Posted On 12 Oct 2021
Azure AD Vulnerability
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory (AAD) that allows potential threat actors to perform single-factor brute-force attacks without generating sign-in events.
AAD is Microsoft’s enterprise cloud-based identity and access management solution designed for seamless single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication. It is also a core component of Microsoft 365, with capabilities to provide authentication to other applications via OAuth.
The weakness resides in the SSO feature that allows employees to automatically sign into enterprise networks on corporate devices without using passwords. SSO can be ‘opportunistic’ in times when the sign in process fails because the login falls back to default and causes the user to re-enter their password.
While successful authentication events create sign-in logs upon sending access tokens, autologon authentication to AAD is not captured, meaning brute-force attacks occur undetected.
Chromebook Demand is Down
The global COVID-19 pandemic may not be over but there is a significant deceleration in laptop sales. Trendforce, the market research firm, has stated in a new report that increased vaccination rates and decreased work from home options is causing the demand for Chromebooks to slide over 50%. In fact, notebook shipments for the remainder of the year are expected to see increased demand shifts.
Shipments are predicted to fall by 10-20% from the first half of 2021 to the second half, but the news is not all downhill. Thirty-six million Chromebooks are expected to ship by year end 2021. The United States FCC recently released the Emergency Connectivity Fund ($7.17 billion) to facilitate the purchase of notebooks, tablets, and network connectivity devices by schools and libraries. Laptop shipments are also expected to get a boost from people upgrading to Intel’s next-gen CPU and Windows 11.
Next year it is predicted that vaccinations will be more prevalent and laptop shipments will decrease 7-8% year on year. Though the trendline points downward, it is still important to note these numbers are an improvement over 2019, ahead of the pandemic.