Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Microsoft is pestering Chrome downloaders to stick with Edge and its 'added trust'

No Exit sign

It is certainly not unknown for Microsoft to use Windows and other software it produces to promote its own products. In many ways, the likes of Windows 11 serve as an ad platform for the company. Now the Windows-maker has upped its efforts to discourage people from using browsers made by other companies.

If you use Microsoft Edge to download Chrome, you are now likely to see a message extoling the benefits of sticking with Edge. One prompt which is sure to raise a few eyebrows advises would-be Chrome users that Edge runs on the same technology (that is, the Chromium engine) "with the added trust of Microsoft".

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Square's rebranding as Block could signal a move into crypto

Block logo

Having stepped down as CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey is not done with change. His other company Square has just announced that it is changing its name to Block -- something it says "differentiates the Square brand, which was built for the Seller business, from the corporate entity".

With the rebranding there will be no organizational changes; Square, Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975 will continue to maintain their respective brands. While a press release expresses some of the thinking behind the change in name, many believe it is also a reference to blockchain, and could signal a move into cryptocurrencies.

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Meta explains why it is taking so long to bring end-to-end encryption to Facebook Messenger and Instagram -- and what it is doing in the meantime

Meta Facebook Instagram WhatsApp logos

Meta recently announced that the protection, privacy and security offered by end-to-end encryption will not be coming to Facebook Messenger or Instagram until some time in 2023. Until then, anyone looking to send secure messages through Meta's platform will have to turn to WhatsApp.

What was not made particularly clear at the time of the announcement, however, is just why there is such a delay. Now Meta has opened up and revealed some of the thinking behind holding back on the roll-out of end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging services.

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Twitter updates privacy policy to ban unauthorized images and videos of people

Twitter logo through a magnifying glass

Twitter has announced an important change to its privacy policy so that the sharing of images and videos of people without consent is now forbidden.

In many ways this is simply a tightening up of existing privacy protections and anti-doxxing policies, giving individuals a route to having media depicting them removed from the platform. The new policy does not apply to everyone, however.

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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.51.0 with lots of fixes, a new mouse utility... and two exciting teasers

Microsoft PowerToys Mouse Highlighter

The release of a PowerToys update is always exciting, but this is especially true when Microsoft adds new utilities. And with the release of PowerToys v0.51.0, the development team does not disappoint.

We recently told you that the team was busily working away on a new Mouse Highlighter utility, and this has now been officially added to the PowerToys collection. Version v0.51.0 includes a lengthy list of tweaks, fixes and improvements, and there is also the promise of a new tool called Always On Top as well as something intriguingly referred to as "centers of gravity".

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Zoom boosts security with automatic updates for Windows and macOS -- but Linux users miss out

Angled Zoom logo

Many things have come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increased usage of video messaging and video conferencing tools is one interesting phenomenon. At the start of coronavirus-related lockdowns and periods of working from home, Zoom rocketed in popularity -- but the service soon found its security practices under close scrutiny and in receipt of strong criticism.

In the intervening month, Zoom did a lot of work to improve not only its images, but also the security of its platform and safety of its users. Continuing this trend, the company has launched a new automatic update feature for the Windows and macOS versions of the Zoom client.

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0patch beats Microsoft to fix serious local privilege escalation vulnerability in Windows

Laptop plaster

Once again, micro-patching firm 0patch has beaten Microsoft to the punch, releasing an unofficial patch for a zero-day vulnerability in Windows.

This time around we're talking about CVE-2021-24084, a local privilege escalation (LPE) zero-day vulnerability in Windows' Mobile Device Management service. The flaw affects Windows 10 version 1809 and later, and Microsoft is yet to release an official patch of its own. Not wanting to leave systems at risk of attack, 0patch stepped in to help out users by offering up a free fix.

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Microsoft fixes problems that took GitHub offline

Microsoft building logo

It may be a holiday weekend for many, but few people would be expecting websites and online services to take time off. Unfortunately, that's precisely what happened with GitHub after an outage left developers unable to access the site.

On Saturday evening going into Sunday, Microsoft started to investigate a series of issues affecting GitHub Actions, API Requests, Codespaces, Git Operations, Issues, GitHub Packages, GitHub Pages, Pull Requests, and Webhooks.

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KB5007205 update for Windows is breaking Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Microsoft building logo

Microsoft has revealed that a recent update for Windows has been causing problems that could have left systems unprotected and open to attack.

After installing the KB5007205 update, some system administrators have found that Microsoft Defender for Endpoint fails. This makes something of a change from the printer problems that so many updates for Windows have caused in recent times, but there is currently no fix available.

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CronRAT is a new Linux malware set to strike on February 31st

CronRAT

Yes, you did read the headline correctly; security researchers have discovered a stealthy new remote access trojan (RAT) designed to attack Linux systems. Named CronRAT, the malware hides as a scheduled task and is configured to run on a non-existent date – February 31st.

Researchers from Sansec warn that CronRAT "enables server-side Magecart data theft which bypasses browser-based security solutions". This is something that is particularly concerning this Black Friday.

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Microsoft releases KB5007253 update to fix MSI issues and yet more printer problems in Windows

Windows 10 laptop

It is the time of the month that sees Microsoft releasing preview versions of upcoming updates for Windows, and this is precisely what the company has done with the optional KB5007253 Preview cumulative update for Windows 10.

Available for Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, 21H1 and 21H2, this update addresses 0x000006e4, 0x0000007c and 0x00000709 errors associated with networking printing. It also includes a fix for the Microsoft Installer (MSI) issue that was causing problems with Kaspersky apps, as well as fixing a laundry list of other problems.

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Zero-day vulnerability could give an attacker admin access in Windows 11 and older

vulnerability

A security researcher has revealed a serious vulnerability affecting Windows 10, Windows 11 and Windows Server. By exploiting the vulnerability, an attacker would be able to easily gain administrative privileges on a victim's system.

The discovery and revelation were made by Abdelhamid Naceri, during his research on a Microsoft patch for another vulnerability tracked as CVE-2021-41379. He was able to bypass the patch for the Windows Installer Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability and also discovered another serious zero-day for which he has shared a proof-of-concept exploit.

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You can now download a free Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine from Microsoft

Windows 11 laptop

Microsoft has made no fanfare about it, but the company has made available a virtual machine based on Windows 11 Enterprise that developers -- or anyone else -- can install and use free of charge.

A few days ago, Microsoft updated a page in the Windows Dev Center to include download links for Windows 11 VMs for VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox and Parallels. The development environments have been designed to help users "start building Windows applications quickly" but they could be put to other uses instead.

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How to view saved Wi-Fi passwords in Windows 11

Wi-Fi padlock

There are times -- such as when you get a new laptop or phone -- when you will need to know the password for your wireless internet connection. You may have set this password yourself, or you may have stuck with the default password your router came with.

While it is possible that the password is printed on a sticker on the bottom of your router, this is not always the case; even if it is, your router may not be in an easily accessible place. So how can you determine what your Wi-Fi password is in Windows 11? Read on to find out!

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Spotify no longer shuffles albums by default because Adele has spoken

Adele with Spotify logo

Following the release of her latest album, 30, Adele has had a greater impact on Spotify than the artist -- or anyone else -- expected. The new LP has already been streamed millions of times, and this is hardly surprising for Adele's first album in six years. But the singer has also managed to convince Spotify to make a big change to the platform.

The streaming music service has stopped shuffling albums by default, in recognition of the fact that bands and artists craft albums with a great deal of attention to detail, carefully curating track order to create a narrative or mood.

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