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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 03-09  (Read 3906 times)

Ehtyar

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Tech News Weekly: Edition 03-09
« on: January 17, 2009, 05:52:12 PM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Keep an eye out for No. 1 everyone, looks like it could get out of hand pretty quickly. Enjoy this week's news :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.


1. Three Million Hit by Windows Worm
Spoiler
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7832652.stm
http://www.darkreading.com/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212900793
A virus is rapidly infecting Windows machines that have not yet applied the patch for MS08-067. Researchers at security firm F-Secure peg the infection rate closer to 8 million, and have expressed concerns the virus could be the beginning of a new massive botnet.

Quote
A worm that spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without the latest security updates is posing a growing threat to users.

The malicious program, known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido was first discovered in October 2008.

Although Microsoft released a patch, it has gone on to infect 3.5m machines.


2. Windows 7 Now 'available to all'
Spoiler
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7825111.stm
After last week's debacle in which Microsoft failed to anticipate the level of enthusiasm surrounding the BETA of Windows 7, availability of the pre-release operating system has been restored, and without the planned limit on downloads.

Quote
The latest Windows release will be available to everyone after a surge in demand crashed the Microsoft website on 9 January, the original release date.

In response, the company has lifted a planned limit on the number of copies of the Windows 7 Beta available for download.

Microsoft delayed the launch by one day to add "more infrastructure and servers" to cope with demand.


3. UK Ministry of Defence Stung by Rapidly Spreading Virus
Spoiler
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/011609-uk-ministry-of-defence-stung.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/15/royal_navy_email_virus_outage/
The UK's Ministry of Defence has been overwhelmed by a virus rapidly spreading across its computer infrastructure. Although they have released no details ragarding the nature of this virus, one can suspect this story is related to item No 1.

Quote
The U.K. Ministry of Defence is in the midst of an electronic fight with a computer virus that rapidly spread through its computer networks starting Jan. 6.

The virus infected computers throughout the military, including those used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and is one of the most severe attacks the organization has ever faced, according to a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman.


4. Storm Worm Smackdown As Researchers Unpick Control System
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/13/storm_worm_unpicked/
As a new potential botnet rises, another may finally fall.

Quote
A team of security researchers have developed a technique for automatically purging the remnants of the Storm worm infection from the internet. But the approach - which involves turning the botnet's command and control system against itself - could run foul of computer hacking laws in Germany and elsewhere, which ban the modification of computer systems without consent.

Nonetheless, the work of the team from Bonn University and RWTH Aachen University have advanced knowledge about how botnets (networks of compromised zombie PCs) are established and maintained that could advance the development of more acceptable tracking and take-down techniques.


5. RIM Squashes BlackBerry PDF Peril
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/14/blackberry_pdf_patch/
A flaw in the way Blackberry PC software handles malformed PDFs that could potentially lead to remote code execution has been patched by Blackberry maker Research In Motion.

Quote
Research in Motion (RIM) has published a patch that fixes a pair of critical flaws in the way BlackBerry servers handle malformed PDF files.

The two related security updates address vulnerabilities in the PDF Distiller of the BlackBerry Attachment Service for BlackBerry Unite and BlackBerry Enterprise Server, respectively. As a result of the bugs, hackers might be able to inject hostile code onto computer systems running the BlackBerry Attachment Service, providing they can trick the user of a BlackBerry smartphone into opening a maliciously crafted PDF attachment, contained in an email message sent to them.


6. Why Microsoft Left Windows 7 Unpatched On Patch Tuesday
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2009/01/14/why-microsoft-left-windows-7-unpatched-on-patch-tuesday
Microsoft ignored the BETA of Windows 7 when it released its patch for MS09-001 this week because the remote code execution vulnerability was rated "moderate", a level that Microsoft deem unnecessary to patch in BETA versions of Windows.

Quote
Microsoft started 2009 by fixing just one security flaw in its software; this month's Patch Tuesday only had a single security bulletin, MS09-001.

The security update kills three birds with one stone: two privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability. This is possible since all three problems, which could allow remote code execution and give an attacker full user rights, are found in the Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol.


7. FreeYourPhone.org Launches, Pushes for New DMCA Exemption
Spoiler

Good news for those with jailbroken phones. FreeYourPhone.org has launched a petition to have the DMCA amended to allow owners of jailbroken phones to maintain their legal rights as phone owners.

Quote
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has begun a new campaign to get the public to complain to lawmakers about the limitations of locked mobile phones. The new site, FreeYourPhone.org, encourages citizens to sign a petition going to the US Copyright Office in support of the EFF's recent push for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which it hopes will offer legal protection to phone users who have jailbroken or unlocked their devices.

The EFF submitted the exemption request back in December as part of the Copyright Office's triennial DMCA exemption reconsideration. In addition to phone jailbreaks and unlocks, the EFF asked for exemptions from the DMCA for YouTube's "remix culture," and university libraries across the country asked for more rights for using DVDs in classroom settings.


8. Meet Tim Cook: The Man in Charge of Apple
Spoiler
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/01/meet-tim-cook-h.html
Earlier this week, Apple announced Steve Jobs will stepping down as Apple CEO until June on medical grounds. Tim Cook, Jobs' right-hand-man, will stand in for him until such time as Jobs is able to return.

Quote
For millions of Apple fans, Steve Jobs is irreplaceable. But if there's one man Jobs himself trusts to stand in his shoes, it is his second in command, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.

With Jobs on medical leave until June, Cook will be leading the team at Apple. And it is likely that when Jobs leaves Apple, it will be Cook he will anoint as the new CEO of the company.

"Tim runs Apple," says Michael Janes, the first general manager of Apple's online store and now co-founder of ticketing search engine FanSnap, "and he has been running Apple for a long time now."


9. Obama to Defend Telco Spy Immunity
Spoiler
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/obama-to-fight.html
It seems the Obama Administration will go along with the immunisation of Telcos that assisted the Bush Administration in its domestic spy program.

Quote
The incoming Obama administration will vigorously defend congressional legislation immunizing U.S. telecommunication companies from lawsuits about their participation in the Bush administration's domestic spy program.

That was the assessment Thursday by Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's choice for attorney general, who made the statement during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A court challenge questioning the legality of the legislation is pending in U.S. District Court in San Francisco -- where the judge in the case wanted to know what the Obama administration's position was.


10. Judge Calls RIAA Objections "specious," Will Stream Hearing
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090115-judge-calls-riaa-objections-spurious-will-stream-hearing.html
Once again the RIAA planted it's proverbial foot squarely in its mouth when it objected to the live streaming of one of its infamous piracy lawsuits.

Quote
A federal judge has agreed to a novel request: streaming parts of an upcoming file-sharing trial over the Internet. Judge Nancy Gertner has granted the request of Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson and students to put the gavel-to-gavel footage on the Internet for any non-commercial use, over the RIAA's objections. But only on a one-time basis.

Joel Tenenbaum's first strategy for dealing with an RIAA settlement letter wasn't real helpful: he called them up and offered $500 instead of $3,500. His offer was rejected. When the case actually went to court, Tenenbaum tried to settle again, this time for $5,000, but by then the RIAA wanted $10,500.


11. Barbara Bush Runs Aground Off Coast Of Maine
Spoiler
http://www.theonion.com/content/video/barbara_bush_runs_aground_off
In an apparent send-off for her son as he leaves office, President Bush's mother, Barbara Bush, has run aground off the US cost.

onion.png




Ehtyar.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 04:05:31 PM by Ehtyar »

mahesh2k

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 03-09
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2009, 06:33:46 PM »
 1,6,8   :up:

Deozaan

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 03-09
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 02:46:56 PM »
#1: your link to MS08-067 is broken and I'm too lazy to google it myself.  :P

#10: Live-streaming a trial? Seems interesting, but what's the purpose?

#11: I don't get the joke.


Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 03-09
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 04:08:24 PM »
#1: your link to MS08-067 is broken and I'm too lazy to google it myself.  :P
Thank you, fixed.
#10: Live-streaming a trial? Seems interesting, but what's the purpose?
The purpose is simply to expose the hypocrisy and pointlessness of the RIAA piracy lawsuits.
#11: I don't get the joke.
I'll pretend I didn't read that ;)

Ehtyar.

ewemoa

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 03-09
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 10:38:59 PM »
Thanks as usual :)

I confess to being in the same camp as Deozaan w.r.t. 11.