Updated version of Windows 10 October 2018 Update released to Windows Insiders – Windows Experience Blog

Last week we paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigated isolated reports of users missing files after updating. Given the serious nature of any data loss, we took the added precaution of pulling all 1809 media across all channels, including Windows Server 2019 and IoT equivalents.  We intentionally start each feature update rollout slowly, closely monitoring feedback before offering the update more broadly.  In this case the update was only available to those who manually clicked on “check for updates” in Windows settings.  At just two days into the rollout when we paused, the number of customers taking the October 2018 Update was limited.  While the reports of actual data loss are few (one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs), any data loss is serious.
We have fully investigated all reports of data loss, identified and fixed all known issues in the update, and conducted internal validation.  Also, Microsoft Support and our retail stores customer service personnel are available at no charge to help customers. More details are available below.
Today we take the next step towards the re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update by providing the updated version to our Windows Insider community.  We will carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data from our Insiders before taking additional steps towards re-releasing more broadly.
More Information
Prior to re-releasing the October 2018 Update our engineering investigation determined that a very small number of users lost files during the October 2018 Update.  This occurred if Known Folder Redirection (KFR) had been previously enabled, but files remain in the original “old” folder location vs being moved to the new, redirected location.  KFR is the process of redirecting the known folders of Windows including Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc. from the default folder location, c:usersusername, to a new folder location. In previous feedback from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, users with KFR reported an extra, empty copy of Known Folders on their device.  Based on feedback from users, we introduced code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders.  That change, combined with another change to the update construction sequence, resulted in the deletion of the original “old” folder locations and their content, leaving only the new “active” folder intact.   Accordingly, below are the issues we have identified and fixed:

Using KFR the user redirected a known folder to a different drive. For example, suppose you ran out of space on your C drive. You want to save some files separate from your primary folder, so you add another drive to your system for these.  You create “D:documents” and change the location of the files known folder from the original “old” location c:usersusernamedocuments to D:documents.  In some cases, if the contents of c:usersusernamedocuments were not moved to D:documents, then a user could also encounter this issue.   When the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:usersusernamedocuments would be deleted; d:documents, the new location, would be preserved).
The user configured one or more of their Known Folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc.) to be redirected (KFR) to another folder on OneDrive.  For example, the user changed the location property of the documents folder from c:usersusernamedocuments to another folder.   During this process the system prompts the user and asks if they would like to move the files to the new location.  If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update is installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder.
The user used an early version of the OneDrive client and used the OneDrive settings to turn on the Auto save feature.  This feature turned on KFR for the Documents and/or Pictures folders based on the user’s choice but did not move the existing files from the original “old” location to the new location.  For example, if a user turned on Auto Save for pictures the location of the Pictures folder would be changed from c:usersusernamepictures to c:usersusernameonedrivepictures, but no files would be moved.  The current version of this feature moves the files. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:usersusernamepictures would be deleted; c:usersusernameonedrivepictures, the new location, would be preserved).

We have fully investigated these issues and developed solutions that resolve all three of these scenarios, so the “original” old folder location and its contents remain intact.
Today, we also released some other fixes in the monthly update for customers who have already taken the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. More details are available in KB 4464330.
Support for affected users
To help our customers that may be impacted by this issue, Microsoft Support is assisting customers and trying to recover data for users who may have experienced related data loss.  Microsoft retail stores support services also offer this same level of support in-store.  While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any file recovery work, if you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area.   For more information, please refer to our Windows 10 update history page (KB article), which we are updating with new information as it is available.
Next Steps
To help us better detect issues like this, today we have enabled a new feature in the Windows Insider Feedback Hub. We have added an ability for users to also provide an indication of impact and severity when filing User Initiated Feedback. We expect this will allow us to better monitor the most impactful issues even when feedback volume is low.
We will continue to closely monitor the update and all related feedback and diagnostic data from our Windows Insider community with the utmost vigilance.  Once we have confirmation that there is no further impact we will move towards an official re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.  We apologize for any impact these issues may have had on any of our customers.  We are committed to learning from this experience and improving our processes and notification systems to help ensure our customers have a positive experience with our update process.

Updated October 9, 2018 2:28 pm

Building blocks for success in the classroom – Middle East & Africa News Center

“What if I never learn to read?”

This question was posed by eight-year old Fatima to her mom, Tasneem, after coming home from school in tears because she was struggling to read aloud in class.

Fatima has dyslexia, a term used to describe disorders that involve difficulty learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age after her teachers noticed that she was mispronouncing certain names and words.

Fatima’s mom explained to her that children learn in different ways and having dyslexia doesn’t mean she is “stupid” or “dumb”.  She assured Fatima that she is just as intelligent as the other children, and explained that many people who struggled with dyslexia had gone on to have successful careers, like Albert Einstein, who became the world’s most renowned physicist.

That was nine years ago.

Now Fatima reads with the assistance of sophisticated technology called Immersive Reader. Immersive Reader is a Microsoft Learning Tool that empowers students with challenges like dyslexia, dysgraphia (the inability to write coherently) and Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) to improve their reading and writing skills. It’s currently used by more than 13 million students around the world and has been shown to increase student test scores by as much as 10 percent.

Technology gives all students a leg up

It’s clear that our world is changing faster than ever. Just a decade ago, a child such as Fatima, who struggled to read or write, didn’t have the opportunities technology provides now.

For countries in the Middle East and Africa, where vast disparities in educational opportunities exist, technology offers many teachers and students access to tools and content that would otherwise be out of reach. Mobile technology in particular is poised to revolutionise education in the region, as more students in emerging economies use their cell phones as learning devices.

At the Likoni School for the Blind in Kenya, over 500 visually impaired children are using assistive technology to access richer digital learning content.  And in Sharjah City in the United Arab Emirates, the Al Amal School for the Deaf is also using technology to help teachers build more engaging lessons, create sign-language videos and facilitate independent learning.

According to Afaf Haridi, principal of Al Amal School for the Deaf, “The children are gaining skills that they can use in the professional world. All in all, the initiative we rolled out with the help of Microsoft hasn’t just improved classroom learning—it has also created an amazing bond between the school and our students.”

No one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning

However, the benefits of integrating technology in the classroom don’t only apply to children who have disabilities. Technology is improving overall learning outcomes by meeting the needs of different learning styles of students.

The days of the “one-size-fits-all” educational model are numbered. Today’s educators have more tools and resources at their disposal than ever before, meeting the diverse needs of their students and helping them succeed both inside and outside the classroom.

Teaching for success: Integrating tech into the different learning styles

Students enter the classroom with a wide range of learning styles and abilities, as well as their own unique personalities. To help them grasp new concepts, a fundamental understanding of the learning styles is essential. But it’s sometimes difficult for teachers to accommodate each student individually within the traditional classroom setting.

Fortunately, technology is providing teachers with accessible solutions that support a more personalised and inclusive approach to learning.

In general terms, learning styles refer to the ways in which learners understand, process and remember new information. The most popular learning styles include: visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic

Girl looking through a Blaster

For example, visual learners respond best to pictures and videos. Incorporating a tool like Picture Dictionary into the classroom gives these learners the ability to see a picture and hear the word simultaneously aiding reading comprehension.

Nikki Heyman, a speech and language therapist in South Africa, uses technology to visually represent concepts to children. “Having material at hand because of access to technology is fantastic. There may be a word or a concept that a child doesn’t understand, and technology allows you to provide the child with an immediate visual image of the word,” she says.

Auditory learners, on the other hand, learn best through audible signals, storytelling and music. A tool like Dictation in Office is a simple yet transformative tool that helps students of all abilities write freely by speaking into a microphone. In addition, with Skype, students can connect with classrooms around the world. Foreign language teachers can also use Skype to connect their class with native speakers of the language which can help students develop their conversational skills.

Kinesthetic learners prefer acting and role-playing. A great way to enhance the learning outcomes of these types of learners is to incorporate mixed reality into the classroom. Mixed reality helps transform classrooms by enabling students to experience curricula in completely new ways. Students can immerse themselves in the subject matter in a truly engaging way.

For example, with Microsoft’s mixed reality HoloTour, students can explore the beauty and history of Rome or uncover the hidden secrets of Machu Picchu. They can experience a whole new world with a unique combination of 360-degree video, spatial sound, and holographic scenery.

For tactile students who prefer to learn by touch, mixed reality lets them experience 3D content creation. With Masterpiece VR, students can sculpt and paint using intuitive and dynamic features that assist students build tangible objects, colourful environments and high quality models.

Minecraft: Education Edition is another great tool for all types of learners as it teaches creativity, collaboration and even coding. Minecraft: Education Edition is used to teach all types of subjects, from mathematics and physics to history and languages. Today, the game has more than four million licensed users in 115 countries. Educators have created more than 250 free lesson plans spanning a variety of subjects and over 300 educators around the world are trained as Minecraft mentors to help others get started.

Giving a voice to more children

According to Heyman, “The biggest revolution in technology for me is the ability to give more children a voice. In the past children with complex needs were written off because they could not communicate.”

However, she believes that there are still challenges that need to be overcome before technology can be used to its full potential in the classroom. “There are many teachers who are reluctant to change from the ‘old school’ style of teaching for fear of the unknown and having to learn new skills. Also, placing a device in front of a child and expecting them to just use it, is not going to happen. They need to be taught how to use it, and this takes time, resources and practice. It needs buy-in from everyone in the environment to be successful,” she says.

This sentiment is echoed by Michele Botha, a primary school assessment specialist for the Independent Examinations Board in South Africa. Botha believes that using technology in teaching to enhance the learning experience demands a high level of understanding and skill – it cannot be left to intuition.

She also believes that the reason education is still playing catch up with the digital world, particularly in the MEA region, is because education is generally more conservative in its approach to change than other workplaces.

“By its very nature education is dependent on a deeply personal relationship of trust and care. Additionally, there is sometimes a lack of money, teacher training, confidence in use of technology, inadequate infrastructure and poor connectivity, which are also contributing factors,” she says.

Technology now for students in the future

The role of the teacher is to prepare the future generations. The biggest question facing educators now is what skills today’s children will need to be ready by the time they graduate, and how can technology support their educational journey?

Happy Graduates screaming

To answer these critical questions, Microsoft launched a key piece of research: “The class of 2030 and life-ready learning: The technology imperative.” The research interviewed more than 70 thought leaders around the world, reviewed 150 pieces of existing research, and surveyed 2 000 teachers and 2 000 students.

The research highlights personalised learning as an approach which supports skills development — both cognitive as well as social and emotional. The students were also clear: they want to develop these skills to navigate their own learning – to explore and make choices that unlock their curiosity and potential – and they want teachers who know and understand them as individuals.

Three technologies were highlighted in the research as showing great promise to support social and emotional skill development and personalised learning. These are collaborative platforms, mixed reality and analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Technology can’t substitute the teacher

According to Botha, technology is not the silver bullet with which to solve all education problems. “It’s just another tool in a teacher’s toolbox. A teacher’s power lies in the opportunities he or she creates for learners to solve problems in an environment grounded in strong interpersonal relationships.”

“Good teachers have always finessed the technology available to them to create spaces where learning to think, learning to learn and creativity are paramount. Technology is only an asset when it’s added into this mix,” she concludes.

Palo Alto Networks buys cloud security startup RedLock

Cloud security startup RedLock is now a part of Palo Alto Networks, which has agreed to pay approximately $173 million in cash for the company. Palo Alto plans to integrate RedLock’s technologies with those it acquired with Evident.io, another cloud security startup the company purchased in March 2018 for $300 million.

Palo Alto Networks has recently been focused on improving security in public cloud environments, and this latest acquisition will help the company expand and improve its security offerings for cloud customers. Palo Alto’s plans for RedLock and Evident.io include a new comprehensive cloud security offering expected early next year that bundles cloud security analytics, advanced threat detection, continuous security and compliance monitoring into a single package.

Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks said in the announcement that RedLock’s technologies enable Palo Alto “to offer the most comprehensive security for multi-cloud environments, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, and significantly strengthens our cloud strategy going forward.”

RedLock, headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., launched in 2015 and raised $12 million in venture capital just last year. The cloud security startup has been focused on gathering raw data from customers’ networks, including data on enterprise network asset inventory and system configurations, as well as threat intelligence data. Using machine learning techniques, RedLock combines that information with internal network traffic to produce risk maps showing where companies face active threats.

The cloud security startup also brings cloud compliance expertise to Palo Alto. RedLock compliance offerings include support for complying with a wide range of regulations, standards and guidelines including GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS and the Center for Internet Security.

Palo Alto Networks, based in Santa Clara, Calif., and founded in 2005, offers integration with a broad range of cloud security products, including next-generation firewalls, as well as cloud-based firewall services, with support for cyberdefense through its Security Operating Platform. Palo Alto’s cloud security business is expanding, and it boasts more than 6,000 cloud customers using its cloud security portfolio.

Varun Badhwar and Gaurav Kumar, RedLock co-founders, will join Palo Alto Networks, and if all goes well, Palo Alto expects the acquisition to close during its first quarter.

For Sale – Gaming PC

Hello Everyone,

I have for sale my Gaming PC which I no longer have time to use unfortunately, The spec is as follows:

NZXT H440 White Case (Window is scratched slightly)
2x 4GB Avexir Core Blue Series LED RAM DDR3
2x 4GB Corsair Vengeance Gold RAM DDR3
Asus Z97-K motherboard
Intel i5-4440 Processor
Corsair H100i Cpu AiO Cooler
Corsair AF140 White LED Fan
3x Corsair AF120 White LED Fans
Corsair RM750 Fully Modular PSU
1TB HDD with no OS

If you have any questions please do let me know.
Pictures will be posted tonight.

Price and currency: £600
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: West London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

POLITICO Europe elects Microsoft technology to power its innovative new Elections hub – Microsoft News Centre Europe

By Ben Rudolph, Managing Director of Modern Journalism, Microsoft Corporate HQ

This morning, in collaboration with Microsoft, POLITICO Europe launched a new Elections hub to report on the upcoming 2019 European Parliamentary elections. One of the key features of the hub is a stunning interactive data visualization – built with Microsoft Power BI.

PowerBI seat to country transition

The team at POLITICO Europe, already recognized as the #1 most influential publication on European affairs for two of the three years since it launched, seeks to bring an unprecedented degree of education and insight to the European electorate as they navigate the complicated election process, which spans thousands of candidates and hundreds of parties across the EU’s 27 member nations. The nonpartisan organization considers itself to have a critical responsibility to all European citizens as they consider the candidates for which they will vote, and knows it will be important to continue to be at the forefront of innovation. POLITICO Europe’s leaders worked with Microsoft to envision new ways of reporting likely outcomes of the election, and break down complex issues like coalition building, to show individual voters the impact of their vote, and draw new participants into the democratic process.

At Microsoft, we are thrilled to engage with POLITICO Europe and deliver on our commitment to empower the news industry to discover and tell impactful stories. Together we are using technology to deliver on POLITICO’s mission and expertise in connecting the dots between EU and member states, making politics more accessible and transparent.

“Visualizing the election will make it a more meaningful event for our readers, showing them during nine months where the election is headed, and how they compare to their neighbors,” said Ryan Heath, Political Editor at POLITICO, leading this project for the newsroom. “We’re encouraging readers to adopt a new way of thinking about the European Union, one where we all see beyond our borders, and want to match this new way of thinking with new ways of discovering and exploring the latest news and facts at a personal level.”

POLITICO Europe readers can explore a detailed, graphical, interactive view of the projected makeup of the 9th European Parliament in a way that has never previously been possible. Currently based on the latest results of national polls, the visualization will update with live election results on May 23-26, 2019, as those actual election results become known, and will ultimately show the new makeup of the Parliament. In addition to a traditional “seating chart” view,  the interactive visualization also enables readers to view MEP seats by region or country, making it simple and fun to learn more about the election and political parties that comprise the Parliament.

PowerBI country tooltips

The centerpiece on the Elections hub is one of several data stories live at launch, and the first of several engaging technology projects POLITICO and Microsoft are developing together. Additional Power BI reports live on the hub at launch include a trends piece on polling results, voter turnout and women MEPs.

Next month, POLITICO Europe will launch country-level pages in the hub, leveraging the rich visualization and interactive capabilities of Power BI to share vital information about each of the 27 EU-member countries participating in the election. Microsoft and POLITICO Europe will also launch new content formats that bring discussion about the future of the EU to new and existing readers.

Power BI is the go-to- tool to  thinking about data-rich topics, whether in the boardroom with customers like Heathrow International Airport, or in news articles published by the Associated Press, Recode and many others.

Read more about POLITICO’s Election hub and how Microsoft technology is empowering the POLITICO team to achieve more in their press release.

Find out more about the POLITICO Europe Power BI report and Power BI for data journalism, on the Power BI blog after 9am PDT.

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Make IT infrastructure documentation a regular task

Documentation does not have to be a time-consuming chore if the entire IT staff gets involved. And the time put in can be well worth the effort.

Proper IT infrastructure documentation increases efficiency and accuracy during troubleshooting, as everyone understands which server does what. Knowing where to find a certain scheduled task is easy if you have somewhere to look it up. Otherwise, admins have to jump from server to server or run a search to find the information they need.

A reference list of vendors or applications, who owns them, and who to call for help can benefit everyone. If your help desk gets calls about a broken business app, they need to know who to talk to. If your resident expert is away, then knowing the vendor details gives your staff a direct path to resolution rather than leaving them desperately making calls to different staffers looking for advice.

What should I document?

IT infrastructure documentation applies at all stages of the IT lifecycle. When the organization adds a new product, it helps to record its settings: server names, IP addresses and other information that makes other tasks easier, such as upgrades or maintenance. If a contractor does the setup work, get the build documentation.

Don’t rely on a third party to keep records and maintain them — you may move to a different vendor or the technician who did your work might move on, leaving you with little or no information about the architecture and settings.

Business-critical information stored only in people’s brains is a dilemma for any company.

Change management is another type of IT infrastructure documentation. It helps to know if something changed and why, as well as to have a back out plan that can become part of the build documentation. These updates keep the IT staff on the same page. It’s helpful for operations to have this history so that, when a ticket comes in, they have some background to work from if the end-user experience is different from what’s expected.

Staff turnover creates a big risk to continuity if documentation is lacking. Business-critical information stored only in people’s brains is a dilemma for any company. If someone quits, gets fired or is on extended leave, you’re left with the same problem — systems that nobody knows anything about.

How do I find time to document?

Depending on your job, there are a few simple approaches to tackle the documentation process. Dedicate time to sit down and write some notes about important resources. Print off lists of servers and record what they do. List all known applications and who owns them. Put together templates that can be filled in for each item, with different team members filling in unknown sections.

If dedicating time isn’t feasible, then document as you go. With any work you do, record the points of interest. If systems come with documentation, then don’t rewrite what’s already there.

Give objects descriptive names. Use comment fields to record extra information or link to online documentation that provides greater detail. Find scripts to export settings into a readable report. If you just completed a setup, show someone else how you did it and get them to take notes. There are lots of quick wins that can be made by taking a little extra time to record what you’ve done.

A less formal method of documentation is to use some kind of centralized communication service, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. Writing out information in one of these tools gives the team a place where they can find and search documentation. A public chat between engineers can be referenced later to see what decision was reached and why. However, this method doesn’t beat proper IT infrastructure documentation unless you start using these platforms as part of a self-documenting workflow.

How do I get others to document?

Using a personal OneNote notebook doesn’t help anyone except yourself. Do you want to be the person who gets called to fix something while you’re on vacation? Work out where to host your IT infrastructure documentation, create a structure that makes sense, put some content in there, and invite others to read and contribute.

Solicit ideas from your staff on what they’d like to see documented to make their jobs easier, then get the right people involved to make it happen. When something breaks, demonstrate how having documentation could have helped. Make sure everyone agrees on the documentation methods and communicate those practices to all the staffers involved. Then, set up a wiki and start creating content. 

Everyone in IT should take the time needed to create IT infrastructure documentation. Get your team on board, secure the time and money required, and start recording the things you put in place for the benefit of your colleagues and company.

Redline Communications and Microsoft announce partnership to lower the cost of TV White Space solutions – Stories

The partnership will help make broadband more affordable and accessible for unserved communities in rural areas of the U.S. and globally

REDMOND, Wash. Oct. 4, 2018 On Thursday, Redline Communications (TSX:RDL) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new partnership that will help address the rural broadband gap using TV White Space technology. Redline, a leader in private wireless networks, will provide its Virtual Fiber™ radio technology in the TV White Space band to Microsoft Airband Initiative partners. Together, Redline and Microsoft’s partnership will help make broadband internet more affordable and accessible to unserved and underserved customers in rural areas in the United States and globally.

New cloud services and other technologies make broadband connectivity a necessity to start and grow a small business and to take advantage of advances in agriculture, telemedicine and education. It is a vital part of 21st century infrastructure. Yet, more than 19.4 million Americans living in rural areas lack access to broadband and miss out on the opportunities that connectivity provides. According to a study from Boston Consulting Group, a connectivity model that uses a combination of technologies, including TV White Space, can reduce the cost of extending broadband coverage in rural communities. TV White Space is an important part of the solution, creating broadband connections in UHF bands and enabling communication in challenging rural terrains and highly vegetated areas, all while protecting broadcasters and other licensees from harmful interference.

This partnership is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to close the broadband gap by extending access to 2 million unserved people in rural America by 2022, using a mix of technology solutions, including TV White Space.

“Our work with Redline will increase the availability of competitively priced TV White Space technology, enabling internet service providers (ISPs) to provide access to customers at an affordable price point,” said Paul Garnett, senior director of the Microsoft Airband Initiative. “This availability and utilization of TV White Space is absolutely critical to closing the broadband gap. This partnership will bring rapid evolution to the technology, making a real impact on real lives.”

“With its Virtual Fiber™ technology, Redline has been leading the TV White Space market and has been active in digital divide projects for almost a decade,” said Rob Williams, CEO at Redline. “In discussions with Microsoft, we realized that we shared the same vision for approaching the rural broadband gap, and we each possessed critical components to the solution. This partnership with Microsoft will help us address the digital divide more effectively in the U.S. and around the world.”

In addition to the partnerships with companies like Redline, Microsoft’s Airband Initiative invests in partnerships with ISPs and other telecommunications companies, introduces innovative solutions for rural connectivity, and provides digital skills training for people in newly connected communities.

About Redline Communications

Redline Communications (TSX:RDL) designs and manufactures powerful wide-area wireless networks for mission-critical applications in challenging locations. Redline networks are used by Oil & Gas companies onshore and offshore, Mining companies on surface and underground operations, by municipalities to remotely monitor infrastructure, and by specialized telecom service providers to deliver premium services. Thousands of businesses worldwide rely on Redline to engineer, plan and deliver ruggedized, secure and reliable networks for their IoT, voice, data and video communications needs. For more information visit www.rdlcom.com.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Louis Lambert, Senior VP Business Development and Marketing for Redline,

+1 (905) 479-8344, llambert@rdlcom.com

Cory Pala, Investor Relations for Redline, +1 (416) 657-2400, cpala@rdlcom.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

North Korean cybertheft of $100-plus million attributed to APT38

The SWIFT banking transaction system is at the center of another major cybertheft campaign. This time, the theft was attributed to an advanced persistent threat group alleged to be backed by the North Korean government.

FireEye analysts said they were able to uncover the activity of APT38 because of the recent U.S. indictment of North Korean hacker Park Jin Hyok. However, despite similarities in method and malware to Park’s Lazarus Group advanced persistent threat, FireEye said considering APT38 separate from Lazarus “will provide defenders with a more focused understanding of the adversary and allow them to prioritize resources and enable defense.”

In a report about the North Korean cybertheft campaign, FireEye detailed attacks by the group against “more than 16 organizations in at least 11 different countries — sometimes simultaneously — since at least 2014.” The FireEye analysts included Nalani Fraser, manager of the advanced analysis team for FireEye Intelligence; Jacqueline O’Leary, senior threat intelligence analyst; Vincent Cannon, associate analyst; and Fred Plan, senior analyst.

The analysts described APT38 as being financially motivated and backed by the North Korean government, but unusual in its methodology.

“Instead of simply obtaining accesses and moving to transfer funds as quickly as possible, APT38 is believed to operate more similarly to an espionage operation, carefully conducting reconnaissance within compromised financial institutions and balancing financially motivated objectives with learning about internal systems,” the analysts wrote in their report. “APT38 has adopted a calculated approach, allowing them to sharpen their tactics, techniques, and procedures over time while evading detection.”

The analysts said the North Korean cybertheft campaigns were “characterized by long planning [and] extended periods of access to compromised victim environments.” APT38 remained in victim networks for an average of 155 days and was found inhabiting one victim network for nearly two years.

According to the FireEye research, the threat actors targeted vendors with access to the SWIFT banking transaction system and attempted to steal a total of $1.1 billion, but put a conservative estimate of the group’s successful attacks at more than $100 million.

Although APT38 used the SWIFT network to steal money, FireEye researchers were careful to note they never observed the malicious actors “breach the integrity of the SWIFT system itself.”

Instead, the group used watering holes and unpatched Apache Struts 2 flaws to gain access to networks. They deployed malware to harvest credentials,  insert fraudulent SWIFT transactions, alter transaction history and transfer funds to other banks.

FireEye analysts said the North Korean cybertheft campaign was also unique because APT38 was “not afraid to aggressively destroy evidence or victim networks as part of its operations.” This destruction was an effort to avoid detection and to cover up money-laundering schemes.

According to FireEye, APT38 is still “active and dangerous to financial institutions worldwide.”

Despite the evidence FireEye presented tying APT38 to North Korea, Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of High-Tech Bridge, based in Geneva, noted via email that “attribution remains a task of extreme complexity,” adding that “cybercriminals use highly creative methodologies to frame innocent third-parties (including governments) and hide the true source of the attack.

“Modern cybercrime groups have access to skilled political scientists, legal and financial experts. They meticulously develop well-thought-out attack scenarios to hinder technical investigation, making reliable attribution virtually impossible,” Kolochenko said. “Moreover, in light of today’s global political tensions, people tend to quickly blame their rivals for large-scale cyberattacks before finishing an investigation. Thus, I would refrain from rapid conclusions, and rather concentrate on building sustainable cybersecurity defense, response and forensics capacities.”

For Sale – 2x eMachines ER1401

Hi….

I have 2x eMachines ER1401 for sale. They are in good condition, a few scratches on the case due to their age. Everything working fine. They come with the power supply only.

Specs:

1.3 GHz AMD Athlon II Neo Processor K325
nVidia nForce 9200 Chipset
250GB 5400rpm SATA hard drive
Multi-in-One Digital Media Card Reader: MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital Card, Memory Stick, xDPicture Card
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port), integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless

£40 each.

Will sort pictures out if there is any interest in them. Thanks for looking.

Price and currency: £40 each
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: Liverpool
Advertised elsewhere?: advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.