2/15/2005

Scammers access data on 35,000 Californians

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

ChoicePoint confirmed Tuesday that criminals recently accessed its database of consumer records, potentially viewing the personal data of about 35,000 Californians and resulting in at least one case of identity fraud.

The Atlanta company, which provides consumer data services to insurance companies, other businesses and government agencies, said the unidentified individuals posed as legitimate businesspeople in order to breach its defenses. Chuck Jones, a company spokesman, said that roughly 50 fraudulent accounts were set up by the schemers, through which they could view the data of California residents.

News of the crime first surfaced when ChoicePoint sent an e-mail to individuals potentially affected by the attack last week. Among the data available through the company’s services, and possibly accessed by the criminals, are consumers’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers and credit reports, Jones confirmed. However, he said it is nearly impossible to tell what information was viewed by the criminals.

Source: News.com

MS to release IE 7.0 in the summer and Free Anti-Spyware

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

During his keynote address at the annual RSA Conference today, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft Corp. , announced continued innovation and technology investments including future enhancements for safer Web browsing, such as plans for a new version of Microsoft(R) Internet Explorer for Windows XP Service Pack 2 customers; expanding anti-spyware protection by including the Windows(R) AntiSpyware technology at no additional charge as part of the Windows value proposition.

Gates announced Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect. Internet Explorer 7.0 will also provide even stronger defenses against phishing, malicious software and spyware. The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer.

In addition Gates said the company’s plan for making the personal version of the final Windows AntiSpyware software available at no additional charge to licensed Windows customers as part of the Windows value proposition. The offering will offer full functionality to consumers, including the ability to detect and remove spyware, continual protection that helps guard against more than 50 ways that Web sites and programs can put
spyware on a PC, and protection against the latest threats through the combined efforts of the SpyNet(TM) community and Microsoft researchers. For business customers, with more complex infrastructure support, management and deployment needs, Microsoft plans a managed anti-spyware solution that will be available as part of a paid solution.

In his keynotes Gates also announced that a beta version of Microsoft Update, a unified update service for consumers and small businesses that includes technologies such as Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server(TM) 2003, Office 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, is scheduled for release in mid-March. Microsoft Update will consolidate the latest security and reliability updates in one convenient location. In addition, Gates confirmed that the final version of a complimentary service designed for midsize and larger enterprises, Windows Update Services, will be available in the first half of 2005. Windows Update Services will enable system administrators to more quickly obtain updates for a wider array of Microsoft applications and distribute them across their networks.

In addition, Gates announced that version 2.0 of the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), a tool to help identify common security misconfigurations, will be available in the same timeframe as Windows Update Services, and will work seamlessly with Windows Update Services to provide consistency in scanning and deployment.

Microsoft’s Indigo takes on Java

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft will release an early preview version of its new Indigo communications system to software developers in March. Indigo, which is being built into Windows, is designed to simplify connecting Windows to other systems via Web services protocols. Indigo also represents a stepped-up attempt to compete against Java server software providers by supplying the industrial-strength infrastructure software.
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Source: Tech Republic

AMD Slices Prices For Spring

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Advanced Micro Devices sliced the price of its desktop, notebook and server processors on Monday.

In its most recent update to its price list, AMD cut te price of its desktop Athlon 64 chips by approximately 34 percent. The chipmaker reduced the price of its Opteron chips by as much as 34 to 35 percent.

AMD and Intel both usually schedule price cuts for the first quarter to try and pull sales out of the spring doldrums, the decline that occurs after the strong sales of the holiday season. The cuts also make room for new products to be introduced shortly after the Intel Developer Forum begins in early March.

AMD’s Athlon 64 chips are now priced at $122 for the low-end Athlon 64 2800+, on up to the high-end 4000+ model, which is priced at $643. AMD’s desktop Sempron chips are now priced between $68 and $114, with speeds up to the 3100+ threshold. All of AMD’s processor ratings are arbitrary, based on a different clock speeds and speeds of front-side buses.

Source: Extream Tech

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