Weekly News Roundup 9/5/2016

HOORAY! Windows 10 nagging is coming to an end but there is a catch. 272 million email accounts compromised? We are back to not knowing who Satoshi Nakamoto is and I am OK with that.

If you are sick of those annoying popups hassling you to upgrade to Windows 10 then you can take comfort in the fact that it will soon be over.

live_tv_windows_10But, with the end of the hassling comes the end of a free ride to the latest version of Windows. You could say the Window is closing fast. (Sorry.)
By the time July 29 rolls around, the offer for a free upgrade along with the constant reminders to upgrade will be gone. The campaign has in general been one of Microsoft’s fastest rollouts ever with over 200 million installations by the start of 2016 and I expect there to be a last minute charge as PC owners scramble to get something for free.

However you might not need to upgrade if you don’t want to. Extended support for Windows 7 means that Windows 7 faithful will continue to receive security updates until January 2020 meaning that you can expect to squeeze out just under 4 years out of your existing Windows 7 PC. By then you should probably be looking at new hardware anyway.

Overall, I would give Windows 10 the thumbs up if you are wondering if the upgrade is worth it. However for some special software packages Windows 10 may set you back so if you are thinking of upgrading, be sure to take a full system backup with software like Acronis True Image.

Over 270 million email accounts with passwords have been hacked! Should you be worried?

email-pre-targetingIt has been revealed that a hacker has posted online the usernames and passwords for 272.3 million email accounts which including Gmail, Yahoo and Mail.ru.

However, you should not freak out unless you do one thing that security experts warn against. If you have used the same password for all of your online services, it is possible that you are compromised. The reason for this is that the passwords are not actually for the email account but for other accounts that have been associated with that email account. For example, if you sign up to Twitter using your Yahoo email account for your user ID and the same password for your Twitter account as you do for Yahoo Mail then you could have a problem. It is possible that the password in the leaked document was the one you used to log into twitter or some other account that you used your Yahoo email address as a username. (Note: Twitter was only used as an example. Chances are that twitter was not hacked.)

Mail.ru combed the document for password matches and thankfully found that just 0.018 percent of Mail.ru accounts had passwords in the database that worked on the email accounts. Those clever Ruskies are mostly good at secure password practices. Google also looked over the leak and found that 2 percent of accounts were compromised due to using the same password and applied tighter security policies to those affected users.

For the full CNET story, have a look here.

Whos is Satoshi Nakamoto?

bitcoin-craig-wright-proofNot Craig Wright.

Following on from last week’s news, Craig Wright has posted an entry to his blog www.drcraigwright.net saying that he was no longer interested in proving that he is the creator of the digital currency.

The sparse blog only now has the following as its only page.

“I’m Sorry

I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.

When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this.

I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.

And goodbye.”

This follows recent promises that Craig will prove his claim by moving coins mined in an early part of the block chain believed to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. it looks like Wright may not be doing this and we can go back to our business expecting that the true identity of Satoshi may never be revealed. This could be a good thing as Bitcoin can continue to be an enigma with the future of the currency in the hands of the Bitcoin Foundation and its users.

The price of bitcoin dropped US$7 to US$440/BTC on 2/5 around the time of Craig’s announcement and over the last 48 hours has regained US$15 to trade at a high of US$455 before settling back to around US$450. The price swing of around 3% during this time might give some speculators reason to believe that the virtual currency might be reaching a mature stage of relative stability. (Prices obtained from BTC-e exchange data)