Now, Microsoft says goodbye to common passwords

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After the LinkedIn debacle, Microsoft says it will stop users from choosing easily guessable passwords in a bid to prevent a repeat of the former’s recently resurfaced fiasco. 

Microsoft’s Alex Simons said that his firm will try to avoid the same thing happening to it by preventing users from making lazy choices in passwords. 

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Following last week's leak of 117 Million LinkedIn customer email credentials, Microsoft has detailed how it's using the leaked list and others like it to prevent Microsoft Account users from picking passwords that appear frequently in stolen data.

Microsoft will soon launch a new Azure Active Directory (AD) feature that will let admins stop users from picking easily-guessed passwords. Microsoft will roll out the feature to over 10 million Azure AD tenants in coming months. 

IT admins will have the ability to lock down corporate email accounts automatically if the username and password for those accounts match credentials in a newly-leaked list.

Microsoft runs the list of compromised credentials through a system that compares hashes of the passwords with those stored with live accounts. If it identifies an at-risk account, Microsoft locks it and prompts the user to verify their identity and reset their password. This capability will be available with Azure AD users.

Andrew Tang, service director of security at MTI said that there is very little risk with the initiative.
“We are trusting Microsoft to store and secure that password, as it will need to be check every time it's used.  Like all other systems, it's just an algorithm to check how the password is structured.”


1.4 billion yen stolen in japan atm heist

In Japan an international credit card fraud has come to light in which about 1.44 billion yen or more than $13 million was illegally withdrawn with forged credit cards from 1,400 automated teller machines in convenience stores around the country.

The cash was withdrawn within a space of 5 am to 8 am by more than 100 burglars on May 15. The time chosen avoided immediate detection of criminals.

The thieves apparently went to ATMs like those found in 7-11s across Japan and swiped 1,600 counterfeit South African credit cards, created using information from cards issued by South Africa's Standard Bank. Since the money machines would only let them take about $900 at a time, the hackers made thousands of withdrawal.

Suspecting the involvement of international criminal organization, the police are planning to cooperate with overseas investigative organizations.

According to Reuters Africa, Standard Bank is estimating its total losses at 300 million rand ($19 million). The bank said none of its customers will suffer the losses from the international fraud scheme.

The ATMs are in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka, Fukuoka and other prefectures.

Police intend to identify the suspects by analyzing the images recorded by security cameras. They also plan to examine how the credit card data was leaked, in cooperation with the South African authorities via Interpol.

The fraud came to light following a report from a bank that installed some of the ATMs.

The heist comes as credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard are trying to move world markets toward uniform acceptance of chip-based cards, which are considered less vulnerable to fraud than magnetic stripe cards.

This document explains why Apple’s Irish data centre is so important to the company (AAPL)

apple data centre

A senior director at Apple tried to convince people in Ireland this week to support a gigantic server farm that it wants to build in the middle of an Irish forest.

Robert Sharpe, senior director of global data centre services at Apple, provided evidence to an oral hearing that is taking place in Galway County this week, according to a document obtained by Business Insider.

Local reports suggest that over 100 people have attended the hearing, which began on Tuesday.

In his "opening statement" (which can be read in full at the end of this article), Sharpe explains that the €850 million (£649 million) data centre is vital to Apple's future expansion plans across Europe.

Sharpe opens his statement with the following:

Around the world, use of the internet continues to grow rapidly; annual global internet traffic is expected to treble over the next three years and more than quadruple over the next five years.

Apple is experiencing huge demand for our hugely popular services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud; every day our data centres handle tens of billions of messages, more than a billion photos, and tens of millions of FaceTime video calls.

Our customers expect to be able to stream their videos and listen to their music wherever they happen to be and they have the highest expectations in terms of speed, responsiveness, reliability and quality.

We currently have a number of active devices in use and this number continues to grow.

Apple needs to add data centre capacity on a phased basis to provide the necessary processing and storage resources needed to meet this growing number of devices as well as the increased use of current and future devices.

The facility would be built in phases over the next 10-15 years. It would include eight data halls — each containing thousands of servers — and could even make Apple Ireland's single largest energy consumer.

"Derrydonnell forest, the site of the proposed development, offers a combination of factors that make it uniquely attractive for a data centre," Sharpe said. "It is a large site, currently used for commercial forestry, which sits extremely close to two major high voltage power transmission lines in an area rich in renewable energy resources.

"The site presents us with an ideal opportunity to develop a very large, sustainable data centre, which meets our projected needs over the next 10 to 15 years. The woodland will enable us to make the site largely invisible beyond the site and we are able to improve the overall biodiversity of the site by increasing the proportion of native broadleaf trees."

The oral hearing comes after Irish planning body An Bord Pleanála received a number of objections from individuals and organisations in relation to the proposed development.

Objections range from the impact the data centre will have on local populations of bats and badgers to flooding impact on a neighbouring golf course. Some complainants have also questioned why Apple chose this particular site when there are other sites in Ireland that have been designated for data centre use.

Apple's planning application, which was approved by Galway County Council, is for just one of the eight data centre buildings. It would have to reapply each time it wants to build another data hall.

Business Insider visited the proposed site in February and found the majority of local residents were in favour of the proposed development.

Here's the full document:

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NOW WATCH: Your iPhone is disgusting — here are the 3 best ways to clean it


This place gets struck by lightning more than anywhere else on Earth

Off the coast of Venezuela, where the Caribbean Sea narrows into the Catacumbo River and empties into Lake Maracaibo, lightning strikes with astounding frequency.

catumbo lightning

A new study used 16 years of NASA satellite data to measure lightning activity all over the globe and crowned this spot the lightning capital of the world.

SEE ALSO: Lightning strikes here more than any place on Earth

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Lake Maracaibo has so many nighttime thunderstorms that sailors used its lightning as a lighthouse in the 1800s.

Thunderstorms form over the lake 300 days per year, making it one of the stormiest places on Earth.

Source: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society blog

In the study, the researchers found that, on average, 233 lightning flashes strike per square kilometer every year.

See the rest of the story at Tech Insider

RANKED: The 37 hottest pre-IPO ad tech startups of 2016

Shawn Riegsecker

The ad tech IPO market has dried up in the last 18 months. Public ad tech stocks have fallen 13% this year.

But the private ad tech market is still bustling. Plenty of ad tech companies are getting snapped up by larger firms, raising VC money (although, admittedly, some of the rounds aren't as big as they used to be), or simply steadily growing their businesses quarter-on-quarter.

Three of the companies on last year's ad tech startup ranking have since been acquired.

This ranking (and, yes, we were debating whether to lose the "pre-IPO" headline) looks at the hottest private ad tech companies right now.

Our data comes from CrunchBase, LinkedIn, our own reporting, that of other business publications, and the advice of a handful of ad tech industry insiders.

Our ranking takes into account: Revenues, headcount, venture funding, recent news, whispers, and reputation. Last year's ranking was more weighted toward revenue, whereas this year's ranking takes into account more metrics than revenue alone. (One company in the list is even pre-revenue!)

See our methodology at the end.

37. Taykey: Backing from Eric Schmidt

CEO: Amit Avner

Employees: 100+

Estimated revenues: $10 million, according to Forbes

Total funding to date: $32 million

Comment: Taykey made two senior hires recently: Yaron Waxman as its new VP of product (previously CPO at Showbox), and former Criteo marketer Jon Nevitt as its VP of marketing.

The company, which tracks trends for marketers among their desired audiences, has backing from big-name investors including Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors, SoftBank Capital, and Sequioa Capital.

36. Sharethrough: Expanding into native video

CEO: Dan Greenberg

Employees: 170

Estimated revenues: We estimate between $30 million and $40 million net

Total funding to date: $28 million

Comments: Sharethrough is a San Francisco-based company that specializes in programmatic native advertising.

The company says it doubled the amount of video impressions served through its exchange in 2015. Sharethrough also launched a product called "video view ads," which it describes as "the first autoplaying in-feed native video product for the open web."


35. Accordant Media: Double-digit revenue growth

CEO: Art Muldoon

Employees: 70

Estimated revenues: We estimate between $50 million to $60 million net

Total funding to date: $1.4 million angel investment

Comment: Accordant is a media buying and optimization company for agencies and in-house brand marketers. The company has offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and it expanded into London last year.

Accordant claims it has achieved a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 65%. The company has appeared in the Inc 5000 rank of the fastest-growing companies two years in a row.


See the rest of the story at Tech Insider