How to sign up for Microsoft's restored security alert email service

Restored mailing list functionality earlier this month, but still hides the sign-up form

Microsoft has restored service to its security advisory mailing list, but it has buried the sign-up form and made it hard to find.

On June 27, Microsoft warned subscribers to its email notification service for security alerts that it would shut down the list, which harked back to at least 2002, a year before Microsoft instituted its "Patch Tuesday" of pre-scheduled updates.

At the time, Microsoft cited "changing governmental policies" for the shuttering, with most observers linking the decision to the July 1 enforcement start date of a new Canadian anti-spam law.

Days later, however, Microsoft backpedaled. "We have reviewed our processes and will resume these security notifications with our monthly Advanced Notification Service (ANS) on July 3, 2014," a Microsoft spokesperson said via email that week.

Subscribers received a similar "never mind" message from the service: "We have reviewed our processes and have resumed security notifications by email as of July 3, 2014," that message read. Messages were sent that day and on July 8, the month's Patch Tuesday. Although the mailing list was restarted for those who had previously subscribed, Microsoft has not returned a notification sign-up for new users to the page where it once appeared, even though elsewhere the company continues to claim an email option exists. Instead, only the links to RSS feeds -- the mailing list replacements Microsoft touted in June -- remain.

But the sign-up form hasn't been scrubbed.

Security professionals, IT administrators and other interested customers can sign up for the mailing list from this page. All that's needed is a Microsoft account, the username and password combination associated with the company's services, such as Outlook.com, OneDrive and Office 365.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at Twitter @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

Read more about security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.

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