This Week in Geek: Apple reveals new tablet, updated PCs
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Oct 28, 2012 | 9057 views |  0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If the password to access any of your online accounts is “password,” congratulations — you’re using the most common login on the Internet.

Password management company SplashData last week released its list of the most frequently used passwords of 2012, which it compiles annually from data posted online by hackers.

The top five most-used logins remain the same as last year’s: “password,” “123456,” “12345678,” “abc123” and “qwerty” (the first six letters on the top row of a keyboard).

New additions to the list this year include entries such as “jesus,” “ninja” and “password1,” likely resulting from websites which require passwords with numbers.

That SplashData produces the list from information posted by hackers means individuals who use common passwords are more susceptible to cyber attacks.

The strongest Web passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and are at least eight characters long, SplashData said in a press release.

iPad Mini, new Mac PCs revealed

Apple on Tuesday unveiled a fleet of new computers, highlighted by the introduction of the anticipated iPad Mini.

The display of the smaller iPad measures 7.9 inches diagonally while the original iPad’s screen is 9.7 inches. This, Apple hopes, will fill a void in its tablet lineup as sales of smaller-screen devices have surged over the past year.

iPad Mini is as thin as a pencil and checks in at less than half the weight of its full-size counterpart, Apple executives said.

The base model version of iPad Mini retails for $329, which places Apple’s tablet around $100 above the cost of its key rivals. Apple began taking orders for the tablet Friday on its website.

Apple also upgraded the full-size iPad to include a faster processor and the company’s new “Lightning” power port, which may not sit well with customers who purchased an iPad after it was updated just seven months ago.

Refreshed versions of some of Apple’s best-selling computers were announced, as well, including a 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop featuring the company’s Retina Display technology and a new iMac desktop computer with a thinner case.

Facebook donates to UAB cybercrime program

Facebook announced last week that it donated a quarter of a million dollars to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for helping the social network defeat a notorious computer virus.

The virus, known as “Koobface,” propagated through Facebook for years by tricking users into paying for fake anti-virus software, which linked their computers to a malicious network.

The “command and control center” for Koobface was taken offline in March 2011 by Facebook investigators and has since not reappeared on the website, the social network said in a statement earlier this year.

Facebook credited two people in UAB’s Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research (CIA|JFR) — a former student, Brian Tanner, and director of Research in Computer Forensics, Gary Warner — as part of the team responsible for tracking down Koobface’s creators.

UAB said that it will use the donation toward building a new CIA|JFR headquarters on campus and expanding its cybercrime research facilities.
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This Week in Geek: Apple reveals new tablet, updated PCs by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star

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