Blog

GlassWire 2.2 for Windows now available!

Our team has spent many months completely rewriting GlassWire’s backend from scratch.  With this new major update GlassWire now uses significantly less memory, and even less disk resources. 

We’ve also added a new free dark theme we call “asphalt”.  Go to the top left GlassWire menu to try it out.

What else is new with GlassWire 2.2?
– GlassWire now starts much faster!
– DNS resolving is improved.
– Graph data loading is faster!
– VirusTotal analyzing is faster!
– Things device discovery and resolving now works much better!
– Many other bug fixes and improvements.
– Remote monitoring is now even more secure and improved.  Please note it’s required that you update your client and server with this update.
– GlassWire now has a speed meter in the mini viewer.

Download GlassWire 2.2 now!

Please give the update a try and let us know your results in the forum, or email us if you need help.

Our complete list of all the changes in 2.2 are available here.

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3 simple ways to check a file’s hash with Windows

Why would someone want to know the hash of a file on Windows?

Software developers sometimes list the hash of a file when distributing it over the Internet to help others verify the file’s integrity.

Please see this SHA256 hash example for our GlassWire installer version 2.2.201.

The purpose of publishing the hash is to help you verify that the file you are downloading is the actual file the developer is distributing.

If the file is manipulated some way then the hash will change. For example, perhaps the file is actually malware or perhaps some other change has been made to the file to make it malicious in some way. Or maybe it’s the completely wrong file that was mistakenly uploaded to the wrong place.

How can I check a file’s hash on Windows?

One super quick and easy way to check a file is to upload the file to VirusTotal.com. VirusTotal is a free file analysis service created for the information security community. You can upload the file there and it will automatically show you the hash of the file. Then on top of this it will also show how the file is analyzed by many different antivirus engines. Please note that VirusTotal is not an antivirus, and some engines may incorrectly analyze a file as malware. This false analysis is called a false positive.

Please also note that you’ll be uploading this file to a third party server so you should not upload any files that should be kept private.

A second more private way to check a file’s hash is to open the Windows command prompt and use the certutil command for Windows.

An example of this simple command is below:

certutil -hashfile c:\Users\YourUserName\Desktop\wire.exe SHA256

This Windows command example would return the SHA256 hash of the file located at the specified path. You should update the command to show the correct path, user name, and file name for your file integrity check.

You can also use other values after SHA, such as 1 or 256, to produce the corresponding hash. With GlassWire’s example above we have chosen to use a SHA256 hash for our file.

A third easy way to find the hash of a file is to use the Windows 10 Power Shell. First open the Windows Powershell (click “Start” then type “Powershell” then click it), then use the command below checking the file “wire.exe” as an example. Of course YourUserName should be your user name, and you should use the correct path to the file you want to check.

Get-FileHash -Path c:\Users\YourUserName\Desktop\wire.exe -Algorithm SHA256.

How to use the Windows Powershell to find the file’s hash.

I hope this guide helped you easily find and verify the hash of a file on Windows!

The reason we made this guide is because we make a popular network security monitoring software for Windows called GlassWire. You can download GlassWire and try it free if you’d like.

Looking for GlassWire’s installer hash? Just click “change list” on our download page to verify the hash for every installer we have ever released.

Wikipedia also has a great page if you are looking to learn even more about file verification methods.

Blog

GlassWire 3.0 for Android is now LIVE!

In 2018 we released our first major GlassWire Android update. We were fortunate that our fans loved the app and we were proud to have a 4.8 rating in Google Play!

Then later in 2019 Android 10 was released by Google. Unfortunately Google made it impossible for us to graph network data in real-time due to unexpected changes with an API we used. As our user base updated their phones to the latest Android OS versions they would find real-time data would no longer update reliably and our ratings fell.

We opened a ticket with Google and they marked it as “won’t fix”. We also found that Google made it impossible for us to block data by WiFi only, or Mobile only with our firewall.

Then even worse, many phones would kill our app completely so it couldn’t count accurately, or count at all in some cases. We were not the only developers with this issue either. It was a very difficult, sad, and stressful time for our team.

We could have given up, but instead we decided to completely rewrite the GlassWire Android app from scratch and make it super light and accurate, and that’s what we did!

We’re excited to announce that our major Android update is now available this morning in Google Play!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2000px-Get_it_on_Google_play.svg_-768x226-1.png

While the new app doesn’t show real-time stats due to limitations made by Google, it’s now super light and it should always count data perfectly!

It also has an awesome new bubble effect that shows what apps are using your data.

In this example Chrome is using mobile data.

Plus, our 3.0 GlassWire update should never get killed, no matter how angry your phone is at it! This is due to how light the new GlassWire app now runs and how little resources it uses.

The firewall has now also changed where you can create firewall profiles. Create one profile for WiFi, and another for Mobile. It’s super easy to use!

The updated firewall can also allow or deny connections from newly installed apps. Ever have an app immediately use up your data immediately on install? This should never happen again if “allow or deny” mode is switched to “on” with GlassWire’s updated firewall.

Like dark themes? We know how important it is to have a dark theme these days, so we have included one dark theme for free for all Android users who use our app. And of course paid users get access to a bunch of different dark and light themes!

We have also rewritten our “speed meter” feature to make it work for the latest Android OS versions. Rewriting the speed meter was major work for us so we have made this one of our paid features going forward.

GlassWire for Android is an ad-free tracking-free app. In fact our app can’t access the network at all! Check our privacy policy for details on how we can’t access your stats at all because they never leave your phone.

We feel it’s important to be one of the few data management apps on Android that doesn’t track users, or fill up their phones with ads.

Since we have no ads we depend on our fans paying a few dollars to support our work. We’re grateful for those that decided to do so, but even if you don’t purchase GlassWire, our app is extremely powerful even with its free functionality and it will never expire or stop working.

Almost a million people have used our Android app to stay under data limits, reveal data wasters, and save money on their data plans!

GlassWire (free or paid) will always reveal data wasting apps, or suspicious app behavior. Our app will alert you any time a newly installed app starts using data. Plus we now have new more accurate data plans that track roaming, have zero rated app options, and can keep track of roll-over minutes. Monitoring data usage is especially important with new 5G phones that are using data faster than ever!

And of course if you don’t like apps tracking you or wasting your precious data without your permission use our paid firewall to instantly block them.

Why do many free “Data Usage” apps use data themselves?
We discovered a lot of these free data usage collection apps exist solely to collect your personal app usage data to sell to advertisers or other app developers. We did not want to use a data usage app that was logging details about every app we use to share it with third parties. In what database was our private app usage data being stored, and what if that database was hacked or made public? To make matters worse, we found that at least one of these applications collected personally identifiable information.

Is your current “Data Usage” app tracking you?
Do you want your phone app usage logged in a database then linked to your identity so others can see details about how you use your phone every day? We didn’t want that either. Check the privacy policy of the data usage app you currently use by going to their Google Play app page “privacy policy”.

GlassWire is a data usage app that helps protect your privacy.
Your GlassWire data usage and app usage information never leaves your phone. We could not see or access your app usage even if we wanted to. Plus, we’re not an advertising or marketing company. We only make money through sales of premium versions of our software.

Thanks for trying our major update out and if you enjoy the update please consider leaving a review on Google Play or subscribing!

Give GlassWire 3.0 for Android a try now!

We’d really like to hear your feedback and we are grateful for bug reports. If you find any issues please tap the bottom right menu inside the app itself and choose “send feedback”. Or join our forum to discuss GlassWire 3.0 for Android!

Sincerely, The GlassWire Team

Blog

Does your hotel room or Airbnb have a hidden spy camera?

Ever use an Airbnb?  According to the Airbnb website in some situations it may be OK if there is a camera inside your room monitoring you in real-time.  The owner of the Airbnb only has to acknowledge the camera exists.  Creepy isn’t it?

Unfortunately, many guests don’t know about this rule and don’t read their Airbnb listing carefully.  Imagine being in a rush and quickly having to find a hotel room for a vacation or event.  It’s easy to miss a small notice that says “camera in room” in a long Airbnb descriptive listing.

And what about hosts who have decided this disclosure rule doesn’t apply to them?  They may be thinking that if they just hide their camera they can have the best of both worlds.  Why not have full surveillance of their Airbnb and no disclosure on their listing?  They wouldn’t want to damage their income, would they? 

It wouldn’t be the first time a host broke the Airbnb rules.  And it wouldn’t be the first time a hotel illegally spied on their guests.

So how can you protect yourself from spying cameras in your hotel or Airbnb? 

First fire up GlassWire for Windows and join your Airbnb or Hotel WiFi network if you feel it’s safe to do so.  Now click the “Things” tab.  What all is listed there?  See anything from “Nest” or “Ring” or any unusual hardware types or names?  You may just have a camera pointed at you.

The GlassWire “Things” (Internet of Things) feature can usually detect hidden cameras on your WiFi network.

Take a walk around the inside of the room.  See any unusual items sitting out or strange things sticking out of vents?  One way to get an idea about how hidden cameras look is to do an Amazon.com search for “hidden camera”.  You’ll find clocks, pens, fake USB stands, power bricks, and all kinds of things with cameras in them. 

If you’re seeing a device on GlassWire’s “Things” but you can’t find a camera inside the room then maybe take a walk around outside.  Perhaps it’s an outdoor camera you don’t have to worry as much about.

Another way to find a camera is to detect it through your mobile phone camera lens.  Turn off the lights in your room.  Now use the front “selfie” camera on your phone and point it around the room looking for a purple or white glow. 

If you’re unsure if your front phone camera detects infrared light or not you can point a TV remote control at it while in the dark.  Please note that AppleTV remotes use Bluetooth to connect and are not infrared.  You’ll need to check with an old style TV remote.

There are also hardware devices for sale that will send out a flashing light which can help you catch difficult to see camera lenses.  I have tried some of those devices and they seem neat but if you’re staying in a small space you can almost always spot hidden cameras without having to purchase a dedicated hardware device.  Just take your time, then use your camera and GlassWire.  With a little time and effort you can usually be sure you aren’t being monitored by a hidden camera.

Blog

Have you received this new type of RDP (remote desktop) blackmail email?

Did you receive this threatening email?

Recently a member of our team found a threatening message in her personal email account spam folder.

The email said:

“I installed a software on the adult videos (pornographic material) web-site and do you know what, you visited this website to have fun (you know what I mean).  While you were viewing videos, your web browser began working as a Remote Desktop that has a keylogger which gave me accessibility to your display and also cam.”

The scammer then asks for payment via Bitcoin to avoid posting of an embarrassing video.

KrebsonSecurity reports that this type of sextortion email can seem realistic because the sender will sometimes use a real password that you may have used in the past on one of your email accounts.

But how did they get a legitimate email address and password if the threat isn’t real? 

It appears the scammer finds emails/passwords related to different recent data breaches, then sends the password associated with the email and the data breach.

For example, if your email address was part of the Yahoo!, Marriott, or Equifax data breaches then the password you used for those services is probably out there on the web.  To see if your email address has been part of any recent data breaches check out haveibeenpwned.com

If you received this type of email there are a few things you can do. 

  1.  Change any logon/passwords associated with the password that was shown in the email if you haven’t already.
  2. Report the message as spam.
  3. Don’t pay.  There is no video of you anywhere.

Are you still feeling paranoid that there could be a real RDP connection to your PC that is watching and recording everything you do in real-time?  It’s easy to check just to be safe.  Download and install GlassWire, then go to the top left GlassWire menu and choose “settings” then “security”. 

Detect Windows RDP connections in real-time with GlassWire.

Now switch on GlassWire’s RDP connection alert.  From here forward, when your PC has an RDP connection GlassWire will alert you.

You can also see if your PC received an RDP connection while you were away.  Just check GlassWire’s alerts screen or graph to see your PCs idle network activity.  Or, you can turn on GlassWire’s “Block all” firewall mode when you’re away from your PC to avoid any connections while you aren’t using your computer.

Laptop Magazine also has a great article on how to disable RDP on all different versions of Windows.

(Download GlassWire Now)

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How to detect RDP connections to your PC, with GlassWire!

RDP (remote desktop connection) is a way for people to fully control their PC or server remotely. Unfortunately this technology is now being used as an attack vector on Windows PCs and servers.

Bleeping Computer reports that right this minute a botnet is trying to hack millions of PCs with RDP enabled.

Fortunately GlassWire 2.1.158 now detects RDP connections in real-time. Just install GlassWire’s latest version, then GlassWire will alert you instantly if your PC is connected to remotely.

If you don’t plan to use RDP on your PC or server you can also disable it. Go to the search bar in Windows and look for “remote settings” then open the window.  Remote desktop should be switched to “off” if you aren’t using this feature. 

If you do have to use RDP and have no choice UC Berkley has a list of best practices on how to secure RDP.  Also, go to the top left GlassWire menu and choose settings/security to turn this RDP connection feature on, or off.

Get GlassWire 2.1.158Change list

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DNS Hijacking: How To Stop It

Did you know there is a type of hacking that can take over an entire website without encountering it directly?

DNS hijacking is dangerous because it can siphon your visitors, incoming emails, and other services before they reach your network.

DNS stands for “Domain Name System”. A good way to think about a DNS is like an online phone book, or collection of phone books. The DNS essentially provides a series of tools a browser checks, before it finally reveals the location of the server that hosts the website the user seeks to visit.

In other words, DNS is your name in the massive universe that is the Internet. It helps people find you.

How DNS Hijacking Works

DNS hijacking can subvert the resolution of Domain Name System (DNS) queries. It is often done by using malware to override a computer’s TCP/IP configuration. Then, it redirects the rogue DNS server to the control of a cyber attacker.

Another method of DNS hijacking is to modify the behavior of a trusted DNS server which then makes it not comply with internet standards.

DNS hijacking is used for both malicious purposes, such as phishing and spear phishing, or for self-serving purposes of the ISP (internet service provider) and public router-based online DNS server providers.

When used for malicious purposes, hackers can travel upstream in the digital lines of communication to build false entries, which then point visitors intending to visit a website to a false destination.

While a website typically identifies a website by its .com or .net address, the DNS must also translate the fully qualified domain name into an IP address. During this exchange of information, redirects can harm a website.

How to Protect Yourself from DNS Hijacks

Part of the problem with DNS hijacking is the hacking attempt is often difficult to detect, then combat. This type of hijacking has witnessed a bit of a reemergence of late which is unfortunate as many thought it was a thing of the past.

The good news is that while preventing some DNS hijacking is challenging, it is not impossible to stay away from. The techniques you can use to guard against DNS hijacking is comparable to other kinds of cyber attacks.

Basic preventive measures include:

●      Using well regarded security software.

●      Installing the updates and security patches as soon as they become available.

●      Avoiding clicking on suspicious links in emails or on social media.

●      Avoiding sending or receiving personal information on public Wi-Fi.

●      Leaving websites immediately that seem untrustworthy.

●      Exercising caution with Wi-Fi networks that don’t start with a terms of service before browsing the web.

Furthermore, one can protect their router by making sure the default admin username and password for the router is changed.

Improve Your DNS Security

Though some of the more basic forms of DNS hijacking are avoidable, there are other kinds that are more difficult to detect. For example, there is little you can do about a website that becomes compromised.

Consequently, there are additional measures you can take to protect your personal information. It includes the ability to implement Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) on all your devices.

The security program allows domain owners to monitor traffic on their own domains, and therefore check for suspicious activity. A DNSSEC also presents control over registering domain zones and enabling DNS resolvers.

Change the DNS Server

Another security measure is to change the default DNS server. Computers and routers, by default, connect to the global DNS service related to the local internet service provider (ISP). A third-party DNS server, meanwhile, can take over responsibilities for routing.

Google DNS and OpenDNS are two third-party DNS routing providers, and free of charge to use. If you select another alternative make sure it is from a reputable company or nonprofit organization, because allowing control to the wrong DNS server could actually expose you to more threats, not fewer.

How do you protect mobile devices? Have you ever considered anything like a Firewall for your Android device? This should be a first line of defense any time you go online.

Encrypted Connections

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are software applications that encrypt web traffic, keeping your data private when connected to a network. The VPN connection takes place through an encrypted “tunnel” to ensure secure web browsing, and helps with DNS hijacking protection.

A VPN serves as a tunnel between your ISP and the host, where the information between the two endpoints cannot get hacked or stolen. A VPN is similar to third-party DNS providers.

A word of caution: not all commercial VPNs are created equal. The unfortunate misconception is that they’re all the same, but some VPNs are more effective than others. The best VPNs should have stellar reputation (which is easily discoverable online with a little searching), definitive no-logging policy, and no trace of government ties or state ownership. You should also remain aware that some VPN providers will log your browsing habits, filter network traffic, and block certain websites.

OpenVPN has one of the better reputations on the market. L2TP/IPSec is another common configuration that some invest in. There are other ways you can stop recording network activity.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

When a local network gets infiltrated there are several noticeable differences. Web pages will load slower, and have a different looking presentation. It may even include replacing a popular website, such as Amazon or Google, with a fake, look-alike page.

Along with DNS hijacking, cross-site scripting (XSS) is another type of attack that is common with DNS hijacking. XSS enables criminals to obtain private information through a web browsing session.

Therefore, vigilance is crucial. Users should remain mindful of what URL the browser is pointing toward. If the domain portion of the address (which contains .net, or .com) looks unfamiliar then you need to immediately shut down the browser and double check the DNS settings.

A Final Thought

Lastly, you can get further confirmation that the website is legitimate by making sure it has a valid secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. The SSL is indicated by the green “lock” icon in the address bar. Never enter personal information or credit card numbers to a website missing an SSL.

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The Ultimate Secret Data Hog – Cryptomining Malware

Are you already a victim of this data hog?

Are you a victim of this data hog?
Sam Bocetta puts the word out about a new type of data hog and how to spot it.    Sam Bocetta is a former naval contractor and security analyst. He’s now (mostly) retired and spends his days reading the classics and fly fishing with his grandkids. Sam can be reached on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sambocetta/


The Ultimate Secret Data Hog – Cryptomining Malware
Malware development, like many non-malicious types of software, is subject to certain trends that are impacted by a variety of external factors outside the tech industry.

Ransomware, for example, was the cyber bogeyman of 2017 and 2018 for the following reasons:

  • Spectacular attacks on high-value targets.
  • News media headlines.
  • The modernization of traditional crimes such as hijacking, extortion and ransom.
  • Availability of leaked cyber warfare weapons and techniques developed by American intelligence agencies.
  • The use of cryptocurrencies to deliver ransom payments.
  • Ransomware-as-a-Service platforms.

In early 2019, ransomware has thankfully lost some of its shine thanks to law enforcement intervention, prosecution and reaction by the information security community; in other words, this particular malware threat is on a downtrend cycle.

As can be expected, a new threat has emerged to take ransomware’s spot on the malware scoreboard, and it goes by the names of cryptojacking or crypto mining malware.


Understanding Cryptojacking

Speaking of IT trends, let’s talk about Bitcoin trading: despite cryptocurrencies having endured more than a year of bear market conditions, they are still being bought, sold, exchanged, and mined for various reasons.

In the case of Bitcoin, the most valuable digital currency in the world, the market cap of $60 billion is sizable enough to ignore that it has plunged from an all-time high near $20,000 in late 2017 to around $3,500 and lower in early 2019. Some investors remain hopeful that a rally similar to the one experienced in 2017 could materialize this year, and miners are holding even greater hopes.

As volatile as the cryptocurrency markets are, they present significant opportunities for profit, especially for those who engage in mining of tokens. In essence, mining entails putting considerable processing power and bandwidth to work on behalf of the blockchain that supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Stellar, and many others.

The blockchain is a decentralized and distributed ledger where transactions are verified and cleared through very complex cryptographic calculation; miners who perform this service can present the blockchain with “proof-of-work” performed in exchange for the potential of earning a few tokens.

Cryptocurrency mining is not a “get rich quick” scheme by any means. With valuable tokens such as bitcoin, the barriers to entry include powerful hardware with efficient cooling systems, electricity, and broadband connections. These factors are combined into rigs that feature plenty of hash power and are fully dedicated to blockchain mining work.

It should be noted that hash power can be distributed in a manner somewhat similar to the distributed ledger of blockchain networks, which means that a single computing device can generate some hash power to contribute towards a mining operation.

IMAGE: Mining Rig

In the early days of Bitcoin mining, some individuals were able to mine a few tokens by means of running mining software on their laptops; once greed kicked in and blockchain transactions became increasingly difficult because of market volatility, mining cartels emerged.

By the time malicious hackers and cybercrime groups latched onto digital currencies, the development of cryptojacking was imminent. With cryptojacking, hackers inject malicious code into computing devices for the purpose of stealing hash power, meaning processing power, bandwidth and electricity, all with the goal of surreptitiously mining tokens.

Bitcoin is not a popular cryptocurrency among cryptojacking attackers; privacy tokens such as Cardano and Monero are preferred.

How Cryptojacking Malware Works
To a certain extent, crypto mining malware shares many of the characteristics of legacy spyware in the sense that injection may take place through click-and-bait strategies or Trojan horse attacks; in other words, victims often believed that they were installing software or executing code that was not malicious.

In some cases, remote code injection of cryptojacking malware may be conducted through old-school network intrusion, which is often a more sophisticated and aggressive approach since it may involve defeating a firewall.

The most common types of cryptojacking target personal computing devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It is not unreasonable to think that smart home appliances like the Samsung Family Hub refrigerators could be next since they are equipped with a motherboard running Android and many connectivity services. These devices can be infected with in-script cryptojacking code or through JavaScript browser extensions.

As can be expected, cryptojacking attacks against business targets tend to be more powerful while at the same time being stealthier. A sophisticated cybercrime group targeting office networks or enterprise data centers may forego browser extensions and go with rootkits, remote code execution, and virtual machine hijacking. The most trailblazing and brazen attacks may utilize social engineering to gain credentials and set up fake intranet pages.

Once installed, cryptojacking malware will transform GPU and CPU resources into hash power to conduct transaction verification. According to a report published by a respected information security firm, 37 percent of corporate networks were impacted by cryptojacking activity in 2018.

More than 20 percent of business IT security departments are detecting cryptojacking attempts on a weekly basis. Companies that implement “bring your own device” policies are at greater risk.


Cryptojacking Detection

The first line of defense against cryptojacking involves monitoring network connections between devices and the internet.

Network monitoring is a security strategy widely used in the enterprise world, but it is also available on a personal computing level with smart firewall apps that notify users of suspicious activity, intrusions, high CPU usage, and unusual data. It is important to note that cryptojacking crews will not ignore mobile devices since they are powerful enough to generate hash power and contribute to their wicked trade.

Aside from monitoring and detection, cryptojacking can also be prevented with safe computing practices such as the use of virtual private networking technology. It is not unreasonable to think of public Wi-Fi hotspots being taken over by hackers for the purpose of distributing mining malware.

To this effect, always protect your computer by using standard security measures when accessing public networks: firewall protection (such as GlassWire), antivirus scanners, and any no-logging VPN service. This is especially when connecting to an enterprise network using your personal computing device, so as to avoid exposing the entire network to remote attack.

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Security – It’s all about layers

Layers of computer security.

Security – It’s all about layers
by Chris Taylor, President, Ottawa PC Users’ Group

I once heard, “The only secure computer is encased in concrete and dropped in the middle of the ocean. And even then, I am not really sure.” There is no such thing as absolute computer security; it’s all about layers. If one security layer fails, you hope another layer will provide the protection you need.

In the beginning (i.e. the mid 1980s), personal computer security focussed on antivirus. The aim was to block known bad programs from running on your computer. With few personal computers networked, viruses spread slowly. Back then, antivirus signature files were updated about once a month and that actually served us pretty well.

In the 1990s, Internet connectivity grew exponentially, as did security threats. Even Microsoft understood (albeit a little late) that more than just antivirus was needed and introduced a firewall in Windows XP SP2 in August 2004.

In January 2003, the SQL Slammer worm spread to 90% of all vulnerable hosts world-wide in the first 10 minutes after release. It exploited a vulnerability for which a patch had been available for 6 months. Vulnerability management was born in the realization that few users would, or indeed could reasonably be expected to keep all their software up-to-date with security patches.
The fundamental concepts behind antivirus, firewalls, and patch management have not changed over the years. But each has become more complex.

Blocking “known bad” with antivirus signature files is arguably essential. But now, with more than 10 million new malware variants per month (https://www.av-test.org/en/statistics/malware/), it is not enough. Antivirus programs use heuristics to catch unknown malware. More and more are using real-time blocking techniques to stop new malware before you get updated virus signature files.

To this day, the firewall built into Windows (now called Windows Defender Firewall), is aimed solely at preventing unsolicited inbound connections from getting through. It eschews more advanced capabilities, such as those found in GlassWire. While people who read GlassWire’s Cybersecurity News are likely to be able to handle issues regarding computer security, Microsoft does not want to deal with even a very small fraction of their billions of users not being able to figure out if some program should be permitted to access the Internet.

Vulnerability management has evolved. Microsoft’s Windows Update service has matured since it was introduced with Windows 98. While not problem-free, Windows Update is remarkably robust. Other vendors have added self-updating capabilities and most are quite reliable. Unfortunately, a lot of vendors don’t include automatic updating capabilities. I should add that my biggest concern is about patching security vulnerabilities, not feature updates.

Secunia Personal Software Inspector, which was bought a number of years ago by Flexera, was a wonderful vulnerability management program. PSI tracked over 20,000 programs for security vulnerabilities and patches. Unfortunately, that program went end-of-life in April, 2018. I have yet to find a good replacement for PSI. Some former employees of Secunia are building a new vulnerability management program (https://vulndetect.com/), so hope remains.

Computer security goes well beyond these technical safeguards, but I think antivirus, firewalls, and vulnerability management represent the bedrock of computer security. Every computer user should embrace all three and watch for advancements in each to keep ahead of the latest threats.

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SAN’s OUCH! security awareness newsletter designed for everyone, and we’re excited about his second contribution to the GlassWire newsletter!

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GlassWire 2.1.152 – now with Incognito Apps!

Make any GlassWire app Incognito!

Since GlassWire was first launched we have always had an “Incognito” option under our top left GlassWire menu to allow you to stop recording network activity anytime you want. You can also choose to never record network activity at all by leaving this mode on all the time.

Many GlassWire fans have asked for a way to make only certain apps “Incognito”, and now that feature is finally available! To try out this new feature with GlassWire 2.1.152, first go to the GlassWire firewall tab and click on the icon of the app that you want to make Incognito. Next click “More” then choose “Add to Incognito”.

If you want to see what apps you have that are Incognito you can go to the top left GlassWire menu and choose “Incognito” there also. To update GlassWire just download our latest installer, then install GlassWire over your previous version.

Get GlassWire 2.1.152Change List


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GlassWire 2.1.137 is here with dark themes and detailed host info!

 

GlassWire fans have been requesting a dark theme for awhile, and our dark theme for GlassWire is finally here!  Upgrade now to try this major new update.

Also, have you ever seen unusual activity from a host (IP) but you were unable to determine if it’s safe or not?  We’ve now added a cool new feature to help with this situation.  Mouse over the host you’re concerned about and a circle icon with three dots will appear.  Click that icon and choose “search online” and we show detailed information about the host including VirusTotal results and much more!

Upgrade now to try our GlassWire 2.1 update FREE.

Get GlassWire 2.1.137 Now!

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GlassWire’s new Android Firewall is here!

 

 

We are excited to announce that our newly updated GlassWire Android Firewall app is now available for download in Google Play!

 

GlassWire Android Firewall App

 

How does it work?
GlassWire for Android now has a brand new “Firewall” tab.  Tap the top left GlassWire menu and choose the Firewall option to get started.

With our new firewall you can block app network access completely, or block only WiFi or mobile connections. For example, if you want your browser to only use WiFi data and never use mobile data turn on the GlassWire firewall, then tap the WiFi tower icon next to the browser you want to block.

Ask to connect?
You can also block newly installed apps from accessing the network at all.  Once the firewall is on, switch the “automatically block” option on.  GlassWire will then send you a notification when a newly installed application tries to access the network.  You can then allow or deny that application immediately.  Want to block all mobile or WiFi network activity for all apps?  Tap the WiFi and Mobile icons under the “All Apps” row and block all the apps at once!

*Please note you may sometimes still get “new” notifications from blocked apps, but these connections are black-holed and never leave your device.

With GlassWire’s new mobile firewall you can block spying apps, apps inundated with pop-up ads, or data hogging apps that can make you go over your monthly data limit.  Data hogging apps can also cause your phone to have a slow Internet connection.

Unlimited themes!
If you purchase GlassWire you also get access to unlimited themes, including our dark themes.  Did you buy GlassWire themes before with our previous version?  Don’t worry!  You should still have access to all your purchased themes.  If you run into any issues please email us and we will fix it!

How is GlassWire different from other data managers or firewalls?
Did you know most other data manager apps in Google Play exist solely to collect your data usage stats, and sell your private data to third parties?  Large companies want to know what the most popular apps are in the app store, then copy their features, or even acquire them.

Have you ever wondered why another data manager app you used was using so much mobile data itself?  If you’re using another firewall or data manager please check their privacy policy.  You might be surprised that not only do they collect personal identifiable information about you, but they store your data usage stats in a database.

The difference between GlassWire and other data usage and firewall apps is that WE NEVER COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION!  Our GlassWire app never even accesses the network at all, so we couldn’t see your app usage information even if we were asked to under a court order.  Check out our privacy policy for more details.

GlassWire also never shows you any mobile ads that clutter up your screen or annoying sponsored pop-ups that waste your data and slow your phone to a crawl.

If you support privacy please consider buying our new Android firewall option with unlimited themes!  It’s only a few dollars and your support goes a long way to help us continue improving this app.

How much does it cost?
GlassWire for Android will continue to be free as is for unlimited use.  However, if you want to use our new firewall features it’s only a few dollars ($4.99) per year.  Your financial support allows us continue making improvements on GlassWire for Android.

If you aren’t sure you want to buy the software we include a free 30 day trial for everyone!  Everyone getting this update can try it for free for 30 days for absolutely no charge.

Please also note that GlassWire will occasionally show “new” network activity alerts with apps that are blocked by the firewall.  This is not actually a bug with GlassWire, but this is how the Android OS functions.  The Android OS sees these apps as accessing the network and may count some data used with them.  However, these apps are actually black-holed by our firewall and their connections never leave your phone.  We’ve included a note about this inside the app itself to help avoid any confusion.

Also, if you’re new to GlassWire for Android and you’re worried about our “phone” permission, technical details are here on why we have to request that permission.  We’d love to request no permissions at all if it was technically possible, but the mobile “phone” permission is required for our app to show you your mobile phone data.

Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoy our new Android firewall update with unlimited themes!

Get the GlassWire Firewall for Android now!