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A new experience for reporting copyright or trademark infringement on Microsoft Services

March 3rd, 2021 No comments

The Notice of Copyright or Trademark Infringement Portal has helped protect Microsoft’s users and customers from intellectual property infringement across online services like Microsoft Azure, Office, Outlook, Skype, Stream, Microsoft News, Sway, Hotmail, NuGet, and Yammer. Microsoft’s response to claims of intellectual property infringement is driven by the reports you send us. To further enhance your …

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Weekend Reading: Dec. 20th Edition–‘Biggest holiday season yet’ for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps

December 20th, 2013 No comments

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the momentum building behind Windows Store and Windows Phone Store app downloads, how Bing broke out of the (search) box in 2013 and a Microsoft researcher who uses data to power his predictions.

Buoyed by new gift cards and other promotions, as well as the “biggest holiday season yet,” app development for the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store is going strong. “We’re already seeing momentum build with the (Windows) Store surpassing 12 million transactions per day and Windows Phone Store surpassing 200,000 apps,” writes Todd Brix on the Windows Phone Developers Blog, who encouraged developers to finish and update apps to meet these demands. “Taking into consideration the Microsoft and partner promotions and consumer purchase of Microsoft and Xbox gift cards in retail locations, we are forecasting over $100 million to be available for consumers to buy apps and games this holiday season across 100 retailers in 41 markets.” Some apps and games we highlighted this week include the NORAD Tracks Santa apps, the Staff App Pick: American Airlines and LiveATC, the Amtrak app, Phriz.be, the Gameloft Games collection, “Girls Like Robots,” “Subway Surfers,” “Nemo’s Reef,” Zinio, “Avengers Alliance,” Viber, “Catan” and “Riptide GP2.” To show that you don’t have to be a professional developer to get in on the action, small business owner Holly Shore created her mobile app within hours with Windows Phone App Studio.

In 2013, Bing broke out of the search box. It evolved to power a wider range of services and devices than ever, from voice search in Xbox One to Siri’s Web search results. In Windows 8.1, you can use the Search Charm to explore your files, Web results and more with a single query. Third-party developers can now benefit from Bing technology, including optical character recognition, translation, maps and voice controls, using the new Bing Developer Center. These are just some of the many ways Bing redefined search in this breakout year. You can also check out this infographic for some surprising 2013 stats.

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Microsoft researcher David Rothschild is legendary for his ability to literally predict the future using a unique and rigorous approach to data analysis. He correctly called the results of the 2012 presidential election in every state but one. He nailed 19 of the 24 Oscar categories this past year. And he’s constantly pushing the boundaries of predictive science through experimental live polling, online prediction games and more. In this interview, David Rothschild tells you what to expect in 2014, breaks down his forecasting philosophy, and explains why you should trust professional gamblers more than cable news pundits.

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On Wednesday, University of Colorado Health (UCHealth), one of the state’s largest healthcare providers, announced its migration to Microsoft Office 365. This decision was made in large part due to Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to data security and privacy and because the company supports HIPAA requirements beyond what other vendors provide. Microsoft was the first major IT cloud provider to offer a comprehensive, peer-reviewed Business Associate Agreement (BAA) for all of its customers. The BAA, and its subsequent updates to reflect new product offerings and changes in the law, has been widely accepted within the industry as a best practice, and has helped Microsoft establish itself as a trusted healthcare data steward.

Consumers found big savings on Xbox 360 games, adds-ons, avatars and more with the “Countdown to 2014” daily deals from the Xbox Game Store that began Tuesday, Dec. 17. In addition to those great deals, we saw the debut of the Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps for in the Windows Phone Store. Windows Phone 8 is the only phone that offers Xbox Video support this holiday season, which means you can buy and download favorite movies and TV shows from the Xbox Video service and watch them wherever you go. Use your Xbox Music Pass to stream from a catalog of tens of millions of songs using the Xbox Music service. Also, you can use the Verizon FiOS TV app now on Xbox One and Snap View to watch two programs at the same time.

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we helped out last-minute shoppers with eight tech gifts that won’t break the bank and five no-stress downloadable gifts.

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Thanks for stopping by this edition of Weekend Reading. Happy holidays, wherever you are!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Skype security tips

October 4th, 2011 No comments

You might have heard that Microsoft is in the process of buying Skype, the popular Internet video and voice communications company. We thought this would be a good time to show you how to be more secure and help protect your privacy when you use Skype.

Here are our top tips:

  1. Adjust your privacy settings to fit your needs. To update your settings on a Windows computer, open Skype and click Tools > Options > Privacy.
  2. Protect your Skype account with a strong password. Use at least 8 characters and a mix of symbols, numbers, and letters. Get more tips on creating strong passwords.
  3. Beware of fake emails. Cybercriminals often send fake emails that appear to come from legitimate companies (like Microsoft and Skype.) Neither Microsoft nor Skype will ever send an email that asks for personal information like your passwords or a credit card number.

 More information about how Skype helps protect your online safety, security, and privacy.

 

Doctor Who calling–on Skype, with malware

April 15th, 2011 Comments off

Earlier this week, I received a phone call via Skype on my laptop, the caller’s ID was “dralerthelpzc8” as in Dr Alert Help ZC8. The voice on the other end was automated, computerized and otherwise non-human, and alerted me that I had a virus that affects Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 and that I needed to visit a website to download an update. (This is somewhat similar to the situation where a live person calls and purports to being a Microsoft employee and wants to help you clean your computer. We want to point out that no Microsoft employee would ever call you in an unsolicited manner.)

I found the mystery Skype call odd on two accounts – one, I work for a security company that develops antimalware security software, and two, my Skype settings were initially set to not display if I’m online. Apparently my privacy settings had no effect on if I received a random call. More on that later.

After some checking around various forums about this ‘helpful’ (not!) voice message alert, I discovered that many people in the Skype community have also received similar phone calls. There were a lot of references to “scam” and “rogue AV scanners” so my gut feeling was not too far off at all. I did find some other forums that included screen shots that indicated a tell-tale sign that indeed, the referenced site distributed rogue software.

According to IP records, the site mentioned in the automated call (sos**.com, obfuscated intentionally) is listed as belonging to ASN 4134, aka CHINANET-BACKBONE, which has a long list of IP addresses known to distribute malicious code. I attempted to visit the site; however, it was already offline, returning an HTTP 404. There was a cached view available and it resembled a version of a fake scanner web page:

 

cached page sos**.com
Image 1 – cached page sos**.com

 

One forum displayed a screen shot, captured in March, that listed a system tray dialog that looked vaguely familiar. Below is a copy of the message text:

 

Warning errors detected

Click here to view errors list.
Remove this errors as soon as possible to prevent
data lost and privacy information exposure

 

This error message was also used by Trojan:Win32/FakeSpyguard in 2008. The forum mentioned that clicking on the system tray message redirects the web browser to an online purchasing site (also offline) where you can enter a CC number to purchase the (presumed to be) rogue malware.

Reviewing the sequence of events, I decided I would make changes to my Skype account to prevent future spam phone calls of this nature, for instance:

  • select ‘Allow calls from people in my Contact list only’
  • select ‘Show that I have video to people in my Contact list only’
  • select ‘Automatically receive video and screen sharing from people in my Contact list only’
  • select ‘Allow IMs from people in my Contact list only’
  • unselect ‘Allow my online status to be shown on the web’

Skype privacy settings
Image 2 – Skype privacy settings

For more articles on Skype security, visit this link on the Skype product site:
http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/security/

– Dan Nicolescu & Patrick Nolan, MMPC

Categories: guidance, rogue, scam, Skype, spam Tags: