Here are some of the technology stories that caught our eye today:
Tami Reller, CFO of the Windows business unit at Microsoft, officially announced that Windows 8.1, also known as Windows Blue, will be available as a free update to existing Windows 8 or RT users. The update currently doesn't have a scheduled release date, though Reller said that Microsoft would like to have 8.1 preloaded on computers in time for the holiday season. People attending the Microsoft Build Conference next month will get a preview version.
Check Point announced that their Threat Emulation Software Blade recently detected a new phishing and bot attack that targeted employees at several organizations. The attacks were discovered before anti-virus vendors made new signatures available; since the malware was an evolved version of a previously known exploit, its cryptographic hash was unknown to anti-virus software. Once it was detected, the Blade uploaded information to the Check Point ThreatCloud, which updated antivirus signatures for all Check Point customers.
VMware and Verizon Enterprise Solutions announced today that VMware’s dual persona solution, Horizon Mobile, is now available on Verizon’s LG Intuition and Motorola RAZR M smartphones. The software creates a virtualized version of the Android on the phone, which is completely separate from the employee’s data and settings, allowing IT organizations to remotely manage and secure their workspace.
Adobe released numerous critical security fixes yesterday for ColdFusion, Reader, Acrobat, and Flash Player. The security updates fix 13 flaws in Flash for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Adobe Air, two flaws in ColdFusion, and 27 flaws in Acrobat and Reader. Adobe particularly urged Flash users on Windows to install the updates as soon as possible, since the company believes exploits for the vulnerabilities patched in these updates will start to circulate in a few days.
After last week’s advance notification, Microsoft released their next Patch Tuesday batch of updates. The updates are for Windows, Office, Lync, .NET Framework, and Windows Essentials. Microsoft also patched the “nuke-bug” flaw in Internet Explorer 8, which targeted federal government employees earlier this month.
Yesterday, McAfee introduced LiveSafe, a consumer cloud product that offers 1 GB of online storage, and uses biometric authentication (facial and vocal) on computers with Intel processors that have antitheft and identity-protection features built-in to the chip. Otherwise, users enter a PIN to access their data.