Wednesday Newsbytes: A new malware threat is spying on users’ Gmail inbox, Texting between iPhone and Android is broken, Microsoft’s patch Tuesday patch fixes over 120 bugs, Microsoft celebrates 15 years of OneDrive with a redesign and new features…and more!
Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature some news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
Gmail and AOL account holders aren’t safe
Cybersecurity firm Volexity discovered a brand-spankin’ new malware threat dubbed SHARPEXT. This nasty, nosey bug spies on Google and AOL email account holders, reading and downloading their private information and attachments.
According to Volexity, SHARPEXT infects devices via browser extension installation. The malware campaign supports Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Naver Whale, and it’s targeting users US, Europe and South Korea. Investigators tracked its origin to a North Korean-backed hacking group publicly known as ‘Kimsuky.’
SHARPEXT is a silent spy
You may be wondering, ‘How do I know if my device is infected with SHARPEXT?’ Unfortunately, this malicious infiltrator is difficult to detect.
‘By stealing email data in the context of a user’s already-logged-in session, the attack is hidden from the email provider, making detection very challenging’ the Volexity report said. To make matters worse, there is no conspicuous malicious coding present in the extension itself, which makes it difficult for antivirus scanners to flag it.
Volexity President Steven Adair told Ars Technica that victims are fooled into opening SHARPEXT-packed malicious programs via social engineering and “spear phishing,” a tactic that involves masquerading as a trusted source to bait victims into clicking malware-infested content…
Google puts Apple on blast for converting Android texts to green bubbles and ‘blurry’ compressed videos
On Tuesday, Google took a blatant jab at Apple on its website over what it says is Apple’s failure to improve the user experience between iPhone and Android users.
Some users have long lamented the green message bubbles that come with cross-device messaging, like poor-quality compressed videos, the lack of read receipts, and other headaches.
Google blames Apple, as the company converts texts sent between iPhones and Androids into what’s called SMS and MMS, both of which are decades-old methods of sending text-only messages from device to device.
Instead, Google argues Apple should use something called Rich Communication Services, or RSC, which it says is the “modern industry standard” meant to improve how people can send texts and calls but also media like emojis, videos, and photos.
‘These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other,’ reads the Android website…
Microsoft’s August 2022 fixes an actively exploited bug in the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT).
Microsoft has released patches for 141 flaws in its August 2022 Patch Tuesday update including two previously undisclosed (zero-day) flaws, of which one is actively being exploited.
The total patch count for the August 2022 Patch Tuesday Update actually includes 20 flaws in Edge that Microsoft had previously released fixes for, leaving 121 flaws affecting Windows, Office, Azure, .NET Core, Visual Studio and Exchange Server.
The Zero Day Initiative noted that the volume of fixes released this month is “markedly higher” than what is normally expected in an August release. “It’s almost triple the size of last year’s August release, and it’s the second largest release this year,” the bug hunting group said.
Microsoft addressed 17 critical flaws and 102 important flaws this month across. The fixes address 64 elevation of privilege flaws and 32 remote code execution flaws, as well as security feature bypasses and information disclosure flaws…
OneDrive Home is rolling out in the ‘coming months’
Microsoft’s marking OneDrive’s 15th anniversary with a new landing page, called OneDrive Home, and it should make it easier to keep tabs on your work. Instead of arriving on the My files tab when you first open OneDrive, you’ll find yourself on the new Home page that resembles that dashboard in the online version of Office.
Like the Office web app, OneDrive Home contains a list of your files, organized by how recently you accessed them. Above the list are filters that let you sort your documents by Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF file types.
There’s also a new “Activity” column to the right of the “Owner” file field that tells you when someone leaves a comment, @mentions another user, or assigns you a task within a shared document. On the left side of the Home view, Microsoft’s adding a new Quick access section, where (just like on Windows) you can find and pin your most frequently accessed spaces.
Unfortunately, these changes aren’t live right now — Microsoft says OneDrive Home will be available in “the coming months.” From what it looks like, though, the new Home page could serve as a central hub that should help you stay organized while collaborating remotely…
The effects of climate change continue to become more and more evident with each passing season. Record high temperatures, unceasing droughts, deadly floods, bouts of disastrous wildfires, and other natural atrocities are increasingly plaguing the US and the rest of the globe. These deeply affecting weather patterns necessitate a call to action involving the transition to clean energy. Transitioning away from fossil fuels to cleaner energies will allow for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This in turn will help to slow down the ever-growing effects of climate change. A big concentration has been put on solar power and wind energy. However, there are small everyday culprits that also have an adverse effect on the environment. Believe it or not, one of these things is air conditioning. And Bill Gates wants to do something about it.
Air conditioning is a great way to get relief from the summer’s most brutal heat. And as historic heatwaves continue to occur, it’s something that will become vital for many. For instance, in the United States, the pacific northwest has been experiencing heat like they never have. This is causing residents there to suddenly have a need for AC. The thing is, there is an innate fallacy to how air conditioning functions. That innate fallacy contributes to 4% of the world’s global emissions. And as more places like the pacific northwest suddenly find themselves needing air conditioners that number is expected to rise exponentially. Thankfully, though, there is a startup that has found an alternative functionality. It’s called Blue Frontier. And Bill Gates’ clean tech investment fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, just poured $20 million of venture capital into the emerging business, CNBC reported.
Traditional air conditioning units work by leveraging refrigerants. These refrigerants degrade the ozone layer and contribute to carbon emissions. Blue Frontier has reformatted air conditioning to use 1/5 of the refrigerants that current models use…
Scientist’s tweet shot of ‘distant star’ is actually slice of chorizo
A French scientist apologized after tweeting a photo of a slice of chorizo that he claimed was a deep-space image of a “distant star” snapped by the James Webb Space Telescope.
Étienne Klein, a physicist and research director at France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, shared the spicy Spanish sausage shot on social media last week, applauding the “level of detail” it provided.
‘Picture of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years away from us. It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail … A new world is unveiled everyday,’ he posted on Twitter Sunday to more than 91,000 followers….
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles informative, interesting, fun, and/or helpful. Darcy & TC