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The Latest Microsoft Surface Pro and More Top-Rated Laptops Are on Major Sale for Prime Day

Amazon

With many schools adapting to an online-only curriculum and work from home becoming increasingly more common, this year has proven to be quite a time for computers. Now more than ever, having a reliable laptop is a worthwhile investment.

Luckily, this year’s Amazon Prime Day shopping event has followed through with impressive deals on tech essentials to make the adjustment to this new lifestyle a bit smoother. Along with steep markdowns on iPads, laptops are another sale shoppers are scrambling to take advantage of: Like the one on the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 7 laptop, which you can get for $229 off right now. 

Best Microsoft Surface Pro and Laptop Deals:

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (10th Generation), $1,170 (orig. $1,399)

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 6, $729.99 (orig. $899)

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (10th Generation), $1,133.05 (orig. $1,299)

  • Apple MacBook Air (13-inch), $899.99 (orig. $999)

  • Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch), $1,699.99 (orig.

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Water has become a big issue for Big Tech. But Microsoft has a plan

When Brian Janous started at Microsoft in 2011 as a data center utility architect, he joined at a time when energy and sustainability issues were still nascent.

“I was the first person that was brought into the organization to work on energy and sustainability issues. This was back in the time when it … certainly wasn’t clear to me why a company like Microsoft even needed someone like me,” Janous told CNBC by phone.

“And the person that was hiring me, (said), ‘I really think this whole cloud thing is going to be a big deal. And I think energy is going to be really important to the future of our company.’ And he was clearly correct. Obviously, over the last several years, as the cloud has really exploded, energy and our environmental footprints have become increasingly important issues,” he added.

The U.S. government estimated that data centers in the

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Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet

Days after the US Government took steps to disrupt the notorious TrickBot botnet, a group of cybersecurity and tech companies has detailed a separate coordinated effort to take down the malware’s back-end infrastructure.

The joint collaboration, which involved Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, Lumen’s Black Lotus Labs, ESET, Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), NTT, and Broadcom’s Symantec, was undertaken after their request to halt TrickBot’s operations were granted by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The development comes after the US Cyber Command mounted a campaign to thwart TrickBot’s spread over concerns of ransomware attacks targeting voting systems ahead of the presidential elections next month. Attempts aimed at impeding the botnet were first reported by KrebsOnSecurity early this month.

Microsoft and its partners analyzed over 186,000 TrickBot samples, using it to track down the malware’s command-and-control (C2) infrastructure employed to communicate with the victim

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Microsoft Takes Down Massive Botnet Before 2020 Elections

A building on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington in 2014.

A building on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington in 2014.
Photo: Stephen Brashear (Getty Images)

Microsoft has obtained a court order to seize servers the company says are part of the Trickbot botnet ahead of the 2020 elections, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Microsoft vice president of customer security and trust Tom Burt told the Post the botnet poses a “theoretical but real” threat to election security, as it is known to be run by Russian-speaking criminals and could be used to launch ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that hijacks computer networks, and typically holds the data hostage in exchange for some kind of payment—although attackers could just forego the ransom element and permanently lock users out of their own computers. While a ransomware attack on voting machines, election officials, or political campaigns would be unprecedented, gangs of cybercriminals have targeted municipal

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Microsoft takes down hacking network with potential to disrupt election

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Microsoft obtained a court order to disrupt the largest botnet in the world.


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

A group of tech companies dismantled a powerful hacking tool used by Russian attackers just three weeks before the US presidential election. On Monday, Microsoft announced actions against Trickbot, a Russian botnet that’s infected more than a million computers since 2016 and that’s behind scores of ransomware attacks. 

Cybersecurity experts have raised concerns about ransomware attacks casting doubt on election results. While a ransomware attack wouldn’t change votes and could only lock up machines, the chaos stirred by a cyberattack could create uncertainty about the outcome of the results. 

Election officials in most states have offline backup measures in the event of a ransomware attack, but have a harder time tackling the disinformation that comes with getting hacked.

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Microsoft thwarts massive botnet that could have targeted elections

  • Microsoft announced Monday that it had taken action to significantly disrupt Trickbot, one of the most notorious bot networks that could have been used to target elections infrastructure.
  • Trickbot was previously used to distribute ransomware, which experts and government officials warned posed a serious threat to elections and could have been used to target polling places’ computer systems.
  • Microsoft got permission from a federal court to take over the IP addresses associated with Trickbot’s servers in order to quash the network, which the company said is a “new legal approach.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Microsoft has quashed a sprawling network of bots that could have been used to target voting infrastructure ahead of the Nov. 3 election, it said on Monday.

The company disrupted servers that were used to run Trickbot, a notorious botnet that has been used to deploy ransomware. Ransomware attacks against local governments have

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Microsoft attempts takedown of global criminal botnet

Microsoft announced legal action Monday seeking to disrupt a major cybercrime digital network that uses more than 1 million zombie computers to loot bank accounts and spread ransomware, which experts consider a major threat to the U.S. presidential election.

The operation to knock offline command-and-control servers for a global botnet that uses an infrastructure known as Trickbot to infect computers with malware was initiated with a court order Microsoft obtained in Virginia federal court on Oct. 6. Microsoft argued that the crime network is abusing its trademark.

“It is very hard to tell how effective it will be but we are confident it will have a very long-lasting effect,” said Jean-Ian Boutin, head of threat research at ESET, one of several cybersecurity firms that partnered with Microsoft to map the command-and-control servers. “We’re sure that they are going to notice and it will be hard for them to get back

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Windows 10 graphics: GPU-powered AV1 video compression coming soon, says Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that graphics processor partners Intel, AMD and Nvidia are bringing hardware-accelerated AV1/AVIF video compression to new Windows 10 systems this fall. 

To benefit from the latest AV1 royalty-free video-compression codecs, Windows 10 users will need a computer with an 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Xe Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, or AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics. 

Unfortunately, these are all high-end, expensive and recently released components, so the people who get hardware accelerated AVIF video compression will be limited in the near future. 

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

For example, Nvidia’s graphics cards with AVIF support range from $499 to $1,500. But, as Microsoft points out, the AV1 codec can deliver 50% better compression than H.264 and 20% better compression efficiency than VP9 for the same video content. 

AV1, also known as AVIF or AV1 Image File Format,

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Microsoft wins court order to take down TrickBot, a botnet that threatens election integrity

Run by Russian-speaking criminals, the botnet poses a “theoretical but real” threat to election integrity by launching ransomware attacks, in which data is rendered inaccessible unless the victim pays a ransom, said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president of customer security and trust.

Botnets are networks of computers secretly infected by malware that can be controlled remotely. They can be used to spread ransomware, as well as to send malicious spam email to unsuspecting recipients. Trickbot is malware that can steal financial and personal data, and drop other malicious software, such as ransomware, onto infected systems.

The fear isn’t that an attack could alter actual results, but rather that it could shake the confidence of voters, especially those already on edge from President Trump’s unfounded assaults on the integrity of mail-in ballots. “Having just a few precincts report that they got disrupted and locked up and people couldn’t vote or their

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Microsoft and Facebook vet leads nonprofit making software to improve COVID-19 rapid tests

Most of the Audere team, gathered together in pre-COVID times. (Audere Photo)

A Seattle-based nonprofit launched to provide digital health solutions for poorer countries is applying its expertise to help with COVID-19 testing.

Audere is building software for administering rapid result COVID tests that can be integrated into products being developed by U.S. manufacturers that use saliva or nasal swab samples.

“There is a critical need for rapid testing,” said Philip Su, CEO and founder of Audere. People are increasingly realizing that the widespread distribution of a vaccine is still many months away. The availability of accurate, inexpensive tests that provide results in minutes can help control the spread of the virus in the meantime, Su said.

Philip Su, Audere CEO and founder. (Audere Photo)

The tests — known generally as rapid diagnostic tests or RDTs — can have high rates of failure, though the basic concept is simple. Imagine

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