Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

Microsoft delivers new batch of Surface firmware updates

It's Patch Tuesday, yet again. And as it often does, Microsoft is rolling out a number of Surface firmware updates as part of it.

There are no firmware updates for the ARM-based Surface RT this month, according to Microsoft's update history page. But the other three Surface devices are all getting numerous updates that users will see listed as "System Firmware Update - 3/11/2014" in their update histories on their devices.

All three are getting keyboard/cover updates, including a driver that supports the new Surface Power Covers that Microsoft will begin making available as of March 19. … Read more

Not a flu shot fan? Here's a vaccine patch you give yourself

There are many reasons the influenza vaccination rate is well below 50 percent for most age groups in the U.S. Some people are against vaccinations altogether, others believe that getting the flu is no big deal, some are afraid of needles, others don't have the money, and some simply don't get around to scheduling and making the trip to the doc's office.

But a new study finding that people are actually quite good at self-administering painless microneedle flu vaccine patches hints at a future where at least some of these problems simply disappear altogether.

"Our … Read more

AOL dumps hyper-local news site Patch

AOL announced Wednesday that it's giving up most of its control over

Hale Global, an investment holding company, will take over Patch's more than 900 news sites within the next three months. Patch, a network of community-oriented sites publishing local news, serves more than 16 million people, according to a press release.

"We are committed to bringing users, local businesses, writers and advertisers together into a Patch experience full of innovation and growth," Charles Hale, CEO of Hale Global, said in the release. "Along with AOL, we are committed to taking the necessary … Read more

Is Patch dead or not? Leaked memo from exec says no

The Web world was abuzz on Monday with reports that AOL's foray into local news with Patch was in the process of being shuttered. But now it appears that might not be the case.

The New York Times' David Carr on Sunday reported that AOL is "winding down" its Patch network of local news sites after repeated attempts by the company's chief executive, Tim Armstrong, to boost the ailing company. The claim came despite a comment made by Armstrong saying that Patch was "moving toward" profitability, indicating that the end might not be in … Read more

Microsoft releases batch of Surface patches

On November 12, Microsoft is pushing out new updates and fixes for its various Surface tablet devices -- the bulk of which are for the ARM-based Surface 2.

According to Microsoft, the Surface 2 November updates include:

Performance improvements for all Type Cover and Touch Cover versions; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver updates to improve wireless display performance; Camera improvements; Audio improvements, including switching to speaker playback after disconnecting a headset; System performance and stability improvements; and Battery life improvements.

There are no new updates in today's batch for the Intel-based Surface Pro 2 devices. (Microsoft made available for download … Read more

Microsoft rolls out 'reliability' patch for Internet Explorer 11

Running Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1? Microsoft has a new patch that promises to improve its reliability.

The patch is available through Windows Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 and through Microsoft's support site for 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. The description of the patch doesn't reveal what it does to improve reliability.

A Microsoft spokesman didn't add much to the description, telling CNET simply that "the update released today improves the performance and reliability of IE11 for our customers."

But Internet Explorer 11 … Read more

Microsoft finally fixes critical Internet Explorer vulnerability

In its security update for this month, Microsoft has patched a critical Internet Explorer vulnerability that possibly exposed users to malware and hacks for the last three months.

The permanent patch is for an exploit known as CVE-2013-3893, which had the capability to work its way into all supported versions of Internet Explorer. Microsoft announced the existence of the vulnerability in September and released a downloadable "Fix It" tool until the permanent patch was ready.

"The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a customer views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer," Microsoft'… Read more

Internet Explorer exploit release could trigger a surge in attacks

Attack code that exploits an unpatched vulnerability found in all supported versions of Internet Explorer has been released into the wild. This means that cyberattacks could now surge and affect Internet Explorer users.

Known as CVE-2013-3893, the exploit was integrated Monday into Rapid7's open-source Metasploit penetration testing tool. By putting the exploit into Metasploit, the attack code was made accessible not only to security professionals but also cybercriminals, according to PCWorld.

"As long as cybercriminals get access to the exploit code made publicly available we will see instances of the exploit being use by regular cybercriminals and probably … Read more

Introducing a flu vaccine you give yourself

What if getting a flu vaccine no longer involved getting a shot?

Researchers at Georgia State University have spent the past few years working on a microneedle patch that dissolves into the skin for patients to easily and painlessly self-administer vaccines. Now, they've developed a flu vaccine using the system that, when tested on mice, proved to be 100 percent effective more than a year after the mice were vaccinated.… Read more