Microsoft unveils 64-bit version

64-bit One Drive is now available in public preview

After releasing the 64-bit version of its cloud storage solution earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that its updated version of One Drive is now available in public preview.

So far, when the software giant first released the 64-bit version of Windows in 2003, users could only access the 32-bit version of the software to store their files, photos, and other documents.

The problem with running 32-bit software on the 64-bit version of Windows 10 is that even on systems with large amounts of memory, 32-bit programs can only access 4GB of system memory.

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By making One Drive available as a native 64-bit application, users may see performance improvements because the software can now use more available RAM.

64-bit One Drive

In a new blog post from Microsoft’s explained that the new 64-bit version of One Drive will make it easier to transfer large files, saying:

 “If you plan to use large files, a lot of files, and the computer is running a 64-bit version of Windows, the 64-bit version is the right choice.

A computer running a 64-bit version of Windows usually has more resources (such as processing Capacity and memory).

Similarly, 64-bit applications can access more memory than 32-bit applications (up to 18.4 million Pet bytes).”

It is also worth noting that the current 64-bit version of One Drive is only suitable for systems running Intel or AMD processors.

Currently, users of ARM64 devices will need to continue to use the 32-bit version of the software.

Interested users can download the 64-bit version of One Drive here for use in their One Drive work, school and home accounts.

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Intel will manufacture chips for others as part of a major restructuring effort.

After years of trying to catch up with competitors, Intel’s new Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger revealed Tuesday that the company’s main strategy would be to produce chips for other companies.

Intel has traditionally concentrated on producing its own chips, but that will change with the establishment of the new and independent Intel Foundry Services business unit.

If the change is successful, it will represent a significant turnaround for a decades-old Silicon Valley powerhouse. For years, the chipmaker’s technological leadership and the “Intel Inside” marketing strategy held it at the forefront of personal technology.

However, in recent years, Intel has struggled to enter the smartphone market and has experienced many delays in PC processor development.

Intel’s move could also help to anchor technology supply chains in the United States, which is advantageous at a time when policymakers are worried about dependence on Asian manufacturers.

Intel welcomes political efforts to improve the US processor market, but the foundry change is unrelated to those efforts, according to Gelsinger.

chip shortage

The strategy comes at a time when there is a severe chip shortage, which is delaying car production and causing other issues.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest foundry, expects to invest $28 billion in new chip making capacity this year to meet demand.

That provides an appropriate backdrop for Intel’s foundry news. But don’t hold your breath waiting for it to work. It takes years to get new fab products to market capacity online

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As Intel’s chip making dominance waned, companies such as Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and AMD turned to chip foundries such as TSMC, Samsung, and UMC. Apple’s M1 processor, manufactured by TSMC and used in many new Macs, is representative of the move.

On several measurements, it outperforms rival Intel chips in terms of speed and battery power consumption.

According to Gelsinger, Intel is making strides toward a newer manufacturing process that uses electronic components measuring 10 nanometers, or billionths of a meter.

He also expressed trust in the company’s 2023 transition to its 7nm process, which doubles the amount of circuitry elements that can fit into a given area compared to today’s 10nm process and quadruples it compared to today’s 20nm process.

“Intel has returned. As we look to the future, the old Intel has given way to the new Intel “Gelsinger explained. “Our belief in 7nm’s health and competitiveness is growing.”

Wall Street remained skeptical. Following an initial surge, Intel’s stock price levelled off Wednesday at around $63 a share, where it had closed on Tuesday prior to Intel’s announcements.

Intel Foundry Issues

Not everybody shares Gelsinger’s optimism. “The foundry project seems unlikely to be any more competitive than Intel’s previous foundry efforts,” Linley Gwennap, an analyst at the Linley Group, said.

“Intel has always struggled at foundry because it does not have standard tools and libraries that TSMC and Samsung support, and external customers recognize that they will always be the lowest priority in Intel’s fabs.”

Intel’s previous foundry efforts were “bad,” according to Gelsinger, but this time will be different. For example, this time around, the foundry initiative will be a separate business entity with its own benefit obligations and dedicated capacity for custodial services.

Intel’s efforts to bring 7nm chip development to scale, accelerate the next transition to 5nm, and embrace emerging technologies to combine smaller “chiplets” into a single more efficient chip package are also daunting, according to Gwennap.

“If someone can pull it off, Pat is the one,” Gwennap said of Gelsinger. Gelsinger worked at Intel for 30 years, rising to the position of chief technical officer before departing for a lengthy stint at software maker VMware.

Intel also stated that it would beat previous revenue and profit expectations for the first quarter, owing to strong sales of laptop chips. Remote schooling and work during the pandemic has resulted in an increase in PC spending.

New ventures, new plants, and new customers

Intel hopes that the newly revealed plan would result in new business from foundry services. It will not only design its own processors, such as the Core and Xeon, but it will also design chips for other technology companies.

Intel is investing a massive $20 billion in two new Arizona chip factories, known as fabs, that will have dedicated foundry power, giving customers confidence that Intel will manufacture their chips.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Cisco all supported Intel’s shift, but Intel did not provide information.

It also announced a collaboration with IBM on chip technology and packaging. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement that Intel Foundry Services “would bolster US competitiveness.”

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Intel’s closest partner in several respects during its PC heyday was Windows programme manufacturer Microsoft, hence the nickname “Wintel.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed his support for Intel’s manufacturing reforms, a clear vote of confidence considering the company’s position in the PC industry, and Gelsinger thanked him on Twitter.

The exchange was noteworthy since Gelsinger is following in Nadella’s footsteps in several respects.

Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has welcomed strong competitors such as the Linux operating system and smartphones powered by Google and Apple applications.

Today, Gelsinger is lending its manufacturing clout – although somewhat tarnished at the moment – to its main competitors. The “you’re with us or you’re against us” mentality has vanished.

Customers will be able to design chips using Intel’s own x86 processor cores as well as the Arm designs that dominate the smartphone market. Customers of Intel will also be able to design chips using RISC-V, a newer competitor to Arm designs.

Even as it plans to build chips for others, Intel will increase its reliance on other foundries such as TSMC, Samsung in Korea, and UMC in Taiwan in the near term.

According to Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin in a research note issued on Wednesday, Intel’s moves have a major impact on the industry’s competitive dynamics.

Intel’s ability to develop its chips on TSMC’s leading manufacturing brings fresh pressure on Intel’s own manufacturing to change, while also allowing Intel to demonstrate how well its processors perform when not hampered by Intel’s manufacturing issues.

It’s unclear how well Intel can carry out its plans, but Bajarin is more confident in Intel’s capabilities now than he has been in the last decade. “These announcements are a significant move forward.”

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We must protect our global financial networks from cyber threats. “A Viewpoint”

The assessment that a main cyber attack poses is a risk to monetary stability is axiomatic. The arena’s governments and agencies maintain to conflict to contain the danger because it stays uncertain who is in authority for defensive the system.

 Progressively concerned, key voices are sounding the alert. In February 2020, Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank and former head of the International Monetary Fund, alerted that a cyber assault seem trigger a genuine monetary emergency.

 In April 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) cautioned that “a major cyber occurrence, in case not legitimately contained, might truly disturb budgetary frameworks, counting basic budgetary framework, driving to broader budgetary steadiness suggestions.”

The potential financial costs of such occasions can be colossal and the harm to open believe and certainty critical.

Global financial system:

This risk is amplified by two current developments. First, the global financial system is undergoing a digital revolution unknown in history, and is being intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Banks compete with technology firms, and technology firms clash with banks.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has increased demand for online financial services and made working from home the new trend.

Central banks all over the world are considering promoting digital currencies and modernizing payment systems.

Second, malicious actors are using this digital revolution to pose an increasing threat to the global financial infrastructure, financial stability, and confidence in the system’s credibility.

The pandemic has also provided new opportunities for hackers. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the finance industry is facing the second-highest share of Covid-19-related cyber threats, behind only the health sector.

Suspect for risk?

Malicious players behind these attacks involve not only highly brazen perpetrators, such as the Carbanak squad, who stole more than $1 billion from financial institutions between 2013 and 2018, but also governments and state-sponsored attackers.

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This is a global problem. Although high-income countries receive more coverage for cyber threats, the growing amount of attacks on softer targets in low- and lower-middle-income countries receives less attention.

However, it is in these countries where the drive for greater financial inclusion has been most intense, prompting many to migrate to digital financial services such as mobile payment systems.

While they help to improve financial inclusion, digital financial platforms also create a rich target area for hackers.

International strategy:

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a paper titled “International Strategy to Better Defend the Global Financial System from Cyber Threats” in November 2020 to ensure more effective defense of the global financial system from cyber threats.

The study, created in partnership with the World Economic Forum, proposes concrete steps to minimize polarization by encouraging further collaboration, both globally and among government institutions, financial firms, and technology companies. The plan is based on 4 guiding principles:

More clarification on duties and obligations is needed. A few countries have effectively established domestic partnerships with their financial institutions, law enforcement, diplomats, other related government actors, and industry.

Present fragmentation stifles international collaboration and threatens the international system’s mutual resilience, rehabilitation, and reaction capabilities.

International cooperation is both necessary and urgent. Individual states, financial institutions, and technology businesses cannot adequately guard against cyber attacks if they act alone, given the size of the challenge and the system’s global interdependence.

Limiting fragmentation would expand capacity to resolve the problem. Many measures are in the works to help secure financial institutions, but they are also divided.

Any of these efforts overlap, increasing processing costs. Several of these projects have evolved to the point that they can be communicated, more organized, and internationalized.

Defending the international financial system will serve as a blueprint for other industries. Even when global pressures are high, the financial system is one of the few places where countries have a strong mutual interest in cooperating. Focusing on the financial sector is a good place to start, and it will pave the way for better security in other industries in the future.

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The study suggests that the FSB create a basic structure for supervising cyber risk management at financial institutions as one of the steps for improving cyber resilience.

Governments and business should improve protection by exchanging vulnerability information and establishing financial computer emergency response teams (CERTs) modelled after Israel’s FinCERT.

Financial regulators

They can priorities growing the financial sector’s resilience to data and algorithm-based assaults. This can provide free, secured data vaulting, which enables participants to back up customer account data safely overnight. Daily models of cyber threats can be used to find flaws and build action plans.

The study suggests that policymakers explain how they can adapt international law to cyberspace and enhance norms to protect the credibility of the financial system in order to reinforce international norms. Sanctions, prosecutions, and asset seizures are also possible responses.

Governments can help these efforts by creating agencies to help with threat assessment and response coordination. Threats to the financial sector should be a priority of information collection, and policymakers should exchange that intelligence with partners and like-minded countries.

Increasing Capability

The holistic strategy outlined in the Carnegie report is dependent on developing the cybersecurity workforce, expanding the financial sector’s cybersecurity capability, and protecting financial inclusion gains made as a result of the digital transformation.

The pandemic’s increased unemployment offers a vital incentive for training and recruiting skilled people to improve the cybersecurity workforce. Firms in the financial services industry should invest in initiatives to develop the talent pool, such as high school, apprenticeship, and university programmer.

Creating cybersecurity capability entails concentrating on giving support where it is required. The IMF and other foreign organisations have received several requests from member countries for cybersecurity assistance.

G20 governments and central banks could establish an international framework to strengthen financial sector cybersecurity capability in collaboration with an international agency such as IMF.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and international financial institutions should include cybersecurity capacity-building in development assistance packages and substantially increase assistance to needy countries.

Finally, sustaining progress in financial inclusion necessitates increased cybersecurity. This is especially important in Africa, where many countries are undergoing major financial sector transformations as they broaden financial inclusion and shift to digital financial services.

A network of experts based specifically on cybersecurity in Africa should be created. The time has come for the international community — including governments, central banks, regulators, industry, and other related stakeholders — to join together to address this critical and urgent problem.

A well-thought-out plan, like the one being outlined above, serves as a road map for putting words into motion.

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Update: Microsoft Implements Windows Zerologon Flaw ‘Enforcement Mode’

Zerologon flaw is one of the critical matters discussed recently. Microsoft has decided to take this matter into its own hands as companies have not yet updated their systems to address Zerologon flaw.

After careful consideration and investigation, the tech giant – Microsoft has decided that from Feb 9, it will by default block vulnerable connections on devices that could be used to exploit the flaw. Some of the Microsoft’s Active Directory domain controllers are prone to be affected by Zerologon flaw.

Domain controllers of Microsoft Active Directory will respond to authentication requests and verify users on computer networks.

A successful exploitation of the Zerlogon flaw will allow unauthenticated attackers with network access to Active Directory’s domain controllers to completely compromise all Active Directory identity services.

The new initiative taken by Microsoft in which Domain Controller enforcement mode is implemented that “will block vulnerable connections from non-compliant devices,”.

Domain Controller enforcement mode requires that all Windows and non-Windows devices use secure RPC with Netlogon secure channel.

Unless customers have explicitly allowed the account to be vulnerable by adding an exception for the non-compliant device.

Secure RPC is an authentication method that authenticates both the host and the user who is making a request for a service.

This new implementation is an attempt to block cybercriminals from gaining network access to domain controllers.

Unauthorized access will eventually be used to exploit the Zerologon privilege-escalation glitch (CVE-2020-1472).

The Zerologon flaw, with a critical-severity CVSS score of 10 out of 10, was first addressed in Microsoft’s August 2020 security updates.

Starting Feb. 9, Microsoft said it will enable domain controller “enforcement mode” by default, a measure that would help mitigate the threat.

Considering the current situation of the internet and cybercrimes, this implementation would help businesses and individuals to minimize the risk of hacking.

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Major security flaws found in Dell Wyse ThinOS

Occurrence of technical issues are very common when any sort of system or device is developed. According to recent findings two critical vulnerabilities have been found in Dell’s Wyse thin clients. These vulnerabilities could easily be exploited by an attacker to run malicious code and gain access to arbitrary files.

As compared to old PCs, now small form factor PCs have grown more powerful. In recent years, a lot of organizations more commonly the ones in healthcare industry have turned to thin clients in order to fulfill their computing needs.

Why do they choose thin clients?

Many organizations choose to turn to thin clients because they take up far less space than a traditional desktop PC. Dell Wyse thin clients are one of the popular choices among enterprises and it’s estimated that over 6,000 organizations have deployed them on their networks, hence network monitoring is an added factor that all enterprises needs.

Dell ships two critical vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2020-29492 and CVE-2020-29491, reside in its OS. ThinOS can also be kept remotely and the Austin-based company mentions that users set up an FTP server for its Wyse devices in order to download updates including firmware, packages and configurations.

However, according to cybersecurity firm CyberMDX, which focuses on the healthcare sector, found that accessing almost a dozen Dell Wyse thin clients via FTP was possible with no credentials by using an anonymous user profile. According to their findings only the firmware and packages are signed which clearly means that an attacker can use the INI configuration files to target vulnerable machines.

In recent times, we all are facing malware, cyberattacks and really wants our websites and confidential files to be protected from attackers. IT Consultants are always working for better IT solutions along with providing technical support to their clients.

FTP access is possible without credentials on some Dell Wyze thin clients

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