Tag Archives: coming

3 zero-day fixes in heavy April Patch Tuesday release

Just when things couldn’t get worse, the hits keep on coming for Windows administrators.

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is straining resources and stretching administrators’ nerves, the next avalanche of security updates landed on April Patch Tuesday. Microsoft delivered fixes for 113 vulnerabilities, including three zero-days with varying levels of severity on both supported and unsupported Windows systems. The total number of vulnerabilities repaired this month was just two shy of March’s epic release.

Out of the 113 bugs repaired on April Patch Tuesday, 19 are rated critical. Microsoft products that received fixes include Windows, both Edge browsers (HTML- and Chromium-based), Internet Explorer, ChakraCore, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps, Windows Defender, Visual Studio, Microsoft Dynamics, and Microsoft Apps for Android and Mac systems.

The heightened urgency to patch quickly due to multiple zero-days will test the mettle of administrators, many of whom have been working tirelessly to help users work remotely with little time to prepare.

“That’s a nice recipe for disaster,” said Chris Goettl, director of product management and security at Ivanti, a security and IT management vendor based in South Jordan, Utah.

He noted that all the zero-days affect the Windows 7 and Server 2008/2008 R2 OSes, which all reached end-of-life in January but have patches available for customers that can afford to subscribe to the Extended Security Updates program. Goettl said he noticed a pattern with this crop of Microsoft updates.

Chris Goettl, director of product management and security, IvantiChris Goettl

“It looks like the [zero-day] exploits are happening, in most of these cases, on the older platforms. So it’s very likely these are targeting Windows 7 and Server 2008 platforms, especially trying to take advantage of people’s inability to patch,” he said.

Three zero-days affect Windows systems

Two bugs (CVE-2020-0938 and CVE-2020-1020) in the Adobe Font Manager Library affect all supported Windows OSes on both the client and server side, leaving unpatched systems vulnerable to remote code execution attacks. A user could trigger the exploit several ways, including opening a malicious file or examining a document via the File Explorer preview pane. 

Windows 10 systems have built-in protections that would limit the attacker to the AppContainer sandbox where they would not be able to do much damage, Goettl noted. 

The other zero-day (CVE-2020-1027) is an elevation-of-privilege vulnerability in the Windows kernel rated important that affects all supported Windows versions. To take advantage of the flaw, the attacker would need local credentials to run a malicious file. The patch changes how the Windows kernel handles objects in memory.

Other noteworthy April Patch Tuesday fixes

Initially reported by Microsoft as another zero-day but revised shortly thereafter, CVE-2020-0968 describes a remote code execution flaw in the Internet Explorer scripting engine. The bug is rated critical for Windows client systems and moderate for Windows Server OSes due to built-in protections. 

The attacker can target a user a few different ways — through a website with user-contributed ads or content or via a document specially crafted with the IE scripting engine and using ActiveX to run malicious code — but the damage is limited to the privilege level of the user of the unpatched system.

“This one is able to be mitigated if the user has less than full admin rights,” Goettl said. “In those cases, [the attacker] would get full control of the box, but then they would have to exploit something else to gain full administrative access.”

Hyper-V shops will want to address a remote-code flaw (CVE-2020-0910) rated critical for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 systems. This bug lets an attacker with credentials on a guest OS run code on the Hyper-V host. 

CVE-2020-0935 is a publicly disclosed vulnerability in the OneDrive for Windows application rated important that could let an attacker run a malicious application to take control of the targeted system. OneDrive has its own updating system so customers with machines connected to the Internet should have the fix, but IT workers will need to perform manual updates on systems that have been air-gapped.

Report: Hundreds of thousands of Exchange systems remain vulnerable

Exchange Server is a notoriously complex messaging platform to manage. It’s one of the most important communication tools for just about every company, which means downtime is not an option. When you combine these factors, it’s no surprise that many Exchange Server systems do not get the patching attention they deserve.

Cybersecurity services company Rapid7 highlighted this issue with a recent report that shows more than 350,000 Exchange Server systems were still susceptible to a flaw that Microsoft corrected in February.

CVE-2020-0688 is a remote code execution vulnerability that only requires an attacker to have the credentials of an Exchange user account — not even an administrator — to overtake the Exchange Server system and possibly Active Directory.

Rapid7 claimed its researchers uncovered even more troubling news.

“There are over 31,000 Exchange 2010 servers that have not been updated since 2012. There are nearly 800 Exchange 2010 servers that have never been updated,” Rapid7’s Tom Sellers wrote in the blog.

Many IT workers use a staggered deployment to roll out Microsoft updates in stages as one way to limit issues with a faulty update. Many organizations can spare several Windows client and server systems for testing, but it’s rare to see a similar non-production environment for an Exchange Server system.

“Exchange updates are complex and take a long time,” Goettl said. “And because of the way some companies have customized their email services, Exchange can be very sensitive [to updates] as well. You can’t duplicate your Exchange environment very easily.”

Microsoft offers VPN help in wake of pandemic

With more remote users connected to VPN due to the coronavirus pandemic, rolling out this month’s Patch Tuesday updates could slow access across the network to other resources for end users. 

Most organizations were caught unprepared by the sudden surge of remote users. With enough time and money, IT could alleviate potential congestion through traffic shaping or upgraded infrastructure to increase network speeds. Other organizations can avoid problems with limited bandwidth over VPN by using a third-party patching offering or Microsoft Intune to route security updates directly from Microsoft to the end user’s machine. But some organizations that use Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager — formerly System Center Configuration Manager — do not have that functionality, which limits their options. 

Microsoft engineer Stefan Röll wrote a blog to help these customers with a tutorial to set up a VPN split tunnel configuration. This type of arrangement helps avoid network overload.

“Managing your [d]evices (especially security updates and software installations) is necessary and will become challenging as the majority of your work force will be connected to the corporate network via VPN. Depending on the number of clients even a couple of 100MB security updates will quickly add up to several [gigabytes] or [terabytes] that [need] to be pushed out over your VPN network. Without further consideration you can quickly overload your VPN connection causing other applications to degrade in performance or to completely fail,” Röll wrote. 

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The business benefits of enterprise data governance and MDM

With seemingly overwhelming amounts of data coming from myriad sources, the need for effective enterprise data governance strategies is of paramount importance to many organizations.

Enterprise data governance has many facets and can often intersect with master data management (MDM) efforts. That convergence was on display at Informatica’s MDM 360 and Data Governance virtual summit hosted on March 19.

The enterprise cloud data management vendor, based in Redwood City, Calif., has been particularly active in recent months, hiring a new CEO in January and expanding the company’s product portfolio with updated governance, data catalog and analytics capabilities.

“We all want tomorrow’s data yesterday, to make a decision for today,” Informatica CEO Amit Walia said during the event’s opening keynote.

Informatica’s virtual conference was among the many similar events that tech vendors have held or are planning to substitute for in-person events canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

One notable tech conference producer, O’Reilly Media, sponsor of the Strata Data and AI conferences, among others, said March 24 it is closing its in-person conference business altogether because of the pandemic.

Amit Walia
Informatica CEO Amit Walia

How Hertz is mastering enterprise data governance and management

Meanwhile, with its global car rental operations, Hertz Corporation possesses a lot of data that it needs to collect and govern, for some 100 million customers and a fleet of nearly a million vehicles.

We all want tomorrow’s data yesterday, to make a decision for today.
Amit WaliaCEO, Informatica

Speaking at the virtual event, Richard Leaton, master data leader at Hertz, outlined the challenges his organization faces and the best practices for data governance and data management Hertz has used.

“The overall business objectives of MDM from an IT perspective, was a $1 billion transformation, changing our reservation system, rental system, sales engine and fleet management,” Leaton said. “If it had an electronic component to it, I think we changed it.”

As part of that effort Hertz needed to improve data quality and data governance, so there could be a single source of information for customer and fleet vehicle data.

Leaton noted that when he joined Hertz in 2017, the company had multiple sets of customer and vehicle master data sources and 30 years of mainframe-based proprietary databases. The systems were highly customized, not easy to upgrade and not uniformly governed.

Leaton emphasized that Hertz started with a process to engage all the right constituencies in the business.

“Data is an asset,” he said. “Data can have real hard number committed to it and when you have hard numbers associated with a data program, you’re going to have people who are helping you to make that data program successful.”

The technology should be the easy part of data transformation, Leaton said. The business processes, the buy-in and making sure the right data quality is present become the hard parts.

Enterprise data governance is the key to master data management

The first step for enabling MDM is to start with data governance, according to Leaton.

“If you don’t have your terms defined, you can’t build an MDM suite effectively,” Leaton said. “We were partway along the governance journey and started into MDM the first time and that’s where we ran into trouble.”

Hertz IT managers thought that they had defined enterprise data governance terms, but they came to realize that the terms were not agreed upon across the multiple platform of the business.

Securing executive buy-in for defining data governance across an organization is critical, Leaton said. He also emphasized that financial metrics and business value needs to be associated with the effort. Business leaders need to understand what the business will get out of a data governance effort. It’s not enough just to want to have good data, leaders need to define terms.

The defined terms for data governance can outline how the effort will help ensure regulatory compliance and how it will help to grow the business because all the systems talk to each other and there is better operational efficiency.

Data governance at Invesco

Rich Turnock, global head of enterprise data services at financial services firm Invesco, based in Louisville, Ky., also has a structured process for data governance.

The Invesco enterprise data platform incorporates three core steps for data governance and quality. In the planning phase, much like at Hertz, Turnock said the organization needs to define and document data requests in terms of business outcomes.

In the capture phase of data, enterprise data governance policies for mapping and cataloging data are important. For data delivery, Turnock said data output should be delivered in the agreed upon format and with preferred mechanisms that were defined up front in the planning process.

Using data to improve healthcare at Highmark Health

Using enterprise data governance and MDM best practices isn’t just about improving business outcomes. Those best practices can also improve healthcare.

Also at the Informatica virtual event, Anthony Roscoe, director of enterprise data governance at Highmark Health in Pittsburgh, explained how his organization embraced data governance and MDM. The key challenge for Highmark Health is that the organization had grown via acquisitions and ended up with multiple disparate data systems.

Operational integration of data is also part of Highmark Health’s data journey, making sure that clinical data from health systems can be correlated with health plans. It’s an approach that Roscoe said can help to streamline care decisions between the health insurance and care delivery portions of Highmark Health’s business.

The overriding goal of Highmark Health’s enterprise data platform is to take all the individual parts, find where the organization needs to gather data from so it can be organized, and ultimately govern the data so that appropriate access is in place.

“Mastering the data so that we speak a common language across the entire enterprise is key,” Roscoe said. “Speaking from the same language can deliver accurate data statements and reports and other metrics across the different business units.”

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For Sale – 4TB Red Pro | SOLD: 2 x 2TB WD Red HDDs, 8TB Red

Are you putting up any more of these reds in the coming days?

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For Sale – 4TB Red Pro | 2 x 2TB WD Red HDDs | SOLD: 8TB Red

Are you putting up any more of these reds in the coming days?

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PS4 News

Bedrock is coming to PlayStation 4! “Kelsey”, you gasp in horror, “you’ve given away the whole article in the first sentence”. Don’t worry, beloved reader of Minecraft.net, there is always more – and I get paid by the word! Wait, I don’t?

“So how is this different from the version of Minecraft I can already play on my PS4?” The difference is that the Bedrock version of Minecraft is the unified version of the game that offers the same experience across all consoles. All that glorious, unified code means that you’ll be playing the same game as your pals on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, and mobile! So, yes – that means you get cross-play between those different consoles (once you’re running the most recent update). Not just that, PS4 players now also have access to the in-game store – a source for worlds, skins, mini-games, and mash up packs! So you’re going to have not just a better Minecraft experience than ever before, but more Minecraft than ever. 

“What if I already own Minecraft on PS4, do I need to buy the game again to get the Bedrock version?” – to which I say, you have a lot of questions and this is an article, not a FAQ! But, more to the point, you can get the new version of the game free of charge. The next time you start Minecraft, the new update will install automatically.

If you have any other questions about the update, please check out this helpful FAQ

So with that, we welcome the newest addition to the Bedrock family with a hurrah! Just look out for a certain update that we can’t stop buzzing about that will roll out this week. Welcome to the Overworld, PS4 players!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

New telephony controls coming to Microsoft Teams admin center

Microsoft will add several telephony controls to the Microsoft Teams admin center in the coming months, a significant move in the vendor’s campaign to retire Skype for Business Online by mid-2021.

Admins will be able to build, test and manage custom dial plans through the Teams portal. Additionally, organizations that use Microsoft Calling Plan will be able to create and assign phone numbers and designate emergency addresses for users.

Currently, admins can only perform those tasks in Teams through the legacy admin center for Skype for Business Online. Microsoft has been gradually moving controls to the Teams admin center, with telephony controls among the last to switch over.

Microsoft plans to begin adding the new telephony controls to the Teams admin center in November, according to the vendor’s Office 365 Roadmap webpage. The company will also introduce some advanced features it didn’t support in Skype for Business Online, a cloud-based app within Office 365.

The update will let admins configure what’s known as dynamic emergency calling. The feature — supported only in the on-premises version of Skype for Business — automatically detects a user’s location when they place a 911 call. It then transmits that information to emergency officials.

The admin center for Skype for Business Online is “fairly rudimentary,” said Tom Arbuthnot, principal solutions architect at Modality Systems, a Microsoft-focused systems integrator. The new console for Teams provides advancements like the ability to sort and filter users and phone numbers.

“All of these little features add up to making a more friendly voice platform for an administrator,” Arbuthnot said. “They are getting closer and closer to everything being administered in the Teams admin center.”

Microsoft Teams still missing advanced calling controls, features

The superior design of the admin center notwithstanding, Teams still lacks crucial tools for organizations too large to use the management console.

For those enterprises, Teams PowerShell is the go-to tool for auto-configuring settings on a large scale using code-based commands. However, PowerShell cannot do everything that the Teams admin center can do. Microsoft has also yet to release APIs that would allow a third-party consultant to help manage a Fortune 500 company’s transition to Teams calling.

“When you’re up to hundreds of thousands of seats, you don’t really want to be going to an admin center and manually administrating,” Arbuthnot said. “The PowerShell and APIs tend to lag a little bit.”

A lack of parity between the telephony features of Skype for Business and Teams had been one of the biggest roadblocks preventing organizations from fully transitioning from the old to the new platform.

But at this point, Teams should be suitable for everyone except those with the most complex needs, such as receptionists, Arbuthnot said.

Other features that Microsoft is planning include compliance call recording, virtual desktop infrastructure support and contact center integrations.

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‘Microsoft the Musical’ features summer interns in a singing, dancing romp across tech giant’s campus

Well, the interns at Microsoft sure had fun this summer.

While there may be a documentary coming to Netflix that dives deep into what makes Bill Gates tick, the release of “Microsoft the Musical” on YouTube on Friday clearly shows what makes heels click at the software giant he co-founded.

The 8-minute number, which took us about that much time to convince ourselves it was in fact a real thing, features singing and dancing software engineers and data scientists clad in primary-colored clothing. The whole thing is the work of 150 people, including interns and employees.

A description for the video on YouTube is written by Liam McGregor, a data science intern credited with directing, producing and helping to write the musical.

“‘Microsoft the Musical’ was dreamt up and led by interns spending the summer of 2019 at Microsoft,” McGregor wrote. “This Tony Awards-style musical theater opening number is just one of many passion projects that came to life because we were encouraged to bring our whole selves to work. And that’s what we did: 150 people came in on mornings, weekends, and nights to create this outside of (and in addition to) their day jobs.”

After opening with a nod to Gates, cast members dance across the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters campus and throughout buildings. A whole host of company accomplishments and product names are dropped throughout — Windows, Office, PowerPoint, Surface, Xbox, HoloLens, Minecraft, Azure … even Clippy gets a mention. And the lyrics, posted in full here, also manage to poke some fun (sorry, Windows Phone):

It’s all happening here…
The standard for your office and your home
All happening here
All around the world our products are well-known!
Except for when we tried to make a phone!

“It’s all happening here,” is the constant refrain from the chorus. And while it sure does appear that being an intern at Microsoft affords young people the chance to work on some cutting-edge stuff, a break in the music does lay things on a little thick, as two characters are shown chatting in a company cafeteria.

“How is it that everyone here does so much,” a woman asks her co-worker at the 5:25 mark of the video.

“I know. I don’t get it. Maybe there’s something in the water,” the man replies.

“May I please have a latte and … an extra shot of whatever ingredient it is that makes people here so successful?” the woman says as she orders a beverage.

Alas, there is no special ingredient, because everyone brings their own! Back to the singing and dancing!

(YouTube screen grab via Microsoft the Musical)

“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” McGregor wrote in his director’s note. “We hope that this speaks to every person who dreams of being part of something big — and especially to those who’ve been wrongly told they can’t be. At some point, we were all in your shoes. You CAN, you SHOULD, and you WILL.”

Here’s a list of credits for those involved in the production, as it shows up on YouTube — along with their titles for jobs they held at Microsoft in the summer of 2019:

  • Produced and Directed by … Liam McGregor (data scientist intern)
  • Written by … Liam McGregor (data scientist intern) and Trip Master (explorer intern)
  • Executive Produced by … Diego Rejtman (GM, global university recruiting) and Sacha Nunn (culture program manager)
  • Choreographed and Co-Directed by … Swetha Prabakaran (explorer intern)
  • Protagonists (in order of appearance) … Ryan Hecht (program manager intern), Leslie Richardson (program manager), Alyssa Raqueno (explorer intern)
  • Bill Gates, the idea … Eleanor Lewis (software engineer intern)
  • Composed by … Joshua Yang (explorer intern), Trip Master (explorer intern), Liam McGregor (data scientist intern)
  • Orchestrated and Conducted by … Peter Yang (software engineer intern)
  • Director of Photography … Stephen Hitchcock (software engineer)
  • Sr. Production Manager … Morgan Dukes (marketing intern)
  • Associate Cinematographer and AD … Rishi Raj (software engineer)
  • Assistant Choreographer and AD … Lizzy Lee

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI going hard after Salesforce

Microsoft and Salesforce are attacking each other again. Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI tools are coming that will beef up sales, marketing and — most of all — service and support, unveiled the day after Salesforce announced Quip Slides, a PowerPoint competitor.

Salesforce appears to be annexing Microsoft’s business-productivity territory, while Microsoft is rolling its forces deeper into Salesforce’s CRM domain by more tightly connecting Teams collaboration with its CRM suite, freshened up with new AI capabilities.

“You’ve got Salesforce announcing Quip Slides, and you’ve got Microsoft doing a whole bunch of integration between Teams and Dynamics … who’s going after whose market?” said Alan Lepofsky, analyst at Constellation Research.

In a media briefing ahead of its Ignite user conference, the tech giant took some direct shots at rival Salesforce in introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI tools that buttress CRM processes. Of particular note was Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service, which adds out-of-the-box virtual agents.

Assistive AI for contact centers

Who’s going after whose market?
Alan Lepofskyanalyst, Constellation Research

Virtual agents can take several forms, two of which include chatbots that do the talking on behalf of humans, or assistive bots that prompt humans with suggested answers for engaging live with customers either on voice or text channels.

New Microsoft bots, built on Azure Cognitive Services, won’t require the code-intensive development or consultant services that other vendors’ CRM tools do, claimed Alysa Taylor, Microsoft corporate vice president of business applications and global industry. She singled out Salesforce as a CRM competitor in her comments.

“Many vendors offer [virtual agents] in a way that is very cumbersome for organizations to adopt,” Taylor said. “It requires a large services engagement; Salesforce partners with IBM Watson to be able to deliver this.”

Either way, the bots will require training. Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI-powered bots can be trained by call center managers, asserted Navrina Singh, Microsoft AI principal product lead, during a demo.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s taking on Salesforce with new CRM AI tools

The bots can tap into phone log transcriptions, email and other contact center data stores to shape answers to customer problems and take some of the workload off of overburdened contact center agents, Singh said.

The virtual agent introductions were significant enough that Microsoft brought out CEO Satya Nadella for a cameo with Singh during the briefing.

“The thing that’s most exciting to me,” Nadella said, “… is that [Microsoft] can make every company out there an AI-first company. They already have customers, they already have data. If you can democratize the use of AI tools, every company can harness the power of AI.”

Other Dynamics 365 AI tools for CRM

Sales and marketing staffs get their own Dynamics 365 AI infusion, too.

Microsoft brings Dynamics 365 AI for Sales in line with Salesforce Einstein tools that use AI to prioritize lead pipelines and sales-team performance management.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights plumbs marketing, social media and other customer engagement data to improve customer relations and “engage in relevant conversations and respond faster to trends,” Taylor wrote in a blog post announcing the new system.

While the Microsoft moves appear effective, industry observers questioned whether they can Microsoft make an impression in Salesforce’s massive market footprint, even if they are easier to use, more economical and more intuitive than Salesforce’s.

Lepofsky said he isn’t sure, because of the sheer numbers. The 150,000-strong Dreamforce user conference is at the same time as Ignite, and the latter will likely draw only about a sixth of the Dreamforce crowd. And Salesforce likely won’t be resting on its AI credentials either.

“I think you can speculate that Salesforce will also be talking about AI improvements at Dreamforce, so perhaps it’s not that differentiating for Dynamics,” Lepofsky said.

While Microsoft announced no release date for its AI tools, a preview site will go online this fall, Singh said.

Coinhive malware infects tens of thousands of MikroTik routers

Poor patching practices by vendors and users are once again coming back to bite users around the world, as a researcher discovered a cryptominer being spread to unpatched MikroTik routers.

The Coinhive malware was first found spreading through routers in Brazil. Simon Kenin, security researcher for Trustwave, based in Chicago, discovered the Coinhive malware infection originating from Brazil and first assumed it was a more common website compromise attack to inject the cryptomining code. But more digging revealed the infection was spreading through MikroTik routers.

Kenin said malicious actors were exploiting a vulnerability in the routers that MikroTik had patched in April — just one day after the flaw was first discovered.

“The exploit targets Winbox and allows the attacker to read files from the device … but the bottom line is that using this exploit you can get unauthenticated remote admin access to any vulnerable MikroTik router,” Kenin wrote in his analysis. “Initial investigation indicates that instead of running a malicious executable on the router itself, which is how the exploit was being used when it was first discovered, the attacker used the device’s functionality in order to inject the CoinHive script into every web page that a user visited.”

Mounir Hahad, head of Juniper Threat Labs at Juniper Networks, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., noted that MicroTik has deployed approximately 1.7 million units around the world — “mostly in Brazil, China, Russia and Indonesia” — and explained why the victims may not have patched.

“Most routers, unfortunately, lack the ability to auto-update, and very few users, especially home users, know how or when to patch the firmware on their router,” Hahad wrote via email. “One of the biggest failures of security vendors that provide small-office [or] home-office routers is not including an auto-update feature by default, regardless of the technical difficulties lying around potentially taking the router offline during the update process.”

Chris Olson, founder and CEO of The Media Trust, based in McLean, Va., agreed infections like the Coinhive malware could prey on poor patching habits.

“The average user will likely plug in their router and forget about it until something goes awry,” Olson wrote via email. “Routers are like electricity and water: Unless service is disrupted, they receive little to no attention. Because they are often ignored, they make the perfect attack vector.”

Coinhive malware infections

Routers are like electricity and water: Unless service is disrupted, they receive little to no attention. Because they are often ignored, they make the perfect attack vector.
Chris OlsonCEO, The Media Trust

Kenin said the Coinhive malware creates and injects a custom error page for every webpage visited by a user through an infected router.

“So if a user receives an error page of any kind while web browsing, they will get this custom error page which will mine CoinHive for the attacker,” Kenin wrote. “The backend Apache server is connected to the router as well, and somewhere along the way there was an error and it was displayed to me, miner included. What this means is that this also impacts users who are not directly connected to the infected router’s network, but also users who visit websites behind these infected routers. In other words, the attack works in both directions.”

Experts noted that this method of spreading the Coinhive malware to every site visited was unusual.

Sean Newman, director product management at Corero Network Security, based in Marlborough, Mass., said the Coinhive malware “is not something we’ve specifically seen before.”

“However, it does combine well-known exploit mechanisms, though in a novel way that is well-suited to the practice of cryptojacking,” Newman wrote via email. And, in this case, we’re not talking about cheap IoT devices with vulnerabilities which are never addressed by the vendor. In this case, the routers were exploited to deliver a cryptomining payload, but the same approach could have just as easily leveraged them for other objectives.”

Olson agreed this method of spreading malware would be more common with the creation of a botnet, and Hahad noted the Coinhive malware might not be the most efficient way of cryptomining.

“Every browser tends to have several open tabs that connect to several sites at once. Duplicating the Coinhive mining script so heavily would bring any computer to its knees in seconds, defeating the very purpose of the attack,” Hahad wrote. “Once tweaked to only inject error pages, the issue was mitigated. But, again, the effectiveness is now dramatically reduced, because people do not hit error pages very often. In my opinion, this shows it is the work of a script kiddie with not much hacking experience.”

Visit Xbox at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 – Xbox Wire

San Diego Comic-Con, the world’s largest comic and pop-culture festival, is coming soon and Xbox is bringing the fun with exclusive gear, panels, celebrity guests, and more! See below for details on everything Xbox at SDCC and join the fun from California or from the comfort of your own couch.

Xbox Booth (San Diego Comic-Con badge required)
Hall A, Booth #100

For the first time ever, Xbox will have exclusive gear available at SDCC! Stop by to pick up exclusive clothing and items from Xbox and your favorite games and then get them customized on the spot with your Gamertag. See some of the items available here.

Visit us on Thursday, July 19 and Saturday, July 21 for signing sessions with some of your favorite developers and designers, but get there early: only the first 100 people to receive passes will be eligible!

Signings (San Diego Comic-Con badge required):

  • Brendan Greene (“PlayerUnknown”), Creative Director, PUBG Corp – Thursday, July 19 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT
  • Joe Neate, Executive Producer, and Mike Chapman, Design Director, Sea of Thieves – Saturday, July 21 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT

Xbox Gear Comic-Con Sweepstakes

Can’t make it to the booth to pick up the exclusive gear? Retweet @Xbox to potentially win an Xbox Gear Comic-Con prize pack! Four winners will receive a collection of exclusive Xbox Gear, and one grand prize winner will receive the gear and an Xbox One X.

Follow @Xbox or @XboxCanada on Twitter and retweet the following tweet when it goes live at the start of San Diego Comic-Con: “RT and follow for a chance to win exclusive #XboxSDCC #XboxGear! NoPurchNec. Ends 7/22/18. #Sweepstakes Rules: bit.ly/2KV2DQ1.” You have until July 22 to enter. Click through for the Official Rules.

Sea of Thieves Panel (San Diego Comic-Con badge required)
Room 5AB, Saturday, July 21 from 1:30pm – 2:30pm PDT

Special guest and Sea of Thieves fan Freddie Prinze Jr. (“Star Wars Rebels,” “24,” “Scooby Doo,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer”) joins the Rare crew, Joe Neate, Mike Chapman, and Peter Hentze as they discuss the lore and expanded universe of Sea of Thieves. Attendees will also receive a limited-edition Sea of Thieves comic and time-limited exclusive in-game DLC!

Xbox Live Sessions

If you’re not in San Diego but still want to follow along with the fun, we’re hosting two action-packed Xbox Live Sessions that you won’t want to miss.

  • PUBG featuring Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene: On Thursday, July 19 at 5:00 p.m. PDT, PUBG Creative Director Brendan Greene (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) and Microsoft Executive Producer Nico Bihary (@nico_bihary) will join Rukari Austin (@rukizzelrukizzel) to get their loot on in PUBG’s Miramar map live from inside of a PUBG Bus created by West Coast Customs. That’s right – Xbox, PUBG Corp., and West Coast Customs have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind, tricked out PUBG Bus which will be home to the livestream and available to see in-person at The Experience at Comic-Con.
  • Sea of Thieves with Freddie Prinze Jr.: On Saturday, July 21 at 5:00 p.m. PDT, Sea of Thieves fan Freddie Prinze Jr. (@RealFPJr) will sail the high seas with members of the Rare team and Major Nelson in an episode of Xbox Live Sessions that’s sure to test the sea legs of the seasoned actor. Fans at home can tune in and watch on http://mixer.com/Xbox  and http://twitch.tv/Xbox.

Xbox at “The Experience at Comic-Con”

SDCC map

Head over to Petco Park where you can play Xbox One games, earn free swag, and win awesome prizes! No Comic-Con badge required.

  • Visit the Samsung truck at The Experience at Comic-Con, located in the Lexus Lot at Petco Park. Climb aboard the truck to compete in Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One X via Samsung’s 2018 QLED TVs. More information can be found here.
  • Come visit the first stop of the Xbox One Summer of PUBG tour. Win prizes, check out the PUBG Bus, and stick around for the Xbox Live Sessions! More information can be found here

For all the SDCC details, visit the Xbox SDCC website. For more Xbox news, follow @Xbox on Twitter and stay tuned to Xbox Wire. See you at San Diego Comic-Con!