Microsoft has released a quick fix for a vulnerability in older versions of its Internet Explorer browser that is actively being used by attackers to take over computers. The vulnerability affects IE versions 6, 7 and 8. The latest versions of the browser, 9 and 10, are not affected. The company occasionally issues quick fixes as a temporary protective measure while a permanent security update is developed if a vulnerability is considered particularly dangerous.
"Microsoft said then that only Windows 7 PCs are eligible for a full upgrade to Windows 8, one that retains applications, data files, user accounts and Windows settings. Windows Vista and Windows XP machines can be upgraded to Windows 8 -- assuming the hardware meets the system requirements of the new OS -- but cannot bring along all the bits. Vista users who upgrade will retain user accounts and files, as well as Windows settings, but not already-installed applications. XP-to-Windows 8 upgrades preserve the least amount in a move: User accounts and files only."
"Microsoft on Saturday disabled the search tool on its Safety & Security Center after attackers poisoned results with links to pornographic URLs. The company restored the website's search field early Monday afternoon ET, and later apologized to users for the gaffe."
"Microsoft is telling Windows users that they'll have to reinstall the operating system if they get infected with a new rootkit that hides in the machine's boot sector.
A new variant of a Trojan Microsoft calls "Popureb" digs so deeply into the system that the only way to eradicate it is to return Windows to its out-of-the-box configuration, Chun Feng, an engineer with the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), said last week on the group's blog.
"If it sometimes appears that just about every company is getting hacked these days, that's because they are.
In a recent survey (download PDF) of 583 U.S companies conducted by Ponemon Research on behalf of Juniper Networks, 90% of the respondents said their organizations' computers had been breached at least once by hackers over the past 12 months.
"Microsoft today warned that scammers have taken to the phone lines to dupe Windows users into putting malware on their machines or paying for worthless help.
The ploy isn't new -- security experts have seen it in circulation for at least a year -- but Microsoft was the first to quantify the problem.
According to Microsoft, which sponsored surveys in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland and Canada, 15% of the people polled said they had received unsolicited calls from fraudsters posing as computer support technicians who claimed they were offering PC security checks.
"Toshiba Wednesday unveiled its first family of self-encrypting hard disk drives (HDDs) that can also erase data when connected to an unknown host. The new Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drives (SED) (models MKxx61GSYG) enable system manufacturers to configure different data invalidation options that align with various end-user scenarios.The new 2.5-in, 7,200 rpm drives are targeted for use in PCs, copiers and multi-function printers, along with point-of-sale systems used in government, financial, medical, or similar environments that need to protect sensitive information."
"Intel announced today a new line of consumer-class solid-state drives based on its smallest 25 nanometer (nm) circuitry that replaces the chip maker's most popular SSD, the X25-M. The new 2.5-in. Intel Solid-State Drive 320 Series offers models that more than triple capacity over the X25-M and reduces prices by up to 30%, or $100, on some models. While aimed at the laptop and desktop market, the consumer SSD has also been Intel's most popular model for servers in data centers.
"Walker suspected his wife of cheating, so he flipped through the book of passwords she conveniently kept next to the family's shared laptop, logged into her Gmail account and confirmed his suspicions. Now Oakland County prosecutors are charging him with felony computer misuse -- a charge usually reserved for identity thieves, hackers and trade secret embezzlers. He faces five years in prison." | more
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