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NEWS - December 12, 2007

by Donna Buenaventura / December 11, 2007 6:21 PM PST
Zero-day flaw haunts HP laptop models
A zero-day hole is several major HP laptop models could provide an easy way for hackers to take complete control of Windows machines, according to a warning from an independent security researcher.

The researcher, known as “porkythepig,” discovered the vulnerability in the HP Info Center software that’s preinstalled on multiple HP Compaq notebook series to allow one-touch access to features.

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Hey, HP laptop owners: click here to get hijacked
by Donna Buenaventura / December 11, 2007 6:21 PM PST

If you use a Hewlett-Packard laptop, chances are a hacker can hijack your machine simply by luring you to a malicious website.

The pwnage comes courtesy of "HP Info Center", which comes installed on most HP laptops, according to a post made Tuesday to Milw0rm.com. It turns out one of the ActiveX controls uses three insecure methods that leave users open to remote code execution and remote registry manipulation-based attacks.

The culprit is a component titled HPInfoDLL.dll, which by default is marked as "Safe for Scripting".

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Ask.com to Unveil New Privacy Control
by Donna Buenaventura / December 11, 2007 6:36 PM PST

Hoping to establish itself as the Internet's least intrusive search engine, Ask.com is empowering people to prevent their search requests from being deposited in data banks.

The new privacy control, called "AskEraser," is scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday. When it's turned on, the safeguard purges a user's search requests from Ask.com's computers within a few hours.

Industry leader Google Inc. stores personal information for 18 months, as does Microsoft Corp.'s search engine. Yahoo Inc. and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL retain search requests for 13 months.

The feature follows through on a pledge that Oakland-based Ask.com made five months ago as it tried to seize the high ground in an escalating debate about how long search engines and other Web sites should hold on to personal information about their users.

"We definitely want to stand out from the other guys," said Doug Leeds, Ask.com's senior vice president of product management. "This level of control is unprecedented and unmatched."

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Iphone is hackers' fave target for 2008
by Donna Buenaventura / December 11, 2007 6:45 PM PST
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FTC & 7 State Atty. Generals sue Your Money Access
by Donna Buenaventura / December 11, 2007 8:09 PM PST

FTC And Seven States Sue Payment Processor that Allegedly Took Millions from Consumers’ Bank Accounts on Behalf of Fraudulent Telemarketers and Internet-based Merchants

Between June 23, 2004 and March 31, 2006, the defendants processed more than $200 million in debits and attempted debits to consumers’ bank accounts, the complaint alleges, and more than $69 million of the attempted debits were returned or rejected by consumers or their banks for various reasons, indicating the lack of consumer authorization. In many instances, after the defendants debited accounts, the merchants failed to deliver the promised products or services, or sent consumers relatively worthless items. The complaint alleges that by providing access to the banking system and the means to extract money from consumers’ bank accounts, the defendants played a critical role in their clients’ fraudulent and deceptive schemes.


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