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22/12/2017

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Yet, Facebook is still not encrypting all internal traffic between its off-site data centers: Sullivan blamed weaknesses in encrypting chunks of data flowing through his company's interconnects. Instead, his team had identified key data streams that needed protecting from eavesdroppers, and is locking them off one by one with their own encrypted channels.All company staff have to turn on two-factor authentication before logging on to Facebook, and Sullivan said he was heartened by how many Facebook users also wanted to use the extra security. About a third of the user base activated two-factor authentication shortly after the security team added it in 2011.In 2013 the company doubled its encryption key strength to 2,048-bit and has augmented HTTPS with perfect forward secrecy. “With SSL, there’s going to be a single key that opens every car on the highway, and with perfect forward there’s now a different key for each car,” Sullivan said.For mobile users the company has developed Conceal for Android, a set of Java APIs that encodes large files using cryptographic algorithms from OpenSSL. The company is also investigating third party apps and checking the security of companies that provide it with leased lines to check there are no data leaks – at least, as far as possible.

We're looking at literally every point in the movement of data and analyzing the risks. If data is going through a building or a cable that someone else controls we need to assume the worst, in the same way that we assume the worst about every one of our employees, Sullivan said.I trust everyone I work with, but also assume that they can get malware on their laptop or they might have their spouse held hostage. Everything can go wrong and it's not about trusting people, it's about removing the risk. Peak Microsoft According to two different web-analytics groups – NetMarketShare and StatCounter – Windows' market share has dropped to below 90 per cent for the first time since the mid 1990s and the juggernaut that was Windows 95.As SeekingAlpha reports, NetMarketShare calculates that Windows' market share – that's all versions of Windows from XP onward for laptops and desktops – dipped to 89.96 per cent this month. StatCounter is only slightly more pessimistic, reporting an 89.22 per cent share for the same operating systems and time period.

Apple' OS X remains far behind, but has topped 8 per cent for the first time in memory. NetMarketShare places its laptop and desktop market share at 8.16 per cent; StatCounter says that OS X has an 8.34 market share.The Mac's figures are nothing that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will lose sleep over any time soon, but the trend lines for both Windows and OS X are certainly something that should catch his attention. Just six years ago, for example, the Mac's market share was a mere 3.75 per cent, and as SeekingAlpha points out, at the turn of the millenium it was even lower: 2.84 per cent.Before you ask, according to StatCounter's figures, Linux's market share stood at 0.62 per cent as 2008 came to a close, and has risen to 1.76 per cent as of this month.What all these numbers and their resultant trend lines portend, of course, is opinion and speculation – so permit a bit from your humble Reg reporter, then you can chime in by clicking on the Comments button below.While most companies would kill for a market share hovering around 90 per cent, no market domination is eternal – especially in a market that's changing as rapidly as the PC market is today. While Microsoft will likely continue to rule both the desktop and laptop markets for the foreseeable future, the former is sclerotic and the latter is being attacked by tablets – and even by the surprising (to us, at least) popularity of Chromebooks.

As the StatCounter stats show, the market shares of both Windows 8 and Windows 7 have leveled off. Microsoft is not forthcoming about the sales of its Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, but even a cursory stroll through the Starbucks of the world doesn't exactly demonstrate the they're becoming the laptop/tablet of choice of the next generation.There's far more to Microsoft than Windows, of course. Microsoft the company is more than holding its own in other areas such as its server software, online services and gaming, and even its business (Office) offerings.On the desktop and laptop operating system side, however, and in the skyrocketing mobile device market, Microsoft is a giant with a giant problem. Unless it manages to reinvent its approach to those markets soon, it may very well slip into — here comes a $20 word – caducity, which my dictionary defines as the infirmity of old age; frailty or a transitory nature.That is, of course, not an observation that required a tremendous amount of savvy. Pulling Windows out of its long, slow slide into senility, however, will.

Six months after launching the second generation of its Surface tablets, Microsoft says it is finally ready to begin shipping an accessory that it says can extend the battery life of the fondleslabs by as much as 70 per cent.The Surface Power Cover was announced during the Surface 2 launch but wasn't immediately available for sale, with Microsoft saying only that it would ship in early 2014. That time now appears to be here.The device is essentially a bulkier version of the original Type Cover – it's about 3mm thicker and weighs a tenth of a pound more – where the extra space under the keyboard is given over to an add-on battery that holds nearly as much juice as the Surface's built-in one.The cover works by charging the slab's internal battery, rather than taking over when it goes dead, so you can unplug the cover after a while without worrying about losing power, then reattach it when your tablet needs a top-up.Microsoft says the cover can extend the running time of the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 by as much as 60 per cent, while the ARM-powered Surface 2 can gain as much as a 70 per cent boost, based on video-playback tests.Keyboard-wise, the Power Cover isn't much to write home about. It includes the same shallow keys and undersized trackpad as the original Type Cover, which are passable but suffer in comparison to dedicated laptop keyboards and trackpads. And unlike the more recent Type Cover 2, the Power Cover lacks lighted keys and only comes in black.

Microsoft's online store began accepting preorders for the Surface Power Cover from customers in the US and Canada on Monday, with a list price of $199.99. The devices are expected to ship beginning on March 19.The Pwn2Own and Pwnium hacking contests at the annual CanSecWest conference in Vancouver have earned security researchers over a million dollars in prizes, exposed 34 serious zero-day flaws in popular code, and earned over $82,000 for the Canadian Red Cross.In each of the Pwn2Own and Pwnium competitions, contestants are challenged to exploit vulnerabilities in supposedly secure software to execute malicious code – and walk away with cash if their attacks are successfully demonstrated on stage. The techniques used to own a program are privately disclosed so that the bugs can hopefully be fixed.

HP TippingPoint's Pwn2Own competition netted researchers $850,000 as all the major browsers – Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox – fell to attacks within the 30-minute timeframe for each, along with Flash. Only Java held up to the time-limited attacks, although researchers attempting to crack Oracle's code did come up with some interesting techniques that just took too long.Bug bounty schemes like Pwn2Own are really now just an extension of proper software testing, Brian Gorenc, manager of vulnerability research for HP's Zero Day Initiative told The Register.It's about allowing your software to be picked over by skilled independents who may spot flaws that slipped through the quality control proves. It's well worth the prize money.Meanwhile in Google's fourth Pwnium competition, one skilled cracker broke into the Chocolate Factory's Chrome OS running on an HP Chromebook 11, earning himself $150,000 and the subverted laptop. Another researcher got part way there and will receive a lesser award from Google for their efforts.

There was also a fun competition between Google and HP, dubbed Pwn4Fun, which raised $82,500 for the Canadian Red Cross and exposed some major flaws. Gorenc said staff at Google found six zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft code, as well as a kernel issue in Apple's iOS. Microsoft will soon debut a new formulation of its Office 365 subscription service aimed at individual consumers, the company said on Thursday, and in the process it hinted that new, touch-centric Office apps may be coming soon.We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we're committed to delivering the right Office for everyone – whether that be one person or an entire household, Microsoft marketeer Chris Schneider said in a blog post.So far, Redmond's only consumer subscription offering has been Office 365 Home Premium, which launched last January. That version allows each subscriber to install the desktop Office application suite on up to five PCs or Macs and use Office Mobile on up to five mobile devices.

The new Office 365 subscription offering, dubbed Office 365 Personal, costs a little less but only bestows a license for one PC or Mac and one tablet.That's an interesting bit of language, because the current versions of Office Mobile for iOS and Android – which are available exclusively to Office 365 subscribers – only work on phones, not tablets.We asked Microsoft for clarification on this point and were told: This version allows a user to install the latest full desktop version of Office applications ... on 1 PC or Mac, in addition to 1 Windows tablet so you can use all the features offline as well as online.Yet what is meant by Windows tablet still isn't clear, since x86 Windows tablets run the same OS as Windows desktops and run the desktop suite of Office – there's little distinction between a touchscreen Intel-powered Windows 8 laptop and an Intel-powered Windows 8 Surface tablet, for example.Meanwhile, ARM-powered Windows RT slabs all come with a fully licensed version of Office that's just like the desktop suite and not very touchscreen-centric.

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