Andy Patrizio

Author Archives: Andy Patrizio

Security researcher blasts Tizen: ‘May be the worst code I’ve ever seen’

Samsung has had enough struggles with Tizen, the open-source operating system it is positioning as an alternative to Android. But now Tizen is being blasted by a security expert for being full of egregious security flaws and sloppy programming.Israeli researcher Amihai Neiderman, who heads the research department for Equus Software, spoke at Kaspersky Lab's Security Analyst Summit and later to Motherboard, the tech site run by Vice.com. Neiderman said Tizen's code "may be the worst code I've ever seen. Everything you can do wrong there, they do it."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Major zero-day flaw found in Microsoft Word

McAfee security researchers are warning of a new zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word being exploited via attached .rtf files since at least January.The exploit allows a Word document to install malware onto your PC without you ever knowing it, giving the attackers full access to your machine. According to McAfee, the exploit works by connecting to a remote server controlled by the hackers, which will download a file that runs as a .hta file, a dynamic HTML file that is used in Word. Security firm FireEye also noted similar malicious .rtf files in its own alert. Both firms say the flaws are within Microsoft's Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technology and affects all versions of Office, including Office 2016 for Windows 10.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Major zero-day flaw found in Microsoft Word

McAfee security researchers are warning of a new zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word being exploited via attached .rtf files since at least January.The exploit allows a Word document to install malware onto your PC without you ever knowing it, giving the attackers full access to your machine. According to McAfee, the exploit works by connecting to a remote server controlled by the hackers, which will download a file that runs as a .hta file, a dynamic HTML file that is used in Word. Security firm FireEye also noted similar malicious .rtf files in its own alert. Both firms say the flaws are within Microsoft's Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technology and affects all versions of Office, including Office 2016 for Windows 10.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft buys open-source container developer Deis

Microsoft today announced it is acquiring Deis, a company that has been building open-source tools for rapid and easy creation and management of applications on Kubernetes, the open-source container cluster manager for automated deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. This is not Microsoft’s first foray into containers. It announced plans to work with Google, which created Kubernetes before turning it over to a consortium, back in 2014. In February of this year, Microsoft made Kubernetes generally available on its own Azure Container Service.+ Also on Network World: Containers: IT history seems to be repeating itself + Containers are an alternative to virtual machines in that they let organizations build, deploy and move applications to and from the cloud without a full virtual machine. Containers have a much smaller footprint and thus take up fewer resources.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Privacy settings may be the Creators Update’s biggest change

From the time it launched, Windows 10 has been the source of controversy over its aggressive monitoring of user activity, and I readily admit to fanning those flames at the start. A cottage industry of utilities has sprung up that will turn off all of the offending features in one fell swoop, which has quieted a lot of people, me included.RELATED: 11 hidden tips and tweaks for Windows 10 With the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has made a major change in the nature of its data collection in the OS and has revealed a great deal of information on the telemetry that it gathers from your system. It is documented in a lengthy blog post by Windows chief Terry Myerson.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft Surface beats Apple iPad in JD Power tests

History repeats itself as Microsoft, late to the tablet party and needing a few revisions to make Surface a success, has beaten all of its tablet rivals in the JD Power 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. It's the first time Microsoft has topped the charts since the survey was first introduced by JD Power.Overall, Microsoft scored 855 out of a possible 1,000 points, narrowly beating Apple with 849 and Samsung with 847. JD Power said Microsoft was the top performer in three areas: pre-loaded applications, internet connectivity and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft shutters CodePlex in favor of GitHub

Microsoft announced on Friday it is shutting down CodePlex, its code hosting site for open-source projects, in favor of the more widely used GitHub. The move is something of a formality, since Microsoft has already been transitioning its open-source projects to GitHub for some time and you never hear about CodePlex any more. The company has had problems with the site, with spammers hitting it in 2015 seeking to take advantage of the CodePlex.com domain to boost their illicit activities. And Microsoft admits over the past few years, it has watched many CodePlex projects migrate to GitHub. Brian Harry, a corporate vice president at Microsoft, wrote in his blog announcing the closing of CodePlex that there has been a substantial decrease in usage. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Do you own your social media contacts or does your employer?

Who among us hasn't taken a contact list when they left a job? Whether you leave voluntarily or involuntarily, one of the things you pack up is your Rolodex, or the modern equivalent, to take with you to the next job. It's pretty much standard.But what if you are a public figure and have a sizable social media following? Can you keep your millions of Facebook and/or Twitter followers? That issue has not been hashed out, but it might be in Dallas.+ Also on Network World: Facebook working with fact-checkers to weed out fake news + The Blaze, a news network established by talk show host Glenn Beck, is in the midst of parting company with its highest profile on-air talent aside from Beck. The company is severing ties with Tomi Lahren, a hotheaded 24-year-old whose on-air blasts of "snowflakes" and Black Lives Matter have made her a rising star in conservative circles.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft signs off on Windows 10 Creators Update final code

After a few more test builds in recent weeks, Microsoft has officially signed off on Build 15063 as the final code for the Windows 10 Creators Update and is making it widely available for download. Build 15063 was released last week to Windows Insiders for testing, and it seems this build is the RTM build that will be sent out to the general public next month. While Microsoft hasn't said anything official yet, the official Windows 10 Update Assistant tool is listing Build 15063 as the Creators Update. Microsoft released an Update Assistant last year for the Anniversary Update. This new version was leaked to the internet by Microsoft tipster Walking Cat (a fairly reliable source of news on Microsoft), so a lot of people, including Windows bloggers, have it.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Windows Insider Program surpasses 10 million users

Microsoft announced that the Windows Insider Program—its global community of testers who run interim builds of Windows 10 and serve as beta testers/guinea pigs for what might be an unstable build on their personal machines—has passed the 10 million mark.It's taken a while to get here after a fast start. The program launched in September 2014 with the modest hopes of getting 400,000 enthusiasts on board. Instead, it hit 1 million after a few weeks. Back in August 2015, the number stood at 6 million people, and less than a month later Microsoft said it was up to 7 million.RELATED: 11 hidden tips and tweaks for Windows 10 Then things got quiet. Clearly an 18-month lag between the 7 million and 10 million mark means things plateaued, and perhaps Microsoft didn't want to admit it. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Hadoop fails to live up to the promise and the hype

Hadoop, the open source big data framework first developed at Yahoo for analyzing large data sets, is a total failure that costs too much and is too much of a headache to implement, say people in the field. In a lengthy and in-depth piece on Datanami, big data experts describe Hadoop as too primitive for any kind of complex processing work or interactive, user-facing applications. At best, it's a batch process job, which is how Hadoop started out. It doesn't seem to have grown beyond it. “I can’t find a happy Hadoop customer. It’s sort of as simple as that,” Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake Computing, told Datanami. Snowflake develops and runs a cloud-based relational data warehouse product. “It’s very clear to me, technologically, that it’s not the technology base the world will be built on going forward.” To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Now WikiLeaks threatens to disclose software vulnerabilities

Earlier this month, the notorious info leaker WikiLeaks published a batch of documents from the CIA detailing how the CIA has developed several tools to crack, break into or infect all kinds of devices—from PCs to Smart TVs—even if they are not connected to the internet. At the time, WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange promised that the site would work with the affected tech companies to give them exclusive access to the technical details of those exploits and would not go public with the exploits and back doors. However, it wasn't until this week that WikiLeaks got in contact with the listed tech companies, such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, according to Motherboard, the tech site run by Vice. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Motherboard said WikiLeaks has made demands on the initial contact with firms but didn't share any of the alleged CIA codes. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Now WikiLeaks threatens to disclose software vulnerabilities

Earlier this month, the notorious info leaker WikiLeaks published a batch of documents from the CIA detailing how the CIA has developed several tools to crack, break into or infect all kinds of devices—from PCs to Smart TVs—even if they are not connected to the internet. At the time, WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange promised that the site would work with the affected tech companies to give them exclusive access to the technical details of those exploits and would not go public with the exploits and back doors. However, it wasn't until this week that WikiLeaks got in contact with the listed tech companies, such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, according to Motherboard, the tech site run by Vice. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Motherboard said WikiLeaks has made demands on the initial contact with firms but didn't share any of the alleged CIA codes. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Windows 10 Creators Update: Microsoft removes, depreciates features specific to IT professionals

Microsoft is in the process of finalizing the Windows 10 Creators Update, preparing new builds for what will eventually become Release Candidates (RC). Windows Insiders could get the first RC as early as next week, while the final version is expected to roll out to all Windows 10 users starting in April. With the change in strategy, Microsoft is shipping much more ambitious new functionality in its updates. It is delivering the equivalent of what it used to call Service Packs, minus the cumulative bug fixes, at a rate of one to two every year. RELATED: 11 hidden tips and tweaks for Windows 10 The Creators Update, so named because it's targeting creative professionals above all, has a wide range of new features, such as: To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Samsung announces competitor to Siri, Cortana

The field of personal digital assistants is only getting more crowded, with Samsung's new entry Bixby joining the fray. The Korean electronics giant announced the new assistant ahead of the Galaxy 8 smartphone, where it will make its debut. Bixby was thought to be the product of Viv, an AI assistant created by the same team that created Siri before Apple acquired it. Samsung acquired the Viv team last year. But Bixby is a new product from Samsung and intended to be a little different from the typical digital assistant. + Also on Network World: Virtual assistant faceoff: Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant and Siri + While Bixby will do most of the typical digital assistant functions found in Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, it also adds three new elements: context awareness, cognitive tolerance and completeness. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft ends updates for Windows 7/8.1 on new processors

As it promised, Microsoft has stopped issuing updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users whose PCs run Intel's seventh-generation processors (codename Kaby Lake), AMD's seventh-generation processors (Bristol Ridge), and Qualcomm's 8996 processor or newer. It's also likely that AMD's new Ryzen processor is included in that list. Bristol Ridge is a slightly older processor made on an older core design.Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on January 2015, but extended support—in other words, patches—is supposed to continue until January 2020. Support for Windows 8.1 runs through next year and support ends in 2023. However, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs running these new CPUs will not scan for updates or download them from Windows Update. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users with new processors who run the Windows Update tool get one of two messages. The first is straightforward: To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft announces AI Immersion Workshop

Microsoft intends to run an AI Immersion Workshop in Seattle on May 9, a free pre-event to Microsoft Build developer conference.The workshop is a special opportunity for advanced developers looking to create the next generation of scalable, real-world intelligent apps that use the very latest AI and machine learning techniques.The workshop will feature hands-on tutorials using Microsoft and open-source technologies. Microsoft developers will be there, and the workshop is said to be an opportunity to connect with developers and data scientists working on Microsoft’s products and services, as well as to connect with industry peers. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

FBI trained Geek Squad techs on law-enforcement tactics, new records show

The connection between the FBI and Best Buy's internal service and repair organization Geek Squad went a lot further than initially thought, according to newly unsealed records in a case involving a doctor charged with child pornography after bringing in a laptop for repair. The Orange County (California) Weekly has been all over a case involving a well-respected physician Dr. Mark A. Rettenmaier. Rettenmaier took his laptop to the Mission Viejo Best Buy in November 2011 after he was unable to start it. + Also on Network World: Why you shouldn't trust Geek Squad ever again + While performing a recovery scan of his data files, a Geek Squad technician found an image of "a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck." The technician notified his boss, who alerted the FBI. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

FBI trained Geek Squad techs on law-enforcement tactics, new records show

The connection between the FBI and Best Buy's internal service and repair organization Geek Squad went a lot further than initially thought, according to newly unsealed records in a case involving a doctor charged with child pornography after bringing in a laptop for repair. The Orange County (California) Weekly has been all over a case involving a well-respected physician Dr. Mark A. Rettenmaier. Rettenmaier took his laptop to the Mission Viejo Best Buy in November 2011 after he was unable to start it. + Also on Network World: Why you shouldn't trust Geek Squad ever again + While performing a recovery scan of his data files, a Geek Squad technician found an image of "a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck." The technician notified his boss, who alerted the FBI. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Anonymous hacker causes dark web to shrink by as much as 85%

An attack by Anonymous, the shadowy hacker crew that seems to alternate between good guys and bad guys depending on the issue, help cut the dark web down by as much as 85 percent, according to a new report. Anonymous turned its sights on Freedom Hosting II, a hosting service for Tor-based sites, at the start of February. Freedom Hosting II (FHII) was the host to over 10,000 dark web sites, many of them hosting images of sexually abused children. It was named after another host, Freedom Hosting, that Anonymous took down in 2011. An Anonymous hacker went after the service after they discovered the provider knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. The hacker who did it told Vice it was his first hack, and he didn't intend to take down the site—just look through it. When he found large amounts of child porn, he deduced the site knew what was going on and he decided to take down the hosts. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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