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Archive for November, 2006

Hackers not afraid of being caught

Years ago it was hackers who were doing it for the bragging rights, now it’s criminals. The motivation has changed, hacking is now profitable and there’s so much money to be made with very little risk to the actual hackers.

Interestingly enough IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is still being utilized to start attacks and for communications amongst the bad guys. There are more secure means of communications available but they are still using IRC. They are not worried about being caught they are blatantly doing these things out in the open. Though the good ones are communicating less which makes it harder to track them. Their focus has shifted to make money in which case they naturally don’t want to make a name for themselves, so there’s less bragging involved, less communication.

Over the past year or two we have seen a tremendous amount of acceleration of adaptability on the part of the hackers, the minute there’s a new security tool out there, the bad guys find a way around it. Spam is a good example, nobody has been able to stop it. Recently you see spam that comes in form of distorted or disguised images, so it’s even harder to filter it. It’s amazing how fast the bad guys are staying ahead of us.

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News source: Hack Report

1 in 5 parents think kids spend too much time on Net

One in five American parents believe their children are spending too much time on the Internet, although most say the online activities haven’t affected grades either way.

In a study to be released today by the University of Southern California, 21 percent of adult Internet users with children believe the children are online too long, compared with 11 percent in 2000. Still, that’s less than the 49 percent who complain their children watch too much TV.

About 80 percent of the children say the Internet is important for schoolwork, although three-quarters of the parents say grades haven’t gone up or down since they got Internet access.

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News source: chron.com

9 out of 10 e-mails now spam

Criminal gangs using hijacked computers are behind a surge in unwanted e-mails peddling sex, drugs and stock tips.

The number of “spam” messages has tripled since June and now accounts for as many as nine out of 10 e-mails sent worldwide, according to U.S. email security company Postini.

As Christmas approaches, the daily trawl through in-boxes clogged with offers of fake Viagra, loans and sex aids is tipped to take even longer.

“E-mail systems are overloaded or melting down trying to keep up with all the spam,” said Dan Druker, a vice president at Postini.

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News source: CNN

Erase personal data on old cell phones

Today’s cell phones are really tiny computers, often functioning as phone, camera, e-mail device and personal digital assistant.

But what happens when you toss your old phone to upgrade to the new and improved model?
You’re certainly conscious of the evils of identity theft so you take the time to delete all your personal info, such as phone numbers, e-mails and old photos. You may even go the extra mile and reformat the phone.

But is your information ever really gone?

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News source: Tuscon Citizen

YouTube makes the move on TV’s “old rich people”

When most of us think of YouTube, we think of crazy videos of skateboarders crashing, or pudgy teenagers pretending to be Star Wars action heroes. Such “user-created content” does make up a hefty part of YouTube’s repository, but according to several demographic surveys, the types of people who are watching it are not what people might assume at first. In fact, ther’re mostly the people that the TV networks hate to see leave.

According to an eMarketer audience report, the group of people who watch YouTube videos the most are the 35-64 group, at 54.5 percent. In contrast, people aged from 2-34 comprise 41.3 percent of YouTube viewers, with the 25-34 subgroup comprising 19.1 percent of the total. Kids aged 12-17 made up only 12.6 percent of the total.

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Web sales down on Black Friday

EBay was the online winner this “Black Friday,” data published on Saturday showed, but overall Internet traffic growth was well below last year’s even as bargain hunters tracked down sought-after toys and electronics on the Web before “Cyber Monday.”

Overall traffic to the Nielsen/Net Ratings Holiday eShopping Index, which tracks more than 120 online retailers, rose 12 percent on the Friday after Thankgiving over the same day last year, according to the online audience measurement firm.

That is significantly below the 29 percent growth in overall traffic to the index from 2004 to 2005 and more in line with 11 percent growth seen from 2003 to 2004.

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News source: Yahoo! News

Antivirus firms battle ‘unique malware’

As malware is increasingly written with a specific target in mind, antivirus firms are deploying more intelligent detection tools and creating unique signatures for individual clients.

Over the past few years, malware attacks have evolved from a sawn-off shotgun approach, where a virus is released into the wild with the objective of infecting as many computers as possible, to a sniper approach, where Trojans are specifically crafted to spy on a particular company or even an individual.

Eric Ouellet, a research vice president in Gartner’s security, risk and privacy group, said that targeted attacks are among the most difficult to defend against.vSpeaking at the Gartner Symposium in Sydney last week, Ouellet said: “They are not indiscriminately firing a bullet and hoping it will hit somebody. They are aiming it at a computer or person.

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News source: ZDNet

Calif. court says bloggers can’t be sued

The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that bloggers and participants in Internet bulletin board groups cannot be sued for posting defamatory statements made by others.

In deciding a case closely watched by free speech groups, the court said a federal law gives immunity from libel suits not only to Internet service providers, like AOL, but also to bloggers and other users of their services.

“Subjecting Internet service providers and users to defamation liability would tend to chill online speech,” today’s unanimous ruling said.

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News source: MSNBC

200 Linux Commands for Newbbies

About 200 Linux commands for serious newbies. To get more examples on how each command is used, use this command:

#>man commandname

Where commandname is an command you pick from the table below. If no manual exist, then that command is most likely unavailable for your Linux distro. Ignore it and proceed with other commands.

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News source: True Hacker

How to choose an edition of Windows Vista

What do you need?

At a glance, here is a list of features that are not in every edition of Windows Vista. If the table cell is highlighted in blue then the corresponding features are in the corresponding edition of Vista. This should be your first place to look. If there are features you need or want you’d better get the edition that has them.

The Windows Home Basic N and Business N will be available in the EU only. There are also K versions for Korea. These versions have certain features and applications removed to cater to anti-trust laws in the EU and Korea. I have not included the K versions in this comparison. Also not included is Windows Vista Starter edition. That version is scaled down ever further than Windows Home Basic and will only be available in certain regions such as India, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, and Indonesia. All up there are 17 versions of Windows Vista if you count all of the N, K and standard versions in both 32 bit and 64 bit editions. But, cutting out Starter edition, the K versions and just acknowledging 32 bit and 64 versions, you’re left with a choice of seven major editions.

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News source: VIArena