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Microsoft wants to block macros in Office apps again Microsoft wants to block macros in Office apps again

Software

Microsoft wants to block macros in Office apps again

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Microsoft has confirmed that it will soon begin blocking Visual Basic Applications (VBA) macros in Office applications by default, although it removed such blocking in early July. The tech giant said the new wave of lockdowns will start on July 27th.

Microsoft wants to block macros in Office apps again

The company previously paused the rollout of the macro blocking feature, citing user requests, as the blocks affected a number of automation tasks.

The company clarified that it has suspended the blocking and is simultaneously trying to improve the usability of macros as part of the new requirements. In particular, there are new step-by-step instructions that explain how the Office system determines whether to block or run macros, which versions of Office are affected by the new rules, how to allow VBA macros to run in trusted files, and how to prepare for changes.

Disabling macros by default was announced back in February, which should reduce the vulnerability of many systems. After all, viruses often use VBA code to infiltrate the system. This has been previously confirmed by antivirus companies such as ESET.

Macro blocking is planned for all Office products, including Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word. As for operating systems, we are talking about Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

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Software

Google releases urgent Chrome update

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Google releases urgent Chrome update

Google has released an extraordinary update to its proprietary Chrome browser for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Google releases urgent Chrome update

Chrome update number 104.0.5112.101 (for macOS and Linux) and 104.0.5112.102/101 for Windows is intended to fix a serious zero-day vulnerability CVE-2022-2856, which was used by attackers in attacks.

Vulnerabilities have been assigned a high severity level. It was discovered by Ashley Shen and Christian Resell of the Threat Intelligence team at Google. The vulnerability allows malicious sites to execute arbitrary code on a user’s computer. This is the fifth zero-day vulnerability in Chrome discovered in 2022.

In addition, the update fixes 10 more security vulnerabilities ranging from “critical” to “medium”.

Google notes that the Chrome update will automatically roll out to users in the coming days/weeks. However, you can install the update manually right away by simply going to the Chrome menu > Help > About Google Chrome.

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Phones

Android 13 fixes over 150 bugs on Pixel smartphones

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Android 13 fixes over 150 bugs on Pixel smartphones

Recently, Google unexpectedly released the final version of the Android 13 OS, which became available for Pixel smartphones. And, it seems, the owners of such devices should install it now.

Android 13 fixes over 150 bugs on Pixel smartphones

It turned out that in Android 13, the search giant fixed a huge number of bugs that existed in Pixel smartphones. More specifically, the list includes 151 issues that Google has fixed in the update.

In particular, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have a much better in-display fingerprint scanner, the slowness of which many have complained about. We also fixed the issue with double-tap to wake up the screen, Always-On Display, auto-brightness, auto-rotate the screen, and more. Users of the new Pixels say that smartphones have simply become faster and more stable.

As a reminder, Android 13 is available for Google models starting with the Pixel 4 line.

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Software

iOS has a VPN issue that Apple is aware of but won’t fix

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iOS has a VPN issue that Apple is aware of

Network security specialist Michael Horowitz reported problems with VPN on iOS. As it turns out, the operating system does not completely pass network traffic through the virtual private network, which is a potential security issue. The manufacturer has known about this for years, but does nothing.

iOS has a VPN issue that Apple is aware of but won't fix

According to the expert, it seems that everything is working, because the third-party VPN provides a new IP address, DNS servers and a tunnel for traffic. However, sessions and connections established before the VPN is enabled do not switch to the encrypted channel, but function in parallel with it.

iOS has a VPN issue that Apple is aware of but won't fix

The problem is confirmed by a report from May 2020, when specialists discovered the same situation. As evidence, Horowitz cited a screenshot where an iPad connected to a VPN transmits data to both its main VPN provider (37.19.214.1) and Apple Push (17.57.144.12). Thus, there is a potential leak that will reveal the user’s real network address, which can lead to problems. Horowitz tested the system with several types of VPNs, including WireGuard, but the problem remained there.

According to Swiss-based Proton, this problem occurred at least in iOS 13.3.1 and remained in newer versions of the system. In theory, connecting through a VPN should close existing connections, but this does not happen.

Later it became known that Apple added a Kill Switch feature to block existing connections, but this feature does not seem to work or only partially works. According to the source, the problem is relevant for those users who live in conditions of total surveillance.

By the way, Proton offered a solution – to manually close all connections before connecting to the VPN, using the “flight mode”. However, it is unlikely that many users do this. But Horowitz has not yet named any specific solution to the problem.

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