Intel will NOT be patching all of its flawed chips
After saying, for months, that it would release firmware updates to all chipsets produced in the last 5 years, Intel is now backtracking saying that it won’t produce patches for the Bloomfield line, Clarksfield, Gulftown, Harpertown, Jasper Forest, Penryn, SoFIA 3GR, the Wolfdale line, and the Yorkfield line. There were several reasons, number one being that it was too hard (read:impossible) given the architecture of those chips. (Source: The Verge).
Microsoft Patch Tuesday Patches at Least 65 Vulnerabilities
From one perspective, given the breadth of Microsoft’s empire, releasing 65 SECURITY patches a month is not unreasonable. On the other hand, given that they have been doing this for years, that is thousands of security flaws, which is a bit mind blowing. This month’s patches affect Internet Explorer and Edge, Office, one more time, the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine, Visual Studio and Microsoft Azure.
A patch for the Malware Protection Engine (MPE) bug was release in an out-of-band patch last week because it affects all of Microsoft’s anti-malware products such as Windows Defender and Security Essentials. This is at least 3 emergency patches to the MPE in recent months.
Corporate IT usually has patching handled, but when it comes to home users, things are a bit more spotty, so make sure that you install these patches (Source: Krebs On Security).
Identity thieves going after CPAs
If the IRS is warning tax preparers to “step up” their cybersecurity game, it must be bad. Brian Krebs details the story of a tax preparer who allowed his system to become compromised with a not very sophisticated keystroke logger. The result was that his client’s data was hacked and false returns filed. When the client’s real returns were rejected by the IRS, the CPA provided form letters to his clients to file with the IRS saying that they were the victim of identity theft but not saying that it was the accountant who was responsible. No doubt the clients were left with the bill to client up their CPA’s mess on top of it all.
If you use a tax preparer, you should be asking questions about their cybersecurity practices and if he or she says not to worry, you should start worrying. Or looking for a more astute CPA (Source: Brian Krebs).
Atlanta, Colorado spending millions after ransomware attack
Atlanta has spent over $2 million mitigating the ransomware attack which started on March 12. The attackers asked for $50,000 which likely would have been covered by insurance. The costs are for Secureworks, Ernst and Young and others. If these costs are to upgrade inftrastructure, the insurance would not cover that.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has spent $1.5 million since their ransomware attack in February. CDOT is still not fully operating yet.
Stories are that Atlanta’s IT was on life support due to lack of funding prior to the attack. Assuming some of those millions are being spent on upgrading the infrastructure, maybe the attack has a silver lining. (Source: SC Magazine).