3/17/2008

Hackers claim iPhone 2.0 breakthrough

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It hasn’t even been released yet, but iPhone hackers claim to have already figured out a way to jailbreak Apple’s iPhone 2.0 software.

The iPhone Dev Team said yesterday it has figured out a way to hack into the iPhone’s bootloader by taking advantage of the way the iPhone authorizes code that can be written to memory. After some modifications, this apparently allows any code to be written to the iPhone, such as applications that haven’t been authorized by Apple, and it should work with any new software version Apple releases, according to the team.

100,000 customers tell Microsoft to save XP

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Windows Vista was supposed to be a shot in the arm for Microsoft, which had gone five years without a new desktop operating system. It hasn’t worked out that way. Instead, Vista sales have been slower than XP’s (when adjusted for market size) and there’s been a distinct lack of passion for the new OS. In Vista’s first year, InfoWorld detected a deep anxiety over Vista among technologists and consumers alike. We decided to do something about it, launching a petition drive to ask Microsoft to keep selling XP after the planned June 30 end-of-sales date. Nine weeks after that Jan. 14 launch, more than 100,000 customers worldwide have signed up. And that doesn’t count parallel efforts by our colleagues in Germany and Canada.

Almost all the major media have run stories and thousands of user comments have been posted in our Save Windows XP blog. We’ve clearly struck a nerve.

Now what? We have asked Microsoft to have an executive meet with us so we can deliver the petition and discuss the issues we’ve heard from thousands of people who have commented on our site. Microsoft has declined, despite its claim that it listens to its customers. Perhaps another 100,000 need to sign up and add their weight to this effort.

Russian serfs paid $3 a day to break CAPTCHAs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Why should miscreants bother to develop cutting edge programming techniques when they can pay $3 to somebody to set up spam-ready webmail accounts on their behalf? Evidence has emerged that people as well as malware are being used to defeat CAPTCHAs, challenge-response systems that are often used to stop the automatic creation of webmail accounts by spammers.

CAPTCHAs typically help ensure that online accounts can’t be created until a user correctly identifies letters depicted in an image. The tactic is designed to frustrate the use of automated sign-up tools by spammers and other miscreants.

Over recent months security firms have reported that first the Windows Live CAPTCHA used by Hotmail, and later the equivalent system at Gmail, have been broken by automated attacks.

Obtaining a working Gmail account has a number of advantages for spammers. As well as gaining access to Google’s services in general, spammers receive an address whose domain is highly unlik

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