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News - June 9, 2004

Security specialist to add Web-filtering tools

ServGate, a security software and device specialist, will add Web-filtering tools to its package of IT defense applications next week.

The company on Monday said it will begin offering software aimed at helping customers block pop-up ads, inappropriate Web sites and viruses borne by Web browsers. The application will be sold as an add-on module to ServGate's existing products and will cost $895 for 50 users.


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Russians and Chinese serve up diet of spam

In reply to: News - June 9, 2004

Spamhaus's Steve Linford, speaking at the Openwave Messaging Anti-Abuse conference in London, said that Russian criminal organizations are selling information on compromised computers to spammers in the United States to be used as spam proxies. Russian criminal hackers are not bound by anti-spam or hacking laws in their own country, and are not under the jurisdiction of others. 70% of spam comes from Chinese servers used by American spammers and hidden behind firewalls so that Chinese Internet service providers cannot see what they are hosting. Messagelabs reports that spam accounted for 76% of all e-mails in May 2004. Mr. Linford criticized the British and American governments for putting the concerns of the direct marketing industry before their citizens in addressing the spam problem.


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Q&A: Microsoft's Steps to Enhancing Your Online Privacy

In reply to: News - June 9, 2004

REDMOND, Wash., June 9, 2004 --- Consumers and businesses are increasingly concerned with protecting the security and confidentiality of their online information, and with good reason. Unsolicited junk e-mail makes up more than half of all e-mail communications, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project survey (December 2002). The misuse -- and fear of misuse -- of personal information have made consumers skeptical of Internet commerce. As a response, governments worldwide are imposing detailed requirements on the collection and use of personal information.

Peter Cullen, Chief Privacy Strategist

These issues will be among those considered at the TRUSTe Symposium: Privacy Futures, organized by the International Association of Policy Professionals (IAPP) and taking place today through Friday in San Francisco. Microsoft is a key supporter of the conference and two Microsoft executives -- Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president of Communication, Platform and Services Group, and Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist -- are among the keynote presenters.

To learn more about the online privacy issues facing consumers and businesses, and about Microsoft's responses to those issues, PressPass sat down recently with Arbogast and Cullen for a chat.

Read the Q&A in http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2004/jun04/06-09privacy.asp

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IE flaws used to spread pop-up toolbar

In reply to: News - June 9, 2004

An adware purveyor has apparently used two previously unknown security flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to install a toolbar on victims' computers that triggers pop-up ads, researchers said this week.

One flaw lets an attacker run a program on a victim's machine, while the other enables malicious code to "cross zones," or run with privileges higher than normal. Together, the two issues allow for the creation of a Web site that, when visited by victims, can upload and install programs to the victim's computer, according to two analyses of the security holes.

The possibility that a group or company has apparently used the vulnerabilities as a way to sneak unwanted advertising software, or adware, onto a user's computer could be grounds for criminal charges, said Stephen Toulouse, security program manager for Microsoft.


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