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Microsoft

EU coalition urges EU to push back against gate keeping by Microsoft, files official complaint

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Microsoft

A coalition of EU software and cloud businesses joined Nextcloud GmbH in respect of their formal complaint to the European Commission about Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior in respect of its OneDrive (cloud) offering. In a repeat from earlier monopolistic actions, Microsoft is bundling its OneDrive, Teams and other services with Windows and aggressively pushing consumers to sign up and hand over their data to Microsoft. This limits consumer choice and creates a barrier for other companies offering competing services.

Over the last few years have grown their market share to 66% of the EU market, while local providers lost out from 26 to 16%. By heavily favoring their own products and services (so-called “self-preferencing”) or outright blocking other vendors they leverage their position as gate keepers to extend their reach in more and more neighbouring markets and push users deeper into their ecosystems. Local, more specialised vendors are unable to compete “on the merits” as the key to success is not a good product but the ability to distort competition and block market access.

“This is quite similar to what Microsoft did when it killed competition in the browser market, stopping nearly all browser innovation for over a decade. Copy an innovators’ product, bundle it with your own dominant product and kill their business, then stop innovating. This kind of behavior is bad for the consumer, for the market and, of course, for local businesses in the EU. Together with the other members of the coalition, we are asking the antitrust authorities in Europe to enforce a level playing field, giving customers a free choice and to give competition a fair chance,” said Frank Karlitschek, CEO and founder of Nextcloud GmbH

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Apple and Microsoft Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

Microsoft Keeps Clobbering and Attacking Firefox and Mozilla

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Security
  • Thousands of Firefox users accidentally commit login cookies on GitHub [Ed: Microsoft just doesn't care about security and the media is paid to blame the victims for Microsoft's own problems]

    Thousands of Firefox cookie databases containing sensitive data are available on request from GitHub repositories, data potentially usable for hijacking authenticated sessions.

    These cookies.sqlite databases normally reside in the Firefox profiles folder. They're used to store cookies between browsing sessions. And they're findable by searching GitHub with specific query parameters, what's known as a search "dork."

    Aidan Marlin, a security engineer at London-based rail travel service Trainline, alerted The Register to the public availability of these files after reporting his findings through HackerOne and being told by a GitHub representative that "credentials exposed by our users are not in scope for our Bug Bounty program."

    [...]

    "I'm frustrated that GitHub isn't taking its users' security and privacy seriously," Marlin told The Register in an email. "The least it could do is prevent results coming up for this GitHub dork. If the individuals who uploaded these cookie databases were made aware of what they'd done, they'd s*** their pants."

  • Mozilla Performance Blog: Upgrading Page Load Tests to Use Mitmproxy 7

    mitmproxy is a third-party tool that we use to record and play back page loads in Firefox to detect performance regressions.

    The page load is “recorded” to a file: the page is loaded while mitmproxy is running, and the proxy logs all requests and responses made and saves them to a file.

    The page load can then be played back from this file; each response and request (referred to as a “flow”) made during the recording is played back without accessing the live site.

    Recorded page load tests are valuable for detecting performance regressions in Firefox because they are not dependent on changes to the site we are testing. If we tested using only live sites, it would be much more difficult to tell if a regression was caused by changes in Firefox or changes in the site being tested.

    So, as we run these tests over time, we have a history of how Firefox performs when replaying the same recording again and again, helping us to detect performance regressions that may be caused by recent changes to our code base.

  • When you use Bing to search for Chrome or Firefox, this is what happens instead.

    Microsoft can’t just put on their big boy pants and admit that people don’t like Edge and don’t want to use Edge.

    This reeks of desperation. But then, we didn’t suspect it would end with the paid shitposting about Edge on GNU/Linux or with the million ways you can accidentally launch Edge in Windows Vista SP11. Did we?

Proprietary Software and Monopolies/Monopoly Abuse

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • Free Apple support

    Imagine running a trillion dollar company that bundles various open source components into your products, making billions of dollars of profit annually. When one of your users reach out and ask for help, with the product you ship to your customers, you instead refer the user to the open source project. The project which is run by volunteers which you never sponsored with a cent.

  • There's something to be said for delayed gratification when Windows 11 is this full of bugs
  • Microsoft Confirms Its Anticompetitive and User Hostile Behavior is Purposeful
  • How Windows 11 May Soon Force You to Use Microsoft Edge

    While browsing through your newly updated Windows 11, you may have noticed that some of the system's links launch in Microsoft Edge, even if you set Chrome or Firefox to your default browser. If you’re confused about what’s happening, you’re not the only one.

    You'll notice this happen more often when you launch a link in one of Windows 11's apps. For example, clicking an article in the "News and Interests" widget always launches itself in Microsoft’s browser, and not whichever browser you've set as the default for websites.

    But why is this happening? Let's dive in and have a closer look.

Browsers: Microsoft Plays Dirty and Mozilla Distracts From the Spying

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • Windows 11 blocks Edge browser competitors from opening links

    Something changed between Windows 11 builds 22483 and 22494 (both Windows Insider Preview builds.) The build changelog makes a few mentions of changes to the protocol and file associations/default apps system. However, it omitted the headline news: You can no longer bypass Microsoft Edge using apps like EdgeDeflector.

    [...]

    Before discussing the changes in the latest Windows builds, I’d like to refresh your memory on Microsoft’s earlier escapades with antitrust regulators. I’m not a lawyer, but some case law is common knowledge in the tech field. I’m, of course, thinking of United States versus Microsoft (2001) and Microsoft versus European Commission (2009). In both cases, regulators found that Microsoft was abusing its market-leading operating system to unfairly promote its Internet Explorer (now called Edge) browser; disadvantaging competing web browsers.

    While the US decided not to take action against Microsoft on this point, the EU didn’t hold back. Microsoft agreed to hide shortcuts to Internet Explorer and show customers in the EU the infamous browser ballot screen. The dialog listed Internet Explorer among competitors and asked them to choose what browser they wanted to one-click install.

  • Firefox’s Private Browsing mode upleveled for you

    There are plenty of reasons why you might want to keep something you are doing on the web to yourself. You might be looking for a ring for your soon-to-be fiance, looking up what those mysterious skin rashes could be, or reading a salacious celebrity gossip blog. That’s where Private Browsing mode comes in handy. This year, we upleveled and added new advanced features to our Private Browsing mode. Before we share more about these new features we wanted to share some of the misconceptions about Private Browsing.

    One of the top common myths about Private Browsing (in any major web browser) is that it makes you anonymous on the Internet. The Private Browsing mode on Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox are primarily designed to keep your activity private from other users on the same computer, but websites and Internet service providers can still gather information about your visit, even if you are not signed in. To learn more about other Common Myths, visit our site. You should know though, that Firefox offers something that other browsers don’t, which is advanced privacy protections. Read on to learn more about our unique tracking protections.

  • Mozilla submits comments to the California Privacy Protection Agency - Open Policy & Advocacy

    This week, Mozilla submitted comments in response to the California Privacy Protection Agency’s Invitation for Preliminary Comments on Proposed Rulemaking Under the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

    Mozilla has long been a supporter of data privacy laws that empower people, including the trailblazing California privacy laws, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). We welcome the opportunity to offer feedback as California considers how to best evolve its privacy protections, and we support the progress made thus far, particularly as federal efforts languish — but there’s more to do.

Proprietary and Security Issues

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Apple says it will no longer punish those daring to repair their iPhone 13 screens
  • Microsoft patches two actively exploited zero-days in monthly fixes

    "Organisations that run Exchange Server on-premises should apply security updates in a timely manner to prevent future exploitation once proof-of-concept code becomes publicly available."

    Fifteen of the bugs fixed could be used for remote code execution, the company's list of vulnerabilities shows.

    The other actively exploited zero-day was a security feature bypass flaw in Microsoft Excel.

  • Microsoft Releases November 2021 Security Updates | CISA

    Microsoft has released updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. An attacker can exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

  • Samba Releases Security Updates | CISA

    Microsoft has released updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. An attacker can exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. CISA encourages users and administrators to review Microsoft’s November 2021 Security Update Summary and Deployment Information and apply the necessary updates.

  • Citrix Releases Security Updates | CISA

    Citrix has released security updates to address vulnerabilities affecting multiple versions of Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC), Gateway, and SD-WAN WANOP. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to cause a denial-of-service condition.

  • Major security issues found in top Linux program for embedded devices [Ed: BusyBox is BusyBox, not "Linux"]

    Cybersecurity researchers have discovered 14 critical vulnerabilities in BusyBox, marketed as the Swiss Army Knife of embedded Linux.

    BusyBox is one of the most widely used Linux software suites, and many of the world’s leading operational technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices run BusyBox.

  • BusyBox security analysis reveals 14 minor vulnerabilities

    Researchers at Claroty and JFrog have published a security audit of BusyBox, a widely used embedded device that offers a set of standard UNIX utilities in a single executable file. During the check, 14 vulnerabilities were identified, which have already been eliminated in the August release of BusyBox 1.34 . Almost all problems are harmless and questionable from the point of view of their application in real attacks, since they require running utilities with arguments received from outside.

DRM, Proprietary Software, and Security

Filed under
GNU
Microsoft
Security
  • Join us for the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) 2021 community planning meeting

    Each year, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) stages the International Day Against DRM (IDAD), and this year, we want to work with the community more closely than ever before and bridge the gap between anti-DRM activists, those involved with the software freedom movement, and everyday individuals. Together, we'll stand up against DRM on December 10th.

    As one of the most memorable parts of last year's Day Against DRM was our informal advocacy strategy session held over BigBlueButton, we want to begin our public planning of the event with a similar meeting. We're inviting you to collaborate with us in the preparation for this year's IDAD, sharing suggestions and anti-DRM activism methods, as well as organizing online satellite events.

  • Faulty DRM breaks dozens of games on Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs

    Longtime Ars readers probably remember some of the many cases in which overly onerous DRM prevented game owners from playing their legitimate purchases. We're seeing that situation play out again today, this time thanks to how some DRM systems interact with the unique features of Intel's 12th-generation "Alder Lake" CPUs.

    Intel’s Alder Lake big.little CPU design, tested: It’s a barn burner
    We've already covered how Alder Lake's hybrid "big.little" design splits the CPU's workload into high-powered "performance" (P) cores and low-powered "efficiency" (E) cores. But after hinting at the potential issue in a developer FAQ last month, Intel is now confirming that some games contain DRM that Intel says "may incorrectly recognize 12th Generation Intel Core Processors efficient-cores (E-cores) as another system." That issue can lead to games that "may crash during launch or gameplay or unexpectedly shut down," Intel says.

    PC Mag's Chris Stobing explained that the issue arises from the DRM middleware treating the two different types of cores as two distinct systems. "Once it detects that some portion of the load has been split between the P- and E-cores, it sees the new cores as a new license holder (a separate system) and force-quits the game to prevent what it believes is two PCs trying to play one game on the same key,” he said.

  • Microsoft OneDrive will no longer be compatible with millions of Windows PCs

    Millions of Windows users could lose access to their online cloud storage within weeks as Microsoft looks to encourage upgrading to the latest software.

    The tech giant has warned that the OneDrive app will stop syncing with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on March 1, 2022, meaning users only have a few weeks to upgrade to a newer version or possibly lose access to their files.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox, grafana, jenkins, opera, and thunderbird), Debian (botan1.10 and ckeditor), openSUSE (chromium, kernel, qemu, and rubygem-activerecord-5_1), SUSE (qemu and rubygem-activerecord-5_1), and Ubuntu (docker.io, kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.11, linux-hwe-5.11, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.13, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.11, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-ibm, linux-kvm, and linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon).

  • Unboxing BusyBox – 14 new vulnerabilities uncovered by Claroty and JFrog | MarketScreener

    Embedded devices with limited memory and storage resources are likely to leverage a tool such as BusyBox, which is marketed as the Swiss Army Knife of embedded Linux. BusyBox is a software suite of many useful Unix utilities, known as applets, that are packaged as a single executable file. Within BusyBox you can find a full-fledged shell, a DHCP client/server, and small utilities such as cp, ls, grep, and others. You're likely to find many OT and IoT devices running BusyBox, including popular programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human-machine interfaces (HMIs), and remote terminal units (RTUs)-many of which now run on Linux.

Proprietary Software and Security Issues

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Targeted Attack Campaign Against ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus Delivers Godzilla Webshells, NGLite Trojan and KdcSponge Stealer [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Both Godzilla and NGLite were developed with Chinese instructions and are publicly available for download on GitHub. We believe threat actors deployed these tools in combination as a form of redundancy to maintain access to high-interest networks. Godzilla is a functionality-rich webshell that parses inbound HTTP POST requests, decrypts the data with a secret key, executes decrypted content to carry out additional functionality and returns the result via a HTTP response. This allows attackers to keep code likely to be flagged as malicious off the target system until they are ready to dynamically execute it.

  • [Crackers] breach nine global organizations in ongoing espionage campaign [iophk: Windows TCO]

    A [cracking] group with potential ties to China has breached nine global organizations as part of an ongoing espionage effort mostly targeting the defense sector, findings made public Sunday revealed.

    According to a report from cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks, the [crackers] targeted at least 370 organizations running potentially vulnerable Zoho servers in the U.S. alone, successfully compromising at least one, as part of a wider global campaign.

  • International coalition arrests [crackers] linked to thousands of ransomware attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Europol on Monday announced the arrests, which took place Thursday, saying that the two individuals arrested are alleged to be behind more than 5,000 cyberattacks and are accused of having gained more than half a million Euros in ransomware payments made by victims.

    The arrests were the latest in a string of operations pursued by a coalition of international partners against REvil, with Europol saying Monday that three other individuals associated with REvil, along with two others associated with a linked cyber crime group, have been arrested since February.

  • REvil Ransom Arrest, $6M Seizure, and $10M Reward

    The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the arrest of Ukrainian man accused of deploying ransomware on behalf of the REvil ransomware gang, a Russian-speaking cybercriminal collective that has extorted hundreds of millions from victim organizations. The DOJ also said it had seized $6.1 million in cryptocurrency sent to another REvil affiliate, and that the U.S. Department of State is now offering up to $10 million for the name or location any key REvil leaders, and up to $5 million for information on REvil affiliates.

  • DOJ charges 2 men allegedly behind REvil ransomware attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Yaroslav Vasinskyi, a Ukrainian national arrested last month in Poland, and Yevgeniy Polyanin, a Russian national who remains at large, face charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Vasinskyi was charged in connection with his alleged role in carrying out the devastating July 4 ransomware attack against the software firm Kaseya, which in turn affected hundreds of companies within the U.S.

  • 77% Indian organisations faced downtime due to cyber risk during festive season [iophk: Windows TCO]

    New Delhi, During peak festive season in the last 18 months 77 per cent of organisations in India experienced downtime due to cybersecurity risk, while 81 per cent of global organisations experienced increased cyber threats during Covid-19, a new report revealed on Tuesday.

    According to McAfee Enterprise and FireEye's report titled 'Cybercrime in a Pandemic World: The Impact of Covid-19', the top three most threatening cyber risks that were detected are malware attacks (47 per cent), data breaches (43 per cent), ransomware and cloud jacking (33 per cent each), over 30 per cent of the IT professionals also experienced vulnerabilities in their 'Internet of Things' devices.

  • SolarWinds investors sue company over supply chain attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The attacks came to light in December 2020 when American cyber security firm FireEye announced that it had identified a global campaign to compromise public and private sector bodies through corruption of software supply chains.

    FireEye is now known as Mandiant, taking on the name of a company that it acquired some years ago after selling its network, email and cloud security products, as well as the FireEye name, in June this year.

  • McAfee Corp to be taken private in $14-billion deal

    The investor group will acquire all outstanding shares of McAfee common stock for $26 per share in an all-cash deal that values McAfee at about $12 billion on an equity basis.

  • npm install is curl | bash

    npm (and yarn) will execute arbitrary code when you install a package via install scripts. A valid use-case is to build native code on installation, or do some other environment-specific setup, though these scripts have also been used to show ads and, of course, as an attack vector. In fact, install scripts were the most popular route for malware as of 20192.

    Installing a single malicious package is enough to get reasonably pwned. The risk is mitigated by npm’s moderation of the registry — they’re quick to remove malware once discovered. This works pretty well, though I worry about the day someone uses this to publish a self-replicating worm.

    This attack vector isn’t unique to npm. Other package managers like pip and RubyGems allow for the same thing. As developers, we’re not as cautious when installing packages from these registries as when we use curl | bash, though we should be3.

  • New DDoS attack vectors may spell trouble in future: Kaspersky

    Researchers at the Universities of Maryland and Colorado Boulder were credited with the TCP development, while the second was credited to security firm NexusGuard and named Black Storm.

    The TCP attack targets devices between a client and a server: firewalls, load balancers, network address translators, and deep packet inspection tools, many of which could interfere with a TCP connection.

Security and Proprietary Software

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (containerd, redis, and sqlalchemy), Fedora (kernel, radeontop, rpki-client, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (java-1_8_0-openj9, libvirt, mailman, transfig, and webkit2gtk3), Oracle (thunderbird), SUSE (libvirt), and Ubuntu (icu).

  • Tips to Enhance Linux Security

    In recent years, the usage of linux operating systems has increased a bit. Though, not at that impressive rate, there have been more users shifting towards Linux based systems. And around 50% of the internet users are running some sort of Linux flavor on their systems.

    There was a time when Linux users would consider themselves as the lucky souls who were not afraid of cyber-attacks or other kinds of vulnerabilities.

    But it is no secret that the Linux server has become one of today’s most desirable targets. The past few years have seen emerging malware strains that demonstrate new and dangerous tactics for spreading, remaining undetected on your machine – Cloud Snooper, EvilGnome just to name a couple!

    This post is going to elaborate you with some knowledge on how Linux servers are being targeted by malware, rootkits and other malicious attacks. And above all what are the sure shot ways to improve security of Linux systems.

  • Microsoft's expired cert brings these Windows apps to their knees. - Invidious
  • Microsoft will now snitch on you at work like never before

    I feel sure there are many American workers who have put the whistle in their mouths, like former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, but been too afraid to blow it.

    [...]

    The first is headlined: "Microsoft 365 compliance center: Insider risk management -- Increased visibility on browsers."

    It all sounded wonderful until you those last four words, didn't it? For this is the roadmap for administrators. And when you give a kindly administrator "increased visibility on browsers," you can feel sure this means an elevated level of surveillance of what employees are typing into those browsers.

    In this case, Microsoft is targeting "risky activity." Which, presumably, has some sort of definition. It offers a link to its compliance center, where the very first sentence has whistleblower built in: "Web browsers are often used by users to access both sensitive and non-sensitive files within an organization."

    And what is the compliance center monitoring? Why, "files copied to personal cloud storage, files printed to local or network devices, files transferred or copied to a network share, files copied to USB devices."

    You always assumed this was the case? Perhaps. But now there will be mysteriously increased visibility.

    "How might this visibility be increased?," I hear you shudder. Well, there's another little roadmap update that may, just may, offer a clue.

GitHub stale bot considered harmful

Filed under
Development
Microsoft

One of GitHub’s “recommended” marketplace features is the “stale” bot. The purpose of this bot is to automatically close GitHub issues after a period of inactivity, 60 days by default. You have probably encountered it yourself in the course of your work.

This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.

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