encryption

KRACK Wi-Fi Flaw: What You Need to Know

You may have heard about the latest Wi-Fi vulnerability in the news called “KRACK” or “Key Reinstallation Attack.” This is a security flaw in the WPA2 protocol that could allow a third party to intercept network activity between a router and a device. It does this by taking advantage of a problem with the way the client (your mobile device or computer) authenticates with the access point (the router).

How can I backup programs from my DVR?

Episode 1402

Chris from Burbank, CA
DVR

Chris has a DVR with a lot of programs on it. Can he back them up before he changes companies? Leo says no. The programming is heavily encrypted because of copy protection. The only real way he can do it is by exploiting the analog hole. If his DVR has an analog connection, he can put a VCR in between the DVR and the TV connection. But he'll be recording in real time and it won't be in HD.

How should I back up my data?

Episode 1400

Steve from Riverside, CA
Synology DS416 Slim

Steve is in the process of digitizing everything and backing it up. Now he needs to consider backup options. Leo says the first thing he should do is make sure his data is encrypted. Windows 10 Pro offers BitLocker, which uses full disk encryption that unencrypts when he logs into his Windows account. He should be careful not to lose his password or certificates. He should back those up and keep them in a safe place.

How can I get my TV shows off an old DVR?

Episode 1391

Bob from Leonia, NJ
Series 2 TiVo back

Bob was a Time Warner Cable client, but now he's with Spectrum and his "enhanced DVR" box is starting to fail. Leo says that chances are, it's the hard drive that's starting to fail. How can he get the shows off before he returns them? They say there's no way to do it since the data is encrypted. Leo says that the cable won't help him get those off because they are afraid of piracy. If it's a cloud based DVR, then he'd be OK. If not, he's out of luck.

How can I keep my Windows PC secure?

Episode 1389

Billy from New York, NY
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Billy is about to make the switch to Windows. As an old timer, he feels that Apple has abandoned his demographic. So he bought a Lenovo X1 Yoga to replace his aging Mac laptop. Leo says that the latest Mac laptops with Touch Bar are annoying and the Touch Bar gets in the way more than it helps. Lenovo is doing a lot of creative hardware on the Windows side, as are other manufacturers.

What's a good cordless phone?

Episode 1384

Walter from Burbank, CA
Panasonic KX-TG6843B Cordless Phones

Walter wants a good cordless phone that is secure. Leo says that DECT is the current state of the art for cordless phones and Leo likes the Panasonic phones. Just make sure it has DECT on the box. It also uses FDMA/TDMA which works to spread out the signal across 10 different channels. There is a rudimentary encryption on it, but it's generally regarded as being rather weak. But weak is better than none.

What should I do about my data if I'm selling my computer?

Episode 1376

Jeff from Valley Village, CA
HDD

Jeff wants to do some spring cleaning by getting rid of some old computers, but is concerned about privacy and the data on the hard drives. Leo says that the easiest thing to do is to simply remove the hard drives. He could also use something like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to completely wipe the drive. It erases everything by writing zeros across the drive, and then erases it again. If he does that several times, he'll be safe from everyone save the NSA. Solid State Drives, however, can be easier to get data off of.