Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) that has dealt with a reputation for poor security for years, now makes PCs vulnerable even if it is just installed in them, a security researcher has found.
According to researcher John Page, an unpatched exploit in the web browser’s handling of MHT files (IE’s web archive format), hackers can use to both spy on Windows users and steal their local data.
“As Windows opens MHT files using IE by default, you don’t even have to run the browser for this to be a problem — all you have to do is open an attachment sent through chat or email.
“This wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for the disclosure of the flaw. Page posted details of the exploit after Microsoft reportedly declined to roll out an urgent security fix, Engadget reported on Sunday.
The vulnerability affects Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
“Microsoft said a fix would be ‘considered’ in a future release. While that does suggest a patch is on the way, it leaves millions of users potentially vulnerable unless they either turn off Internet Explorer or point to another app that can open MHT files,” the report added.
The news came at a time when Microsoft, coming to terms with the Outlook.com data breach case, reached out to some users, informing them of the hack which exposed data sent over emails to hackers who kept accessing their accounts between January 1 to March 28.
In an email, Microsoft claimed that apart from the content of the emails including attachments, the hackers could have possibly viewed account email addresses, folder names and subject lines of the mails sent and received.
The case came to notice when the software giant discovered that the credentials of a support agent were compromised for its web mail service which led to unauthorised access into some accounts. (IANS)
Chinese tech major Lenovo, the worlds top personal computer maker, is focusing on bringing voice capability to its PCs, and will be shipping its first 5G personal computer early next year, said a top company official.
“Lenovo just announced the first 5G PC, and that’s going to be shipping early next year. We haven’t finalised the exact mode, and the naming will come out in near time,” said Dilip Bhatia, Vice President, Global Marketing, User & Customer Experience, PC & Smart Devices, Lenovo.
Lenovo and Qualcomm had unveiled the world’s first 5G PC called Project Limitless in May this year.
“We are bringing 5G capability to PCs and also voice capability. Today you can say ‘Hey Google’ and start writing messages (on smartphones), so we want to bring the same capability to your PC. We are enabling it for voice capability with Alexa,” Bhatia told IANS on the sidelines of the IFA 2019 here where Lenovo unveiled a range of its sleek laptops and tablets, among other products.
With users wanting more smartphone-like capability in their laptops, Lenovo has focused a big way on that in its new range of Yoga laptops and Thinkbooks.
Referring to Lenovo’s new Modern Standby mode for its laptops where even during sleep the PC can download emails, Bhatia said: “Today I don’t have to download emails on the PC, it automatically shows up all the time. We have the Modern Standby capability, Always On-Always Connected… People are looking to save time, so If I can turn on the PC and it turns on immediately without me having to type out the password, that saves time.”
On Lenovo using voice technology for its laptops and tablets, Bhatia said: “We’re very bullish on voice. Voice technology like Alexa, Cortana and Siri are getting better and better over time. We feel just like people have Alexa devices and Google devices at home, why can’t they have the same experience with the PC. So that’s why we’ve tried to integrate Alexa with the PC, so even if it’s on sleep mode, and I say ‘Hey Alexa what’s the weather?’, it will report back to me.”
The Lenovo Smart Display devices that have Google interface can be programmed to recognise every family member’s voice.
“We are truly believers in voice and feel voice will be much more mainstream down the road,” Bhatia said.
Asked if Lenovo would be focusing on different languages, including Indian languages, he said that initially the new voice products would be in English and German.
“Initially, the new products I believe will be in English and German. But over time, as we’re really leveraging Amazon’s Alexa capability as they have more languages rolled out, more languages are certainly an option,” he said.
Bhatia, who focuses on customer experience, said there are numerous ways in which Lenovo ensures that users get a “great experience for their products”.
“At Lenovo, we don’t want a one-time transaction, but build loyalty so that customers keep coming back and buy our products. We create loyalty by listening really well to our customers,” he said.
Lenovo has created a special panel of 3,000 consumers, with members from across the world, including India. These consumers, “who kind of are expert of PCs and know what is a good PC”, are reached by Lenovo’s product managers for feedback on the new products and features.
Bhatia’s team also runs a Big Data analytics programme, as part of which they “basically scrape 20 million comments from the Internet” including from Amazon and Flipkart.
“We are using Big Data analytics to understand what people like and what they don’t about a product. This is another way by which we are getting the pulse of the Indian customer,” he added.
Lenovo also has customer advisory councils, and conducts surveys of its customers for feedback.
“These are some of the few ways in which we listen to the voice of the Indian consumer to help improve our products and provide a better experience. I believe putting the customer at the forefront globally has paid off dividends in our market share,” Bhatia said.
“Globally, we had 24.9 per cent market share last quarter; so one in four PCs was a Lenovo. And that comes from relentless focus on listening to the customers,” he added. (IANS)