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  1. If you're setting up a PC for others to use then you’ll often want to limit their actions, prevent them running other applications or tweaking system settings. Windows has many security and user settings that can help, but they're scattered across many applets and may be hard to find. FrontFace Lockdown Tool is a freeware application which gives convenient access to many of these settings, allowing you to heavily restrict your chosen account in just a few minutes. The program organizes its settings into three sections -- Startup and Shutdown, Continuous Operation, Protection and Security -- and each one has various lists and checkboxes covering its options. At its simplest, you might use the program to disable various Windows functions. You can prevent a user launching Task Manager, switching between user accounts, logging off or shutting down the PC, using the Windows or Ctrl+Alt+Del keypresses. Not enough? You can also set up your PC to log into a particular user account automatically, without displaying the login screen. Disable login override (holding down Shift when you boot to log in somewhere else) as well and it’s far more difficult for a user to bypass. Set a particular startup program and that should launch whenever your system boots. If you need more protection, change your PC’s shell to that application, instead of Explorer, and the usual Explorer shortcuts will no longer be available. Even if you stick with Explorer, there are ways to limit user actions, such as hiding any system tray icons on the Windows taskbar. It's also possible to shut down, hibernate or reboot the PC at a set time each day. If you’re building a kiosk PC this should help you keep any maintenance to a minimum. FrontFace Lockdown Tool doesn’t support the full set of Windows and Explorer user policies. You can’t hide particular drives, conceal selected Control Panel applets, stop users running REGEDIT and so on. The program does offer a simple way to create a kiosk-type system, though. It’s portable, so convenient to use, and a "restore default settings" button should get you out of trouble if you’ve made a mistake. Check it out. FrontFace Lockdown Tool is a freeware application for Windows 7 and later. Article source
  2. Microsoft Paint has been in the news since yesterday when Redmond announced that the software is being deprecated with the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. News publications all around the world didn’t report the news accurately, claiming that Microsoft is “killing” Paint in Windows 10. But that’s not the case at all. In a statement to MSPoweruser, Microsoft has confirmed that the company is not killing Microsoft Paint. The image you see above was shared by a Microsoft spokesperson earlier on Monday. Rather than completely killing Microsoft Paint, Redmond is instead going to bring Microsoft Paint to the Windows Store, allowing fans of the classic Paint app to install the app whenever they want. In fact, Microsoft is also going to build some of the features of the classic Paint app into the new Paint 3D app in the meantime, too. “MS Paint is not going away. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing and 2D creation are in Paint 3D – the new app for creativity, available for free with the Windows 10 Creators update. In the future, we will offer MS Paint in the Windows Store also for free and continue to provide new updates and experiences to Paint 3D so people have the best creative tools all in one place.” Microsoft didn’t provide us with a date for the release of Microsoft Paint on the Windows Store, but we’d imagine it’s not too far away and will likely make an appearance shortly after the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update later this September/October. Article source blogs.windows.com: MS Paint is here to stay
  3. How to become a part of the future of talking to machines THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced that it is to release a library of audio to make it easier for users to create voice control apps. 'Common Voice' will crowdsource and file 10,000 hours of audio in a variety of accents and then make it available to anyone who needs it to analyse and verify snippets of data within their programs. M02!//@ wants your help, too. If you fancy it, you can spend some time reading out some text to get the system set up. There's a website or an iPhone app. You can also validate the voices of others who have previously read sentences to train the system on what good speaking English does sound like. This is very important as Samsung's engineers will tell you, after they failed to launch Bixby, the firm's AI voice assistant, along with the Galaxy S8 because there wasn't enough big data in English to do so. But it's the little guy that Mozilla is interested in. The aim of Common Voice is to democratise access to voice recognition. It's a worthy goal and a good example of the kind of projects that we can expect to see ^^*2!''AA diversifying into as it seeks to go beyond the browser market. Mozilla explains: "Experts think voice recognition applications represent the next big thing. The problem is the current ecosystem favours Big Tech and leaves out the next wave of innovators. These are the people who will take this incredible technology to the next level." "How is the game rigged for big tech? First, the data that is used to 'teach' computers how to understand our voices are biased towards English, Chinese and a select group of languages. The devices these data sets power don't understand all of us. "Second, these data sets are proprietary. Little guys like students, startups, and researchers who want to build voice-enabled devices can only access fairly limited data sets. Those can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. "The time has come for an open source data sets that can change the game. The time is right for Project Common Voice." The company's market share with Firefox has plummeted in recent years, but the existence of the Mozilla Foundation remains crucial and projects like this are an example of why. Yes, even with the silly logo. Project Common Voice continues into the Autumn before the results are released to developers in Q4. Article source
  4. You already know that some applications offer portable or “soft” installations, but don’t you wish there was some place on the Internet where you could find any portable application? Although few, the good news is that there are some! Portable applications are incredibly useful. If you’re someone who is constantly carrying around a flash drive, you should always have a few of your favorite portable applications (or even a portable application suite) on it. I’ve found that portable applications are just as useful for a wide variety of uses — like when you’re setting up synchronized folders. I have a folder in my Dropbox dedicated to no-installation-required programs, and syncing it to any new desktop or laptop means that I immediately have several applications available at my fingertips. It’s rather helpful. Here where you can go to find these types of portable programs
  5. Norton antivirus UI modified via DoubleAgent attack A new technique named DoubleAgent, discovered by security researchers from Cybellum, allows an attacker to hijack security products and make them take malicious actions. The DoubleAgent attack was uncovered after Cybellum researchers found a way to exploit Microsoft's Application Verifier mechanism to load malicious code inside other applications. DoubleAgent attack leverages Microsoft's Application Verifier The Microsoft Application Verifier is a tool that allows developers to verify code for errors at runtime. The tool ships with all Windows versions and works by loading a DLL inside the application developers want to check. Cybellum researchers discovered that developers could load their own "verifier DLL" instead of the one provided by the official Microsoft Application Verifier. Simply by creating a Windows Registry key, an attacker could name the application he wants to hijack and then provide his own rogue DLL he'd like injected into a legitimate process. Several antivirus makers affected Cybellum researchers say that most of today's security products are susceptible to DoubleAgent attacks. The list of affected products includes: Avast (CVE-2017-5567) AVG (CVE-2017-5566) Avira (CVE-2017-6417) Bitdefender (CVE-2017-6186) Trend Micro (CVE-2017-5565) Comodo ESET F-Secure Kaspersky Malwarebytes McAfee Panda Quick Heal Norton "We have reported [DoubleAgent to] all the vendors more than 90 days ago, and worked with [a] few of them since," Michael Engstler, Cybellum CTO, told Bleeping Computer in an email. At the time of writing, "the only vendors that released a patch are Malwarebytes (version number: 3.0.6 Component Update 3), AVG (version number: 16.151.8007) and Trend-Micro (should release it soon)," Engstler added. DoubleAgent morphs security products into malware The DoubleAgent attack is extremely dangerous, as it hijacks the security product, effectively disabling it. Depending on an attacker's skill level, he could use the DoubleAgent flaw to load malicious code that: Turns the security product off Makes the security product blind to certain malware/attacks Uses the security product as a proxy to launch attacks on the local computer/network Elevates the user privilege level of all malicious code (security products typically run with the highest privileges) Use the security product to hide malicious traffic or exfiltrate data Damage the OS or the computer Cause a Denial of Service By design, the DoubleAgent attack is both a code injection technique and a persistence mechanism, as it allows an attacker to re-inject the malicious DLL inside a targeted process after each boot, thanks to the registry key. DoubleAgent attack affects all software Even if the Cybellum team has focused their research on antivirus software, don't think as DoubleAgent as a threat to security products alone. The vulnerability behind DoubleAgent, and especially its ability to inject code into any process, makes it a threat to any application, even the Windows OS itself. Engstler, who found the flaw and has been working with security vendors to patch their products, says DoubleAgent is a universal threat. "This technique can be used to hijack ANY application, even the applications of the operating system itself," the expert told Bleeping Computer. "There is no need to alter our POC code in any way, you just execute it with the requested application name, and it would automatically attack it, no matter if it's an antivirus or a different application." The proof-of-concept code he's referring to is available on GitHub. Two blog posts detailing the attack, in general, and at a technical level, will be published tomorrow, March 22. The YouTube video below shows a DoubleAgent attack in action. Video: DoubleAgent Zero-Day Attacking Norton Antivirus Cybellum recommends that security vendors use Microsoft's Protected Processes mechanism, which the company introduced with Windows 8.1. Protected Processes is a security system that Microsoft specifically designed for anti-malware services, and which works by wrapping around their processes and not permitting other apps to inject unsigned code. Of all security products, only Windows Defender currently uses Protected Processes. Article source
  6. There’s a piracy app that lets users find any TV show, movie, or song you can imagine. Streams and downloads are both easy to find, and the software is already used by hundreds of millions of people. The name of this dastardly program? Google Chrome. That’s a crazy thing to report, right? Sure, it’s strictly true that you can use Chrome to pirate movies and TV shows: just search for any movie’s name followed by the words “streaming,” “torrent,” or “download.” You’ll find a pirated option on the front page basically every time. But if a mainstream media outlet called Chrome a piracy tool, you’d ridicule them for it, and deservedly so. But that’s pretty much how Kodi, the open source media player, is being reported on lately, particularly in the UK. The BBC called Kodi a piracy epidemic in a headline. The Mirror pointed out that Kodi offers a “way to find illegal streams of movies and sports presented with a friendly Netflix-style user interface.” The Birmingham Mail helpfully informed readers that downloading Kodi will result in you getting a scary letter. Reading these headlines, you’d think Kodi is the second coming of Popcorn Time. It’s not. Kodi is merely a (very good) media player and organizer. If Kodi is a piracy app, so is Google Chrome (and, for that matter, QuickTime or VLC). Why Is Kodi Getting Such a Bad Rap? If you aren’t familiar with Kodi, it’s an open source media center application designed to be used from the couch, with a remote control—not unlike the old Windows Media Center that used to come with your computer. It’s designed for users with a large media collection of ripped Blu-Rays, DVDs, and CDs who want to watch them from a PC (or other Kodi-compatible device) connected to their TV. Kodi provides an easy-to-browse interface for these collections, complete with cover art and thumbnails. You can also use it to watch and record live TV, with cable or using an over the air antenna. There’s nothing illegal about any of this, though of course there’s nothing stopping users from filling their Kodi library with pirated content. That, however, is not the reason Kodi is making headlines lately: add-ons are the source of controversy. Much like Google Chrome, Kodi allows programmers to create add-ons that extend Kodi’s capabilities, and most of these add-ons connect to streaming services on the Internet. There are free services, like YouTube and Vimeo, and ways to access subscription services, like NHL.tv and Amazon Prime. There’s nothing particularly controversial about these legal add-ons, however. Some add-ons, however, link to pirated streams. They’re fairly easy to use, when they work, and completely useless when they (inevitably) break. Even worse, some third party companies and individuals have started installing Kodi on cheap mini-computers, with piracy add-ons pre-installed. Then they sell them as “Kodi boxes,” despite being completely unaffiliated with the actual team behind the Kodi project. Users who don’t know what Kodi is are happy to have free content, which is coming to them courtesy of these third party piracy add-ons. But as a result, these uninformed people have come to think of Kodi as a piracy app. Kodi Is Fighting Back, But it’s Not Working The Kodi team has made it very clear these third party add-ons and boxes have nothing to do with the Kodi itself. The upcoming version of Kodi requires users to allow third party repositories, and warns users inside the interface that Kodi itself does not support them. The Kodi team has also banned all mention of piracy add-ons from the official Kodi forum, wiki, and official Reddit page. The official Twitter account tells users complaining that pirated streams aren’t working to stop pirating things. To cap it all off, the Kodi team member Nathan Betzen published a blog post stating that these piracy box sellers are killing Kodi. To quote Betzen: Team Kodi is officially tired of this. We are tired of new users coming into the forum, asking why the box that ‘we’ sold them was broken. We are tired of this endless campaign by dishonest salesmen to push a single use of Kodi that nobody on the team actually recommends. We are tired of these salesmen lying to users, claiming that pirate streams and pirate boxes are ‘legal’ when they are absolutely not at some level or other. We are tired of being told by companies that they don’t want to work with us, because we are selling pirate boxes. Being removed from an App Store this summer because of the campaigning of others was like a slap in the face. Most of all, we are tired of a thousand different salesmen and Youtubers making money off ruining our name. The Kodi team, made up of volunteers, is doing everything they can to distance themselves from the piracy ecosystem that popped up around their platform. And still the media mentions Kodi as though the brand itself is shorthand for piracy. But Kodi isn’t a piracy tool. It’s an open ecosystem, and some third parties have decided to build piracy tools on top of it. If that makes Kodi a piracy app, so is Google Chrome. Heck, pretty much all pirates use either Microsoft Windows, macOS, or Linux to download things: why not call those piracy tools as well? It makes about as much sense. Some media outlets eventually corrected their articles, in the BBC’s case because of a letter writing campaign by Kodi fans. And I suppose that’s the only hope for Kodi to clarify things: supports continuously speaking up. Here’s hoping the message eventually gets through. Article source
  7. JDownloader 2 is a new version of the popular cross-platform, Java-based download application supporting thousands of Internet sites. The new version of the program is already listed for download on the official website, but the changelog has not been updated yet to reflect the changes of the new JDownloader version. Note: JDownloader 2's main installer ships with third-party offers. You can avoid those by using clean installers instead which you find listed on the official forum. If you download the official installer, your anti-virus solution may flag it as malicious or problematic because of the integrated adware in the installer. Also, JDownloader 2 requires Java but it appears to ship with a version so that Java does not have to be installed on the device to use the application. JDownloader 2 has been designed to make the downloading of files from the Internet easier. The program supports file hosting services and other sites, premium accounts, a link grabber that monitors the clipboard of the device for links, extensions that add more functionality such as archive extraction or download scheduling, and even automatic captcha solving. JDownloader 2 JDownloader 2 ships with a list of important changes including better plugin update handling, an improved user interface and improved performance. As far as plugin handling is concerned, it is happening in the background now and should be more reliable than before. JDownloader uses plugins to add download support for various services. The newest version of the download program ships with support for 3248 websites including many file hosting services but also media hosting sites and others. Plugins may need to be updated frequently if websites and services change download processes. Another new feature of JDownloader is the new My JDownloader remote interface that you can enable. It enables you to control downloads via web interface after you register an account at the site. Also, you will get access to mobile applications that you can download after signing in to the account on the official site. Existing JDownloader users may know the remote interface already as it has been revealed years ago by the team. You can check out the official bug tracker for a full rundown on the changes and improvements that went into JDownloader 2. JDownloader Article source
  8. Recently, Microsoft published a blog post called Moving Beyond EMET that appears to make two main points: (1) Microsoft will no longer support EMET after July 31, 2018, and (2) Windows 10 provides protections that make EMET unnecessary. In this blog post, I explain why Windows 10 does not provide the additional protections that EMET does and why EMET is still an important tool to help prevent exploitation of vulnerabilities. EMET Protections and How They Are Applied To compare protections of a Windows-with-EMET system against a stock Windows 10 system, it's important to first enumerate the protections that EMET 5.51 provides: System-Wide Protection Data Execution Prevention (DEP) Structured Exception Handler Overwrite Protection (SEHOP) Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) Certificate Trust (Pinning) Block Untrusted Fonts (Fonts) The system-wide DEP, SEHOP, and ASLR settings in EMET are provided by the Windows operating system itself. That is, the benefit of EMET for these settings is simply that it acts as a unified GUI application to make these changes in your system. Application-Specific Protection Data Execution Prevention (DEP) Structured Exception Handler Overwrite Protection (SEHOP) Null Page Allocation (NullPage) Heapspray Allocations (HeapSpray) Export Address Table Access Filtering (EAF) Export Address Table Access Filtering Plus (EAF+) Mandatory Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) Bottom-Up Randomization (BottomUpASLR) ROP Mitigations LoadLib MemProt Caller SimExecFlow StackPivot Attack Surface Reduction (ASR) Block Untrusted Fonts (Fonts) Application-specific EMET mitigations are applied by loading the EMET library into the process space of each protected application when it is launched. Here, the EMET library can modify the behavior of the target application by providing additional protections. The application-specific-protection capability provided by EMET is where EMET really adds value. Because we cannot rely on all software vendors to produce code that uses all of the exploit mitigations available, EMET puts this control back in our hands. Detailed descriptions of these protections can be found in the EMET 5.5 User's Guide. Visualizing Protections With and Without EMET To help visualize what EMET can do for us, it is useful to enumerate the exploit mitigations for various Windows versions, both with and without EMET. When it comes to system-wide mitigations, there's not much of a difference between a Windows system that has EMET installed and a stock Windows system that has had the mitigations enabled manually. This comparison, illustrated in the figure below, makes the true benefit of EMET clear: application-specific mitigations. It is pretty clear that an application running on a stock Windows 10 system does not have the same protections as one running on a Windows 10 system with EMET properly configured. Even a Windows 7 system with EMET configured protects your application more than a stock Windows 10 system. Analyzing Microsoft's Statement The Microsoft Blog entry Moving Beyond EMET makes the following statement: Windows 10 includes all of the mitigation features that EMET administrators have come to rely on such as DEP, ASLR, and Control Flow Guard (CFG) along with many new mitigations to prevent bypasses in UAC and exploits targeting the browser. Let's look at the language used and analyze what Microsoft is actually saying and how people may interpret the sentence. Fact: Windows 10 supports DEP, ASLR, and Control Flow Guard (CFG). Fiction: Windows 10 makes EMET irrelevant. In Defense of EMET Microsoft's statement above overlooks the primary reason for someone to run EMET. In particular, users running EMET to protect applications that do not opt in to all of the exploit mitigations that it should. Even though the underlying Windows operating system supports a mitigation, doing so does not necessarily mean that it will be applied to an application. Developer adoption of exploit mitigations takes place at a slower rate than we'd like to see. For example, even Microsoft does not compile all of Office 2010 with the /DYNAMICBASE flag to indicate compatibility with ASLR. What is the impact? An attacker may be able to work around ASLR by causing a non-DYNAMICBASE library to be loaded into the process space of the vulnerable application, potentially resulting in successful exploitation of a memory corruption vulnerability. What do we do to protect ourselves against this situation? We run EMET with application-specific mitigations enabled! The Windows 10 EMET Fallacy Microsoft strongly implies that if you are running Windows 10, there is no need for EMET anymore. This implication is not true. The reason it's not true is that Windows 10 does not provide the application-specific mitigations that EMET does. Windows 10 does indeed provide some nice exploit mitigations. The problem is that the software that you are running needs to be specifically compiled to take advantage of them. Control Flow Guard (CFG) looks to provide similar protections to the ROP application-specific mitigations in EMET. The problem is that the application needs to be specifically compiled to take advantage of CFG. Out of all of the applications you run in your enterprise, do you know which ones are built with CFG support? If an application is not built to use CFG, it doesn't matter if your underlying operating system supports CFG or not. Update (November 21, 2016) Windows 10, version 1607 and Windows Server 2016 do support some application-specific mitigations. In particular, DEP, SEHOP, ASLR, and BottomupASLR. The table above has been updated to reflect this information. Setting these application-specific mitigations requires calculating and setting a bit field value in the Windows registry for each process name that you would like to protect. Please see Override Process Mitigation Options to help enforce app-related security policies for more details. EMET and Its End of Life Microsoft has announced that they will no longer support EMET beyond July 31, 2018. Some may use this end-of-life (EOL) statement as an excuse for not deploying EMET. If this is the case, it would be wise to investigate all of the software that is currently outside of the support window before July 31, 2018. If you are lucky enough that all of your applications are within their support cycle, EMET provides protections against exploitation of new and unknown memory-corruption vulnerabilities, known as "zero-days." Microsoft applications that will lose support a year before EMET are listed in Products Reaching End of Support for 2017. Office 2007 is in this list, for example. With such out-of-support applications, it is even more important to provide additional exploit protection with a product like EMET. When a vulnerability is discovered in a product outside of its support cycle, this vulnerability is referred to as a "forever-day." That is, the vulnerability will never be fixed. Just because Microsoft will stop supporting EMET after July 31, 2018 does not mean that the application will stop working beyond that date. It will likely continue to operate in the same way that it has been working all along. This EOL date simply means that you will not be able to get assistance from Microsoft after that date. Mitigations Without EMET As mentioned earlier, many of the system-wide mitigations exposed by EMET are actually provided by the underlying Windows operating system. The primary mitigations that can be enabled globally are DEP and ASLR. DEP System-wide DEP can be configured using the BCDEdit utility. Microsoft indicates, "Before setting BCDEdit options you might need to disable or suspend BitLocker and Secure Boot on the computer." To change the DEP setting to AlwaysOn, in a CMD prompt with administrative privileges run bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOn ASLR System-wide ASLR can be configured by importing the following registry value: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management] "MoveImages"=dword:ffffffff Notes for System-Wide Settings EMET is not required for setting the above system-wide mitigations for DEP and ASLR. Enabling these features will make Windows more secure than the default configuration. However, the system-wide mitigations are less granular than what is available with EMET. In particular, if an application that you need to run is incompatible with a particular mitigation, it may not be possible to allow that application to run when the system-wide mitigations are in place. On a system with EMET, however, the system-wide mitigations can be relaxed, and compatible application-specific mitigations can be applied on a program-by-program basis. Conclusions and Recommendations While EMET itself is a free tool, successful deployment of it takes some work. But there are rewards to be reaped from this work. From an exploit mitigation perspective, upgrading to Windows 10 is a good idea. Installing EMET with application-specific mitigations configured is also a good idea. EMET provides some protection against zero-day vulnerabilities in supported software, as well as forever-day vulnerabilities in unsupported software. If the use of EMET is not possible, then the system-wide mitigations of DEP and ASLR can be applied without EMET. Windows 10 does not provide all of the mitigation features that EMET administrators have come to rely on. Article source
  9. Microsoft configured its Windows 10 operating system to update installed applications -- read Store apps or Universal Windows Platform apps -- automatically. While that is comfortable, as you can be sure to always run the latest version of an app or game on the Windows 10 device, it is not ideal if you want control over the updating. You may want to check what is new for instance before application updates are installed to avoid changes or new features that you don't want or require. This affects all users, even those who don't use Windows apps at all as Windows 10 ships with more than a dozen system apps that get updated automatically as well (unless you have removed those apps). Microsoft plans to extend this in the future. Microsoft Edge, the default system, browser, will receive non-security updates via Windows Store in the near future for instance. Block automatic application updates in Windows 10 The main benefit of turning off automatic application updates on Windows 10 is that you get control over the process. You can research updates before you allow them, something that you cannot do if automatic updates are enabled. The downside is that you will spend more time updating applications, provided you want them to update. This could lead to situations where you run an older version of an application that misses functionality or fixes. Stop Windows 10 app updates Do the following to disable automatic application updates on Windows 10: Open Windows Store to get started. If you don't see the Store shortcut listed on the taskbar or start menu, search for Windows Store when the Start Menu is open to load it that way. Click on the profile icon next to search, and select the Settings link from the menu. Locate "update apps automatically" on the page, and use the slider to set it to off. Applications won't update automatically anymore when new versions are released. Please note that they may still be updated when Microsoft releases new versions of Windows 10 itself (this applies mostly to system apps and not third-party apps that you installed manually). Manual application updates on Windows 10 Apps won't update automatically anymore after you make the change. You can check for new updates, and install those updates, in the following way: Open Windows Store again. The Store highlights the number of updates next to the profile icon. The count is 41 on the screenshot above. Click on the number to list all available updates. The page offers three core options. You can run a new check for updates to find out if any new updates are available. This checks for updates and lists any application for which updates are available. You may update all applications at once with a click on the "update all" link. This downloads new versions for all applications listed on the page and installs them afterwards. You may update applications individually. Simply click on an application to start the process. Windows opens that application's store page. You find an update button on that page that you can click on. The same page lists version information and a change log. Please note that the change log may not always list the most recent changes. This depends on the company and whether it added those information during publication of the update. Even Microsoft does not add those to its applications at times. Article source
  10. If you’d like to limit what apps a user can run on a PC, Windows gives you two options. You can block the apps you don’t want a user to run, or you can restrict them to running only specific apps. Here’s how to do it. NOTE: Be absolutely sure that you are making changes to a user account you actually want to restrict, and that you always have an unrestricted administrative account available to undo those changes. This is especially true if you are restricting users to a specific set of apps, as those users will lose access even to tools like Registry Editor and Local Group Policy Editor. If you do accidentally apply restrictions to your administrative account, the only way we’ve found to reverse the changes is to run System Restore by going to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and clicking the “Restart now” button under Advanced Startup. From there, you can find the setting for running System Restore after a restart, since you won’t be able to run System Restore the normal way. For this reason, we also highly recommend creating a restore point before making any of the changes here. Home Users: Block or Restrict Apps by Editing the Registry To block or restrict apps in the Home edition of Windows, you’ll need to dive into the Windows Registry to make some edits. The trick here is that you’ll want to log on as the user you want to make changes for, and then edit the Registry while logged onto their account. If you have multiple users for which you want to changes for, you’ll have to repeat the process for each user. Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes. Block Certain Apps Through the Registry First, you’ll need to log on to Windows using the user account for which you want to block apps. Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC. In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies Next, you’re going to create a new subkey inside the Policies key. Right-click the Policies key, choose New > Key, and then name the new key Explorer . Next you’re going to create a value inside the new Explorer key. Right-click the Explorer key and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value. Name the new value DisallowRun . Double-click the new DisallowRun value to open its properties dialog. Change the value from 0 to 1 in the “Value data” box and then click “OK.” Back in the main Registry Editor window, you’re now going to create a new subkey inside the Explorer key. Right-click the Explorer key and choose New > Key. Name the new key DisallowRun , just like the value you already created. Now, it’s time to start adding apps you want to block. You’ll do this by creating a new string value inside the DisallowRun key for each app you want to block. Right-click the DisallowRun value and then choose New > String Value. You’ll be naming these values with simple numbers, so name the first value you create “1.” Double-click the new value to open its property dialog, type the name of the executable you want to block into the “Value data” box (e.g., notepad.exe ), and then click “OK.” Repeat this process, naming the second string value “2” and the third “3” and so on, and then adding the executable file names you want to block to each value. When you’re done, you can restart Windows, log onto that user account, and then test things by trying to run one of those apps. You should see a “Restrictions” window pop-up letting you know that you can’t run the app. You’ll need to repeat this process for each user account for which you need to block apps. Though, if you’re blocking the same apps for multiple user accounts, you could always create your own Registry hack by exporting the DisallowRun key after you’ve configured the first user account and then importing it after logging onto to each subsequent account. If you want to edit the list of blocked apps, just return to the DisallowRun key and make the changes you want. If you want to restore access to all apps, you can either delete the wholeExplorer key you created–along with DisallowRun subkey and all the values. Or you could just go back and change the value of the DisallowRun value you created from 1 back to 0, effectively turning off app blocking while leaving the list of apps in place should you want to turn it on again in the future. Block Only Certain Apps Through the Registry Restricting users to running only certain apps in the Registry follows almost exactly the same procedure as blocking specific apps. You’ll again need to log on to Windows using user account you want to change. Fire up Registry Editor and then head to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies Right-click the Policies key, choose New > Key, and then name the new key Explorer . Next you’re going to create a value inside the new Explorer key. Right-click the Explorer key and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value. Name the new value RestrictRun . Double-click the new RestrictRun value to open its properties dialog. Change the value from 0 to 1 in the “Value data” box and then click “OK.” Back in the main Registry Editor window, you’re now going to create a new subkey inside the Explorer key. Right-click the Explorer key and choose New > Key. Name the new key RestrictRun , just like the value you already created. Now, you’ll add apps to which the user is allowed access. Create a new string value inside the RestrictRun key for each app you want to block. Right-click the RestrictRun value and then choose New > String Value. You’ll be naming these values with simple numbers, so name the first value you create “1.” Double-click the new value to open its property dialog, type the name of the executable you want to block into the “Value data” box (e.g., notepad.exe ), and then click “OK.” Repeat this process, naming the values “2,” “3,” and so on, and then adding the executable file names you want the user to be able to run to each value. When you’re done, restart Windows, log into that user account again, and test your settings. You should only be able to run apps to which you explicitly allowed access. You’ll need to repeat the process with each user account for which you want to restrict apps or create your own Registry hack you can use to apply settings to each user more quickly. To reverse your changes, you can delete the Explorer key you created (along with the RestrictRun subkey and all values) or you can set that RestrictRun value you created back to 0, turning off restricted access. Pro and Enterprise Users: Block or Restrict Apps with the Local Group Policy Editor If you use the Pro or Enterprise version of Windows, blocking or restricting apps can be a little easier because you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to do the job. One big advantage is that you can apply policy settings to other users–or even groups of users–without having to log in as each user to make the changes the way you do when making these changes with Registry Editor. The caveat here is that you’ll need to do a little extra setup by first creating a policy object for those users. You can read all about that in our guide to applying local Group Policy tweaks to specific users. You should also be aware that group policy is a pretty powerful tool, so it’s worth taking some time to learn what it can do. Also, if you’re on a company network, do everyone a favor and check with your admin first. If your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that it’s part of a domain group policy that will supersede the local group policy, anyway. The process for allowing or restricting apps with the Local Group Policy Editor is almost identical, so we’re going to show you how to restrict users to only running certain apps here and just point out the differences. Start by finding the MSC file you created for controlling policies for those particular users. Double-click to open it and allow it to make changes to your PC. In this example, we’re using one we created for applying policy to all non-administrative user accounts. In the Group Policy window for those users, on the left-hand side, drill down to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System. On the right, find the “Run only specified Windows applications” setting and double-click it to open its properties dialog. If you want to block specific applications rather than restricting them, you would open the “Don’t run specified Windows applications” setting instead. In the properties window that opens, click the “Enabled” option and then click the “Show” button. In the “Show Contents” window, click each line in the list and type the name of the excecutable you want users to be able to run (or the name of apps you want to block if that’s what you’re doing instead). When you’re done building your list, click “OK.” You can now exit the Local Group Policy window. To test your changes, sign in with one of the affected user accounts and try to launch an app to which the user should not have access. Instead of launching the app, you should see an error message. If you want to disable your changes, just head back into the Local Group Policy editor by double-clicking your MSC file again. This time, change the “Run only specified Windows applications” or “Don’t run specified Windows applications” options to “Disabled” or “Not Configured.” This will turn the setting off entirely. It will also reset your list of apps, so if you want to turn it on again, you’ll need to retype that list. Credit to
  11. Microsoft will offer a first glimpse at Dynamics 365, its business productivity platform, later this month. Interested enterprise users can sign up to receive email updates on the event or register to attend in person. Scott Guthrie, executive vice president at Microsoft, will lead the keynote, which will include live demos of the software, as well as panels with business leaders and industry experts on digital transformation strategies. Most notably, Dynamics 365 suite includes CRM (customer relationship management) software and ERP (enterprise relationship management) solutions, which Microsoft positions as its “next generation of intelligent business applications – enabling your organization to grow, evolve and transform.” Specific discussion points include the unification of CRM and ERP capabilities, strategies for better engaging customers and empowering employees, as well as how to meet the changing needs of customers and capturing new business opportunities. This unveiling will kick off Dynamic Communities’ Summit 16 event, which it claims as “the leading live conference for Microsoft Dynamics AX, CRM, GP, and NAV users." The business management organization says that the four-day conference “features high-level insider knowledge from Microsoft and user-produced education on how to maximize the performance of Dynamics products." Summit 16, which will be hosted in Tampa Bay, FL, runs from October 11-14 with Guthrie’s keynote speech set to start at 2:30 p.m. on the first day. Source: Microsoft Dynamics Blog Article source
  12. A single base library will reach all three major variants of .Net, solving the code-sharing problem for .Net developers across platforms Microsoft is looking to provide "one library to rule them all." With .Net Standard, developers have to master only a single base library to reach multiple .Net platforms. The company on Monday shed further light on its plans for .Net Standard to enable code-sharing between applications. .Net Standard features a set of APIs for .Net platforms to implement. It is positioned as a replacement for Microsoft's Portable Class Libraries going forward and will serve as tooling for building multiplatform .Net libraries. Currently there are three major "flavors" of .Net -- .Net Framework, .Net Core, and Xamarin -- which means developers must master three different class libraries to write code that works across all implementations. ".Net Standard solves the code-sharing problem for .Net developers across all platforms by bringing all the APIs that you expect and love across the environments that you need: desktop applications, mobile apps and games, and cloud services," said Microsoft's Immo Landwerth, program manager on the .Net team. Also in the works is .Net Standard 2.0, for implementation by the three .Net variants. Version 2.0 will have an API surface covering XML, serialization, networking, IO, threading, and core capabilities. "We've created .Net Standard so that sharing and re-using code between multiple .Net platforms becomes much easier," Landwerth said. "With .Net Standard 2.0, we're focusing on compatibility. In order to support .Net Standard 2.0 in .Net Core and UWP (Universal Windows Platform), we'll be extending these platforms to include many more of the existing APIs." This will also include a compatibility shim for referencing binaries that were compiled against the .Net Framework. Tooling for .Net Standard 2.0 will ship in the same time frame as the upcoming release of Visual Studio, now called Visual Studio 15, Landwerth said. The Dev 15 release currently is available in a preview form; Microsoft declined to state when it would be generally available. Developers will reference .Net Standard as a NuGet package. "It will have first-class support from Visual Studio, VS Code, as well as Xamarin Studio," Landwerth said. .Net Standard is needed because of forking that has occurred on the .Net platform, according to Microsoft. "On the one hand, this [forking] is actually a really good thing. It allowed tailoring .Net to fit the needs that a single platform wouldn't have been able to," said Landwerth. "But on the other hand, this forking poses a massive problem for developers writing code for multiple .Net platforms because there isn't a unified class library to target." .Net Core, which provided cross-platform implementation of Microsoft's .Net runtime, was intended to lay the foundation for a portable .Net platform to unify APIs. "Unfortunately, it didn't result in a great tooling experience," said Landwerth. "Since our goal was to represent any .Net platform, we had to break it up into smaller NuGet packages." Microsoft plans to ship updated versions of .Net Core, Xamarin, and UWP that will add APIs to support .Net Standard 2.0. .Net Framework 4.6.1 already implements APIs that are part of .Net Standard 2.0. Article source
  13. App could soon launch in the store, according to dev company Desktop version of F.lux F.lux is one of the most advanced applications that can warm up the display at night to make it easier on the eye and it’s no surprise that so many people are using it, despite the fact that OS developers have started implementing similar features right into their products. While Apple is already offering Night Shift on the iPhone to provide F.lux-like functionality to its users, Microsoft is only now believed to be working on a so-called Blue Light Reduction option for Windows 10. But according to a new report, users might not have to wait for Microsoft’s feature because F.lux is on its way to Windows 10. When asked by a user if the company is working on bringing F.lux in the Windows Store, one of the developers participating in the creation of the app confirmed that “yes,” the app is indeed headed to Windows 10 and should become available for download at some point in the future. Ported with Project Centennial There are no specifics available at the moment and, obviously, it’s too early to tell if the company plans to make it universal or not, but given the fact that F.lux already works on the desktop, that shouldn’t be too hard to achieve given the bridges that Microsoft is already offering. Most likely, F.lux will be ported to the Windows Store with Project Centennial, a set of tools that allow developers to bring Win32 apps to the Store quite easily. The same functionality is being offered, so you won’t miss any features, but apps that are ported to the store also benefit from universal app functionality, such as live tiles and Cortana support. There’s no doubt that F.lux would be a great addition to the Windows Store, especially if it lands as a universal app because Windows 10 Mobile users would absolutely love it. For the moment, however, no other specifics are available, so don’t get your hopes too high, but at least we know it’s coming. Article source
  14. Ramme is an unofficial open-source Instagram desktop application made with Electron. Features A Beautiful Instagram Experience Instagram on your Desktop with the behavior of an app, including a couple extra features to enhance your Instagram experience. Background Behavior When closing the window, the app will continue running in the background, in the dock on macOS and the tray on Linux/Windows. Right-click the dock/tray icon and choose Quit to completely quit the app. On macOS, click the dock icon to show the window. On Linux, right-click the tray icon and choose Toggle to toggle the window. On Windows, click the tray icon to toggle the window. Source / Download Ramme.
  15. Browser Refresh is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices that allows you to quickly refresh multiple web browsers with a single keystroke. Please note that refresh refers to loading open web pages anew, and not resetting the browser. Refresh is used in that context as well, but Refresh Browsers is only for reloading open web pages. The question may come up why you would need a program like that. The main idea behind it is to make it easier for developers to create or modify web pages locally. Most developers test web pages in multiple browsers, and if they develop them locally, they may need to refresh the content displayed on a page regularly to take into account changes they made since the last loading of the page. While you may do so manually using the shortcuts F5 or Ctrl-F5, you'd have to run the operation in all browsers you test a page in. The difference between F5 and Ctrl-F5 is that the first may load site content from cache, while the latter forces a reload from the server the site is hosted on bypassing the cache. Browser Refresh Browser Refresh sits silently in the system tray area on start. The program does display a quick start guide on first start which explains its functionality. You may open the guide at any time from the system tray icon as well. The menu displays a couple of options; all related to the program's refresh functionality. First of all, it works right out of the box. You may use the shortcut Ctrl-D to refresh the active tab, or Alt-D to force refresh it in all supported browsers. The application supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Yandex browser currently. There is unfortunately no option to add other browsers to the list of supported browsers. You may use the system tray menu of Browser Refresh to change the hotkeys, and to select specific browsers from the list of supported browsers that you want refreshed. The only other option provided is to select whether you want the program to focus the browser automatically when you hit the refresh shortcut. If you hit refresh while supported browsers are not open, you get a prompt that enables you to open the browsers with a specific file which you may select then. This may be handy after system boot to get started right away. Browser Refresh supports command line parameters that you may use to perform a soft or hard reset. The developer of the program showcases his own Sublime Text configuration which uses the editors Build System functionality. Closing Words Browser Refresh is a useful program for web developers who create and edit web pages in a local test environment. The program's greatest strength is that it can refresh multiple browsers at once which may improve the time it takes to test new versions of a page or application in select browsers. Browser Refresh is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows starting with Windows XP. The program requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 or higher. Browser Refresh Article source
  16. Start10 Stardock has announced the 1.5 update of Start10, an easy-to-use program that returns the Windows 10 start menu to a more familiar look and feel. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update has arguably taken a step back in menu design, making the icons smaller and removing much of the organizational features Windows users have grown used to. The focus is still on apps, which are preloaded, pre-organized, and viewed as tiles rather than in the simple list of programs in Windows 7. Start10 returns the familiar Start menu to Windows 10 and allows for additional customization of the look and feel with just a couple of clicks of a mouse. Start10 also maintains the familiar “folders” metaphor. In the Anniversary Edition of Windows 10, everything is listed in alphabetic order in the Start menu, which can make the start menu quite long. In previous versions of Windows, applications like Word, Excel, and the other Office applications were found in the “Microsoft Office” folder on the start menu. Additionally, people who use Stardock's award-winning desktop software, Fences, are now able to have that same organization within the Start menu. Consumers with many desktop icons can now have those same icons sorted for easy access on the Start menu. Start10 is only $4.99. For more information about Start10, please visit www.start10.com. Fences is available for $9.99 at www.stardock.com/products/fences. For more information about other desktop customization and productivity applications from Stardock, visit www.objectdesktop.com. Article source
  17. Glogg is an open-source tool for viewing and searching even the largest and most complex log files. The program opens files very quickly, because it reads data directly from disk and doesn’t try to load it entirely into memory. It’s a smart move which also means there’s no limit on the size of files you can view. Glogg’s interface is simple and uncluttered, allowing anyone to use it as a plain text viewer. Open a log, browse the file, and the program grabs and displays new log lines as they’re added. There’s also a search box. Enter a plain text keyword, a regular or extended regular expression and any matches are highlighted in the main window and displayed in a separate pane. Enable "auto-refresh" and glogg reruns searches as lines are added, ensuring the matches are always up-to-date. Glogg also supports "filters", essentially canned searches which change text color in the document window. You could have lines containing "error" displayed as black on red, lines containing "success" shown black on green, and as many others as you need. Scanning the documentation reveals a few other handy extras. To run a quick text search, for instance, type / followed by a keyword, like /process. Matches are highlighted and visible at a glance, or you can click Next/ Previous buttons to step through them. Glogg isn’t exactly weighed down with features, but overall that’s probably a good thing. Beginners can use the program some simple tasks, maybe just to open a large text file quickly, while experts will appreciate the filters and extended regular expression support. Glogg is an open-source application for 64-bit Windows 7 and later and Linux. Article source
  18. Security researcher Peiter Zatko, better known in the industry by his hacker moniker “Mudge,” will unveil details of a cybersecurity “underwriters’ laboratory” project that he announced last year. Cybersecurity researcher Peiter Zatko, better known in the industry by his hacker moniker “Mudge,” will discuss details of the Cyber Independent Testing Laboratory (CITL) project at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas next week. CITL analyzes binaries to assess “the software quality and inherent vulnerability in over 100,000 binary applications on Windows, Linux, and OS X," according to a presentation description on the Black Hat website. The project codified the “heuristics that attackers use to identify which targets are hard or soft against new exploitation”. Zatko has been working on the CITL since leaving Google last year. When asked by a White House contact to establish a government program to evaluate software, according to a report in The Intercept, he instead raised $600,000 in funding from DARPA, the Ford Foundation, and Consumers Union, then launched CITL as a nonprofit with his wife, Sarah Zatko. Article source
  19. Rambox is a free open-source cross-platform messaging and email frontend for the desktop that provides you with access to more than 20 different services out of the box. Messaging applications are everywhere. On your smartphone, on the Web, and as desktop programs. While some services provide you with tools to run them on any device you use, others are only available on certain device types or operating systems. Rambox is a free solution that brings many popular services to desktop computer systems. Its two main functions are to provide you with access to services that are not necessarily available on desktop systems, and to provide you with access to multiple services at once. Rambox: messaging frontend for the desktop Rambox is a wrapper application that unifies messaging services and email services on desktop systems. It supports a variety of services out of the box: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Hangouts, Gmail, Discord, Yahoo Messenger or WeChat to name a few. Simply click on one of the available services to add it to the list of enabled services. You are asked to enter your credentials, and depending on the service, authorize access before it becomes available. Each service you add this way is listed in its own tab in the Rambox interface. There you may interact with the service as usual. You may access the message history, write messages to contacts, or use other means of communication if supported by the service. Notifications are handled individually for each service. Sounds are enabled by default, but desktop notifications need to be turned on before they become available. Simply click on the cog wheel icon that is displayed on service tabs, and select settings from the menu to get started. While you can configure notifications this way, other features are restricted. This includes blocking users, adding or removing contacts, or looking up information about individual contacts. Adding new services One interesting feature supported by Rambox is support for adding new services. This works only if the service is accessible via a URL. If that is the case click on the plus icon to get started. Enter a name, URL and logo URL for the service, and configure notification options. If things work out well, the service is added to Rambox so that you may access it just like any of the default services. Other features Rambox highlights new messages on each of the services individually in the program interface. It may also display desktop notifications for services you have enabled them for, and play sounds if messages arrive. You may turn on do not disturb mode in the program interface to block notifications for as long as the mode is enabled. Another useful feature is the ability to sync data across all computer systems by logging in to an account. This is completely optional though. Closing Words Rambox is interesting to two main groups of users. First users who work with multiple messaging and email services regularly, and second users who want to use a desktop client for messaging even if none is provided or if the program that is provided is not cutting it for one reason or the other. Rambox Article source
  20. Batu69

    Plex Media Server 1.0 is out

    Plex Media Server 1.0 is now available for download. The latest version of the popular cross-platform media server application is mostly a bug fix release but still noteworthy due to the version bump. Plex Media Server enables you to run a media server on a computer running Windows, Mac or Linux, or on various NAS systems including those offered by Netgear, Synology or QNAP. The content the media server makes available is then accessible through applications, again on desktop devices, mobile devices, smart TVs and consoles to name a few. You could run the server component on a NAS or a desktop PC, and use your Android smartphone or Playstation 4 to connect to it to stream all media made available on the server. Plex Media Server 1.0 Before you start to upgrade Plex Media Server to version 1.0, make sure the operating system you are installing the server on is still supported. Support for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 has been dropped in version 1.0. If the server is installed on a device powered by one of those operating systems, upgrades are not available. The Plex team notes that the last working version before version 1.0 is still available for use on those unsupported devices. Another issue that users need to be aware of is that the sync database format changed in the new version. While that is not a problem when users upgrade to Plex Media Server 1.0, it may cause sync issues when users downgrade the server component. The changelog lists minor changes, Plex Web was upgraded to version 2.7, and opus is used instead of mp3 when transcoding music using Chromecast devices. For the most part though, Plex works just like before. The team notes that support and development of older versions of Plex Media Server will be discontinued. The blog post that announces the new version looks back at the development from the very beginning. It all started in 2008 when the first version of Plex Media Server was released. More than eight years later, Plex Media Server 1.0 is available. The service has grown, support has improved, and while it has been stable for a long time, version 1.0 marks an important step in the journey. Article source
  21. Find Out Why A Program Wont Run On Windows Exe Properties is a lightweight program for Microsoft Windows devices that displays the architecture (32-bit or 64-bit), and minimum Windows version of executable files and dlls. Did you ever run into programs on Windows that would seemingly do nothing when run? You double-click on the file and nothing happens. You check the Windows Task Manager and it is not running either. Or, you run a program only to get a prompt stating that the application is not compatible with your version of Windows. Maybe because you are running a 32-bit version and try to launch a 64-bit program, or because the Windows version of your device is too old or new. Windows File Compatibility Exe Properties is a free program for Windows that adds a new tab to the properties dialog of Windows Explorer / File Explorer. The program is compatible with all versions of Windows starting with Windows XP and including the latest version Windows 10. Exe Properties needs to be installed, and when that happens, adds the new tab to Explorer's properties dialog. The new entry is added to the properties dialog of exe files and dlls. Simply right-click on a supported file, select properties from the context menu, and switch to the Exe/DLL Info tab when the properties window opens to display compatibility information. The program lists the following information there: The architecture supported by the file. This can be x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit). The minimum Windows version the program is compatible with. The development environment it was compiled under. Information is not provided for all files. You may get no information depending on the file in question, but for many, the information are listed. This may help you understand why a program won't run on a particular machine, or if you have downloaded a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the program. For instance, if you want to find out if Firefox or Google Chrome executable files are 32-bit or 64-bit, you would simply look that up using the new Explorer tab. Exe Properties may be especially useful for portable apps to find out about the supported architecture as these programs are not placed in the program directories which often highlight that fact. Verdict Exe Properties is a handy tool to display compatibility information of exe or dll files on Windows devices. Its use is limited though; first, because it does not work on all exe or dll files, and second, because it may only be useful to most users in rare cases unless new software is downloaded and run all the time. Source
  22. BitTorrent made the decision to spin-off Sync, the company's file synchronization service to newly founded company Resilio. Resilio, headed by former BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, takes over Sync and everything associated with it. In fact, when you visit the official Sync download site right now, you will notice that the site has already been rebranded to highlight the new brand and name of the product. Nothing appears to change for now in regards to Sync's free and pro version. Resilio Sync is still available on the site, and nothing has changed in the application so far from what I can tell. There are still quite a few references to BitTorrent on the Get Sync website. The Twitter link leads to the BitTorrent Sync account on Twitter for instance but it seems to have been taken over already by Resilio. Resilio Sync The application downloads as BitTorrent Sync but that is likely going to change in the near future. Resilio changed the product name for Enterprise and business customers though. The new Enterprise product is called Resilio Connect, the product for small businesses Sync for Workgroups. Motivation behind the move Variety offers information on why Sync has been handed over to Resilio. According to the site, it seems to come down to different ideas on how to move BitTorrent forward. Klinker, the new Resilio CEO, introduced several new concepts based around BitTorrent's core technology including Sync but also Bleep, a messaging platform. This was done partly to find new revenue streams for the company as revenue from bundled software declined sharply in recent time, and revenue from advertisement did not fill the gap. BitTorrent launched a new live streaming app, and revelead that another new media related project called BitTorrent Now is in the pipeline as well. According to Variety, BitTorrent will focus on media and that is the reason why the company decided to spin off Sync in a separate company. A blog post on the official BitTorrent website highlights the focus even clearer. According to the post, BitTorrent Inc will focus on "On Demand and Live Streaming Media Platforms". Neither BitTorrent nor Resilio have announced the change in ownership yet. It remains unclear whether changes will be made to Sync or the way it is offered. Article source
  23. Users of the TeamViewer remote-access service have been complaining in recent weeks about how their systems have been hacked into, unauthorized purchases made on their cards, their bank accounts emptied. Initially it was believed that this was due to a hack into TeamViewer itself, but the company has denied this. Instead, they have blamed password re-use, especially with millions of old passwords in the wild thanks to disclosed social network breaches. Others have speculated that malware could be in use somehow, and that may be the case. We have evidence that trojanized TeamViewer installer packages have been used in a spam campaign that resulted in attackers gaining remote access to various systems. While this particular spam campaign used an old version of TeamViewer, we can’t dismiss the possibility of other attacks using newer versions. This spam campaign targeted users in Italy, using a variety of subject lines such as the following (English translation in parenthesis): Accesso dati (Data access) Il tuo ID e stato usato (Your ID was used) Prova gratuita 30 giorni (Free 30-day trial) Conferma dell’ordine (Order conformation) Il tuo conto informazione (Your account information) Finanziamento?????? (Financing) A simple .JS (JavaScript) file was attached to these messages; when run this file downloads various files onto the system: A keylogger, detected as TSPY_DRIDEX.YYSUV A “Trojanized” version of TeamViewer, detected as BKDR_TEAMBOT.MNS. A batch file which executed the above two items, then deletes itself This particular Trojanized version that the malware installs is very old – version 6.0.17222.0. TeamViewer 6 was first released in December 2010 and was superseded by version 7 in November 2011. Secondly, it is installed in an unusual location: %APPDATA%\Div. (Some variants installed their copy into %APPDATA%/Addins instead.) This behavior is consistent across all the various permutations of this attack we have seen. This version of TeamViewer was Trojanized, but not by modifying the legitimate version. Instead, it includes an additional DLL – avicap32.dll. (This malicious DLL is detected as BKDR_TEAMBOT.DLL.) In a classic case of DLL search order hijacking; the legitimate TeamViewer applications loads two functions from this DLL; the legitimate version of which is a part of Windows. However, the presence of the malicious version allows an attacker to take control of the TeamViewer application. This particular campaign targeted users in Italy for a month, ample time to gather all of a victim’s usernames and passwords. The presence of a Trojanized TeamViewer version raises the possibility that a newer version may exist in the wild and account for some of the recent attacks. One more thing to note is that the TeamViewer administrators may be able to limit the damage of old versions. All TeamViewer connections are initially mediated by company servers. It may be possible for connections from these unsupported versions to be disconnected at this handshake stage, preventing any malicious use from progressing. It would unfortunately also cut out any users of these old versions. Trend Micro endpoint solutions such as Trend Micro™ Security, Smart Protection Suites, and Worry-Free™ Business Security can protect users and SMBs from this threat by detecting malicious files, and spammed messages as well as blocking all related malicious URLs. On the other hand, our Trend Micro Deep Discovery has an email inspection layer that can protect enterprises by detecting malicious attachments and URLs. The following hashes are related to this attack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rticle source
  24. Windscribe is a desktop application and browser extension that work together to block ads and trackers, restore access to blocked content and help you safeguard your privacy online. Free servers location: US East US West United Kingdom Canada Hong Kong France Germany Luxembourg Netherlands This limited time offer Download free Windscribe
  25. And IoT isn’t just about consumer devices. Nor is it a completely new idea. Early in my career I worked with a full range of industrial sensors. And medical devices have been around for a long time. But they were not connected using standard protocols that allow for unified management, analytics and security as we are seeing today. It’s now starting to take hold in enterprises, smart cities, transportation, and others as well. As enterprises transform into digital businesses, the need to find ways to improve efficiencies, generate new forms of revenue and deliver new and exciting customer experiences will be the tipping point for enterprise IoT to really take off. It’s not going to be an easy journey, though – especially for developers. Not only do these new devices need to talk to each other, but in order to have a purpose, they need applications, and those applications take time to build and manage. In fact, manageability is a key issue and developers are faced with integration challenges on an hourly basis. Specifically, for organizations that want to deploy IoT apps across multiple gateway vendors and those that wish to buy solutions that are not locked into a single silo, IoT can be the bane of one’s existence. This pressure on IoT developers has made companies like VMware work hard to figure out just how to make their lives easier. Today, VMware took a first step in our IoT journey, furthering our commitment to developers as well as makers of devices (the “things” of IoT) and gateway providers. We are extremely excited to launch Liota (Little IoT Agent), a vendor-neutral Open Source software development kit (SDK) for building secure IoT gateway data and control orchestration applications: where, when, and how to gather data from attached devices and transfer data to data center components. Liota also supports an application in receiving control signals from the data center components. The Liota Open Source SDK provides the libraries to develop applications that connect and orchestrate data and control flows across things, gateways and the cloud. Gateways are an integral part of IoT infrastructure. They bridge, but also de-couple, the physical IoT devices from the analytics and management components in data centers. This bridge allows data and control to move freely, correctly and securely from the device to the cloud or data center. Liota provides that next step, while also offering the flexibility developers want and need. Liota is the industry’s first vendor-neutral, Open Source framework for IoT gateway orchestration application development. Thus, it provides a common way for enterprises to manage and leverage multiple gateway vendors within their IoT infrastructures. Liota is an Open Source offering for IoT solution developers and resides primarily on IoT gateways. Liota has been generalized to allow, via modules, interaction with any data-center component, over any transport, and for any IoT gateway. It is easy-to-use and provides enterprise-quality modules for interacting with IoT Solutions. We’ve already tested Liota with many solutions from both VMware and the community, such as VMware AirWatch®, VMware vRealize® Operations Manager™ and the open-source tool Graphite. Liota solves an industry problem that’s very real and has been validated in many recent discussions I’ve had, including with some VMware customers who have had early access to the framework. For example, Francis Cianfrocca, founder & chief scientist at Bayshore Networks said, “It’s critical to for us to work across multiple gateway platforms to deliver the scale required for industrial IoT. Liota allows us to focus on app innovation rather than creating multiple versions of our app.” Francis raises a very good point. Developers are often so bogged down in the day-to-day, backend development of apps that they rarely get time to focus on innovation. With how quick the market moves, however, innovation is what will set businesses apart, allowing them to keep or gain competitive advantage while continuing to drive the business forward. Jason Shepherd, director of IoT strategy and partnerships over at Dell said, “An open framework for gateway app development is a powerful tool for IoT innovation. Apps built according to the Liota framework and running on Dell Edge Gateways give developers an opportunity to build powerful, flexible IoT solutions.” Also, companies who make the “things” in IoT see the strength in Liota’s ability to connect data all the way from their devices to the Cloud. “We are excited to engage VMware and work towards Liota integration onto our product offering,” said Mazin Bedwan, V5 Systems, co-founder and president. “V5 Systems is on the forefront of Industrial IoT Edge Computing, and Liota is a valuable solution that helps connect V5 Systems nodes to one another as well as back to the cloud or data center for a seamless and enterprise quality flow of data and communication.” Liota is available to developers for free now at https://github.com/vmware/liota, and it works with any gateway or operating system that supports Python. IoT offers a new realm of challenges and opportunities, both for our customers and for us. Liota is just the first stop on our IoT journey… Article source
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