The biggest news of the week has to be the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO at Microsoft, which brought to an end weeks of speculation and rumor. Bill Gates also stepped down as chairman. A leaked version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 appeared online giving us all a sneak peek of what we can expect to see in the upcoming release -- including context menus on the Start screen, a new enterprise mode in Internet Explorer, and different ways of working with modern apps. Ahead of this big release, it was Windows XP that was showing growth rather than Microsoft's latest operating system.
In other Microsoft news, Xbox One's first big update was revealed to be coming up on 11 February. Sony announced that it was selling its VAIO business to enable it to focus its attention on mobile devices. Business and individuals who rely on 37signals' products found that the company was not only changing its name, but also dropping all of its services apart from Basecamp. There was another blow for Bitcoin as the online currency was effectively banned in Russia.
You might think that Russia has just about enough on its plate at the moment, what with having the Winter Olympics to host and fending off global accusations of homophobia, but the Central Bank of Russia has found the time to slap a ban on Bitcoin. This is not the first country to outlaw the online currency -- it's something that has already been done by Thailand and it's being considered by others.
The General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation looked into "the so-called virtual currencies" phenomenon and found that there was a risk of Bitcoin being used for money laundering. The damning ruling refers to Bitcoin and other similar currencies as "money substitutes". Citing Article 27 of the Federal Law, the General Prosecutor said that "the official currency of the Russian Federation is the ruble", going on to say that money issued in other forms is prohibited.
With the Winter Olympics about to start there have been a number of stories pointing out the security risks of people using their mobile devices in Sochi.
Writing in a blog post, Paul Proctor, vice president and analyst at Gartner says it's important to remember that you're not really safe anywhere and it's your behavior that's the key factor in your security.
A survey of more than 750 security decision makers and practitioners in North America and Europe finds that more than 60 percent have suffered some form of security breach in 2013.
In its first Cyberthreat Defense Report the Cyber Edge Group aims to provide an all-round view of organizations’ security threats, response plans, processes, and investments.
Following last month's announcement that Yahoo Mail connections would be getting default HTTPS encryption, the company has gone a stage further, enabling HTTPS access to Yahoo Contacts and Profile APIs.
In a post on its developer blog Yahoo advises that API settings will need to be changed by February 27.
PassMark Software has released its 2014 Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks report, the results of in-depth testing on the speed and impact on your system of 16 leading security packages.
First place in the security suite test went to Norton Internet Security 2014 for its excellent scan times, fast launch, and minimal effect on other applications and PC tasks. Kaspersky and Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 were second and third, while products from Avast, G Data, McAfee, Panda and Trend Micro trailed behind.
Paying a bounty for vulnerabilities has become more commonplace. Last month, Google announced it was offering millions of dollars as a reward for Chrome OS vulnerability discoveries.
However, around the same time, rogue extensions began making waves in the Chrome community. Lately, it has become a popular problem, causing Chrome users to question the safety and security of Google's browser. Today, Google seems to have possibly recognized the severity of the problem, as the company will pay reward money for discovered vulnerabilities in both Chrome apps and extensions.
As technology advances, so does the potential for its misuse. As smartphones gain better cameras and higher speed data connections, the likelihood of sharing naughty photos and videos increases. Sadly, this can end up harming both parties if it leaks online. The person in the photo or video can be embarrassed and the person that shares the content can possibly be charged with new "revenge porn" laws.
This risky behavior is becoming an epidemic, not only regarding sexual content, but other things too. With that said, McAfee announces the results of a recent survey, and they are quite troubling.
2014 is not proving to be a very good year for security -- and it is not just down to the Syrian Electronic Army. Hundreds of thousands of Orange customers in France have had their personal details exposed after hackers managed to procure a mass of unencrypted data from the My Account section of the orange.fr website.
The attack was carried out on 16 January, but details are only coming to light some two weeks after the security breach.
Cyber threats and in particular DDoS attacks are a major problem for both service providers and customers and have grown in both frequency and sophistication.
Corero Network Security a leader in enterprise security systems has launched a new product to help service providers fend off these threats.
Technology giant HP has released its Cyber Risk Report 2013 which highlights the top enterprise vulnerabilities.
The report also offers an analysis of the current threat landscape, pointing out increased reliance on mobile devices, the spread of insecure software and the growing use of Java as adding to a growing "attack surface".
There have been a lot of website compromises in 2014 despite the fact we're only just into February. Now it looks as though the Syrian Electronic Army is at it again. This time it is eBay and PayPal who found themselves in the crosshairs, as some users discovered that they were redirected to sites that announced the hack, praised Syria and chided the US government.
It might seem obvious that the Syrian Electronic Amy was behind the attack, but in case there was any doubt, the group used their Twitter feed to claim responsibility.
Malwarebytes has released the first public beta of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.00, the latest incarnation of its popular security tool.
The first change you’ll notice is the interface, which has been revamped for a more modern look. An opening "dashboard" displays your protection level, license details, database version, scan and real-time protection status. You can update the program or launch a scan with a click, while "Scan", "Settings" and "History" tabs provide more details and control.
I've been dubious of trusting Yahoo since its ill-advised decision to start recycling email addresses. While my criticism of that decision was theoretical, my colleague Wayne Williams experienced this ineptitude in practice.
Sadly, recycling emails is not the only blemish on the service. Today, Yahoo announces that the email accounts of some users have been compromised. In other words, the company has joined a special club that includes Target and Michaels, with users feeling anxious and violated.
Watching my RSS streams in Feedly on a daily basis has had my head spinning lately. It's not the usual flood of tech news getting to me. It's all the stories hitting recently about the so-called Internet of Things. For a topic that has so little to show for it in the real world thus far, it sure garners a disproportionate amount of attention in the tech media. So what gives?
Perhaps someone can fill me in on what this Internet of Things is supposed to look like. Is it a different internet? Is it a network solely designated for these newfound "things" that need to talk to every other "thing" out there? Or is it just more of what we already see in the market: giving every device possible an IP address to sit on. I'm just as perplexed at this bogus concept as Mike Elgan from Computerworld. He's calling it a wild idea that is rightly "doomed from the start" for numerous reasons.