Online Game ID Theft Victimizes Thousands

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

More than 220,000 South Koreans have been victims of online identity theft in connection with a popular Web-based fantasy game, a sign of growing problems with information protection in one of the world’s most wired countries.

The victims have filed complaints with the operator of “Lineage” in the past week after discovering that accounts for the game had been set up in their names without their knowledge, the Seoul-based game company NCSoft said.

To sign up for a game account, Internet users must provide their name and resident registration number, which is the main form of national identification. Police are investigating who stole the personal information.

Although there have been no reports of any financial losses, the case has raised concern that such leaked personal information could be used for more serious crimes.

South Korean firms have been criticized for demanding too much personal information from customers for online transactions while not protecting them properly.

Source: AP

U.S. Grants Patent For AJAX

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The patent–issued on Valentine’s Day–covers all rich-media technology implementations, including Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax, and XAML, when the rich-media application is accessed on any device over the Internet, according to the patent holders.

A patent has been granted to a relatively unknown California Web-design firm for an invention its creator says covers the design and creation of most rich-media applications used over the Internet. The patent holder, Balthaser Online Inc., says it could license nearly any rich-media Internet application across a broad range of devices and networks.

Potentially tens of thousands of businesses–not only software makers employing its business processes but companies offering rich-media on their Websites–could be subject to licensing fees when they use rich-media technology over the Internet.

The patent–issued on Valentine’s Day–covers all rich-media technology implementations, including Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax, and XAML, when the rich-media application is accessed on any device over the Internet, including desktops, mobile devices, set-top boxes, and video game consoles, says inventor Neil Balthaser, CEO of Balthaser Online, which he owns with his father Ken. “You can consider it a pioneering or umbrella patent. The broader claim is one that basically says that if you got a rich Internet application, it is covered by this patent.”

“It’s kind of unbelievable that [the patent] has such a wide ranging use because it covers so many technologies,” says Bola Rotibi, a senior analyst at Ovum, an IT advisory firm in London. If the patent is enforced broadly, she says, “anybody who does anything with rich applications will have to pay royalties to the company.”

The patent, No. 7,000,180 or 180 for short, is entitled Methods, Systems, And Processes For The Design And Creation Of Rich-Media Applications Via The Internet. It contains 83 claims that encompass a wide range of rich-media Net application methods, systems, and processes.

How broad is the patent? Here’s what the patent abstract says it covers: A host computer, containing processes for creating rich-media applications, is accessed from a remote user computer system via an Internet connection. User account information and rich-media component specifications are uploaded over the Internet for a specific user account. Rich-media applications are created, deleted, or modified in a user account, with rich-media components added to, modified in, or deleted from the rich-media application based on information contained in a user request. After creation, the rich-media application is viewed or saved on the host computer system, or downloaded to the user computer system over the Internet.

Because he began developing the methods and processes more than a half decade ago, he believes he can prove his invention is novel and nonobvious, two requirements to get a patent, and can fend off any patent challenges from potential licensees who might contend the invention is neither new nor obscure. “Are we ready to defend our patent?” Balthaser asks. “Absolutely. We’re ready to defend it vigorously if we have to. But [litigation is] not the approach we’re taking in terms of licensing.”

Source: informationweek

Panda Software Launches DesktopSecure

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

DesktopSecure Protects Linux Workstations With a Resident, Integrated Product That Includes Anti-Malware Protection, Personal Firewall and Intrusion Prevention Technologies to Combat Malicious Attacks and Network Worms

Linux systems are becoming increasingly prominent, both for home use and in corporate environments. DesktopSecure protects both types of workstations with a solution that integrates the most advanced anti-malware protection, managed from a powerful graphic console.

“Today, protection for Linux workstations is essential,” explains Pedro Bustamante, director of the Corporate Software Business Unit. “With DesktopSecure, our clients can rest assured that all their network workstations are protected against malware that targets either Windows or Linux, guaranteeing their productivity and the integrity of their systems.”

This product consolidates network protection, as it includes not just anti-malware protection but also an enhanced firewall for workstations and an intrusion prevention system. This guarantees protection against network threats such as worms and other types of attack that would otherwise find Linux computers to be a potential weak point in corporate defenses. The final release version of DesktopSecure will be offered free to home users. This solution can be installed on all distributions of Linux and includes additional support for the most widely used distributions (Red Hat, SuSE, Debian and Fedora) in the corporate versions.

Vista Gets Gadgetized

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In keeping with its new policy of providing frequent interim updates of its forthcoming Windows Vista to developers and customers, Microsoft today released Build 5308 of the operating system.

Most of the latest prerelease version’s new features are aimed at enterprise customers looking to minimize the cost of rolling out and maintaining hundreds or thousands of computers. But Build 5308 contains one nifty and long-awaited new feature designed to dazzle all desktop users: Gadgets.

Like the Widgets in Mac OS X and Yahoo, Vista’s Gadgets are special-purpose programs for small jobs such as displaying the weather, time of day, a slideshow, or your favorite web site’s RSS feed. Unlike Widgets, however, Vista’s gadgets can either float freely about your desktop, or live within the confines of the Sidebar, a vertical gadget dock on the side of the desktop that you bring to life or banish with a couple of clicks.

Microsoft has demonstrated this feature before, but it has not been a part of any previous test version. Vista’s programming interface also allows developers to build their own Gadgets.

Source: PC World

Internet Users Oppose Storage of Queries

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Most Americans are uncomfortable with the fact that Internet search engines record their users’ queries, according to a survey released Wednesday that examined perceptions about federal authorities’ demands for such records.

Search engine companies recently sparked the debate by responding differently to the Justice Department’s subpoena for records on what their users had been looking up.

Google Inc. refused to comply, citing privacy along with a desire to protect its trade secrets. But Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and other rivals have handed over their data, which the government says will be useful in an online pornography crackdown.

Equally contentious, however, is whether the search engine providers even should be storing such records.

In the new survey of 800 Americans by the University of Connecticut, 60 percent said they opposed the storage of users’ search queries. Just 32 percent supported the practice, which the companies say is necessary to improve the performance of their services.

Source: AP

Yahoo! unbans Allah!

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo! has reversed its decision to stop people registering Yahoo! IDs which include the letters “allah”.

The Reg was contacted yesterday by a reader - Ed Callahan - who was having trouble registering his mum - Linda Callahan - for a Verizon email address - provided through a Yahoo! portal.

But Yahoo! got in touch with us this morning to say it is now accepting Yahoo! identities which contain the letters “allah”. The Callahans will be overjoyed.

Yahoo! said in a statement: “We continuously evaluate abuse patterns in registration usernames to help prevent spam, fraud and other inappropriate behavior. A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate, and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo!’s Terms of Service.

“‘Allah’ was one word being used for these purposes, with instances tied to defamatory language. We took steps to help protect our users by prohibiting use of the term in Yahoo! usernames. We recently re-evaluated the term ‘Allah’ and users can now register for IDs with this word because it is no longer a significant target for abuse. We regularly evaluate this type of activity and will continue to make adjustments to our registration process to help foster a positive customer experience.

Source: The Register

Agency rejects one patent in BlackBerry case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a final rejection of one of five patents at issue in the infringement case against the maker of the BlackBerry portable e-mail device, according to an entry posted on the agency’s Web site on Wednesday.

The PTO mailed out notice of the rejection of one of several patents at issue in the infringement case, which threatens to shut down most of Research In Motion Ltd.’s (Toronto:RIM.TO - news)(Nasdaq:RIMM - news) U.S. BlackBerry e-mail service, according to the Web site entry.

No further details about the decision were immediately available. It marked the first “final” rejection of one of the patents at issue in the case, although the PTO previously had issued “non-final” rejections of all five of the patents.

Source: Reuters

Mac OS X Hit by Third Vulnerability

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On Tuesday, security experts announced the discovery of another vulnerability in Apple’s Mac
OS X operating system. It is the third vulnerability found in less than a week. Security and antivirus firms have issued advisories classifying the flaw as “extremely critical.”

Discovered by Michael Lehn, a graduate student and research assistant at the University of Ulm in southern Germany, the flaw affects Apple’s Safari Web browser and could allow attackers to disable a Mac computer after tricking users into accessing a phony Internet site containing malicious code.

Apple has confirmed that it is aware of the problem and has indicated that it is working on a fix “so that this doesn’t become something that could affect customers.”

The flaw has been classified as a critical vulnerability because the Safari browser is configured by default to run or open certain file types — photos, movies, and compressed files — that have been marked “safe” by Mac OS X.

Compressed .ZIP files are just one of the supposedly safe files in question. Attackers can exploit the vulnerability when a Mac user visits a Web site containing malicious software that has been disguised to look like a normally safe file. Users who download the files run the risk of opening their computers to any number of nasty, virulent programs.

According to Dave Cole, director of Symantec Security Response, Symantec has given the flaw a fairly severe rating of 8.3 out of 10 and an urgency rating of 7.3 out of 10. “We would rate this as a severe vulnerability, to put it succinctly,” he said.

Source: newsfactor

Microsoft Connects Office to ERP and CRM Applications

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has released a collection of software programs that work in coordination with its popular productivity suite, with the aim of giving customers more flexibility and control in managing data.

The new software, called Microsoft Dynamics Snap, consists of four new programs that connect with Office 2003. The applications allow users to access and use back-end programs like the company’s Dynamics AX 3.0 and CRM 3.0 directly from certain Office tools.

Dynamics, formerly known as Project Green, is the umbrella term for Microsoft’s business-application platform, and was launched last September. The company has been working to use Dynamics to integrate several applications, with the goal of reducing unnecessary data entry, increasing productivity, and integrating business processes.

Source: News Factor

12 Nigerians arrested in Holland for Internet scam

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dutch police said they had arrested 12 Nigerians in connection with an Internet scam in which emails were sent to Americans tricking them into investing in non-existent schemes.

The Nigerians were detained on suspicion of commiting fraud or involvement in fraud in the scheme, which earnt them a total two million dollars (1.7 million euros).

They were arrested Tuesday after raids on premises in Amsterdam and the central city of Zaandam, during which police seized 25,000 euros in cash, computers and fake travel documents.

Most of the victims of the scam were US citizens. Four of the men detained were arrested on the request of US authorities, who cooperated in the investigation.

The gang has posted some 100,000 emails to potential victims, police said.

Source: AFP

Wi-Fi Moving To London

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The City of London Corporation is entering into a partnership with The Cloud, Europe’s largest Wi-Fi network operator to install and manage wireless broadband infrastructure in the city’s financial district.

The service is expected to go live within the next few months and the entire city will be covered within six months, according to an announcement this week from The Cloud. The company announced its plans to provide wireless hotspots in several cities last month, and now the organization that provides local government services to the Square Mile, Britain’s financial and commercial center, has signed on.

Source: informationweek

Windows bumps Unix as top server OS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Windows narrowly bumped Unix in 2005 to claim the top spot in server sales for the first time, according to a new report from IDC.

Computer makers sold $17.7 billion worth of Windows servers worldwide in 2005 compared with $17.5 billion in Unix servers, IDC analyst Matthew Eastwood said of the firm’s latest Server Tracker market share report. “It’s the first time Unix was not top overall since before the Tracker started in 1996.”

And in another first, fast-growing Linux took third place, bumping machines with IBM’s mainframe operating system, z/OS. Linux server sales grew from $4.3 billion in 2004 to $5.3 billion in 2005, while mainframes dropped from $5.7 billion to $4.8 billion over the same period, Eastwood said.

Source: News.com

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