IT News for 2008-11-26

Melamine Traces Found in U.S. Infant Formula

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it had discovered the toxic chemical melamine in infant formula made by an American manufacturer, raising the possibility that the problem was more extensive in the United States than previously thought.

While few details were available late Tuesday, agency officials said they had discovered melamine at trace levels in a single sample of infant formula. It was also discovered in several samples of dietary supplements that are made by some of the same manufacturers who make formula.


Fraudsters use chancellor's announcement as phishing material

Phishing campaigns have appeared following the chancellor's pre-budget announcement

MessageLabs believes malware and phishing will become more sophisticated next year

Morphing malware and phished social networks will increase in 2009.

Spam Back on the Rise with Srizbi Resurrected

After McColo was partially disconnected from the Internet by it’s peers global spam dropped noticeably.
It seems however that the spam was emanating from a zombie network and the control servers were hosted by McColo, the creators of the botnet (Srizbi) were smart about it though and built a fail-safe system into the the malware.

Further MS08-067 Woes

First let me say, “PATCH your systems” if you have not done so already! Seriously, you and your machines are sitting ducks for attacks such as MS08-067, which we learned about from Microsoft last month. This type of attack is especially dangerous if your Windows Updates or security products are not up to date. Microsoft released its out-of-cycle emergency patch on the 23rd of October–more than one month ago–so you have no excuse today for being at risk!

Spam is silenced, but where are the feds?

On Oct. 14, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, with help from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and New Zealand police, announced that it had shut down a vast international spam network known as HerbalKing.

Spam levels fluctuate as crooks try to revive botnets

Two weeks after a hosting firm's shutdown sent global spam volumes plummeting, some researchers continue to claim that junk mail rates remain dramatically down, while others say spam has already bounced back.

TiVo reports profit in fiscal 3Q

TiVo Inc. recorded a profit for its latest quarter because of a $105 million settlement it received in a patent suit, but revenue declined, the maker of digital video recorders said Tuesday.

Gmail 'vulnerability' turns out to be phishing scam

Reports that a purported Gmail vulnerability was being used by unauthorized third parties to hijack domains turned out to be nothing more than a phishing scam, Google announced Tuesday.

Obvious Mistakes Caused Europeana Site Failure

"Brussels, we have a problem." That was the message to the paymasters behind Europeana, an Internet portal designed to pool all of Europe's most treasured cultural icons, as it tried unsuccessfully to launch last week

Lenovo Service Disables Laptops With Text Message

If a laptop is lost, now there is a new way to remotely shut it down -- just text it. Lenovo plans to announce on Tuesday the Constant Secure Remote Disable service, allowing users to remotely disable a PC by sending a text message. Users also receive a confirmation text message that validates the disabling of a PC.

Sling takes its video portal public

Sling.com, the streaming site of Slingbox maker Sling Media, has emerged from private beta and is opening up access to its video content to the public.

Why is Yahoo peddling old plug-ins?

It's hard not to pity Yahoo's very public decline, but that doesn't keep us from scratching our heads over the once-great Silicon Valley powerhouse's recent promotion of a plug-in that debuted a year ago and which its developers say is sorely outdated.

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.

Fedora set to boot up faster

The Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project has released Fedora 10, the latest version of its Linux operating system, with what the company claimed was a wide range of improvements in areas such as virtualisation management, networking, boot time and security.

Mozilla slips an extra beta into Firefox schedule

Mozilla is to add a third beta to the development schedule for Firefox 3.1. The move will enable the company to get a better handle on remaining bugs and give several new features, including a faster JavaScript engine and a private browsing mode, more testing time, the company's browser director said yesterday.

Experts urge rapid DNS patch

Experts and vendors are urging the US government to rapidly deploy security mechanisms at the top level of the DNS hierarchy, which is known as the root zone.

Tweeting from Mars: NASA's outreach for the Phoenix lander

It's pretty easy to get people to pay attention when NASA does something big; the press will happily jump on both major discoveries and mishaps. But the actual research process is typically a collection of small triumphs and tragedies; conveying that to the public is much harder. With the Mars Phoenix Lander, NASA used Twitter, a microblogging service, to get its message out, and the Twitter feed attracted nearly 40,000 followers. Ars talked with the JPL's Veronica McGregor about the experience.

Synthetic Viruses Could Explain Animal-to-Human Jumps

In a technical tour de force with potentially profound implications for the study of emerging diseases, researchers have built the largest-ever self-replicating organism from scratch.

Give Thanks? Science Supersized Your Turkey Dinner

Your corn is sweeter, your potatoes are starchier and your turkey is much, much bigger than the foods that sat on your grandparents' Thanksgiving dinner table.

HP Calls PC Sales Environment 'Challenging"

Hewlett-Packard is gaining market share in every segment, and is at or ahead of its integration plans for computer services provider EDS, Chief Executive Mark Hurd said on Monday.

VW to speed up rollout of cut-price EV

German car maker Volkswagen is to accelerate development of its two-seat electric city car, it has been claimed.

Facebook spams social networkers with phishy email

Facebook has taken the unusual step of sending its users email asking them to click on a link so they can restore site configuration settings that were recently lost. Facebook isn't kidding, and neither are we.

Unofficial fix issued for Vista networking flaw

A system-crashing bug with potential malware implications has been uncovered in Vista. But a fix for the vulnerability, which revolves around flaws in the operating system's network stack, may have to wait until the next service pack.

Dell Adds 3G Option For Mini 9 Netbook

The device, powered by AT&T in the United States, supports download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 Mbps.

Fewer Than Half Of Available PCs Reused

Transportation costs, import tariffs, and environmental legislation are among the hindrances cited by refurbished PC exporters.

Europe tackles space ambitions amid financial crisis

European nations met on Tuesday to decide how to carve up €10 billion of spending needed to maintain the region's activities in space and tackle new initiatives amid rising pressure on budgets.

Hope for Rabies Victims: Unorthodox Coma Therapy Shows Promise

Four years ago, Jeanna Giese, now 19, became the first person to survive rabies without a preventive vaccine. Now, the medical procedure developed for treating Giese may have saved the lives of two children in South America.

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