In this issue:
Three years of relief for Windows admins. Cybersecurity news. Windows 11 22H2 preview. Microsoft tightens the belt. Interview with Jeremy Chapman! Fido goes Ruff for us. Azure tutorials and tips. Calling all Atari warriors! Golf carts and golf cats. Beer-powered rockets? Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!
In last week’s newsletter we ruminated on whether it would be better if software companies disclosed vulnerabilities in their products as soon as they were discovered and reported or whether it’s ethical to hide such information from their customers to “protect” them until the vendor has created a fix their customers can apply. One of our readers Jeffrey Harris expressed these thoughts concerning this matter:
On immediate disclosure, it depends. If there is a workaround that is reasonable to do (i.e., blocking a rarely used port is reasonable, disabling SMB V3 is not), then vendors should disclosure. Otherwise, they should only disclose when there is a patch.
It is important to remember that while most of the bad guys may be in the dark about a Zero day as much as everyone else, likely there is someone who knows about it and is exploiting it, so not disclosing when there is a workaround can put more people at risk than no disclosure at all.
That said, if we look at the patch rate for known vulnerabilities, the rates are often low (often hundreds of thousands of systems or sites are unpatched), so does it really matter one way or the other? The ones who do not patch are also the ones who likely would not implement a workaround.
The real solution to the issue is to financially penalize software companies for writing bad insecure code, which would require legislation in various countries. Consumers are largely prevented from suing companies for bad software or bad events resulting from insecure software due to license agreements waiving any all liability by the vendor for bad code, and in the United States, by restrictive language requiring binding arbitration, which largely prevents any lawsuits at all in favor of individual binding arbitration.
That’s a good suggestion but as usual any “real” solution is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future due to various economic and political forces that govern the way our broken world works.
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Microsoft’s reported plan to shift back to major releases of Windows every three years instead of their current one-year approach should be welcome news for enterprise IT pros who administer and maintain Windows environments (RedmondMag). If it actually comes to pass of course—it’s still an unconfirmed rumor from back in early mid-July on WindowsCentral. For further speculation on what might be happening at Redmond with the Windows release cycle, see this ZDNET article by Mary Jo Foley.
I know IT pros who are still upset over Microsoft introducing their “Windows as a service” model in 2015 with their initial release of Windows 10 which was billed as the “last version of Windows”. Having to deal with frequent version updates—and the confusing numbering/naming of such—led many to hang on to Windows 7 longer than what could be considered safe, given the rising tide of cyber threats against Windows environments.
It also led some businesses to consider shifting to Linux on the desktop, something that we actually considered here for our business. In the end we decided it would just be too disruptive since a lot of our IT business activities still revolve around Microsoft products and services. Though we’re rethinking this matter once again now that Microsoft is pushing everyone towards Windows 11—and buying new PCs that can run it!
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the pendulum swing back to a more sensible Windows release cycle turn out to be true. In the meantime, we’ll keep all our options on the table. How about you?
This Week in IT
A compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors. Feel free to email us if you find a news item you think our newsletter readers might be interested in. And for more tech news coverage see the News section of our TechGenix website.
This week we focus on some recent happenings in cybersecurity around the world. Here are some of the news items we’ve been keeping our eyes on, starting with our favorite topic ransomware:
- Acronis’ Midyear Cyberthreats Report Finds Ransomware Is the No. 1 Threat to Organizations, Projects Damages to Exceed $30 Billion by 2023 (Dark Reading)
- Hackers steal credentials by building phishing pages on AWS (SC Media)
- Plex warns users to reset passwords after a data breach (BleepingComputer)
- New Evil PLC Attack Weaponizes PLCs to Breach OT and Enterprise Networks (The Hacker News)
With all these cyber threats present in today’s world, might it not be a good idea to buy more insurance? Well, let’s see:
Now let’s see what’s been happening around the globe in particular in France, Germany and South Africa:
- French hospital hit by $10M ransomware attack, sends patients elsewhere (BleepingComputer)
- Caution: Cyber attack on automotive spare parts dealer Autodoc.de (Born’s Tech and Windows World)
- Soaring Demand for Tech Talent in Africa (TechGenix)
Well that last news item might signal a bright spot for us IT professionals, right? Well, it depends, because:
So I guess taking a good look at these news items just tells us that everything is still business as usual in the cybersecurity world. Anyways, don’t forget to lock your doors when you go out!
The next major release version of Windows 11 has arrived in the Release Preview Channel. ZDNET has some news about what Windows 11 22H2 brings to the table, and the plan is for mainstream release to occur on September 20th.
Bad news I guess for Dell, HP, Lenovo and other suppliers of sever system hardware. Microsoft has announced that it plans on extending the lifespan of the servers it uses for its Azure cloud from four years to six years (NetworkWorld). And along similar lines OnMSFT reports that Microsoft plans for two new Irish datacenters put on hold. So I guess it’s belt-tightening happening all around these days. I wonder if they’ll soon be serving KD in the Redmond campus cafeterias?
And strictly speaking this ain’t news but it’s fascinating nevertheless. Check out The History of Microsoft Azure which is posted on Microsoft’s Educator Developer Blog.
Upcoming webcasts, workshops and conferences
Got an event, conference or webcast you want announced in our newsletter? Email us!
Christiaan Brinkhoff will be interviewing Jeremy Chapman from Microsoft Mechanics in episode 1 of season 2 of Windows in the Cloud – September 14 – Register now!
Also be sure to check out the following event listings:
- Redmond Channel Partner’s calendar of upcoming Microsoft conferences for partners, IT pros and developers.
- TechRepublic’s 2022 tech conferences and events to add to your calendar.
- NEW!!! – FOSS Force’s list of upcoming Open Source Events.
Got comments about anything in this issue?
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Meet the Editors!
MITCH TULLOCH is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers. Mitch has also been a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the technical category of Cloud and Datacenter Management. He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada that produces books, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, courseware, documentation, newsletters and articles for various companies.
INGRID TULLOCH is Associate Editor of WServerNews. She was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press and collaborated on developing university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Ingrid also manages Research and Development for the IT content development business she runs together with Mitch.
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IT Workshop – tools, guides and other useful stuff
Got a product or solution or some other resource you’d like to tell our readers about? Email us!
Our TOOL OF THE WEEK is Fido which is a PowerShell script that is primarily designed to be used in Rufus, but that can also be used in standalone fashion, and whose purpose is to automate access to the official Microsoft Windows retail ISO download links as well as provide convenient access to bootable UEFI Shell images.
Learn how to safeguard your business with tools for enterprise risk management (ERM) in this TechGenix article!
Sometimes the best lessons to learn are the hardest ones to deal with. Check out this article on DarkReading: Nearly 3 Years Later, SolarWinds CISO Shares 3 Lessons From the Infamous Attack.
Here are some MORE TOOLS our IT pro colleagues have recently recommended:
- SiteKiosk is the easy-to-use all-in-one kiosk solution for displays, tablets and terminals in public access areas as well as in companies.
- GFI FaxMaker lets users send and receive faxes electronically through a web interface, email or integrated application from any location, on any device without the need for traditional equipment.
- PDF-XChange Editor is the smallest, fastest, most feature-rich PDF viewer/editor available!
Tips and Tutorials
Got tips or tutorials you’d like to recommend for our readers? Email us!
This week we’ve got a bunch of Azure tutorials and tips for all you Microsoft cloud aficionados out there:
Learn Live – Introduction to Azure Arc (Thomas Maurer)
Getting started with Azure Container Apps (Marius Sandbu)
Tips and tricks to perform custom domain operations in Azure Front Door Premium (FastTrack for Azure)
Migrate Gen1 to Gen2 VMs on Azure (Charbel Nemnom)
FortiClient Azure Authentication (PeteNetLive)
How to login to Azure with GitHub Actions (Educator Developer Blog)
Azure Tip: View or disconnect current P2S VPN sessions (Wim Matthyssen)
Azure Tips and Tricks – How to test application performance with Azure Load Testing (Azure Developer Community Blog)
Getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise using an Azure Network Connection (All about Microsoft Endpoint Manager)
Factoid: Calling all Atari warriors!
We didn’t get any responses for the previous week’s factoid so here is our factoid for this week:
Fact: Atari Turns 50: A Look Back on the Original Name in Video Games
Question: Did any of our readers own an Atari way back when? What did you use it for besides playing games?
Email us your answer and we’ll include it in our next issue!
Fun videos from Flixxy
San Diego State University Women’s Golf Team Trick Shots – The San Diego State University women’s golf team show us their amazing trick shot skills.
Rocket Powered Golf Club – Custom golf club maker Kevin Moore testing a new golf club prototype with a rocket engine that adds speed and power to his golf swing.
The ‘Impossible’ Clay Pigeon Golf Shot – Can any of these top golfers knock a clay pigeon out of the sky with a golf ball?
Golf Cart Jetpack – Eagle-eyed golfing with the golf cart jetpack – thanks to Oakley and pro golfer Bubba Watson.
…and of course the obligatory cat video:
Golf Cat – What can be better than playing a game of golf with your cat?
The odd, the stupid and the remarkable. Good for your mental health.
Earth records ‘shortest day EVER’ after scientists reveal planet ‘spinning faster’ (The U.S. Sun)
[I was wondering why my scale showed I had lost weight!]
We test an electric Mercedes that can go 747 miles on a single charge (Ars Technica)
[Whew, I was almost gonna buy one but then I realized I had misread that—I thought it said an electric Mercedes can charge forward at 747 kilometers per hour!]
Switch to a circular economy could protect the environment while generating more value (Phys.org)
[Sounds great as long as they don’t apply this model to food consumption—I don’t *want* to eat my own poop!]
Perle sponsors Project Nixus in Rocket-Science Challenge (Perle) – Perle Systems, a global manufacturer of secure device networking hardware, is pleased to sponsor a student group at the Technische Universität München (TUM) in their quest to build a liquid-fueled sounding rocket that will participate in international competitions to hit a target altitude of 30,000 feet (9144 m) as accurately as possible.
[If they’re university students then the liquid fuel they’re using for their rockets must be beer 😉 ]
Hey reader! Got an amazing or weird or funny link you’d like to suggest for this section of our newsletter? Email us! But please make sure that it’s G-rated as in “Gee whiz”, “Golly!”, “Good grief!”, “Gaaahh!!” and so on. Thanks!
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