Fingerprint scanning is coming to Chromebooks

Later this year, Chromebook owners with the appropriate hardware may be able to unlock their laptops with their fingerprint. Chrome Story recently spotted a new flag in Chrome OS Canary that discusses “Quick Unlock (Fingerprint).”

Mentions of fingerprint security features are also scattered throughout the changelog for Chrome OS 58.0.3007.0 that was released to the Dev Channel on February 14. Google routinely adds new features (or parts of them) to Dev Channel releases without fanfare. Hints of Google’s fingerprint plans for Chrome OS first surfaced last September.

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Best Buy has cut the MacBook Air's price tag to $800

Rogue Chrome extension pushes tech support scam

Given Google Chrome’s popularity, it is no surprise to see it being more and more targeted these days. In particular, less than reputable ad networks are contributing to the distribution of malicious Chrome extensions via very deceptive means.

In this post we look at a forced installation of such an extension that eventually leads to more adverts being force fed into Chrome. And once you spin the malvertising roulette, anything can happen…

Malvertising campaign

Google Chrome users are profiled based on the user-agent string they show whenever they visit a website. Rather than redirecting them to an exploit kit, they are often redirected to fake software updates, scams, or rogue browser extensions.

This malvertising flow (XML feed) shows how the user is redirected to a bogus site that is enticing them to install a Chrome extension.

Enticing might in fact be a euphemism, since in this case the user is giving no choice other than “Add Extension to Leave“, while their browser is stuck in a never ending loop of fullscreen modes. The tricks used here are very similar to what Pieter Arntz described in his Nov. ’16 blog (Forced into installing a Chrome extension).

Hidden but omnipresent

Once installed, this extension ensures it stays in hiding by using a 1×1 pixel image as its logo (note the blank space on the top right next to the Chrome menu from the animation below) and by hooking chrome://extensions and chrome://settings such that any attempt to access those is automatically redirected to chrome://apps. That makes it much more difficult for the average user to see what extensions they have, let alone uninstalling one of them.

The real bad stuff is buried into a couple of obfuscated JavaScript files:

The larger one reveals a connection to a command and control server where it can receive instructions on what to do next:

Ad fraud and scams

The perpetrators behind this extension are checking for certain keywords within the current URL and blocking/redirecting if the conditions are met. For instance, if the user tries to visit the Malwarebytes website, the browser will immediately get redirected, first to a YouTube video, and then to one of various Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), get-rich-quick schemes, and various other scams.

This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a tech support scam which it seems one can’t avoid these days. If the user clicked on a new tab or typed a ‘forbidden’ keyword, the redirection chain would then deliver a fake Microsoft warning.

Extension woes

Google Chrome extensions are very powerful programs which are extremely useful in extending the browser’s capabilities, but can also be used for malicious purposes. Unfortunately, it is way too easy for online crooks to trick people into installing their malicious extension.

If you ever visit family or friends who run Chrome or own a Chromebook, have a check at the installed extensions on their machines, and you’ll be surprised by how many shady or flat out fraudulent ones are in there.

In addition to redirecting to bogus sites and junk offers, there are some serious privacy and security implications (Rogue Google Chrome Extension Spies On You) when an extension can read what you type and send this information to criminals.

Google has pulled this bogus extension from its store. If you already have it installed and can’t get rid of it (it won’t let you do it the regular way), please download Malwarebytes and run a scan. We detect and remove this one as Rogue.ForcedExtension.


Fake extension:

Backend server (ad fraud/malvertising):

Tech support scam:

UPS Upgrades Flex Global View Tool to Help You Better Track Shipments

UPS Flex Global View Upgrade Will Help You Better Track Shipments

UPS (NYSE: UPS) recently announced improvements to Flex Global View, its event management and visibility tool for air, ocean and surface freight shipments, to help you better track shipments.

UPS Flex Global View Upgrade

Now UPS supply chain customers who log into Flex Global View will find upgrades including:

  • New ocean container dashboard — a visibility dashboard specifically for ocean containers. Information about containers can be sorted by carrier, port of loading and unloading, shipper, receiver, etc.
  • UPS transportation invoice — customers billed in the U.S. and Canada can now view an image of the UPS invoice associated with their air and ocean freight shipments.
  • Better dashboards and reports — enhanced and better organized for easier search and reporting requirements.

If you are a small business operator or eCommerce business looking to maintain a smooth running supply chain, you probably crave the ability to view and respond to shipment information and critical package milestones as they occur. The newly improved Flex Global View promises to help you do just that, and enhance visibility throughout your supply chain. Enhanced visibility and access to shipment information can help you make critical business decisions, stay nimble and improve your overall results.

More Flex Global View Enhancements Expected

Flex Global View is updated continuously by carriers and the UPS global operating systems. In keeping with this tradition, UPS said it will continue deploying new enhancement throughout 2017.

“UPS is committed to continuous improvement to this important customer technology tool,” said Cindy Miller, president of UPS Freight Forwarding in a press release announcing these latest updates. “No one likes supply chain surprises, which is why Flex Global View offers a level of visibility, reporting and alerts that keep customers informed and in better control of their supply chain.”

Image: UPS

This article, “UPS Upgrades Flex Global View Tool to Help You Better Track Shipments” was first published on Small Business Trends

Yelp Q-and-A Solicits More Community Feedback for Your Brand

Yelp Questions and Answers Feature Solicits More Community Feedback for Your Brand

Whether you have a restaurant or pottery shop, customers will have questions regarding your business. And those answers are not going to be available on your site no matter how thorough you are. That is just a fact. The new Questions & Answers feature from Yelp (NYSE:YELP) gives your customers the answers they need about your business from actual customers or yourself.

New Yelp Questions and Answers Feature

This Q&A thread of a restaurant called Le Pigeon is a common example of the kind of unexpected questions customers may ask. But the answer provides details from a personal experience that may not be captured in an FAQ section of the site, if it has one.

Questions & Answers started as part of Yelp’s  hackathon project , a two-day event where the company’s engineers can go wild creating innovative and out of the box whimsical and useful projects. The Q&A brings the platform’s 115 million engaged reviewers and business owners so customers can get their questions answered with real world experiences.

The best aspect of this Q&A is you will get multiple answers, even to questions you might’ve not thought of asking. A simple “How long do people stay?” question for the  Kennedy Space Center resulted in seven answers, including one for VIP tours people may not be aware of.


Just like other social media platforms, on Yelp a question can be up-voted or down-voted depending on how helpful it was, and it can have multiple answers. And users can get notified when their questions or those of other members of the community get answered.

Yelp is adding more features to its platform, including analytics to give small businesses more tools to engage with their customers. These types of engagements provide invaluable data that will help you answer customer demand and be more proactive in introducing new products and services based on the conversations they are having about your company.

Questions & Answers is available in the U.S. on Android, iOS and desktop platforms.

Yelp Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Yelp Q-and-A Solicits More Community Feedback for Your Brand” was first published on Small Business Trends

Give Your Business a Boost with the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Sponsored Post

Give Your Business a Boost with the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Inspiring small businesses are being recognized and rewarded every year. Share what inspired you and your core mission and you could be the next winner.

Entering its fifth year, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest awards tens of thousands of dollars to passionate small business owners across the country.

Nicole Snow is the founder and CEO of Darn Good Yarn and the first grand prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. Her company sources and upcycles materials to create unique yarns and goods from all over the world, providing sustainable employment year round to hundreds of families in India and Nepal.

For her, winning was as simple as telling her unique story.

“At the time I was living in Maine and I had a really complex international supply chain,” she said. “When I entered the contest, I really just tried to tell my story. Many small businesses are created out of a significant life experience or something you want to change in the world — those are the kinds of stories people want to hear.”

Nicole received a $25,000 grant to invest and further grow her business. The quick infusion of cash helped grow her inventory and bring on additional staff, but she is quick to say there was value in the contest far beyond the grant money.

“Winning the grant was real validation that I was onto something,” Nicole said. “As a small business owner, you often have to be your own cheerleader, so when a company like FedEx gets behind you, it helps give you the confidence to go forward in full force with your business.”

Nicole recommends all small business owners enter the Grant Contest because there are benefits beyond winning a grant. The submission process can be invaluable.

“When you own a business, you’re in charge of everything.  When you have to sit down and fill out an application and talk about what your mission is, it’s a great opportunity to rethink and realign what you’re really doing. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with your core and your ethos and get it on paper.”

Ready to tell your story? The entry period for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest runs from February 21 to March 29. Learn more and submit your story at and you could win a $25,000 grant and $7,500 in FedEx Office® print and business services for your small business.

Image: FedEx

This article, “Give Your Business a Boost with the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest” was first published on Small Business Trends

Hillary Clinton urges Trump to address anti-Semitic threats: 'Everyone must speak out, starting with' him

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged President Donald Trump to address a wave of anti-Semitic threats and incidents across the US.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, the former secretary of state pointed to a recent spike in vandalism of Jewish graves and bomb threats leveled against Jewish Community Centers and urged “everyone … starting with” Trump, to speak out.

The president has faced criticism for failing to vocally denounce anti-Semitism.

When asked at a press conference last week what he would do to address anti-Semitic crimes, he chastised the reporter, asking him to “sit down” because the the question was “not a simple question, not a fair question.”

“I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism, the least racist person,” Trump said, before summarizing his Electoral College victory in November.

“In fact we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican. Quiet, quiet, quiet,” he said, again addressing the reporter.” So he lied about — he was going to get up and ask a very straight simple question. So you know, welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question.”

Critics have blasted chief White House strategist Steve Bannon’s former stewardship of Breitbart, which has attracted an anti-Semitic readership. And last month, the White House defended an official Holocaust remembrance press release that did not directly mentions Jews.

SEE ALSO: ‘A natural outgrowth of America electing a reality show president’: Entertainment news outlets wade into politics coverage

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Facebook Now Allows You to Post Job Openings

Post Employment Opportunities on Your Business Page With the New Facebook Job Postings Feature

Social networking site Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has a history of challenging, if not buying out, its competitors, and now it looks like it’s going after LinkedIn.

Starting yesterday, businesses in both the U.S. and Canada could post job listings natively to their Facebook pages or in the new jobs bookmark.

Facebook Job Postings Feature Already Successful

Facebook started testing out the feature last November with a couple of small businesses already reporting success with the platform.

“It was great because it was easy,” said Wendy Grahn, co-owner of the Chicago-based Lakeview Kitchen and Market in an official statement on Facebook. “It took three minutes to fill out the information and put it out there. Then someone saw the post, we talked, and it was done.”

With the new feature, jobs will now show up in potential applicants’ newsfeeds, allowing businesses to reach people that might have not otherwise been aware of the open position. When an applicant clicks the “Apply Now” button, a form with some of the pre-populated info will appear, making the application process as simple as posting the job itself.

Finding the right talent for your business can be daunting with Facebook saying that nearly 40 percent of small businesses in the U.S. report that filling jobs is more difficult than they expected. However, the new feature solves this by making it absolutely easy for businesses to create job posts, track applications and communicate with applicants all from the social media platform.

And while LinkedIn is the leading professional network for recruiting, Facebook’s career tool might catch on quickly as businesses can now post jobs in a place where a highly engaged audience already exists.

Image: Facebook

This article, “Facebook Now Allows You to Post Job Openings” was first published on Small Business Trends

Razer Blade Pro (2016) review: Now this is how you do a 'Pro' laptop

Despite its premium price, the Blade Pro has arguably been Razer’s weakest laptop ever since 2014. That’s the year the 14-inch Blade (no surname) received a massive performance upgrade, bumping up to an Nvidia GTX 870M graphics card and a crisp 3200×1800 screen.

Meanwhile the 17-inch Blade Pro stuck to the lower 860M-tier card and a 1080p screen—and at a higher price. Suffice it to say, it’s been awhile since the Blade Pro felt like it deserved its lofty moniker.

For a time I thought Razer had decided to abandon the Pro model entirely and stick to the 14-inch Blade, but instead Razer was apparently scheming a way to put the Blade Pro back on top. Successfully, I might add. The latest Blade Pro is one hell of a machine, and an incredible return to form.

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