IT News for 2008-11-28

Good Morning out there! I trust that you all survived Thanksgiving. It is supposed to be another very fine day in St. Louis metro area, but they are saying we may see snow showers on Sunday (no accumulation).

Anti-virus no defence against botnets, says vendor

A new analysis of botnets has come up with a possible reason for their prodigious ability to infect PCs - many anti-virus programs are near to useless in blocking the binaries used to spread them.


New attack threatens Windows PCs

Microsoft has issued another warning about a flaw it patched last month after confirming that there had been an increase iin exploits of the bug. This followed earlier reports by Symantec that the worm was out in the wild.


Tmobile G1 handsets having DNS problems?

John Kuhn Sent in the following links, which are of some interest.


John of course has impeccable timing given my previous diary entry on OS X based dns changers. Given the lack of solid data to pinpoint the issues that these users are observing we cannot come to any definitive conclusion. If you have a G1 and have been experiencing these issues feel free to contact us with whatever information you have. We would be curious to see if this is an infrastructure issue (dns poisoning comes to mind), some installed application that has a hidden surprise, or previously owned home wifi routers.


CBS page compromised by hackers

Finjan has warned internet users to be on their guard following an apparent compromised webpage on one of the sub-domains on the CBS.com portal.


Christmas tactics already being used in spam campaigns

Websense has identified a spam postcard campaign that is using Christmas as a tactic


Korea is largest sender of malware during November

More malware attacks originated from Korea during November.


Free security tool helps track down bots

BotHunter, a free tool that monitors traffic flows between infected hosts and external attackers helps organizations track down infected hosts and battle botnets in their network.


Microsoft adds malware detection to its Webmaster tools

The malware detection tool looks for malicious code in all retrievable web pages of a site and checks links to external pages for possible infection. This is to enable web site operators to provide better protection for their visitors against attacks


Windows worm infection accelerates

Microsoft is currently observing an acceleration in the spread of another Windows worm that exploits the known vulnerability in the RPC functions of the Server service. The worm is reported to be spreading over company networks in particular


Nightmare Before Christmas: Researchers Warn Of Holiday Shopping Threats

Increases in malware, enterprise vulnerabilities, laptop theft expected


Nat'l Guard Gets Spying, 'Flying Beer Keg' for Iraq

A Pennsylvania National Guard unit will get a new toy before it deploys to Iraq in January -- an odd-looking robotic aircraft, sometimes referred to as "the flying beer keg."


No Court Order Needed to Spy on Americans Overseas, Appeals Court Rules

The Fourth Amendment’s shield against invasive searches reaches only partially across the border, a federal appeals court ruled this week, finding that the nation’s spies don't need a court order to wiretap an American overseas, though there has to be a good reason for listening in.


Atlantic makes label history as digital sales surpass CDs

The music industry has come a long way from battling the threat of P2P and through the rise, and ongoing fall, of music DRM. Today, Atlantic has announced one of the most significant milestones in this transition, and one that many record label execs probably considered impossible just a few years ago: the last quarter was the first time in which Atlantic's US digital sales outpaced physical CDs.


AIDS: a good example of why science policy matters

AIDS is a serious problem for Africa. The least developed continent (obviously not counting Antarctica) on the planet has to deal with poor governance and crumbling infrastructure; add HIV/AIDS into the mix and the result is an extra 1.5 million deaths every year. That's a Rwandan genocide every eight months. That need not be the case, argues a study published in The Lancet.


ISP chops last head off Srizbi bot

An Estonian ISP that temporarily hosted the command-and-control servers for the notorious spam-spewing Srizbi botnet, has cut off those servers, according to computer security analysts.


PCs bought for Windows XP as cult grows

Many used PCs are being purchased because people want to get their hands on a copy of Windows XP, according to industry analysts and hardware suppliers.


Micron to launch hyperfast SSD, touts 1GB/sec. throughput

Within the next year, Micron Technology Inc. expects to bring to market a high-end solid-state disk drive that could achieve 1GB/sec. throughput, according to a company executive. The transfer speed is four times that offered by Intel Corp.'s newest SSD, the X25-E.


Benchmarks: AMD's 45nm 'Shanghai' Opteron

AMD's 'Shanghai' processors are the company's first chips to utilize the improved performance and efficiency of 45nm technology. ZDNet Germany tests show that they have made up important ground on Intel Xeon chips.


Online retailers ramp up deals to capture dollars

Online retailers are ramping up heavy-duty deals to turn skittish shoppers into buyers during the crucial Thanksgiving weekend and "Cyber Monday" — but even so, online sales are expected to be fairly flat after years of strong growth.


Silicon Valley Starts To Feel The Sting Of Layoffs

The scene may remind some of 2001 and 2002, when the Internet bubble exploded and dumped hundreds of thousands of engineers in the area onto the unemployment rolls.


U.S. Army Goes Bot Hunting

As an automated network-flow analysis tool, BotHunter uses IDS routines to scan inbound and outbound network packet headers and payloads.


History Reloaded: Changing The Past To Suit The Present

The authors of a new report argue that revisions to the White House Web site reflect a willingness by the Bush administration to whitewash history.


Cheap Blu-ray Players Seen Scarce in Europe

A scarcity of cheap Blu-ray video players and the effects of a recession are expected to delay adoption of the high-definition Blu-ray DVD format in Europe, according to media research company Screen Digest.


Public Safety Airwave Auction Faces Next Test

A renewed effort by U.S. regulators to auction off part of the airwaves to a commercial entity that must share the spectrum with firefighters, police and other emergency workers faces its next test within weeks.


Online Networks a Magnet for Job-Seekers

Janel Landon, who runs a small PR consultancy in Chicago, has long been aware of the potential of online networks: Now in her mid-50s and facing a global recession, she's decided to sign up. "Given the state of the economy, I recently decided to jump on board," Landon told Reuters.


How Windows 7 shames Vista on battery life

If a notebook runs Windows Vista, it will run Windows 7 and it will get better battery life, promises Gabriel Aul of the Windows Performance team. But PC manufacturers and device suppliers are also going to have to do their part to make a big difference to power consumption on new notebooks.


OpenStreetMap grows, spawns ecosystem

OpenStreetMap started four years ago in the UK as a project to create a free and editable world map. What began as a few geogeeks wandering the streets with their GPS’s has turned into a global movement with over 75,000 registered contributors.


My iPhone Is a Mac, My Android Is a PC

I’ve been using an Android G1 phone for more than a month now on a daily basis, but I still haven’t given up my iPhone. The more I use them both, the more that I realize my iPhone is a Mac and my Android is a PC.


Newspaper Death Spiral Continues; Industry Advertising Contracts $5 Billion So Far This Year

The newspaper industry in the U.S. continues to shrink at an alarming rate. According to the Newspaper Association of America,, total industry advertising (both print and online) in the third quarter was $8.9 billion, down 18 percent from the year before.


I Can’t Believe Some People Are Still Saying Twitter Isn’t A News Source

Twitter is emerging as a major force in breaking news. But some people disagree.

Today we saw yet another illustration, when people in Mumbai got the word of terrorist attacks out to the world well before mainstream media even knew something was happening. Mathew Ingram points out previous examples of Twitter users breaking important world news.


Nanomachines Powered by Light

Solar power is great for converting light energy into electricity. But what about harnessing light energy directly? After all, photons—discrete packets of light energy—exert force themselves, albeit on a pretty small scale.


Hopes high for science-friendly approach in US politics

It's early days, but it looks like good news for science and the environment as jobs are handed out in the wake of the 4 November US election.


Down's symptoms may be treatable in the womb

A pregnant woman who knows her unborn child has Down's syndrome might one day be able to prevent some symptoms before giving birth.


Pig organs: Ready for humans at last?

In the not too distant future, a person in need of a heart transplant could be offered a pig's organ. That's the hope of a group that met in China last week to agree global guidelines for the first clinical trials of "xenotransplants".


Major North American breakthrough for dialysis patients

Suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a growing number of patients at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), have become the beneficiaries of a North American breakthrough: high efficacy hemodiafiltration


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