10/27/2006

Flaw exploited in RFID-enabled passports

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Security researchers have released proof-of-contact code that they say enables an attacker to read the passport number, date of birth, and passport expiration date from passports with RFID tags enabled.

Researcher Adam Laurie, known for his proof-of-concept attacks on Bluetooth-enabled devices, reported the new code on the Bugtraq mailing list Friday afternoon.

Source: News.com

Security firm punctures Vista’s Patchguard

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Security vendor Authentium has discovered a mechanism to get around Microsoft’s controversial Patchguard kernel protection technology, which is due to ship in the 64-bit version of its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system.

Microsoft has criticised the move, claiming it puts Windows customers at risk, and vows to modify its technology to block the approach. Security firms ought to work with the APIs provided by Redmond rather than going it alone, it said

“We continue to encourage all software vendors to work with Microsoft on supported design approaches that work with Kernel Patch Protection to ensure that customers can have a secure and reliable computing experience on Windows Vista and Windows XP 64-bit systems, rather than putting customers at risk by developing approaches to try to bypass Kernel Patch Protection and as a result reduce the security protection of Windows,” Adrien Robinson, director of Microsoft’s Security Technology Unit, told eWeek.

Source: The Register

MS is making its antipiracy check mandatory for Office.

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The company introduced Office Genuine Advantage in April as a voluntary way for people to ensure that they only used licensed and legal copies of the productivity software. But as of Friday, Office Online templates downloaded from within Microsoft Office System 2007 applications will require validation of the Office software in use.

And as of January 2007, people will also have to complete the authentication test if they want to use Office Update.

The move means that users who are caught using software that can’t be proved to be 100 percent legal won’t get access to add-ons and updates from Microsoft. Those denied access because their version does not pass the authentication test will need to prove that their software is valid before they can proceed.

Source: News.com

Elite Torrents Admin Sentenced To 5 Months In Prison

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A network administrator for a peer-to-peer Internet file-sharing system has been sentenced to five months in prison for copyright infringement.

Grant T. Stanley, 23, was also given five months of home detention, three years of supervised probation and a $3,000 fine for his role in the Elite Torrents service, which used a sharing technology known as BitTorrent. Stanley, who had pleaded guilty to copyright-related charges, was sentenced Oct. 17.

Stanley is one of three people convicted through Operation D-Elite, a federal crackdown on suppliers of pirated works to Elite Torrents, which agents shut down in May 2005.

Source: AP

Red Hat won’t cut prices because of Oracle

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Linux software distributor Red Hat Inc. will not cut prices even though bigger rival Oracle Corp. is launching similar services for half the price, Red Hat’s chief executive said on Friday.

CEO Matthew Szulik made the comments to cable channel CNBC a day after Red Hat’s shares plunged 24 percent because Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison said he hoped to win over some of the smaller company’s business by offering steep discounts.

Szulik said he welcomed the competition and that Red Hat would continue to work with Oracle to sell products alongside Oracle databases and software designed to work on the Linux operating system.

“We’ve had a very productive seven-year relationship with Oracle,” Szulik said. “We want to make sure our products perform very well with Oracle.”

Source: Reuters

Records of freed slaves to go online

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Records the Freedmen’s Bureau used to reconnect families — from battered work contracts to bank forms — will be placed online in part of a new project linking modern-day blacks with their ancestors.

The Virginia Freedmen Project plans to digitize more than 200,000 images collected by the Richmond bureau, one of dozens of offices established throughout the South to help former slaves adjust to free life.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday unveiled the project and a state marker near the site where the bureau once stood in downtown Richmond.

“This is the equivalent for African Americans of Ellis Island’s records being put up,” said Kaine, who was joined by Mayor L. Douglas Wilder, the nation’s first elected black governor and a grandson of slaves.

Source: AP

Sony laptop battery injures user

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Sony-made battery in a Fujitsu laptop overheated and gave off sparks, injuring the user, as a Fujitsu worker was visiting to retrieve the laptop as part of the company’s recall of Sony batteries, a Fujitsu spokesman said Friday.

The sparks hit the user’s hand and caused minor burns, said Fujitsu spokesman Toshiaki Koike. The incident is under investigation.

Fujitsu is recalling more than 280,000 lithium-ion laptop batteries made by Sony Corp., part of a global recall of Sony batteries officials say could overheat and burst into flames.

Source: AP

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