Wednesday Newsbytes – News for You – 050422
Every day we scan the tech world for news that affects all of us who use Windows computers. Every Wednesday, we feature some of the news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s “Wednesday Newsbytes” informative and interesting!
Microsoft Edge’s free VPN may become its must-have feature
Can a free VPN service that’s built into a browser lure you away from Google’s popular Chrome? Microsoft hopes so, as the company is starting to roll out an experimental VPN service to its Edge browser called the Microsoft Edge Secure Network Service that’s designed around privacy and security.
Unlike popular VPN services that protect all traffic from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, Microsoft’s Edge Secure Network Service only safeguards traffic originating from the company’s Microsoft Edge browser, which originally debuted with Windows 10.
The company promises that the Edge Secure Network Service will help encrypt your connection and enhance your privacy while browsing the internet by preventing online tracking and keeping your location private. The best part is that unlike the built-in browser VPN service from rival Mozilla with Firefox, the Microsoft Edge offering is free…
You can ask the search giant to remove links to sites that reveal your personal information, such as a phone number or address.
Google is now making it possible for people to ask them to remove sites from search results that list more types of personal information than they previously did, including details like your phone number or physical address. This is big as, until now, Google would only delist links with information that could actively be used to steal your identity or money, like your Social Security number or credit card details.
In a blog post yesterday, Google explained that it believes that “it’s important to have control over how your sensitive, personally identifiable information can be found.” While it doesn’t necessarily host a lot of personal data, Google Search is often the tool that surfaces it on other sites. This puts it in a fairly unique position since, as it explains, ‘the internet is always evolving — with information popping up in unexpected places and being used in new ways — so our policies and protections need to evolve, too.’
According to Google, under the new policy the company will now consider removing links to sites that include ‘personal contact information like a phone number, email address, or physical address.” And The Verge notes that this type of information could also now include “images of ID docs” or “confidential login credentials.’
Windows 11 brings tons of great features to play with, but there is no hiding the fact that the operating system left a lot of PCs in the dust with its controversial minimum system requirements. That’s caused folks to find ways to run Windows on unsupported systems, and it looks as though one of Microsoft’s employees has done the same, too.
In a recent Windows Insider Webcast, Microsoft employee Claton Hendricks was sharing his screen to showcase some of the features that the company is working on for Windows 11 builds. In particular, Hendricks showcased new color options for the utilization area in Task Manager, but when toggling to the CPU information pane, an interesting Intel processor appeared listed in the right-hand pane of the redesigned app.
Per Neowin, the processor listed there is the Intel Core i7-7660U – which is not on Microsoft’s supported list. This is a 7th-generation processor that was released back in 2017. Microsoft only supports processors from Intel’s 8th-generation series onward, and also AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series.
It is unknown what specific device was being used in this case, but there’s a chance that it could have been a Surface, as the screen-sharing pane at the top of the session mentions “Surface IR.” If you’re interested in digging deeper to find out, Microsoft has a list of supported Surface devices on its website. There’s a chance that it might have been an original Surface Laptop, a Surface Pro 5, or any of the other Surface models that aren’t on Microsoft’s list.
Family Safety widget improvements are here, plus Sun Valley 2 update is now being finalized
Windows 11 just witnessed the release of a new preview build which brings a few fresh features – including enhancements for the Family Safety widget – plus a ton of bug fixes, and the news that Microsoft is seemingly closing in on finalizing the big update for later in 2022 (known as 22H2 or Sun Valley 2).
Build 22610 improves Microsoft’s Family Safety parental control system by introducing the ability for you to see the location of your other family members who are using the Family Safety app.
Also, for the rest of your family who are designated in a ‘member’ role, they get a better view of screen time usage across devices and apps. Family Safety allows not only for tracking your children, but also setting screen time limits, and applying various content filters across software and games or when web browsing.
This new preview build also makes a bunch of additions on the device management and group policy front for IT admins, as well as some small tweaks to the Windows 11 interface (including the tooltip for the system tray’s battery icon showing an estimated time for remaining battery life, if your laptop supports it).
Operation CuckooBees is an elaborate operation against companies in the US and beyond.
Researchers have disclosed a sophisticated Winnti cyber campaign that abuses Windows mechanisms in a way ‘rarely seen.”
According to Cybereason, the Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) group Winnti is behind the campaign, which has gone undetected for years.
Active since at least 2010, Winnti is a threat group that operates using a vast array of malware and tools at its disposal. The APT, also known as APT41, BARIUM, or Blackfly, is suspected of working on behalf of the Chinese state and focuses on cyberespionage and data theft.
Past attacks connected to the group include cyberattacks against video game developers, software vendors, and universities in Hong Kong. Winnti also capitalized on the Microsoft Exchange Server ProxyLogon flaws, alongside other APTs, when the critical vulnerabilities were first made public.
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles useful, informative, interesting, and helpful. Darcy & TC