Windows 7 in 2017 is so outdated that patches can’t keep it secure !!


Microsoft has kicked off its three-year countdown for Windows 7’s end of extended support, warning enterprises they’ll pay dearly for sticking with the platform’s outdated security compared with Windows 10.

Enterprises can of course delay upgrading until January 13, 2020, when extended support ends for the 2009 OS and it no longer receives security patches.

However, as Microsoft has warned, Windows 7, which moved to extended support in 2015, is outdated and will drive up operating costs from remediating malware attacks that wouldn’t penetrate Windows 10 systems.

Windows 7 “does not meet the requirements of modern technology, nor the high security requirements of IT departments”, said Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Germany.

Windows 7 is way more exposed to ransomware than Windows 10


If you want to escape the clutches of ransomware, the best thing you can do is install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft says there’s been a 400 percent rise in ransomware encounters affecting Windows since 2015, but older versions of Windows are more exposed to it and more prone to actual infection after an encounter. Microsoft says it has “made Windows 10 Anniversary Update the most secure Windows ever”.

Devices on Windows 10 are 58 percent less likely to run into ransomware than Windows 7, Microsoft argues in a new white paper detailing in-built defenses against the extortion-ware.

Ransomware arrives either through email or the browser, both of which Microsoft has battened down in Windows 10.

FTC Files Lawsuit Against D-Link Over Unprotected IoT Devices


Vulnerable routers and webcams pose a significant threat to online security. D-Link, one of the world’s leading hardware manufacturers of these inter-connected computer accessories, has been sued by the FTC. Apparently, the company has not taken the necessary steps to secure their devices. A hacker may have taken advantage of this issue, although that has not been officially confirmed.

Trouble Ahead For D-Link

On Thursday, January 5th, the FTC filed their complaint against D-Link Corporation and its US subsidiary. The main issue is how their webcams and routers are not adequately secured, allowing hackers to gain remote access. If these devices are exploited, one never fully knows what the criminals may do. Given the recent DDoS attacks through IoT devices, the security of these machines has become a pressing matter.

According to the FTC, D-Link failed to take reasonable steps to protect their IP cameras and routers from unauthorized access. To be more precise, the complaint mentions how the company ignored the “widely known and reasonably foreseeable risks” in this regard. Considering how D-Link has become a household name in nearly every country, this does not bode well for the manufacturer.


Police want an Echo’s data to prove a murder case


Police in Bentonville, Arkansas are turning to Amazon to help prosecute a suspected murderer. The case, which was first spotted by The Information and goes back to 2015, shines a light on how smart home devices might start playing a larger role in future criminal investigations.

James Andrew Bates was charged with first-degree murder after a man named Victor Collins was found dead in Bates’ hot tub in November 2015. Bates owned a few connected devices, including a Nest thermostat, a Honeywell alarm system, and an Amazon Echo. During the course of their investigation, police issued a warrant to Amazon requesting data in the form of audio recordings, transcribed records, and other text records from Bates’ Echo. The police also sought more personal information on Bates, including his subscriber information, and his purchase and billing history.

Amazon hasn’t disclosed the data Bates’ Echo transmitted to its servers, although it did provide police with Bates’ account information and purchase history. However, the police seized his Echo and independently extracted data from it. The court documents do not specify what that data was exactly. A search warrant states that police believe they could have extracted audio recordings, transcribed records, text records, and “other data.” The Echo does have some local storage. Amazon sent us this statement about the case: “Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course.”

Now, we likely won’t have a better clue about what police were able to ascertain from this data until the case reaches a court room, if ever. The important takeaway is that connected devices are becoming essential to police investigations. For its part, Amazon says the Echo only begins recording when its wake word, like “Alexa,” is spoken. That said, the device is always listening for its trigger word.


Microsoft might add ‘Game Mode’ to Windows 10 for gaming performance

Win 10 Logo

Gaming on Windows 10 might be getting even better. A report from UberGizmo cites Twitter user @h0x0d, who found a new “gamemode.dll” in the latest Windows 10 developer build. The feature appears to allow Windows 10 to adjust CPU and GPU resources when running a game to allocate more power for the game that’s running instead of toward any background apps.

It’s a move that essentially allows PCs to act almost like consoles, freeing up almost all the computational firepower of the machine for the sole purpose of running games as well as possible. The so-called “game mode” is another indication that Microsoft is continuing to take PC gaming on Windows 10 even more seriously. The company already has taken significant strides in 2016 toward blurring the line between Xbox consoles and PCs, with the Xbox One now running Windows and games offering cross-purchasing options from Xbox One to PC, and it seems that this sort of integration will only continue onward in 2017.

Microsoft has yet to confirm the existence of the new “game mode,” but with the release of the major Windows 10 Creators Update scheduled for early 2017, it’s likely we could see it included with that OS update.

7-Eleven the first regular commercial drone delivery service in the U.S.

7-Eleven Drone

7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, shared new numbers from its drone delivery experiment today by beating Google and Amazon to the first commercial drone delivery service in the U.S. Seventy-seven customers in Reno, Nev., have now received items ordered from 7-Eleven delivered to their doorsteps via drone. All 77 flights were from one store to a dozen select customers who live within a mile of the shop. 7-Eleven has partnered with the drone maker Flirtey for its delivery pilot.

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