Microsoft: Azure-based Sentinel security gets new analytics to spot threats in odd behavior

One year on from reaching general availability, Microsoft’s Azure-based Sentinel security system now brings new user and entity behavioral analytics to help detect unknown and insider threats faster. 

The behavioral analytics feature also gives customers another reason to send more security logs to the Azure cloud for analysis. Pay-as-you-go pricing is $2.46 per gigabyte (GB) of data analyzed by the Azure Sentinel security information and event management (SIEM) system.

Rather than customers buying their own hardware for an SIEM solution, Sentinel offers an option with no hardware setup or licensing costs. 

SEE: Hiring Kit: Computer Hardware Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)    

But while the Azure security product can be cheaper than traditional SIEM solutions, Eric Doerr, vice president of cloud security at Microsoft, told ZDNet that Sentinel is definitely not free and that customers are sometimes surprised by the cost of the cloud service after being tempted to stuff it with

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Windows 10 20H2: New build brings this bunch of bug fixes for October 2020 Update

Microsoft has released the 20H2 build number 19042.541 to the Beta and Release Preview Channels for those Insiders who are on previews of what will become the Windows 10 October 2020 Update. 

The new preview build follows last week’s 20H2 preview release when Microsoft officially named this feature update the Windows 10 October 2020 Update

Microsoft suggested that that preview, build 19042.508 (KB4571756), could be the final update before releasing 20H2 to mainstream users.

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

This new preview addresses the one known issue in build 19042.508, which stopped users launching Windows Subsystem for Linux. 

“We have fixed the issue where WSL fails to start with an ‘Element not found’ error,” said Brandon LeBlanc, a program manager for the Windows Insider Program

Internet Explorer 11 now contains a notification, warning users about the end of Adobe Flash support in 2020. Enterprise

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Microsoft secures backend server that leaked Bing data

Microsoft has suffered a rare cyber-security lapse earlier this month when the company’s IT staff accidentally left one of Bing’s backend servers exposed online.

The server was discovered by Ata Hakcil, a security researcher at WizCase, who exclusively shared his findings with ZDNet last week.

According to Hakcil’s investigation, the server is believed to have exposed more than 6.5 TB of log files containing 13 billion records originating from the Bing search engine.

The Wizcase researcher was able to verify his findings by locating search queries he performed in the Bing Android app in the server’s logs.


Image: WizCase (supplied)

Hakcil said the server was exposed online from September 10 to September 16, when he notified the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), and the server was secured again with a password.

Reached out for comment last week, Microsoft admitted to the mistake.

“We’ve fixed a misconfiguration that caused a

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Windows 10 developers: Microsoft’s Project Reunion just gained this new tool

Microsoft has released Modern Resource Technology (MRT) Core, an open-source project that supports the company’s efforts behind Project Reunion to resolve conflicts between Win32 and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. 

In May at its Build 2020 conference, Microsoft revealed Project Reunion as part of its plan to reverse errors it created with its ‘Universal Apps/One Windows platform’ from Windows 8 as the company fretted over the arrival of Apple’s iPad and gave the world its doomed Metro user interface for touchscreens. 

In May Microsoft also released WinUI 3, a modern and native UI framework for Windows 10. WinUI 3.0 is Microsoft’s next-generation user interface platform for Windows and Windows 10X, its OS for foldable PCs like the delayed Surface Neo.  

SEE: Cheat sheet: Windows 10 PowerToys (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Windows 8 was meant to bridge Win32 app development with a new OS that could run modern apps and could

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Microsoft Teams and OneNote bring these new features for remote learning

Now that Microsoft has started rolling out its new 7×7 grid view for Teams as well as virtual breakout rooms, the company is releasing new features that aim to improve ’emotional connection’ for students and teachers.

The latest Teams tools include ‘praise badges’ from the Praise app, which Microsoft suggests teachers can use to “recognize student social skills, grow emotional vocabulary, and give valuable recognition to the daily wins”. 

The badges will be available to over 230,000 education institutions that use Teams for remote and mixed learning. 

The default badges are available now in chats and class team channels, with more social-emotional learning (SEL) badges coming this month. 

Default badges include achiever, awesome, coach, courage, creative, inclusive, kind heart, leadership, optimism, problem solver, team player, and thank you. 

The SEL-focused ones include communication, critical thinking, curiosity and empathy, goal pursuit, motivation and so on. Users also have the option to

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Microsoft: Now PowerShell’s secrets tool preview supports Linux and macOS

Microsoft has released the SecretManagement Preview 3 module for its PowerShell scripting language and command-line shell to help developers manage secrets with a set of cmdlets.  

The SecretManagement Preview 3 release follows a second preview Microsoft released in March and a first preview in February. The tool is designed to help users securely manage secrets in heterogeneous cloud environments. 

However, the third preview of the SecretManagement module does contain breaking changes, so users of earlier previews will need to migrate their secrets before updating. 

SecretManagement helps users store and retrieve secrets locally in an operating system’s built-in vault, such as the Windows Credential Manager. It’s also an “orchestrator for extension vaults which perform the actual secret storage and encryption”. 

“SecretManagement is valuable in heterogeneous environments where you may want to separate the specifics of the vault from a common script which needs secrets,” explains Sydney Smith, a program manager on

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