Category Archives: computerworld

Microsoft posts PowerShell script that spawns pseudo security bulletins

A Microsoft manager this week offered IT administrators a way to replicate — in a fashion — the security bulletins the company discarded last month.

“If you want a report summarizing today’s #MSRC security bulletins, here’s a script that uses the MSRC Portal API,” John Lambert, general manager of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center, said in a Tuesday message on Twitter.

Lambert’s tweet linked to code depository GitHub, where he posted a PowerShell script that polled data using a new API (application programming interface). Microsoft made the API available in November when it first announced that it planned to axe the security bulletins it had issued since at least 1998.

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IDG Contributor Network: Does Twitter encourage a ‘no filter’ attitude?

I’m starting to hate Twitter these days.

Since 2008, it’s been an ever-flowing channel of communication — direct and unfiltered. Celebrities, basketball stars, and even Presidents can post with reckless abandon.

We’ve been living in the age of unfiltered status updates for almost ten years now, but it makes me wonder if there is a better way to share thoughts spontaneously…but with a little more civility.

As a recent example, President Trump posted an off-hand remark about possibly ending press briefings and would, instead, hand out prepared statements only. The implication here is that reporters would not be able to ask questions in an open format or engage in dialog with White House reps. It would be more structured and controlled…and less democratic. Regardless of your political view, this is a strange tweet.

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IDG Contributor Network: May Patch Tuesday delivers fixes critical Windows 10 exploits

For this May Microsoft Patch Tuesday, we see Microsoft attempt to resolve 56 reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, Windows, both Browsers and the .NET development platform.

Three of the vulnerabilities have been reported publicly and several have been actively exploited. Adding to an already serious situation, Microsoft’s anti-malware tool was compromised, resulting in the inadvertent deployment of malware through the anti-malware engine.

Microsoft responded very quickly with an out-of-band update (Security Advisory 4022344). Though there was general relief and kudos to Microsoft for their rapid response to this embarrassing episode, this bug was described as the “worst in recent memory” and as “crazy bad” by two of the lead researchers from Google’s Project Zero.

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Ransomware attack spreads worldwide using alleged NSA exploit

A ransomware attack appears to be spreading around the world, leveraging a hacking tool that may have come from the U.S. National Security Agency.

The ransomware, called Wanna Decryptor, struck hospitals at the U.K.’s National Health Service on Friday, taking down some of its network.

Spain’s computer response team, CCN-CERT, has also warned of  a “massive attack” from the ransomware strain, amid reports that local telecommunications firm Telefonica was hit.

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IDG Contributor Network: Xero breaks through its glass ceiling: customers, revenue and cashflow

It’s fair to say that no one has been covering Xero longer than I have. I first talked to its co-founder and CEO, Rod Drury, long before the company launched a product. Trawling back through my emails and I discovered that we first talked about his vision 10 years ago to the day. (Rod, we really should have a celebratory beer!) I can’t imagine he’ll be celebrating the milestone, but it does go to show just how long Drury has been on this journey.

When it was founded, Xero took a very unusual path, listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange before it even had a real product and customers. Backed by some high-profile names, and with Drury’s masterful marketing execution, Xero got its IPO away in the nick of time, just before the GFC really took its hold.

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