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Top Stories for the Week of June 6, 2018

  • Episode 559
  • June 6, 2018

Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday June 6, 2018


Microsoft is acquiring GitHub.

Microsoft is acquiring GitHub. After reports emerged that the software giant was in talks to acquire GitHub, Microsoft is making it official on Monday.

GitHub was last valued at $2 billion back in 2015, and Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion in stock for the company in a deal that should close later this year.

GitHub is a large code repository that has become very popular with developers and companies hosting entire projects, documentation, and code. Apple, Amazon, Google, and many other big tech companies use GitHub. There are 85 million repositories hosted on GitHub, and 28 million developers contribute to them.

GitHub will now be led by CEO Nat Friedman, who will report to Microsoft’s Cloud and AI chief Scott Guthrie. GitHub CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath will now become a technical fellow at Microsoft, also reporting into Guthrie.

It’s easy to imagine why Microsoft would want to acquire GitHub. Microsoft killed its own GitHub competitor, Codeplex, in December and is now the top contributor to GitHub, Microsoft now has more than 1,000 employees actively pushing code to GitHub repositories.

Microsoft has struggled with developer love for years, and it’s a big part of the reasons Windows Phone failed and that its Universal Windows Apps platform hasn’t taken off.

The question around this acquisition will be what Microsoft does with GitHub in the future.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says, “We are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. We will always listen to developer feedback and invest in both fundamentals and new capabilities.”

Source: www.theverge.com

Sent to us by: Marshman


The FBI is advising users of consumer-grade routers and network-attached storage devices to reboot them as soon as possible to counter Russian-engineered malware that has infected hundreds of thousands devices.

The FBI is advising users of consumer-grade routers and network-attached storage devices to reboot them as soon as possible to counter Russian-engineered malware that has infected hundreds of thousands devices.

Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware last month.

The detailed report said the malware infected more than 500,000 devices made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command.

The report said the malware was developed by hackers working for an advanced nation, possibly Russia, and advised users of affected router models to perform a factory reset, or at a minimum to reboot.

The US Department of Homeland Security has also issued a statement advising that "all SOHO router owners power cycle (reboot) their devices to temporarily disrupt the malware."

As noted in the statements, rebooting serves the objectives of (1) temporarily preventing infected devices from running the stages that collect data and other advanced attacks and (2) helping FBI officials to track who was infected. The statement said the FBI is working with the non-profit Shadow Foundation to disseminate the IP addresses of infected devices to ISPs and foreign authorities to notify end users.

Authorities and researchers still don’t know for certain how compromised devices are initially infected. They suspect the attackers exploited known vulnerabilities and default passwords that end users had yet to patch or change.

The advice to reboot, update, change default passwords, and disable remote administration is sound and in most cases requires no more than 15 minutes. Of course, a more effective measure is to follow the advice Cisco gave to users of affected devices and perform a full factory reset, which will permanently remove all of the malware, including the first stage of the malware.

Source: arstechnica.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Apple on Monday previewed a variety of security and privacy features it plans to add to macOS and iOS operating systems, including encrypted Facetime group calls, password-management tools, and camera and microphone protections.

Apple on Monday previewed a variety of security and privacy features it plans to add to macOS and iOS operating systems, including encrypted Facetime group calls, password-management tools, and camera and microphone protections.

Apple also released a beta version of the upcoming iOS 12 that apparently kills off two iPhone unlocking tools used by law enforcement around the world to access phones without knowing the unlock code.

The feature, known as "USB Restricted Mode", requires that users unlock their iPhone with a password when connecting to it a USB device. It requires a password each time a phone that hasn’t been unlocked in the past hour tries to connect to a device using a Lightning connection.

The password requirement largely neutralizes iPhone unlocking tools provided by companies called Cellebrite and GrayShift, which use USB connectivity to bypass iOS restrictions on the number of incorrect PIN guesses that can be entered into an iPhone. With those limitations removed, police can make an unlimited number of PIN guesses when attempting to unlock a confiscated iPhone, often aided by a robotic unlocking system.

Previous iOS betas had USB restrictions that required the entering of a password when it hadn’t been unlocked for seven days. Those USB Restricted Modes were later removed before Apple issued final versions of iOS. The restrictions this time around are much more stringent, because police would have no more than 60 minutes between the time they obtain an iPhone and connect it to an unlocking tool.

We should remember though that Apple has previously removed USB Restricted Mode before releasing final versions, and may do so again with iOS 12.

The new beta also features end-to-end encryption, built-in password management, and several privacy enhancements.

Source: arstechnica.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


ASUS has staged its annual Computex keynote and shown off laptops with dual screens--but it's not at all what you're imagining!

ASUS has staged its annual Computex keynote and shown off laptops with dual screens--but it's not at all what you're imagining!

The ZenBook Pro 15 is a 15-inch notebook packing up to a hex-core Core i9 with 16-gigs of RAM, GTX 1050 Ti graphics and a 1TB solid state disk.

It has a main 15.6-inch screen capable of 4K Ultra-HD. And it has a second screen, which is different from anything we've seen: it's a full-HD multitouch screen ... in place of the laptop's usual touchpad.

ASUS has called this the “ScreenPad” and has designed apps including a calculator and custom controls for Microsoft Office and YouTube to run in it.

The laptop goes on sale next month for $2,300 USD.

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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