Microsoft Not Impacted by Heartbleed Vulnerability

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Posted by: Tracey Pretorius, Director, Trustworthy Computing

On April 8, 2014, security researchers announced a flaw in the OpenSSL encryption software library used by many websites to protect customers’ data. The vulnerability, known as “Heartbleed,” could potentially allow a cyberattacker to access a website’s customer data along with traffic encryption keys.

After a thorough investigation, Microsoft determined that Microsoft Account, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Yammer and Skype, along with most Microsoft Services, are not impacted by the OpenSSL “Heartbleed” vulnerability. Windows’ implementation of SSL/TLS is also not impacted. A few Services continue to be reviewed and updated with further protections.

Microsoft always encourages its customers to be vigilant with the security of their online accounts, change their account passwords periodically and to use complex passwords. More information on how to create strong passwords is available here: Microsoft Security & Safety Center: Create strong passwords.

The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

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Mashable Team, 4/10/14

An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years.

But it hasn’t always been clear which sites have been affected. Mashable reached out some of the most popular social, email, banking and commerce sites on the web. We’ve rounded up their responses below.

See Full Article and List of Sites Affected

What you need to know about Heartbleed

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PC Mike

PC Mike

Written by APRIL 10, 2014 in Gadgets and GearNews

Here we go. Another online security alert, reports of widespread personal information vulnerability, dire warnings, alleged security breaches at the biggest websites around and a general the-sky-is-warning panic by the Media.

It’s all about something called the Heartbleed bug, a wide-reaching security vulnerability in the SSL (Secure Socket Library) computer code used to secure something like 20%  - or one in five – of the websites on the Internet. The sites with SSL start with https://, not the normal http://.  Not all https:// sites are or were vulnerable. But all sites that were do start with the https:// prefix.

According to CNET, an attacker can exploit Heartbleed to essentially “get copies of a server’s digital keys then use that to impersonate servers or to decrypt communications from the past or potentially the future, too.”

The problem is, the flaw has  been exploitable for at least two years, and it was only discovered Monday. Nobody knows for sure whether hackers have been quietly stealing personal information for months. Some compromised Yahoo! accounts have had passwords lifted, according to reports.

What we do know is this security hole is potentially one of the most serious yet.

This is if you went away on a six month vacation and forgot to lock the back door to your house. If a burglar went tsnooping around and tried it, well, they could take anything because they’d have access.

That’s why so many normally staid security experts are sweating bullets. This security flaw is as big as they get. Tens of thousand of websites who used SSL to handle the user names, passwords, credit card numbers and more of millions of people have been at risk. Their back doors were open.

Full Article


Comcast Worst Company in America

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BY NICK VENABLE  2014-04-08 14:14:07\

In this population, we are all undeniably individuals, but one self-evident truth among most of us is that our cable and/or satellite providers are total crap. It’s bad weather knocking the dish out of service, or sports games blacked out, or pricing spikes without any rewarding blowback for consumers. And it turns out Comcast customers may be the most outspoken of us all, as the Philadelphia mega-corporation has taken the top prize in Consumerist’s Worst Company in America poll, earning it the coveted Golden Poo award. It should look great on the shelf next to the one they won back in 2010, since this definitely isn’t Comcast’s first rage-filled rodeo. Comcast is only the second repeat winner in the poll’s nine-year history, with the catastrophe-plagued Electronic Arts taking the Poo in both 2012 and 2013. But E.A. was button mashed right out of the competition in the first round by none other than Time Warner Cable, the company that Comcast is trying so desperately to buy out and merge with. Even though the acquisition – should it go through on Wednesday, April 9 – isn’t expected to drastically affect cable subscribers across the nation, one has to wonder if it would have affected this poll had the merger taken place a week ago. 

Full Article

Congratulations Emily Hay on the Birth of Ainsley McKenna!

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Ainsley McKenna

Ainsley McKenna


Emily and Niall Hay

Emily and Niall Hay

Call the Midwife!








We are delighted to announce the birth of Ainsley McKenna to our Social Media expert Emily Hay and her husband Niall.

She was born 4/5/14 6lbs, 20 inches, 18 days early!

Windows 8.1 Update Highlights

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Warning: The following review of the changes in Windows 8.1 is accurate but delivered in a cynical and tired manner that is disappointing from a seasoned Windows watcher.  Take the information but leave the attitude.

The Internet Advisors
By Woody Leonhard on April 2, 2014 in Top Story

The soon-to-be-released Windows 8.1 Update brings minor improvements that favor those using a mouse — in other words, most Win8 users.

Anyone currently on Windows 8.1 will want the update; those who still haven’t made the Modern plunge won’t be impressed.

Microsoft gives Windows 8 another “tweak”

I know it’s hard to believe, but Microsoft released Windows 8.1 just this past October. At the time, that version seemed like a desperate attempt to placate traditional mouse users — essentially every Windows user without a touch screen — who balked at the full-screen–centric, tile-based, “Modern” UI. (For more on Win8.1′s key features, see the Sept. 19, 2013, Top Story, “Touring through the final Windows 8.1.”)

Some of the folks in Redmond genuinely felt that Version 8.1 would compel the hordes of recalcitrant Windows 7 users to download the new OS — and live happily ever after in the new Windows paradigm. That mass migration to Windows 8 never happened; customers had something to say about the update — and, for the most part, the words weren’t kind.

How, you might ask, could Microsoft expect to pull the flaming Windows 8 experience out of the fire just five months after releasing its best attempt at mouse mollification? The answer’s quite simple: it doesn’t. I think Windows 8.1 Update is a stopgap measure designed to help slow the unprecedented decline in PC sales. While the ‘Softies might be hopeful, they aren’t naive. They’re banking on something better in Windows 9 — and so should we.

Click Here for Full Article


Malwarebytes Pro to Support XP Indefinitely

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Worried about losing Windows XP security updates after April 7th? MalwareBytes commits to continue antivirus support for Windows XP, if you purchase the Pro version (which I think is still $25) .

2012 EdEd Rudel



Malwarebytes commits to lifetime support for XP users

Microsoft Offers $100 to Switch from XP (while supplies last)

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Tim Thewes, GM at Microsoft’s flagship store in Troy’s Somerset Collection announced a $100 offer to Win XP owners willing to switch to another platform.Make your way to the Microsoft Store in Troy for your deal.  Remember, this is good when you upgrade to any device with Win 8.1 from any manufacturer and includes free data transfer.

Click to hear special XP Switch offer.


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spring-cleaningThe snow is starting to melt and everyone wants to start spring cleaning, no? If you are a small business owner, spring is a GREAT time to clean up your social media profiles – just in time for the busy summer and fall seasons.  

So what’s a small business owner to do?  Our experts at Hay There Social Media are here with Nine Tips to Spring Clean Your Social Media Profiles. Tidy up Twitter, freshen up Facebook and polish your Pinterest:

Here we go!  Full Story

Microsoft reportedly planning Windows 9 release in April 2015

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By Tom Warren  @tomwarren The Verge

Microsoft is currently working on an “Update 1″ for Windows 8.1, but the company has bigger plans for the future of Windows as part of a “Threshold” wave of updates. Windows watcher Paul Thurrott reports that the company’s Threshold plans will involve a release of Windows 9 around April 2015. Microsoft will allegedly unveil its vision for Windows 9 at the company’s Build 2014 developer conference in April, with a release planned for a year later.

Full Story

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