Microsoft launches new tools for building Office add-ins

Microsoft released a new set of tools on Monday to help developers make slick-looking add-ins for Office apps, at a time when the company wants to boost the ecosystem of third-party applications and services that work with its productivity suite.

The new Office UI Fabric, which was released as an open-source project on GitHub, provides a set of tools that lets developers easily make their add-ins look more like the native Office user interface. Those add-ins allow companies like Salesforce, Smartsheet and Uber to bring their apps and services into Office apps, including Outlook and Excel, across a variety of devices including PCs, Macs and iPads. 

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Tired of memorizing passwords? A Turing Award winner came up with this algorithmic trick

Passwords are a bane of life on the Internet, but one Turing Award winner has an algorithmic approach that he thinks can make them not only easier to manage but also more secure.

The average user has some 20 passwords today, and in general the easier they are to remember, the less secure they are. When passwords are used across multiple websites, they become even weaker.

Manuel Blum, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who won the Turing Award in 1995, has been working on what he calls “human computable” passwords that are not only relatively secure but also don’t require us to memorize a different one for each site. Instead, we learn ahead of time an algorithm and a personal, private key, and we use them with the website’s name to create and re-create our own unique passwords on the fly for any website at any time.

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Wikipedia blocks 381 user accounts for dishonest editing

Editors of the English version of Wikipedia have blocked 381 user accounts for editing articles on the online encyclopedia despite being secretly paid to do so by various interests.

The  editors also deleted 210 articles created by the accounts. Most of these were generally promotional in nature and were related to businesses, people in business or artists. The articles had biased information, unattributed material and potential copyright violations, the Wikimedia Foundation — which runs Wikipedia — said in a blog post Monday.

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Former Secret Service agent admits $820K Silk Road theft

A former Secret Service agent admitted Monday to stealing $820,000 worth of bitcoins from Silk Road vendors during the investigation of the online contraband market.

Shaun W. Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to money laundering and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 7, according to prosecutors.

Bridges was one of two federal investigators charged with crimes committed during the probe of the Silk Road, which was shut down in October 2013.

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Inside the head of your company’s cyber traitor

A recurring theme in cybercrime protection is ROI. It usually refers to how much effort — in terms of time and money — a thief must throw at a potential victim compared with the likely value of what could be obtained. Simply put, a thief can justify spending a lot more effort breaking into Fort Knox than stealing a six-year-old’s sweater.

But ROI has an entirely different implication in today’s cybercrime prevention efforts. The most potentially devastating players in cyberattacks are, of course, insiders: employees and contractors who have legitimate access, but can exceed that access to either engage in fraud or to help someone else who is engaging in fraud.

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