Web Browsers Spellcheck Can Unveil Passwords

Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are two Internet browsers that use extended spellcheck features to transmit form data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and passwords to their parent companies. 

While this feature is intended to assist the browser user, it does raise privacy concerns and calls the efficacy of password protection to question.  

“Spell-jacking” is the term used to describe the process of a browser sending PII from spellcheck to Google, Microsoft, and the like. Transmitted PII form data can include Social Security Numbers, Social Insurance Numbers, personal names, addresses, e-mails, dates of birth, contact information, bank information, and so much more. 

Josh Summit, co-founder and CTO of JavaScript security firm otto-js, unearthed this issue while testing script behaviors for his company. When Google Chrome Enhanced Spellcheck or Microsoft Edge Editor is enabled, nearly everything you type in form fields is instantaneously transmitted to Google and Microsoft. Clicking on “show password” can spell-jack your data. 

Summit stated, “Some of the largest websites in the world have exposure to sending Google and Microsoft sensitive user PII, including username, e-mail, and passwords, when users are logging in or filling out forms. An even more significant concern for companies is the exposure this presents to the company’s enterprise credentials to internal assets like databases and cloud infrastructure.” 

Though the transmission of form fields is securely sent through HTTPS, what happens to the user data after it reaches Google’s server, for example, is not exactly clear. Some companies have mitigated the issue by adding ‘spellcheck=false’ to all input fields; however, this could cause problems for users who can no longer use the spellcheck feature. 

Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge users can turn off spellcheck (or remove Edge’s Editor add-on) until the companies revise their code to exclude passwords and other PII from sensitive fields. 

Do you need assistance with adding or removing spellcheck from your browser? Has your data already been compromised? Contact the computer experts at CPS today – we can assist!  

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

What’s the Big Deal Regarding ‘Zero-Day’?

“Zero-day” is becoming a more popular term to describe recently discovered security vulnerabilities exposed by hackers and used to infiltrate computer systems. The phrase literally means the developer has zero days to fix the issue caused by hackers. 

Zero-day threats are unprecedented virus attacks that exploit either a new variant of malware or previously unknown software (zero-day vulnerability). Since these malware viruses are unique, they are impossible to detect by typical signature-matching tactics. Zero-day is sometimes written as 0-day, and the term is often associated with the words: vulnerability, exploit, and attack. Keep reading to learn the difference between the three. 

Zero-Day Vulnerability
Hackers unearth these software vulnerabilities before vendors can be made aware of them; therefore, no patch or fix exists, making them more likely to infiltrate systems.

Zero-Day Exploits
This term refers to the hacking method used to attack systems with a previously unknown vulnerability. 

Zero-Day Attack
The actual term describes the execution of a zero-day exploit to cause damage or steal data from an unprotected system. 

Hackers can exploit security vulnerabilities found in software, called exploit code, and ultimately wreak havoc before developers can remedy the situation. When anti-virus companies release “patch” updates, they are essentially covering a hole that was previously discovered by hackers. Unfortunately, this process can take months, as these security vulnerabilities are not immediately distinguished. 

Signature matching is a specific strategy used to identify malware by analyzing samples of destructed data to create a signature file and then distributing an update for anti-virus software to identify the specific signature. Zero-day threats can sneak past these signature matching tactics, ultimately affecting many victims. 

Zero-day attacks are immensely dangerous and typically aimed at operating systems, web browsers, office applications, open-source components, hardwired firmware, Internet of Things (IoT), and more. Potential victims include those who use a browser or operating system, intellectual data property owners, run hardware, firmware, and the IoT through large businesses, organizations, government agencies, etc. 

Cyber threats are continually infecting thousands of computers with zero-day threats. To protect your network, applications, and data, contact the experts at CPS. Our engineers can engage an advanced threat prevention system that can test untrusted files, links, and e-mails before they get to you.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Falling Computer Chip Prices

Recently, there was a massive price drop in computer chips. A common question is how these large drops will affect businesses in the surrounding industry. It’s been a bad decade for computer chip makers. That’s not to say there have been no gains – Intel’s profits have steadily climbed during the decade, and AMD has made some money in recent years. But the industry, as a whole, is facing lower prices–leading to a big earnings miss for industry leaders, and slower growth.

What Does It Mean When the Price Falls?

The falling price of computer chips is a sign of the cycle in capital-intensive businesses, as they look to make up for losses by cutting costs and laying off employees. The price of computer chips fell more than 70% over the past decade, and this is happening for a reason.

Continued price drops of computer chips indicate that we are entering a cycle where capital-intensive businesses are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. This is because technology is changing so quickly, and new players are constantly coming up with new ways to do things better and cheaper.

It is not just computer chips that are showing this trend; it is also happening in other industries, like cars and airplanes, which are seeing similar price drops as they become more automated.

The falling price of the computer chip means that companies in which “capital intensive” processes are important will see their profits decline. That’s bad news for investors.

Why Is the Price Falling and What It Means?

  • The cost of producing chips has dropped steadily, so manufacturers are able to lower their prices without taking a hit on their profits. This means that consumers have more money in their pockets, which they can put toward other purchases. It also means that companies who need to buy new computers are facing lower prices than they would have otherwise.
  • There is more competition in the industry, which means manufacturers are more competitive with each other. In addition, there is more innovation happening in design and production techniques.
  • Lastly, the advancement of technology.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Clarifying the Worldwide Computer Chip Shortage

Game consoles, graphics cards, processors, and so much more have been hard to come by lately. The consumer technology industry has suffered a shortage of computer chips, which has impacted the entire global supply. The chip drought has resulted in issues through hundreds of markets such as automotive, cryptocurrency, smartphone, vehicle, television, and a multitude of other technological advancements. 

Samsung CEO DJ Koh forecasted “A serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips.” 

Limited supply, combined with huge demand, created the chip shortage of 2021. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, at-home entertainment boomed. Working from home caused laptop sales to reach their highest in decades. Cryptocurrency started booming, resulting in high demand for a multitude of high-end processors. 

Though gadgets and other technological handhelds have felt the impact first-hand, the automotive industry has been credited with igniting the shortage. In the beginning of the pandemic, automakers ceased orders for processors, anticipating a drop in sales. However, this decision was premature, and vehicle sales rebounded almost immediately. To compensate for the discrepancy, the automotive market attempted to buy back manufacturing, but it was too late. Other sectors were also pushing more production due to high demand. With a maxed-out production capacity, both markets were competing for chip assembly.

Gigantic technology companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Nvida, AMD, Apple, Qualcomm, and more do not actually produce their own processors. TSMC and Samsung build a majority of the world’s cutting-edge semiconductors. Intel is a unicorn in the market, as it manufactures its own processors and has not experienced shortages like its competitors. 

Trying to catch up with production is not as easy as it sounds. Extending production lines can drag on for months, and constructing new facilities can take years, not to mention cost billions of dollars. 

Forecasts show that chip shortages will continue throughout 2022. According to Xiaomi company president Want Xiang said, “The chip supply crunch is still challenging, but the situation will significantly improve in the second quarter, and such supply woes will be fundamentally solved and even revert in the second half of 2022.” 

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

The Next Computer Screen Could Be in Contacts

Imagine living in the past, around 1900, wondering what the world would be like in 100 years. Technology, electronics, computers, and cell phones were far from being even remotely possible. 

Now, imagine the future: where you can see words, numbers, and other information flowing across your screen – except no one else can see that screen – it’s visible only to you since it’s in your eye.

Too far-fetched? On the contrary. Smart contact lenses will soon be a part of our reality; you’ll be able to do much more than you’ve ever imagined.

Steve Sinclair of Mojo Vision said, “Imagine…you’re a musician with your lyrics, or your chords, in front of your eyes. Or you’re an athlete, and you have your biometrics and your distance and other information that you need.” 

Mojo Vision is on the cutting edge of implementing smart contact lenses in humans. These “screens” within contacts will exhibit a heads-up display that will seemingly float in the user’s eyes. A tiny microLED display, smart sensors, and solid-state batteries will comprise the smart lenses. 

Sinclair said, “We’ve built what we call a feature-complete prototype that actually works and can be worn – we’re soon going to be testing that internally. Now comes the interesting part, where we start to make optimizations for performance and power and wear it for longer periods of time to prove that we can wear it all day.” 

At Columbia University, Rebecca Rojas, instructor of optometric science, says smart lenses could “include the ability to self-monitor and track intraocular pressure, or glucose. They can also provide extended-release drug-delivery options, which is beneficial in diagnosis and treatment plans. It’s exciting to see how far technology has come, and the potential it offers to improve other patients’ lives.” 

Mojo’s product testing has shown that smart lenses can be worn all day without a single battery recharge. Similar to our smartphones, actual battery life will depend on how often the smart lens is used.

Rojas said, “Any type of contact lens can pose a risk to eye health, if not properly cared for or not fitted properly. Just like any other medical device, we need to make sure the patients’ health is the priority, and whatever device used has benefits that outweigh the risk. I’m concerned about non-compliance, or poor lens hygiene and over-wear. These can lead to further complications like irritation, inflammation, infections, or risks to eye health.” 

Mojo’s smart lenses are expected to last for roughly a year, but he clarified that they could be programmed to detect whether they are being cleaned enough or need replacing. 

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Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Kaspersky Antivirus Used by Millions Is a National Security Threat

Russia’s Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity firm has been dubbed a national security threat by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC placed Kaspersky on a list of banned entities to ensure it would not continue to be downloaded or used by Americans. 

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “Last year, for the first time, the FCC published a list of communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security, and we have been working closely with our national security partners to review and update this list. Today’s action is the latest in the FCC’s ongoing efforts, as part of the greater whole-of-government approach, to strengthen America’s communications networks against national security threats.”

The Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act requires the FCC to publish and update a list of communication equipment and services that pose an “unacceptable” risk. United States citizens are at the forefront of security and safety guidelines for the FCC. 

Kaspersky is an antivirus and cybersecurity firm with corporate headquarters located in Moscow. In a statement, Kaspersky claimed the FCC’s movement (a continuation of an action started in 2017 under President Trump) is based on unsubstantiated allegations and made on political grounds. 

“Kaspersky provides industry-leading products and services to customers around the world to protect them from all types of cyberthreats,” the company stated. 

Also, the business insists that it does not have any ties with national governments, Russia included.

Are you looking for a recommendation for an antivirus software? Contact the PC experts at CPS today.

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Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Russian Hackers Bypass Two-Factor Authentication

Russian-backed hackers pose a huge cyberthreat to America on a daily basis. Now, that threat is especially elevated due to Putin’s unyielding attack, crossing western red lines by invading Ukraine.

“Cyber is a capability that Russian security forces have used in the past and as the decision calculus changes, that may change what’s in play,” former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Chris Krebs said.

Two-factor authentication, also referred to as 2FA, is a vital aspect to secure accounts and data. However, it is not flawless. Russian hackers have successfully beaten the secure system by disguising their access, pretending to be legitimate account holders.

Hackers exploited accounts as early as May 2021 that were linked to an unnamed non-governmental organization. In the breach, hackers accessed sensitive data, according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Victims were mostly those with weak passwords or long-dormant accounts. Once the hackers were able to break into the accounts, they enabled 2FA. After the systems viewed the hackers as legitimate, they ran widespread viruses. One of which was the “PrintNightmare” Windows Print Spooler vulnerability.

Roughly three-quarters of ransomware money ended up in the hands of Russians, according to the BBC.

Is your computer or laptop secure from hackers? Contact the experts at Creative Programs and Systems to lock down your personal information today. We can help protect your vital information and thwart hackers’ attacks.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

April 2022 Newsletter- Launch of Wolf Survival Website

Creative Programs and Systems is proud to announce the launch of a new website for Wolf Survival Gear! This e-commerce website is powered by Shopify, a proprietary platform for online stores. The owner of Wolf Survival Gear needed a turnkey, ready-to-go system that could handle a significant yet relatively quick import of all their various products, and we accomplished this using Shopify. It took us less than two months to design the website and build out the specifics.

Wolf Survival Gear is an online source for camping, prepping, and survival supplies. They are an authorized reseller for Readywise (high-quality dehydrated and freeze-dried foods) and Rothco (wholesale military, tactical, and outdoor clothing and gear.)  All products are drop-shipped, direct from the warehouse to the consumer, and are easily coordinated using the admin panel set by Shopify’s software.  

Since Wolf’s new site has been up and running, the digital marketing team at CPS has worked diligently to boost their social media presence and online advertising. We grew their Facebook followers by almost 3k and generated over 50k ads through Google and Bing, bringing in over 10K users since February 2022. According to Shopify reports, Wolf Survival Gear was rated in the top 7% of stores launched the same week in obtaining website traffic. They have sold multiple products via the platform – all in a short amount of time!  

Contact Creative Programs and Systems to strategize a new website design and digital marketing plan customized to meet your needs and help your business grow. Do you have a current website or marketing campaign that is not producing results? We can assist! Our team is terrific at identifying issues and finding solutions to optimize your brand while staying on point with your budget. 

Build Me a Website Too!

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; implement internet marketing strategies for enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Servers Become More Climate Friendly

Danish researchers from the University of Copenhagen recently developed a novel algorithm that can substantially reduce the carbon footprint of computer servers. The green transition for computer servers is an urgent matter, as they are more taxing on the climate than global air traffic. The massive amount of electricity consumed by computer servers is expected to double in a few years.

Professor Mikkel Thorup and his fellow UCPH researchers have perfected a new algorithm that solves a fundamental server issue. Some servers become overloaded as they receive more requests from users than they can handle. As consumers stream the same Netflix film or a specific video, systems need to shift users around to achieve a balanced server distribution.

He said, “We have found an algorithm that removes one of the major causes of overloaded servers once and for all. Our initial algorithm was a huge improvement over the way industry had been doing things, but this version is many times better and reduces resource usage to the greatest extent possible. Furthermore, it is free to use for all.”

The mathematical calculation to achieve the extraordinary balancing act is immensely challenging. Up to a billion servers can be involved at one time; as new clients and servers join, congestion and server failure is inevitable. This resulting resource consumption significantly influences the climate. Cisco, an American IT firm, says internet traffic is projected to triple between 2017 and 2022, with online videos making up to 82 percent of traffic.

Thorup said, “As internet traffic soars explosively, the problem will continue to grow. Therefore, we need a scalable solution that doesn’t depend on the number of servers involved. Our algorithm provides exactly such a solution.”

The new algorithm safeguards servers by segmenting them as evenly as possible, while moving them around as little as possible, and retrieving content as locally as possible.

Do you need a server for your business? Contact the IT experts at Creative Programs and Systems today.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

2022: The Year to Protect Your Data

Cybercriminals are improving their ransomware computer viruses by exploiting weaknesses throughout different types of software and applications available on the Internet. Hacks were ever-popular in 2021, resulting in shutting down oil pipelines, food shortages, public water storage tanks, elevated gas prices, governmental breaches, and much more.

Ransomware has become a national security threat, according to Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, “Everything is connected, everything is vulnerable, and the threat actors are just getting more sophisticated.”

Since many people continue to work from home due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, hackers are trying to exploit remote connections and gain access to corporate networks. Bank information, passwords, and other data can be used to hold accounts “hostage” by hackers.

Most businesses do not fully understand how exposed they are, as cybercrimes typically go unreported. Though the overall number of cybercrimes is not made public, a jump in notable metrics raised alarms for many experts.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, data breaches that took place within the first nine months of 2021 were higher than the entire year of 2020 combined. The total amount paid to hackers during the first six months of 2021 was $590 million, as reported by banks and the like, according to the Department of the Treasury. Previously, the highest total was $416 million, set in 2020.

And the threat from hackers isn’t only on your PC or laptop: hackers are now targeting smartphone users worldwide. Two-factor authentication, biometrics, and push notifications are going to be essential in the fight against cybercriminals. Phishing is transitioning to mobile phones through e-mail, text messages, and QR-code scanning.

To win the fight against hackers, consumers need to ensure their information is encrypted and securely protected. Unfortunately, hackers will continue to find ways to infiltrate our electronics and gain access to our personal information.

Are you struggling to lock down all of your data? Contact the experts at CPS today. We can help protect your devices from hackers and ensure you are ready for potential threats.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.