It was another pretty quiet week in technology, which is probably why my newsletter, The Extra Mighell, is full of goats running wild and episodes of The Office appearing in Slack (you have to see it to understand it). But there were two stories that I think are important for lawyers, so here goes:
The Thunderspy who Hacked Me
If you own a Windows or Linux computer manufactured before 2019, take note: your computer might be at risk. A Dutch research identified an attack that targets the thunderbolt port installed in literally millions of computers. Called Thunderspy, the attack can bypass the login screen of a sleeping or locked computer, and even hard disk encryption, to gain full access to your computer – and all within 5 minutes. That’s the bad news. The good news is that 1) it won’t work against Macs that are running MacOS; and 2) it requires physical access to the computer. So unless your laptop is stolen and out of your possession for more than 5 minutes, you should be okay. If you’re paranoid, this article from Ars Technica will hopefully calm your fears, as well as offer tools you can download and run to see if your computer is vulnerable.
Why lawyers should care. I don’t like to say it, but I am sure there are a lot of you out there whose computers not as secure as we’d like them to be. Although your computer is likely to be okay, is it worth your time to at least check it out?
Taking a STand against reply-all
It’s hard to name something people hate more about email than the evil of the Reply-All. (These days, maybe it’s failing to mute yourself on a Zoom call – you know who you are). It all starts innocently, or maybe with a complete lack of personal awareness: one person in a group email replies to another, but instead copies everyone by mistake. Someone else replies back to everyone, asking not to be copied, which results in others from the group replying back to everyone with the same message. A few years ago, the New York Times fell victim to a “Replyallpocalypse“, with what some would say were hilarious results; even further back in 2008, a Reply-All storm at the U.S. State Department resulted in an email server crash.
Finally, Microsoft to the rescue. It’s rolling out a new feature in Exchange Online that will detect and block a Reply-All storm. Initially, it will only work with emails sent to over 5,000 recipients; over time, they will tweak the feature so that it works with more of the company’s Microsoft 365 customers. See what I just said? You need to be a Microsoft 365 user to get this functionality, whenever it rolls out to your firm or company. Just another reason to get Microsoft 365.
Why lawyers should care. C’mon, who here hasn’t Replied-All when we shouldn’t have?
Take care out there, and have a great weekend.