Tech Talk #65 – Nov. 25, 2017

You should change your Yahoo email password.


They call it largest known theft of user data in history. In an August 2013 data breach at Yahoo, all 3 billion account holders at Yahoo had their info stolen. What info, you ask? Oh, just user account information, including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5), and, in some cases, “encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.”


Who would do such a thing? State-sponsored hackers are getting the blame for the August 2013 data breach.


And this is separate from a 500-million user accounts breach a year later in 2014. In this one they got away with the same type of data, some of it presumably for a second time since they already got everything in 2013. Yahoo attributed the 2014 breach to a state-sponsored hacking group. In March 2016, US federal prosecutors charged two Russian intelligence officers and two criminal hackers in connection with the breach.


In case you’re interested, the charges included:

  • Conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse
  • Conspiring to engage in and the theft of trade secrets
  • Conspiring to engage in and committing economic espionage
  • Conspiring to commit wire fraud
  • Counterfeit access device fraud
  • Counterfeit access device making equipment
  • Aggravated identity theft
  • Transmitting code with the intent to cause damage to computers
  • Unauthorized access to a computer for obtaining information for commercial advantage and private financial gain


Yahoo did send out an email last year requiring folks to change their passwords. Even if you changed your password then, it’s a good idea to change it again.


And this isn’t limited to just accounts. Yahoo also provides email hosting for,,,,,,,,,, and about thirty other email domains in other countries.


So. If you have a Yahoo or any AT&T account, change your password again.


And if you’re using the same email Yahoo address/password combo on sites other than your email (like Amazon, your bank, or anywhere else) change your password there, too.



Fewer robocalls on cell phones, maybe?


We may start getting fewer robocalls on our cell phones.


The FCC has new rules for telephone phone companies that may help them block robocallers. The new rules include:

  • Blocking robocalls that appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls.
  • Blocking calls purporting to be from a phone number placed on a “do not originate” list by the number’s subscriber.
  • Blocking calls from invalid numbers, like area codes that don’t exist, from numbers not assigned to a provider, and from numbers allocated to a provider but not currently in use.


The robocallers will probably figure out a way around these new rules, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll get fewer junk phone calls in the meantime.



Fun searches on Google


OK fun might be stretching it a bit, but search for “what sound does a dog make.” Google returns a list of animals with a speaker icon to hear what sound they make.


Or search for “fun facts, ” and Google will pop up a fact. I suppose it’s up to you if the facts are fun or not. Don’t like that fact? Just refresh, and you’ll get a new fact.


If you need to make a decision and don’t have a coin handy, search “flip a coin, ” and Google will do it for you.


To see what the Google homepage looked like in 1998, just search “Google in 1998.”



Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at

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