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World Cup Virus Season Kicks Off

The FIFA World Cup 2006 tournament won’t get underway in Germany until early June, but computer writers are already attempting to cash in on the planet’s most popular sporting event with viruses aimed at deceiving eager soccer fans.

Researchers at UK-based Sophos released notification of a new attack that infects Excel files and has been disguised as a spreadsheet charting the national teams participating in the World Cup.

Identified by the company as XF97/Yagnuul-A, the virus lives in an Excel file that offers to help people set up fantasy sports competitions related to the international soccer championship, and also attempts to market itself specifically to fans of the English Premiership, one of the world’s top professional leagues.

Read more: World Cup Virus Season Kicks Off

Fingerprint Authentication Unveiled for WLANs

Silex Technology America said Monday it has released a biometric system that requires a fingerprint swipe before a user can access an enterprise wireless LAN.

The company said that its Bio-NetGuard product is aimed at protecting corporate wireless networks from intrusions.

Read more: Fingerprint Authentication Unveiled For WLANs

Vista’s Security Will Be Pain in the Neck: Analyst

Windows Vista’s new features will so annoy users that won’t meet its goal of 400 million copies in two years, a research analyst said Monday.

Although Microsoft touts Vista as its most secure operating system ever and is relying on security as a prime marketing message to corporations, the Yankee Group’s Andrew Jaquith sees it as somewhat of an albatross.

“Microsoft’s predicated its 400 million desktops within 24 months on three things,” said Jaquith, a senior analyst with the Boston-based firm. “One is that corporate and consumers will buy a lot of PCs, two that they’ll be interested enough in Vista to run it on those machines, and three, once they run it, they won’t have a negative reaction.

Read more: Vista’s Security Will Be Pain In The Neck: Analyst

McAfee Warns Over Apple Virus Risk

Anti- software firm McAfee has identified Mac OS X as a growing target for attacks.

According to McAfee Avert Labs, Mac platform vulnerabilities increased by 228 per cent in the past three years alone, from 45 found in 2003 to 143 in 2005. McAfee didn’t say how many of these bugs were critical, preferring to let the numbers speak for themselves.

Read more: McAfee warns over Apple virus risk

Mac OS X Gets Wrong Kind of Attention

Recently there has been a growth industry in pundits whining about the of the Apple Mac OS X operating system. To read some of the coverage, you would think someone deciding to use OS X instead of Windows would have to be dumber than a fence post. Methinks the worries are rather misplaced and may be the result of hyperventilating, nontechnical reporters and some gloating on the part of Windows users.

Read more: Mac OS X gets wrong kind of attention

Firefox Drops Places Feature; Security Patch Coming Soon

APRIL 30, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) – The open-source Mozilla project this week plans to release an update to its Firefox browser that will fix a publicly disclosed issue in the software. News of the update came as developers also confirmed that they were dropping a highly anticipated bookmarking feature, called Places, from the next major Firefox release, due later this year.

The Firefox update was scheduled to be delivered Friday, but was delayed, a Mozilla Corp. spokeswoman said.

Read more: Firefox drops Places feature; security patch coming soon

GM Security Chief Gives Hackers a Lesson

General Motors Corp.’s chief information officer, Eric Litt, used the chance to speak at the European Black Hat Convention in Amsterdam earlier this year to reach out to the hacker community and explain the problems large corporations face when dealing with software vulnerabilities. He discussed issues in an interview with Computerworld last week.

Read more: GM Security Chief Gives Hackers a Lesson

Security Watch: The Fake Internet Lottery Jackpot Is… All Your Money!

There’s another zero-day attack on Internet Explorer. There are conflicting claims about how serious it is, but read about how serious it could be in the Zero-Day IE Attack section.

Everyone’s got their own names for attacks, but AV-Test keeps track of them all. Get a cross-reference list of names for attacks on the famous “WildList” in the Cross-Reference section.

Read more: Security Watch: The Fake Internet Lottery Jackpot is… All Your Money!

Smarter Spam Could Mimic Friends’ Mail

The next generation of spam and phishing e-mails could fool both software filters and the most cautious people, Canadian researchers said Sunday, by mimicking the way friends and real companies write messages.

John Aycock, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Calgary, and his student, Nathan Friess, presented a paper Sunday at a conference in Hamburg, Germany that outlined how junk mailers and phishers, even criminals, could create slicker spam.

Read more: Smarter Spam Could Mimic Friends’ Mail

Symantec Relaunches Phishing Info Sharing Network

on Monday relaunched an anti-phishing fraud service it acquired in its 2005 acquisition of WholeSecurity, and said major Internet players including eBay, Google, Yahoo, RSA , and Wells Fargo will participate in the data sharing group.

, however, has dropped out.

First unveiled in February 2005 by WholeSecurity, the Phish Report Network is being reactivated by Symantec to provide a vetted, dynamically-updated database of fraudulent Web sites, said David Cole, director of Symantec Security Response.

Read more: Symantec Relaunches Phishing Info Sharing Network

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