Adobe Fixes Shockwave Code Execution Flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A security flaw in Adobe Systems’ Macromedia Shockwave Installer could put millions of PC users at risk of code execution attacks, the company warned in an advisory.

The flaw, which carries a “critical” rating, affects Shockwave Player and earlier versions. According to Adobe’s advisory, the vulnerability occurs only during the installation process, and current users do not need to take action.

“Customers downloading and installing the latest Shockwave Player are also no longer vulnerable with the updated Shockwave Player ActiveX installer,” Adobe officials said.

Source: eWeek

Google Wallet One Step Closer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

While you can not yet use Google like you use PayPal, Google today got one step closer, by offering GoogleBase sellers a payment option.

While Google Base provides data structure and distribution for a wide range of content and information, a subset of items are for sale. To help users more easily purchase and sell Google Base items, Google is planning to enable people to buy items on Google Base using their Google Accounts.

Many of you are probably already familiar with the Google Account. You use it to sign in and pay for a number of Google services, like Google Video and Google Earth. Now Google introducing similar functionality on Google Base.

For buyers, this feature will provide a convenient and secure way to purchase Google Base items by credit card. For sellers, this feature integrates transaction processing with Google Base item management.

Microsoft Releases Enterprise Vista Beta

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has released the first beta version of its Windows Vista operating system that incorporates all the fundamental capabilities the software company expects to ship in the final release of the OS later this year.

The February Community Technology Preview (CTP) marks the first time in the company’s history that it has released a full-featured beta this early in the process.

The company said the February CTP will be sent out to some 500,000 testers, including to those in the Windows Vista Technical Beta Program as well as to Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet subscribers.

The preview, the fourth released since the company began showing the software in September, is intended to highlight the business functionality of the OS. It includes the full set of deployment tools that have been added to the OS to “specifically support the corporate I.T. professional” and make deployment and use of Windows Vista easier within business environments.

The release also includes the first look at the operating system’s sidebar feature through which users have instant access to mini-applications that can connect to information such as a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, photo slide shows, and world times. In addition to offering consumer-friendly applets, the sidebar will let business users directly connect to business applications and databases.

Source: News Factor

US National Archives video available worldwide over Internet

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online search giant Google has teamed with the US National Archives to make historic films viewable worldwide via the Internet, they announced.

The archives’ holdings can be seen for free online at its website, www.archives.gov, and at a Google website, video.google.com/nara.html, according to chief US archivist Allen Weinstein.

“Today, we’ve begun to make the extraordinary historic films of the National Archives available to the world for the first time online,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in a written release.

“Students and researchers, whether in San Francisco or Bangladesh, can watch remarkable video such as World War II newsreels and the story of Apollo 11 — the historic first landing on the moon.”

“For the first time, the public will be able to view this collection of rare and unusual films on the Internet.”

The fledgling program featured more than 100 films. The earliest work posted for viewing was “Carmencita — Spanish Dance,” an 1894 film by Thomas Armat featuring a legendary Gypsy dancer.

Source: AFP

HD DVD to Screw Early HDTV Adopters

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

“Apparently the folks who designed the Advanced Access Content System (AACS)for the new HD DVD formats have decided to stick it to the early HDTV adopters. If your set used the older component video, expect to watch your new HD DVD at a quarter of the resolutions. To thwart piracy of course.”

From the article: “AACS says the new players won’t output a full-HD signal from their component-video connections, since those jacks are analog instead of digital and thus have no copy protection. The ‘down-rezzed’ signals will be limited to a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels — exactly one-quarter the 1,920 x 1,080 pixels that you’ll get through the copy-protected digital connectors on the players. The potentially huge problem with this strategy is that the only HD inputs on a lot of older HDTVs are component video.”

Source: slashdot

Yahoo Digs Its Claws Deeper into Wikipedia

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Search has a new feature to pinpoint specific details within Wikipedia-created Web pages that show up in its search results.

The development is part of the tit-for-tat arms race that Yahoo, Google and other search engines are engaged in. Because each business is advertising-based, new features, especially exclusive ones, can drive more revenue-creating traffic.

Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia written and edited by anyone who cares to do so.

Wikipedia entries returned by Yahoo Search now contain a feature called quick links, which when clicked on jumps to a specific portion of the Wikipedia entry.

For example, a Yahoo search for “soda” and “Wikipedia” offered up opportunities to steer the Web browser directly to sections on international variations, North American and Australian.

Source: eWeek

Microsoft Tests Windows Live Parental Controls

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft is testing a new Web-based service that will allow parents to control their children’s online activity and block access to sites that are not appropriate for kids.

Several Microsoft-watcher blogs, such as Liveside.net and Neowin.net have reported that a service called Windows Live Family Safety Settings is currently in beta. The service allows parents to monitor, control and filter online activity by creating specific accounts for their children, according to an e-mail invitation to the beta of the service posted on Neowin.net.

Using the service, parents can create settings so certain PC accounts will not have access to sites featuring content that pertains to subjects like alcohol, bomb making or pornography, according to a screen shot of the new service posted by Liveside.net. They also can create content filters and view activity reports of where their children have been online.

In a statement through its public relations firm Waggener Edstrom on Thursday, Microsoft confirmed that Family Safety Settings is in “early testing,” but declined to comment further on when it might be generally available.

Source: PCWorld

Malware Honeypot Projects Merge

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Looking to streamline the collection of malware samples, two of the biggest honeypot projects—mwcollect and nepenthes—have merged operations.

The two projects, which passively trap viruses, spyware and other forms of malicious software by emulating known vulnerabilities, will combine operations to develop a single malware collection tool, according to an announcement my mwcollect head developer Georg Wicherski.

The merger comes after a year of concurrent development that caused a lot of overlap and shared work, Wicherski said.

Mwcollect.org will become a top-level community covering malware collection efforts, [and] nepenthes will become the official software used for malware collection and be part of mwcollect.org,” he said.

A new mwcollect.org meta-portal will be created to host information related to malware collection.

Source: eWeek

Antivirus look to get locked into cells

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

You can put videos, games, pictures and music on your cell phone. Is antivirus software next?

Programs that fight viruses have become a necessary evil on Windows PCs. Now the antivirus industry is turning its attention to mobile phones–but it’s running into reluctance from cell service providers, who aren’t so sure that the handset is the best place to handle security.

Verizon Wireless, one of the top U.S. mobile networks, doesn’t see a need for its customers to install antivirus software on cell phones. “At this point, that is absolutely not required by individual customers,” spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said.

But makers of security software are eager to get their products onto handsets, a huge potential market. About 812 million mobile terminals–such as cell phones and smart phones–were sold in 2005, according to Gartner. That compares with an estimated 219 million PCs in the same period. The market research firm expects annual mobile device shipments to exceed one billion units for the first time in 2008.

While the number of threats to cell phones is low, security experts and analysts agree that situation is likely to change. Gartner suggests a widespread attack could surface by the end of next year. In this period of quiet before the storm, antivirus makers and mobile providers disagree on the needed defenses. Without a solution, cell phone users could lose out.

Source: News.com

Yahoo exec: Labels should sell music without DRM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Music chief Dave Goldberg raised eyebrows Thursday at the Music 2.0 conference in Los Angeles with a proposal rarely heard from executives at large digital music services: Record labels should try selling music online without copy protection.

According to attendees, Goldberg pointed to the experience of eMusic, which offers its subscribers access to MP3 files without any digital rights management attached. Rights management restrictions have created a barrier for consumers, he said, making it a hurdle to transfer music to portable devices, and creating incompatibility between music services and MP3 players.

A Yahoo spokeswoman said that Goldberg was “basically trying to move the industry forward,” and wanted to prompt industry-wide discussion “about what the consumer experience is.”

Source: News.com

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