Friday, September 28, 2007

Phishing attacks 'increase in September'

The number of phishing and virus attacks has increased substantially this month, according to recent research.

There has been a surge in phishing activity that has brought it to levels last seen in 2006, according to a report released by MessageLabs Intelligence. Currently there is a virus threat in one in every 48 emails sent, the report stated, and the management level at companies is being increasingly threatened. The report stated: "Virus levels reached levels last observed more than 18 months ago. Phishing levels have never before reached levels experienced this month.

"The increased availability of phishing kits and aggressive phishing techniques such botnet or 'rock' phishing mean that the threat from these types of attack has been able to increase dramatically." Stock spam also rose steeply in September, according to MessageLabs, being sent out in volumes that could "easily overwhelm a spam filtering appliance".

Disney to cancel mobile service

At the end of this year the entertainment and communication giant Disney is to put a stop to its cell phone service, the company has announced.

Those signed up to the service will be able to keep on using it until December 31st, Disney stated. It is not yet known the number of staff that will be slashed as a result of the cancellation of the service, though 120 staff will be affected. Disney has said it is trying to find them jobs in other departments. Steve Wadsworth, president of the Walt Disney Internet Group, stated: "We decided that changing strategies was a better alternative to pursue profitable growth in the mobile services area."

One of the more popular capabilities that the Disney service offered parents was the ability to track the location of a young person carrying a phone. How and where the phone was used could also be controlled. Offers Fans Unprecedented Postseason Package

Multi-platform offerings include critical pennant race matchups over final days of regular season, the official website of Major League Baseball, announced today that its exclusive postseason subscription package, which includes the viewing of every postseason game live and on-demand outside of the United States, Canada, South Korea and Japan, is available now at

With multiple playoffs spots still being determined, the Postseason Package, which retails for $14.95, will also include MLB.TV broadcasts of every out-of-market game for the remainder of the regular season for the first time ever, nearly 60 additional games.

Additional benefits to postseason package subscribers are:
-- On-Demand Video
- Watch every regular or postseason game in its entirety on-demand or
utilize the video linescore feature to view any half-inning from any
game in 2007.

-- Gameday Audio
- Listen to every postseason game in its entirety live with no
blackout restrictions. Fans can also choose either the home or away
broadcasters for each game.

-- Text Message Alerts
- Customizable alerts that are delivered directly to a mobile phone
provide access to up-to-the-minute postseason information, including
every lead change in every postseason game.

-- shop discount
- Receive a 15% discount off the next purchase from the shop.
Offer expires on November 15, 2007.

-- Secret Autograph Sweepstakes
- All subscribers are automatically entered into the Secret Autograph
Sweepstakes. Fifty randomly-drawn winners will receive an
autographed player photo. Deadline for entry is October 31, 2007.

In addition to receiving all the offerings of domestic subscribers, fans living or traveling outside the United States, Canada, South Korea and Japan have the opportunity to watch every game of the postseason live, from the first pitch of the Division Series on October 3 to the final out of the World Series. That represents a potential grand total of 41 games, pending the outcome of each individual series.

Jailed hacker offered jobs

Since being sentenced to four years in jail for constructing one of the more damaging viruses seen recently, a Chinese hacker has seen a deluge of job offers.

Li Jun, 25, created the Fujacks worm, which infected computers worldwide and stole passwords and usernames. Earlier this week the hacker was convicted in a Chinese court along with three accomplices and given a four-year jail sentence. Now Li's lawyer has said that up to ten companies are competing to hire the cyber criminal upon his release from incarceration.

One of the companies that wants to employ Li is Jushu Technology, based in the city of Hangzhou. It wants to give him a job paying one million yuan ($133,155) per year. Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with the software company Sophos, said that offering the hacker a job was "perverse" and rewarded his "criminal act, infamy and bad behavior".

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weakness found in AOL's instant messenger

It has been discovered that AOL's instant messenger capability may have a security weakness that could allow a hacker to wreak havoc.

The flaw was found by the technology researcher, Boston-based Core Security Technologies, which has stated that it has formally informed AOL of the matter. AIM 6.1 and 6.2 are both affected by the flaw, which AOL claims it has patched but which Core Technologies claims could reoccur. Core Security's chief technology officer Ivan Arce told the Associated Press: "I would say this is critical, this is very serious. It's unclear whether the hole has been exploited."

Mr. Arce was skeptical of AOL claims that it has blocked the hole. He stated: "That filtering mechanism, it doesn't remove the bug from the IM client. It just prevents people from exploiting it. If someone finds a way to bypass the filter, the problem still exists." Earlier this month Skype users were targeted by a worm hidden in instant message invitations.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Online credit card supported by Steve Case

An online credit card company that allows for the free transfer of fees has gained the backing of Steve Case, one of the founders of AOL.

Dubbed Revolution Money, the outfit also provides a credit card that has substantially lower fees than many. Though the payment system is still in a pilot stage, Steve Case's investment firm, Revolution LLC, is providing support.

Mr Case said in a statement that was quoted in ComputerWorld: "Traditional - and even online - incumbents have been charging what adds up to billions of dollars of fees every year that ultimately come out of consumers' pockets. "So we have built an innovative Web 2.0 company based on the latest technology to disrupt the decades-old system with the goal of offering the industry's most accessible, easy-to-use and secure payment system." The new system puts money "in consumers' pockets", Mr Case added.

8x8 Signs Exclusive Agreement with VoIP Service

Provider Exiting Market to Migrate Subscribers

8x8, Inc. provider of Packet8 ( residential,
business and video Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services,
today announced it has signed an agreement with a service provider that
will soon exit the VoIP market calling for the exclusive recommendation of
Packet8 as the replacement VoIP service for its soon-to-be-orphaned

According to the agreement, Packet8 will be the only brand presented
and promoted to the roughly 12,000 subscribers who will be left without
VoIP phone service after the company winds down its VoIP operations over
the next three months. In return, 8x8 will offer these subscribers a
specially-priced Packet8 monthly service plan along with a free month of
service, free activation, free shipping and a free Uniden 165P 5.8 GHz
cordless phone to transition to its award-winning VoIP phone service.

"We look forward to welcoming these VoIP consumers to the Packet8
family of subscribers," said 8x8 Vice President of Sales & Marketing Huw
Rees. "8x8 has been providing VoIP services since 2002 and, unlike many
competitors, has established a strong business model providing subscribers
with solid assurance that our service will be operational for the long term
and that our reputation for quality and reliability will be maintained."

Just over two months ago, SunRocket, the second largest independent
VoIP provider, announced it was shutting down its service and referring its
more than 200,000 subscribers to Packet8. 8x8, now the #2 standalone voice
and video service provider, was recently awarded its 69th U.S. patent for
proprietary VoIP technology employed in the Packet8 service. In addition to
residential service, 8x8 provides more than 8,000 U.S. based small
businesses with the Packet8 Virtual Office hosted iPBX complete business
phone solution.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apple: Unlocking iPhone could be damaging

Programs that allow one to unlock the iPhone so that it can be used with other carriers could potentially harm the device, Apple has warned.

Currently, AT&T is the only carrier that works with the iPhone, which was released earlier this summer. In the UK, O2 has been chosen as the exclusive carrier for when the phone is released on November 9th. Phil Schiller, Apple's head of worldwide product marking, commented to Reuters: "We are not doing anything proactively to disable iPhones that have been hacked or unlocked."

Mr Schiller added that he did not know how widespread the act of unlocking iPhones so that they could be used with other carriers has become. Apple stated that it would not bear any responsibility for damage caused by such actions. The iPhone is a multifunctional device that that be used as a music player, phone and internet browser.

Monday, September 24, 2007

MySpace goes mobile

The popular social networking site MySpace is to become available over cell phones, it has been announced.

A free version of the site, supported by ads, is being launched today that will allow users to search for contacts and send and receive messages. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, the company that owns MySpace, is attempting to expand its mobile advertising. John Smelzer, senior vice president of mobile at Fox Interactive, the division of New Corp that runs the company's internet activities, said: "Accessing the internet from your mobile phone will soon be as common as text messaging and voice calling.

"Over time, the most targeted ads will be on mobile." Recently MySpace announced that it is to give its users' information to advertisers for use in targeted advertising. Users' information will be categorized into ten subject headings, such as auto and finance. MySpace is expecting the move to garner millions in revenue, the New York Times reported.

How To Gain With Business VoIP

Business houses have a different set of requirements pertaining to communication since their key motive is to focus on networking with clients and maintaining a constant contact with their customers. With clients coming from all across the globe and same for their suppliers and dealers they need a cheaper mode of communication; one that would not only prove to be cost effective but will also help them in increasing the productivity of their organization.

With the competition going uphill with more companies entering into the business sphere, it is imperative that the organizations have to search for ways to cut down their cost and increase their savings. This is precisely what guarantees a long successful run of the business.

Click here for the entire story.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ban on Internet tax called for

A trio of US senators has urged Congress to pass a ban on all Internet taxes, it has been reported.

The current Internet tax moratorium ends on November 1st and the senators have called on Congress to pass through the ban on internet tax before that date. Congress enacted the ban in 1998 and it was renewed in 2004. One of the senators asking Congress to institute a ban is Arizona senator John McCain, currently campaigning for the Republican nomination for president.

He said that the ban must be instituted before state governments put in place their own tax on the Internet. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, the head of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, said: "People use the Internet to access information and purchase goods and services.

"It is not appropriate to tax someone for walking into a library or a shopping mall. On that rationale, we should not be taxing the internet."

Firefox fixes flaw

Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox browser, has released a fix for a vulnerability in QuickTime which was flagged up last week.

A patch for the same flaw was originally issued by Mozilla back in July, however it proved to be incomplete. The flaw is in the way the browser deals with JavaScript code in QuickTime files. Malware could conceivably be disguised as files like .mov and .mp3 which could be installed through QuickTime. Petko Petkov, a security researcher, highlighted the fact that Mozilla's original patch was not enough.

In a security advisory Mozilla stated: "On his blog Petko Petkov reported that QuickTime Media-Link files contain a qtnext attribute that could be used on Windows systems to launch the default browser with arbitrary command-line options. "When the default browser is Firefox or earlier use of the -chrome option allowed a remote attacker to run script commands with the full privileges of the user." Firefox is currently posing a challenge to Microsoft's Internet Explorer to be the most popular browser.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Intel announces more wireless internet technology

A new range of technology directed at pocket-sized wireless internet devices was unveiled by Intel recently.

Dubbed Moorestown, the new technology combines CPU, graphics, video and memory controller all contained in a single chip. It is due to be ready for use in 2009 or 2010. Also, soon Intel's Montevina notebooks, which feature WiMAX are to become available, as well as the revolutionary new product called Menlow, a platform for mobile technology.

Intel's Anand Chandrasekher said: "As we put all this together we'll be taking the size of the components down by half again. "We'll take the power down by half again, and we will take, most importantly, idle power down by a factor of 10X. The kinds of improvements we're making in Moorestown are effectively what enable this." Menlow and then later Moorestown is to "unleash the internet", Mr Chandrasekhe added. The Intel technology was being shown at the Developer Forum taking place in San Francisco.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

MySpace to give personal data to advertisers

The popular social networking site MySpace has announced that it is to give users' personal details to advertisers to use in highly targeted ads.

Users' details will be perused to find out their likes and dislikes and then MySpace will sell them in ten neat categories, consisting of finance, auto and so forth. By using this tactic, MySpace may see a massive growth in revenue, reports the New York Times.

Jeff Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, told the paper: "People should be able to congregate online with their friends without thinking that big brother, whether it is Rupert Murdoch or Mark Zuckerberg, are stealthily peering in." Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp which owns MySpace and Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook. MySpace, which was founded in August 2003, currently has over 200 million accounts, providing a mine of information for advertisers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ameritrade breach will spark spam deluge

Ameritrade has admitted that its security has been breached and the contact information of 6.3 million of its customers stolen.

Now many of these users of the online brokerage can expect a storm of spam emails, according to the security software company Sophos. Customers of Ameritrade were assured by the outfit that their confidential details, such as social security numbers and bank account numbers were not exposed when the security lapse occurred.

However, it has already apologized for the spam emails that will result. Graham Cluley, a technology consultant at Sophos, said: "Hackers are now in possession of 6.3 million email addresses for people that they know are interested in trading shares.

"This knowledge alone could spur the creation of highly targeted spam emails, such as 'pump and dump' campaigns which offer bogus share tips to artificially boost stock prices." Ameritrade is one of the largest online brokerages in the world.

Apple iPhone hits O2 in the UK on November 9th

by Paul Miller

Ending months of intense, practically insane speculation, Apple just confirmed its first European carrier for the iPhone: O2 is scoring exclusive UK rights to the hotly contested device, and will be launching it on November 9th for £269 including VAT. Unlimited data comes standard with the £35, £45 and £55 voice plans, which include 200, 600 and 1200 minutes, respectively, and 200 SMS for the cheapest plan, but 500 messages for the other two. Just like the rumors (finally) predicted, Carphone Warehouse is being pulled in to beef up retail presence for O2, with 1300 retail locations, each with an "expert" on the iPhone. Naturally, Apple's not doing anything fancy here, and is announcing the same old EDGE phone we know and love here in the States -- shattering the 2007 3G pipe dreams of millions of Europeans -- but has made up for it slightly by scoring free WiFi for O2 iPhone users at the 7,500 hotspots serviced by Cloud in the UK. Those hotspots will certainly come in handy when trapesing through O2's EDGE-deficient network -- only 30% of the country will be covered by launch time. Of course, if you aren't keen on Visual Voicemail or Apple's blessing, there are certainly plenty of unlocked iPhones to be had between now and launch.

Monday, September 17, 2007

FCC: Cable Must Carry Local Analog Signal for Three Years—and HD Forever

Late Tuesday the FCC ordered cable operators to provide HD signals of local broadcasters after the end of analog broadcasts in February 2009.

The unanimous commission also ordered that for three years after the analog shutoff, cable operators with analog subscribers would have to continue to provide analog signals by downconverting broadcasters’ DTV signals.

The commission did not go as far as requiring cablers to pass through every digital bit broadcasters provide.

Both NAB and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association praised the ruling, with NCTA calling the ruling the cable industry’s plan.

But not all NCTA members share that upbeat outlook. Comcast, for example, had told the FCC that forcing cable to carry both digital and analog channels would be “indefensible” and unconstitutional.

But NCTA President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow downplayed the dissent, saying that Comcast was a leader in aggressively asserting legal principles shared by the entire industry. Comcast Senior Director spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice declined to comment on the decision or whether Comcast would take it to court, saying only that the NCTA comments spoke for the company.

Small cable operators—those with less than 552 MHz capacity—got sympathy from some commissioners, but all they got in the order was a chance to apply for waivers to the new requirements. Democrat commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said the requirements could inhibit the rollout of other services, such as broadband Internet access, in smaller and rural communities. He also said the smaller systems should have received a blanket waiver instead of having to enlist Washington lawyers and apply for individual exemptions.

The American Cable Association said some of its members could shell out more then $150,000 in equipment to carry the multiple formats. The ruling will slow rural broadband rollout and, and some very small operators could be forced out of business, ACA said in a statement.

The order also calls for more comment on some carriage issues, including the specifics of how cable should handle or convert between 16:9 and 4:3 pictures, and how to further address the concerns of small cable operators.

Also late Tuesday, the commission ruled to extend, for another five years, the ban on exclusive programming contracts between cable operators and programmers with whom they are vertically integrated. The ban is designed to ensure that cable operators have access to programming owned by other cable companies or their owners. The commission gave a five-year extension to the ban in 2002 and will decide again in 2012 whether to let it sunset.

Does VoIP Make It Easier For Scammers?

By, Deb Shinder

If you’re considering switching from the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) service to VoIP, you might be wondering whether the change will make you more vulnerable to scammers, help protect you from common scams, or not make much difference at all.

Con games are about as old as human history; there will always be people around who attempt to use deception to persuade others to do something — often, to give them money or something else of value. In today’s electronic world, that something else may be passwords used to access various accounts at financial institutions, etc., or it might be credit card numbers and similar information used to obtain goods and charge them to someone else.

Most jurisdictions have fairly broad laws against fraud that cover both in-person and online scams, and many are now enacting legislation to deal specifically with the types of fraudulent schemes commonly perpe over the Internet. How much of a threat is VoIP? Let’s take a look. Click here for the entire story.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Internet Privacy Urged By Google

The Internet search engine giant Google has told the UN that it should help guard the privacy of internet users by setting up global regulations.

Google's privacy chief, Peter Fleischer, told the Guardian that unless universal privacy restraints are set up, people will lose faith in the internet and its development will be adversely affected. Mr. Fleischer is due to address a conference of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in Strasbourg later today. He is to request that Unesco push for internet privacy standards that span the globe.

He told the paper: "Three-quarters of the countries in the world have no privacy regimes at all and among those that do have laws, many of them were largely adopted before the rise of the internet. "It's said that every time you use a credit card, your details are passed through six different countries."

Meanwhile, Google has announced that it is to sponsor the Lunar X prize, which will award £30 million for landing unmanned machines on the moon and making them carry out specific tasks.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New worm hits Skype

A new worm has hit the internet and is being delivered in the form of an instant message on the popular internet phone service Skype.

The worm accesses the host PC by utilizing Skype's application programming interface and then deactivates any security software before proceeding to mail itself to people on the victim's Skype list. It then starts accessing any passwords or personal information on the infected computer.

The instant-message chat invitation the worm is concealed in, reads: "Hey, where I put ur photo ;-) now u populr. oops sorry please dont look there. look what crazy photo Tiffany sent me, looks cool." Finnish security software company F-Secure has dubbed the worm W32/Skipi.A. Symantec meanwhile is calling it W32.Pykspa.D.

The company claims that the worm is one of a new family called Pykspa which have been surfacing recently in various forms on the internet. On August 16th this year the Skype network went down for the first time, due to millions of users rebooting their PCs at the same time following a Microsoft security update.

MySpace plans TV show over the web

The popular social networking site MySpace is to broadcast a TV show over the internet, it has been announced.

My So-Called Life creators Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz have been signed up for the show, which is to be called Quarterlife. Episodes of the show will be broadcast on the site MySpaceTV. Quarterlife will feature a group of people in their mid-20s.

Chris DeWolfe, chief executive of MySpace, said: "When Emmy award-winning producers come to MySpaceTV - you know this is reaching a whole new level.
"We're proud to offer the creative community a blank canvas and open platform to express their vision." The first episode of Quarterlife is to be shown on November 11th. Mr Berman continued by saying that the creative duo behind the show, Mr Zwick and Mr Herskovitz, were "delighted". Mr Zwick and Mr Herskovitz were also behind blockbusters like The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond.

Today's Hottest Musical Talent Perform Exclusively for 5,000 Volunteers

Boost Mobile RockCorps, the national youth volunteerism movement that since 2005 has motivated more than 25,000 young people in over 13 cities across the country to get
involved and help their community, will execute approximately 60 volunteer projects in New York from now until October 6. The unprecedented program gives local youth an opportunity to earn tickets to an exclusive concert event in exchange for volunteering four hours of community service.

This year, 5,000 community-conscious youth across New York and surrounding areas will earn tickets to a signature BMRC show at Radio City Music Hall which will feature some of the hottest names in hip-hop, R&B and rock. Grammy Award winning artist Ludacris, Busta Rhymes and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will be part of the stellar line-up of today's top-selling musical talent to take the stage at the New York show on October 6.

RockCorps, an organization harnessing the power of music to inspire volunteerism, and Boost Mobile, a wireless telecommunications brand dedicated to boosting the lives of today's youth, have partnered to continue the youth movement for social change. Combining the power of music, community and volunteerism, Boost Mobile RockCorps will offer entrance to this summer's most popular concerts for which the only way in is to earn tickets by contributing four hours of volunteer service.

This year's volunteers will work on a range of service projects, in partnership with local non-profit organizations, including school and playground renovations, environmental initiatives, food distribution and much more. New York City will mark the conclusion of the 2007 BMRC U.S. Tour -- which also visited Los Angeles, Oakland, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Houston, Chicago, Portland, and Philadelphia. By the end of the 2007 tour, BMRC volunteers will have contributed more than 100,000
hours of community service and transformed hundreds of project sites in cities across the country.

People interested in participating at upcoming BMRC events are encouraged to log onto and to register for membership. Boost Mobile RockCorps members will be notified of opportunities in their area to volunteer and asked to commit four hours to a specific event or ongoing cause.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Iceman Put On Ice

A cyber criminal who went by the moniker Iceman has been indicted by a grand jury in Pittsburgh on wire fraud and transferring stolen information.

San Francisco-based Mark Ray Butler, 35, was a prolific identity thief and specialized in stolen credit card numbers, according to the authorities. Now he faces as long as 40 years in prison and fine of $1.5 million. It took a 16-month investigation by the US Secret Service to gather enough evidence against Butler.

Margaret Philbin, spokeswoman for US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan of Pittsburgh, told the Associated Press that the identity thief was transported to Pittsburgh to be tried as he had sold over 100 credit card numbers to a resident of Pennsylvania. The man cooperated with law enforcement on the case which is why Butler was indicted in a Pittsburgh court. Another witness said that Butler used to routinely hack into institutions like the Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Citibank.

Butler also used to use the aliases of Darkest, Digits and Aphex.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Microsoft to release four patches

In its monthly security update, Microsoft is to release four patches later today, the company has announced.

Only one of the patches has been labeled "critical", the highest security rating for a Microsoft patch. Three other patches have been deemed "important" by Microsoft. One of these is designed to remedy a privilege escalation bug for Unix applications.

The other two patches are for Visual Studio and MSN Messenger, to fix weaknesses that could possibly allow remote code execution. Microsoft has not been specific about what the fourth, critical patch pertains to, though it is a part of Windows 2000 SP 4. Neither Windows or Vista are affected however, Microsoft has claimed. The company was to have released five patches today, but will now only release four.

Eric Schultze, a security architect at Shavlik, told "[The revision] means it hasn't passed their testing. There is a beta patch test group that will do all of the testing of the security patches about five weeks before they're to be released." September's release will contain the fewest patches of those in the last several months.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hackers Marketing User Friendly Tools

Hacking kits which can launch automated attacks on are going on sale over the Internet, experts have warned.

Now cyber criminals can purchase specific viruses or a kit which allows them to devise their own kind of cyber attack, the BBC reports. Some of the hacking kits even promise a year of technical support upon purchase. An expert from the software security company Sana told the BBC that sites which offer hacking tools "are starting to pop up left and right".

"It's the classic verticalization of a market as it starts to mature." There is almost "no limit" to what money can buy when it comes to hacking tool kits, he added. Among the most popular hacking toolkits of last year was the infamous MPack. Over 16,000 PCs have been infected using the kit, which is a product of Russian hackers.

MPack usually sells from $500 to $1,000.

Cyber Criminals Recruiting Hackers

The world's best hackers and computer experts are being hired by criminals to aid them in their spamming and scamming activities, according to industry experts. Large organizations, like corporations and business enterprises are becoming more vulnerable to cyber attacks, the news service AHN has reported. The AHN article said that three ingredients are needed to launch an attack, being an email generator, official looking emails and a set of powerful servers.

Chee Heng Loon, vice president of Sonicwall, said: "If end-users are not hiring them, if we are not hiring them, then where did all these people disappear to? "The only conclusion we can come to is that a huge organization out there is sucking out all of the skill sets and we believe they are the guys who are behind all the spamming and phishing attacks." In August Sonicwall reported a rise in the volume of spam and phishing attacks.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Judge scraps electronic records requirement in Patriot Act

The section of the Patriot Act that requires internet and telecommunication providers to give records to the government without customers' knowledge has been cancelled by a judge.

Judge Victor Marrero of New York ruled on Thursday that the stipulation violates the US constitution. Previously, the FBI and department of justice could issue national security letters (NSL) to internet and phone service provides to requisition their customers' records.

Judge Marrero wrote: "In light of the seriousness of the potential intrusion into the individual's personal affairs and the significant possibility of a chilling effect on speech and association - particularly of expression that is critical of the government or its policies - a compelling need exists to ensure that the use of NSLs is subject to the safeguards of public accountability." Currently the department of justice is reviewing the judge's decision.

The Patriot Act was passed in the months following 9-11 and was re-authorized by Congress in 2006. Civil liberties groups have claimed that the act is unconstitutional. The Patriot Act's full name is the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Internet Crime Committed Every Ten Seconds

Last year in excess of three million internet crimes were committed, according to recent research performed by the online identity company Garlik.

This means that someone became a victim of an internet crime approximately every ten seconds. And in approximately 75 percent of the cases the victim was a private citizen rather than a business or government organization.

Garlik chief executive Tom Ilube commented: "Our study is the first step in measuring the impact of cybercrime. "It demonstrates how real and widespread a problem it is, covering illegal activities from computer hacking, stalking or bullying via the internet, financial scams and identity theft." There is more personal information on the internet than ever, making it crucial that users be alert about protecting their personal details, added Mr Ilube. A full 90 percent of internet crimes are not reported by the victims, as they believe that the authorities will be helpless to prosecute, the survey found.

Meanwhile, it has been 25 years since the first computer virus, Elk Cloner, was created.

CyberData Introduces New VoIP Zone Controller, 4-Port Audio-Out

CyberData Corporation announced the release of its new VoIP Zone Controller, 4-Port Audio-Out. The Zone Controller is a SIP-endpoint that enables access to analog paging speakers through a VoIP phone system. Each of the 4 audio outputs is designed to interface with a standard analog paging amplifier. The zone control function is set up through its web interface and offers up to 15 programmable paging zone groups in addition to page-all.

"The zone controller allows for a cost effective migration from legacy phone systems to VoIP, utilizing existing analog paging systems," said Phillip Lembo, President of CyberData Corporation, "while saving installers and end users time and resources due to its ease of installation and its flexibility when configuring paging zone groups."

The CyberData's VoIP Zone Controller is scheduled for release on September 21, 2007 and can be purchased from a variety of distributors and resellers. Please visit CyberData's website for details.

The new VoIP Zone Controller, 4-Port Audio-Out will be on display at the Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO West 2007, September 10-12, 2007, booth 241, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Businesses Fail To Secure Wireless

Businesses fail to secure wireless

Though wireless technology is in use by most businesses, many neglect to secure their wireless technology, a new survey from the National Computing Center (NCC) has found.

A full 40 percent of the businesses surveyed admitted that their wireless networks were either only partly secured or not secure at all. In addition, many companies have not secured their VoIP networks and are unaware of the security weakness posed by using USB devices. Stefan Foster, NCC managing director said: "Running unsecured Wi-Fi is like locking the front door, but leaving the windows open.

"Fraudsters are increasingly targeting IT systems and the growing use of Wi-Fi is attracting their attention both inside and outside of the office environment." The NCC survey also found that of the businesses who have VoIP, only 15 percent have bothered to secure their network.

Meanwhile, a recent survey carried out by Trend Micro revealed that mobile workers pay less attention to internet security than those who operate from an office.

Comcast Self-Install VoIP Kits Launching within six months...

11:37AM Tuesday Sep 04 2007

Comcast is now offering self-install VoIP voice kits, and is testing self-install wireless phone VoIP kits in San Francisco, with launch expected in Boston, Denver and Philadelphia within six months. The switch should drastically reduce Comcast VoIP install costs, giving them a leg up in the triple-play battle with phone operators.

Verizon incurs $880 on average per customer to get TV installed. While Comcast added 671,000 VoIP customers last quarter, Verizon lost 723,000 landline customers while adding 167,000 TV customers. "Comcast tentatively plans to charge customers $250 for three cordless phones that link to their cable modems. The total time from opening the box to getting a dial tone is 30 minutes or less, Avgiris said. "It's for the customer who says, 'I want the service, and I want it now,'" said Avgiris."

Comcast VoIP is exploding -- the company added three million VoIP customers in just two years, quickly becoming the nation's largest VoIP operator.

The company has had to hire 12,000 people in the past year and a half to help manage VoIP demand, and will spend $450 million adding telephone customers in 2008.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rihanna, Beyonce Video Spreads Trojan Horse

An email that purports to offer music videos of stars like Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Clarkson, but which actually contains a Trojan horse, is being disseminated around the Internet, according to Sophos.

If recipients click on the link contained in the email they are sent to a site which hosts malicious script that will invade the victim's computer and turn it into a zombie - a computer which sends spam mail.

The subject line of these emails contains phrases such as "awesome new video" and "dude this is not even on MTV yet". Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: "Earlier this week hackers were pretending that their emails pointed to a YouTube video, before that they posed as e-cards or breaking news stories.

"What's clear is that they will keep on adopting new disguises to try and infect the Windows computers of innocent internet surfers." Internet uses must stop pursuing links in emails from unknown sources, Mr Cluley added. Meanwhile, a recent survey by Trend Micro has found that mobile workers are the least security conscious.

Verizon Expands Broadband In Western Pennsylvania

Verizon has announced that it has rolled out its high-speed Internet services in new areas of Pennsylvania, giving more people access to broadband.

Over 4,300 phone lines were upgraded over the last few months so they could handle high-speed Internet, the company claims. New equipment has been installed in telecommunications facilities across eight of the most rural counties in the state.

William B Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania, said: "Verizon is enabling more rural residents across Pennsylvania to make the high-speed connections that are important to them. "Verizon's ongoing, significant investment in Pennsylvania means that many more rural communities have access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet service."

Some of the counties involved have as few as 29 working phone lines. Meanwhile, Verizon has said that it is soon to release the LG VX8350 clamshell phone, the successor to the popular VX8300, reports IntoMobile.

Computer Virus Reaches 25

It has been 25 years since the first officially recognized computer virus was unleashed.

Dubbed Elk Cloner, the virus was created in 1982 by ninth-grade computer enthusiast Rich Skrenta . He is quoted in the London Free Press as saying: "It was some dumb little practical joke. "I guess if you had to pick between being known for this and not being known for anything, I'd rather be known for this. But it's an odd placeholder for [all] I've done."

Since Elk Cloner there has been a plethora of other viruses, some highly damaging, to hit PCs around the world. The Associated Press today compiled a list of some of the more damaging viruses over the years, including the Brain virus, released in 1986. Brain has the dubious honor of being the first virus to appear on computers running Microsoft products. In 1999, the world was hit by Melissa, one of the first viruses to be disseminated over email.

The most recent virus on the list is the notorious Sasser, which hit computers in 2004 and caused computers to repetitively crash and reboot.