Office and Bing: More Fit for the Cloud
Five new Bing applications have been released as add-ons for Microsoft Office 2013 suite: Bing News Search for Word, Bing Dictionary for Excel and Word, Bing Finance for Excel, Bing Maps for Excel, Bing Image Search for Word. This is right after the release of the Office.com website and the Office 365 product for consumers. All are extending the functionality of Office to Bing, from which the data will be piped. The users of the Office suite may also become more dependent of Bing browser, bringing a growth in business to Microsoft.
Using the dynamic features of the cloud, Microsoft aims to turn local documents into something that will more resemble a web page, or an application. For example, you will be able to plot people on a map with a data visualization tool that integrates right into Excel, build a live finance portfolio including current pricing data with calculated savings, search for related news and videos directly from a Word document, access an up-to date online dictionary from the document, and so on.
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Bamital Botnet Taken Down by Microsoft and Symantec
The cyber crime operation, known as Bamital botnet, originating probably in Russia or Ukraine, was taken down by Microsoft and Symantec, after a long fight. The click-fraud from the botnet, has been operating since 2009, and it has been affecting hundreds of thousands of PCs around the world. The data centers have recently been raided, when two companies, Microsoft and Symantec joined together, and Bamital servers were pulled off line. Boscovich (Microsoft) reports: “The servers that were pulled off line on Wednesday had been used to communicate with what Microsoft and Symantec estimate are between 300,000 and 1 million PCs currently infected with malicious software that enslaved them into the botnet.” The infected PCs were, of course, engaged further, by the perpetrators, in other types of computer crimes, such as identity theft, or DDoS attacks.
Microsoft and Symantec directly pushed recovery tools and warning messages to the malware infected end users. After analyzing information from the infected computers, and seizing the Bamital servers, the operation was finally stopped. Vikram Takhur (Symantec) said that Bamital is just one of several major “botnets in a complex underground click fraud ecosystem that, he believes, generates at least tens of millions of dollars in revenue.”
Read more from The Reuters
China – No.1 in Malware
55% of computers in China are infected by malware, which is the highest percentage of malware-ridden hardware for any country in the world. 27 million new strains of malware were reported in 2012 only. Which adds up to 125 million of registered malware in their database.
Very close in the percentage is South Korea (54%), followed by Taiwan (42%).
The malware infection problem, affecting 55% of 564 million internet users in China (according to China Internet Network Information Center CNNIC, January) has, so far, cost the economy over 5 billion yuan, which equals to 500 million in pounds.
Read more from The Register
EU proposes Central Security Framework
New Network and Information Security plan was proposed by the EU to the EU Parliament. It involves guidelines for a central cybersecurity framework that will allow countries to share information about online threats while becoming a part of a more centralized system to manage cybersecurity. Telecommunication companies, cloud service providers, banks, energy and transportation companies, would all need to create a cybersecurity plan and report major online attacks to government authorities.
From the proposal: “The current situation in the EU, reflecting the purely voluntary approach followed so far, does not provide sufficient protection against network and information security incidents and risks across the EU,” and thus, “incidents are becoming bigger, more frequent, and more complex.”
The similar bill was refused in US, back in August, it remains to be seen what reaction will follow in Europe.
Read more from The Verge
Mobile will Outnumber People, says Mashable
The Mashable article builds on Cisco report that predicts global mobile data traffic to increase 13-fold by 2017, with more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices. According to Mashable, “mobile traffic worldwide grew 70% in 2012, nearly double what it was the year before. It’s now 12 times what the global Internet was in 2000.”
As the trend isn’t slowing down, as well as demand of mobile-connected tablets, mobile video applications, Androids etc., “by the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people,” they suggest.
Read more from Mashable