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Intel has addressed a vulnerability in the configuration of several CPU series that allow an attacker to alter the behavior of the chip's SPI Flash memory —a mandatory component used during the boot-up process.

According to Lenovo, who recently deployed the Intel fixes, "the configuration of the system firmware device (SPI flash) could allow an attacker to block BIOS/UEFI updates, or to selectively erase or corrupt portions of the firmware."

Lenovo engineers say "this would most likely result in a visible malfunction, but could in rare circumstances result in arbitrary code execution."

Current News / Microsoft Engineer Charged in Reveton Ransomware Case
« Last post by Bugbatter on April 14, 2018, 07:12:22 AM »

via Corrine RT: BleepingComputer

A Microsoft network engineer is facing federal charges in Florida for allegedly helping launder money obtained from victims of the Reventon ransomware.

The accused is Raymond Uadiale, 41, a naturalized US citizen of Nigerian descent, who currently works for Microsoft in Seattle since 2014, according to his LinkedIn page.

Florida investigators say that between October 2012 and March 2013, Uadiale worked with a UK citizen going online by the moniker K!NG. The latter would distribute and infect victims with the Reveton ransomware, while Uadiale would collect payments and send the money to K!NG, in the UK.
Current News / Microsoft Account Gets New Look With Fluent Design Update
« Last post by Bugbatter on April 13, 2018, 05:56:46 AM »

Microsoft is refreshing the design for its web-based account management dashboard. The company previously showed off variants of the redesigned Account dashboard in concepts before, but it is finally rolling out the new design to Microsoft Account users.

Current News / #DeleteFacebook? For Most Americans, Not Yet
« Last post by Bugbatter on April 13, 2018, 05:56:10 AM »

Of the 1,000 people polled by Creative Strategies, about 9 percent deleted their account.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would stop backing opposition to the California Consumer Privacy Act, a proposition that will appear on the November ballot.

However, once the data was retrieved from the Facebook API, Facebook could not police what the application did with it. Clearly, some applications violated this stipulation and saved data they were not allowed to save.

Microsoft discovers blocking bug and delays the release of Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

The next big update for Windows 10 has been delayed while Microsoft rushes to fix a newly-discovered bug.

Known variously as Windows 10 version 1803, Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version Next, Redstone 4 and Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, it was widely thought that the update had reached RTM and was on the verge of rolling out. However, this last-minute discovery means there will be a little longer to wait.

Microsoft has decided to remove a mandatory "registry key requirement" it introduced in the aftermath of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability disclosure.

Microsoft used this registry key to prevent Windows updates from being installed on computers running antivirus software incompatible with the Meltdown and Spectre patches.

Antivirus vendors were supposed to create this registry key on users' computers to signal that they've updated their product and will not interfere with Microsoft's patches. This was a big issue because incompatible antivirus products would crash and BSOD Windows systems.

Déjà data-analytics vu: Facebook’s suspended yet another firm for dressing up its personal-data snarfing as “nonprofit academic research,” in the form of personality quizzes, and handing over the data to marketers.

The company, Cubeyou, a la Cambridge Analytica (CA), pasted the label “for non-profit academic research” onto its personality quizzes, CNBC reported on Sunday.
Bots in the Twittersphere

An estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts – not human beings

The role of so-called social media “bots” – automated accounts capable of posting content or interacting with other users with no direct human involvement – has been the subject of much scrutiny and attention in recent years. These accounts can play a valuable part in the social media ecosystem by answering questions about a variety of topics in real time or providing automated updates about news stories or events. At the same time, they can also be used to attempt to alter perceptions of political discourse on social media, spread misinformation, or manipulate online rating and review systems.
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