Internet Explorer is still the star of Patch Tuesday

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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It’s déjà vu all over again. After a mind-blowing 59 separate vulnerabilities were patched in Internet Explorer last month, the Microsoft Web browser is hogging the spotlight again in July.

As predicted last week, Microsoft published six new security bulletins for the July Patch Tuesday, and only two of them are rated as Critical. There are also three Important, and one Moderate security bulletin this month. The two Critical security bulletins are a cumulative update for Internet Explorer and a patch for an issue with Windows Journal that could allow an attacker to execute malicious code remotely on the vulnerable system. The Important security bulletins address flaws with the on-screen keyboard, ancillary function driver (AFD) and DirectShow, and the Moderate security bulletin deals with a potential denial of service vulnerability in Microsoft Service Bus.

Patch Image: Shutterstock

Microsoft released six new security bulletins for the July 2014 Patch Tuesday.

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Microsoft plans six security bulletins for July Patch Tuesday

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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As much of the workforce in the United States coasts through the rest of the day looking forward to an extended weekend to grill hot dogs and drink beer—I mean, celebrate the nation’s independence—Microsoft released its advance notification for next week’s Patch Tuesday. The six security bulletins include two ranked Critical, three Important, and one listed merely as Moderate.

Six security bulletins is fewer than usual—with 106 security bulletins in 2013, the average has been just under nine security bulletins per month. But it’s still enough to keep IT admins busy.

One of the two Critical security bulletins is related to Internet Explorer. It is most likely a new cumulative update patch. Ross Barrett, senior manager of security engineering at Rapid7, said, “It will be interesting to see just how many CVEs are in this round after the 59 patched in MS14-035. Rather than 59 being the new normal, I expect this round will return to the 8-12 CVEs addressed per IE patch standard.”

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CosmicDuke will steal your login data and own your network

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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All malware is bad, but some malware is more insidious than others. That seems to be the case with CosmicDuke. According to a new white paper from F-Secure, CosmicDuke meshes elements of two notorious malware threats—MiniDuke and Cosmu—to form a potent new attack.

MiniDuke is an APT (advanced persistent threat) Trojan that was uncovered in early 2013. It was used in targeted attacks against NATO and various European government agencies.

According to a blog post from F-Secure, researchers found a variant in April of this year that used some of the same code as Cosmu—a malware known for stealing sensitive information. The resulting threat is a combination of the loader from MiniDuke and the payload from Cosmu, creating an APT Trojan designed to steal sensitive login information that F-Secure dubbed CosmicDuke.

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OneDrive or Drive for Work: Choosing the best cloud storage option

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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If you want to store your photos, music, videos, or other personal data online, there is certainly no shortage of available cloud storage choices to pick from. As Microsoft and Google battle for cloud storage supremacy, the customers win, but you have to do a little homework to determine which service is the right one for you.

Microsoft recently raised the bar again for its OneDrive cloud storage. It bumped the free OneDrive capacity from 7GB to 15GB, and announced that all Office 365 consumer accounts will receive 1TB of OneDrive storage, just as it announced in April for Office 365 business accounts. The move basically catches Microsoft up with where Google already was. Google provides 15GB of free Google Drive storage, and users can buy up to 1TB of storage for $10 per month.

onedrive logo

Microsoft is providing 1TB of OneDrive storage for all Office 365 accounts. 

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Study: 7 in 10 concerned about security of Internet-of-Things

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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The Internet-of-Things is a thing. If you haven’t heard about it yet, get ready because we’re in the early stages of an explosion of technology that will connect, monitor, and in some cases share almost every aspect of our lives. Fortinet conducted a survey of consumers to find out what people think about the security and privacy concerns of the Internet-of-Things.

The survey, titled “Internet of Things: Connected Home,” was produced in partnership with GMI, a division of Lightspeed Research. More than 1,800 consumers between the ages of 20 and 50 who claim to be tech savvy participated in the survey, which was administered in 11 countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, China, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom.

The majority of those surveyed believe that a connected home—a home in which household appliances and home electronics are seamlessly connected to the Internet—is “extremely likely” to be a reality in the next five years. The actual number was 61 percent in the United States, and an overwhelming 84 percent in China.

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Box brings Box Notes to its iOS apps

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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About a month ago Box launched Box Notes—a note-taking tool built right into the Box site. Now, Box is extending support for Box Notes to iPhone and iPad users.

The underlying concept of Box Notes is not unique. Popular tools like Evernote and OneNote accomplish the same goal. But what sets Box Notes apart for businesses that rely on Box for file storage and sharing, is the fact that it's tied in to the same security controls, file sharing permissions, and data encryption as the rest of the data they store and manage in Box.

iphone newnote

Box Notes is now available in updated iPhone and iPad apps from Box. 

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Study: Concern over mobile device theft on the rise

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Have you ever had a smartphone or tablet stolen? The devices' size and portability makes them prime targets for criminals, and there is a rising trend of people being mugged for their mobile devices. A new study found that consumers are increasingly concerned with the risk of having a mobile device stolen.

In the study conducted by Inhance Technology, a provider of mobile device insurance and protection programs, 27 percent of U.S. consumers reported being more fearful of being mugged for their smartphone or tablet. The results were slightly lower—only 21 percent—for consumers in the United Kingdom.

Smartphones and tablets aren’t cheap, so it makes sense to be worried about having a mobile device get lost or stolen. One aspect of the study that stands out, though, is the fact that 77 percent of female respondents, and 72 percent of male respondents actually consider the personal content on the mobile device more valuable than the device itself.

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