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NEWS - Aug. 12, 2004

AOL, Yahoo rolling out sender authentication

ISPs AOL and Yahoo plan to begin using technology to verify the source of e-mail messages in coming months, as both companies step up efforts to stop spam e-mail, according to information provided by the companies.

In September, AOL will verify the source of incoming e-mail using a component of Microsoft's Sender ID authentication architecture. Yahoo will use its DomainKeys authentication technology to sign all e-mail coming out of the company's mail servers by the end of 2004, according to spokesmen for the companies. The decisions are part of an industry-wide push to thwart spam and online scams known as "phishing attacks," by improving the ability of ISPs and e-mail providers to verify the source of e-mail messages, according to interviews with executives from e-mail technology companies.


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AOL acknowledged vulnerability with AIM

In reply to: NEWS - Aug. 12, 2004

AOL has acknowledged a potentially serious security vulnerability affecting users of its popular AOL Instant Messenger software.


iDEFENSE has been working with AOL since 07/12/2004 regarding this issue
to allow the vendor time to implement a patch. However, on 08/09/2004 an
advisory was released by Secunia (http://secunia.com/advisories/12198/)
as the same issue was discovered by another group of researchers. With
the issue is now public, iDEFENSE is proceeding with public disclosure.
AOL has provided the following statement:

"iDEFENSE, Inc. reported a buffer overflow vulnerability in all Windows
versions of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). The impact of this
vulnerability could potentially allow for an attacker to execute
malicious code on Windows platforms. Exploit of this vulnerability
requires that an AIM user click on a malicious URL supplied in an
instant message or embedded in a web page.

Affected Products and Applications

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for Windows - All known versions

Vendor Recommendations

1. America Online, Inc. recommends that Windows users of AIM upgrade to
the latest beta version to be released on August 9, 2004. This new
version of AIM addresses the vulnerability described herein and can be
obtained via the AOL Instant Messenger portal, www.aim.com.

2. A workaround provided by iDEFENSE is available until users are able
to upgrade to the new beta version.

Vendor Acknowledgments

Thanks to Matt Murphy and iDEFENSE, Inc. for their assistance to
responsibly address this issue."


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IBM tells employees not to install Windows XP update

In reply to: NEWS - Aug. 12, 2004

While developers at Microsoft Corp. may be celebrating that they finished work on Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, IT departments around the world now face the question of whether they should update their systems, or not.
IBM Corp., for one, is holding off on installing the security focused update for Windows XP. In a note headlined "To patch -- or not to patch" posted Friday on its corporate intranet, IBM tells its employees not to download SP2 when it becomes available because of compatibility issues. A copy of the note was obtained by IDG News Service.

"While this patch may be good news for other Microsoft Windows XP owners, IBM is directing XP users not to install SP2," the note states. With close to 400,000 desktops, IBM is a very large Microsoft customer.

"IBM's large number of Web applications will need to be tested and some modified to work correctly with SP2. Currently, some high profile, business-critical applications are also known to conflict with SP2," IBM tells its employees in the note. "When the current issues and concerns have been addressed, IBM will deploy a customized version of SP2."

An IBM spokeswoman declined to comment on the company's internal IT issues.

IBM alerted its users on the same day Microsoft started the process of delivering SP2 to end users by announcing release to manufacturing (RTM) of the service pack. The Windows XP update will be available soon through downloads, retail distribution and free CDs, as well as on new PCs. A network installation package will be available for enterprise users.


Also in http://www.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/showstory.jsp?storyid=53462 entitled IBM not compatible with SP2

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Spyware as a service

In reply to: NEWS - Aug. 12, 2004

Just as spam, worms, and viruses have polluted the signal to noise of the e-mail platform, now spyware threatens to cut the legs out from under customer confidence in doing financial transactions on the Web. But, does spyware threaten the economic underpinnings of the Web, or is it an opportunity to turn the problem on its head? What if we turn spyware from a threat into a service, where users accept monitoring of their activities in return for access to a secure, indemnified network of enhanced services? If this transformation were to take hold, the vehicle to carry it forward would be RSS.

Read the problem, RSS information router and solution --> http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105_2-5307341.html

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