Latest Technology News

Google launches new security and privacy features to mark Safer Internet Day

Google Chrome icon on mobile

Google is using today's Safer Internet Day to announce a number of new security and privacy initiatives.

Among these are new ways to fill out passwords easily and securely in Chrome, more privacy protection for the Google app, improvements to Google Password Manger, and an expansion of SafeSearch to protect against explicit images.

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Ethical hackers: Should businesses tread with caution?

Hacker

With cybercrime continuing to pose a major threat around the globe, businesses everywhere are increasing their spending on both information security solutions and regular security testing to find vulnerabilities before criminals can exploit them. However, with the latest research showing over 40 percent of cyberattacks last year were in fact zero-day exploits that took advantage of vulnerabilities missed by traditional pen testing, it’s clear that more still needs to be done.

For this reason, a growing number of organizations are turning to so-called 'ethical hackers' or grey hats, who use their skills to find the vulnerabilities that traditional penetration testing organizations can’t. However, while the services on offer can be incredibly effective, the idea of hacking still tends to carry (mostly) negative connotations, which often leaves businesses unsure about finding an ethical hacking service they can trust. For those that wish to explore the idea of ethical hacking further, below are a number of best practice guidelines for doing so:

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Critical infrastructure organizations the target of more than half of ransomware attacks

Ransomware

Critical infrastructure organizations accounted for 51 percent of ransomware victims in 2022, with construction being the most targeted sector overall.

Analysis by the KrakenLabs team at Outpost24 has identified 2,363 victims disclosed by various ransomware groups on Data Leak Sites (DLS) in 2022, with an estimated $450 million paid in ransom by victims.

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WSAPatch lets you run Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 10

WSAPatch

There are a number of features of Windows 11 that Microsoft has kept exclusive to the latest version of its operating system, perhaps to give some incentive for Windows 10 users to upgrade. One such feature is Windows Subsystem for Android, the architecture that makes it possible to run Android apps and games natively in Windows 11.

If you are sticking with Windows 10, there is no need to feel left out, however. If you don't want to use the likes of Bluestacks or Genymotion, you may want to take a look at WSAPatch which, with a bit of tinkering, makes it possible to enable Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 10.

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Google launches its own AI alternative to ChatGPT called Bard

Google Bard

It has been hard to avoid ChatGPT in recent weeks, with the AI-powered chatbot becoming the fastest growing app of all time. Today, Microsoft is expected to use a last-minute event to announce the integration of ChatGPT into Bing, but Google has already tried to steal the Windows-maker's thunder by announcing its own AI service, Bard.

Sundar Pichai is billing Bard as "an important next step on our AI journey", and it is currently available to a group of "trusted testers". In the coming weeks, however, the ChatGPT rival will be made publicly available, he promises.

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Microsoft investigates Outlook.com outage that leaves users unable to send and receive emails

Microsoft mirror building logo

Is Outlook down? For many people this is most definitely the case. Microsoft is currently investigating an outage with its email service which it says primarily affects users in North America, but acknowledges that there will be impact in other parts of the world.

The problems means that many people are not able to send or receive emails using Outlook.com, and even searching messages is not possible. The company is yet to give much in the way of details about the cause of the issues, blaming it on a "recent change".

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When it comes to technology, lose the costs -- not the functionality

The whiff of a recession is in the air as some of the largest multinational organizations, from Google to Goldman Sachs, enact layoffs at a massive scale in an effort to shore up their finances. In this environment of economic uncertainty, organizations keep one eye glued to the bottom line while the other eye anxiously scans the organization, looking for areas to trim costs.

When it comes to technology, however, these cost-cutting efforts need to be approached carefully; otherwise, organizations risk losing functionality or compromising on application quality -- both of which can impact employee productivity and put the organization in even worse shape to weather any tough times that lie ahead. So, how best to approach this undertaking?

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You don't have to be clever to be a cybercriminal

Cybercriminals don't need to be clever and use inventive hacking exploits to breach systems as organizations are making things too easy for them, says a new report.

Intelligence-led computer security testing company SE Labs has released its annual Cyber Threat Intelligence report with a warning that CEOs need to take cybersecurity seriously or risk falling into the clutches of criminals eager to take their data and their money.

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How emerging technologies are changing the security landscape [Q&A]

AI security

The cybersecurity world is a constantly evolving one. In recent years though we've seen the rise of new technologies like AI and quantum computing that, while they may revolutionize legitimate businesses, also have worrying implications for security.

We spoke to Kevin Kennedy, vice president of products at detection and response company Vectra AI, to find out more about the risks and what organizations can do about them.

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Dashlane makes its password manager open-source

Open-source Dashlane

In something of a surprising move, Dashlane has made the source code for its password manager publicly available on GitHub.

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 license, the open-sourcing applies to Dashlane's iOS and Android apps. The company says that is made the decision in the name of transparency and trust, and that the projects will be update four times a year -- although this may increase further down the line.

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Elon Musk responds to criticism of shuttering free Twitter API access by offering free, write-only access to 'bots providing good content that is free'

Twitter logo next to dollars and smartphone

The turbulent seas of Twitter show no signs of calming since the tempestuous Elon Musk took over. Having caused confusion and irritation by blocking third-party clients, Twitter then announced that free access to its API will end this week, with the effect of killing off large numbers of bots, services and tools -- including Mastodon migraters' favorite Movetodon.

Ending free access to the Twitter API has, understandably, not gone down well, with developers being highly and vocally critical of the move. Now, having listened to feedback, Musk says that "Twitter will enable a light, write-only API for bots providing good content that is free".

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Why organizations must not overlook connectivity design before rushing IoT devices to market

Spurred on by the dramatic shift in the global economy, the acceleration of digital transformation triggered a rise in new technologies appearing on the market. As a result, businesses have responded fiercely, scaling IoT initiatives rapidly, with mixed results.

With growing interruptions in workflow due to poor connectivity, integration, and supply chain issues, organizations have had to cope with a long list of challenges when deploying IoT to market. This has included the drive to cut costs, adhere to ever-tighter deadlines, and plug the ongoing engineering skills shortage gap.

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Twitter has killed Movetodon, the service that simplified moving from Twitter to Mastodon

Mastodon and Twitter icons

The exodus from Twitter to Mastodon shows little signs of slowing down, and numerous websites and services have popped up to make it easier to jump to the decentralized social network. One such tool is Movetodon, designed to help anyone moving to Mastodon to find the people they were previously following on Twitter.

Movetodon has proved incredibly popular, but it has just been killed off by Twitter. The Elon Musk-owned site announced this week that it is ending free access to its API on February 9, but ahead of this, Twitter has blocked Movetodon's access to the API, rendering the service non-functionable, alleging violation of unspecified rules and policies.

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tiny11 massively shrinks Windows 11, slashes system requirements and eliminates the need for TPM

tiny11

One of the various things that puts people off upgrading to Windows 11 is that the operating system has very particular system requirements. For someone looking to upgrade from Windows 7, for instance, it is likely that their hardware will not make the grade. There is an answer, however, in the form of tiny11.

Coming from the same team that was behind tiny10 -- NTDEV -- tiny11 is a majorly stripped-back, bare-bones version of Windows 11 Pro that dramatically lowers the system requirements. The operating system needs just 8GB of disk space and 2GB of RAM, and it does not require TPM (Trusted Platform Module) support. This sounds great, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

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Best Windows apps this week

Five-hundred-and-twenty-eight in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 and 11 on the Microsoft Store and elsewhere in the past seven days.

Microsoft stopped sales of Windows 10 on its own stores this week. The only client-based Windows operating system that is still available directly from Microsoft is Windows 11. Third-parties continue to sell Windows 10 licenses though.

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