Daily Tech Briefing: April 28, 2014

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-04-28 Print this article Print

Bug in Microsoft Security Essentials crashes Windows XP machines; Mozilla aims to improve Firefox browser SSL security; Google looking to provide WiFi in Google Fiber cities; IBM expands U.S. Federal Healthcare Practice

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A recent update pushed out for Microsoft Security Essentials caused major disruptions after it crashed many systems still running Windows XP, which only recently became unsupported by the software giant.

When installed, many systems restarted and then failed to boot back up, displaying a cryptic error message.

While the update has now been fixed, it shows the vulnerability of many systems still running XP, such as point-of-sale programs using MSE in order to meet PCI compliance guidelines.

Mozilla is looking to increase its browser security with a new SSL certificate validation library that will be part of Firefox 31 — which will debut later this year.

The firm says the new security library, called mozilla::pkix, will enhance security certificate checks using a combination of methods, such as certificate revocation lists and the Online Certificate Status Protocol.

To help test the new code, the company is reaching out to server admins, asking them to try the system on their websites, and offering a $10,000 reward for those who report bugs.

Google may be expanding its plans for the 34 cities previously highlighted for potential Google Fiber service, potentially adding public WiFi service.

Google first raised the idea of WiFi when it mentioned it in a checklist for potential Fiber communities. But according to a recent IDC report, it has sent letters directly to those cities laying out specific wireless guidelines.

In an email reply to eWEEK, a Google spokesperson said that while the company would love to bring outdoor wireless access to those areas, it doesn't yet have an announcement to make.

Finally, IBM has announced that it will be leveraging Watson cognitive computing technology and big data methodologies for its federal health care practice.

The company says it will use the technology to evaluate interactions and experiences with patients, as well as discover new insights with various diseases which may speed the development of treatments and therapies. It hopes the push will help federal health care customers improve care, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.


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