A deal on Microsoft Surface 3, Excel tips and security threats were the biggest articles on TechRepublic this week.

Young man reading a book
Image: aeroking/Adobe Stock

Too busy this week to catch all of the latest tech news? Have no fear: We’ve compiled and summarized TechRepublic’s top stories for July 28 – Aug. 4.

Get a refurbished Microsoft Surface 3 for $200

TechRepublic Academy is offering a deal on refurbished Microsoft Surface 3 tablets running Windows 10. The 64GB tablet is compatible with the Surface pen and has a 10 hour battery life. With a 10.8” ClearType Full HD Plus Display and MicroSD card reader, the Surface 3 is perfect for creative work or streaming videos.

TL;DR: While you could invest in the latest Microsoft Surface products, a refurbished Surface 3 has the speed (and the bells and whistles) of a brand-new product but at a fraction of the price. Offer available while supplies last.

How to remove and overwrite all data on a hard drive for free in Windows 11

Whether you’re reformatting a hard drive of a former employee or ready to give away an older computer, knowing how to overwrite the data on the hard drive is essential to information security. Mark Kaelin explains how to overwrite your hard drive in Windows 11 for free.

TL;DR: While this method won’t comply with the strictest security standards for overwriting sensitive data, it will work well under most conditions.

Hackers steal almost $200 million from crypto firm Nomad

Cryptocurrency software provider Nomad reported the theft of $190 million of customer cryptocurrencies via their token bridge, a tool used to swap tokens across different blockchains without the use of a third party. Token bridges have increasingly been the targets of crypto thefts over the past year, although the entire crypto market is difficult to secure.

TL;DR: Nomad hopes the White Hat hacker community will come to its aid and help return many of the assets to their rightful owners. They’ve put out a call for hackers to help by returning recovered Ethereum tokens to a wallet address at Anchorage Digital.

How to create a burndown chart in Microsoft Excel

Managing a project in Microsoft Excel? If your team hasn’t yet moved to a dedicated project management tool, you can make project tracking in Excel easier by creating a burndown chart. These charts give you a sense of how much work is left to be done for the entire project, and can give your team members a dopamine hit with those big drops.

TL;DR: Susan Harkins provides a step by step tutorial on how to build a burndown chart in Microsoft Excel. Use the demo file to practice on a sample before creating one with your own data.

New CosmicStrand rootkit targets Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards

Kaspersky has identified a new rootkit malware that has affected Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards. The malware has been detected in private individuals who reside in China, Vietnam, Iran and Russia, and it could potentially be detected by an Intrusion Detection and Prevention system.

TL;DR: Rootkit malware is especially malicious because it runs before the operating system boots up. Even if the malicious files are removed from the operating system, the corrupted rootkit will revive upon restarting. The only way to get rid of the malware is to install a new version of the firmware.