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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft Joins Effort to Remove Emotet But Warns Customers to Remain Vigilant

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Microsoft has this week sent a warning to customers urging them to remain vigilant following a recent takedown raid on Emotet botnet servers. The Redmond company took down hundreds of servers later last month as part of an ongoing fight against cybercrime.

Despite the takedowns, Microsoft says customers remain at risk and need to keep their security robust. Emotet is a relatively old and solvable trojan that has been around since 2014. However, threat actors have evolved the botnet to become the most dangerous in circulation.

It is used by a threat group known as Mummy Spider (TA542) to deploy other malware types such as Trickbot. Microsoft says its efforts to disrupt Emotet by breaking infrastructure means activity has fallen significantly.

However, the company points out that does not mean the threat has been eliminated:

“Microsoft 365 Defender data shows that the disruption of Emotet infrastructure immediately resulted in the drop in new campaigns,” Microsoft says in a tweet. “Given Emotet’s reach and role in the deployment of payloads like ransomware, however, customers should ensure continued monitoring and protection.”

 

Takedown Operation

Microsoft did another round of targeting Emotet servers during January alongside a wider action run by Eurojust and Europol. Law enforcement agencies from several countries were able to seize servers for the botnet, making it easier to takedown activity.

“Within the framework of the criminal procedural measures carried out at international level, the Bundeskriminalamt has arranged for the malware Emotet to be quarantined in the computer systems affected,” Germany’s BKA told BleepingComputer.

“An identification of the systems affected is necessary in order to seize evidence and to enable the users concerned to carry out a complete system clean-up to prevent further offences.”

Importantly, law enforcement agencies are also rolling out a new Emotet module. It will be available for infected devices and help them uninstall the malware. That new module will be available on April 25, 2021.

So, does that mean the botnet is gone for good? Well, it’s going to be hard for threat actors to resurrect it, but Microsoft’s caution is telling. The company is aware other botnets have been able to come back after similar removal efforts.

Tip of the day:

Whether you’re planning an upgrade, tuning CPU timings, or just curious, it’s handy to know information about your RAM. In our tutorial, we show you how to check RAM speed, type, and size using several built-in Windows 10 tools.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft Flight Simulator launched in August and has been one of the major game successes of the year. Arguably the most graphically impressive title of all-time, the game is also selling in huge numbers and winning rave reviews. Currently available on PC, Microsoft has now confirmed Flight Sim will land on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in 2021. Summer of 2021 to be more accurate, although the company is also killing plans for an Xbox One launch. Or that’s how it seems because Microsoft does not mention the old console in the trailer. That’s a shame, especially since Microsoft said Flight Simulator would come to its now old console. No reason has been given for going back on that promise, but I think it’s obvious. The company wants as many people as possible to move with the Xbox Series X|S and Microsoft Flight Simulator is the kind of game that could push them to an upgrade.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator launched in August and has been one of the major game successes of the year. Arguably the most graphically impressive title of all-time, the game is also selling in huge numbers and winning rave reviews. Currently available on PC, Microsoft has now confirmed Flight Sim will land on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in 2021.

Summer of 2021 to be more accurate, although the company is also killing plans for an Xbox One launch. Or that’s how it seems because Microsoft does not mention the old console in the trailer.

That’s a shame, especially since Microsoft said Flight Simulator would come to its now old console. No reason has been given for going back on that promise, but I think it’s obvious. The company wants as many people as possible to move with the Xbox Series X|S and Microsoft Flight Simulator is the kind of game that could push them to an upgrade.

It is also worth noting by the summer of 2021, the Xbox One will be a more distant memory. Microsoft will be full steam ahead on the new generation of hardware. Although, Xbox One continues to be supported by the company, including with game launches.

Just not Flight Sim it seems.

Success

Since launching, Microsoft Flight Simulator has been a huge success. It is on course to sell millions of copies. Analysts also point to the game creating its own mini industry around peripheral sales worth billions of dollars.

Microsoft has already sent out two world updates for the game. The second arrived last month with a bunch of improvements and additions. Called World Update II: USA, this update is available globally and provides new content related to the United States.

It includes 48 brand new points of interest with full graphical detail, alongside some new airports.

Tip of the day

If your system drive is constantly full and you need to free some space, you might want to try Windows 10 Disk Cleanup in extended mode. Our tutorial also shows you how to create a desktop shortcut to run this advanced method right from the desktop.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Says LinkedIn Stories Can Engage Younger Users

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Microsoft has enjoyed huge success under CEO Satya Nadella, but not by

hits in current tech trends. In fact, Microsoft has never really been a company that appeals to kids. Enterprise focus and now cloud tech hardly speak to the smartphone and chat generation. However, with LinkedIn Stories Nadella believes Microsoft may be able to appeal to a younger audience.

During Microsoft’s annual shareholders’ meeting this week (via Business Insider), the CEO was asked directly how Microsoft can speak to young users through LinkedIn. Nadella said this is something that the LinkedIn team is focusing on.

“As population ages, we do need to make sure that both the younger population, as well as the older population, can both find the economic opportunity,” Nadella said.

“That’s really the pressing need of our times, and we are very focused on that, specifically for some of the younger folks who are joining LinkedIn. We’re making sure, for example, the engagement tools, like the News feed, have new modalities.”

Stories

LinkedIn Stories were first announced and tested earlier this year and launched in September. Like Stories on Snapchat and Instagram before, this could be a quick way to share key moments at conferences and work events, or quick tips relevant to the industry.

Of course, Stories on LinkedIn put a professional twist on the idea, so it remains interesting to see how users tap into the tool. While Nadella thinks it can drive usage amongst younger generations, it could be argued LinkedIn is not that kind of platform to start with.

LinkedIn sees Stories as a form of future-proofing. Many children have grown up with such features as one of their primary methods of communication and implementing Stories may help them to find a home there.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft Points to Trend of State-Backed Hackers Moving to Non-Espionage Attacks

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Microsoft says it has found hackers backed by the Vietnamese government sending cryptocurrency mining malware. The company says the threat actors are packaging the malware in their normal cyber-spying toolkits.

This shows some threat actors who typically work with/for governments are now spreading into non-espionage cyber-attacks. Microsoft points out this blend makes it harder to know if an attack is for spying purposes or motivated by money.

Microsoft says the group Bismuth, or other popular names like OceanLotus and APT32. Known as a Vietnamese-backed cyber cell, the group is a longstanding threat actor in operation since 2012.

As it is government backed, Bismuth usually focuses on creating hacking operations within and outside Vietnam that are designed to extract information from systems. Microsoft says it seems the group has evolved to more mainstream cyber operations.

“In campaigns from July to August 2020, the group deployed Monero coin miners in attacks that targeted both the private sector and government institutions in France and Vietnam,” Microsoft said.

Moving On

Microsoft says there are couple of potential reasons why Bismuth is making this switch. It is clear the group is taking advantage of the relative ease of crypto-mining tools and exploiting them. These are often low priority security risks, so they are easier to breach:

“Because BISMUTH’s attacks involved techniques that ranged from typical to more advanced, devices with common threat activities like phishing and coin mining should be elevated and inspected for advanced threats. More importantly, organizations should prioritize reducing attack surface and hardening networks against the full range of attacks.”

Microsoft adds Bismuth is not alone in transitioning from espionage to traditional cyberattacks. In fact, the company points to a trend where Russian, North Korean, Chinese, and Iranian state-backed groups are also targeting monetary attacks.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Use Plus Addressing in Microsoft 365 to create email addresses on the fly

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Plus addressing allows you create additional email addresses on the fly, and is useful when sign-up for mailing lists or online services. Email addresses created this way use your existing email address as the basis and once configured within Office 365, don’t require any administrator intervention to use.

A normal email address is in the form steve@practical365.com and with the “local” part being the name before the @ symbol. With plus addressing, you can create a new email address, like steve+onlineshopping@practical365.com by adding a plus (+) after the local part followed by your preferred tag.

Enabling Plus Addressing in Exchange Online

Plus addressing is off by default in Exchange Online, and is not available on-premises. This is because in the past, Exchange Online has allowed administrators to create email addresses containing the plus character for users.

To enable plus addressing, first, connect to Exchange Online using Powershell. In Exchange Online Powershell, use the following command to enable plus addressing for your organization:

Plus addressing is enabled rapidly – in our testing it was enabled within the hour.

Using Inbox rules to filter mail received

It is straightforward to use Inbox rules in Outlook to filter mail received via plus addressing. You can use this to auto-delete messages, if your additional email address ends of on spam lists, or most usefully you can automatically move messages into an Inbox folder.

To do this, right click on a message received to the additional address – it will be shown in the to field of a relevant message – then from the menu choose Rules>Always move message to..

Plus Addressing in Exchange Online

On the menu shown, you’ll be presented the option to create a new folder and automatically move messages. You can also choose Create Rule, and create an advanced rule based on the same criteria:

Plus Addressing advanced options

Source Practical365

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft HoloLens 2 Development Edition Now Available in the U.S.

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Microsoft debuted HoloLens 2 back in February 2019 but at the time no Development Edition was available. Microsoft has been slow to roll out availability of the second-generation augmented reality (AR) headset and platform. Nearly two years after launch, the HoloLens 2 Development Edition is now available.

Well, it is available if you happen to be in the United States. For now, the device is only available to US customers. Microsoft says that will change shortly when other regions are included by the end of the year.

Those regions are Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, UK, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.

Microsoft first announced the HoloLens 2 Development Edition in May 2019, a few months after the commercial version was announced. However, availability of the device took some time. We know the commercial version took over a year to reach the Microsoft Store, landing in June this year.

So, it makes sense the Development Edition is also late for the party. However, better late than never. If you are unfamiliar with this edition, it is a bundle package that includes the HoloLens 2 device and software focused on 3D augmented reality and interactive work. Also included is $500 in Microsoft Azure credits, a 3-month license and Unity Pro and Pixyz.

HoloLens 2 Specs

For developers coming to the HoloLens experience for the first time, here is the specsheet for the second generation.

Display:

  • Optics – See-through holographic lenses (waveguides)
  • Resolution –  2k 3:2 light engines
  • Holographic Density –  >2.5k radiants (light points per radian)
  • Eye-based Rendering –  Display optimization for 3D eye position

Sensors & Audio:

  • Depth – Azure Kinect sensor
  • IMU –  Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
  • Camera –  8MP stills, 1080p30 video
  • Microphone Array –  5 channels
  • Speakers – Built-in, Spatial Audio

Human Understanding:

  • Hand Tracking – Two-handed fully articulated model, direct manipulation
  • Eye Tracking – Real-time tracking
  • Voice – Command and control on-device, Natural Language with internet connectivity

Environmental Understanding:

  • 6DoF Tracking – World-scale positional tracking
  • Spatial Mapping –  Real-time environment mesh
  • Mixed Reality Capture – Mixed hologram and physical environment photos and videos

Compute & Connectivity:

  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform
  • HPU: 2nd Generation Custom-built Holographic Processing Unit
  • WiFi: 802.11ac 2×2
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • USB: USB Type-C

Power:

  • Battery Life – 2-3 hours of active use
  • Charging – USB Power Delivery – Fast Charging
  • Thermals – Passively Cooled

Fit:

  • Size – Fits over glasses, size using adjustment dial

Software:

  • Windows Holographic OS
  • Edge
  • Remote Assist
  • Layout
  • Guides
  • 3D Viewer
  • OneDrive for Business

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft Gets Flak for Removing YouTube-DL from GitHub

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When Microsoft dropped $7.5 billion in 2017 to buy open source giant GitHub, there were many in the open community who were worried about Microsoft’s intentions. After-all, Microsoft has been an historic opponent of open source. Most of those fears were misplaced as Redmond has embraced the open concept.

However, proponents of open software are angered by a recent decision by Microsoft to remove code for YouTube-DL. If you’re unfamiliar with YouTube-DL, it is a tool for internet video download commands.

While the tool is not illegal, it is problematic. It does not violate copyrights, but it allows users to circumvent those laws. These types of software are illegal under section 1201 of US copyright law.

On paper, then, Microsoft is correct for taking action. However, some fans say the tool is the nature of open source and does not violate any laws. In fact, those YouTube-DL users claim the software is a fair use tool that also helps to download proprietary content or back up videos.

 

Violation

Public Knowledge legal Director John Bergmayeh disagrees and says YouTube-DL is in violation of US laws. He says it is used to “circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube” and to “reproduce and distribute music videos and sound recordings owned by [RIAA’s] member companies without authorization for such use.”

Microsoft has not responded to the complains and seems to be set on keeping the tool off GitHub.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft Flight Simulator Gets SDK and World Update

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Microsoft Flight Simulator users are getting a new world update to end the week. This is an update for the SDK and follows the development update sent out a week ago to deal with bugs and improvements. Happily, this latest update makes some more visible changes.

For example, Microsoft has tweaked the look for Japan while also adding some new items in the Marketplace. Furthermore, Microsoft Flight Simulator also has a new Feedback Snapshot.

Perhaps the biggest point of this out-of-schedule update is to improve the general functionality of the SDK. Microsoft is also opening up the developer kit to more members. Below is the changelog for this latest release:

  • “WebAssembly: Improvements to the GDI+ compatibility layer and improvements to the ease of development and debugging capabilities is the current focus. Visual Studio 2017 support has also been added.
  • The glTF exporter now supports 3D Studio Max 2021.
  • We fixed the SimConnect facilities API and plan on expanding it.
  • On the Developer Mode side, we are working on improving overall usability: we enhanced the visualization for roads, terraforming shapes and exclusion rectangles. The editor now doesn’t allow for invalid ground merging parameters.”

More Changes

As mentioned, Microsoft is introducing a new Feedback Snapshot. Specifically, the company is highlighting a new version that looks better than the previous iteration. An important change is the Snapshot now shows votes for problems that are the most problematic to the community.

Elsewhere in the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the company has detailed the Twitch schedule for developers at the end of the month. This will include the usual monthly Q&A with dev’s and a guided fly-tour. You can check out the full schedule in the image above.

On the Marketplace, four new products are available. A trio of airports and a new aircraft are joining the current lineup.

Microsoft Flight Simulator has been available on PC since last month. The title has had excellent reviews and is considered among the games of the year, while also being touted as the best-looking  ever.

Source Vanguard

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Microsoft Edu

Ignite 2020: Microsoft Stream Gets Rebuild Overhaul

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At the all-virtual Ignite 2020 conference, Microsoft provided an overview of its new Microsoft Stream service. Specifically, the company is launching an overhaul of the enterprise cloud video service.

This is not just a paint job. Microsoft Stream has been completely rebuilt and reimagined.

If you’re unfamiliar with Microsoft Stream, it’s a a video streaming service that is geared towards businesses and enterprise customers. Available in Office 365, the tool is free and signing up takes “seconds”. Users can drag and drop videos to upload them and can follow content from the homepage.

Microsoft has continuing developing Stream since its launch. However, the company has stuck to incremental updates, such as extending screen recording to 15 minutes this May. With the latest iteration, Stream is being redefined and will feel like a new experience.

According to Microsoft, Stream will integrate even more closely with Microsoft 365. Users can create, edit, and share video content across Office applications.

New Features

  • “A one-stop shop for creating, editing, managing, and discovering videos, the Stream web app helps users seamlessly create, edit, and playback videos.
  • The new Stream will bring the same high quality and scalable playback quality that exists in classic Stream today to all video in Microsoft 365.
  • Users will be empowered to create video experiences using SharePoint with new, out-of-the box templates for video-rich sites and portals.
  • In addition to the Stream app for iOS and Android, improved video capabilities will be coming to mobile applications across Microsoft 365. Create and upload short videos from your mobile device.”

Microsoft says it will help existing Stream users transition from the old experience to the new service.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Edu

Microsoft Project Moca Arrives in Preview as a Trello Competitor

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Microsoft is known to be developing a collaboration task-management tool that takes plenty of inspiration from Trello. In fact, Project Moca is aiming directly for Trello by offering Office 365 users a native solution for sharing and accessing documents, tasks, To-Do Lists, Sticky Notes, media, files, and links.

Despite being in limited preview since May, Microsoft has not offered much information on Project Moca since its debut on the Office Insider Program. That is changing this week as the company has begun official promotion for the service.

Interestingly, Microsoft never officially confirmed Project Moca despite its being available to some in preview. Now the company is using the Outlook Blog to detail some of the aspects of the tool. Moca is built directly into Microsoft’s email service.

Moca allows users to create projects under spaces Interestingly, these spaces are very much like Trello cards for managing content. Users can enter these cards and edit content, leave links, tick off tasks, respond to messages, and more. Microsoft’s service will tap directly into Office through widgets for apps such as Excel and Word.

How it Works

In the blog post this week, Microsoft confirms Project Moca will integrate with Outlook for the Web. It allows users to compile what the company calls “Buckets” for projects. These areas will allow websites, links, tasks, files, emails, notes, and project goals to be compiled in a single space.

Microsoft points out the tool is now available in preview:

“Project Moca is available for Microsoft 365 consumer subscribers, EDU customers, and select commercial customers as a preview and is shipped off-by-default. Admins can enable it through PowerShell with the Set-OwaMailboxPolicy OwaMailboxPolicy-Default -ProjectMocaEnabled $true parameter.”

Source Winbuzzer

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