3/2/2006

FedEx Kinko’s payment card cracked

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

FedEx on Thursday said that a security weakness in the payment card system used in its FedEx Kinko’s stores doesn’t pose a significant risk to the company–or any risk to customers.

The statement comes after the company’s initial denial that the ExpressPay payment card system could be tricked. Security researchers earlier this week announced that anyone with some extra hardware and technical knowledge could use FedEx Kinko’s services for free and even get cash from the company.

“Continuing our evaluation of the claims made online, we do not believe there is significant risk to the company based on the controls and security that we have in place,” FedEx spokeswoman Maggie Thill said Thursday. “More importantly, this matter does not impact our customers.”

Researchers with information security company Secure Science said the payment system could be hacked because of its limited security. Secure Science sent an e-mail with a detailed description of the hack to a popular mailing list on Tuesday.

The researchers responded to FedEx initial denial by posting a picture, as well as a video on the Web to demonstrate the breach. The picture shows a FedEx Kinko’s payment card with a value of $313.37, while FedEx Kinko’s allows values only up to $100, and the video shows a researcher changing a card serial number and increasing its value, the researchers said.

Source: News.com

‘World of Warcraft’ hits 6 million milestone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The number of “World of Warcraft” customers worldwide has hit 6 million, Blizzard Entertainment announced on Wednesday, and a version of the popular game will soon be out in Spanish.

The VU Games-owned developer’s European branch announced that the company is prepping a Spanish edition of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game for release in Europe, where English, French and German versions of the game are already available.

Blizzard also announced the 6-million-customer marker. The game officially launched in North America, Australia and New Zealand in November of 2004, and has since racked up milestone after milestone, with launches in Korea, Europe, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Blizzard announced that it had reached the 5 million mark on Dec. 19 of last year.

Source: News.com

Microsoft To Unveil Origami On March 9th

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has revealed a date for unveiling its Origami Project, setting the stage for a debut next week, according to a posting on its site.

Microsoft’s Origami Project, which is believed to be a small tablet computer, is scheduled for debut on March 9, according to a posting on Microsoft’s Origami Project site.

Source: News.com

U.K. to probe ‘patent thickets’

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Andrew Gowers, the man leading a wide-ranging review of the U.K.’s intellectual property legislation, has vowed to address the issue of companies abusing the patent system.

Speaking at a seminar in London on Thursday, Gowers acknowledged that there are concerns that the present system may hamper competition.

“There is an accusation of a rise of companies sitting defensively on patents,” said Gowers. “There are patent thickets, which are a complex web of patents which may stunt invention and discourage research and development.”

Gowers, a former editor of the Financial Times, was chosen by the government late last year to lead an independent review into intellectual-property rights in the U.K. This featured in the Labor Party manifesto in the last election, which included a commitment to “modernize copyright and other forms of intellectual property so that they are appropriate for the digital age.”

Source: News.com

Viacom To Go Against MySpace.com

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

MTV owner Viacom Inc. plans to enter the business of connecting youth viewers on the Internet this year, a top Viacom executive said on Wednesday, amid threats of losing its cool cachet to News Corp.

For MTV, once a music video cable channel that transformed into a global programming powerhouse, the fight to stay relevant with fickle young tastemakers on the Web has only just begun.

“We don’t believe the game is over,” said Tom Freston, chief executive officer of Viacom, at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

“Really, it’s just started,” he said of the online hangouts.

Viacom has met with several of the handful of so-called Internet social networking businesses, but has not decided whether it would enter the market through partnerships or acquisitions.

“I would expect within this year you’ll see some good social networking capabilities in our company,” Freston said.

The move would pit the owner of MTV Networks, which defines the youth media market, against MySpace.com.

Source: Reuters

Apple security fix closes Mail, iChat, Safari holes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple on Wednesday released Security Update 2006-001, available for download through Software Update system preference pane and from Apple鈥檚 Downloads Web page. The update addresses a recently reported exploit that left Safari users vulnerable to malicious shell scripts; corrects a vulnerability to Apple鈥檚 Mail software and also changes the way iChat handles file transfers to help prevent the 鈥淟eap-A鈥? malware.

Source: macworld

Check Point Faces U.S. Probe

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The same Bush administration review panel that approved a ports deal involving the United Arab Emirates has notified a leading Israeli software company that it faces a rare, full-blown investigation over its plans to buy a smaller rival.

The company was told U.S. officials feared the transaction could endanger some of government’s most sensitive computer systems.

The objections by the FBI and Pentagon were partly over specialized intrusion detection software known as “Snort,” which guards some classified U.S. military and intelligence computers.

Snort’s author is a senior executive at Sourcefire Inc., which would be sold to publicly traded Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel. Sourcefire is based in Columbia, Md.

The contrast between the administration’s handling of the $6.8 billion Dubai ports deal and the Israeli company’s $225 million technology purchase offers an uncommon glimpse into the U.S. government’s choices to permit some deals but raise deep security concerns over others.

Source: AP

Deal Reached on .com Domain Price Hikes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The board of the Internet’s main oversight agency has approved a deal under which VeriSign Inc. must meet some conditions in order to raise fees for “.com” domain names.

VeriSign, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., operates the servers that constitute the Internet’s core address book for “.com” Web sites, making sure that people find Web sites. The company sells “.com” addresses for $6 each to registrars who then sell them to the public.

Under the deal approved Tuesday by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, VeriSign is allowed to raise its annual fee for domain names, which registrars could then pass along to customers.

The deal limits VeriSign’s annual price increases to 7 percent in four of the next six years. In two of the years, VeriSign could raise fees by the same percentage only in response to a security threat or to comply with an ICANN mandate.

Source: AP

Philly Wi-Fi network to pay for computers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Philadelphia on Wednesday announced details of its deal with EarthLink Inc. for the construction of a high-speed wireless network that will span the city, including provisions for EarthLink to pay for computers, training, and subsidize Internet access for low-income households.

Among the country’s major cities, Chicago and San Francisco have announced similar plans for Wi-Fi networks, but Philadelphia’s plan has come the furthest, and the concessions EarthLink is making to Philadelphia are bound to be watched carefully by other cities.

Source: AP

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