Microsoft will now let its users log in without passwords

Sep 17, 2021 - 7:32 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft has a solution for the familiar problem of needing to remember too many passwords: doing away with them altogether.

The company announced Wednesday that it will introduce a "passwordless account" option for all users of several popular services such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft OneDrive in the coming weeks. Microsoft previously made this option available to corporate accounts in March.

"You can now completely remove the password from your Microsoft account," Vasu Jakkal, the company's corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

Instead of passwords, Microsoft will let users sign in to these services with either the company's Authenticator app, which produces a unique numbered login code every few seconds, or with Windows Hello, which lets users sign in using facial recognition, a fingerprint or a unique pin. Microsoft users can also buy an external security key, like a USB drive with login information stored on it, or register a phone number to which Microsoft sends a verification code.

The change from Microsoft comes after a spike in cyberattacks over the past year. With the majority of corporate employees working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, hackers have many more avenues to infiltrate a company's systems — and compromising passwords is one of their most common strategies. (Microsoft has also had its share of security issues in recent months, with its services linked to multiple high-profile hacks and breaches.)

Passwords can often end up for sale on the dark web, where they are bought and used to hack even more services. Hackers have even gone after password managers that aim to make login data more secure, with popular service LastPass hacked in... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 156 Views


Mozilla has defeated Microsoft’s default browser protections in Windows

Sep 14, 2021 - 9:56 AM - by Reverend
Mozilla has quietly made it easier to switch to Firefox on Windows recently. While Microsoft offers a method to switch default browsers on Windows 10, it’s more cumbersome than the simple one-click process to switch to Edge. This one-click process isn’t officially available for anyone other than Microsoft, and Mozilla appears to have grown tired of the situation.

In version 91 of Firefox, released on August 10th, Mozilla has reverse engineered the way Microsoft sets Edge as default in Windows 10, and enabled Firefox to quickly make itself the default. Before this change, Firefox users would be sent to the Settings part of Windows 10 to then have to select Firefox as a default browser and ignore Microsoft’s plea to keep Edge.

Mozilla’s reverse engineering means you can now set Firefox as the default from within the browser, and it does all the work in the background with no additional prompts. This circumvents Microsoft’s anti-hijacking protections that the company built into Windows 10 to ensure malware couldn’t hijack default apps. Microsoft tells us this is not supported in Windows.
Firefox now makes it easy to switch default browsers in Windows.

Mozilla has clearly grown tired of the more complicated way of setting up a default browser, a process that Microsoft is making even harder in Windows 11. “People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults, but they don’t,” says a Mozilla spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “All operating systems should offer official developer support for default status so people can easily set their apps as default. Since that hasn’t happened on Windows 10 and 11, Firefox relies on other aspects of the Windows environment to give people an experience similar to what Windows provides to Edge when users choose Firefox to be their default browser.”

Mozilla has been trying to convince Microsoft to improve its default browser settings in Windows since... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 249 Views


WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption closes a longstanding security loophole

Sep 12, 2021 - 9:21 PM - by Reverend
Over two billion WhatsApp users are set to receive a major security enhancement as the app will now allow users to encrypt cloud-based backups via end-to-end encryption (E2EE).

WhatsApp users have enjoyed knowing that their communications within the app were encrypted, ensuring messages were viewable only by senders and their indicated recipients. This protection ceased, however, any time a messaging session was backed up to a cloud-based backup location such as Apple's iCloud or Android's Google Drive. This lack of encryption on the backed-up messages created a security loophole exploitable by parties ranging from law enforcement agencies to unintended malicious third parties.

The new E2EE functionality will ensure that these backups are no longer viewable by anyone, including WhatsApp or the hosting provider, that does not possess the required key. Once received, only the intended recipient can decrypt a transmitted message by using the private key, also known as the decryption key.

The newly available encryption functionality is a big step forward in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of WhatsApp backup data transmitted and stored in the cloud.

While the new functionality does provide enhanced security for WhatsApp users and their data, it does not provide complete and total anonymity. Metadata information such as dates, times, senders, and receivers are still retrievable from the message. While this may not provide the content of the message to an unintended third party, it can provide some indication of the subject matter and urgency of the message. The encryption also does nothing to combat other security vulnerabilities such as compromised receiver endpoints and unencrypted intermediary servers encountered in transit.

WhatsApp will deploy the new E2EE solution to users over the next several weeks. Once deployed, the backup key vault service will be replicated... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 286 Views


FrostWire 6.9.5

Sep 09, 2021 - 7:50 AM - by Reverend
FrostWire is a free, open source BitTorrent client, first released as a fork of LimeWire. In version 5, Gnutella support was dropped entirely, and now FrostWire only uses the BitTorrent network.

FrostWire 6.9.5

FrostWire homepage
  0 Replies | 364 Views


Twitter Unveils Moderated ‘Communities’ for Group Conversations

Sep 09, 2021 - 7:41 AM - by Reverend
Twitter is experimenting with creating private group conversations, part of the social network’s effort to keep people engaged and encourage them to interact with other users.

The San Francisco-based company on Wednesday unveiled Communities, groups of Twitter users who are interested in chatting about a particular topic -- such as dogs, weather, sneakers or astrology, according to a blog post. Under the program, users can tweet directly to the group instead of to all their followers. Only members will be able to reply and join the conversation, though anyone will be able to see what’s being discussed in a Community, and can report possible rule violations to the company.

Moderators, which will initially be approved by Twitter, will be assigned to every Community to “keep things on track and focused.” To join a Community, for now Twitter users will have to be invited by a member or moderator.

The exclusivity-minded approach of Communities differs from Twitter’s other efforts to cultivate tailored conversations, including Topics, which allow users to follow conversations about a particular subject without joining a group.

“There’s always been a broad, weird and wonderful range of conversations on Twitter, but we haven’t done enough to help connect people who are into the same things,” David Regan, a product manager, wrote in the post. “And now, that’s changing.”

Twitter has been testing new privacy-related features to give users greater control over who can see what they post on the social networking site. That strategy shift was born out of internal research that showed many users engage less on Twitter because they don’t understand basic privacy rules of the platform. Among features the company is considering are the ability for users to edit follower lists, and a tool to archive old tweets so that they’re no longer visible to others after a specific amount of time.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 256 Views


Windows 11 could make your PC faster thanks to these clever new tricks

Sep 09, 2021 - 7:38 AM - by Reverend
Windows 11 has brought some great new features and design improvements to the operating system, but perhaps the best change is one that didn’t get much fanfare – under the hood memory optimization.

Windows 11 comes with several important changes to the way the operating system prioritizes apps and processes. Microsoft has done a lot of work in memory management to favour the app windows you have running in the foreground so they have enough CPU and system resources allotted when you launch them.

For example, when you’ve several tabs open in Microsoft Edge and you launch multiple instances of Word, PowerPoint or Excel, these apps will launch without any lag. That’s because these app processes are already running in the foreground and they’ve access to more compute resources than inactive apps.

As a result, Windows 11’s overall experience should feel responsive and fast, especially when launch multiple apps on a busy system.

“That’s seconds of time saved in this case. And the time savings add up as you use the apps over the course of your day. So it feels responsive and fast. Foreground prioritization is a big part of that. And this same concept actually applies to the Windows shell itself, the browser and your open tabs in Windows 11,” Microsoft’s VP Steve Dispensa from the Windows Management team explained.

For a better experience, Microsoft has also enabled sleeping tabs in Edge by default. This could result in an average saving of 32% for memory and 37% for CPU usage on Windows 11 and older. These optimizations will also equate to longer battery life, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

Microsoft has also confirmed that Windows 11 will make devices resume from sleep faster than before. To offer a mobile-like always-on experience, Microsoft has optimized Windows 11 calls to hardware components.
... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 308 Views


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