Beta testers of Windows Vista, the upcoming next edition of Microsoft's operating system, have found a network feature that could pose a potential security risk. The feature is a peer-to-peer networking component using Microsoft's new peer name resolution protocol (PNRP) that tries to connect to other Vista machines as soon as it has an internet connection. The feature deviates from Microsoft's "secure by default" policy. According to George Bakos, a researcher at the Institute for Security Technology Studies, the feature poses a number of risks: first, it puts a computer on the Internet using an unvetted protocol; it advertise targets to potential hackers; the service tags computers with yet another identification number. However, bugs are common in beta versions of software -- Microsoft says it will be turned off by default when Vista hits the market. In the meantime, Vista machines are mostly in the hands of technology professionals.
Cameras that make great holiday gifts
Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.