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NEWS - February 1, 2007

by Marianna Schmudlach / January 31, 2007 2:32 PM PST

Microsoft dabbles in Office rental

Not a real estate deal
Thursday 1st February 2007 01:09 GMT

By Gavin Clarke in San Francisco

Days after foisting another generously priced version of Office on users, Microsoft is reportedly flirting with a pay-as-you go version of its desktop productivity suite.

According to veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, lucky customers in South Africa, Mexico and Romania are testing Office 2003, charged at $15 per month. The company will decide in coming months whether to extend trials to Office 2007.

The trial follows a similar scheme for Windows last year, called FlexGo.

The news comes days after Microsoft updated its desktop productivity franchise by launching Office 2007, which costs almost $700 at list price.

More: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/01/microsoft_offce_rental/

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Bagle Displaces Warezov As Competition Hots Up Among Spam Sp
by Marianna Schmudlach / February 1, 2007 12:57 AM PST

Bagle Displaces Warezov As Competition Hots Up Among Spam Spawning Zombies

Published 1st February 2007

1 February 2007 ? The Bagle worm has made a triumphant return to top of the virus top 20, according to information security software vendor, Kaspersky Lab. Bagle.gt accounted for 28 per cent of all mail traffic in January, and is likely to be a response to the steady evolution of the Warezov worm, which has more than 300 variants. Warezov and Bagle are in direct competition with each other, as they both harvest databases containing email addresses, and make it possible to send spam via the infected machines.

Currently, all Warezov variants are being beaten back by Bagle and other malicious programs, with only Warezov.do remaining in the top 20 from December. February will reveal whether or not Warezov has been dealt a mortal blow.

More: http://www.snpx.com/cgi-bin/news55.cgi?target=185470023?-13948

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Video - Haxdoor Demo
by Marianna Schmudlach / February 1, 2007 1:02 AM PST

Last Friday's post linked to Computer Sweden and an "interview" with Corpse, the author of Haxdoor.

Today we have some video demos of Haxdoor.KI and F-Secure Internet Security 2007 with DeepGuard technology.

The DeepGuard System Control feature is capable of defending a system even without definitions of the malware. This is because the behavior of the malware is determined as a threat and is automatically blocked.

The demo uses a Rakningen sample that was caught during a spam run.

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/

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Simon says: download backdoor.exe (or using Vista Speech Com
by Marianna Schmudlach / February 1, 2007 1:04 AM PST

Simon says: download backdoor.exe (or using Vista Speech Command for fun and profit)

Published: 2007-02-01,
Last Updated: 2007-02-01 15:47:01 UTC
by Arrigo Triulzi (Version: 2)
Once in a while security researchers ask themselves simple questions to which they sincerly hope the answer is "of course not!".

This is the story of a question to which the answer is "oh my, this is fun!".

On January 30th Sebastian Krahmer asked himself (out loud on the Dailydave mailing list) if Windows Vista Speech Command function could be used by a malicious website feeding a wav file which would speak commands to download malware. The idea is deceivingly simple: the wav file plays through the speakers, the microphone picks up the commands and the Speech Command happily executes them.

More: http://isc.sans.org/

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Issue regarding Windows Vista Speech Recognition

Hey everyone this is Adrian and I am writing to try and clear up some concerns regarding a recently reported vulnerability in the Speech Recognition feature of Windows Vista. An issue has been identified publicly where an attacker could use the speech recognition capability of Windows Vista to cause the system to take undesired actions. While it is technically possible, there are some things that should be considered when trying to determine what the threat of exposure is to your Windows Vista system.



More: http://blogs.technet.com/msrc/archive/2007/01/31/issue-regarding-windows-vista-speech-recognition.aspx

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Microsoft curbs IE7's CPU appetite
by Marianna Schmudlach / February 1, 2007 1:12 AM PST

Flaw fixed in phishing filter that turned browser into a processor hog

Shaun Nichols in California, vnunet.com 01 Feb 2007

Microsoft has released an update for Internet Explorer 7 designed to reduce the amount of processor power that the application demands.

Steve Reynolds, Internet Explorer programme manager at Microsoft, explained that the problem centred on IE7's phishing filter.

When users attempt to open a web page with a large number of frames, the phishing filter causes the browser to take up unusually high amounts of processor power.

"This occurs when the phishing filter evaluates the page for each [frame] navigation, resulting in multiple simultaneous evaluations for each page," said Reynolds.

More: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2173984/microsoft-curbs-ie7-appetite

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Experts warn of soaring ID theft
by Marianna Schmudlach / February 1, 2007 1:14 AM PST

Expected post-Christmas downturn in cyber-crime has not materialised

Clement James, vnunet.com 01 Feb 2007

Software security company PC Tools has issued an ID theft warning this week after witnessing a dramatic rise in recorded virus and spyware threats.

The firm claimed that figures for malware activity in January suggest that the expected post-Christmas downturn in cyber-crime has not materialised.

PC Tools said that the threat level has increased throughout the month, supporting claims by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that the threat to UK identities has never been greater.

The ICO blamed a mix of poor personal document management and a lack of online awareness.

More: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2173951/experts-warn-sharp-hike-id

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