2/8/2006

Homeland Security Readies International Cyber-Wargame

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

“Cyber Storm” will simulate a series of network attacks on critical infrastructure in the private sector and in international, federal, and state governments.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is attempting to create a perfect storm in cyberspace this week in what it’s touting as the first international test of cyber preparedness.

Cyber Storm is simulating a series of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in the private sector and in international, federal and state governments in order to test response. The test is part of larger homeland defense plans and ordered by a presidential directive. It is designed to strengthen communications, coordination and partnerships. The threats are fictitious and take place in a contained, secure environment.

Participants will attempt to identify policy issues affecting response and recovery, map out critical information-sharing paths and mechanisms between the private and public sectors, test decision making, ensure that communication flows properly between key players and develop a National Response Plan.

Source: informationweek

Vonage files for an IPO

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Vonage, an Internet telephony provider, filed for an initial public offering on Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $250 million.

The company, based in Holmdel, N.J., also named a new CEO, Mike Snyder, who was the president of ADT Security Services, a unit of Tyco Fire & Security. The company’s founder, Jeffrey Citron, will become chief strategist, the company said.

Source: News.com

Bill would force Web sites to delete personal info

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A bill just announced in Congress would require every Web site operator to delete information about visitors, including e-mail addresses, if the data is no longer required for a “legitimate” business purpose.

The proposal, introduced Wednesday by Rep. Ed Markey, seeks to import European-style privacy regulations by imposing a broad data-deletion requirement. It would apply to every U.S. Web site, even ones run by individuals, bloggers or nonprofit groups and charities.

Markey said the measure would help stop identity theft. “This warehoused personal information about consumers’ Internet use should not be needlessly stored to await compromise by data thieves or fraudsters, or disclosure through judicial fishing expeditions,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

Also, Markey said, the bill would help address the issue of search engines storing data about their customers’ search terms, a subject that received attention when the Department of Justice subpoenaed Google, Yahoo and other sites for such information.

Source: News.com

Borland To Drops IDE Business

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Once again, it’s time for Silicon Valley stalwart Borland Software to reinvent itself.

The company on Tuesday said it intends to purchase testing tool company Segue Software for $100 million in cash and sell its highly regarded but low-margin developer tools business.

Executives said the acquisition and divestment is intended to accelerate an ongoing realignment at the company: rather than sell one-off developer tools to programmers, Borland has been trying to sell large suites of tools to high-level technology executives.

“It’s remarkable that they’ve been able to hang on and remain a reasonably sized company,” said Anne Thomas Manes, an analyst at the Burton Group. “They were not going to survive trying to be an IDE (integrated development environment) company because nobody pays for IDEs anymore.”

Source: ZDNet

FDA To Distribute Toxicity Databases

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The U. S. Food & Drug Administration (”FDA”) has signed a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (”CRADA”) with Leadscope, Inc. to distribute toxicity databases compiled using information from the FDA’s nonproprietary files. This is the first CRADA for the FDA involving two Centers; 1) the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (”CDER”) and 2) the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (”CFSAN”). Both Centers will release nonproprietary toxicity information through Leadscope.

The CRADA’s objective is to make high quality nonproprietary toxicity data from the FDA’s files publicly accessible at very low cost. The databases will be delivered in the new ToxML format, enabling structures and XML data to be deployed together. The databases will be platform independent.

According to Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman (Director, Division of Food Contact Notification, Office of Food Additive Safety) of CFSAN, “This CRADA will enable the FDA to have real-time electronic access to critical data while providing the public with a viable channel to also access and data mine the public information. The nominal fee being charged ($250 per database, per user, per year) will enable us to deliver the data at a low cost to the public, while providing the funding necessary to continually update the databases. None of these will become museum pieces.”

iPod chip maker plans Wi-Fi, Bluetooth support

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The availability of wireless iPods came a step closer today after PortalPlayer, the chip maker behind the Apple music player’s audio logic, will add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support to its products, Reg Hardware has learned. The move comes courtesy of a tie-in with UK-based Bluetooth chip design pioneer CSR, aka Cambridge Silicon Radio.

PortalPlayer said it will integrate its PP5022 audio chip family with CSR’s UniFi Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controller. It will demonstrate a reference platform based on the combined technology next week at the 3GSM show in Barcelona.

Source: The Register

Intel, Skype Making PCs Chattier

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Skype Technologies and Intel are making good on a promise to work together to get people talking on their Intel-based computers.

Skype said on Feb. 8 that it will offer a free voice conference calling feature for up to 10 people inside its Skype 2.0 VOIP (voice over IP) software. The feature is designed for computers based on Intel dual-core processors introduced this year. They include Intel Core processor-based notebooks and desktops based on the chip maker’s Pentium D chip for desktops for businesses and consumers.

The new feature comes after Intel and Skype announced plans to collaborate with the aim of improving the performance of Skype’s VOIP service on Intel hardware. For the chip maker, the partnership aims to help its customers use their Intel hardware in new and different ways.

Source: eWeek

Songbird, the “open source iTunes killer,” flies today

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A team led by ex-Winamp-er Rob Lord today released a preview edition of Songbird, a desktop media player that offers an open source alternative to services like Apple’s iTunes and the Windows Media Player. Instead of connecting to one locked store full of DRMmed goods, it can connect to any and all available music (and video) on the internet.

Code brains behind the project include people who helped build Winamp, Muse, Yahoo’s “Y! Music Engine” media player, and developers from Mozilla Foundation. Initial release is for Windows only, with editions for other OSes to follow in the coming weeks.

Built on the same platform as Firefox, Songbird acts like a specialized web browser for music. It sees the online world through MP3-colored glasses — it looks at an archive of public domain sound files or a music store’s catalog, and displays available media for you.

Source: boingboing

IBM Adopts High-Performance ‘Cell’ Chip

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A highly touted microprocessor designed to provide hyper-realistic imagery in video games is making its first appearance in a computing system made by the chip’s leading designer, International Business Machines Corp.

IBM announced Wednesday that it would incorporate the “Cell” chip into a new line of servers for defense, medical imagery, entertainment and other applications that require sterling graphics and intensive computing.

Source: AP

Microsoft May Rebrand MSN Portal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft may be getting ready to rebrand its MSN site as MSN Media Network, according to the blog Liveside.Net and an internal Microsoft Web site.

The LiveSide.net blog reported on the name change Monday, citing several unnamed sources for the information. One of the blog’s authors, Chris Overd, said via e-mail on Monday that those sources are Microsoft employees.

The rebranding will coincide with the launch of expanded MSN services for downloading digital media content and is aimed at expanding MSN into more of a digital entertainment content provider, he wrote. Currently, MSN is a Web portal for providing news and video content, as well as services such as music downloading and e-mail.

Source: pcworld

7 Highly Critical Vulnerabilities Discovered In Java

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Seven vulnerabilities have been reported in Sun Java JRE (Java Runtime Environment), which potentially can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user’s system.

The vulnerabilities are caused due to various unspecified errors in the “reflection” APIs. This may be exploited by a malicious, untrusted applet to read and write local files or execute local applications.

The following releases are affected by one or more of the seven vulnerabilities on Windows, Solaris, and Linux platforms:
JDK and JRE 5.0 Update 5 and prior, SDK and JRE 1.4.2_09 and prior, SDK and JRE 1.3.1_16 and prior.

Security website Secunia rates these vulnerabilities as Highly critical and recommend to update your Java runtime and JDK to the latest version.

Microsoft warns of new Windows security issues

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft on Tuesday warned of two security issues that could put some Windows users at risk of attack and said it is investigating a third possible vulnerability.

One security problem is reminiscent of the recent high-profile security woes that affected Windows. It is related to how aging versions of Internet Explorer handle malformed Windows Meta File images on the Windows Millennium Edition and Windows 2000 operating systems.

The flaw exists only in IE 5.01 with Service Pack 4 on Windows 2000 and IE 5.5 with Service Pack 2 on Windows ME, Microsoft said in a security advisory. Users could be attacked simply by viewing a malicious image on a Web site, in an e-mail or in an image viewer, Microsoft said.

In a second security advisory, Microsoft warned of a problem with overly permissive access controls in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The problem exists only in versions that do not have the latest service packs installed, the company said.

Source: News.com

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