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Contributor:
Andrew Avanessian
May 13th, 2017

WannaCry Ransomware goes global

On Friday, a cyber attack on an unprecedented scale struck a wide range of organizations in over 99 countries across the globe. The ransomware attack, known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt0r shut down IT systems in NHS hospitals and GP surgeries in the UK as well as many large global organizations including Telefonica, FedEx and Renault.

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Active Directory Group Policy and WMI Filters

The scope of a Group Policy Object (GPO) can be controlled with WMI filters, based on criteria such as operating system version or hardware specifications. A WMI filter consists of one or more queries, and if all queries evaluate to true then the GPO linked to the filter will be applied.

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Windows 7 sees Increase in Malware Infection Rate

Windows XP is deemed ‘good enough’ by many, but the fact is that it’s four to five times more vulnerable to malware infection than Windows 7. While this is mainly due to improved security defenses, including least privilege security implemented with the help of User Account Control (UAC), that’s not to say we should be complacent when using Windows 7.

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Privilege Guard 2.7 and Enhanced UAC Integration

Privilege Guard (Edit: now Defendpoint) first introduced UAC (User Account Control) integration in version 2.5, which enables rules to be defined that trigger when an application requires administrator privileges in order to run. Further enhancements to the UAC rule in version 2.7 now allow you to elevate applications that may trigger UAC after the application has already launched. For instance, disk defragmenter and task manager are two applications that launch with standard user rights and only trigger UAC when the user attempts to perform an operation that requires administrator privileges.

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Curated Computing Promises a More Secure Future on the Desktop

While Windows owes much of its success to its flexibility and ease of use, a new computing model, chiefly heralded by Apple in the consumer space, is changing the proposition value for end users.

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Installing Device Drivers as a Standard User on Windows 7

One of the most common reasons cited for granting administrative privileges to notebook users on Windows is the need to install drivers for new hardware when IT support isn’t available. Happily, Windows 7 has improved driver handling and it’s likely that when a new device is connected, it will either be supported out-of-the-box, i.e. a driver for the device is included with Windows 7, or a driver will be automatically downloaded from Windows Update and pre-staged into the driver store (c:windowssystem32driverstore) so it can be installed by a standard user.

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