Microsoft Takes on the Fancy Bear

Microsoft is currently fighting a behind the scenes war with Russian hacking group, Fancy Bear. The American technology company filed a lawsuit against the hacking group a year ago, in 2016. Of course, the company isn’t physically persecuting the anonymous group in a court of law, but the lawsuit opened the door so Microsoft could begin hacking the group back.

Microsoft has been targeting the most vulnerable servers, that Fancy Bear rents from data centers, known as “command-and-control” points. These vulnerable points allow Microsoft to track and map the communication of the group through their own Malware. However, they do so covertly by simply taking ownership of the Microsoft spin off domain names the group uses. With this control, Fancy Bear is unaware of Microsoft’s interference, while Microsoft blocks the groups access to their victims and monitors the whole network.

In fact, the lawsuit became possible through the very use of the domain names that Fancy Bear has decided to use. The group has a history of using windows for their malware attacks and as such use domain spinoffs such as “livemicrosoft[.]net” or “rsshotmail[.]com”. The association of these domains can cause slander for Microsoft, thus granting a lawsuit by the company. Now that Microsoft has seized 70 different servers, any victim that contacts those sites will be transferred to a safe, Microsoft controlled site.

These hacks by Microsoft are generating high costs to the Fancy Bear, as it has to rebuild its infrastructure each time the group is attacked. This will hopefully slow the group down significantly, and reduce the number of attacks that Fancy Bear can complete. However, Microsoft knows this will be a long battle, and they are preparing to fight back with all they’ve got. All while keeping up with their own products as well.

Microsoft Jumps on the Better Sleep Bandwagon With Latest Windows Insider Build

Microsoft’s most recent Windows Insider build includes a lot of improvements for the platform, but users might really appreciate one in particular: a setting that helps you sleep better.


This feat is made possible through a setting that enables you to adjust the blue light coming from your PC’s display, an addition that Microsoft has tacked on to the latest Windows Insider build after seeing features and programs like Apple’s Night Shift and f.lux grow in popularity.


A lot of research has been done into the effects our PC displays can have on your eyes, and a consensus exists that blue light causes a release of melatonin into your system. That melatonin makes it difficult to fall asleep and explains why you might feel restless in bed after spending time in front of your screen.


With peers already introducing a similar feature, the onus fell on Microsoft to play catch-up. That said, the inclusion of the blue light setting is a welcome move from Microsoft, even if it came a bit later than everyone else’s implementation. More and more people are spending their evening hours looking at a Windows PC display or a Windows tablet, and the more Microsoft can do to help those people sleep well and stay efficient, the better.


Personally, I’ve been utilizing f.lux on my Windows 10 tablet and Night Shift on my iPhone 7 for several months, but I’m eager to try Microsoft’s built-in version to see if I notice any kind of improvement. I can already report that I’ve been sleeping better since reducing the amount of blue light I’ve been taking in, but if the potential exists to catch a few extra winks, I’m interested.


Windows 10 Drops Wi-Fi

One thing is certain, there is a lot of frustrations when it comes to software. One of the frustrations that people are facing now is with Windows 10. Windows 10 is dropping wi-fi service. People experience the loss of contact with internet with Windows 10. Another frustrating thing about this is that there is not a fix for this issue yet. AS a result, people are going to have to bear with this software until they finally do come up with a solution. However, there is a lot of frustration when people are in the middle of something only for them to lose internet access.


However, one of the things that professionals have stated that could help with the problem is rebooting the computer. This is a common fix. One thing that seems to fix a lot of problems is rebooting the system. This tends to correct a lot of problems that people run into. It is also important to state that Windows 10 is not the first and only system to have this type of problem. It is common for devices and operating systems to drop wi-fi access. Fortunately, the problem is easy to handle until the professionals come up with a better solution.


As of right now, the developers are working to come up with an update that fixes the problem. They have looked into many different possibilities. For one thing, when the system boots up, there is an error that makes it connect to an IP address that is not working.


Another interesting thing is that it is not just the Windows 10 devices that are acting like this. There are some devices that have older versions of Windows which is dropping the Wi-Fi connection. Therefore, they are looking into the issue in order to find a good solution that is going to allow people to enjoy the internet with very few interruptions. Here’s hoping that the next update is going to fix this issue.


Windows 10 Anniversary Update Details Announced

Expect to receive the much-anticipated Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2nd. Microsoft announced the pending release of the update containing important new features for individual and business users. Windows 10 now boasts about 350 million users, making it one of the most popular versions of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.

No Longer Free

Computer users will no longer have the option to install Windows 10 for free after July 29th, one year after the new operating system first entered the market. All Windows 10 users will have free access to the Anniversary Update, including those who buy Windows 10 after its free availability period ends.

Business Features

Enterprise users will gain improved security, including the enhanced protection against threats supplied by new versions of Windows Defender and the Windows Information Protection Service. Microsoft’s continued commitment to enterprise security should reassure business customers who worry about continually evolving threats.

End Users

Consumers can expect to enjoy more new features than their counterparts in the enterprise, including a Cortana update that allows the virtual assistant to respond to queries without first logging into their computer. Cortana will also work with frequent flier numbers.

Windows Ink gives users the power to draw pictures and add notes to documents and online content via the Edge browser. Microsoft has also updated Edge with support for some third-party extensions.


Microsoft aims to slow the rate at which schools adopt Chromebooks and iPads for students by introducing features that make configuring numerous shared devices easy and providing academic testing functions that disable the clipboard and limit application switching.


The Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update will bring Cortana to the Xbox One console and give users the ability to use Xbox Anywhere to buy titles from a unified store make a play them on their PC and Xbox.

Microsoft Researchers Utilize Search Queries for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

Currently, most individuals have easy access to information due to the availability of mobile gadgets that can access the Internet. Subsequently, most people utilize the Internet to search for various solutions, answers or information regarding diverse issues such as health, fitness, technology, sports, politics and religion. Individual searches or queries on search engines have proven to be a great resource in determining what one is experiencing.

This information recently came in handy to Microsoft’s researchers after getting groundbreaking results from analyzing voluminous samples of search engine data or queries. The outcomes of their research indicated that it was possible to identify various Internet users affected by pancreatic cancer.

The Research Work

The Microsoft scientists involved in the research included Dr. Ryen White and Dr. Eric Horvitz. They utilized search engine queries obtained from Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. The study revolved around data that showed indications of a person diagnosed with the disease. Upon getting such information, they did a backward analysis of the data in a bid to identify earlier concerns that showed that a Bing user was getting symptoms of the disease before a medical analysis. The information can be obtained from Reddit Science.

Scientists are still debating on the next course of action. Various suggestions have been raised such as coming up with a health service whereby Internet users could give scientists access to their searches in an effort of monitoring for any queries that could depict early symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Other Studies

Web queries have also been utilized by Google to undertake research on early detection of flu epidemics. Microsoft has also managed to identify severe drug reactions through patterns observed on weblogs before FDA’s warning system spotted them.

Facebook and Microsoft Building the Fastest Trans-Atlantic Cables

Facebook and Microsoft have unveiled that they will be combining efforts to build the fastest subsea cables across the Atlantic, linking Virginia, Virginia beach to Bilbao, Spain. The two company are planning on using the so-called MAREA cables to connect the two continents (America and Europe) to meet the rising customer demand for consistent high speed connections for online services and could computing.

TechCrunch reports that once the MAREA are operational, they will be the highest capacity subsea cables that crosses the Atlantic. They will comprise eight fiber pairs designed to handle 160 terabytes per second internet speed connection and will use distinctive route rather than the one used by other company also connecting Europe and United States. This will be to ensure reliable and resilient connections for their customers in Europe, United States and beyond as claimed by Microsoft.

The two companies also noted that they would continue to invest in new and innovative techniques to continuously update both the global internet infrastructure and the Microsoft Cloud. By doing this, they will offer a better service to their customers by providing them with low-latency and reliable connection. According to the Director of Global Network at Microsoft, this will mark a significant step in constructing the next generation infrastructure of the internet.

The construction of the cables is expected to start on August this year with completion anticipated to be between July and October of 2017.