Michael Horowitz

Michael Horowitz wrote his first computer program in 1973 and has been a computer nerd ever since. He spent 20 years working in an IBM mainframe environment as both an application developer and a DB2 DBA. He then spent a few years working in the Research and Development group of a large Wall Street firm. He has also done technical writing and teaching. He is an independent consultant who has long been focused on Defensive Computing. His personal site is michaelhorowitz.com. This is a weblog of Michael Horowitz. The opinions expressed here are those of Michael Horowitz and may not represent those of Computerworld.

Web browsers are also to blame for Lenovo's Superfish fiasco

Bloatware free Windows computers

The Lenovo Superfish fiasco illustrates how dangerous the pre-installed software on a Windows machine can be. Here I discuss options for starting off with a clean copy of Windows, both versions 7 and 8. Also, some tips for keeping it...

Using a router to block a modem

Using a router to block a modem

If your Internet connection consists of a separate router and modem, then a private IP address, 192.168.100.1, may provide access to the modem. This can be a double edged sword. Motorola SURFboard modems, in particular, can be reset...

Talk to your modem

Talk to your modem

Those of us with separate routers and modems may lose sight of the fact that the modems are computers. They offer technical information about an Internet connection that can provide a baseline to compare against when things go wrong....

Down the rabbit hole with NOD32 antivirus

For years ESET's NOD32 antivirus program was running happily on the Windows computers of a number of people I know. This will change in the future and here's why.

Recovering lost bookmarks in Chrome

Recovering lost bookmarks in Chrome

After mistakenly wiping out my Chrome bookmarks, which neither Google nor I had backed up, Windows was able to restore them.

Fighting with a broken Windows Update - Part 2

Windows XP and Server 2003 are experiencing a problem with Windows Update and/or Microsoft Update failing with error code 0x80248015. I wrote about this last time and now have additional information and more work-arounds.

Windows Update is broken on XP

Windows Update has been broken for the last few days on Windows XP. As soon as IE8 loads the web page, it fails with error 0x80248015 before the user can search for fixes. I found a fix that worked on all three of my XP machines.

Wi-Fi security vs. government spies

Wi-Fi security vs. government spies

Its one thing to be lectured to about Wi-Fi security and quite another thing to see an actual spy manual. The Intercept just published manuals for interception software from Hacking Team which shows their three types of Wi-Fi attacks....

What's new with Java

There are three latest versions of Java. Tweaking Java to disable SSL 3.0. Securing Java. Explaining the security messages when running Java applets. Expiring old versions of Java.

SSL,TLS, POODLE, email, Fastmail, Popcorn and me

The POODLE flaw in SSL version 3 also impacts email.

Fallout from the JPMorgan Chase breach

Fallout from the JPMorgan Chase breach

What's the fallout from the Chase bank breach? Phishing of course, but phone calls and snail mail can also be abused. I was targeted by a snail mail billing scam. Most website rating systems fail to warn about the site involved in the...

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