Daily Tech Briefing: August 25, 2014

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-08-25 Print this article Print

Microsoft hardens Windows Phone for government duty; Android security is under fire—again; Windows 9 is badly needed, assuming it actually works; and more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Microsoft is hoping that the Windows Phone 8.1's built-in capabilities will help its newest operating system catch the eye of security-driven U.S. government agencies, which are under pressure to adopt mobile-enabled work styles.

Rick Engle, Microsoft's principal Windows technology specialist, wrote a blog post aimed at combating the belief that increased mobility means increased risk by highlighting the various ways Windows Phone 8.1 secures data.

Two recent reports are detailing the continuing security risks in the Android mobile operating system. One of the reports, issued by security vendor FireEye, deals with Secure Sockets Layer flaws in Android apps.

Researchers found that approximately 68 percent of the 1,000 most downloaded free applications available in the Google Play store have some form of SSL-related security risk.

What's more, in a paper released by University of California at Riverside and University of Michigan researchers detailed how they could attack Gmail on Android with a 92 percent success rate.

Microsoft will announce the availability of Windows 9 at the end of September, with a preview version available soon after that. While this is promising news, some observers contend that Windows 9 can't come too soon since problems with Windows 8.1 continue to pile up.

Some of the upgrades intended to make Windows 8.1 more palatable to corporate users have apparently been shelved. Furthermore, the canceled update to 8.1 still shows up on some Windows Update screens, but then fails to download and install.

Community Health Systems disclosed that hackers have breached its health care network and stolen sensitive information on approximately 4.5 million patients. This is just one example of an alarming trend in the health care industry.

Over the past 10 months, security firm Websense has seen attacks on health care-related firms increase by 600 percent. Carl Leonard, senior manager of security research for the company, said that he hopes this figure is a wake-up call for health care industry that it needs to implemented stronger data protection.


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