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Help File: hijacked searches over an insecure wireless router; time zone support in Google Calendar

By Rob Pegoraro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 11, 2010; 8:02 PM

Q: When I run a Web search in Safari, I keep getting sent to other sites, some sketchy-looking.

A: A reader sent in this report - along with, helpfully enough, the solution he found.

The flaw was not malware or a misconfiguration on his Mac, as fruitless troubleshooting at an Apple Store demonstrated.

But, he wrote, his 13-year-old nephew outsmarted the Genius Bar on this one. The boy checked the settings on his AirPort wireless router and discovered that the AirPort's password hadn't been changed from the default - allowing somebody to log in and change its domain-name system setting to a malicious Russian operation.

DNS maps addresses like apple.com to their underlying Internet Protocol addresses. Losing it essentially breaks the Internet.

The nephew changed the DNS server to a safe address (your provider's will be fine, or you can use a third-party alternative like the free OpenDNS or Google Public DNS) and switched the router password as well.

Sound unlikely? It can happen - you can easily find this kind of report at troubleshooting sites, and earlier Post reports have described it as well. If you haven't changed your router password from the default, consider this your reminder to do so.

Q: Has anything changed with Google Calendar and time zones?

A: On Tuesday, Google added time-zone support to Calendar.

As I griped here in April, such a basic feature should have been in GCal long ago. But this belated implementation (including the flight-friendly option of different zones for an event's start and end) is easy enough to use: Just click the "Time zone" link on an event's details page.

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