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Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

World Privacy Forum

May 26, 2005

Consumer tips for retrieving your federally mandated free credit report. Before you call, click, or mail for your federally mandated free credit report, read these tips to help you avoid potential problems and pitfalls.

Online tip: Do not use a library or public computer to access your free credit report. Shared computers may inadvertently help share your credit report information with others. Only access your report online via your own computer, or a trusted computer.

Online tip: Giving An Email Address is Voluntary - Know that you are not required to give out your email address in order to obtain a federally mandated free credit report.

CNET News

by Joris Evers

May 23, 2005

A tool provided by Microsoft could let people get around a check meant to prevent those with pirated copies of Windows from downloading additional software from the company, according to a security researcher.

Researcher Debasis Mohanty outlined what he said was a technique to trick Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage validation check in a posting to the Full Disclosure security mailing list on Monday. WGA is a software tool that verifies whether a particular copy of the operating system is properly licensed. Using a secondary Microsoft validation tool called "GenuineCheck.exe," it may be possible for people to trick the checking mechanism, Mohanty said in the posting. They could then download and run supposedly restricted software from Microsoft's Download Center on a PC running a pirated version of Windows, Mohanty wrote.

Internet News

by Colin C. Haley

May 20, 2005

An Internet backbone problem leaves the company's high-speed data customers disconnected Friday.

More than 2 million Cox Communications broadband customers lost their connections Friday after the cable operator's Internet backbone went down, a spokesman for the Atlanta company confirmed. "We're still investigating the root cause of the problem," Bobby Amirshahi, a Cox spokesman, told internetnews.com. Amirshahi said the outage affected all of Cox's broadband customers -- both consumers and businesses.

Globe Technology (Canada)

by Jack Kapica

May 18, 2005

Ask Internet safety advocates about the need to protect children from the Internet, and they will tell you the trick is to put the computer in the living room, where surfing can become a family activity.

Yet almost half of respondents to an AOL Canada survey say they would put an Internet-connected computer into the privacy of their children's bedroom. At the other extreme, almost 30 per cent of parents also said they don't intend to allow their children to go on-line at home at all.

Security Focus

by Robert Lemos

May 17, 2005

Researchers at Microsoft are creating their own version of a million monkeys to crawl the Internet looking for threats in an effort to secure the Web for Windows.

The software giant's Cybersecurity and Systems Management (CSM) research group are building a system of virtual Windows XP computers that crawl the Web looking for sites that use unreported vulnerabilities to compromise customer's PCs. Dubbed "honeymonkeys," the virtual machines run a full version of Windows XP with monitoring software and crawl high-risk areas of the Web looking for trouble. "Just by visiting a Web site, (if) suddenly an executable is created on your machine outside the Internet Explorer folder, it is an exploit with no false positive -- it's that simple," Yi-Ming Wang, senior researcher with Microsoft Research, said during a presentation at the IEEE Security and Privacy conference in Oakland last week.

CNet

by John Borland

May 13, 2005

Software giant plans subscription service offering antivirus help, automatic computer checkups.

It's not news to Microsoft that many, if not most, average Windows users have gripes about their PC experiences. In response, the software company is unveiling on Friday a new subscription-based computer fix-it service, aimed at automatically patching security holes, blocking viruses and spyware, and generally automating the chores of maintaining a computer's health. Dubbed Windows OneCare, the service will draw in part on existing tools like the company's anti-spyware software , as well as on basic PC management functions inside Windows. But it will add a more powerful firewall, ongoing antivirus protection, and the right to get a live support person on the phone without paying extra, the company said.

The Register

by John Leyden

May 12, 2005

Web server attacks and website defacements rose 36 per cent last year, according to an independent report. zone-h, the Estonian security firm best known for its defacement archive, recorded 392,545 web attacks globally in 2004, up from 251,000 in 2003.

Mass defacements (322,188) were by far the largest category in 2004. More targeted cyber graffiti attacks numbered 70,357. zone-h also recorded 186 attacks on US governmental servers out of 3,918 attacks on government domains worldwide. Separately the security consultancy recorded 49 assaults on US military servers. zone-h estimates that 2,500 web servers are successfully hacked each day out of a total population of 45m servers...

Deliberate Dumbing Down

by Charlotte Iserbyt

May 12, 2005

The U.S Senate's unanimous vote on the REAL ID card is a tragedy for our nation. What an abuse of the U.S. Constitution! Ghastly news.

This neat little package says we won't be able to open a bank account, board a plane or bus or drive a car without one. And just wait until the deliberately dumbed down socialist bureaucrats have finished with writing the regulations!

Security Focus

by Keith J. Jones and Rohyt Belani

May 11, 2005

In part one, we began investigating the intrusion of the Docustodian document management server hosting a law firm's data. The server appeared to have been compromised by a group of hackers who were using it as a repository for their MP3s, MPEGs, and pira

We also performed a review of the Internet Explorer history and cached files on the system used by Joe Schmo, the primary suspect of the intrusion. Analysis of the web browsing history revealed Internet searches for license cracks and hacking books; however, all this malicious activity appeared to have been performed while Joe was on vacation with his family in Florida. In part two we now set out to determine who used Joe's machine while he was on vacation. We will proceed by examining further investigative leads that involve performing an in-depth review of the web activity of all other browsers installed on Joe's hard drive...

Information Week

by Fred Langa,

May 9, 2005

Before you embrace all of Google's new technologies, consider the privacy implications. Google's stuff is great, Fred Langa says, but don't get carried away with the novelty of it all.

It's not just the main Google search engine, of course, although that's its principal strength and is how most people know Google. Rather, it's also the new spin-offs and additional technologies. Some of these are fairly well-known, but others are just now making it to the consciousness of the online world at large: Gmail, Google Desktop Search, Google Groups 2, Google Deskbar, Web Alerts, Search by Location, Google Glossary, Google News Alerts, Froogle, and more. Google's services are immensely useful, and the company's reach is huge and growing. I believe this is mostly a good thing, but with several major caveats, as the questions raised in these reader letters suggest...

      
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