5/13/2010

U.S. struggles to ward off evolving cyber threat

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The United States is losing enough data in cyber attacks to fill the Library of Congress many times over, and authorities have failed to stay ahead of the threat, a U.S. defense official said on Wednesday.

More than 100 foreign spy agencies were working to gain access to U.S. computer systems, as were criminal organizations, said James Miller, principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy.

Terrorist groups also had cyber attack capabilities.

“Our systems are probed thousands of times a day and scanned millions of times a day,” Miller told a forum sponsored by Ogilvy Washington, a public relations company.

He said the evolving cyber threat had “outpaced our ability to defend against it.”

“We are experiencing damaging penetrations — damaging in the sense of loss of information. And we don’t fully understand our vulnerabilities,” Miller said.

Microsoft launches new Office, duels Google online

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp launched an updated version of its Office software on Wednesday, aiming to keep its grip on the hugely profitable business application market while countering the challenge of free online alternatives from Google Inc.

The world’s largest software company is upgrading its popular Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint applications and rolling out its own online versions to keep up with the new class of mobile, Web-connected users that has emerged since the last upgrade in 2006.

Microsoft announced several improvements on Wednesday, such as editing photos in Word, using video in PowerPoint, collaborating on documents and connecting email contacts to Facebook information.

But the biggest change is Microsoft’s move into the “cloud” — allowing users to manipulate documents stored on remote servers from anywhere — where Google has been setting the pace.

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