9/5/2006

IRS Gives Away $318M Because Of Bungled Software Upgrade

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $318 million in refunds on phony returns last year because of a botched software project, a government report released last week said.

The software the agency used to screen returns for signs of fraud was to be replaced with a Web-based application by January 2006, but when there was no end in sight to the $20.5 million project, the IRS tried to resurrect the old system. That older program, however, could not be returned to operation in time to handle 2005’s returns.

According to the report issued by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, the lack of a software screening system meant that the IRS may have issued as much as $318.3 million in fraudulent refunds during 2006.

Source: InformationWeek

ShareReactor Is Back Online

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The king of eDonkey2000 file sharing network indexing site is back online after more than two year of abstinence. ShareReactor closed down on March 2004 by the Swiss Police and as not come back since.
Now after more than two years the mythological site is back online with new owners and some of its old stuff members.

CA antivirus deletes Windows 2003 file

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Some Windows 2003 users have been experiencing problems with the operating system after CA antivirus software wrongly detected part of the operating system as malicious software last week.

At the heart of the problem is part of Windows’ built-in security, a file called Lsass.exe. This was wrongly detected as a virus by CA’s eTrust software and was deleted, causing some servers to crash and fail to reboot.

Source: News.com

Microsoft sets Vista prices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft on Tuesday announced retail pricing for Vista, its long-delayed Windows update, and said it will broaden testing to more than 5 million people.

Pricing for full retail versions of the software will be Windows Vista Ultimate, $399; Windows Vista Business, $299; Windows Vista Home Premium, $239; and Windows Vista Home Basic, $199.

Upgrades from Windows XP are priced at Windows Vista Ultimate, $259; Windows Vista Business, $199; Windows Vista Home Premium, $159; and Windows Vista Home Basic, $99.

Source: News.com

Google slips out open-source OCR engine

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has announced that it “quietly released” a veteran optical character recognition engine as open source a few months ago.

The engine, Tesseract, was developed between 1985 and 1995 by HP Labs to some acclaim but was filed away when the company pulled out of the optical character recognition (OCR) business.

Source: News.com

Kids buy lunches with scans of fingers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The never-ending march of technology now means school children here can pay for their cafeteria sloppy joes with their fingers.

Rome City Schools is switching to a scanning system that lets students use their fingerprints to access their accounts. In the past, students had to punch in their pin numbers.

Source: AP

Microsoft Research Builds ‘BrowserShield’

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft researchers are experimenting with an automatic code zapper for the company’s Internet Explorer Web browser.

Researchers at the Redmond, Wash., company have completed work on a prototype framework called BrowserShield that promises to allow IE to intercept and remove, on the fly, malicious code hidden on Web pages, instead showing users safe equivalents of those pages.

Source: eWeek

Google to hand over Brazilian user data

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has agreed to abide by a court order requiring it to turn over information about Brazilian users of its social networking site, Orkut, who have been accused of crimes.

The search giant had opposed the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this year when, hoping to build its defense of a 1998 online child protection law, the feds demanded a “random sampling” of 1 million Internet addresses and 1 million search queries submitted to Google over a one-week period.

The Brazilian authorities’ request differs because it is “small and narrow” in most cases, Google associate general counsel Nicole Wong explained to the Washington Post.

Source: News.com

Trojan targets 0-day Word vuln

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An unpatched Microsoft Word 2000 vulnerability is being actively exploited by hackers to spread malware.

The MDropper-Q Trojan downloader, recently detected by Symantec, takes advantage of the unspecified zero-day vuln to load other malware onto compromised PCs, including a backdoor Trojan called Backdoor-Femo, which surrenders control of compromised PCs to hackers. The attack is dangerous but not, as yet, widespread.

Source: The Register

Sony to cut PS2 price in Japan ahead of PS3 launch

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Corp. said on Tuesday it would cut the price of its PlayStation 2 game console by about 19 percent to 16,000 yen ($138) in Japan as it gears up for the eagerly awaited launch in November of the PlayStation 3.

Although the game division of the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate currently holds an “open price” policy for PS2, letting retailers set their own price, Sony sells the machine online at 19,800 yen.

Sony’s “suggested retail price” of 16,000 yen will come into effect on September 15.

Source: Reuters

Matsushita recalls 6,000 notebook PC batteries

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. said on Tuesday it had started recalling 6,000 PC batteries as they could overheat when subjected to a strong impact — the latest battery recall involving Japanese electronics makers.

A Matsushita spokesman declined to identify the supplier of the batteries in question, but said neither the Panasonic brand maker itself nor Sony Corp. had made them.

Source: Reuters

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