MILNER.ca : News

By: Milner  09-12-2011
Keywords: Security, Domain Name

LATE TO THE SECURITY GATE ?

Sony announced this week that it has hired Philip Reitinger, former deputy undersecretary at the

U.S.

Department of Homeland Security, as a vice president and to fill the

newly created

(emphasis mine) post of Chief Security Officer.



GREED IN OPEN SOURCE

, creator of the

distribution of Linux, and the

music player developers have found themselves in a morass over money. Banshee has it, and Canonical wants it - as the price for being included in their distribution’s next version.



MICROSOFT SHORTCUT VULNERABILITY

Researchers have discovered a new variation on malware that piggybacks on USB storage devices and takes advantage of an (apparently) unknown security vulnerability in the manner Microsoft Windows processes shortcut files.



WHEN PASSWORD IS YOUR PASSWORD

We have all heard the stories about the folks who come up with long strange secure passwords, and then write them down on a ubiquitous yellow Post-It® style sticky note and place it on their monitors so they won't forget it. Sadly, they are not just stories but are common occurrences. The hardest part of information systems security is not the hardware and software, but accounting for and attempting to control the human factor.



ETHICAL HACKING OR ILLEGAL TRESPASS ?

An article that recently appeared on the ITBusiness.ca website covered a story about the discovery that some cyber-criminals have obtained log in credentials for thousands of websites, compromising them and using them as a base for further attack vectors elsewhere.



6.6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION

A story that has been carried by numerous sources this week would seem to validate the “six degrees of separation” concept popularized in movie and trivia games.



DOMAIN SLAMMING

Just when one thinks a vile practice has disappeared it resurfaces its ugly head. I'm talking about “Domain Slamming”. This is the practice of trying to trick domain name holders to switch domain registrars by feeding off FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and the impression of official communications. Well, it’s back.



FORWARD TO THE PAST

In a move sure to raise the ire of many subscribers,

are test marketing metered internet. Many of us remember the bad old days of limited megabytes or minutes per month and how frustrating it was. That was why we were so glad to see broadband arrive for the consumer. Well if Time-Warner has its way the in stead of “back to the future” it will be “forward to the past”.



MICROSOFT HOME SERVER PROBLEMS

Microsoft discovered that many people had small home servers, and many more, especially those with large media collections, would like to have one and so it brought out Windows Home Server™. And then the gremlins appeared.



MICROSOFT GETTING DESPERATE IN PUSHING VISTA ?

A study by

, and sponsored by

, has determined that upgrading an enterprise with 5000 systems from Windows XP to Windows Vista could save close to $50,000 and reduce carbon emissions by over 100 tonnes. But what's the catch?



CROSSING THE LINE BETWEEN THE VIRTUAL AND THE REAL

Welcome to virtual reality, where people can buy, pay real money for, non-existent items such as furniture, to furnish a non-existent apartment, and where a thief can be charged for theft in the real world for stealing said non-existent property in the virtual world.



NEXT YOU’LL NEED TO VET YOUR PHONEBOOK

Well Apple makes the news again with its iPhone. When introduced, Apple made news, and disgruntled customers, by tying it to a single carrier,

AT&T

. Associated Press reported last week that Apple was limiting the purchases to two devices per purchaser. But now, in what is sure to fuel even more sentiment against the company, if not its product, Apple has directed its retailers to only allow users to purchase them with credit or debit cards — no cash.



ISO, ODF, OOXML & MICROSOFT

Despite hard lobbying, and perhaps some attempted “ballot box stuffing” techniques, Microsoft has failed in its attempt to have its

OOXML

(Open Office

XML

) file format declared an

ISO

standard.



OUT DAMN SPOT, I MEAN MICROSOFT !

Microsoft, as usual doesn’t get it. While touting a renewed commitment to operating system security, they go and bypass the basic tenet of such - systems changes are not made without the owner’s explicit permission.



DEFCON HACKERS OUT DATELINE NBC REPORTER

Things got interesting at this year’s DefCon conference when an associate producer with television news magazine Dateline NBC fled Friday after being publicly identified her as an undercover reporter in front of the crowd gathered for a popular conference session.



802.11 INTERFERENCE STANDARDS

Products based on the upcoming 802.11n standard are in the pipeline as the Wi-Fi Alliance announced the first products certified to the standard and a new test suite for latter in the summer. A question still unanswered is just how compatible these devices will be with legacy clients and how robust it will be as it is phased in.



OIL COMPANIES GAS PRICE GOUGING

Not that it will come as a surprise to anyone that has recently filled their vehicle with gasoline, but a study by independent researchers has found that Canadian consumers are paying gasoline prices far higher than can be justified by production costs or historic profit margins.



CORPORATE COERCION

Legal threats from manufacturers prevent security researchers from presenting a discussion paper on flaws of radio tag-embedded (

RFID

) building access ID cards.



SCO UNABLE TO FIND PROMINENT JOURNALIST

It would appear from a recent

at

that

SCO

is unable to find the author and principal contributor of the

web site.



MICROSOFT GIVETH & MICROSOFT TAKETH AWAY

Microsoft alters Vista licening to a friendlier version and at the same time attempts a subversion of open source.



MICROSOFT (IN)SECURITY AWARDS

In interesting, but not surprising irony, Microsoft has apparently awarded one of it᾿s “coveted” Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award which honours developers and others who Microsoft believes made significant contributions to users in the past year, to a creator of adware that Microsoft’s own security scanner tags as malware.



INTEL & nVIDIA

Fueled by the recent acquisition of ATI Technologies by AMD, rumours have been crculating that Intel may be acquiring nVidia. This is a disquieting thought.



MICROSOFT PRIORITIES & DRM

Microsoft bypassed its normal monthly patch cycle Tuesday and delivered what is probably the fastest security patch ever from the company.



SECURITY, CENSORSHIP & COPYRIGHT

Microsoft researchers are apparently experimenting with an automatic “ edit and replace” function for inclusion in the Internet Explorer Web browser. Intended for security it could have other uses.



LINUX, MICROSOFT & LENOVO

Lenovo, the new owner of the ThinkPad line of ntoebooks, announced plans to release two high-end ThinkPad notebooks that will support Novell SuSE Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10. While this is a drastic reversal of the statement of a Lenovo executive this spring that the company would not be supporting Linux on the ThinkPad, it is still not quite as good as it sounds.



NOT WELCOME TO FLY BRITISH

It seems that there will be no more working on that presentation, spreadsheet, trade negotiation or playing your favorite game or watching your favorite movie using your laptop/notebook on British airlines.



THE OLD IS NEW AGAIN - AND HOT !

Dell reinvents its notebooks using innovations that are over 20 years old, and potentially explosive.



FULL DRIVE ENCRYPTION

With the recent epidemic of lost and stolen laptops filled with sensitive information you would think that it wouldn’t be a problem; just encrypt the data. While a reasonable approach and one that many individuals do follow, it requires a certain self-discipline depending on the system chosen. And let’s face it, most people when they are in a hurry are lazy and take shortcuts, or just simply forget.

intends to make such worries a thing of the past. They announced in June their

FDE

model 2.5 inch drive for notebooks.



THE BIRCHES REDESIGNED

I have finally finished a redesign of the website. It has a more serene design and with the backend handled by Textpattern it now has some dynamic, interactive capability lacking in the previous design.



LIFETIME MEMORY

MRAM

chips have finally hit the market. In a combination of magnetics and silicon, it relies on magnetic tunnel junctions that act like transistors. Data is stored as resistance to current at these junctions. As magnetic polarization doesn't bleed off when power is removed, data can be retained indefinitely.



SCO AND THE MISSING PROOF

It would appear that

SCO

’s attempt to grab the brass ring by dubious means has met yet another setback. In Late June, 182 of 201 claims by

SCO

against

IBM

were dismissed by the U.S. District Court for lack of specifity, ie they failed to show where any code infringed their intellectual property.



NIKOLA TESLA REMEMBERED

He is one of the greatest inventors, engineers and scienttists in history, and all too often unknown or overlooked. Nikola Tesla was a pioneer in the fields of electric power, power distribution, alternating current and static electricity. He has inspired hundreds if not thousands of engineers and yet remains relatively obscure to the general populace.



YOUR DATA IS *OUR* DATA.

If you are an AT&T customer, your privacy vanished into the ether. The company recently sent a letter to its more than seven million Internet customers telling them that, effectively, all their usage information is owned by AT&T, and the company can do anything with it that it wants.



ENIAC TURNS 60

ENIAC

has turned 60. The first digital computer could do 5000 calculations a second. Unlike it's descendants it used a decimal rather than binary system.



DESPERATION OR ILLUMINATION ?

A recent

on

regarding Apple’s proposed announcement of a switch to Intel processors started me thinking. Friends and colleagues and I have discussed this many times over the years. The use of the PowerPC and a dedicated operating system have been, along with a certain image, what have separated and marked Apple as distinct in the personal/micro computer marketplace. Will they alienate all those who have bought into the Apple platform and the Apple mystique, for whatever reason?



GELATIN PASSES BIOMETRICS

Japanese cryptographer Tsutomu Matsumoto recently demonstrated the vulnerabilities in current fingerprint recognition systems.



PENTIUM DIVIDED

While most people have heard about the Pentium flaw, the more telling concern is whether you really need to ged a replacement processor.


The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Domain Name, Security

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