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By Usama Jawad96
On-premises Exchange servers are under attack from a state-sponsored group
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft has announced that on-premises Exchange servers are under attack likely from a state-sponsored group operating from China. The group is named "HAFNIUM" and is using multiple 0-day exploits to access on-premises Exchange Server instances, which essentially gives access to the email account of victims as well. The malicious actors install additional malware which acts as a backdoor for future attacks as well.
Microsoft has patched all the vulnerabilities with CVE-2021-26855, CVE-2021-26857, CVE-2021-26858, and CVE-2021-27065, and has recommended that customers update their on-premises systems on an urgent basis. It has noted that Exchange Online is not affected by these attacks.
The Redmond tech giant says that the attack methodology is extremely similar to previous attacks by the HAFNIUM group, which have usually targeted multiple government and private entities in the United States. The details of the vulnerabilities that this group exploited in its latest attack can be seen below:
Microsoft claims that after exploiting the aforementioned vulnerabilities, the malicious actors were able to install web shells on the server, which allowed them to steal data such as offline address books for Exchange which contain information about a business and its users. They also performed certain activities to allow further malicious actions in the future.
In its "Can I determine if I have been compromised by this activity?" section, Microsoft has also outlined several indicators of compromise (IOCs) available in the logs, and hashes, paths, and names of web shells used in the attack. For remediation, it has recommended the use of Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to detect malicious activities. All on-premises Exchange Server instances and systems need to be updated with the latest patches immediately, as per Microsoft.
Google Pixel phones can take underwater pictures with a new feature drop
by João Carrasqueira
It's that time again - a new feature drop is making its way to Google's Pixel devices, and it delivers a handful of improvements to different aspects of the smartphone experience.
First, there's a new integration for the Camera app, which makes it possible to use the phone underwater. Used together with an underwater smartphone housing from Kraken Sports, Pixel devices can now give users access to features like Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and Google's image processing to capture better-looking images underwater.
If you're not into diving, the Recorder app also has a new update, which lets users share their recordings as links, which can then be accessed on any device. Not only can the audio file be accessed anywhere, but transcripts of the recording can also be viewed and searched in languages that support them - which is to say, English. The web version of the Recorder app can be found here.
Google is also rolling out Smart Compose as part of the Gboard app, which works similarly to how it does on Gmail, except you can now use it across different apps. As you type, your phone can suggest words to finish your sentence or even a conversation starter. The feature is only available in English and only in the U.S.
If you use the bedtime feature that Google has been pushing over the past year and you also have a Pixel Stand, there's now a new bedtime screen with redesigned notifications. Google says this will help you ease you into sleep, but you can only access it on Pixel devices with wireless charging - the Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, 4 XL, and 5.
Finally, the update includes a few new wallpapers, which were designed by a Spanish duo called Cachetejack and focus on the celebration of International Women's Day on March 8.
Cyberpunk 2077 1.2 update pushed back, now aiming for second half of March
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
CD Projekt RED has been readying the next major update to Cyberpunk 2077 for some time now, with Patch 1.2 slated to land in February. However, the studio today revealed that it has changed the timetable, with the update now coming to all platforms in the second half of March, if the new plans don't experience any hitches.
The recent cyberattack on CD Projekt is partly to blame for this delay according to the Polish company. The attack left its internal systems compromised, servers encrypted, and some internal data leaked. The studio was already in the process of restoring the encrypted data when the announcement came through, but the process has obviously affected the development flow.
The upcoming update is reportedly much larger in scope than previous updates as well, which is also a cause for the delay. The studio added that "we’ve been working on numerous overall quality improvements and fixes, and we still have work to do to make sure that’s what you get."
So far, CD Projekt RED has released one major Cyberpunk 2077 update aimed at increasing performance and squashing bugs. There have also been several hotfixes for resolving urgent issues. The studio's roadmap for the RPG has it pushing out multiple updates, free DLC, as well as the next-gen console upgrade in 2021.
Surface Duo gets February Android security patch and other improvements
by João Carrasqueira
It's only been a few weeks since Microsoft rolled out a software update for the Surface Duo, since the December and January updates got pushed back and ended up releasing at the end of last month. Now, it's time for the February update, and it comes with the usual monthly Android security patch, in addition to some other improvements.
This week, Microsoft released the Surface Duo in Europe, and that means the update is rolling out to users in both markets. While the updates in the U.S. and Europe have the same changelog, they have different software versions. Here's what's new:
Software version Update info 2021.115.52 (North America)
Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin - February 2020. Improves Surface Duo UI stability. Improves single tap touch experience. If you're one of the early European adopters, you'll notice there are actually two updates rolling out, because the December/January update is also available now. The changes are all the same as the North American patch from last month, but they come with version 2020.1211.87 instead.
As usual, the update is available for unlocked devices first, so if you bought your Surface Duo from AT&T, you'll need to wait a little longer. It usually takes about a week for the rollout to begin for the carrier-locked version, though it could always vary.
Aside from the delayed update in January, Microsoft has been servicing the Surface Duo every month, and the company promises three years of security and feature updates, so improvements will keep coming over time. One thing that's worth noting is that the Duo is still running Android 10, which is starting to fall behind especially as Google has begun testing Android 12 this week. The Duo has been reported to be getting Android 11 in the summer, which will be close to the official release of its follow-up. Just yesterday, Microsoft also updated the Surface Duo emulator for PCs with new sample apps that make use of its dual screens.
Debian 10.8 launches with new software patches and updates
by Paul Hill
Image via Alex Makas The Debian Project has announced the availability of Debian 10.8, the eighth update to its stable distribution Debian 10. Each time a point release is made available, a new ISO is spun with all the latest security fixes and software updates so that they do not need to be installed when Debian is installed on a new system.
Some packages that have received updates with Debian 10.8 include Firefox ESR, Chromium, Flatpak, VLC, the Linux kernel, OpenSSL, X.Org, APT and Thunderbird. The NVIDIA graphics drivers have also been updated to a newer upstream version that fixes a denial of service issue.
Appealing to users to think about the environment, the Debian Project said:
Debian 10 was first launched on July 6, 2019, and it’s set to receive long-term support until 2024. Each new version of Debian arrives every two years but launch dates are not set in stone. If there aren’t any delays, Debian 11 should come out this year and Debian 10 will be demoted to the status of Old Stable alongside Debian 9 which is maintained by the main Debian security team until July 18, 2020.