July 2021
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Windows 11

Microsoft has announced Windows 11 will be released later this year – probably around October.

The main reason for the change is to enable more security. It will look different but work much the same. The upgrade will be free. Only computers with compatible hardware will be able to upgrade. You can see if your PC will run Windows 11 with this tool.

Microsoft’s 7 minute product announcement (video) here.

Windows 10 will continue to be supported until 2025.

We have found that the more recent versions of Windows 10 can cause performance problems if you still have a magnetic hard drive rather than an SSD (solid state drive).  Upgrade to an SSD if you have not already.

Windows 10 2004 reaches its end of life on December 14th, 2021. If you are not on patch management, devices running this version of Windows 10 will automatically be upgraded to the latest version – possibly without warning.

Microsoft no longer offers hardware drivers for  Windows 7 or Server 2008 via Windows Update.

The way drivers are signed has changed, and the older “Microsoft signed” drivers no longer work.

Security updates have already been discontinued, and there are well-known security flaws in active use by hackers.

Support for Internet Explorer 11 ends June 15 next year (2022).  If you are still using IE 11, it is time to move on.

 Nvidia (video card maker) drops support for Windows 7 and 8.1 later this year.

Skype for Business Online retires July 31, 2021. Your office 365 account will switch to Teams if you have not already done so.

A more efficient 64-bit version of OneDrive for Windows is available in preview.  After the 64-bit OneDrive is generally available, your device will be automatically updated to 64-bit if it meets the requirements.

Apple Issues Urgent Patches for 2 Zero-Day Flaws. Check for updates.

BIOSConnect code execution bugs impact Dell devices

A critical bug chain allows attackers to impersonate the vendor and potentially take control. Local access is required, making it a limited risk. Update or disable the BIOSConnect program if it is installed on your Dell.

LastPass is revising their product line. LastPass Business is replacing LastPass Enterprise.

“Existing LastPass Identity customers, Enterprise customers and MFA customers will not experience any changes. We will be moving LastPass Enterprise customers to LastPass Business at your next renewal, where you’ll have all your enterprise password management functionality and the ability to add up to 3 cloud applications.”

There is now a LastPass for Families, which allows up to 6 users for $4/month per family subscription.

LastPass Premium (now a family product) is unchanged at $3/month.  It includes the use of the YubiKey.

LastPass SSO and LastPass MFA are new products.

AT&T will move its 5G mobile network to the Microsoft cloud.

 Amazon gives Music Unlimited subscribers up to six months of free Disney+.

Music Unlimited is $8 a month as a Prime member. Details here.

All three major cell phone companies have met the deadline to implement the FCC’s new anti-spoofing protocol. If a local number pops up on your phone, you can have more confidence that it’s not a fake number coming from a scammer.

TestGorilla, helps to hire people through short, skills-based tests which you can customize.

The trend toward self-driving and electric vehicles will add hundreds of millions of lines of code to cars. Can the auto industry cope? “No other industry is undergoing as rapid technological change as the auto industry”… “potential attack surfaces are increasing virtually daily”… “Software will account for 90% of future innovations in the car.” Gartner estimated that by 2020, 250 million connected vehicles will be on the roadways, “making [them] a major element of the Internet of Things”.

 COVID

Many Americans moved during the pandemic. Here’s Where They Went.

Touchless travel with CLEAR. Using retina as ID at airports, concerts etc.

Google is making it possible to store digital versions of either Covid-19 test results or vaccination cards on users’ Android devices.

The Economic Recovery Is Here. It’s Unlike Anything You’ve Seen.

The global economy is set to expand 5.6 percent in 2021—its strongest post-recession pace in 80 years.

World Economic Outlook: Managing Divergent Recoveries

SECURITY

Mystery malware steals 26M passwords and other data.

The database, available for sale on the dark web, contains 26 million login credentials, 1.1 million unique email addresses, more than 2 billion browser cookies, and 6.6 million files.  The malware made a screenshot after it infected the computer and took a picture using the device’s webcam. Stolen data also came from apps for messaging, email, gaming, and file-sharing. The data was extracted between 2018 and 2020 from more than 3 million PCs.

Patients ‘Harmed’ by Scripps Health Cyberattack

Carnival Cruise, has again been forced to admit to a data breach incident. For the second time in a year, attackers broke into email accounts and gained access to personal, financial and health information of guests, employees and crew.

700 million LinkedIn user records offered in underground forum.

The vendor claims that the data was obtained by exploiting the LinkedIn API to collect information that people upload to the site. The data could be used for identity theft, phishing attacks, social engineering attacks and more.

HUMOR

 

 

TORIAN GROUP

As mentioned for the last 2 months, we have migrated offsite backups to a new vendor with some improvements in security and backup capabilities. Please call or email if you have any questions. If you had been receiving daily backup notifications, they should resume shortly as we complete the setup of the new system.

By Tim Torian

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The Torian Group Times Newsletter is a service to our clients, and anyone who finds it useful. Topics include security updates; known problems with recent patches; new and upcoming software and hardware that might affect your business; and information about technology in the Visalia area.  It is free to anyone who wishes to subscribe by providing their name and email address. We will not do anything with this information other than sending the newsletter – no unsolicited marketing of any kind.

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