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  1. An official update released by Baltimore city officials’ states that the ransomware attack which took place on May 2019 on the city’s database was due to the fact that most of the systems were operating on obsolete operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows Vista which are “extinct” as per the Windows Security Update center. Since the hackers who launched the attack used NSA discovered EternalBlue flaw to exploit the vulnerabilities in the XP and Vista systems the damage is said to have gone beyond their expectations. As the recovery estimate is said to go beyond $19 million, last week Baltimore city officials agreed to transfer $6 million funds meant to develop parks and public facilities to be used to remediate the costs incurred from the cyber attack. However, the officials state that the allotted fund might prove insufficient as the need to replace hardware and software is going beyond the cost-wise estimation. Furthermore, Baltimore city has decided to purchase cyber insurance at a cost of $830,000 covering all IT infrastructures with $20 million cyber liability coverage. Note 1- When the malware encrypted the database, hackers were demanding a ransom of $76,000 to decrypt files . Note 2- Nowadays there is speculation going in the media that Insurance companies before taking a cyber insurance policy promise big to cover all digital assets if in case a cyber attack incident strikes a business firm. But when it comes to paying for the liabilities, they always push the victimized firm to bow down to the demands of hackers as paying a ransom is much cheaper when compared to the costs incurred for a cyberattack recovery. Source
  2. Valve is kicking the operating system off its service starting January 2019. Upgrade or GTFO. Windows XP and Vista users have six months to upgrade their operating systems or get the hell off of Steam. Windows XP users are a tiny fraction of Steam's overall user base, only 0.22 percent according to Valve's own tracking. However, 0.22 percent out of a total of 125 million Steam users, is roughly 275,000 users who will no longer have access to Counter-Strike unless they upgrade. That's a lot of potentially annoyed customers. Those quarter millions users will have to upgrade or leave. According to Valve, the new features its rolling out on Steam—including its nifty new Discord-style chat system—use an embedded version of Chrome that the older versions of Windows can’t support. “In addition, future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 7 and above,” Valve said. That’s what this is really about. Security. Look. Windows XP was great. We all loved Windows XP, but it came out in 2001 and Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2014. Microsoft has been a victim of its own success. XP is was so popular that millions of users, some of them in government and business, have clung to the operating system despite its increasing security issues. Microsoft even released an emergency security patch in 2017 in response to the WannaCry malware. To those 275,000 I say upgrade or lose the ability to AWP noobs in Counter-Strike 1.6. Source
  3. If you own a PC, the only current way to play "Halo: Spartan Assault" on your rig was to install Windows 8 or 8.1 and download it from the Windows Store. Next week that will change, as Microsoft's top-down sci-fi shooter finally comes to the much bigger Windows 7 PC audience, along with Windows Vista. A listing on Valve's Steam service shows that "Halo: Spartan Assault" will be released on April 4 for the price of $4.99. The description states that this version of the game will support Steam achievements, rather than the Windows 8-based Xbox Live achievements. It also won't support the two player multiplayer missions that were included in the recent Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions. Speaking of which, both of the game's console versions have now received a permanent price cut from $14.99 to $9.99 each. Also, the Halo Waypoint site has posted word that the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 versions, which are currently priced at $6.99 each, will see a deep price reduction to just $1.99 each from April 3-9. On April 10, the price will go up again, but just to $4.99 each on a permanent basis. Source
  4. By Brad Reed on Jan 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM We’ve argued in the past that it wouldn’t be fair to compare Windows 8 to Vista, in part because Vista was widely hated by many Windows users while Windows 8 is merely polarizing. In other words, even though Microsoft surely wishes more people liked Windows 8, it can at least take solace in the fact that the new platform has its share of passionate fans and advocates. However, the well-connected Paul Thurrott says that’s not how Microsoft is internally looking at things. In fact, Thurrott says that Microsoft employees are internally referring to Windows 8 as “the new Vista,” which is a seeming admission that the platform has not achieved its goals of reigniting interest in PCs and needs some serious changes. In a followup tweet, Thurrott explains that the view from within Microsoft is that Windows 8 has been at least as bad as Vista in terms of sales and market acceptance while adding that Vista might actually have sold better than Windows 8 when it was at this point in its life cycle. Add it all up and it looks like Microsoft has a lot of work to do before it launches Windows 9 next year, because its big bet that making a more touch-centric version of Windows would revive PC sales has clearly not paid off. http://bgr.com/2014/01/17/microsoft-windows-8-vista-comparison
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