3/30/2006

Google Accounts for Nearly Half of All Web Searches

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nielsen/NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, today reported that Google continues its lead in the search share competition, garnering 48.5 percent of all searches conducted in February 2006 (see Table 1). Yahoo! drew 22.5 percent of online searches, while MSN accounted for 10.7 percent of the search market. AOL and My Way Search rounded out the top five search providers with 6.6 and 2.7 percent of searches, respectively.

Search share among these five providers has remained relatively flat since January of this year, with all providers gaining or losing less than one percentage point.

Overall the total number of searches increased 38 percent, from 3.8 billion in February 2005 to 5.3 billion in February 2006. This growth in the total number of searches is due in large part to an increased number of searches per person, particularly in the image search and shopping search categories.

Hackers Use BBC News as IE Attack Lure

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The ongoing zero-day attacks against users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser have taken an ominous, social-engineering twist.

According to an alert issued by Websense Security Labs, in San Diego, excerpts from actual BBC News stories are being used to lure IE users to Web sites that launch drive-by downloads of bots, spyware, back doors and other Trojan downloaders.

One version of the spammed e-mail seen by eWEEK contains a portion of a BBC News item published on March 27 about the Chinese yuan hitting a post-revaluation high against the U.S. dollar.

After the legitimate excerpt, the hackers embedded a “read more” link that points to a Web site that contains a spoofed copy of the BBC News story from the e-mail.

Websense researchers found that the rigged site exploits the unpatched createTextRange vulnerability to download and install a keystroke logger without any user action.

Source: eWeek

AMD Hires Away Key Intel Developer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Press reports indicate that Advanced Micro Devices has hired away one of the leading designers of the Itanium processor, along with eight of his colleagues, from competitor Intel. Samuel Naffziger had only been with the company for less than a year, having been hired away previously from Hewlett-Packard in 2005.

AMD confirmed the move Wednesday and said Naffziger would work on chip design as a senior fellow. However, the company would not elaborate on the work he or his counterparts would be doing.

Source: eWeek

Eye on rival YouTube, Atom overhauls video site

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online video and game company Atom Entertainment Inc. on Thursday unveiled a new service to let people upload their own videos and footage taken on mobile phones.

Privately held Atom, formed 5 years ago by the merger of Atom Films and Shockwave.com, hopes the new features on its AddictingClips Web site will draw more users and close the gap with YouTube, a popular site for sharing homemade video clips.

Source: Yahoo

Teen Faces Child Porn Charges For Posting Pics Of Friends

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Michigan high school student faces child pornography charges over an Internet party prank.

Prosecutors charge Ryan Zylstra, 17, posted a picture of two teens having sex on his blog. The photo was taken at a New Year’s Eve party at Zylstra’s home.

Authorities said the boy in the picture is 17, while the girl is 16. According to prosecutors, the age of the girl makes the sexually explicit picture child pornography under the law.

Zylstra now faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, which are felonies.

Source: AP

Google accused of bio-piracy

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Search giant Google has been accused of being the “biggest threat to genetic privacy” for its alleged plan to create a searchable database of genetic information.

Google was presented with an award as part of the Captain Hook Awards for Biopiracy in Curitiba, Brazil, this week. The organisers allege that Google’s collaboration with genomic research institute J. Craig Venter, to create a searchable online database of all the genes on the planet, is a clear example of biopiracy.

Biopiracy refers to the “monopolisation of genetic resources” according to the show’s organisers. It is also defined as the unauthorised use of biological resources by organisations such as corporations, universities and governments.

Source: ZDNet

People Asking To Be Buried With Their Mobile Phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

More people than ever are asking to be buried or cremated with their mobile phones when they die, say researchers.

The trend, which began in South Africa, has now spread to a number of countries, including Ireland, Australia, Ghana, and the US.

Martin Raymond, director of international trend-spotting think-tank, The Future Laboratory said that this had started off “in the realm of the urban myth”, but was fast becoming fact.

He explained that the first cases of people asking to be buried with their phone originated in Cape Town, where some people’s belief in witchcraft meant they feared that “they could fall under a spell, be put to sleep and actually be buried.

Some funeral parlours will now arrange for the phone put into the box with the ashes following the cremation.

And one service in South Africa will put a number of batteries in the coffin just in case the dead person wakes up much later and finds their own battery has run out.

Source: BBC

TV Show Scrubs Goes To iTunes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The NBC hospital comedy, produced by Disney-ABC Television Group’s Touchstone Television, has been added to the catalog of shows that can be purchased as a download from Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes music store for $1.99 per episode.

The iTunes inventory of network shows has grown to more than 60 programs since Apple struck a first landmark deal with ABC in October 2005 to provide commercial-free downloads of some of the Disney-owned network’s biggest hits for $1.99.

Source: Reuters

Total Commander Security Flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A vulnerability has been reported in Total Commander, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user’s system.

The vulnerability is caused due to a boundary error in UNACEV2.DLL when extracting an ACE archive containing a file with an overly long filename. This can be exploited to cause a stack-based buffer overflow when a user extracts a specially crafted ACE archive.

Security website Secunia rates this vulnerability as Moderately critical and suggests to update to version 6.54 or later.

Hollywood Mulls Personal DRM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Consulting firm Accenture LLC is working to develop a cross-platform digital rights business model that would allow consumers to access the content through an unlimited number of devices after paying for license rights once.

New digital rights management (DRM) software would identify the consumer rather than the device, so people can pay once and put the content on as many devices as they wish.

Source: InformationWeek

Movie theater execs fight shrinking DVD window

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Executives from top movie theater chains on Wednesday dismissed calls to shorten the period between a film’s release on the big screen and on DVD, saying it would be harmful to studios, theaters and consumers.

Some studio executives, including Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger, have called for faster DVD releases to combat rising piracy over the Internet, amid slowing sales of DVDs and a U.S. box office slump.

But executives from Regal Entertainment Group, the world’s largest movie theater chain, and National Amusements Inc. disagreed with a narrower theatrical window — the time between when movies are released in theaters and subsequently on DVD.

Source: Reuters

Hackers Serve Rootkits with Bagles

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Malicious hackers have fitted rootkit features into the newest mutants of the Bagle worm, adding a stealthy new danger to an already virulent threat.

According to virus hunters at F-Secure, of Helsinki, Finland, the latest Bagle.GE variant loads a kernel-mode driver to hide the processes and registry keys of itself and other Bagle-related malware from security scanners.

The use of offensive rootkits in existing virus threats signals an aggressive push by attackers to get around existing anti-virus software and maintain a persistent and undetectable presence on infected machines.

Source: eWeek

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