Weekly tech bulletin for week ending 2015-05-31. Windows 10 launch, IRS hacked an more.
Published: Sun, 31 May 2015 by Rad
Published: May 31, 2015 software
One year to update for free
Terry Myerson, head of the OS unit at Microsoft, has confirmed today that July 29 is the date for Windows 10, adding that anyone who purchases a computer running Windows 8.1 between today and late next month is already able to reserve the free upgrade to the new OS.
Starting June 1, Microsoft is displaying Windows 10 upgrade notifications on computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, so users running any of these OS versions can reserve their free upgrade and will be notified when it becomes available.
According to leaked document Windows 10 will be available for purchase on August 31, according to a page on the Newegg site. Microsoft confirmed Monday that the company will sell Windows 10 at retail for the same price as Windows 8.1: $119 for Windows 10 Home, $199 for Windows 10 Professional, and $99 for a Windows 10 Pro Pack to jump from a licensed copy of Windows 10 Home to the Professional version.
Follow news.softpedia.com to read more.
Published: May 29, 2015 security
A thorn in the side of US government agencies
The admission comes just days after the IRS announced that hackers acquired critical taxpayer information from over 100,000 people through its "Get Transcript" tool. The agency said that the hackers used information obtained from previous hacks, including names, Social Security numbers and intimate details on the individuals, to receive a transcript of past tax returns.
According to the Associated Press, over $50 million in tax refunds was handed to the hackers before the attack was discovered this month.
In all, about 200,000 attempts were made from questionable email domains, with more than 100,000 of those attempts successfully clearing authentication hurdles
So far, the key details in the attack have not followed other hacks from Russia. In the IRS case, hackers used the legitimate "Get Transcript" tool to access all the taxpayer information they needed to file fraudulent returns. Those hackers conducted targeted attacks with information they already had from a previous hack on a third-party service, the IRS said, without noting which hack may have caused the initial data breach.
Follow www.cnet.com to read more.
Published: May 28, 2015 software
Shortlist of most important announcements
The first new feature is "App permissions," simplifying what data users allow apps to access. In this new model, apps on Android M will no longer ask for a lengthy permissions list upon installation, but instead prompt the user for permission when the app needs to use a feature (i.e. camera or microphone).
Chrome Custom Tabs allows developers to add custom features that overlays on top of apps. For example, the Pinterest app can add custom transition animation to link to the Web, directly within the app. There's also a new app linking feature that will allow apps to verify links to switch from app to app quickly.
Battery - A new "dozing" feature is designed to help save battery life when the device's motion sensor is stagnant. Alarms and notifications will still push to the phone in this state, however.
Follow thenextweb.com to read more.
Published: May 29, 2015 security
"The government will focus on strengthening the safety of software in the financial sector and for applications used by government departments and State-owned enterprises this year" ... "We are expecting to see breakthroughs in advanced domestic software development within the next five years."Chen Wei, director of the software bureau at the ministry
Chinese software acquired by way of government procurement has seen steady growth
China's concern with cyber-security was given a powerful boost following the revelations of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the universal surveillance capabilities of the US intelligence agencies undertaking questionable practices to intercept all kind of data over the World Wide Web and straddle international communication lines
The US National Security Agency reportedly spied on the major Chinese networking company Huawei during an intelligence campaign against China, as German press had previously reported. Chinese politicians such as former president Hu Jintao, the Trade Ministry, as well as banks and telecommunications companies were also targeted. Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the 2009 operation dubbed "Shotgiant" against Huawei, the major competitor of US-based Cisco.
Follow www.hotforsecurity.com to read more.
Published: May 29, 2015 security
A malicious browser script being used to change DNS settings
Researchers at Trend Micro have discovered a malicious browser script being used to change DNS settings on home routers in some parts of the world in a bid to steal login credentials and other sensitive data from users of the devices. The campaign is another sign that DNS hijacking is becoming an increasingly popular attack method for criminal hackers.
In the latest instance, discovered by Trend Micro, nearly 88 percent of the victims of the latest campaign are based in Brazil, but infections have also been observed in the U.S. and Japan, according to Trend Micro.
To compromise routers the threat actors behind the campaign first lure victims to websites containing the malicious script. When someone lands on such sites, the browser script performs a brute-force attack on the underlying home router to try and gain access to its administrative interface.
Follow www.darkreading.com to read more.
Published: May 27, 2015 security
62 companies in 16 industry sectors analyzed
The cost per record takes into account indirect costs, such as abnormal turnover or churn of customers, as well as direct costs caused by the breach itself, including technology investment and legal fees. Only $74 was attributed to direct costs.
The study also noted, however, that not all records are seen as equal when stolen. Health records have an average cost of $398 each, whereas retail records cost $189 each.
Having an incident response plan and team in place, for example, decreased the average cost to $193.2 million. On the other hand, third party breaches increased the average cost to $246 million.
Follow www.scmagazine.com to read more.
Published: May 28, 2015 tech
"Innovative government agencies, like DOJ, are deeply committed to leveraging emerging cloud technologies to better serve the American people, while ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information,"Aaron Levie, Box CEO
The DOJ will be employing Box for three main reasons:
- to simplify internal and external collaboration between component agencies and third party organisations
- seamlessly support mobile and offline access to content for employees
- and reduce the complexity of infrastructure by eliminating fragmented content
Box's play into federal government has been relatively recent. In March, the company announced the arrival of Sonny Hashmi, former CIO of the General Services Administration, to help lead the company's efforts in the space. The firm also continues to pursue FedRAMP security compliance, as can be seen here, but suffered a setback when competitor Huddle beat it to the punch in March.
Follow www.cloudcomputing-news.net to read more.
Published: May 28, 2015 e-commerce
Applies to qualifying orders $35 and up
Qualifying same-day orders that cost less than $35 will be charged an additional $5.99 for same-day speed, as Prime customers had already paid up until today. Meanwhile, should an order be placed too late in the day, Prime customers will still enjoy free one-day shipping.
Orders must be placed before the Same-Day Delivery order cutoff time (typically noon) to qualify; orders placed after the cutoff qualify for FREE One-Day Shipping.
Follow arstechnica.com to read more.
Published: May 26, 2015 security
Gave up his own life... to help the rest of us.
"Total hero to me; total hero," Steve Vozniak for ITP.com . "Not necessarily [for] what he exposed, but the fact that he internally came from his own heart, his own belief in the United States Constitution, what democracy and freedom was about. And now a federal judge has said that NSA data collection was unconstitutional."
Two years ago, Wozniak favorably compared Snowden to Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. Last year, Wozniak also told reporters that he briefly met Snowden at a small event in Moscow, where the former NSA employee is currently living.
Wozniak has expressed some regret in the past for the role technology has played in allowing the government to expand its surveillance efforts.
Follow fortune.com to read more.
Published: May 29, 2015 crime
Spending the rest of life in prison.
A year and a half after he was arrested in a San Francisco library - and four years after he first created the online drug marketplace Silk Road -U lbricht is now looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.
In court, Ulbricht expressed remorse and asked for a lenient sentence, echoing a letter he had submitted days earlieir. "I wish I could go back and convince myself to take a different path," he told Judge Katherine Forrest
A jury found Ulbricht guilty of seven charges at the end of his trial in early February 2015. His sentencing brings an end for now to the courtroom battle over a man seen by some as a drug lord and by others as a hero. The defense says, however, that they will appeal.
In addition to life in prison, Ulbricht also owes the government almost $200 million, as outlined in a memo filed by the prosecution on Thursday. The $183,961,921 accounts for all illegal drug and fake ID sales in Bitcoin on the Silk Road.
Follow www.forbes.com to read more.
Our previous bulletins stories
- Weekly tech bulletin for week ending 2015-05-24. Apple verdict reversed, NSA malware plans and more.
- Weekly tech bulletin for week ending 2015-05-17. Verizon buys AOL.
- Weekly tech bulletin for week ending on 2015-05-10. 11 Technology news as it happened.