COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jan 03 19:55

How MySpace's New 'Pay Per Click' Ads Rob Artists

Any bands or solo artists out there thinking about trying MySpace's new "MySpace Ads" advertising campaign? Think again.

What MySpace is doing, in my opinion, is nothing short of a scam. Because, in the end, for most of us, what they're promoting is nothing close to what you'll get.

Jan 02 06:34

UK: Private firm to guard database of every phone call, e-mail

A contentious proposal to create a massive database of communications metadata in the United Kingdom has just become even more controversial. According to reports in the British press, a "consultation paper" laying out the plan, slated for release in January, contemplates outsourcing the maintenance of the database to private-sector firms. The proposal has already come under fire from civil liberties groups, the European human rights commissioner, and former public officials.

Jan 02 06:28

FBI posts fake Child Porn hyperlinks to snare child porn suspects

A CNET News.com review of legal documents shows that courts have approved of this technique, even though it raises questions about entrapment, the problems of identifying who's using an open wireless connection--and whether anyone who clicks on a FBI link that contains no child pornography should be automatically subject to a dawn raid by federal police.

Dec 30 07:17

Slysoft re-cracks BD+

SLYSOFT HAS DONE IT again with their highly recommended AnyDVD HD product. The new version 6.5.0.2, announced today, breaks the new revision of the unbreakable BD+.

For those of you not following this one-sided fight, Blu-Ray movies do a lot of very unfortunate things, like stripping your fair use rights, preventing backups (no one has kids or pets that maul disks), being incompatible with boatloads of hardware, and transmitting every viewing, every click, and every thing you do back to who-knows-where to be used against you. Really, they do that, why do you think net access is mandatory?

Dec 30 07:13

Microsoft specs out 'pay as you go' PC scheme

Microsoft Corp. last week applied for a patent that spells out a "pay as you go" concept under which users would be charged for both the software they run and the computing horsepower they use.

According to the patent application filed last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the "Metered Pay-As-You-Go Computing Experience" scheme would meter software use and access to specific computer hardware. Fees would be charged against a prepaid or billed account.

Dec 27 20:26

U.S. Hosts Most Malware Spreading Sites

The U.S. in 2008 hosted the most websites that spread malware in the world, with China following close behind, according to a new security threat report.

The U.S. hosts 37 percent of all such sites, while China (including Hong Kong) comes in second with 27.7 percent, as Russia with 9.1 percent rounds out the top three.

Dec 24 06:30

Windows XP Extensions Reflect Vista's Woes

Microsoft in the past week announced yet another life extension for its supposedly retired Windows XP operating system, a sign that, despite almost two years on the market, Windows Vista is a no-go for most businesses.

Only 10% of 700 business executives recently surveyed by the Information Technology Industry Council and Sunbelt Software said their companies are using Windows Vista in the enterprise.

The numbers are consistent with other industry data and anecdotal observations.

Dec 23 18:03

Australian 'Net filter testing set, will include P2P

Australia's Minister of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy (BCDE), Stephen Conroy, appears to have recognized that his country's plan to install mandatory content filters at the ISP level is causing a public backlash. Conroy has set up several FAQs that describe the program in detail, and has even started defending the program on the departmental blog.

Dec 17 22:17

Google AdWords Isn’t Perfect! Serves Up Phishing Sites & Malware

News flash folks, Google AdWords is not perfect and can be exploited. There are times when people can go into the AdWords system and trick Google into serving up ads for phishing sites and malware downloads. Yes, this happens and happens often enough.

Dec 17 22:17

Google AdWords Isn’t Perfect! Serves Up Phishing Sites & Malware

News flash folks, Google AdWords is not perfect and can be exploited. There are times when people can go into the AdWords system and trick Google into serving up ads for phishing sites and malware downloads. Yes, this happens and happens often enough.

Dec 17 21:06

Hackers Sell Facebook Profiles For 89p

With Christmas season at its peak, hackers are stealing details of Facebook profiles and selling them to cybercriminal gangs for just 89p each, according to a new research study.

These gangs would use these crucial details to launch “spam” messages to the computer users, urging them to visit counterfeit video or image links.

These malicious links, when clicked, infect users’ computers with malware and spyware viruses that can track keystrokes entered, along with other significant information, such as usernames and passwords of online bank accounts.

Dec 17 20:43

Microsoft issues emergency IE patch as attacks escalate

Microsoft has issued a rare emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser as miscreants stepped up attacks targeting a vulnerability on hundreds of thousands of webpages.

In many cases, the websites distributing the toxic payload are legitimate destinations that have been commandeered, allowing an attacker to snare victims as they surf to online banks, forums, and other trusted sites. There are at least six distinct versions of attack code circulating in the wild, according to researchers at iDefense, a security lab owned by VeriSign.

Dec 17 20:43

Microsoft issues emergency IE patch as attacks escalate

Microsoft has issued a rare emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser as miscreants stepped up attacks targeting a vulnerability on hundreds of thousands of webpages.

In many cases, the websites distributing the toxic payload are legitimate destinations that have been commandeered, allowing an attacker to snare victims as they surf to online banks, forums, and other trusted sites. There are at least six distinct versions of attack code circulating in the wild, according to researchers at iDefense, a security lab owned by VeriSign.

Dec 15 20:37

Labor plan to censor internet in shreds

The Government's plan to censor the internet is in tatters, with Australia's largest ISP saying it will not take part in live trials of the system and the second largest committing only to a scaled-back trial.

And the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has written to critics saying that the so-called "live" trials would be "a closed network test and will not involve actual customers". Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said this was a sign the Government was slowly backing away from the heavily criticised policy.

Dec 15 19:00

RIAA Seeking $1 Million in Damages from a Student for Sharing 7 Songs on Kazaa

Today in Rhode Island federal court we are going to see yet another lawsuit with RIAA as one party and a person who seems to be randomly chosen to punish for abusing copyright of record labels. And while I myself usually support content producers everywhere I can, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) with the ridiculous lawsuits everywhere seems to forget about any common sense at all quite often.

Dec 15 09:54

Internet Explorer users under attack

A friendly note to all Internet Explorer users …

If you’re using IE (any version, ranging from 5.01 t0 8.0 beta 2) then you need to be aware of a new vulnerability which is set to become a big problem over the next few days.

I’m not going to rehash the details of this vulnerability other than to say that it’s pretty serious and has the scope to affect a massive number of users.

Dec 15 09:50

MPAA to Obama: censor the Internet, kick people off the Internet, break other countries' Internet

Tim Jones of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good commentary on the news that the MPAA has asked Obama to spy on the entire Internet, and to establish a system where being accused of copyright infringement would result in loss of your Internet connection (and your VoIP line, your access to your university, your lifeline to your parents in the old country, your means of participating in civic life, your means of fighting your parking ticket, etc etc etc). The MPAA also wants Obama to lean on other countries (notably Canada!) and force them to adopt US copyright laws.

Dec 15 09:47

Google cranks up the Consensus Engine

Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.

Dec 15 09:44

Windows XP: The OS That Won't Quit

Phasing out an old operating system is nothing new for Microsoft, but Windows XP is unique in that it may be too good to die.

This week, Dell announced it will offer systems with the aging Windows XP for a surcharge of US$150 over the newer Windows Vista--this only five months after it stopped offering XP on its Inspiron consumer desktop and laptop PCs.

The deadline for Windows XP downgrades has been pushed back twice now, remaining in effect until July 31, 2009-a strong indication that enough users want to stay with the aging XP rather than give Vista a chance.

Dec 15 09:41

Sony's PS3 A Sinking Ship: Sales Plummet

So why is the PS3 flopping so badly?

It's the most expensive console on the market, $150 - $200 more than its rivals. Even if you believe the video game industry is "recession-proof" (it isn't), a tanking economy makes consumers more price-conscious.

The PS3's big bonus is its ability to double as a Blu-Ray player. Too bad no one seems to care about hi-def DVDs. The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50".

Dec 15 09:41

Sony's PS3 A Sinking Ship: Sales Plummet

So why is the PS3 flopping so badly?

It's the most expensive console on the market, $150 - $200 more than its rivals. Even if you believe the video game industry is "recession-proof" (it isn't), a tanking economy makes consumers more price-conscious.

The PS3's big bonus is its ability to double as a Blu-Ray player. Too bad no one seems to care about hi-def DVDs. The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50".

Dec 12 06:35

US shuts down 'scareware' sellers

The US government has moved to shut down sellers of fake security software.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has won a restraining order that stops several sellers of "scareware" from continuing to trade.

Millions of people are thought to have been caught out by the software which, once installed, issues false alerts about viruses and illegal porn.

The FTC is pursuing further legal action to win a permanent ban on those peddling the scareware.

Dec 08 09:21

FBI: Criminals auto-dialing with hacked VoIP systems

Criminals are taking advantage of a bug in the Asterisk Internet telephony system that lets them pump out thousands of scam phone calls in an hour, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Friday.

The FBI didn't say which versions of Asterisk were vulnerable to the bug, but it advised users to upgrade to the latest version of the software. Asterisk is an open-source product that lets users turn a Linux computer into a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone exchange.

Dec 08 09:09

Teen Transplant Candidate Sued Over Music Downloads

A young Pittsburgh woman who needs a transplant has another fight on her hands. She's being sued by the music industry for illegally downloading music from the Internet.

But 19-year-old Ciara Sauro strongly denies the charge and says she and her mother are overwhelmed with medical debts.

"Look and see where it (the downloads) came from, and look and see that it's not me. It's not fair to do to me," said Sauro.

Sauro, who lives in Ross Township, is disabled with pancreatitis. She needs an islet cell transplant and is hospitalized weekly.

Dec 06 11:19

Why Are PCs and Gadgets So Slow? (Who's Breaking Moore's Law?)

If Moore's Law holds, which it will, the speed of processors will double over the next two years. Which would you rather have: Bloated new features that gobble up all those clock cycles before they get to you? Or would you rather have all your stuff run twice as fast?

Industry: It's time to put the feature bloat and spaghetti code on hold for two years, and get to work optimizing, minimizing and streamlining everything. We want speed. And we want it yesterday.

Dec 06 10:58

Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe in Your PC

Internet security is broken, and nobody seems to know quite how to fix it.

Despite the efforts of the computer security industry and a half-decade struggle by Microsoft to protect its Windows operating system, malicious software is spreading faster than ever. The so-called malware surreptitiously takes over a PC and then uses that computer to spread more malware to other machines exponentially. Computer scientists and security researchers acknowledge they cannot get ahead of the onslaught.

Dec 06 04:49

YouTube is Dead

2/05/08 As of yesterday YouTube has replaced its list of 'Most Viewed' videos on the site's 'Videos' section with a varied selection of sponsor-friendly videos that the site calls 'Most Popular'. Where users normally see videos with high view-counts that have become popular due to viral spreading and community activity, we now see videos like the new MacBook commercial that gets showcased on the 'Most Popular' #1 spot while having very low view-counts and even lower ratings.

Dec 05 19:21

17 judges, one ruling - and 857,000 records must be now wiped clear

The fingerprints and DNA samples of more than 857,000 innocent citizens who have been arrested or charged but never convicted of a criminal offence now face deletion from the national DNA database after a landmark ruling by the European court of human rights in Strasbourg.

Dec 05 19:09

Nuclear Power Plant Data Leaked Via Virus-Infected PC, Posted on Net

Data on safety inspections of four Japanese nuclear power plants have been posted on the Internet, having apparently been leaked from a virus-infected personal computer of an employee of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the agency said Friday.

The leaked data include reports on inspections between 2000 and 2002 and data on the operational status of nuclear plants in Fukui, Niigata, Shizuoka and Kagoshima prefectures, according to the agency, a unit under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Dec 04 09:45

Firefox users targeted by rare piece of malware

Researchers at BitDefender have discovered a new type of malicious software that collects passwords for banking sites but targets only Firefox users.

The malware, which BitDefender dubbed "Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.A" sits in Firefox's add-ons folder, said Viorel Canja, the head of BitDefender's lab. The malware runs when Firefox is started.

Dec 04 07:51

Worm uses familiar brands to lure people

On Tuesday security vendor WebSense issued an alert warning that holiday coupon e-mails from familiar companies may be malicious code in disguise, in this case a mass-mailing e-mail worm.

Dec 04 07:48

Berlusconi plans to use G8 presidency to 'regulate the internet'

Italian president and media baron Silvio Berlusconi said today that he would use his country's imminent presidency of the G8 group to push for an international agreement to "regulate the internet".

Speaking to Italian postal workers, Reuters reports Berlusconi said: "The G8 has as its task the regulation of financial markets... I think the next G8 can bring to the table a proposal for a regulation of the internet."

Dec 01 18:52

Porn bill for couple who can't download

A Hertfordshire couple in their 60s were horrified to receive a letter last week from a London firm of lawyers accusing them of dowloading a hardcore gay porn movie. It demanded they pay £503 for "copyright infringement" or face a high court action. The 20-page "pre-settlement letter" from lawyers Davenport Lyons, acting on behalf of German pornogaphers, insisted they pay £503 to their clients for the 115 minute film Army Fuckers which features "Gestapo" officers and "Czech" farmers.

Dec 01 08:21

Touchscreen Computing Has Already Failed

HP’s got an advertising blitz going on for their new touchscreen interface PC. It looks pretty damn cool on the commercials, and I mean come on, is the mouse really the best input device we can come up with?

But the thing is, despite HP’s Hudsuckeresque “Touch the Future Now” slogan, this has actually been tried before. Back in the 80’s. I was a computer geek long before it was cool, and I remember the first time touch screens and light pens were all the rage. So if this awesome futuristic technology is actually over 30 years old, how come we’re still using the shitty old mouse?

Nov 28 08:41

Lycos Europe To Shut Down After Failing To Find Buyer

It’s the end of the road. After putting itself on the auction block in April, Lycos Europe has finally conceded what had become increasingly clear - no-one wants to buy the ailing portal. So it confirmed Wednesday morning it will wind up its portal and its web hosting activities.

Nov 26 09:02

New report predicts massive increase in malware and phishing in 2009

Reports from security provider MessageLabs suggest that virus writers are highly likely to release increasingly sophisticated strains of malware over the course of next year in an effort to get back in to the game after some high-profile botnet shutdown operations in 2008.

The organisation predicts that hackers will set off a series of attacks in which malware will exists as a virtualization layer running directly on the hardware and hidden by the operating system.

Nov 26 08:59

Microsoft ranked fifth worst spam service ISP

Microsoft is listed fifth in the Top 10 list of the worst spam service ISPs compiled by Spamhaus.org.

Spammers are advertising links to sites that "peddle fake pharmacy products, porn, and Nigerian 419 scams" on Microsoft's Live.com and Livefilestore.com sites because they know that the Microsoft sites won't get blocked by antispam groups, writes Brian Krebs on his Security Fix Blog at the Washington Post.

Nov 25 11:49

Battered, but not broken: understanding the WPA crack

Academic researchers have found an exploitable hole in a popular form of wireless networking encryption. The hole is in a part of 802.11i that forms the basis of WiFi Protected Access (WPA), so it could affect routers worldwide. German graduate student Erik Tews will present a paper at next week's PacSec in Tokyo coauthored with fellow student and aircrack-ng team member Martin Beck that reveals how remnants of WPA's predecessor allow them to slip a knife into a crack in the encryption scheme and send bogus data to an unsuspecting WiFi client.

Nov 23 19:09

Kernel vulnerability found in Vista

A flaw in Vista's networking has been found that can crash the system, but no fix is expected until the next service pack

A flaw has been found in Windows Vista that could allow rootkits to be hidden or denial-of-service attacks to be executed on computers using the operating system.

The vulnerability was found by Thomas Unterleitner of Austrian security company Phion and was announced Friday. Unterleitner told ZDNet UK on Friday that Phion told Microsoft about the flaw in October but that he understood a fix would only be issued in the next Vista service pack.

Nov 23 16:14

Government loses 53 computers in a year

The government has lost 53 laptop or desktop computers in the year since HMRC mislaid two discs containing the details of 25 million people.

Government departments also lost 30 mobile phones, 36 Blackberries, four disc drives and four memory sticks.

"But ID card are perfectly safe - really!"

Nov 21 20:55

Uninstalling Windows Live Messenger Beta (updated)

I installed Windows Live Messenger Beta and I hate it - mostly because although it displays my personal emoticons on my chat partner's screen, it refuses to show them to me! However, when I tried to remove it using Add/Remove Programs, it runs its installer, which gives me the option of adding other things, but no option to uninstall it.

Nov 20 11:07

Court slams door on sale of spyware

The Federal Trade Commission today had a US District Court issue a temporary restraining order halting the sale of RemoteSpy keylogger spyware.

According to the FTC's complaint, RemoteSpy spyware was sold to clients who would then secretly monitor unsuspecting consumers' computers. According to the FTC, the defendants provided RemoteSpy clients with detailed instructions explaining how to disguise the spyware as an innocuous file, such as a photo, attached to an email.

Nov 20 10:05

Apple To Boost Movie Piracy, iTunes Competition With Anti-Piracy Feature (AAPL)

If this is true, it's one of the least consumer-friendly things we've ever heard Apple (AAPL) get behind.

According to Wired, Apple has quietly added anti-piracy technology to its new MacBook laptops. If you hook your laptop up to your digital TV, projector, external monitor, etc. -- which we do on a near-daily basis -- to watch movies, it will block you from playing movies you've paid for from iTunes unless you have a "High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection" compatible display.

Nov 19 22:36

Academics warn of EU 'three strikes' back door plan

The content industry has lobbied to force internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect users they suspect of engaging in copyright-infringing file-sharing after two warnings.

Digital rights activists have questioned the accuracy of the evidence gathered by industry against individuals and have said that the effects on a whole household of one user's actions are disproportionate.

Nov 18 09:40

Google's browser labelled a 'digital Trojan horse'

Perhaps the biggest threat to Google's increasing dominance of internet search and advertising is the rising fear, justified or not, that Google's broadening reach is giving it unchecked power.

This scrutiny goes deeper than the skeptical eye that lawmakers and the US Justice Department have given to Google's proposed ad partnership with Yahoo. Many objections to that deal are financial, and surround whether Google and Yahoo could unfairly drive up online ad prices.

Nov 18 09:31

Top 10 reasons to be paranoid

The truth is out there ... and so is your data. And just because there are no virtual black helicopters following you doesn't mean somebody somewhere doesn't have a bead on who you are and what you are doing.

Nov 17 07:20

Data retention laws: what they mean for ISPs

If you think you're making a private call, or sending a discreet message, think again. Under an anti-terrorism law passed in late 2001 in the wake of the atrocities of September 11, details of every website visited and the transmission of every email sent and every phone call made in the UK can be retained and made available to authorities. This may give individuals privacy concerns but for telcos and internet service providers faced with the consequent storage and retrieval requirements, it is cause for financial concern.

Nov 17 07:07

Woman Loses $400,000 To Nigerian Email Scam

Why did this woman, a reverend and a nurse, give over $400,000 to Nigerian email scammers? It started with just $100. The emails told her a long-lost relative with the same last name had $20.5 million caught up in the banks of Nigeria. Janella Spears just had to help with a few processing fees...

As she sent the money, more and more obstacles would arise, each needing more money to solve. Driven by blind greed, she sent over $400,000 to the scammers, draining her and her husband's savings, retirement fund, mortgaged the house and put a lien on the car.

Nov 14 21:39

Speculation over back door in Skype

According to reports, there may be a back door built into Skype, which allows connections to be bugged. The company has declined to expressly deny the allegations. At a meeting with representatives of ISPs and the Austrian regulator on lawful interception of IP based services held on 25th June, high-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry revealed that it is not a problem for them to listen in on Skype conversations.

Nov 14 11:00

Google Offers Text Ads Linked to Malware Site

Search giant Google is known for its "do no evil" approach. It goes to great lengths to protect the environment and it blocks sites on lists of known malware sites from being searched.

However, security researchers made an alarming discovery of a major slip-up for Google. The site had allowed a known malware site to buy text ads and was placing these ads on its partner pages through its Google AdWords service. The link was listed as “Antivirus XP 2008,” which led to the URL “antivirus-world-2009.com.” (Don't go there)

Nov 14 10:58

Google Offers Text Ads Linked to Malware Site

Search giant Google is known for its "do no evil" approach. It goes to great lengths to protect the environment and it blocks sites on lists of known malware sites from being searched.

However, security researchers made an alarming discovery of a major slip-up for Google. The site had allowed a known malware site to buy text ads and was placing these ads on its partner pages through its Google AdWords service. The link was listed as “Antivirus XP 2008,” which led to the URL “antivirus-world-2009.com.” (Don't go there)

Nov 14 10:52

Microsoft Says over 11% of Vista Printer Driver Installs Fail

Anyone who used Windows Vista in the early days of its launch will likely have not so fond recollections of driver issues that often led to frequent crashes and lockups. Video cards from NVIDIA were especially difficult to get working on Vista early on thanks to drivers that didn’t work well.

Nov 14 08:28

After banning YouTube, military launches TroopTube

The U.S. military, with help from Seattle startup Delve Networks, has launched a video-sharing Web site for troops, their families and supporters, a year and a half after restricting access to YouTube and other video sites.

TroopTube, as the new site is called, lets people register as members of one of the branches of the armed forces, family, civilian Defense Department employees or supporters. Members can upload personal videos from anywhere with an Internet connection, but a Pentagon employee screens each for taste, copyright violations and national security issues.

Nov 14 08:20

Australia planning to block 10,000 websites

The websites will be blocked as part of a government-sponsored trial of its filter technology that will start before Christmas and last six weeks.

The government has already identified 1300 websites that it wants to black list as part of the clean feeds scheme.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the sites mostly contained child pornography and other unwatned content, including images and videos.

Nov 13 18:23

Under the Hood, Windows 7 Is Vista's Twin

If any pre-beta software ever called for a close look and benchmark testing, Windows 7 was it. I rolled up my sleeves and dove in. I started by examining Windows 7's innards--the kernel and other low-level structures--then slowly worked my way out to subsystem behavior and application runtime characteristics. Because one of the focal points of Microsoft's keynote presentation was improved performance, I looked for signs that Windows 7 would be faster, more responsive, and less resource-intensive than the bloated Windows Vista.

Nov 13 18:21

Government plans for 'black box' web surveillance take shape

BRITISH GOVERNMENT plans to install black boxes at ISPs around the country, in order to log every email and web site visit its citizens make, are taking shape.

Shady Home Office officials have had talks with representatives from British based ISPs including BT, AOL Europe, O2 and BSkyB and told them of possible plans to implement the "black box" technology for storing all raw data being transmitted over the Web. It would all be funnelled into a giant central database controlled by the Government.

Nov 13 17:57

CORRUPT PICTURES USING VISTA HOME PREMIUM

Transferring jpegs between jump drive or Nikon d40 or backup drive and Dell Inspiron 531s, via UBS, corruption in up to 50% of files. This is the worst!

Nov 13 09:39

AVG Antivirus Accidentally Kills Windows

Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish users of the popular anti-virus software AVG have discovered a nasty surprise. AVG has mistakenly identified a core Windows system file, user32.dll, as a Trojan, and summarily deletes it, b0rking Windows. AVG has announced they're working on a fix.

Nov 10 21:13

Spam gets 1 response per 12,500,000 emails

A new study details how spammers – the bane of our email inboxes – still make pots of money, despite only receiving a response to one in every 12,500,000 emails they spam out.

The study, by a team of seven computer scientists from University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego (UCSD) infiltrated the Storm network, which uses hijacked home PCs to relay much of the junk email you spend your days wading through while wondering 'who the hell responds to this stuff?'

Well. Now you know. One gullible idiot in 12,500,000 recipients. Or thereabouts.

Nov 06 09:04

Can’t Access Your Google Account? Tough Luck

A web programmer is the latest victim in a string of recent Google account shut-downs the company has been slow to remedy.

Axod, creator of the Ajax-powered chat webapp Mibbit, which we’ve written about previously, was apparently the victim of a malicious hacker last Thursday. While that sort of random attack could happen to anyone, it’s Google’s response that has Axod steamed.

“A company really shows its true colors when things go wrong, or when users need help,” he writes. “Google has shown that it simply doesn’t care.”

Some details from the Mibbit blog:

Nov 06 09:04

Can’t Access Your Google Account? Tough Luck

A web programmer is the latest victim in a string of recent Google account shut-downs the company has been slow to remedy.

Axod, creator of the Ajax-powered chat webapp Mibbit, which we’ve written about previously, was apparently the victim of a malicious hacker last Thursday. While that sort of random attack could happen to anyone, it’s Google’s response that has Axod steamed.

“A company really shows its true colors when things go wrong, or when users need help,” he writes. “Google has shown that it simply doesn’t care.”

Some details from the Mibbit blog:

Nov 03 06:37

Thanks for the memory

We read, all too often, of various government and other (dis)organizations losing huge files with personal information in them. Would it not be nice if the people involved did not have to carry these files around with them?

Thanks for the memory

A mathematical trick may allow people to scatter their computer files across the world's hard disks ...

Nov 03 06:35

Thanks for the memory

We read, all too often, of various government (and related) organizations losing huge files with plenty of VERY personal information in them.

Would it not be nice if the people involved did not have to carry these files around with them?

"Thanks for the memory

Sep 10th 2008
From Economist.com

A mathematical trick may allow people to scatter their computer files across the world's hard disks ...

...

Nov 02 11:09

Undetectable data-stealing trojan nabs 500,000 virtual wallets

Unlike many trojans, it doesn't rely on tricking the end user into clicking on a link or file to get installed. Rather, it spreads silently via websites that prey on unpatched vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system or in third-party applications, such as Adobe Flash and Apple's QuickTime media player.

"This particular trojan can get installed without even awareness of the end-user that they have agreed to anything or that anything has been installed," Sean Brady, manager of identity protection at RSA, said in an interview.

Nov 01 13:03

Trojan virus steals banking info

The details of about 500,000 online bank accounts and credit and debit cards have been stolen by a virus described as "one of the most advanced pieces of crimeware ever created".

The Sinowal trojan has been tracked by RSA, which helps to secure networks in Fortune 500 companies.

RSA said the trojan virus has infected computers all over the planet.

"The effect has been really global with over 2000 domains compromised," said Sean Brady of RSA's security division.

Nov 01 05:44

Anger about banking network security.

I'm interested in network security for online banking sites. It's a huge problem that seems to be being summarily ignored, and shirked for the responsibility it represents.

And there is a huge, gaping hole in the response for what could be done.

Here's the problem: we're all under attack 24/7. Anyone who has an online banking account is at risk.

Banks have done some things, and sometimes they change for improvement.

Oct 31 21:22

Long lines, glitches greet early voters

Four of the five computers that check voter registrations crashed Thursday night at the Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta, leaving more than a thousand people waiting long after the official closing time of 7 p.m. Hundreds were still in line at 11 p.m. as Atlantans watched them on the city’s late news broadcasts.

“This may be one of many places that this will happen,” said Lisa Borders, president of the Atlanta City Council. “The system is not adequate to accommodate the numbers of people that are going to be voting.”

Oct 28 17:24

Windows 7 Walkthrough, Boot Video and Impressions

Like Elvis in '68, Microsoft is itching for a "comeback," and Windows 7 is the perfect excuse. In fact, this week in LA at the Professional Developers Conference, Windows 7 officially shoved Vista aside. Having suffered through the often deserved criticisms of that ill-fated OS installment, Microsoft's people are thrilled to tears to be able to talk about something (anything!) else. On Sunday, they took journalists through a lively 7-hour orientation on Win 7, then handed off a Dell XPS M1330 loaded with pre-beta Build 6801.

Oct 26 09:36

New Worm Exploits Microsoft Bug

Only two days after Microsoft released the patch, security researchers identified a new worm named Gimmiv, which exploited the vulnerability in the RPC service.

Moreover, on Friday, a sample of the code hackers could use to further take advantage of the bug was posted on the Internet, on the Milw0rm.com hacker site.

Oct 25 09:00

Security Flaw Is Revealed in T-Mobile’s Google Phone

Just days after the T-Mobile G1 smartphone went on the market, a group of security researchers have found what they call a serious flaw in the Android software from Google that runs it.

One of the researchers, Charles A. Miller, notified Google of the flaw this week and said he was publicizing it now because he believed that cellphone users were not generally aware that increasingly sophisticated smartphones faced the same threats that plague Internet-connected personal computers.

Oct 24 17:27

Think Firefox 3 is fast? Try Firefox Minefield

A colleague today showed me a cool, new browser that he's been using to browse the web at blisteringly fast speeds. The browser? Minefield. The author of the code?

Mozilla.

Yes, that same Mozilla that makes the Firefox browser. Minefield is, in fact, a way to glimpse into the future of Firefox, as it's a pre-release/alpha version of the Firefox browser.

After spending some time with Minefield, one thing is clear: the future of Firefox is fast. Lightning fast.

Oct 24 09:06

Labor's web gag 'worse than Iran'

The Federal Government is attempting to silence critics of its controversial plan to censor the internet, which experts say will break the internet while doing little to stop people from accessing illegal material such as child pornography.

Internet providers and the government's own tests have found that presently available filters are not capable of adequately distinguishing between legal and illegal content and can degrade internet speeds by up to 86 per cent.

Oct 24 07:33

Time to patch Windows again, ASAP

If you use a Windows computer connected to a network, a newly discovered bug makes it possible for a bad guy to wreak havoc on the computer without your doing anything. The most vulnerable versions of Windows are XP, 2000 and Server 2003. Vista and Server 2008 are also vulnerable, but not as badly. Microsoft considers the bug important enough to issue the patch immediately rather than waiting for their normal once-a-month patch Tuesday.

Oct 19 22:39

World Bank Under Cyber Siege in 'Unprecedented Crisis'

The World Bank Group's computer network — one of the largest repositories of sensitive data about the economies of every nation — has been raided repeatedly by outsiders for more than a year, FOX News has learned.

Gosh, I wonder who?

Oct 19 22:36

What Really Happened University: Electronic Harassment

If someone uses any electronic device to aid them in invading your person or property for the purpose of gathering information illegally, or for the purpose of causing harm, this is Electronic Harassment.

Oct 14 18:29

McCain begs for YouTube takedown immunity

After having several campaign videos removed from YouTube for alleged copyright violations, Republican presidential candidate John McCain wants the video-sharing web site to consider special takedown privileges for politicians and their ilk.

McCain '08 general counsel Trevor Potter yesterday sent a letter to YouTube execs claiming the site is too quick to remove their campaign videos based on "overreaching copyright claims." He wrote that on numerous occasions that the material in question was "clearly" privileged under the US fair use doctrine.

Oct 13 09:18

Up to 1.7m people's data missing

A missing computer hard drive may have contained details of 1.7 million people who had enquired about joining the armed forces, the government has said.

The drive was reported missing last week by EDS, a firm contracted to the Ministry of Defence.

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth told MPs the information, which went missing at an EDS site in Hampshire, was "unlikely" to have been encrypted.

It is not known if the drive was lost or stolen. An investigation has begun.

Oct 11 09:09

Researchers: RFID Tags Can Transmit Computer Viruses

Cheap radio chips that are replacing the ubiquitous barcode are a threat to privacy and susceptible to computer viruses, scientists at a Dutch university said on Wednesday.

Researchers at Amsterdam's Free University created a radio frequency identity (RFID) chip infected with a virus to prove that RFID systems are vulnerable despite the extremely low memory capacity on the cheap chips.

Oct 10 19:32

Opera releases 9.6 web browser

Opera has released version 9.6 of its desktop browser, highlighting further speed and efficiency improvements plus a number of new features.

One of these, Opera Link, will save browser history and favourite search engines to ‘the cloud’, enabling users to access bookmarks and previously-visited sites from any computer. Meanwhile, Opera Mail offers a ‘low-bandwidth’ mode, designed for use on slow connections that will strip out attachments, unless specified. It will also let you choose to either follow or ignore contacts in a thread.

Oct 10 17:23

Sneaky OpenOffice 3 Download

OpenOffice is a free and open source productivity suite that is seen as an alternative to Microsoft Office. This latest version could be seen as a playful Microsoft Office 2003, missing some of its features but surpassing it in other areas. OpenOffice Writer (Microsoft Word equivalent) defaults to saving in its own format (.odt), but the setting can be changed to automatically save in the prevalent Word format (.doc). With this change, we believe most users wouldn’t even notice they were using OpenOffice 3 instead of Microsoft Office 2003 or below.

Oct 10 06:44

WiFi is no longer a viable secure connection

WiFi is no longer secure enough to protect wireless data.

Global Secure Systems has said that a Russian's firm's use of the latest NVidia graphics cards to accelerate WiFi ‘password recovery' times by up to an astonishing 10,000 per cent proves that WiFi's WPA and WPA2 encryption systems are no longer enough to protect wireless data.

Oct 10 06:38

Bank buyouts trigger new phishing scams

Security experts are warning users to be on the lookout for a new round of spam attacks playing off of the recent banking crisis.

The US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-Cert) highlighted new spam messages purporting to be from popular banks.

The warnings come after the recent economic crisis pushed several major banks into the hands of new owners.

The rash of buyouts left some consumers puzzled as to the company now operating their banks, and phishers have capitalised on this confusion.

Oct 10 06:30

Oops : Asus EEE Mini PC Box Contaminated With Recycled.exe Virus

Big Box manufacturer Asus has acknowledged that its EEE Box Desktop Mini PCs contain a virus called Recycled.exe which is hidden in the box's 80GB hard disk drive.

While Asus says that it only affects computers shipped in Japan, the Register understands that EEE Boxes in Europe and elsewhere could also be at risk.

The Windows-only malware is activated once the D: drive is accessed and it will try to infect all fixed and removable drives. What's more, The Register found another password-sniffing Worm loaded on their review EEE PC box - definitely not a good sign.

Oct 10 06:27

Messages from Earth sent to distant planet by Bebo

Messages from Earth – including a photo of George W Bush chosen to illustrate evil - have been sent to a distant planet that could be home to intelligent life.

Oct 08 19:33

750,000 lost jobs? The dodgy digits behind the war on piracy

If you pay any attention to the endless debates over intellectual property policy in the United States, you'll hear two numbers invoked over and over again, like the stuttering chorus of some Philip Glass opera: 750,000 and $200 to $250 billion. The first is the number of U.S. jobs supposedly lost to intellectual property theft; the second is the annual dollar cost of IP infringement to the U.S. economy. These statistics are brandished like a talisman each time Congress is asked to step up enforcement to protect the ever-beleaguered U.S. content industry.

Oct 07 06:41

Vista R.I.P.

Vista is awful. Everyone knows it, including Microsoft, and now Microsoft's actions have made it clear that Vista is on its way to the Microsoft junkyard with such similar failures as Windows ME and Microsoft Bob.

You don't have to believe me. Just look at what Microsoft has been doing. First, Microsoft started fast-tracking Vista's successor, Windows 7. Recently, we discovered that Windows 7 alpha will be coming to developers this October.

Oct 06 09:38

How to create the ultimate encrypted flash drive

To create your own ultimate encrypted flash drive, here is what you’ll need to do. Keep in mind, this procedure has been done with the latest 6.0a version of TrueCrypt.

Oct 06 06:57

Windows XP: the invincible OS

Good news for consumers and business customers alike who would not touch Vista with a slow-running barge pole, bad news for Microsoft which is already touting the wonders of Windows 7. XP simply refuses to die, and Microsoft appears unable or unwilling to turn off the life support…

Oct 06 06:13

T-Mobile Loses Data Of 17 million Customers But No Bank Details

In a startling revelation T-Mobile has admitted that it lost records of nearly 17 million German customers which contained their personal details including email addresses and phone numbers.

In a statement T Mobile's parent, Deutsche Telekom mentioned that a storage device that contained these files has landed in the hands of unknown parties.

Reports indicate that the records of German customers which were lost in 2006 possibly included secret addresses of politicians and some celebrities; however the fact that no bank details were present comes as a saving grace.

Oct 03 02:30

How a Canadian cracked the Great Firewall of China

When Nart Villeneuve couldn't remember the password to his Chinese MySpace page, the industrious Canadian hacker began examining China's version of Skype, and in the process, unlocked the inner workings of an Internet surveillance network tracking thousands of political activists in the world's most populous nation.

Oct 02 15:15

A Look at the ‘Clickjacking’ Web Attack and Why You Should Worry

There’s a nasty new security threat making waves on the web. Actually, clickjacking, as this attack is known, isn’t entirely new, but because no one has yet come up with an effective solution, it remains a serious threat. And clickjacking is the worst sort of security risk — it’s transparent to the unwitting user, simple to implement and difficult to stop.

Sep 30 18:49

Four top sites vulnerable to attack, warn researchers

Four leading websites were or are vulnerable to attack through an underrated vulnerability, according to Princeton University researchers.

While ING Direct, YouTube and Metafilter have taken action to address the cross-site-request-forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities, the fourth site, belonging to The New York Times, has not been fixed, the researchers claimed in a blog post.

Sep 30 16:10

Toxic Mac Pro’s emitting benzene?

Mac Pro owners, listen up.

A french newspaper Liberation.fr has published a report (English translation) stating that Mac Pro owners run the risk of getting diseases as dangerous as leukemia (blood cancer) simply by using their computer. The newspaper was warned by a national agency scientist that the smell (already detected by many Mac Pro users on Apple forums) is actually toxic, composed of several toxins, including benzene.

Sep 30 06:03

Yahoo Mail Security Flaw Exposes Passwords

A hacker working on a way to access Yahoo Mail via IMAP, recently discovered that Yahoo’s desktop e-mail client is sending your password as plain text. That’s bad news for those of you using the desktop client over public wifi connections, where just about anyone with the know-how can see your unencrypted traffic.

Sep 29 16:16

Adobe's CS4 pricing is completely bananas

IF YOU WERE THINKING about popping along to your local computer superstore to pick up a copy of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 Master Collection on its release date of November 14th, you might just want to reconsider.

Because Adobe's insane pricing policy means that it would be cheaper to fly from London to New York, grab a copy of the software, spend the night in a hotel, and fly back to London the next day!

Sep 23 16:27

Fake popup study sadly confirms most users are idiots

For most of us, security issues happen to "other people"—we block popup ads, we carefully examine dialog boxes and, for those of us on the Mac platform, we snicker when confronted with something that attempts to mimic a Windows system warning. But everyone knows that they are exceptional—what's the behavior of a more typical user like? Some researchers have tested how college students respond to fake dialog boxes in browser popup windows and found that the students are so anxious to get the dialog out of the way, they click right through obvious warning signs.

Sep 23 05:57

Hunt for Palin hacker shaping up to be simple case

WASHINGTON - The hunt for the hacker who broke into Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account is shaping up to be a remarkably simple investigation, by the standards of major cybersecurity whodunits.

U.S. investigators figure the hacker claimed responsibility in a detailed accounting that included his own personal e-mail address and that he tried to cover his trail using a U.S. Internet anonymity service that has been surprisingly cooperative with the FBI in efforts to peel away that anonymity.

Sep 22 19:40

Customs Officials Arrest 14 Year Pirate

I didn’t grow up in a ‘lock up pirates and throw away the key’ environment yet i’m still disturbed and concerned at how copyright enforcement is heading. Going to war against today’s potential customers seems foolish. Punishing and polarizing children - tomorrow’s customers - at the behest of big-business, is in a completely different league.

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