In the first six months of 2021, HP discovered that 75% of threats were distributed via email

According to the current HP Wolf Security Threat Insights Report, Email Hosting hence emails remain the most common method for delivering malware and other threats, with over 75% of threats being transmitted via email communications. 

HP security analysts created the study, which covers the first half of 2021, based on customers who choose to share their threat warnings with the firm. 

Between H2 2020 and H1 2021, HP researchers discovered a 65 percent increase in the usage of hacking tools acquired from underground forums and filesharing websites. Using computer vision techniques, several of the tools can answer CAPTCHA difficulties. 

Manufacturing, transportation, commodity trade, marine, property, and industrial supplies are among the most targeted industries. 

The spread of pirated hacking tools and underground forums, according to Ian Pratt, HP’s worldwide head of security, “allows hitherto low-level offenders to pose substantial dangers to business security.” 

“Simultaneously, people are falling prey to basic phishing attempts on a regular basis. To maximize corporate protection and resilience, security solutions that equip IT departments to remain ahead of emerging threats are critical “Pratt explained. 

According to the study, Dridex affiliates have been selling access to compromised businesses to other threat actors, including ransomware gangs. Dridex is currently the top malware family isolated by HP Wolf Security. 

CryptBot malware is currently being used by some criminal gangs to transmit the banking trojan DanaBot, and cybercriminals are increasingly targeting corporate executives. 

“HP Wolf Security discovered a multi-stage Visual Basic Script malware campaign aimed at top employees in March 2021. The targets were emailed a malicious ZIP download with their first and last names on it “According to the report, 

“Employee names and email addresses were most likely acquired from publicly available information online by the threat actor. An obfuscated VBS downloader was included in the files, which downloads a second VBS script from a remote server to the user’s percent TEMP% folder. The initial stage script was extensively disguised, with just 21% of anti-virus scanners on Virus Total detecting it as malicious.  

A rĂ©sumĂ©-themed harmful spam campaign was also discovered, which targeted shipping, marine, logistics, and associated organizations in Italy, Japan, Chile, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, the United States, and the Philippines. According to HP, these assaults take use of a Microsoft Office vulnerability to install the Remcos RAT and acquire backdoor access to affected machines. 

“Threat actors continue to target outdated vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office,” HP’s researchers said, “underscoring the necessity for companies to patch out-of-date Office versions in their settings.” 

“In H1 2021, we noticed a 24% rise in CVE-2017-11882 attacks compared to H2 2020. In contrast to H2 2020, there was no substantial change in the vulnerabilities exploited by attackers throughout the reporting period.” 

The cybercrime ecosystem is evolving and changing, according to Alex Holland, a senior malware analyst at HP, with increasing chances for petty cybercriminals to “link with bigger actors inside organized crime and acquire powerful tools that may circumvent defenses and infiltrate systems.” 

Malicious attachments most included archive files, spreadsheets, documents, and executable files. According to IT consultants, over 35% of malware collected had never been seen before. 

“By just changing their tactics, cybercriminals are easily evading detection systems. We’ve seen an increase in malware delivered using unusual file formats including JAR files, which are presumably intended to avoid detection by anti-malware scanners “Holland said. 

“Victims are falling for the same old phishing techniques, with transaction-themed baits enticing users to click on infected files, links, and web pages.” 

There is no such thing as a modest breach, according to Pratt, since cybercrime grows more structured and smaller actors may quickly get effective tools and monetize assaults by selling on access. Cybercriminals continue to pay close attention to endpoints, he said. 

“Their tactics are becoming more advanced, so having a complete and robust endpoint architecture and cyber protection is more critical than ever,” Pratt added. “This involves defending against current attackers with capabilities like threat containment, reducing the attack surface by removing threats from the most popular attack channels — email, browsers, and downloads.” 

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WhatsApp Will Be Available on a Variety of Devices Soon

WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging software owned by Facebook, is finally providing genuine multi-device compatibility other than just being a mobile app’s development after years of consumer demand. 

Previously, all of a user’s WhatsApp traffic had to go via their phone, regardless of which device they were using, but the new restricted public beta allows users to use the app on up to four non-phone devices at the same time, even if they don’t have a phone. 

Users will be able to use WhatsApp even if their phone battery dies, and they will no longer have to deal with sluggish service owing to all data being routed via the phone. 

This meant redesigning the app’s architecture while maintaining privacy and end-to-end encryption, according to Facebook. 

“Each companion device will connect to your WhatsApp on its own, preserving the same degree of privacy and security that WhatsApp users have come to expect with end-to-end encryption. 

In a blog post, the firm stated, “Importantly, we have created new technologies to ensure end-to-end encryption while still managing to sync your data across devices – such as contact names, chat archives, starred messages, and more.” 

The new multi-device functionality is now being tested with a limited number of existing beta testers before being gradually rolled out to the rest of the world. 

WhatsApp has millions of users in Australia, and it is especially popular among Australians born overseas, according to IT consultants in research firm Roy Morgan. 

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How to Turn Off the Annoying Weather Widget on Windows 10

If you’ve enabled automatic updates in Windows 10, you’ve probably noticed a new — and obnoxious — weather and news widget in the taskbar. It’s called “News and Interests,” IT Consultants have developed this and it emphasizes everything that’s wrong with Windows 10: inconsistencies in design, the inclusion of a feature no one wanted, and additional clutter you don’t need. 

When opposed to the sharp high-resolution items all around it, the taskbar widget even appears fuzzy, which adds to the melancholy.

Fortunately, it’s simple to get rid of. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Right-click any section of the taskbar on your Windows 10 PC. This may be found in the bottom-right corner of the screen, to the left of the clock and network connection symbols. 
  1. Choose News and interests 
  1. Now, click Turn off 

If you ever regret removing this widget (which is rare), you can restore it by right-clicking anywhere on the taskbar and selecting News and interests > Show icon and text from the context menu. There’s also a Show symbol only option, which shows only the tiny weather indicator without the text next to it. 

In addition, if you hover your mouse pointer above the weather widget, a large panel containing news and weather information will appear. You may deactivate simply the news component of the widget if you only want the weather on your taskbar and don’t care about Microsoft’s news and updates. 

To do so, right-click on the taskbar and select News and Interests from the drop-down menu. Uncheck the box that says “Open on hover.” The weather widget will remain in the taskbar, but the larger — and irritating! — news panel will not open unless you click the widget. 

If you’re searching for something else, there are a slew of other fantastic weather applications for Windows to consider that app developers have developed.

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On iOS, you may now delete your Google search history for the last 15 minutes

Google is pushing out a rapid auto-delete feature to wipe the past 15 minutes of your mobile search history in its never-ending drive to persuade consumers that it cares about their privacy. The functionality will first be available on iOS devices, with Android users receiving the choice later this year. 

The 15-minute scrub was first introduced at Google I/O 2021 as an alternative to the current auto-delete function. Through the Google Search app’s profile page, you may select to have your data automatically deleted after three, 18, or 36 months (about 3 years). Alternatively, you may now select 15 minutes. 

Users with access to the functionality on their iPhone or iPad will see it appear in the Google app for iOS. Under Search history, tap on your profile avatar photo to locate the button for erasing the previous 15 minutes. 

It’s a little more pleasant to remove data with this function than with incognito mode, and it comes in handy if you realize your current fixation with Googling cults is not something you want to feed the algorithm. 

Google is also recommending the Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup features, which are both useful tools for seeing which third parties you’ve allowed access to your Google account over time. I just went through and uninstalled several services that I hadn’t used in over a decade. 

You’ll need to set aside some time to go over the settings and see what Google recommends but investing a little effort now will pay off in the long run by safeguarding your account. 

Finally, Google is introducing the option to hide the My Activity page behind an additional sign-in page. For example, if you share a tablet with your children, they won’t be able to see what you were looking at earlier in the day. 

Because it’s possible that Mummy (that’s me) has fallen down a cult rabbit hole, and some of those Google search results aren’t meant to be seen by the general public. 

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The Windows 365 Cloud PC is here to welcome you

It’s great to see Windows 365 Cloud PC finally come. For years, every person in tech industry is talking about Microsoft’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). (Yes, I am well-versed on Windows 11, which I believe is nothing more than a big Windows 10 security patch.) Contrary to popular belief, Windows 11 was never the future of Windows.) 

As far as Microsoft is concerned, the desktop of the future will be Windows operating on its Azure cloud. 

When I say “Windows on the Azure cloud,” I really mean “on the cloud.” Your computer must run some sort of operating system, but Microsoft is unconcerned about which one you use. “Windows 365 brings the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, securely streaming the complete Windows experience — including all your apps, data, and preferences — to your personal or business devices,” said Wangui McKelvey, Microsoft 365’s General Manager. 

This strategy gives rise to a brand-new personal computer category, the Cloud PC, designed particularly for the hybrid environment.” 

You’ll be able to stream all of your personalized apps, tools, data, and settings from the cloud to any device, according to Microsoft. And by any, we mean Macs, iPads, Linux PCs, and Android phones and tablets. 

You’ll get the same Windows experience regardless of what you’re using. “You can pick up just where you left off since the status of your Cloud PC stays the same, even when you move devices,” it also indicates. 

What about internal applications? While Microsoft cannot guarantee that you will be able to run a bespoke programme you created in the 1990s, Windows 365 does support all of Microsoft’s business applications, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform, and line-of-business apps. 

In addition, the firm pledges to keep its promise of app compatibility with Microsoft’s Fastrack App Assure programme. This is a free service aimed to assist businesses with 150 or more users in resolving any app issues. 

Microsoft has also collaborated with its third-party software vendors (ISVs). Nerdio, NetApp, ServiceNow, and UKG are the four major companies focusing on Windows 365. 

Microsoft isn’t inventing anything new. Microsoft has been heading to a Windows DaaS for years, as I’ve been pointing out ad nauseam. Windows 365, in particular, is based on Azure Virtual Desktop. Microsoft sets up Windows 365 for you, unlike the Azure Virtual Desktop, which requires an expert to set up properly. 

You have complete control over how to scale your Windows 365 instances and monitor the performance of your Cloud PCs, and you don’t need to be an Azure Solutions Architect Expert to create and manage them. 

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