Windows users are at risk from an old security flaw

Windows users are at risk from an old security flaw

Windows security flaw

Microsoft have admitted that the .

The bug was found in the SSL and TLS security technology that encrypts data being sent between web servers and your browser. This flaw could let a hacker force the data to use a weaker encryption; this will then make it easier to steal things like your personal information.

A French-based team of security experts announced they had discovered the bug on the 3rd March, but the scary part was it had been undetected since 1999.

Initially the flaw was believed to affect BlackBerry, Android phones and Apples Safari web browser, but two days later Microsoft announced it also affected its operating system as well.

Microsoft said they were investigating the flaw and will “take the appropriate action to protect their customers”. This will most probably mean a security update or perhaps an emergency patch outside the update schedule.

Other tech companies have acted quickly to fix this flaw. Google have updated their version of Chrome for Macs, Apple are expected to release a fix for safari the week beginning 9th March. Google have yet to say if they will update Android to fix this flaw.

Security experts have advised PC users to switch to Firefox s browser, as the FREAK vulnerable does not affect it. They also recommended that Android uses should only use Googles Chrome browser on there devices and not the default Android browser. Mac Users should also try and avoid using Safari until Apple releases their update.

Its been estimated that of the 14 million websites offering encryption, around five million still remain vulnerable to the flaw.

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Windows Cloud

Windows Cloud

There are rumours on the web suggesting Microsoft could be working on a web-only version called Windows Cloud. I will try and explain how that could work.

Windows Cloud

What is it?

An online version of Microsoft Windows OS, that would store most of the tools in the ‘Cloud”. It’s all just rumours at the moment, but the Russian blogger WZor who leaked the information has a good track record of Windows scoops, like the accurate screenshot of Windows 8.1 update.

How would Windows Cloud work?

Rumours have suggested Windows Cloud would be in two parts, one part would be stored on your PCs hard drive like normal and would contain all the data needed to boot your PC. The second part would be stored in the cloud, and hold your account details and settings.

Would it be similar to Chrome OS?

It sounds like it will be, Google’s Chrome OS only gives you a complete operating system when it is connected to the internet, it only gives you basic tools when you are not – a bit like Windows Starter, the striped down version of Microsoft’s Windows OS that started to appear on some notebooks. If Windows Cloud does come out, it would be aimed at people that use web services more than installing software on their computer. Any online version of Windows would in all properly work closely with Microsoft’s range of online Office tools: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/online

Hasn’t Microsoft criticised Chrome OS?

In November last year Microsoft posted an online video that mocked the limited potential of the cromebook, which was part of their anti-Google campaign “Scroogled”. In the video the Pawn-shop owner examines the Chromebook and then goes on to say “When you’re not connected to the internet, it’s pretty much a brick”. Google should be flattered though as Microsoft would only attack something they consider a serious rival. Ironically In April Microsoft added Office Online apps to Google’s Chrome Web Store, which provided shortcuts to Microsoft’s apps for people using Chromebooks.

What does that tell us?

That Microsoft is keen to get more people to use their cloud services, no mater what device they have. In February Satya Nadella held his first press briefing as CEO, “Mobile-first, cloud-first world” (www.snipca.com/11929) in it he stressed how he wanted to make Windows available from virtually anywhere, because people are “not bound, to one device or one place anymore”.

So how accurate are the rumours?

It’s hard to say, but analysts have agreed Windows Cloud would make sense.
Editor Max Cooter at cloud-computing website Cloud Pro (www.cloudpro.co.uk) thinks Windows Cloud is “very likely” to appear, and that it will be “radical with some genuinely innovative features”. But he also goes on to say that it may not appear anytime soon: “Microsoft has a history of their products taking longer than expected to develop”. Other experts have pointed out Windows Cloud would be a sensible way to target the growing number of people that use their phones and tablets.

I would have to agree with these views. The top dogs at Microsoft have realised by adding web-based versions of Windows could be the key to the operating systems survival, But I don’t expect an announcement anytime soon.

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Rise of the Killswitch for Smartphones

Rise of the Killswitch for Smartphones

Good news as Google and Microsoft will be adopting the “killswitch” on their smart phones just like Apple and Samsung.

This move has come after a report has revealed that iPhone theft has fallen significantly since Apple added their new security features in to its mobile operating system.

A “Killswitch” will give users the power to remotely disable their smartphones if its lost or stolen. It also helps increase security by adding more password layers.

iPhone Theft Declined After The Introduction Of Activation Lock

iPhone Thefts Have Declined After The Introduction Of Activation Lock, While The Thefts of Samsung Handsets Have Increased

According to a report by the New York State Attorney General, iPhone thefts have fallen by 20% in London since the Activation lock was added to Apples iOS 7 last year. Samsung also added a reactivation lock to there OS in April to try and stop theft of their handsets.

In the report “Microsoft have confirmed they will add a killswitch to there next windows phone OS. Google are planning on the doing the same for their new Android OS”

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