Hide-and-seek with Windows 10. Testing spyware and privacy protection tools

Over four years have passed since the release of Windows 10, and throughout this entire period, user data have been ‘leaking’ to Microsoft servers. The problem has been further exacerbated by Microsoft repeatedly forcing a reset of the users’ privacy settings and reactivating Windows Update disabled by the user. In this article, I will discuss and compare several utilities developed to control Microsoft’s ‘spying’ activities, and test their efficiency on two Window 10 builds.

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“Luke, I am your fuzzer”. Automating vulnerability management

Fuzzing is all the rage. It is broadly used today by programmers testing their products, cybersecurity researchers, and, of course, hackers. The use of fuzzers requires a good understanding of their work principles. These top-notch tools make it possible to identify previously unknown vulnerabilities in various applications. In this article, I will address different fuzzing types and show how to use one of them, WinAFL.

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Tails below the radar: the private portable OS

No doubt, the Tor browser is an essential privacy protection tool. However, Tor alone cannot cover you up and hide your traces. To stay undercover, you need Tails. Tails is a security-focused, Debian-based Linux distribution made to ensure your privacy and anonymity. Tails on a portable flash drive can fully protect you from tracking; furthermore, your privacy won’t be compromised even if your residence is searched!

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Building sniffer on the basis of ESP32. Listening on Wi-Fi, aiming at Bluetooth!

One day, GS Labs research and development center launched a project to identify possible bugs and vulnerabilities in its systems. However, the tested device chosen to run the application was pretty tricky: no way to install the root and no Ethernet connection. The only available communication methods were Wi-Fi and a remote control with a few buttons – so, who knows what’s going to be transferred via Wi-Fi? Hackers do not like uncertainty. Hackers like certainty. I had a couple of ESP32-based debug boards at home (the ESP32-PICO-KIT), and decided to build a Wi-Fi sniffer with the potential to be upgraded to a Bluetooth sniffer.

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