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NEWS - December 27, 2007

by Donna Buenaventura / December 27, 2007 10:53 AM PST
Antispyware coalition: History and future of spyware
Spyware: What's Worked, What's Left, and What's Coming is what Antispyware Coalition hopes to tackle in its 4th public workshop next month - 31st of January 2008.

The agenda is online and open for registration. More info at http://www.antispywarecoalition.org/index.htm
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Passenger Says He Hacked Windows In New York Taxi Display
by Donna Buenaventura / December 27, 2007 10:58 AM PST


A New York City software engineer managed to gain access to the operating system for a touch-screen display available in the back seat of many Manhattan taxicabs and also used it to connect to the Internet. But no sensitive information or critical systems were compromised, according to the display systems vendor.

The display is used to present short videos and ads to taxi riders, and can be used to pay the taxi fare with a credit card. A VeriFone Transportation Systems spokesman told InformationWeek Thursday that passengers' credit card data is encrypted and isn't stored locally, so it wasn't compromised. He also said the cab had an outdated modem, used while the city tested the display systems.


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Group warns of sites offering unlicensed music
by Donna Buenaventura / December 27, 2007 11:02 AM PST

People who received MP3 players as holiday gifts may want to steer clear of some Web sites that claim to offer legal music but don't have licensing agreements with major music labels, the Center for Democracy and Technology said.

The CDT, a consumer rights group, has published a list of more than 30 MP3 download sites that don't have licensing deals with major U.S. music labels. The sites, which charge between $20 and $35 for subscriptions, say they offer music from artists signed to the major labels, according to the CDT.

Consumers should be aware of the sites on the list, because, in some cases, they may simply provide subscribers popular peer-to-peer (P2P) software that's otherwise free, said David Sohn, the CDT's senior policy counsel. And customers using P2P software to trade unauthorized music files could face lawsuits from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), he said.


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Storm switches tactics third time, adds rootkit
by Donna Buenaventura / December 27, 2007 11:03 AM PST

The ongoing Storm Trojan attack that began Monday has morphed again, security researchers said today, changing the malicious file's name, shifting to new malware hosting servers, and adding a rootkit to cloak the bot code from anti-virus software.

Spam messages attempting to dupe users into installing the bot-making Trojan now include links happycards2008.com or newyearcards2008.com, different URLs than in the second-wave attack that began Christmas Day. According to analysts at the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center (ISC) and U.K.-based Prevx Ltd., the name of the file users are asked to download has also changed from Tuesday's "happy2008.exe." The file being shilled today is tagged to "happynewyear.exe."


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Anti-malware vendors to merge PC scans
by Donna Buenaventura / December 27, 2007 11:05 AM PST

The rise of customized malware is forcing security software vendors to change their tactics quickly and begin using customers' machines as their initial line of threat detection intelligence, according to a new report from Yankee Group.

Echoing recent comments made by industry leaders like Symantec - which is considering white-listing techniques, among many other emerging plans, to thwart the trend toward so-called server-side polymorphism - Yankee Group Analyst Andrew Jaquith writes in a new research note that "herd intelligence" will be one of the most effective ways for vendors to detect and address increasingly customized threats.

By turning their customers' endpoint devices into malware collectors that can funnel information about new attacks back into their global networks of threat sensors and scanning technologies, Jaquith said, security applications vendors may make faster progress in stemming the tide of lower profile, smaller volume threats.


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