Affinity Consulting Blog

Several days ago it was widely reported that all version of the Internet Explorer web browser from Microsoft from version 6 to version 11 (the current version) were vulnerable to a new and serious zero day exploit. The exploit would allow an attacker to gain control of a computer and have the same rights as the currently logged-in user.

Affinity Consulting Group did a clean sweep of the annual consultant awards presented by STI, the maker of Tabs3 time and billing software and PracticeMaster practice management software.

The awards won by Affinity include overall Consultant of the Year, Tabs3 Consultant of the Year, PracticeMaster Consultant of the Year, and Platinum Consultant of the Year.

Read about our long-term partnership with Tabs3 and PracticeMaster.

Unless you have been living under a rock the last several days, you have heard about one of the most serious Internet security vulnerabilities yet seen, the Heartbleed bug. It affects a huge number of Web sites including those offering accounts and services that lawyers might use in their personal and/or professional lives. The vulnerability has been out there for over two years, so there is no way to be sure that your personal or firm logins and passwords, and the data that lies behind those logins, has not been compromised. Chances are you are safe, and nearly all affected Web sites have now patched the vulnerability. But what should you do next?

On Friday, February 21st, Apple released a seemingly innocuous update to their iOS operating system, update 7.0.6. You should be forgiven for not thinking much of this. Most 0.0.x updates fix minor bugs addressing specific user situations. For example, 7.0.5 was not even released to iOS users outside of China since the fixes and updates in that release were Chinese-specific. Update 7.0.6 is dramatically different from previous 0.0.x updates.

Despite the minor-update version number, iOS 7.0.6 fixes a critical flaw in iOS security related to accessing secure websites, like your bank. If you’re running any version of iOS 7 prior to 7.0.6 or a version of iOS 6 prior to 6.1.6, this bug effects your iPhone and iPad. The respective updates are free and can be applied directly from your iDevice by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Download and install any available updates.

Background on the Flaw

You should apply the update; no question about it. If you’re interested in the background of what the flaw means, keep reading.

The flaw existing in iOS prior to 7.0.6 and 6.1.6 effects how the operating system and apps handle secure connections over https connections; again, like your bank, online shopping, secure email, etc. These https connections rely on protocols called SSL and TLS. When your device reaches out to make a secure connection with a web service, the service and your device perform what programmers call a “handshake” to negotiate how they’re going to talk to one another. The iOS flaw allows a nefarious third party to intercept your communication with the web service and read all of the traffic going each way. In security parlance, this is called a “man in the middle” attack because the bad actor inserts himself into the middle of your conversation for purposes of stealing passwords or other confidential data

If you’d like more technical details on the vulnerability, here are some excellent resources:

Final Note

For those of you who, in addition to using iPhones and iPads., also use Macs, there’s an additional bit of bad news. The same flaw that iOS suffers also exists in Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks, the latest release of Apple’s operating system. Versions of Mac OS prior to 10.9 are unaffected. There is also a patch for Mac OS, update 10.9.2, which addresses this vulnerability. You should apply it as soon as possible. For those not updating immediately, it’s our advice for users of 10.9 and 10.9.1 to rely on Chrome or FireFox instead of Safari for web browsing, and to avoid unsecured wireless networks (although that last bit is always and everywhere good advice).

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We are pleased to inform you that Amicus Attorney is in the process of releasing version 2014 Premium Edition. Enhancements include:

An Interactive Home Page that gets you working on important items faster.

Integration with Dropbox turns this popular mobility tool into a lawyer’s filing cabinet. Amicus automatically creates folders in Dropbox for all your client files, so when you add a document to that folder in Dropbox it instantly appears in Amicus, associated with the client file. Another convenient way to access documents wherever you are. It’s like magic!

Real-Time Data On All Devices! Between Amicus' new direct integration with Exchange and the automatic Google synchronization, the updates you make on your phone are reflected in Amicus, ensuring everyone sees these updates in real time, and vice-versa – updates made in Amicus will be seen on your mobile device. Even if your office computer is turned off! It's real time information regardless of location or device.

More Cash Flow, Faster! Mass Email billing ensures bills are in your client's hands sooner and you get paid faster for your efforts.

See Better in Higher Resolution - Amicus has enhanced support for high resolution monitors, giving you clearer fonts and larger dialog boxes to read and work in.

Graphical Time Sheets give you a visual snapshot of your performance so you can stay on track, grow and profit!

Hide Inactive Contacts From View to unclutter and better manage your contact list.

Time Entry Summary helps you quickly see posted and uposted time and identify lost billing opportunities.

“Add To File” option lets you quickly add contacts, phone calls, tasks and appointments to any file with a single click.

Graphical Outlook Signatures let you easily add logos or images, helping build your professional look.

Not only is Microsoft ending support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014 (yes, less than three months from now), those who continue to use XP will do so without updated virus definitions from Microsoft's free Security Essentials antivirus software.

Last fall, Microsoft and discount domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy announced that users could purchase custom GoDaddy domain names directly from within Microsoft's Office 365 subscription-based office suite. Now that partnership has been expanded. Three packages that include email, calendar and contact syncing betweeen devices, as well as cloud-based SkyDrive storage are available jointly through Microsoft and GoDaddy.


This article is from Jeff Schoenberger, who recently joined Affinity Consulting. He specializes in Apple, Mac, iDevice, and document automation projects. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on Twitter or @jrsch

The iPad mini is both an incredibly new product and a modest revision of what we already know. It's incredibly new in that it brings to the 7" tablet space features unknown in that market. Before October 23, you could not get a small-sized tablet with cellular data regardless of how much you were willing to spend.


Spring is coming and that means only one thing, ABA TECHSHOW is right around the corner. Affinity Consulting is proud to have Partner Britt Lorish as this year’s ABA TECHSHOW Chair and we chatted with her briefly to get some insight into this year’s event happening April 4-6 in Chicago.

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