Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

CISA warns of UnRAR security flaw affecting Linux systems

Linux

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued a warning about a security issue with the UnRAR tool for Linux-based systems.

The vulnerability is being tracked as CVE-2022-30333, and if successfully exploited, the flaw could allow an attacker to use the process of unpacking an archive to write data to an area of storage.

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Microsoft warns Windows users that a recent update has broken XPS viewing

Microsoft headquarters

Craving another problem caused by an update to Windows? Microsoft is happy to oblige! The company has issued a warning that users who install the KB5014666 update -- yes, the same update that caused printing problems and issues with the language bar -- may experience difficulties with XPS files.

The problem means that XPS documents with non-English language characters might not open, and it is not limited to those who have installed the KB5014666 update.

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Microsoft releases KB5016629 update to fix Windows 11 Start menu problems and security issues

Windows 11 laptop

It is that time of the month again -- the time that Microsoft releases updates for Windows 11. This time around, the company has released the KB5016629 update to not only fix a problem that prevented the Start menu from opening, but also to address various security issues.

This is a cumulative update which also includes the changes that were part of the KB5015882 update that was made available last month. This means that the KB5016629 update fixes problems with File Explorer as well as introducing new Focus Assist features and better Windows 11 updating.

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WhatsApp is gaining some great new privacy features including screenshot blocking

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is not only one of the popular messaging apps out there, it is also one that is subject to some of the fastest development work. Existing features are constantly being tweaked, new options are being added all the time, and Mark Zuckerberg has just revealed three exciting new privacy-focused features.

In an announcement on his personal Facebook page, the CEO of Meta teased a trio of new features which will help to improve the privacy of group and one-on-one chats. The upcoming additions are part of a new global campaign from WhatsApp that focuses on and promotes privacy and security features.

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Twitter comes clean about serious security incident affecting millions of accounts

Twitter logo on wooden background

Twitter has confirmed that a hacker was able to exploit a security vulnerability on the social platform earlier this year, gaining access to the private data of millions of users.

In total, 5.4 million accounts were affected, with the attacker able to link account names to email addresses and phone numbers. While the incident took place back in January this year, Twitter has also revealed that the exposed user data was made available to buy just last month. In what will be regarded by many as something of an understatement, the company says that "it is unfortunate that this happened".

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GitHub rival GitLab ditches plans to delete inactive repositories

GitLab

GitLab recently announced plans that meant repositories that were part of its free tier would be erased after a year of inactivity. This led to complaints from users of the GitHub rival, saying that it was unfair and that the decision made no sense.

Having listened to the negative feedback, GitLab has now announced a change of heart. Inactive repositories will no longer be deleted when they have not been active for a while, but there will still be consequences for inactivity.

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DuckDuckGo to block Microsoft tracking scripts after user uproar about recent revelations

DuckDuckGo likes to bill itself as a privacy-centric search engine and web browser, and it is hard to deny that it is more private than the likes of Google search and Chrome. But earlier this year, it came to light that there was an agreement in place between the company and Microsoft that meant the DuckDuckGo browser did not block all trackers from the maker of Windows 11.

When users learned that DuckDuckGo was granting a level of leniency to Microsoft there was an understandable backlash. Now the company has announced it is to offer "more privacy and transparency" after failing to meet users expectations, and will block Microsoft tracks -- most of the time.

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Microsoft launches PowerToys v0.61.1 as an important stability-fixing update

PowerToys

It is only a few days since Microsoft unleashed PowerToys v0.61.0 , bringing a slew of "quality of life improvements" to the much-loved collection of utilities. Now the company has released version 0.61.1 which will be of particular interest to Windows 11 users.

Despite lacking new features per se, PowerToys v0.61.1 remains an important release because of the issues that it addresses. Users might be longing for new features, but this development cycle is about improving what's already in place before more is added.

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Microsoft 'fixes' language bar problems caused by KB5014666 update

Oops

It has not gone unnoticed that Microsoft's quality control for updates for Windows has been found somewhat wanting of late, particularly when it comes to Windows 11. We have reported numerous times about problems caused by updates, and then the subsequent fixes -- and, sometimes, additional issues they cause -- that Microsoft releases.

Windows 10 users are also affected by problematic updates, and the recently released KB5014666 update caused issues with printing. But this was not the only problem caused by this devilish update; it was also found to lead to problems with the Input Indicator and Language Bar. Now Microsoft has issued a fix -- of sorts.

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Microsoft beefs up Defender security with new Threat Intelligence and External Attack Surface Management tools

Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management

Microsoft has launched two new security products, bolstering the capabilities of Microsoft Defender. The company says that the aim of the two tools is to help organizations lock down their infrastructure and reduce their overall attack surface.

The tools, Microsoft says, also provide "deeper context into threat actor activity" making it easier to predict malicious activity and secure resources. Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence works by mapping the internet every day, so that security teams have the data needed to understand current attack techniques, while with Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management lets security teams see their system as attackers do.

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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.61.0 with numerous 'quality of life improvements'

PowerToys

It is time for a new build of everyone's favorite Windows utility collection, PowerToys. Microsoft has just released version 0.61.0 of the tools, with the company saying that the v0.61 release cycle is focused on stability and improvements.

But don't let this somewhat self-deprecating description put you off -- there's actually quite a lot to this update. Key changes include updates to the ever-popular FancyZones, as well as Always on Top and PowerToys Run, and updates to the Windows 11 context menu.

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Spotify has an intriguing new incentive to become a Premium subscriber

Spotify play and shuffle controls

A lack of ads and unlimited track skipping are both pretty good reasons to cough up for a Spotify Premium subscription, but for some people it is not enough.

The streaming audio service apparently agrees that paying subscribers do not currently get enough for their outlay and is adding features to increase value for money. So, what does Spotify think will entice would-be subscribers into taking the plunge? New control buttons; buttons most people would reasonably expect to be included in an audio app as standard, rather than as a premium feature.

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Instagram rolls back changes that drew the ire of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner

Instagram logo with silhouettes

Following a backlash from ordinary users, as well as influencers and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, Instagram has announced that it is rolling back a number of recent changes to the social platform.

One of the new features that caused widespread irritation was a TikTok-aping video-focused recommendation system which means users were no longer seeing as much content from accounts they actually follow. Another unpopular change was a new full-screen view for posts. Instagram owners Meta says that after the rollback it will "take the time" to get the changes right.

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If you're daft enough to pay for Twitter Blue, prepare to dig deeper into your pockets

Twitter logo on wooden background

It was hardly a surprise when Twitter launched a subscription service in the form of Twitter Blue. In exchange for $2.99 a month, anyone keen to gain access to extra feature could help top up the social media company's coffers.

But it seems that the coffers have not been topped up enough as Twitter has announced a price hike. The cost of a Twitter Blue subscription jumps by two thirds for new subscribers with immediate effect, and existing subscribers can expect to pay the new, higher price in the near future.

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You can now buy a Windows 11 license direct from Microsoft -- but we know a cheaper option

Microsoft has finally made it possible to purchase Windows 11 product keys and download the software straight from its servers, an option that has been weirdly unavailable for the year the OS has been in existence. Windows 11 has been available as a free upgrade for quite some time now, but there are reasons for wanting to -- or at least needing to -- buy a copy of the operating system.

If you're building a PC from scratch, for instance, you'll need to install Windows 11 from scratch, and this means you can't take advantage of a free upgrade. But buying direct from Microsoft, while a welcome option, is far from being the only way to buy Windows 11, and it's certainly not the cheapest.

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