Attempts to fight spam by identifying e-mails have hit problems over Microsoft's involvement in the process. The Internet Engineering Task Force, an international standards body, has rejected Microsoft's contribution to the so-called Sender ID proposal.
The proposal, which would identify where e-mail has come from, could lead to better filters to siphon out spam. But Microsoft's decision to impose restrictions on the use of the system has angered some.
The working group charged by the IETF with looking at the standard has decided that Microsoft's decision to keep a possible patent application secret was unacceptable. It was also concerned with possible incompatibilities with open source software.
Microsoft remains hopeful that the Sender ID system can be kept alive.
New Worm Installs Network Traffic Sniffer
A new worm whose payload includes the SDBot trojan tries to install a "sniffer," seeking to use infected computers to capture login and banking information for other computers on the same network. While sniffers are hardly new, the bundling of a sniffer with an auto-propagating worm is a new wrinkle, according to security firms.
Sniffers are devices that monitor network traffic, and are a useful network administration tool. They can also be useful to hackers, who install them on compromised computers to monitor and intercept packets flowing through a network. This in turn enables the attacker to capture unencrypted usernames and passwords, which can be used to compromise additional machines on the network.