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Hackers target developers to break into Apple’s garden

4 weeks 2 days ago

Developers should beware, as cybercriminals have figured out that the best attack vectors to infect the Apple ecosystem may be the developers themselves.

Developers, developers, malware writers

We’ve known for a long time that malware makers and other cyber-miscreants are smart. The work they do brings in real money, with a healthy trade in corporate and personal secrets, bank account details, fraud, and ransomware generating a market some say is already worth billions — even as it costs the global economy 1% of GDP.

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Jonny Evans

Microsoft provides Exchange Server defensive tool to help SMBs stymie zero-day attacks

1 month ago

Microsoft Tuesday issued instructions and a one-click tool to small businesses with on-premises Exchange servers to patch the vulnerability first disclosed by the company March 2, and which criminals have been using to spy on victims' communications as well as gain access to other parts of their networks.

"We realized that there was a need for a simple, easy to use, automated solution that would meet the needs of customers using both current and out-of-support versions of on-premises Exchange Server," Microsoft said in a post to a company blog attributed to the MSRC (Microsoft Security Research Center) Team.

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Gregg Keizer

Apple lives by its own privacy rules

1 month ago

One of the defensive arguments raised to protest Apple’s decision that developers place what it calls privacy labels alongside their apps has been that the company itself doesn’t apply the same rules to itself.

Apple lives by its own (privacy) rules

Apple has always said it intends to follow the same rules it imposes on developers and has now made privacy labels available for all of its apps, including its system utilities and the App Store itself. “Our privacy labels are designed to help you understand how apps handle your data, including apps we develop at Apple,” the company states on a page where it published the information.

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Jonny Evans

Stuck on Windows 10 1909? Some workarounds on moving forward

1 month ago

If you’re still running Windows 10 1909, you’re probably receiving a notification that your OS is about to reach the end of its life. Many are confused by the message because the Windows 10 platform is not losing support; instead, the feature release for Windows 10 Professional will be more than likely closing in May.

Microsoft

Windows 10 out of date?

First, check the Windows 10 feature release version you have. Click on Start, Settings, System, scroll down to the bottom, and choose About. If you scroll down to the Windows specifications section, you can see what version of Windows 10 you use. If it shows version 1909, you need to investigate why your machine has not yet received Windows 10 2004 or 20H1.

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Susan Bradley

Patch Exchange now, and test your Windows updates

1 month ago

If it weren't for the serious security issues surrounding on-premises Microsoft Exchange servers (CVE-2021-2685, CVE-2021-27065, CVE-2021-26857 and CVE-2021-26858), I would say things look pretty good for this month's Patch Tuesday. There are still things to test on the desktop, including printing, remote desktop connections via VPNs, and graphically intensive operations. And while the other lower-rated Microsoft Office and Development platform updates require attention, they don’t require a rapid response and can be added to the regular testing regime and deployment cadence.

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Greg Lambert

Users condemn Microsoft for removing KB IDs from some bug documentation

1 month ago

Microsoft's decision in February to strip an identifier used for decades from some Windows update release notes continues to draw the ire of customers.

On Feb. 18, the company announced on its Windows IT Pro blog that it would no longer include the KB identifier — KB for Knowledge Base — in the URLs of all online release notes associated with Windows update release details. The KB identifiers have been used by Microsoft for several decades to pinpoint individual bug fixes and guide customers to the appropriate documentation.

[ Related: Microsoft revamps Windows Insider release vernacular ]

"One of the primary ways that many find release notes is through the use of a KB identifier (KBID)," Christine Ahonen, a program manager at Microsoft, wrote in the post to the Windows IT Pro blog. "We use a unique identifier for each Windows update. Once a KBID is created, it is then used to identify the update throughout the release process, including documentation."

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Gregg Keizer

Jamf move improves enterprise security and compliance for macOS

1 month 1 week ago

Enterprise device management company Jamf has acquired new tools from cmdSecurity designed to help business-using Macs make the platform even more secure and to protect compliance in regulated industries.

It’s yet another clear signal of the extent to which the status of Apple’s platforms in business has changed.

Securing the endpoints

Jamf has acquired various tools and technical assets developed by cmdSecurity, a company whose founder wrote the security guidance for the use of Macs by the US government. The purchase includes the macOS security and compliance suite, cmdReporter, the developers of which, Daniel Griggs and Eric Metzger, have also joined Jamf.

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Jonny Evans

Pause Patch Tuesday updates, watch out for Exchange server attacks

1 month 1 week ago

With the arrival of Patch Tuesday for March, it’s time for me to urge you to again review how you handle updates from Microsoft — and hold off a bit before installing anything. By waiting a week or two, any earth-shattering side effects can be identified and workarounds found. (I give the same advice for the feature-release process. I normally wait until the next release is ready before I install the current one; it’s served me well to protect against side effects triggered by bad updates.)

So, before Microsoft’s patches arrive, here’s what to do: click on Start, go to Settings, then Update and security, Windows update, and look for Advanced options. Scroll down to the section that says, “Pause until” and pull down the “select date” to choose a specific date for dealing with updates. It should be at least a week after Patch Tuesday to give us time to deal with any issues. I personally patch on weekends when I have more time to handle any side effects. I recommend something like March 27 as a good date to choose. By then, we will have identified any issues.

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Susan Bradley

WFH security lessons from the pandemic

1 month 1 week ago

A year ago, IT and cybersecurity teams faced a number of challenges — constantly emerging threats, data privacy regulations, and a significant and widening skills gap, to name a few. Then things really got difficult.

Tech Spotlight: Security

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on business processes changed the security dynamic in a big way, making matters even more complex. Shifts to cloud services were accelerated. E-commerce efforts were launched or expanded. COVID-related cyberattacks became common.

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Bob Violino

When Windows bug fixes go bad, IT can now roll back individual changes

1 month 1 week ago

Microsoft this week announced a new enterprise-only flexibility in Windows servicing that lets IT professionals roll back individual non-security elements of an update when a change breaks something.

The feature, dubbed "Known Issue Rollback," aka KIR, is an unusually frank admission that the company's nearly six-year-long experiment of forcing customers to either accept everything in an update or pass on the update entirely, is flawed.

"Even as quality has improved over the last five years, we do acknowledge that sometimes things can and do go wrong," Namrata Bachwani, principal program manager lead, said in a March 2 session video from Microsoft's all-virtual Ignite conference. 

"In the past, you had two choices: all or nothing," Bachwani continued. "You either take it all, so you install the update and you get all the great fixes that you want and the problem, which is causing an issue for your customers. Or you take nothing.

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Gregg Keizer

Of February’s patches, Ignite, and the fate of Windows 10 feature releases

1 month 2 weeks ago

We finished off February with an all clear for that month’s Microsoft updates. So if you haven’t installed updates as we get into March, make sure you do so at this time.  

I do recommend that you skip KB4535680, the Microsoft secure boot patch that’s been disruptive if you have Bitlocker enabled. (Many patchers reported that it triggered the Bitlocker recovery password.) If you got it installed, fantastic! You don’t need to uninstall it now. There isn’t a problem with the update; instead, there is a problem during the installation and for workstations with Bitlocker.

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Susan Bradley

3 Android 12 features you can bring to any phone today

1 month 2 weeks ago

Google's Android 12 software is nowhere near ready for prime time, but Goog almighty: We've sure seen plenty of hints about some of the tantalizing touches it could include. And if you're anything like me, that makes it tough not to feel at least a teensy bit hungry for a taste.

The current Android 12 developer preview, unfortunately, won't do much to satisfy that craving. It's basically just a barebones framework of the software, made mostly for developers, and most of the mouthwatering morsels are carefully tucked away, disabled, and not yet visible or available for regular-mammal phone-owner use.

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JR Raphael

Podcast: 30K Macs infected with "Silver Sparrow" virus; M1 Mac SSD health

1 month 2 weeks ago

Security researchers uncovered malware affecting tens of thousands of macOS devices, but it's unclear what exactly the malware does. Affecting both Intel and Apple Silicon processors, this malware, nicknamed "Silver Sparrow," still poses a threat. And in other Apple news, some M1 Mac users have reported that the SSDs on their new systems are being overused. Macworld executive editor Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet to discuss Apple's response to the virus and SSD issues and what users can do if they've been affected.

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Juliet Beauchamp,

Ken Mingis,

Michael Simon

How to hire and retain Black tech pros — for real

1 month 3 weeks ago

American companies are once again promising to increase minority hiring and retention in the aftermath of the 2020 police killings of George Floyd and other Black people and subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations. But Black people have heard this promise before — for decades, in fact — with little tangible change in the low employment numbers of Black engineers, developers, and IT pros.

For companies that really do want to change their staffs to better reflect diversity in the US, it’s time to go beyond words and take action. To help you do that, Computerworld talked to several people in the frontlines of promoting the hiring of Black people for tech jobs. Their advice was strong and unambiguous: Define the business case for diversity, then follow up with a determined action plan and establish the metrics to monitor the results and adjust course as needed. And perhaps even harder, learn to truly connect with the Black community to establish the relationships that lead to sustainable diversity.

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Galen Gruman

Two big buts about Samsung's Android security update announcement

1 month 3 weeks ago

Didja see? Samsung's pledging a full four years of support for security updates on its Galaxy-branded Android phones. Well, shiver me timbers: That sure is somethin'!

Samsung slapped the news down onto these here internerfs of ours Monday morning, and the glowing headlines predictably followed — with some stories going as far as to proclaim Samsung as the new undisputed "king of Android upgrades" or to declare that the company was now "beating Google at its own game."

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JR Raphael

Why Apple should let you define private places on iPhones

1 month 3 weeks ago

If you’ve ever found the Significant Locations section on your iPhone, then a recently published study that shows how such data can be used to decipher personal information about users should pose some alarm.

Significant Locations

The way Significant Locations works is that your iPhone keeps a list of places you frequently visit. This list usually shows your favorite places and shops and will, of course, log the location of any service you might visit often, such as the medical center.

Apple gathers this information to provide “useful location-related information” in its apps and services, and promises this data is encrypted and cannot be read by Apple. But I’m a little unclear whether this information is made available to third-party apps.

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Jonny Evans
Checked
17 minutes 32 seconds ago
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About SecurityFeeds

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Tim Weil is a Security Architect/IT Security Manager with over twenty five years of IT management, consulting and engineering experience in the U.S. Government and Communications Industry.  Mr. Weil's technical areas of expertise include IT Security Management, Enterprise Security Architecture, FISMA Compliance, Identity Management, and Network Engineering. Mr. Weil is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has served in several IEEE positions.