Wednesday Newsbytes: Microsoft Patches All but 1 Big Bug; Patch Tuesday Fixes 144 Flaws; Apple Pulls Botched Security Update; Windows 12 May Be Released Fall 2024; Twitter Traffic Tanks as Threads Grows; Bionic Reading is Here … 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 news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
Microsoft is working to patch an actively exploited remote code execution (RCE) bug, affecting a range of Windows and Office products, that was used to target attendees at this week’s NATO Summit in Lithuania. The disclosure was part of a busy July Patch Tuesday release for Microsoft that warned of 6 zero-days and 132 flaws.
The intended victims of one of the July RCE bug is believed to be NATO summit attendees sympathetic to Ukraine’s ambitions to join NATO. Those targets, researchers said, were targeted in a spear phishing campaign designed to exploit the Microsoft vulnerability via the malware dubbed RomCom – malicious code that enables an adversary to execute code remotely on targeted systems.
Microsoft said it was still researching the bug, CVE-2023-36884, but indicated it was treating the vulnerability seriously by stating it may take the unusual step of releasing a fix outside its usual monthly patching cycle “depending on customer needs”…
Today (July 11th) is Microsoft’s July 2023 Patch Tuesday, with security updates for 132 flaws, including six actively exploited and thirty-seven remote code execution vulnerabilities.
While thirty-seven RCE bugs were fixed, Microsoft only rated nine as ‘Critical.’ However, one of the RCE flaws remains unpatched and is actively exploited in attacks seen by numerous cybersecurity firms.
This month’s Patch Tuesday fixes six zero-day vulnerabilities, with all of them exploited in attacks and one of them publicly disclosed.
Microsoft classifies a vulnerability as a zero-day if it is publicly disclosed or actively exploited with no official fix available.
Microsoft has fixed an actively exploited privilege elevation vulnerability in Windows MSHTML that was exploited by opening a specially crafted file through email or malicious websites.
“The attacker would gain the rights of the user that is running the affected application,” reads Microsoft’s advisory…
Yesterday’s Rapid Security Response update was found to break Safari website compatibility for sites like Zoom and Facebook.
Yesterday, we strongly advised users of iPhones, iPads, and Macs to update their devices with Apple’s latest Rapid Security Response to patch a critical software vulnerability. But just hours after Apple released the RSR, the company had to pull the update, as it was found to be causing incompatibilities with several popular websites in Safari.
First introduced last year, Apple’s Rapid Security Response system allows the company to push important software updates to devices to specifically address and remedy security issues, without requiring users to perform a full OS update, which can sometimes take a while to complete. Yesterday’s RSR addressed a bug that affected Apple’s Safari WebKit browser engine, potentially allowing arbitrary code to be executed and malware to be employed after a user unknowingly visited a malicious webpage.
But just hours after yesterday’s RSR was issued, users of the MacRumors forums started to report that the update had introduced issues with Safari, with popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom returning errors that the browser wasn’t supported. Soon after, others had discovered and reported that Apple had officially pulled the RSR, and while there’s no timeline for when an updated version will be available again, it probably won’t take long for Apple to fix and release it…
Just as Windows 11 gains popularity
Rumor mill: Just as we’re getting used to Windows 11 and the operating system starts seeing more adoption, it appears that the successor is drawing closer. Rumors claim Windows 12 will start rolling out late next year, and with it comes new features such as a floating taskbar.
We’ve heard plenty of rumors about Windows 12 this year. While Microsoft has yet to officially confirm it is in the works, there have been several hints pointing to its existence. One of these came at the Build 2023 developer conference in the form of a video screenshot that referred to a “next generation” of Windows. That presumably refers to Windows 12 and hopefully not a fully cloud-based Windows 11.
Microsoft has also referred to a “Next Valley Prototype Design,” said to be a codename for the next-generation of Windows.
Windows Latest notes that Microsoft accidentally teased a version of its OS with a floating taskbar at the company’s 2023 Ignite conference. It’s believed to be part of internal testing that’s exploring new design changes for the next Windows…
User traffic on Twitter has slowed since the launch of Meta’s text-based platform Threads, which has already surpassed 100 million sign-ups since its debut last week.
Threads launched in the U.S. on Wednesday and is being touted by Meta executives like Instagram chief Adam Mosseri as a more positive “public square” for communities “that never really embraced Twitter.” So far, users seem to be on board.
“Threads reached 100 million sign ups over the weekend. That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet. Can’t believe it’s only been 5 days!” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post Monday.
Twitter appears to have taken a hit. Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, shared a screenshot to Twitter Sunday showing that traffic on the platform was “tanking.”
According to Similarweb, a data company that specializes in web analytics, web traffic to Twitter was down 5% for the first two full days Threads was generally available compared with the previous week. The company said Twitter’s web traffic is down 11% compared with the same days in 2022.
Twitter responded to CNBC’s request for comment with an automated response. Meta didn’t offer additional comment beyond Zuckerberg’s post.
The booming growth on Threads is helped by the fact that it is tied to an existing social network, Meta’s Instagram…
I can’t be the only one who keeps hearing about Bionic Reading lately. It’s been all over my TikTok and Twitter, and even news articles have picked up on this new reading trend.
Bionic Reading promises to be a new way to read faster and comprehend deeper by a simple reformatting of your text, and with its handy dandy app or Chrome extension, you don’t even have to lift a finger to get started. But what exactly is Bionic Reading and how does it work?
What is Bionic Reading?
According to its creator, Renato Cassult, Bionic Reading is a way to combine biology and technology to make reading easier and more efficient.
The foundation of Bionic Reading is based on the idea that we only need a few letters to understand the word we’re reading. The Bionic Reading software creates “artificial fixation points” within a text by bolding the first part of each word for our eyes to jump between, “guiding the eyes” across the page and letting the brain complete the rest of the word on its own rather than having to stop and see the entirety of every word on a page…
Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads, Meta’s (META) – Get Free Report response to Twitter, on July 6. In the five days since its launch, the new text-based platform has surpassed 100 million users.
ChatGPT held the previous record for the fastest-growing user base, hitting 100 million users in two months.
The launch of Threads has also poured gasoline on the feuding fires between Twitter owner Elon Musk and Zuckerberg.
Meta’s Threads just breached the 100-million-user milestone. Musk isn’t pleased.
The feud between the two tech moguls goes back to at least 2016, when a SpaceX rocket carrying a Facebook satellite blew up on the launch pad, destroying the satellite and raising Zuckerberg’s ire.
Though the two have traded verbal blows over the years, the feud reached a new level when Musk learned that Zuckerberg was working on building a Twitter alternative. The Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report CEO recently challenged Zuckerberg to a cage match, which Zuckerberg agreed to.
Now, it seems Musk wants to compete in a different kind of contest with his rival…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC