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News from Wintercorn about Joomla!, WordPress and other tech subjects

NSAThe NSA (the National Security Agency from the colonies, not the Norfolk Shopowners Association apparently) seems to have been meddling around with malware placed directly into users hard drives. 
The report found exploits for hard drives made by many of the largest brands in the industry, including Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Toshiba and Hitachi.
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Flash/HTML5It's been a long time coming, but YouTube has finally made the switch from Flash to HTML 5. You might not think it's a big deal, but it is.
Despite having long dominated web video and other interactive content, Flash has been under fire for years over performance and security issues. It doesn't work on Apple iDevices and mobile uses on other platforms are similarly restricted.
There are also security and performance issues. Steve Jobs onces said "We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash." and Symantec highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records back in 2009.

RansomwareWe are all familiar with 'traditional' ransomware where a computer is encrypted and payment sought for decryption. A new trend on the market shows that criminals will now target your business website and database as well to get a ransom payment from you.
High-Tech Bridge discovered a very interesting case of a financial company website compromise: the website was out of service displaying a database error, while the website owner got an email asking for a ransom to "decrypt the database".

Facebook HackedHackers from the online group Lizard Squad have claimed responsibility for taking down social media sites Facebook, Instagram, dating mobile app Tinder, as well as AOL Instant Messenger and Hipchat.
Facebook and Instagram were down worldwide for around an hour today after an alleged attack.  Hackers from the online group Lizard Squad have claimed responsibility for the attack, which took the two social media sites down at around 6am GMT.  
Both sites, which have a total of 1.5billion users, appeared with error messages in the United States, Europe and Asia for around an hour.  But despite hackers claiming they took the social media giants offline, Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook, which also owns Instagram, refused to say what the fault was.
Read the full story at the BBC

PasswordIt seems you never learn. Despite us fixing websites which have been hacked through poor security practices, users still use weak passwords. We see them all - 123456, letmein, password1 and our favourite batman.
SplashData have released the results their of 2014 password survey and it's grim news. The champ from 2013, "123456," is once again top of the pops. Nine of the top 25 worst passwords are strictly numerical, featuring variations on a theme, with "12345," "123123" and "111111" all landing on the list.  
The runner-up for worst password is also the same as for 2013. You guessed it. It's the highly imaginative "password."  The list was culled from an analysis of 3.3 million leaked passwords that came out during 2014. Most of the passwords are from North American and Western European accounts.

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