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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Microsoft claims only 12,000 PCs affected by validation bug

Around 12,000 Windows Vista customers across the globe were denied access to a range of features in the new operating system as a result of a shut down in Microsoft's ability to validate their systems under its Windows Genuine Advantage program.

By about 11:15 a.m. Pacific on Saturday morning the issue affecting the validation service had been analyzed and resolved such that validations were again being processed properly and that many of the affected computers have already revalidated and are fixed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Apple's iPhone unlocked by teen

George Hotz, 17, of, New Jersey has managed to unlock the iPhone so it will work with T-mobile instead of just AT&T.With a little soldering, a lot of command line computing and about two hours of time, Hotz was able to switch an iPhone over to T-Mobile. The iPhone runs on GSM networks, which only T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless run in the U.S.

Hotz collaborated online with four other people, two of them in Russia, to develop the unlocking process. Hotz is selling one hacked iPhone on eBay, mostly to recoup costs from his summer long project. He has posted detailed instructions on how to do it on his blog.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Stolen Monster Data Put to Bad Use

The Trojan horse used to steal personal data from sends targeted spam seeking recruits for money laundering jobs. The Trojan responsible for stealing more than 1.6 million personal records from uses that information to build targeted spam that offers recipients lucrative, but illegal, money laundering jobs.

Symantec fingered Infostealer.Monstres for using stolen log-ons to run automated searches that have collected information on hundreds of thousands who have posted their resumes on the job search site. also announced Wednesday that it had found the hacker controlled server used to store the resume data ripped off by Infostealer.Monstres. Monster has identified and shut down a rogue server that was accessing seeker contact information through unauthorized use of compromised legitimate employer client login credentials.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Storm Trojan malware still going strong

The Storm malware, which first appeared in January of this year, is showing no signs of slowing down just this week reinventing itself as a website membership confirmation message. It is designed to infect as many end user systems as possible.

Storm started off attached to junk emails bearing provocative news headlines, later moving on to fake greeting cards notifications and advertisements for salacious photographs.

The scam has the user to log into the site in question to change their temporary login details. When accessed, the site attempts to load malicious code onto the user's system via a WinAmp exploit as well as asking the user to download the Storm Trojan under the name applet.exe

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yahoo Messenger video attack

McAfee has been able to confirm a report on a Chinese language security forum of a serious vulnerability in the most recent version of the Yahoo chat client. Relying on a heap overflow, it allows hackers to tale over a computer simply by getting an unsuspecting person to accept a webcam invite.

At issue is a buffer-overflow vulnerability in Yahoo Messenger's Webcam ActiveX control. The exploit is put to work when an attacker crafts a malicious site designed to take advantage of the vulnerability. The attacker then lures victims to the site by sending the exploit code via e-mail or hosting it in a remotely accessible location.

A Yahoo representative confirmed the vulnerability and said company software developers are scrambling to fix it. Affected versions range from Yahoo Messenger 5.5.0 on up to 8.0.0 and those versions in between. Yahoo Messenger 8.1 isn't affected. Users should immediately upgrade to the version Yahoo put out to fix the problem late last week: Version, posted at

In the meantime, Yahoo Messenger users may want to block outgoing traffic on port 5100 and don't accept any invites.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Microsoft's Mega Patch Tuesday

Microsoft issued the second largest bunch of fixes this year patching vulnerabilities that will affect anyone using Windows. Microsoft released nine security bulletins, fixing a total of 14 vulnerabilities. Eight of the bugs are critical, four are rated important and two are rated moderate.

The fixes address flaws in Windows, Windows Media Player, Windows Gadgets, Office, Excel, Internet Explorer, Visual Basic, Virtual Sever, and Virtual PC. Symantec rated the Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer as the most critical since two of the vulnerabilities affect Internet Explorer version 6 and version 7.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rent space from Google

Google will be offering additional online storage space to users who need it for a small fee. The new storage space, which Google took pains to stress is in addition to the free allowance for each service (1GB for Picasa, 2.8GB for Gmail), is priced starting at $20 a year for another 6GB. Other plans provide an extra 25GB for $75 annually, 100GB for $250, and 250GB for $500.

Yahoo announced unlimited storage for its Web mail service. However, Yahoo flags accounts that it thinks are being used for online storage, rather than simply storing e-mails.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Windows Vista service pack rumors abound

Numerous PC testers claim they have received an early build of Microsoft's first Service Pack addition to Windows Vista.

There have been tips from beta testers who claim to have a different build numbers. This implies that the numbers are really codes to track down anyone who spills information.

Microsoft has said that the private beta would begin in mid July, with a public beta soon to follow, and a final release rollout beginning in November.

Monday, August 06, 2007 testing PayPay type web service has announced a limited beta test of Amazon Flexible Payments Service which is a set of new Amazon Web Services APIs for moving money between people or computers. Unlike merchant-oriented services such as PayPal or Google Checkout, FPS is intended for software developers.

FPS can be used to specify transaction amounts, transaction dates, spending limits, recipients, payment methods, and fees.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Laser printers can be hazardous to your health

Laser printers may be hazardous to your health according to a new study. Some laser printers used in home and office environments pollute the air with potentially hazardous toner particles.

The study classified 17 out of 62 printers as high particle emitters because they released so much toner powder into the air.The study included Canon, Hewlett Packard, Ricoh, and Toshiba printers.

The inhalation of ultra-fine particles can affect human health in different ways, depending on the material inhaled and the quantity. But such particles can cause respiratory irritation or more serve conditions including cardiovascular problems or cancer.

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