Microsoft gains control of domains used by Iranian hackers linked to U.S. fugitive

Microsoft gains control of domains used by Iranian hackers linked to U.S. fugitive

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A U.S. court has granted Microsoft the authority to seize domain names in order to take down a phishing campaign run by a notorious group of Iranian hackers.

In a post on Microsoft’s official blog, Customer Security & Trust VP Tom Burt shared details from the now unsealed case it filed in the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C against the hacker group called Phosphorus. The group is also known under the names APT 35, Charming Kitten, and Ajax Security Team.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit was allowed to take control of 99 domains in order to stop the hackers’ attacks. Domains such as outlook-verify.net, yahoo-verify.net, and verification-live.com were being used in spear-phishing campaigns by the Iranian hackers. Read more…

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‘Minecraft’ update removes in-game references to its controversial creator

‘Minecraft’ update removes in-game references to its controversial creator

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Microsoft, which owns Minecraft, appears to be distancing itself and Minecraft from its original creator, Markus “Notch” Persson.

The latest Minecraft update to hit the Java version of the game removed a couple of references to Notch that would sometimes appear on the game’s home screen next to the title. Twitter user decrepitlab pointed these changes out on Wednesday. While we don’t know for sure why exactly Notch’s name was taken off the home screen, it’s possible that this move stems from the many questionable things he’s said online over the years.

THIS IS ON THE LATEST MINECRAFT SNAPSHOT??????? pic.twitter.com/GO1MEWKWtE

— serirei real 🌴 (@decrepitlab) March 27, 2019 Read more…

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Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups

Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups

Microsoft today announced a major expansion of its Azure IP Advantage program, which provides its Azure users with protection against patent trolls. This program now also provides customers who are building IoT solutions that connect to Azure with access to 10,000 patents to defend themselves against intellectual property lawsuits. What’s maybe most interesting here, though, […]…

Microsoft takes a stand against corporate April Fool’s jokes

Microsoft takes a stand against corporate April Fool’s jokes

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April Fool’s Day is a collectively sanctioned excuse to lie to people once every year. Tech companies, in particular, love making goofy announcements on the first day of April to celebrate, but one major industry player will sit out the annual tradition in 2019.

This year, Microsoft has strongly discouraged its employees from doing any April Fool’s stunts, at least in front of the public. The order was given by marketing exec Chris Capossela in an internal memo obtained by The Verge.

Mashable confirmed with Microsoft that the memo is indeed real.

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The rumored disc-less Xbox One S could be out by May 7

The rumored disc-less Xbox One S could be out by May 7

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Get your salt shakers out: It’s time for something that might not be true!

Microsoft’s rumored disc-less Xbox One S — or the Xbox One S All-Digital, as it will apparently be called — could be coming on May 7. That’s what Windows Central claims, citing product photos and supporting documents it received from an unnamed source.

The site’s coverage uses Photoshop mockups of the product photos in order to protect the source, so you’ll have to take their word for it. The digitally recreated console looks like you’d expect it to: an Xbox One S without the opening where a disc would go.

The disc-less Xbox One S would also reportedly pack in a bundle of download codes for three games — Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 3, and Minecraft — as well as a 1TB hard drive.  Read more…

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