Security, Resumes and Buildings: What’s New With Microsoft
No month is ever a quiet month for Microsoft. News and reports constantly swirl around the tech giant, but what’s important to know? Here are a few summaries of the top stories.
Security Gap in Microsoft Word being Exploited by Hackers
It appears that even the humble word processor is not immune to being used for nefarious means. Microsoft recently made public a security breach in its Word software that has actually been there for a whopping 17 years. As of now, attackers have been targeting Russian speakers with the age-old tactic of a spam email embedded with a Word document attachment containing a virus. Once the document is opened, the malware spreads and gives the hackers access to the user’s system. It may not be long before English speakers are targeted as well.
“[Hackers] are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities to exploit and use them for malware campaigns like this,” said Fortinet researchers Jasper Manual and Joie Salvio. “This goes both for new and old vulnerabilities, whether they have been published or not. We frequently see malware campaigns that exploit vulnerabilities that have been patched for months or even years. This may have come from an assumption that there are still a significant number of users out there that don’t take software updates seriously, which sadly, is far too often the case.”
The importance of updating Microsoft Office is not to be underestimated. A patch for the security breach has been issued, but as the Fortinet researchers discussed, many Microsoft users ignore update prompts and continue to use the software, oblivious to the malware concerns. As this digital guide states, malware comes in many shapes and forms and it can understandably be hard to keep track of them all. However, the advice often remains the same: install a trustworthy anti-virus program and don’t click on suspicious emails, even if it appears to be from a brand you use (VISA, PayPal, MasterCard, etc.).
Microsoft Teams Up With LinkedIn for Resume Assistant Tool
In other Word news, Microsoft is starting to make use of the $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn back in June 2016. Bryan Goode, the general manager of Microsoft’s Office 365, briefly stated the reason why the two companies were working together: “The common theme we kept hearing is people were staying in their jobs just to avoid updating their resume,” he said. This goes to show that Microsoft aims to make updating your CV a whole lot easier with the Resume Assistant. The tool can advise you on tailoring your CV more specifically to your desired career path, but also provide you with info on new job posts on LinkedIn.
Big Changes for Microsoft Headquarters
Microsoft has begun plans to update its main headquarters in Redmond, Washington, with a multibillion-dollar refurbishment. The overhaul will take roughly five to seven years, with the equivalent of 180 football fields being expanded to the already-massive campus. It’s said that the space is to make room for at least 8,000 new employees, in addition to new collaboration and recreational areas. Microsoft plans to keep with the office trend of a more open and shared work environment. With the company growing exponentially every year, this should come as no surprise to anyone.
“We’ve focused on the cultural transformation of the company. We want to create a workspace that supports the culture we are creating,” says President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith. “A workspace that encourages people to be creative, to work with each other and to learn from each other.”
Stay tuned for more Microsoft updates in the future.