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Monday, March 26, 2012

Microsoft credited for shutting down 2 Zeus botnet servers

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Microsoft is at it again helping to rid the Internet of worms designed to steal your personal information. This is most likely because the cyber criminals behind these botnet attacks use computers running Windows to do their dirty work.

Microsoft worked along side with U.S. Marshals as the performed 2 surprise raids on Internet hosting companies BurstNet in Pennsylvania and Continuum Data Centers in Illinois. They were able to obtain 2 servers used to send out commands to computers that were infected with the Zeus botnet.

Microsoft had files a lawsuit before the raid was done and claims that John Does has been controlling up to 13 million infected computers and used them to steal over $100 million from people's bank accounts. "We expect this effort will significantly impact the cyber criminal underground for quite some time, but cyber crime, like all crime, will always be a societal challenge," said Richard Boscovich from Microsoft's digital crimes unit.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Facebook speaking out on employer demands to see job applicant Facebook pages

 Posted by David Bernstein

Facebook has issued a warning to employers not to demand to see the Facebook page or obtain the Facebook login of potential job applicants. In fact they have threatened legal action against any company that does so. They say it is a violation against their policy of not sharing passwords.

There have been several reported cases of job applicants who have been asked during an interview to either log on to their Facebook page on the spot or turn over their login credentials so the company can review their page for any potential wrong doings that may affect their job performance if they were hired. One applicant he was told he needed to tell the employer his Facebook password so they could log in to prove he had no gang affiliations.

Facebook's chief privacy of policy officer said that if an employer finds out that a job applicant is a member of a protected group and are asked to show their Facebook page, the employer may be in for a claim of discrimination if they don't hire that person. Even the American Civil Liberties Union spoke out against the practice.

Its a general rule of online behavior never to share your passwords with anyone unless you want to risk getting yourself into trouble for something they do since you may be held liable for it even if you didn't do it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Windows 8 release date set

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You may have seen or even had a chance to play with the new Windows 8 operating system and may have been wondering when the final version would hit the shelves. It now appears that Microsoft has set a release date for Windows 8, and that date is in October of this year. This would put it close to the holiday season where Microsoft could score some big sales from people waiting for their new Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

Microsoft may also be pushing for this release date before Apple gets too far ahead of the game with their domination of the tablet market and release of the iPad 3. The Windows 8 consumer preview came out last month and got some good exposure and reviews to get the Windows 8 buzz going so now Microsoft wants to seal the deal with the final release. There is even talk of the next version of Office to be coming out soon as well.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Intel Xeon E5 8 core processor ready for action

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Intel has recently released its latest Xeon processor family named the E5-2600 with a codename of Sandy Bridge. This new processor is said to produce an 80% performance gain compared to the previous Xeon 5600 processors. This new processor series is focused on providing better performance and higher power efficiency (50% greater efficiency). Even though there are 8 cores per processor, by using HyperThreading they have managed to double that to 16 per socket with support for 768GB of RAM. The E5 also comes with the Turbo Boost 2.0 overclocking feature.

The Data Direct component is also in play and it allows network adapters and routers to route I/O traffic directly to the processor cache which in turn reduces power consumption and latency. It also integrates the I/O controller using PCI Express 3.0 directly into the microprocessor which increases the movement of data up to 3 times and reduces latency by up to 30%.

The E5 also focuses on security and uses Intel's Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction to encrypt and decrypt data running over applications. This along with Intel's Trusted Execution Technology, can prevent data centers from attack. Intel is pushing this processor for use in cloud or online applications as well as virtalization because of its power savings and increased security. Major IT players such as HP, Dell, IBM and Cisco already have plans to use this new processor in their hardware.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Second security patch for Adobe Flash Player in 20 days

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Adobe has just released another patch that fixes a couple of vulnerabilities in its Flash Player software. This is after it released another patch only three weeks ago. The patches are to fix security holes that can allow an attacker to take control of the computer or cause system crashes.

One of the bugs was a memory corruption vulnerability in Matrix3D that could lead to code execution and the other is what Adobe calls an "information disclosure" bug. These patches have been labeled priority 2 and so far there have not been any reports of hackers taking advantage of these vulnerabilities. 1 is the most critical and 3 is the least important when it comes to how soon IT admins should apply patches to the software.

The fixed versions of Flash Player can be downloaded from Adobe's website or you can also run Flash's update tool from the software itself. Most people tend to wait for Flash Player to them that a new version is available. If you are an Android user then you can get the latest version from the Android Market.