It's been little over a week and a half since a hacker crew called the Shadow Brokers released a batch of tools believed to have belonged to the NSA, designed to break through the defences of Windows systems.
Whilst Microsoft mysteriously patched its operating system to deflect attacks using the exploits a month before Shadow Brokers went public, the number of infected systems is still rising fast, as malicious hackers the world over take advantage of those who chose not to update. And Russia's cybercriminals have been tinkering with the leaked NSA arsenal as they look to piggyback on the technical prowess of America's finest digital spies.Read more
The United States Department of Defense is now migrating to Windows 10 as part of a broader effort announced in collaboration with Microsoft, and the transition to the new operating system is projected to be finalized in the fall of this year.
In the meantime, however, there are lots of computers operated by the Pentagon that are still running older Windows versions, and according to officials, some are even powered by Windows 95 or 98. Many of the critical computers are currently powered by unsupported Windows versions, including not only Windows XP but also releases that are more than 20 years old.Read more
Thanks to the Shadow Brokers, any hacker can now easily attack and pwn millions of Windows computers on the internet.
On Friday, the group known as The Shadow Brokers dropped the hacking equivalent of a bomb, or perhaps several bombs, giving hackers all over the world the tools to easily break into millions of Windows computers. "This is internet god mode for Microsoft computers," a security researcher told in an online chat. After weeks of silence, The Shadow Brokers came back last Saturday to drop a long-awaited set of files that turned out to be just underwhelming, old Linux hacking toolsRead more
Microsoft is bidding farewell to Windows Vista, more than 10 years after it first debuted. Support for Windows Vista ends today, meaning users will have to move to a more recent version of Windows to remain secure. It’s the end of an era for an operating system that arrived late to the market with widespread criticisms.
Codenamed Longhorn, Windows Vista was originally supposed to revolutionize Windows with a new file system and user interface. Microsoft’s development of Longhorn spiraled out of control, and the company was forced to reset its plans and focus on shipping a stable version of Windows in the middle of its development phase.Read more
Microsoft has been responding to Windows 10 privacy concerns for nearly two years now, and it appears the company has finally got the message and is prepared to act. Starting today, Microsoft is updating its privacy statement and publishing information about the data it collects as part of Windows 10.
“For the first time, we have published a complete list of the diagnostic data collected at the Basic level,” explains Windows chief Terry Myerson. “We are also providing a detailed summary of the data we collect from users at both Basic and Full levels of diagnostics.” Microsoft is introducing better controls around its Windows 10 data collection levels.Read more
Microsoft is being sued by three people who claim a Windows 10 update destroyed their data. The company "failed to exercise reasonable care in designing, formulating, and manufacturing the Windows 10 upgrade and placing it into the stream of commerce," the complaint filed in Chicago’s District Court alleges.
The complainants argue the software is defective and that any potential risks about installing it were not made clear by the manufacturer. "As a result of its failure to exercise reasonable care, [the company] distributed an operating system that was liable to cause loss of data or damage to hardware,” the complaint reads.Read more
Researchers came across a malicious Word document last week that doesn’t discriminate between OS platforms. The malicious Word document is designed to spread malware on either Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows, depending on where it’s opened.
Like many other strains of malware these days, the sample relies on tricking users into enabling macros. Once opened and macros are enabled, malicious VBA, or Visual Basic for Applications, code is executed, which runs the AutoOpen() macro. The macro goes on to read a base64-encoded string in the file, which depending on the operating system, executes a certain script.Read more
Researchers have discovered another technique cyber criminals can use to take over your computer. The zero-day attack called DoubleAgent exploits Microsoft's Application Verifier tool, which developers use to detect and fix bugs in their apps.
Developers have to load a DLL into their applications to check them, and researchers found that hackers can use the tool to inject their own DLLs instead of the one Microsoft provides. The team proved that the technique can be used to hijack anti-virus applications and turn them into malware. The corrupted app can then be used to take control of computers running any version of Windows.Read more
One of the least popular new “features” in Windows 10 is the advertising function Microsoft injected directly into the operating system. Ads show up in a number of ways, from promotions of Windows Store apps in the Start menu to pop-up “reminders” that Microsoft’s Edge browser gets better battery life than Google’s Chrome.
While Microsoft is addressing some other complaints about Windows 10 in the upcoming Creators Update — such as privacy concerns over the data that’s being transmitted and issues regarding how the operating system updates itself — the company seems intent on retaining Windows 10’s advertising functionality.Read more
European Union data protection watchdogs said on Monday they were still concerned about the privacy settings of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system despite the U.S. company announcing changes to the installation process.
The watchdogs, a group made up of the EU's 28 authorities responsible for enforcing data protection law, wrote to Microsoft last year expressing concerns about the default installation settings of Windows 10 and users' apparent lack of control over the company's processing of their data. The group - referred to as the Article 29 Working Party -asked for more explanation of Microsoft's processing of personal data for various purposes, including advertising.Read more