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NEWS - October 17, 2007

by Donna Buenaventura / October 17, 2007 3:44 AM PDT

Skype Defender malware alert

Some Windows users have been affected by a malware program that imitates Skype software and attempts to steal sensitive information. 65404-SkypeDefenderSetup.exe is classified as an Infostealer, that is, a Trojan horse program that attempts to steal sensitive information such as login credentials.

When executed it displays a confirmation window with the following text, "Skype-Defender(TM) Installed! Please login to your account to apply new plugins".

When the user clicks the OK button, the malware displays what looks like a Skype login screen, but which has a different-looking sign-in button.

http://heartbeat.skype.com/2007/10/skype_defender_malware_alert.html

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Open-source users in Asia/Pacific swayed by security issues
by Donna Buenaventura / October 17, 2007 3:46 AM PDT

The most influential factor for deploying open source technology is better protection against security breaches, according to an IDC survey of open source adoption plans and challenges in Australia, Korea, India, and China.

The survey results suggested that organizations in India and China deployed open source technology more than their counterparts in Australia and Korea. Furthermore, as expected, a larger number of small and midsized businesses (SMB) in all four countries were deploying open source technology compared to large businesses.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/101607-open-source-users-in-asiapacific-swayed.html

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Internet Hijacker, Mousetrapper Settles FTC Charges
by Donna Buenaventura / October 17, 2007 3:51 AM PDT

An operator who used more than 5,500 copycat Web addresses to divert surfers from their intended Internet destinations to one of his sites, and held them captive while he pelted their screens with a barrage of adult-oriented ads, has agreed to settle FTC charges that he was in contempt of a court order requiring him to halt the practices. Under the new FTC order, the defendant must give up $164,000 in ill-gotten gains, conform to enhanced compliance and monitoring requirements, and transmit a copy of the new order to his probation officer.

In October 2001, the FTC charged that John Zuccarini was registering Internet domain names that were misspellings of legitimate domain names or that incorporated transposed or inverted words or phrases. For example, the defendant registered 15 variations of the popular children’s cartoon site, www.cartoonnetwork.com, and 41 variations on the name of pop star Britney Spears. Surfers who looked for a site but misspelled its Web address or inverted a term – using cartoonjoe.com, for example, rather than joecartoon.com – were taken to the defendant's sites. They then were allegedly bombarded with a rapid series of windows displaying ads for goods and services ranging from Internet gambling to pornography. In some cases, the legitimate Web site the consumer was attempting to access also was launched, so consumers thought the series of ads was from a legitimate Web site. It was difficult or impossible for consumers to close the windows or escape.

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/10/cupcake.shtm

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Microsoft to allow serial-number free install of XP
by Donna Buenaventura / October 17, 2007 4:13 AM PDT

Microsoft to allow serial-number free install of XP. PLUS: what's in XP SP 3

After four years in the making, Windows XP Service Pack 3 is almost ready for release. We've taken an in-depth look at it -- and one aspect of it jumps out as being particularly interesting: the ability to install XP without a serial number.

But first, a little background: Windows XP SP3 was recently released for public beta testing -- "public" being Microsoft Connect and MSDN subscribers. [...]

Most interesting, though is this last feature:
Windows Product Activation – this gives you the functionality to install Windows XP without having to enter the product key, as with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 SP2.

More at http://www.apcmag.com/7357/whats_new_in_windows_xp_sp3

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Myth vs. reality: Wireless SSIDs
by Donna Buenaventura / October 17, 2007 6:48 AM PDT

Do you ever wonder sometimes how it is that some ideas just won't die? Like the thought that not broadcasting your wireless network's SSID will somehow make you more secure? This is a myth that needs to be forcibly dragged out behind the woodshed, strangled until it wheezes its last labored breath, then shot several times for good measure. [....]

The old axiom remains true: security by obscurity is no security at all. Hiding an SSID will not hide a wireless network, so ignore any such advice -- and it's amazing how often I continue to see this. By the way, also ignore any advice that says to use MAC address filtering. It's amazingly trivial to spoof the MAC address of an allowed supplicant -- simply sniff the traffic, look at the MAC addresses, and use the neat little SMAC utility to change your MAC to one that's permitted.

Complete article at http://blogs.technet.com/steriley/archive/2007/10/16/myth-vs-reality-wireless-ssids.aspx

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Expert: iPhone 'Perfect Spying Device'
by Donna Buenaventura / October 17, 2007 6:57 AM PDT
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