Newsletter: NSA Points Finger At Kaspersky & Microsoft Treads Android & iOS Markets Cautiously

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Technology is usually fairly neutral. It’s like a hammer, which can be used to build a house or to destroy someone’s home. The hammer doesn’t care. It is almost always up to us to determine whether the technology is good or bad.” ~ Noam Chomsky

NSA INVESTIGATORS POINT OUT INVOLVEMENT OF KASPERSKY LABS IN LATEST DATA BREACH

THE STORY

National Security Agency’s data was breached as one of the employees took official data home and stored it on a home computer with Kaspersky software on it.

ANOTHER NSA DATA BREACH?

It’s surely ironic that National Security Agency has been in the middle of numerous data breaches despite of its namesake. The latest breach was the result of a violation of security procedures as an official transferred company’s data to his home computer, apparently, he wanted to refer to it as he was working on his resume. His home computer had Kaspersky Lab Antivirus software on it, which can be misused by intelligence agencies in Russia.

This is an embarrassing incident for NSA as earlier in 2016, three of NSA contractors, Reality Winner, Hal Martin and Edward Snowden was accused of leaking the NSA’s secrets.Later the security tools were put on sale online by Shadow Brokers, an entity held responsible for an ongoing leak of NSA hacking tools and it is linked to Russian Government. Although, it is still not confirmed whether the latest incident is one of the works of Shadow Brokers or not.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

As per reports, the employee in question had no intention to leak sensitive information to the outside world. He took the documents and stored them to his home computer, on which he had Kaspersky software installed. US Government didn’t trust Kaspersky, as it is Russian corporation that may be invaded or compromised by Russian Government. The Recent incident of removing all the Kaspersky Antivirus software from Government Officials computer proved the distrust of US Government. Even though, the Antivirus company has always repudiated any links to Russian intelligence. The FBI has been trying to find the back doors on the Antivirus software, which could be used by Russian intelligence agencies to infiltrate the privacy of any computer or network.

However, there is another theory according to which, Kaspersky’s involvement might not be necessary. As an antivirus software scans a user’s files to look for malware and uploads files to the cloud for research. So, the attack could have been possibly done, while the data gets transferred between employee’s computer and Kaspersky servers. During this time, hackers have added a backdoor or became the man in the middle to get the hands on that employee’s files without even Kaspersky knowing about it.

“Antivirus software could totally be used for espionage,” said Jake Williams, a former officer at the agency and the founder of Rendition Infosec, a cyber security contractor. “It looks damning for Kaspersky, but we don’t yet know the whole story.”

So far, NSA is not sure who is involved in this latest attack and that tells a lot about their capabilities as a security agency.

 


MICROSOFT ENTERS iOS/ANDROID MARKET WITH LAUNCHER & EDGE 

THE STORY

Microsoft makes Edge available to iOS & Android and also launches Microsoft Launcher which was previously named as Arrow Launcher.

WHY IS MICROSOFT BRINGING PRODUCTS FOR iOS AND ANDROID?

Microsoft announced Edge for iOS and Android and has also relaunched Arrow launcher now rebranded as Microsoft launcher for Android. The motto of Microsoft behind releasing this software is to make Android and iOS devices closer and more synonymous to Windows users.

Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President in the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, stated, “We’re helping users perform their tasks as they move cross-device between the PC and whatever another device they’re using. And, of course, we had worked on that kind of thing for Windows Phone. But now we’re focusing on a more inclusive set of work that involves Android and iOS since a huge number of our Windows 10 PC users are carrying Android and iOS phones.”

The feature will work once Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be released. The update will arrive on October 17. All you need to do is stay logged in to Microsoft account on both the devices, your data will be with you no matter where you are.

WHAT IS MICROSOFT LAUNCHER & HOW IS IT USEFUL?

You must be wondering what Microsoft Launcher is. Well, it is an app that enables you to customize your Android with wallpapers, icon packs, theme colors and more. If you are logged in your Microsoft account on your device, you can get the access to your documents, calendar and more in your personalized feed. In addition to it, you can open docs, photos, and webpages on your PC.

Microsoft Launcher is only for Android as iOS doesn’t allow to customize the launcher. Microsoft Launcher could be called a successor to Arrow Launcher, beta version for which released in October 2015. Once Microsoft Launcher is out, all the users of Arrow Launcher will be upgraded to it.

WILL PEOPLE CONSIDER EDGE OVER SAFARI OR CHROME?

If you have Windows 10 on your PC and must be familiar with Microsoft Edge. There is a good news for Edge lovers, Edge is coming to your smartphone whether it is iOS or Android. So whether you use Windows or iPhone or any Android device,you will have all your favorites, reading view, reading list, and new tab page on all platforms with Edge.

To try the apps, you need Android 4.4 KitKat or higher and for iOS, you need 10.2 or higher. Soon Android tablet and iPad users will be able to use it. Although not all the feature of Edge on Desktop are same as Edge on iOS and Android, it is said that Microsoft is working on it.

 

Srishti Sisodia

Srishti Sisodia

Srishti Sisodia is a technical content journalist at Systweak Software. Apart from being a capable engineer, her affinity for inscription draws her towards writing interesting content about contemporary technologies and progressions. She is an avid reader and a fare connoisseur. She relishes different cuisines and when it comes to baking, she takes the cake!

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