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Technology in the News

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

by David Needle

September 22, 2005

Several anti-virus security sites have issued warnings that a variant of the infamous Bagle worm has shown up on the Internet, spreading via e-mails. SophosLabs is warning that the apparent creator of Bagle is "intent on infecting as many people as possib

"All computer users should avoid opening unsolicited e-mail attachments and ensure that their anti-virus protection is up to date," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos, in a statement. "Businesses should also consider blocking all executable code from entering their networks via e-mail -- most companies have no need to receive computer programs via this route, and it dramatically reduces the risk of infection." All of the different versions of the Trojan horse attempt to turn off anti-virus and security software, and block access to security websites, in an attempt to allow hackers to gain access to infected computers. Anti-virus and security firm Microworld Technologies said the new Bagle worm is unable to propagate on its own, and the infected messages have been mass mailed using spamming technologies.


by Tom Espiner

September 6, 2005

Anti-spam group Spamhaus says almost 5,000 sites on Yahoo use the words bank, eBay and PayPal in their domain names.

Spamhaus has accused Yahoo of failing in the fight against online fraud, and Microsoft has admitted there is room for improvement. Yahoo is playing host to thousands of phishing sites and doesn't have sufficiently well-trained staff to address the problem of online fraud, according to a leading anti-spam and security organization on Tuesday. Richard Cox, chief information officer of Spamhaus, told an audience of politicians, security experts and law enforcement officials that Yahoo has just under 5,000 domains hosted and registered with the words 'bank', 'eBay' and 'PayPal' within the domain names.

C Net News

by Ina Fried

September 2, 2005

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to "kill" Google in an expletive-laced, chair-throwing tirade when a senior engineer told him he was leaving the company to go work for Google, the engineer claimed in court documents made public on Friday.

The allegation, filed in Washington state court, is the latest salvo in an increasingly nasty court fight triggered when Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee jumped to Google in July in what Microsoft claims is a violation of a one-year, non-compete agreement. In a sworn statement made public Friday, Mark Lucovsky, another Microsoft senior engineer who left for Google in November 2004, recounted Ballmer's angry reaction when Lucovsky told Ballmer he was going to work for the search engine company.


by Danit Lidor

August 30, 2005

Adobe's Bruce Chizen is still waiting to buy Stephen Elop's company, Macromedia. What's on their minds?

Bruce Chizen and Stephen Elop engineered the friendly $3.4 billion acquisition of Elop's company, Macromedia, by Chizen's company, Adobe Systems, in April of this year. But the deal still isn't complete, and the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether the merged companies will pose any antitrust concerns.

Macworld UK Magazine

by Dan Nystedt

August 25, 2005

Adobe and Macromedia shareholders yesterday voted in favour of Adobe’s plan to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock deal expected to close later this year.

The approval faced little resistance, with 99 per cent of the votes by Adobe shareholders cast in favor of the deal, and 99.8 per cent of Macromedia shareholders voting to support the acquisition, the companies said. Ballots were cast for around three-quarters of the shares in each company, they said. The deal, valued at $3.4 billion, will increase Adobe's strength in the document and Web publishing market by uniting pervasive technologies such as Adobe PDF and Macromedia's Flash, along with Adobe’s Photoshop image software and Macromedia's Dreamweaver.


August 25, 2005

Brazilian police arrested 85 people on Thursday accused of stealing more than $33 million by hacking into the online bank accounts of unwitting Internet users, authorities said.

The raid -- dubbed Operation Pegasus -- was carried out by 410 federal police officers in seven states, making it one of the biggest crackdowns on electronic crime in Brazil. In all, 105 arrest warrants were issued after a four-month investigation found that the suspects had pocketed about 80 million reais in the scam.


by Daithi O hAnluain

August 23, 2005

A "chemical wringer" developed by researchers in Florida leaves clothes 20 percent drier than a normal wash, and could save consumers millions in electricity bills.

A novel mix of common detergent ingredients that lowers the surface tension in liquids could force extra water from clothes during the final spin cycle, the researchers found.


August 23, 2005

A Cisco security flaw may allow attackers to hack into systems through the intrusion detection system (IDS), Cisco warned Monday in an advisory . An SSL certificate-checking flaw in two Cisco products - CiscoWorks Management Center for IDS Sensors (IDSMC)

A successful attacker "may be able to gather login credentials, submit false data to IDSMC and Secmon or filter legitimate data from IDSMC and Secmon, thus impacting the integrity of the device and the reporting capabilities of it," Cisco said. A free software update that corrects the flaw is available from Cisco. The announcement continues a trend in which security products are emerging as a potential entry point for attackers. Last year the Witty Worm spread rapidly using a security weakness in BlackIce IDS products from Internet Security Systems. Serious security holes have also been discovered in Symantec antivirus products and the ZoneAlarm family of firewalls from Computer Associates, among others.


August 23, 2005

After years of training customers to trust only SSL-enabled sites, banks are shifting their online banking logins to the unencrypted home pages of their websites. Although the data is encrypted once the user hits the "Sign In" button, the practice runs co

Web sites are generally reluctant to use "https" on busy home pages, since SSL involves a tradeoff: improved security, but slower response time. Consumers, meanwhile, prefer easy to-remember URLs for their online banking. In placing login screens on non-SSL home pages, banks are trying to have it both ways: fast page loading without the SSL-related performance hit. The login form's "action" URL points to an SSL-enabled https URL. Since the introduction of SSL, Internet users have been urged to check for the "golden lock" icon to ensure a web session is encrypted before conducting e-commerce transactions. As phishing has grown rampant, the Anti-Phishing Working Group and Federal Trade Commission have warned consumers to be sure a web page is using SSL before sharing personal information.

The Age (AU)

August 11, 2005

The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) concedes that a court's decision to throw out a traffic infringement case had created "some uncertainty" about speed camera detection.

RTA lawyers told the court they could not find an expert to prove the authenticity of mathematical algorithms published on each picture. The algorithms known as MD5 are used as a security measure to prove the pictures have not been altered after they are taken. "I accept that yesterday's judgment has raised a level of uncertainty - it's upon us to resolve that," Mr Willoughby said. "(But) people shouldn't conclude because of that decision there is a wider problem with speed camera images, we don't believe there is."

Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith

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