6/30/2011

Hacker attack cripples al-Qaida on Web

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Computer hackers shut down al-Qaida’s ability to communicate its messages to the world through the Internet, interrupting the group’s flow of videos and communiqués, according to a terrorism expert.

“Al-Qaida’s online communications have been temporarily crippled, and it does not have a single trusted distribution channel available on the Internet,” said Evan Kohlmann, of Flashpoint Global Partners, which monitors the group’s communications.

The attack was carried out within the past few days by unknown hackers targeting al-Qaida’s Internet communications systems. It was “well coordinated and involved the use of an unusual cocktail of relatively sophisticated techniques,” Kohlmann said.

Android app offers Wi-Fi hacking of Facebook accounts

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sometimes seeing is believing. The FaceNiff Android app, released earlier this month, allows anyone to snoop on traffic on Wi-Fi networks and even hijack Facebook accounts. Sounds bad, but this video demo drives the message home by showing just how easy it is to do:

The app, which works on Android phones that have been rooted, offers “one-touch hacking,” says Kevin Mahaffey, founder and chief technology officer at mobile security firm Lookout. The technique isn’t new–it’s akin to a mobile version of the Firesheep Firefox extension released last year–but it makes it super easy and mobile.

Massive botnet ‘indestructible,’ say researchers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new and improved botnet that has infected more than four million PCs is “practically indestructible,” security researchers say.

“TDL-4,” the name for both the bot Trojan that infects machines and the ensuing collection of compromised computers, is “the most sophisticated threat today,” said Kaspersky Labs researcher Sergey Golovanov in a detailed analysis Monday.

“[TDL-4] is practically indestructible,” Golovanov said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s perfectly indestructible, but it is pretty much indestructible,” said Joe Stewart, director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks and an internationally-known botnet expert, in an interview today. “It does a very good job of maintaining itself.”

Because TDL-4 installs its rootkit on the MBR, it is invisible to both the operating system and more, importantly, security software designed to sniff out malicious code.

But that’s not TDL-4’s secret weapon.

What makes the botnet indestructible is the combination of its advanced encryption and the use of a public peer-to-peer (P2P) network for the instructions issued to the malware by command-and-control (C&C) servers. “The way peer-to-peer is used for TDL-4 will make it extremely hard to take down this botnet”.

Samsung asks U.S. to ban iPad, iPhone imports

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the importation of Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPods, ratcheting up its dispute against Apple.

The filing, dated Tuesday, says Apple’s iPhone, iPod digital music player and iPad tablet infringe on five of Samsung’s patents involving telecommunications standards and user interface inventions.

Samsung also filed a new patent lawsuit against Apple in a Delaware federal court on Wednesday,

The complaints are the latest salvo in a growing legal battle between the two consumer electronics giants.

In April, Apple sued Samsung in a California federal court, claiming the South Korean firm’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets “slavishly” copies the iPhone and iPad.

Samsung then countersued in California, and Apple last week filed another lawsuit in South Korea. An Apple spokesman could not be immediately reached on Wednesday.

Hackers steal personal data of military, gov personnel

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Hackers breached the security of a defense industry news website and stole sensitive subscriber information that could be used in attacks targeting the US military and its contractors.

Gannet Co., publisher of DefenseNews, disclosed the bad news in an advisory published Monday. Data exposed included subscribers’ first and last names, usernames, passwords, email addresses, and in many cases military duty status, paygrade, and branch of service.

Oracle’s Java plan trapped in last century

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle’s roadmap for Javas 7 and 8 shows it recognizes the world is pulling away and leaving Java with last-century concepts and ideals. Java 7 is meant to set the foundation for a cloud-friendly platform, but the real cloud-ready features won’t make an appearance until Java 8 in 2013 at the earliest.

While Larry and company can’t be blamed for the years of stagnation suffered by both the platform and language under Sun Microsystems, the problem faced isn’t that Java lacks the technology to work nicely in the cloud: the problem is, as ever, one of perception.

Java is either not “enterprise” enough for cloud computing – apparently lacking the required widgets – or it’s too enterprisey and therefore not cool enough to join the likes of Ruby and Python.

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