Wednesday Newsbytes: Microsoft Update Squashes 6 Bugs, Ads Come to Windows 11, Password Hacks Up 74%, What is Mastodon? …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!
Plus: Fixes from Intel, AMD, Citrix and more
PATCH TUESDAY November’s Patch Tuesday also falls on election day in the US, so let’s hope that democracy fares better than Microsoft, which reported six of today’s bugs are already being exploited in the wild by miscreants.
Another 22 vulnerabilities in the Windows giant’s products have been labeled “more likely to be exploited” than not. Also, shockingly, Adobe skipped the monthly patch party. “Heads-up that Adobe does not have regularly scheduled updates planned for today,” a spokesperson told The Register.
Back to Microsoft: Redmond rated 11 vulnerabilities in its code as critical CVE-listed holes with the rest deemed important. It also appears to have finally fixed (fingers crossed) the two Exchange Server bugs dubbed ProxyNotShell that have been exploited as far back as August.
Let’s start with the two long-awaited Exchange fixes. CVE-2022-41028 is a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability and CVE-2022-41040 is a server-side request forgery bug. Both can be exploited together to run PowerShell commands on a vulnerable system and take control of it…
New OneDrive “hints” are appearing in the user profile flyout menu.
Far be it from us to criticize a little advertising — after all, it’s what keeps the lights on at this site, and pretty much every similar one around the web. But users who buy a computer and, by extension, a $100-plus copy of Windows from Microsoft are on firmer ground for complaint. For example, the latest place Microsoft wants to experiment with a little add-on-advertisement is the Windows 11 Start Menu, specifically the flyout menu you see when you click on your user profile picture.
As spotted by Twitter user Albacore (and elaborated by NeoWin), at least some users of the latest Dev Channel version of Windows 11 are seeing little promo spots for Microsoft OneDrive and creating new Microsoft Accounts in this sub-menu. It’s not especially surprising, or even that bad as advertising goes, but it’s one more example of Microsoft treating Windows as an ad platform for its other services…
There are almost 1,000 password-based attacks every second
The data comes from Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report 2022 (via ZDNet), which analyzed trillions of signals from the Redmond company’s global ecosystem of products and services to reveal the scale of cyberthreats worldwide.
The number of hacking incidents has jumped enormously over the last year, thanks primarily to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and the resulting cyberwarfare between nations. But hackers still favor password-based attacks; Microsoft estimates that 921 of these take place every minute.
Brute forcing a password remains a common method of accessing a system. The arrival of Nvidia’s RTX 4090 cards has made these sorts of attacks more efficient (in specific scenarios). Researchers recently showed how the Lovelace flagship could cycle through all 200 billion iterations of an eight-character password in just 48 minutes…
Verification is free, toots are twice as long as tweets – but you might find it hard to replace your Twitter follower list. Here’s how to use it, find a server to join and navigate the fediverse
Interest in the open source social media platform known as Mastodon has spiked again as users look for an alternative to Twitter, should Elon Musk’s takeover spell the end of that website as we know it.
If you’re fleeing the sinking ship of Twitter for the potential life raft of Mastodon – or wondering whether to – here’s what you need to know.
Welcome to the Fediverse
The first thing to get your head around is that Mastodon is what’s known as a “federated” network, a collection of thousands of social networks run on servers across the world that are linked by the common Mastodon technology, on a platform known as the “Fediverse”.
You sign up for a specific server, which is run by whoever set it up, usually volunteers doing it out of their own pocket or taking donations through Patreon. They’ll have their own rules and policies on, for example, who can join and how strictly the conversation will be moderated…
These first tests are just to see if it’s safe. But if it works, lab-grown blood could help people with rare blood types and blood disorders.
In a world first, two people were injected with red blood cells grown in a lab as part of a clinical trial, the research team announced this week. It’s a first step toward seeing if lab-grown blood cells are safe and work in the body — which would be a major advance for people living with rare blood types or blood disorders.
“This world leading research lays the groundwork for the manufacture of red blood cells that can safely be used to transfuse people with disorders like sickle cell,” said Farrukh Shah, medical director of transfusion for National Health Service Blood and Transplant in the United Kingdom, in a statement.
The milestone in this trial comes after decades of work trying to figure out how to grow these types of cells in the lab in the first place. The cells used in the trial were grown from stem cells taken from the blood of adult donors. The research team needed 500,000 stem cells to create 50 billion red blood cells, according to the BBC. Of that volume, 15 billion cells were at the right stage of development for transfusion. (For context, healthy adults have about 3 to 5 million red blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood)…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles informative, interesting, fun, and/or helpful. Darcy & TC