Microsoft Issues Update For New Zero Day Attack, Includes XP


WinXP ZombieLoad


  The new ZombieLoad Zero day vulnerability announced by Intel, Microsoft, and others has resulted in many patches being released by many computing industry giants. In the case of Microsoft this ZombieLoad vulnerability is impactful enough to warrant updating Windows XP in May 2019 five years after it's support retirement, as well as other of their affected Operating Systems. This ZombieLoad vulnerability has major potential to become a very devastating set of attacks on a high number of computers which does justify Microsoft's decision to execute updating Windows XP in May 2019 and there is quite a bit of supporting research and discovery to back that up. This is very much like the previously encountered Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in that it can allow attackers to gather sensitive information through side-channel speculative execution and other vulnerabilities within the compromised computer's CPU architecture.


Microsoft Will Prompt Windows 7 Users Toward Windows 10 In April




  This is definitely a gray area and something which will likely not be welcomed by many Windows 7 users, especially those who hold it near and dear and don't relish the thought of losing it. The image above perhaps reflects the thought of going from something considered stable to something considered "sketchy" but that is the only intended inference and we must remember that Windows 10 is the current and only Microsoft OS for the foreseeable future at this time. You can get used to it and many aspects are improvements so Microsoft has decided it's time to give Windows 7 users a little nudge toward adopting Windows 10 and according to a Microsoft Blog entitled "Making the transition to Windows 10 and Office 365" by Matt Barlow (Corporate Vice President, Windows) they will begin doing exactly that next month. It is stated in that blog that "you can expect to see a notification appear on your Windows 7 PC" and it's described as a courtesy reminder. What is clear about this is that Microsoft wants everybody moved over to Windows 10 (and Office 365) as soon as they can make it happen and they will be certain you are reminded of that fact using this transition to Windows 10 and Office 365 notification.


Net Neutrality Needs The US Congress To Save It From The FCC


Seal of the United States Congress


  The FCC had been on board with Net Neutrality and keeping the Internet fairly free and open to all who create and use its content but that has changed with the appointment of Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC. Pai has effectively killed Net Neutrality by ensuring the FCC voted to rescind what it had previously put in place to protect Net Neutrality under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This is a critical fact in that under Title II the Internet would have protection from certain entities (ISPs) "mak[ing] any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services" (Wikipedia). Pai has said that he "was committed to a free and open Internet and that it was not the FCC's role to determine net neutrality" (Wikipedia). On the other hand he voted against the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order - which enabled Title II protection for Net Neutrality - and then later voted to kill it when appointed chairman of the FCC. How in the world does this mean he is committed to a free and open Internet? Any logical person would have left it alone if they were committed to a free and open Internet. The only way this travesty can be reversed it with LAW, which means Net Neutrality needs the US Congress to save it from the FCC.


Meltdown And Spectre CPU Flaws Must Be Addressed NOW


L9400 CPU


  The image above is that of a CPU in a system I was recently working on and it might be a victim of either the Meltdown or Spectre exploits. This is NOT limited to Intel processors and in fact it involves AMD, ARM and Qualcomm processors and likely even more. The potential impact of these vulnerabilities is not to be underestimated. This might be scarier than any ransomware yet released because these vulnerabilities can affect the core operation of almost any computer and the exact method of corrective action appears to be elusive. It's not about Windows, not about IOS, not about Linux; it is rather about the majority of central processing units that exist today no matter what software is involved.THAT means your computer's CPU (processor for short) - or even that of your smartphone - may well be the victim in these cases as opposed to whatever software that CPU is handling. Given the likely scope of impact it's rather clear that Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws must be addressed NOW.


CES 2018 Will Show Much Of The Old, New, And Innovative Tech




  We've seen much of this before, for sure - BUT - CES 2018 has a lot of new and innovative tech to show off. The Smart Home is not a new concept but it will likely see improved tech shown off at CES 2018 with manufacturers focusing on making the Smart Home even smarter. Phones are no stranger to CES and there will be presentations from several manufacturers with Samsung's S9 and S9 Plus likely to make an appearance. PCs in the form of desktops, laptops, tablets and of course hybrids will be on display and not aiming to disappoint with some new designs. Televisions will make yet another big splash at CES 2018 and it might be a bigger splash than ever before introducing new, innovative tech along with ridiculously large (150 inch?) screens. Audio won't be left out with new sound bars and integrated audio devices not to mention Android Auto gong wireless. Speaking of wireless - 5G is reported to have a huge impact at CES 2018 and all of these things indicate that CES 2018 will show much of the old, new, and innovative tech.