AuthorLucas Mearian

Microsoft beefs up Edge’s security against zero-day attacks

In the latest release of its Edge beta, Microsoft introduced a new way for IT admins to better secure the Chromium-based browser against web-based attacks.

The release notes for Microsoft Edge Beta Channel describe the new security features as employing several techniques to guard against so-called zero-day exploits; Zero-day exploits are software or network vulnerabilities developers are unaware of, and so they’ve not been patched.

Imagine if the keylock mechanism on your home’s backdoor was faulty and jiggling the doorknob released the latch. Burglars could walk door to door looking for that particular vulnerability and jiggle doorknobs until one opened. Zero days are the same concept, but in cyberspace.

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Microsoft touts first PCs to ship natively with secure Pluton chip

As organizations continue to wrestle with how to manage a hybrid workforce, security outside the corporate firewall continues to play a huge role in day-to-day IT operations.

Following the October release of Windows 11, which boasted features aimed at enabling hybrid work, Microsoft last week announced the first PCs with its Pluton chip-to-cloud security technology. The technology is aimed at securing the computers of remote workers and others.

At CES, Microsoft announced that Lenovo and chipmaker AMD have launched the first laptops — the ThinkPad Z13 and ThankPad Z16 — that come natively with the Pluton security chips. Pricing for the ThinkPad Z13 starts at $1,549, pricing for the ThinkPad Z16 starts at $2,099. Both laptops will be available in May and Lenovo said there is no additional cost associated with the Pluton chip inside.

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Privacy-centric DuckDuckGo to release Mac desktop browser

Popular, privacy-centered search engine DuckDuckGo plans to launch a desktop browser for macOS laptops and desktops.

The browser is designed from the ground up to maintain privacy; that means it will not collect information about users and will not install cookies or tracking codes on devices. The company also claims it can block “hidden trackers” before they load.

DuckDuckGo’s search engine is already available as a download for mobile devices. In 2019, DuckDuckGo added Apple Maps support and has since added other improvements to how it works on Apple devices.  

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Apple’s NSO lawsuit targets illegal spying by oppressive regimes

Apple says its lawsuit against NSO Group this week is an attempt to hold the surveillance firm "accountable for ... the surveillance and targeting of Apple users." And it spared no ire in accusing the Israeli spyware company of its selling surveillance software to authoritarian governments — regardless of whether those governments use it to target dissidents, journalists, and activists.

NSO Group was already facing legal problems after messenger platform provider WhatsApp filed suit in 2019 for similar reasons. Earlier this month, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the spyware company’s claim that it should be protected under sovereign immunity laws. In the high-profile case, WhatsApp alleged NSO’s spyware was used to hack 1,400 users of the messaging app.

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Microsoft releases its Windows 10 November 2021 update

Microsoft today announced the general availability of Windows 10 November 2021, also known as version 21H2, which includes new security, management, and virtualization features.

Microsoft reiterated that Windows 10 will continue to receive support until October 2025 and said the Windows 10 release cadence will join Windows 11 in returning to just one feature update a year from here on out.

The company also posted an online comparison of the features between the latest version of Windows 10 21H2 and Windows 11.

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