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Security Products Keep Watchful Eye on Workers

APRIL 28, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) – Vendors at the Infosec Europe 2006 conference in London this week showed products that could hasten the demise of the idle surfer at work. With employees being blamed for woes faced by enterprises, increasingly their online activity is being monitored to keep their attention squarely focused on work.

Enterprises face two main risks for indiscriminate Internet use: a loss in productivity and legal liability if employees access inappropriate material. Companies try to enforce acceptable use policies, but in a recent study commissioned by the British government, 52% of large U.K. businesses still reported misuse of e-mail and Internet access.

Read more: Security products keep watchful eye on workers

China Ready to Swipe Spam Crown From U.S.

U.S. junk e-mailers sent more spam than those in any other country during the first quarter, a company recently reported, although China is hot on America’s heels.

According to U.K.-based Sophos, U.S. senders accounted for 23.1 percent of the world’s spam in 2006′s first three months. Chinese spammers sent 21.9 percent of global junk mail during the same period.

Read more: China Ready To Swipe Spam Crown From U.S.

Mozilla Pulls Major Firefox 2.0 Feature

Mozilla Corp. developers have yanked one of the most prominent features from the next version of their Firefox browser after deciding that it can’t be finished in time.

The feature, dubbed “Places,” was to be a rewrite of Firefox’s bookmarking system, and would have allowed users to search through both bookmarks and the browsing history log to locate sites. Places relies on SQLite, an open-source database engine, to store bookmarks and the history data.

Read more: Mozilla Pulls Major Firefox 2.0 Feature

New SocketShield Stops Zero-Day Exploits

A start-up company on Friday unveiled a beta of zero-day exploit protection software that it claims will protect users’ PCs until they can apply patches from the likes of Microsoft.

SocketShield, which can be downloaded free-of-charge from the Web site of Exploit Prevention Labs, is a signature-based monitor that detects and blocks vulnerability exploits, not the worm or or spyware or Trojan horse payloads that traditional anti- software sniffs out.

Read more: New SocketShield Stops Zero-day Exploits

Microsoft Smokes Out Office Pirates

shifted the focus of its anti-piracy technology from Windows-only this week and began piloting a program that sniffs out counterfeit copies of Office, the application suite that is, after Windows client software, the company’s second-biggest money maker.

Dubbed Office Genuine Advantage (OGA), the pilot will be pointed at users running versions localized in Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian, and Spanish, said Microsoft Monday when it announced OGA as it also expanded the already-existing Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy program.

Read more: Microsoft Smokes Out Office Pirates

Movie, Record Industries Target College LANs in Piracy Battle

The movie and record industries have sent letters to 40 universities, asking them to take immediate action to stop piracy of films and music on campus networks.

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America said they sent the letters to college presidents in 25 states, alerting them of the illegal activity on campus local area networks.

Read more: Movie, Record Industries Target College LANs In Piracy Battle

‘Pentagon Hacker’ Prepares for Verdict

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who’s due to hear whether he will be extradited to the US on 10 May, rates his chances of avoiding trial in the States as only “50/50″.

McKinnon, 40, faces possible trial under US anti-terror laws over alleged attacks on military and NASA systems between 2001 and 2002.
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The unemployed sys admin has had these charges over his head since first been arrested by officers from the UK’s National High Tech Crime Unit in March 2002. The case against him lay dormant until July 2005 since when he’s been unable to find work. Bail conditions mean he’s unable to access the internet except in the course of employment and even then under tight conditions. He is, however, allowed to have a mobile phone.

Read more: ‘Pentagon hacker’ prepares for verdict

I Was Just Hunting UFOs, Says Pentagon Hacker

APRIL 27, 2006 (REUTERS) – To the U.S., he is a seriously dangerous man who put the nation’s at risk by committing “the biggest military computer hack of all time.”

But Briton Gary McKinnon says he’s just an ordinary computer nerd who wanted to find out whether aliens and UFOs exist.

During his two-year quest, McKinnon broke into computers at the Pentagon, NASA and the Johnson Space Center, as well as systems used by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

Read more: I was just hunting UFOs, says Pentagon hacker

Trojan Demands $10.99 Ransom to Free Files

A new Trojan horse demands a $10.99 ransom payment to stop erasing files on the infected PC’s hard drive, a firm said Thursday.

According to U.K.-based Sophos, the Ransom.a Trojan freezes the computer, then puts up a message saying it will delete files every half hour until the user sends $10.99 via Western Union to a designated account.

Read more: Trojan Demands $10.99 Ransom To Free Files

Vista to Handcuff Firewall

confirmed Thursday that it plans to turn off half the firewall in Windows Vista when the new operating system ships later this year because it doesn’t think most users need all the firewall’s functionality or can handle its management.

Although Vista’s firewall will ship with both in- and outbound filtering capabilities, the latter will be disabled by default. Corporate users, however, can turn on outbound if they wish.

Read more: Vista To Handcuff Firewall

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