1/23/2006

New Trojan Horses Threaten Cell Phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Three new malicious programs are hitting certain mobile phones, antivirus companies have warned. The Trojan horses, or programs that are disguised as legitimate applications, spread via Bluetooth or multimedia messages and can affect phones running the Symbian operating system.

The infection rate so far from the new malware is low, Symantec reported in threat warnings issued last week.

The Bootton.E Trojan horse was spotted last week by F-Secure and Symantec and is perhaps the most potentially crippling of the three to those infected. The program restarts the mobile device but it also releases corrupted components that cause the reboot to fail, leaving the device unusable.

The Pbstealer.D Trojan sends an infected user’s contact list, notepad, and calendar to-do list to other nearby users via Bluetooth. The third Trojan, Sendtool.A, sends malicious programs such as the Pbstealer Trojan to other devices via Bluetooth.

Source: PCWorld

Apple’s iWork emerges as top rival to Microsoft Office

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Corel bills its WordPerfect Office software as “the world’s leading alternative to Microsoft Office.” But when it comes to U.S. retail sales, Corel lost the No. 2 spot in 2005 to a somewhat unlikely competitor: Apple Computer’s iWork.

According to market researcher NPD, Apple grabbed 2.7 percent unit share, while Corel had 1.6 percent share. Microsoft maintained its dominance with nearly 95 percent of unit sales.

Apple’s share is particularly impressive considering that iWork only runs on Macs, which account for a small fraction of computers, said NPD analyst Chris Swenson. “Apple’s success for iWork has been pretty surprising,” he said.

Looking at the Mac platform alone, iWork accounted for 17.4 percent, compared to about 82 percent for Microsoft. “Apple’s iWork didn’t overtake Microsoft Office, but I think taking almost a fifth of the Mac Office Suite market away from an entrenched competitor such as Microsoft is quite an accomplishment,” Swenson said.

Source: News.com

Harder-to-Detect Oracle Rootkit on the Way

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A security expert working on a new version of an Oracle database rootkit says the programs are easy to create and could soon be as common as those that target operating systems like Windows.

Alexander Kornbrust, of Red Database Security GmbH, told eWEEK that he is developing Version 2.0 of a rootkit program he first unveiled in April 2005. The new version, which Kornbrust hopes to unveil at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas in July, will be harder to detect on Oracle systems using standard administrative tools. Kornbrust claims his rootkits are not hacking tools but are designed to underscore weaknesses in databases from Oracle, Microsoft and others that make it easy to hide malicious activity.

Source: eWeek

Google News Is Out Of Beta With New Personalized Search

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Today Google announced that after the launched of the English-language edition in September 2002, Google news is finally out of beta.

A bit more than three years later, Google offers Google news in 22 regional editions in 10 languages, with email alerts, ability for users to create a personalized page and adding a way to automatically recommend stories for users with Personalized Search.

The new Personalized Search works like this: When you’re signed in to your Google Account, you’ll receive recommended news stories based on the previous stories you’ve read. These recommendations will be highlighted just below the top news stories on the page, in a clearly marked section. You can also get a full page of recommended stories by clicking on the section. All of this is done automatically using algorithms.

Feds asked to take action against adware maker

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An anti-spyware watchdog group has lodged official complaints against 180solutions and one of its partners, dealing a blow to the adware industry’s efforts to police itself.

The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based public advocacy group, filed a pair of complaints with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday. The complaints charge 180solutions and free Web hosting provider CJB.net with engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices.

180Solutions deliberately and repeatedly duped Internet users into downloading intrusive advertising software, according to a Center for Democracy and Technology complaint. The company continued these practices even after it pledged to better itself and after receiving warnings from spyware experts and privacy advocates, the group said.

“180solutions has continually made assertions that they have improved or cleaned up their services. CDT has found those assertions to be untrue at best,” Ari Schwartz, deputy director at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said in a news conference call on Monday.

Source: News.com

Intel Macs only one fourth, not four times faster

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Macworld has gotten hold of the x86 iMacs and run some benchmarks. There’s lots of good news for speed-starved Mac users. The iMac boots in 25 seconds, and shaves the time taken to perform some mathematically-intensive tasks by a third.

But on the whole, the results show a speed bump of only a measly quarter over today’s overclocked G4 and new G5 processors.

“Unfortunately, our tests suggest that the remarkable results of Apple’s published tests aren’t reflected in most of the real-world applications we tested. Based on our initial tests, the new Core-Duo-based iMac seems to be 10-20 per cent percent faster than its predecessor when it comes to native applications, with some select tasks showing improvement above and beyond that,” writes Macworld’s Jason Snell.

Source: The Register

British parliament attacked using WMF exploit

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The British Parliament was attacked late last year by hackers who tried to exploit the WMF flaw within Windows, security experts confirmed on Friday.

MessageLabs, the e-mail-filtering provider for the U.K. government, told ZDNet UK that targeted e-mails were sent to various individuals within government departments in an attempt to take control of their computers.

The attack occurred over the Christmas period and came from China, according to Mark Toshack, manager of antivirus operations at MessageLabs, who added that the e-mails were intercepted before they reached the government’s systems.

“The attack definitely came from China–we know that because we log the IP addresses. The U.K. Government was targeted but none [of the e-mails] got through. No one was affected–they were attacked but they [the government] didn’t know about it until we told them,” said Toshack.

Source: News.com

High Court Won’t Hear BlackBerry Appeal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from the maker of the BlackBerry in the long-running battle over patents for the wildly popular, handheld wireless e-mail device.

The high court’s refusal to hear Canada-based Research In Motion Ltd.’s appeal means that a trial judge in Richmond, Va., could impose an injunction against the company and block BlackBerry use among many of its owners in the United States.

The justices had been asked to decide on whether U.S. patent law is technologically out of date in the age of the Internet and the global marketplace.

At issue was how U.S. law applies to technology that is used in a foreign country and allegedly infringes on the intellectual property rights of a patent-holder in the United States.

The justices were asked to decide whether Research In Motion can be held liable for patent infringement when its main relay station for e-mail and data transmission is located in Waterloo, Ontario, outside U.S. borders.

RIM was challenging a ruling by a federal appeals court that found that the company had infringed on the patents held by NTP Inc., a tiny northern Virginia patent-holding company, because its customers use the BlackBerry inside U.S. borders. The panel said it did not matter where the relay station is located.

Source: AP

iMesh signs MusicNet for legal P2P downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

P2P software company iMesh has signed digital music distributor MusicNet to supply it with songs as it attempts to transform its service into something the content industries will be happy with.

iMesh said it will offer MusicNet’s catalogue, which also sits behind music stores run by Virgin, HMV, AOL and Yahoo!, as one-off downloads and through a monthly subscription service. Essentially, consumers will be allowed to ’share’ their music libraries with other iMesh users, but downloading a protected song will “pop up” an opportunity to purchase the track.

Source: The Register

IBM instant messaging links to AIM, Yahoo, Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM, whose secure messaging system is used within many of the biggest companies, on Monday said its customers would soon be able to chat with instant messaging users from America Online, Yahoo and Google.

International Business Machines Corp. said it plans by midyear to allow its Lotus Sametime corporate instant messaging system to work with the three consumer messaging systems, marking the latest move to breakdown barriers that have separated instant messaging audiences from one another.

Missing from the deal is Microsoft Corp., the most direct rival of IBM in the corporate instant messaging world, where customers often demand greater security and the ability of managers to audit what users say.

Source: Reuters

Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Small Business +

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today rolled out Microsoft Small Business +, a suite of free, personalized online resources and technical support offerings including a 45-day free trial of unlimited advanced technical support options that customers can choose to purchase — designed to help small businesses succeed in applying technology in their businesses.

Small Business + is an extension of Microsoft’s Small Business Center Web site, which provides a broad array of resources for small companies. Small Business + builds on this foundation to provide members with a personalized experience. Customers complete a short registration to join, gaining free access to some offerings that are personalized to their needs based on their registration information. Small Business + can be accessed in the United States at http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness . It will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United
Kingdom.

Trojan blitz poses as credit card warning

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

UK businesses faced a barrage of 115,000 emails containing a new Trojan on Friday, 22 January before anti-virus vendors scrambled out an update, according to email filtering firm BlackSpider Technologies.

The Trojan downloader malware - called Agent-ADO - comes in the payload to a message that poses as a warning about a user’s credit card limits been exceeded.

Infected emails commonly have the subject line “ERROR:YOUR CREDIT CARD OVERDRAFT EXCEED!” and an infected attachment, a packed executable file called FILE1185 which is 5592 bytes long.

Source: The Register

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