Microsoft releases emergency Windows update to hamstring earlier 'Spectre' defense

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 12:23:00 -0800

Microsoft on Saturday issued an out-of-band Windows security update that disabled a patch the company released earlier this month to protect personal computers from possible attacks leveraging one of the “Spectre” vulnerabilities.

The weekend release was Microsoft’s response to an announcement seven days ago by Intel, which told customers of all stripes – from computer makers to end users – to stop deploying the firmware updates it had offered after disclosures of the Spectre and Meltdown flaws. According to Intel, the new firmware “may introduce [a] higher-than-expected [number of] reboots and other unpredictable system behavior” on Broadwell and Haswell processors. Those silicon families were introduced in 2015 and 2013, respectively.

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Intel says new firmware patches trigger reboots in Haswell and Broadwell systems

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 05:18:00 -0800

The headlong race to cover the Meltdown/Spectre debacle has claimed another victim. In a surprising move, Intel has raised a red flag about some of its firmware patches. What should you do? Wait.

Yesterday, Intel executive VP Navin Shenoy posted on the company blog:

We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates. Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center. We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue. If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels.

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CES 2018: The top 9 new products for the enterprise

Credit to Author: Peter Sayer| Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:24:00 -0800

Alexa on Windows 10 PCs at CES 2018
hp alexa

Image by HP

At CES 2018 everyone was talking about – or talking to – Amazon.com’s Alexa digital assistant. It’s omnipresent – around the home and in phones, cars and, increasingly, offices. You’ll probably even find it in your next Windows 10 PC. It’s already in the new HP Pavilion Wave small form-factor PC (pictured); the Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks from Acer; the 2018 ZenBook and VivoBook from Asus, and the Thinkpad X1 Carbon and Yoga devices from Lenovo.

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Windows 7 takes biggest performance hit from emergency Meltdown, Spectre updates

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:09:00 -0800

Microsoft said Tuesday that Windows 7 PCs would run slower after receiving and installing the crash updates designed to stymie attacks that leverage the recently-disclosed vulnerabilities in virtually every in-use microprocessor.

But for Windows 10, a Microsoft executive said, “We don’t expect most users to notice a change because these [slowdown] percentages are reflected in milliseconds.”

The contrast, general though it was, came from Terry Myerson, who leads the company’s Windows group.

“With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kaby Lake or newer CPU), benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns,” Myerson wrote in a Tuesday post to a Microsoft blog. Skylake and Kaby Lake were the codenames for the Intel processors launched in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The bulk of new personal computers sold in 2016 and 2017 were equipped with Skylake or Kaby Lake CPUs (central processor units).

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What is Windows Hello? Microsoft’s biometrics security system explained

Credit to Author: Matt Kapko| Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2017 03:17:00 -0800

Windows Hello is a biometrics-based technology that enables Windows 10 users to authenticate secure access to their devices, apps, online services and networks with just a fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition. The sign-in mechanism is essentially an alternative to passwords and is widely considered to be a more user friendly, secure and reliable method to access critical devices, services and data than traditional logins using passwords.

“Windows Hello solves a few problems: security and inconvenience,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Traditional passwords are unsafe as they are hard to remember, and therefore people either choose easy-to-guess passwords or write down their passwords.”

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Lock it down: The macOS security guide (updated)

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 06:11:00 -0800

Malware is everywhere, and Macs are not immune. You can ignore the potential threat if you choose, but if you are an enterprise user holding confidential data, an educator in possession of private data, or even a Bitcoin collector who maybe clicked a few too many links on one of those dodgy faucet websites, you should know how to secure your Mac.

First, some common sense security tips

Before we get into some of the security technology inside your Mac (including a wide range of security improvements in High Sierra) it is important to point out that the biggest threat your computer faces is the person using it. Cyber attackers are highly sophisticated and can piece together lots of information about you or companies associated with you by simply getting a little more data a little at a time. Make it hard for those people by following simple tips, including:

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Lock it down: The macOS security guide

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 06:11:00 -0800

Apple’s systems are highly secure, but if your private or enterprise data matters to you it’s essential to ensure your Mac is as highly secured as possible. This quick guide should help you do just that.

Keep it zippy

Malware is everywhere and Macs are not immune. You can ignore the potential threat if you choose, but if you are an enterprise user holding confidential data, an educator in possession of private data, or even a Bitcoin collector who maybe clicked a few too many links on one of those dodgy faucet websites, you should know to get your Mac secured.

Common sense first

Before we get into some of the security technology inside your Mac (including a wide range of security improvements in High Sierra) it is also important to point out that the biggest threat your computer faces is the person using it. Cyberattackers are highly sophisticated and can piece together lots of information about you, or companies associated with you by simply getting a little more data a little at a time. Make it hard for those people by following simple tips, including:

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15% off APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector with USB Charging Ports and SurgeArrest – Deal Alert

Credit to Author: DealPost Team| Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2017 05:35:00 -0800

Be it a lightning strike that destroys a home entertainment center or consistently fluctuating power that degrades the performance and shortens the life of your electronics – surges, lightning, and other power disturbances can have a devastating impact on the valuable electronics you rely on every day. The P11U2 from APC offers guaranteed surge protection. Connect and protect up to 11 electronics, and conveniently charge your mobile devices via 2 additional USB ports. Installation is convenient and easy with a 180-degree rotating power cord and right-angle plug. Lastly, three LED indicators inform you if there is any overload, unit, or wall wiring issues. The P11U2 averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 1,800 people on Amazon (read reviews), where its typical list price of $34.25 is discounted 15% to $28.99. See this deal on Amazon.

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Tech Talk: Azure Stack, cyberattacks, the next iPhone and … keyboards

Credit to Author: Ken Mingis| Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 09:00:00 -0700

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