the interface, which is very intuitive.

The free version of the app provides real-time protection, exploit protection and MBR protection, but only the paid version provides protection for the network drives. The protection can be toggled on and off from the interface.

Main features:

  • Protection against 800+ ransomware types
  • Ransom Guard: keeps copies of important files, in order to prevent data loss
  • Cleans PUPs/PUAs and common malware
  • Auto Backup and server protection (paid version)
  • Active monitoring the system and providing proactive protection.
  • It is very lightweight and does not require high RAM memory


This app is really nice to have because it enhances the security of your system. If you don’t need the pro features, you should at least use the free version of it. For more information, see the developer’s website.

AppCheck Anti-Ransomware Is A Nice Security Software You Should Use At Home (Free) Or At The Office (Paid)

Browsers and browser extensions

Firefox 63 Will Protect Computers Against Cryptomining Websites

Starting with Firefox 63 (scheduled for release in October 2018), Mozilla will provide protection against cryptomining websites by default, which is quite awesome. It will perform this by enabling tracking protection, blocking cross-site tracking cookies from gathering data on users.

Right now, if you want to stay away from cryptomining websites, you need to install a third party anti miner add-on (it works the same way as an adblocker), or add the mining websites inside your adblocker, so that they will not be resolved anymore.

Besides this, Mozilla will also add a few UI elements to make it easier for users to find tracking protection settings, to be easily turned on or off.

The tracking protection function is already present in Firefox, but it only blocks advertisment cookies, analytics and social sharing script and it won’t be able to block cryptomining websites until the update.

I am a big fan of Firefox, but I have switched to Palemoon browser on both Linux and Windows when Mozilla introduced the Australis interface and started to copy the Chrome design. But despite this, the extra layer of protection is quite needed and may enable Mozilla to make Firefox as ‘the most secured browser’, at least until others adopt the same features.

For more information, see this Bleeping Computer article.

Hackers and hacks News

The GreyKey Is An Expensive Device That Can Crack Any iPhone

A security company named Grayshift has created a device that hacks any iPhone device on the market. It comes with two lightning cables, permitting the users to unlock two Apple devices in the same time. The device has the dimensions of a mini pc and is highly portable.

Depending on the password complexity, the cracking takes from a few hours to a few weeks time. After it is cracked, the passcode is displayed on the iPhone screen.

After the iPhone is cracked, the data is copied on the GreyKey and it can be accessed on a web interface.

The GreyKey costs $15.000 and permits the hacking of 300 devices with an internet connection, but for $30.000, you will benefit of unlimited attempts and offline support also.

Grayshift announcement:

“The offline model does require token-based two-factor authentication as a replacement for geofencing for ensuring security. However, as people often write passwords on stickies and put them on their monitors, it’s probably too much to hope that the token will be kept in a separate location when the GrayKey is not being used. Most likely, it will be stored nearby for easy access,”

While this device could be very useful to the authorities, it can be used for illegal activities on the wrong hands. For now, we don’t actually know what happens with the cracked phone, if it remains jailbreaked or if it can be accessed remotely.

The GreyKey Is An Expensive Device That Can Crack Any iPhone

For more information, read this article from the Malwarebytes blog.

Browsers and browser extensions

How to add the View Image button back to your browser (Chrome and Firefox)

As you may know, Google has removed the View Image button from the Image Search, but the users can still view photos by right-clicking them and choosing the open image in new tab option.

I have noticed this change a few days ago, but I have initially thought that my browser behaves that way on Ubuntu.

Despite this, the community has found a quick fix for restoring the button back.

Use Startpage (Google-based search engine) to search images:

The easiest way to view images just like before is to use Startpage as your default search page.

Install the View Image extensions for Chrome and Firefox:

If you are using Chrome or Firefox, you can restore the View Image button by installing a browser extension, for free.

Download View Image extension for Firefox

Download View Image extension for Chrome (it does not work on Opera, did not test it on Vivaldi)

I have decided to use Startpage for photo viewing and downloading, due to the fact that my Palemoon does not support the extension.

How to add the View Image button back to your browser (Chrome and Firefox)

News Security solutions and antivirus software

Haven app can turn your old phone into a surveillance system

As you may know, Edward Snowden is the guy that has leaked in the press a bunch of NSA documents and created a caused a big scandal with this.

Recently, Edward has developed Haven, an open-source, free Android application that transforms your old mobile phones into surveillance systems. It uses the device’s camera, audio recording ability and the accelerometer to detect movement and notify the user.

Despite the strong encryption methods, every device is vulnerable to physical, in-person tampering which can be done by everyone with the required skill set. The software was created in collaboration with The Guardian Project and Freedom Of The Press and aims to prevent different burglaries.

If you setup a spare Android phone to track down the movement of the front door, the app will record any audio or movement, take a snap of who enters on the door and detect motion, alerting the user via either SMS, Signal (encrypted messaging service) or via a Tor-based website.

Haven can be downloaded for free via Google Play.

Quote from Freedom of the Press:

Imagine you are a journalist working in a hostile foreign country and you are worried about security services breaking into your hotel room and rifling through your belongings and computer while you are away. Haven detects changes in the environment using the sensors in a typical smartphone — the camera, microphone, gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light, USB power — to alert you if anyone enters your space or attempts to tamper with your devices while you aren’t there.

The Haven app can then send end-to-end encrypted alerts to your phone via Signal, and you can monitor activity remotely through a Tor Onion Service. Importantly, Haven does not rely on the cloud and does not transmit data that third parties can access unless you have SMS functionality turned on in situations where you don’t have data or wifi.

Sources: TechCrunch and BetaNews.

Editorials and informational articles

Three reasons why I use Brave Browser for Android

YouTube in the background + Adblocker + Chrome + Lion Icon + Android = Brave Browser.

While I am an old Mozilla and FOSS software fan, I never enjoyed their browser on my Android device, so I used Opera a period and then Chrome. Since I have received the Android 8.0 Oreo upgrade on my Nexus 5x, I was not able to use the Suamp music player anymore and so, I needed to look for an alternative that permitted me to minimize the app I used for listening music on YouTube.

The quest has ended when i stumbled upon Brave Browser, a free Chromium-based, cross-platform browser that uses a lion on its icon.

I like Brave Browser for three reasons:

  • it allows you to minimize the browser or to close the screen and to still listen to music on YouTube or other streaming services – this has to be enabled from Settings -> Site Settings -> Media -> video in background – enable.
  • it has an integrated adblocking module – malwaretising is replaced with Brave ads, but the browser splits the money received from ads with the developers, the site the ad is displayed, the sponsors and the users, which can donate the money to their favorite bloggers or youtubers.
  • it uses the Chrome engine, which is the best browser engine for Android (personal opinion)

Besides this, the browser has a HTTPS everywhere module integrated, which switches to the HTTPS versions of the sites, if they are available.

I am using the Brave Browser on both my Nexus 5x and my Samsung J5 and it works like a charm. I have decided to test it after reading this article on KnowYourMobile. The browser can be downloaded for free for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the official site and is available of Google Play Store and Apple iTunes, for mobile devices.

Editorials and informational articles Security solutions and antivirus software

The Ultimate Guide For Protecting Yourself From Malicious CPU Minigolf Websites

Lately, the crypto currency mining has risen a lot. Many malicious sites have started using the CPU to mine for Monero bitcoin, similar to what PirateBay did until they were caught. Also, the Trend Micro team has discovered Digmine, a crypto malware that spreads through Facebook Messenger and infects the systems with Monero miners.

The virus spreads via Facebook Messenger, when the malicious videos are opened in the Chrome browser, allowing the hackers to access the infected account and spread the malware to other friends from the list.

The Opera developers have already added a NoCoin feature starting with Opera 50, which blocks all the malicious CPU miners.

Instructions for protecting yourself against CPU minors:

Add an anti-mining extension:

To protect your computer against this type of threats, you should use one of the anti-mining extensions available for either Chrome or Firefox. The software works like an adblocker software, but prevents only the malicious sites from mining.

Anti-mining extensions for Firefox: MiningBlocking, NoCoin, AntiMiner, CoinBlock and others.

Anti-mining extensions for Chrome: NoCoin, MinorBlock, AntiMiner and others.

Add the NoCoin list to your current adblocking software:

You can add the NoCoin list to AdBlocker Plus, AdGuard, uBlock and other adblocking services. The easiest way to do that is to access FilterLists, scroll till you find NoCoin and press the Add button to implement the list.

To manually add the NoCoin list in uBlock, you need to access the Dashboard from the addon menu, go to the 3rd-party filters and add the below link:

To add the NoCoin list in Adblock Plus, you need to access Options, go to Add your own list and add the below link:

To add the NoCoin list in AdGuard, you need to access Options, go to User Filter and add the content of the file in the field (the content of the file, not the link):

Restrict the access from the hosts file:

You need to add in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file the below line:

Power users can create  custon DNS or adblocker by using a Linux system (or a Raspberry Pi), to add in a list all the sites you don’t want to get resolved and set the device as DNS server.

It is enough to use only one of the methods above to protect yourself from malicious mining.

Editorials and informational articles Security solutions and antivirus software

OSArmor Is An Anti Exploit Free Software That Blocks Malicious Processes From Running

As you may know, OSArmor is a free anti exploit software that stays in the Windows Tray and protects the computer against auto executable scripts. The software has been designed by the NoVirus Thanks and is officially supported on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Main features:

  • Block execution of pif, com and double file extensions.
  • Block USB spreading malware.
  • Prevent “important” system modifications via bcedit.exe.
  • Block direct execution of scripts and exe files from archives.
  • Prevent regsrv32 from executing remote scripts and /i: parameter.
  • Block processes executed from wscript.exe, cscript.exe, mshta.exe and wmic.exe.
  • Block executionpolicy bypass and windowstyle hidden in PowerShell.
  • Block remote URL downloads from the command line.
  • Block direct execution of JavaScript and VBscript code.
  • Limit Windows Screensaver files to Windows folder.
  • Block execution of schtasks.exe.

After the application has been installed, the configuration parameters can be modified via File -> Open Configurator. If you ask me, the default settings are enough for regular users. For extra security, the software can block running apps from Local AppData, Roaming AppData, Common AppData, but I do not recommend this setting for regular users, do to the fact that it may break some programs.

Also, it can be configured to block apps created by NirSofer, VNC software and LogMeIn, software which is commonly used by IT support specialists.

Tjhe interface is simple and clean and displays the number of blocked processes, the last blocked process and the date and time when the process was blocked. If you need to perform troubleshooting, you can read the logs.

When this article was written, the latest version available was OSArmor 1.3. The software can be downloaded for free from here.

I have toyed a little with OSArmor and decided to keep it installed on the system.

OSArmor Is An Anti Exploit Free Software That Blocks Malicious Processes From Running

OSArmor Is An Anti Exploit Free Software That Blocks Malicious Processes From Running

OSArmor Is An Anti Exploit Free Software That Blocks Malicious Processes From Running

OSArmor Is An Anti Exploit Free Software That Blocks Malicious Processes From Running

Editorials and informational articles Security solutions and antivirus software

Opera 50 NoCoin Feature Will Prevent Malicious Sites From Performing CPU Bitcoin Mining

Starting with Opera 50 stable, the Chromium based internet browser will receive two awesome changes: enhanced VPN service, which will be using the Opera data centers instead of the SurfEasy LLC ones used in the present and a new function called NoCoin, designed to block websites from performing CPU mining while you navigate on the internet.

The revised VPN function:

Starting with the new VPN function, Canada, US, Germany, Netherlands and Singapore will be replaced with Europe, America and Asia. Despite this, the functionality will remain the same.

If you don’t know this yet, the VPN feature can be enabled by going to the Settings menu (ALT + P) -> Privacy and Security – Enable VPN.

NoCoin – the anti mining service:

The NoCoin feature forbids the websites to perform malicious CPU mining while you navigate on the internet. For this to work, you need to also enable the built-in Opera adblocker and along with it, the NoCoin gets also activated (but can be disabled by user, if needed).

Basically, the NoCoin feature is just a list of malicious websites that get blocked by the adblocker.

So, if you want to enable both the built-in adblocker and NoCoin, you need to go to the Settings Menu (ALT + P) -> Block Ads.

Funcționalitatea antibitcoin nu permite siteurilor infectate sa mineze monede virtuale și să folosească putere de procesare în plus, in timpul navigării pe internet. Funcția este foarte bună și cred că va fi repede adoptată de celelalte browsere. Pentru ca noua funcție să funcționeze (și să apară în opțiuni), e nevoie să se activeze și mecanismul integrat adblocker.

The NoCoin function will be included in the stable version of Opera 50, but it is already present in both Opera 50 Beta and Opera 51 Dev.

For more information, see this article from the official Opera Blog.

Like usual, Opera is the browser that implements new features the fastest. The NoCoin feature should be adopted quickly to by the other internet browsers as well.

Opera 50 NoCoin Feature Will Prevent Malicious Sites From Performing CPU Bitcoin Mining

Opera 50 NoCoin Feature Will Prevent Malicious Sites From Performing CPU Bitcoin Mining