Microsoft Squelches Trickbot Ransomware Network | Cybersecurity

By John P. Mello Jr.

Oct 13, 2020 4:17 AM PT

An outlaw online network that’s been used to infect millions of computers with ransomware has been disrupted by Microsoft.

The company announced Monday that, together with telecommunications providers around the world, it was able to cut off the infrastructure used by the Trickbot botnet so it could no longer be used to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already planted on computer systems.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Customer Security & Trust Tom Burt noted in a company blog that the United States government and independent experts have cautioned that ransomware is one of the largest threats to the upcoming elections.

“Adversaries can use ransomware to infect a computer system used to maintain voter rolls or report on election-night results, seizing those systems at a prescribed hour optimized to sow chaos and distrust,” Burt wrote.

“In addition to protecting

Read More

Microsoft Hones Edge in Time for Holiday Shopping | Internet

Given the pandemic, we are likely to have a new record for online shopping this year. The combination of concerns about COVID-19 and the continued shut down of brick and mortar stores, particularly big-box stores, will push a record number of us to shop online.

In anticipation of this move, Microsoft has aggressively updated its new Chromium version of the Edge browser with several features that should help you find gifts and save money while remaining far safer while on the web.

Let’s talk about these improvements to Edge this week, and we’ll close with a new notebook computer from Gateway, which appears to have the near-perfect blend of size, price, and performance for our new COVID-19 normal.

Price Comparison

I tend to live on Amazon, but even during Prime days I’m never sure if I’m honestly getting a great deal or not. But comparison shopping is a pain in

Read More

Newest RoboLinux 11 Update Goes Far Beyond Typical Linux | Reviews

RoboLinux is one of the most advanced desktop Linux distributions you can find. The latest release is even better, making it potentially THE best Linux variety available today for desktop users.

The Oct. 9 release of RoboLinux 11.13 is an upgraded build of the project’s Ubuntu-based distribution. But wait, there is a whole lot more to RoboLinux than just another Ubuntu-based retread.

RoboLinux is a unique distro that focuses on incorporating versions of Windows XP through Windows 10 within a fully functional Linux operating system. Many of the specialized systems applications in this Linux distro are devoted to transplanting the Windows OS and software to run in a virtual machine.

This latest version brings insanely fast bootup times. Can you say under 10 seconds? That kind of performance blows the doors of my most costly Chromebooks which are known for rapid bootup times.

This all happens without the hassle normally

Read More

Open Source Processes Driving Software-Defined Everything | Software

The Linux Foundation (LF) has been quietly nudging an industrial revolution. It is instigating a unique change towards software-defined everything that represents a fundamental shift for vertical industries.

LF on September 24 published an extensive report on how software-defined everything and open-source software is digitally transforming essential vertical industries worldwide.

“Software-defined vertical industries: transformation through open source” delves into the major vertical industry initiatives served by the Linux Foundation. It highlights the most notable open-source projects and why the foundation believes these key industry verticals, some over 100 years old, have transformed themselves using open source software.

Digital transformation refers to a process that turns all businesses into tech businesses driven by software. This change towards software-defined everything is a fundamental shift for vertical industry organizations, many of which typically have small software development teams relative to most software vendors.

Some of the world’s largest, most regulated, complex and centuries-old

Read More

Drones for Hire Take to the Sky | Emerging Tech

When Amazon first proposed using drones to deliver packages back in 2013, it kicked off a firestorm. Google in 2014 disclosed it had been working on a secret drone delivery project, and NASA in 2015 announced it was working on a cloud-based unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management system.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs began offering drones as a service by renting drones to companies to do aerial photography or shoot videos, for surveying and mapping, and other services.

By 2018 the Drone-as-a-Service industry was in trouble, according to a piece by Joshua Ziering in Commercial UAV News, which covers the drone industry.

Hardware quality had improved while would-be drone pilots only were only required to take a two-hour exam to get their license under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107).

At the same time, large companies that had outsourced drone operations to service providers were creating their own

Read More

Zoom’s Got Game for Poker Players | Online Entertainment

By Jack M. Germain

Oct 6, 2020 4:40 AM PT

Mandatory stay-at-home restrictions and bans on small-group gatherings indoors are easing in some locales, but social distancing and face coverings are still a reality that makes card playing among friends a bit risky.

Welcome to the new phenomenon of playing Zoom poker. It is a novel idea that is catching on as the pandemic continues.

The Zoom video platform has become a popular solution for friends who miss their regular in-person poker games. It adds a missing element of banter and social interactions that playing cards and other table games alone on a computer just cannot provide.

Playing Zoom poker is not something Los Angeles-based insurance agent Kenneth Madick would have done on his own. He is not an online poker player.

“I’m just a casual for-fun poker player by nature. I don’t do this as a hobby, as a

Read More

HP Takes Us One Step Closer to a Virtual Tomorrow | Virtual Reality

The benefit of video conferencing, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic, is not having to leave home. Unless you have people bringing the virus into your house, the odds of catching the virus fall if you can cut down on going to the office or schools and stay off of planes and public transportation.

But even with the best tools, you still don’t have that same feeling of being there and still are disadvantaged against those who take the risks of going to the meeting or event venue.

Virtual reality (VR) held the promise of merely putting on a headset, along with everyone else, and meeting in a virtual world where you could manipulate, in simulation. Now, HP has taken a considerable step to usher us to a future where we really can mostly exist in a virtual, rather than real, office environment; and not only get more done, but be

Read More

Controversial Plan Urges DoD to Recruit Tech Pros to WFH | Cybersecurity

The United States Defense Innovation Board (DIB) has recommended that the Pentagon hire civilians to work from home who can handle classified information as a way of attracting people with technology expertise.

DIB in its September 15 report proposes a “highly limited, temporary and specific use of waivers for a small percentage of the workforce to ensure two things: First, key innovation and technology initiatives are fully staffed, and second, that the most service members with the greatest potential are retained.”

The individuals sought “will have technical degrees and/or highly specialized skills in digital technologies and innovation needed across the U.S. Department of Defense,” which is undergoing digital transformation.

These skills include modern software development, cyberphysical systems, data science, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML); rapid capability development and adoption, and applied innovation methodologies such as design thinking and Lean Startup, which emphasize critical thinking, experimentation, and iteration.

These systems “underpin

Read More

Amazon, Microsoft Commit to New Linux Foundation Climate Finance Foundation | Community

The Linux Foundation (LF) is deploying an old adage to get stuff done: follow the money. In this case it is to battle climate change.

LF last month announced its intent to form the Linux Foundation Climate Finance Foundation (LFCF) to empower investors, banks, insurers, companies, governments, NGOs, and academia with AI-enhanced open-source analytics and open data to address climate risk and opportunity.

Allianz, Amazon, Microsoft, and S&P Global have already committed to be founding members. The Climate Finance Foundation’s planning team includes representatives from the World Wide Fund for Nature, Ceres, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

The LFCF is hosting the OS-Climate platform. Expected components include multiple physical and economic scenarios, a global and open Data Commons, and economic and financial models to accelerate predictive analytic tools and investment products.

The goals are to manage climate-related risks and to finance climate solutions across every geography, sector, and

Read More

Cybersecurity Assessment and the Zero Trust Model | Cybersecurity

Over the past few years, the concept of “zero trust” architecture has gone through a number of evolutionary phases. It’s gone from being the hot new fad, to being trite (in large part due to a deluge of marketing from those looking to cash in on the trend), to pass, and now has ultimately settled into what it probably should have always been all along: a solid, workmanlike security option with discrete, observable advantages and disadvantages that can be folded into our organization’s security approach.

Zero trust, as the name implies, is a security model where all assets — even managed endpoints that you provision and on-premise networks configured by you — are considered hostile, untrustworthy and potentially already compromised by attackers. Instead of legacy security models that differentiate a “trusted” interior from an untrusted external one, zero trust instead assumes that all networks and hosts are equally untrustworthy.


Read More