#CyberFLASH: Microsoft wavers on Canadian spam fears

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Microsoft has reconsidered a move to cease security emails in Canada, following the introduction of an anti-spam law north of the border.

The company had originally intended to stop sending email notifications of its monthly security bulletins, as Canada’s anti-spam law came into effect. The law, passed in 2010, became effective July 1 and prohibits the sending of commercial email without explicit consent from recipients.

Canada’s anti-spam legislation is one of the most aggressive in the world, with potential fines of up to $10 million for companies contravening the rules. It requires senders to obtain opt-in permission from recipients. The law is administered by the Canadian Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Microsoft announced on June 27 that it would stop sending the email notices, which warn security administrators that updates to its software are on the way. It confirmed that the move was “due to changing governmental policies concerning the issuance of automated electronic messaging”

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#CyberFLASH: End to Microsoft XP support could put millions of computers at risk of hacking

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OTTAWA — Computer and banking systems around the world are about to be hit with a new challenge to their security.

On April 8, Microsoft Corp. officially closes the door on Windows XP.

The 12-year-old program still accounts for 29.2 per cent of all operating systems worldwide, according to research firm Net Market Share.

It’s installed on more than 95 per cent of all automated banking machines and is used in the networks that link those machines together, according to security researcher Symantec.

The software is also deployed on as many as 1.9 million Point-of-Sale (POS) machines — where you key your PINs at checkout lanes — across North America, and four million around the world, according to retail industry researcher IHL Group.

Come April, no more security patches will be released to protect any Windows XP systems, rendering all computers running the software open to attack by malicious hackers.

One recent attack on Bell Canada’s network due to an outdated security patch on a server led to hackers getting access to the personal data of 22,400 of its small- and medium-sized business customers.

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Microsoft-RIM Rumour Has Tech Giant Investing $3.5 Billion In BlackBerry Maker

Once again, it’s the season for RIM takeover rumours, and this time it’s Microsoft that is said to be interested in the struggling BlackBerry maker.

Weeks after a dismal quarterly earnings report prompted the departure of RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie, and a general exodus of executives from the company, the financial blog Benzinga is reporting that “Microsoft is prepared to make a $3.5 billion investment in Research in Motion, according to sources.”

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