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The role of the public library has evolved over time. As we move online at an even faster rate, knowledge, entertainment and opportunities for education and employment are found on the internet. Those living in well-connected, affluent places may have come to take internet access for granted. But there is a digital divide in the U.S. that has left people at a disadvantage – particularly since the arrival of COVID-19.

Finding ways to overcome that divide in a sustainable, community-led way could help bring the benefits of the internet to those who need it most. One solution is to use technologies such as TV white space to facilitate wireless broadband – as Microsoft's Airband Initiative is doing. To read more about Microsoft's work with public libraries, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Microsoft has been looking at ways its technology and resources can help address some of the challenges journalism faces, and the company shared some of the initial work. It includes a new community-based pilot program that looks at ways to provide journalists and newsrooms new tools, technology and capacity, and expand reach for local news outlets. It also includes a new pro bono program, also in pilot form, to provide legal support to journalists and smaller newsrooms, and an expansion of AccountGuard to help protect journalists from cyberattacks. The company will build on top of work already under way by Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Defending Democracy team that's designed to tackle issues such as disinformation. To read more about the Journalism Initiative, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Microsoft took action to disrupt a botnet called Trickbot, one of the world's most infamous botnets and prolific distributors of ransomware.

As the United States government and independent experts have warned, ransomware is one of the largest threats to the upcoming elections. Adversaries can use ransomware to infect a computer system used to maintain voter rolls or report on election-night results, seizing those systems at a prescribed hour optimized to sow chaos and distrust.

Microsoft disrupted Trickbot through a court order we obtained as well as technical action we executed in partnership with telecommunications providers around the world. The company has cut off key infrastructure so those operating Trickbot will no longer be able to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already dropped into computer systems.

In addition to protecting election infrastructure from ransomware attacks, the action will protect a wide range of organizations including financial services institutions, government agencies, healthcare facilities, businesses and universities from the various malware infections Trickbot enabled.

To read more about Microsoft's action against Trickbot and ransomware, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Watch this interview from our UN General Assembly partner, Microsoft:

How do we build a more sustainable, inclusive, and fairer future as we recover from COVID-19? At this year's #UN75, Microsoft President Brad Smith chatted with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

Watch: Tolu Olubunmi in conversation with World Food Programme's Enrica Porcari about how digital technology is the flexible backbone of humanitarian response.

This content is brought to you by our 2020 UN General Assembly partner, Microsoft.

Watch UN Innovation Room conversations weekly on Thursdays at 9 am EDT through October 15th: https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream/

#gzeroWithMicrosoft #UNGA #UN75

Microsoft has detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the upcoming presidential election. The company has and will continue to defend democracy against these attacks through notifications of such activity to impacted customers, security features in our products and services, and legal and technical disruptions. The activity announced makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election as had been anticipated, and is consistent with what the U.S. government and others have reported. To read the details from the report, go to Microsoft On The Issues.

Watch: Tolu Olubunmi in conversation with Dr. Samira Asma from the World Health Organization on how they are advancing health data innovation in the age of COVID-19.

This content is brought to you by our 2020 UN General Assembly partner, Microsoft.

Watch UN Innovation Room conversations weekly on Thursdays at 9 am EDT: https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream/

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Microsoft released a new annual report, called the Digital Defense Report, covering cybersecurity trends from the past year. This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware. Given the leap in attack sophistication in the past year, it is more important than ever that steps are taken to establish new rules of the road for cyberspace: that all organizations, whether government agencies or businesses, invest in people and technology to help stop attacks; and that people focus on the basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies, and, especially, enabling multi-factor authentication. Microsoft summarized some of the most important insights in this year's report, including related suggestions for people and businesses.

Read the whole post and report at Microsoft On The Issues.

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