Wednesday Newsbytes: Latest Windows Update Locks Users Out, Microsoft Finds Flaw in Google OS, Quantum Computing -Bigger than Fire, A Fake Chrome Extension, Airport Body Scanners…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!
Have that BitLocker key handy if you want to login again.
If you’re planning on downloading the latest Microsoft Security Update for Windows, it’s a good idea to have your BitLocker key ready to go. According to The Register(opens in new tab), users who download the update are having quite a few issues, including being completely locked out of their PCs on restart.
The latest Windows security update for Secure Boot DBX released nearly two weeks ago on August 9 and since then has been giving users all sorts of problems. Not unlike the last security patch for Windows 11(opens in new tab). Dubbed KB5012170, this update comes with fixes for exploits that could allow unauthorised code to run during the boot process, so it’s important for security, especially when Unified Extensible Firmware Interface is used.
Unfortunately, as mentioned the KB5012170 update has also been locking users out of their PCs. Once the update has been installed and the PC has performed a mandatory restart, some users are being prompted for their BitLocker key to get back into their computers. Of course, most people aren’t going to have that on hand at the time, let alone necessarily even know what it is.
Thankfully, Microsoft has a support page that can direct most users to find their BitLocker recovery key…
Microsoft has described a severe ChromeOS security vulnerability that one of its researchers reported to Google in late April.
The bug was promptly fixed and, about a month later, merged in ChromeOS code then released on June 15, 2022 and detailed by Redmond in a report released on Friday.
Microsoft’s write-up is noteworthy both for the severity (9.8 out of 10) of the bug and for flipping of the script – it has tended to be Google, particularly its Project Zero group, that calls attention to bugs in Microsoft software.
At least as far back as 2010, Google security researchers made a habit of disclosing bugs in software from Microsoft and other vendors after typically 90 days – even if a patch had not been released – in the interest of forcing companies to respond to security flaws more quickly.
Microsoft has chided Google about this several times over the years, though as early as 2011, Redmond showed itself willing to adapt with a revised security disclosure policy that arrived with word of Chrome vulnerabilities – albeit months after Google had fixed them.
Microsoft’s disclosure of the ChromeOS critical flaw isn’t a zero-day since Google made the necessary repairs. But it allows the Windows giant to magnanimously point out the problems in a competitor’s hardened code and to pat Google on the back for its rapid repairs.
A critical issue
The ChromeOS memory corruption vulnerability – CVE-2022-2587 – was particularly severe. As Jonathan Bar Or, a member of the Microsoft 365 Defender research team, explains in his post, the problem follows from the use of D-Bus, an Inter-Process-Communication (IPC) mechanism used in Linux.
Quantum computing is the most underrated, most transformational technological breakthrough since the internet
* Haim Israel, head of global thematic investing research at Bank of America, believes quantum computing is “a revolution for humanity bigger than fire, bigger than the wheel.”
* Scientists at leading tech companies have started to figure out how to harness the power of quantum mechanics to make a new generation of super quantum computers — infinitely faster and more powerful than even today’s fastest supercomputers.
* Google has built a quantum computer that’s about 158 million times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer.
* Quantum computing could allow us to create a million-mile EV rather soon. And through material simulation and battery optimization modeling, it’d also dramatically reduce the costs of EV manufacturing.
It’s commonly appreciated that the discovery of fire was the most profound revolution in human history. And yesterday, I read that a major director at Bank of America (BAC) thinks a technology that hardly anyone is talking about these days could be more critical for humankind than fire!
That’s about as bold of a claim as you could make when it comes to technological megatrends. If true, this tech could be the most promising and lucrative investment opportunity of anyone’s lifetime.
The director’s name? Haim Israel, head of global thematic investing research at BofA.
In his words, this technology could create “a revolution for humanity bigger than fire, bigger than the wheel.”
What on Earth is Mr. Israel talking about?
Two words: Quantum Computing…
Google Chrome extension ‘Internet Download Manager’ installed by more than 200,000 users is adware.
The extension has been sitting on the Chrome Web Store since at least June 2019, according to the earliest reviews posted by users.
Although the extension may install a known and legitimate download manager program, BleepingComputer observed unwanted behavior exhibited by the extension—such as opening links to spammy sites, changing the default browser search engine, and further hounding the user with pop-ups asking them to download more “patches” and unwanted programs.
Dodgy Chrome extension installed by 200,000+ users
A concered BleepingComputer reader reached out to us on seeing a Chrome add-on “running malicious sites by impersonating famous software.”
And their concern seems valid. The ‘Internet Download Manager’ browser extension installed by more than 200,000 users to date doesn’t seem all that innocent…
Some of us remember when friends and family could walk you to your gate and you could board an airplane without a detailed airport security check. Now, of course, you have to worry about the TSA carry-on rules—including the liquid limit and food rules—and figure out what to pack in your checked luggage instead. And then there are the metal detectors and body scanners. You know those machines are there for your safety, but they still may give you pause—especially the body scanner. After all, what does it show, exactly? Can TSA agents see you naked?
Those are valid questions. You might also be wondering if body scanners are safe and if you can skip them if you sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check. We spoke to TSA experts to get the lowdown on airport body scanners so you know exactly what to expect the next time you head to the airport.
How do body scanners work?
Before we answer the question of what body scanners see, we need to discuss how they work. What happens when you step into the machine, place your feet on the footprints and put your arms over your head? ‘Body scanners use a technology called Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) for full-body scans at airport checkpoints,” explains TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston. “It’s a millimeter wave scanner that detects a wide range of metallic and nonmetallic threats in a matter of seconds…’
Life is expensive enough without unnecessary fees—here are the ones you should never pay.
Over the course of our lives, we are collectively nickel-and-dimed to death. There are the things we need (or want) to pay for, and then the fees we’re expected to pay above and beyond the supposed cost of those things: There are mysterious hotel fees, egregious airline fees, youth-punishing car rental fees—the list goes on and on. But what really burns about fees like this is that they make you feel manipulated—we’re supposed to play along with the fiction that this isn’t just a cash-grab on top of an already-negotiated price.
That being said, some fees have a much higher bullshit quotient than others. You can’t avoid all the fees our capitalist masters throw at us, but there are plenty of stupid fees you can avoid—and should never pay…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles informative, interesting, fun, and/or helpful. Darcy & TC