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 Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Web surfing is no longer a solo affair. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have quickly become an integral part of the online culture, and with them comes a whole new array of potential security threats.

Social networking is built on the idea of sharing information openly and fostering a sense of community. Unfortunately, an online network of individuals actively sharing their experiences and seeking connections with other like-minded people can be easy prey for hackers bent on social-engineering and phishing attacks. It's important to be aware of the threats, and to maintain a healthy skepticism in your online interactions.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:50:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The US Secret Service is trying to identify the people who launched an online poll at Facebook asking whether US President Barack Obama should be assassinated. Facebook on Monday shut down the user-generated poll, which was titled "Should Obama be killed?" and offered answer choices of yes, no, maybe, and "If he cuts my health care."

"Once we found out about it, we worked with Facebook to have it removed," Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley told AFP. "We are certainly investigating; just like we would with any threat case." More than 750 Facebook users had reportedly cast votes by the time the poll was yanked from the wildly popular online social networking community.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:08:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 28, 2009

A network of Russian malware writers and spammers paid hackers 43 cents for each Mac machine they infected with bogus video software, a sign that Macs have become attack targets, a security researcher said yesterday.

In a presentation Thursday at the Virus Bulletin 2009 security conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Sophos researcher Dmitry Samosseiko discussed his investigation of the Russian "Partnerka," a tangled collection of Web affiliates who rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars from spam and malware, most of the former related to phony drug sites, and much of the latter targeting Windows users with fake security software, or "scareware."

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Monday, September 28, 2009 9:35:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Next time you're recovering from trip to the emergency room, keep an eye on the young doctors tending to you. They might be chatting about your case on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs.

A survey of medical schools published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 13 percent of respondents reported breaches of doctor-patient confidentiality, and 60 percent reported "unprofessional content" posted online.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld 

Monday, September 28, 2009 8:35:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 25, 2009

Many major social networking sites are leaking information that allows third party advertising and tracking companies to associate the Web browsing habits of users with a specific person, researchers warn.

That's the conclusion of a study on the leakage of personally identifiable information on social networks done at AT&T Labs and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. "In some cases, the leakage may be unintentional, but in others, there is clever and surreptitious anti-privacy engineering at work," the EFF said.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Friday, September 25, 2009 12:29:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

They were crimes born of the Internet age -- romantic solicitations on popular Web site Craigslist that police say led to the fatal shooting of one woman and the robbery of another in Boston hotels this past spring. And it was high-tech, 21st-century sleuthing, along with some old-fashioned gumshoe detective work, that put police on the trail toward a suspect and eventually an arrest.

CNN looks at how technology was used to lead police to 23-year-old medical student Philip Markoff, who has been indicted on seven counts, including first-degree murder. Investigators knew they had crimes born of the Internet on their hands, but how were they able to use that same technology to help them find a suspect who went to great lengths to hide his tracks?

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Friday, September 25, 2009 12:03:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scammers are increasingly using machine-generated Twitter accounts to post messages about trendy topics, and tempt users into clicking on a link that leads to servers hosting fake Windows antivirus software, security researchers said Monday.

The latest Twitter attacks originated with malicious accounts cranked out by software, said experts at both F-Secure and Sophos. The accounts, which use variable account and user names, supposedly represent U.S. Twitter users. In some cases, the background wallpaper is customized for each account, yet another tactic to make the unwary think that a real person is responsible for the content.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:30:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Teens and texting is a subject that's often discussed in pathological terms. They're texting in class! They're sexting! They need thumb therapy! But texting isn't always bad. In some families, it's become a primary form of communication between parents and children. In fact, one of my favorite texts from kids is the earth-shattering query "Wuz4dina?"

Psychologist Thomas W. Phelan says one of the biggest problems with teens is getting them to communicate at all, so if they're willing to text their parents, we should embrace the trend. "Instead of seeing the whole text thing as an enemy, see it as an ally."

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:12:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Decades of war and occupation have not provided an answer to that question -- but the social networking Web site now permits both options, sparking fears about an anti-Facebook cyber-war. The Golan Heights is Syrian territory that was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. Since then it has been internationally classified as Israeli-occupied territory.

Up until recently, Facebook fans in the Golan Heights could only choose Syria as their country of origin or else leave it blank. Pro-Israel Web site honestreporting.com sought to change that, starting a group called "Facebook, Golan residents live in Israel, not Syria."

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 1:38:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new botnet has caused a sharp spike in click fraud because it is skirting the most sophisticated filters of search engines, Web publishers and ad networks, according to Click Forensics. The company, which provides services to monitor ad campaigns for click fraud and reports on click fraud incidence every quarter, said on Thursday that the botnet's architects have figured out a way to mask it particularly well as legitimate search ad traffic.

Click Forensics is calling this the "Bahama botnet" because it was initially redirecting traffic through 200,000 parked domains in the Bahamas, although it is now using sites in Amsterdam, the U.K. and Silicon Valley.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:00:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 21, 2009

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to outline network-neutrality proposals on Monday, according to Reuters. The proposals could become rules at the FCC's October meeting.

Neutrality advocates want Internet service providers barred from blocking or slowing Internet traffic based on content. ISPs, including AT&T, Verizon Communications, and Comcast, say growing traffic needs to be managed, and they contend that neutrality could stifle innovation.

 

(Source: NewsFactor)

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NewsFactor

Monday, September 21, 2009 1:33:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Microsoft filed lawsuits against five companies Thursday, accusing them of using malicious advertisements to trick victims into installing software on their computers.

Typically, when a scareware ad pops up on a victim's screen, it looks like a Windows utility running some kind of security scan. It will then warn that it has found a critical security problem and direct the victim to a Web site where they can buy a product to fix the issue. DirectAd Solutions, Soft Solutions, qiweroqw.com, ote2008.info and ITmeter have used ads to "distribute malicious software or present deceptive websites that peddled scareware to unsuspecting Internet users".

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Monday, September 21, 2009 1:13:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 17, 2009

In the economic downturn, teenagers around the world have focused their spending cuts on clothes, games and food, according to a survey by networking site Habbo Hotel.

The survey of 61,000 teenagers in more than 30 countries showed one teenager out of three is getting less money from their parents, with more than half of youngsters getting less to spend in the United States, Spain and Latin America. Some 19 percent of youngsters globally say the recession has most hurt their spending on console and computer games -- the industry for which teenagers are a key client group.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Thursday, September 17, 2009 10:42:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With many who bank online now wary of phishing attacks, criminals are adding fake live-chat support windows to their Web sites to make them seem more real. RSA Security spotted the first ever of these "chat-in-the-middle" attacks in the past few hours, according to Sean Brady, a manager with the security company's identity protection and verification group.

The phishers send e-mails that direct victims to a fake Web page designed to look like a banking site. That's a standard technique, but what's different in this case is that the phishing site comes with a fake online chat option, so that scammers can talk directly with their victims.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:07:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The French National Assembly has passed a draft law that would allow illegal downloaders to be thrown off the net. The law was narrowly passed by 285 votes to 225.

The French hard-line policy on piracy has drawn worldwide attention as nations around the globe grapple with the issue of piracy. The ruling majority UMP voted in favour but the Socialist Party has already announced that they will appeal to the Constitutional Court once again. The Constitutional Court insisted that a judge rather than a high authority had to rule on the issue of whether to disconnect users.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:12:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

As millions of students across the world go back to school this month, 178 students from 49 countries will turn on their computers and step onto the virtual campus of the world's first global, tuition-free online university.

"Our mission is to change people's lives." Called University of the People, the non-profit comes from Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef who says he founded the school to provide higher education to those who might otherwise never have access to it. "We are creating a global classroom for science and allowing people to freely collaborate. We want to put high quality teaching and learning materials into the hands of anybody and everybody who wants to become a scientist,"

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:01:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A computer hacker who was once a federal informant and was a driving force behind one of the largest cases of identity theft in U.S. history pleaded guilty Friday in a deal with prosecutors that will send him to prison for up to 25 years.

Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, admitted pulling off some of the most prominent hacking jobs of the decade. Federal authorities say tens of millions of credit and debit card numbers were stolen. Gonzalez entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Boston to 19 counts of conspiracy, computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:22:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 14, 2009

Cyber criminals are taking advantage of swine flu fears with e-mails promising news on the illness which then infect computers with a virus, a Spanish computer security firm warned Friday.

The e-mails invite recipients to open a document with information claiming the H1N1 flu virus was developed by pharmaceutical firms seeking to make huge profits from the outbreak, Pandasecurity said in a statement. But if the document is opened, a virus is installed on the person's computer which can steal personal information like bank account data.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, September 14, 2009 2:04:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Korea plans to train 3,000 "cyber sheriffs" by next year to protect businesses after a spate of attacks on state and private websites, a report said Sunday. The "cyber sheriffs" would be tasked with "protecting corporate information and preventing the leaks of industrial secrets," Yonhap news agency said.

In the event of cyber attacks, the National Intelligence Service, the country's main spy agency, would set up a taskforce including civilian and government experts to counter the online threats, it added. The country already has a military cyber unit. South Korea, where 95 percent of homes have broadband, is among the top countries in terms of access to the high-speed Internet.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, September 14, 2009 10:07:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 11, 2009

A third of Web users under 25 claim they don't care about their "digital tattoo" and the items they post online, says Symantec. Symantec said a "digital tattoo" is created by all the personal information web users post online and can easily be found through search engines by a potential or current employer, friends and acquaintances, or anyone who has malicious intent.

The security firm revealed that nearly two-thirds of all those surveyed had uploaded personal photographs, while 79 percent had at least part of their address online and nearly half had their mobile phone numbers online.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Friday, September 11, 2009 9:57:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In communist Cuba, where only state media exist locally, a vibrant blogger culture has emerged as a venue for critical commentary, a leading journalists' rights group said Thursday. "Despite vast legal and technical obstacles, a growing number of Cuban bloggers have prevailed over the regime?s tight Internet restrictions to disseminate island news and views online," said a report from the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

"The bloggers, mainly young adults from a variety of professions, have opened a new space for free expression in Cuba, while offering a fresh glimmer of hope for the rebirth of independent ideas in Cuba?s closed system."

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Friday, September 11, 2009 9:26:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 10, 2009

By selling an array of virtual products from avatar clothes to e-furniture, Asia's social networking sites appear to have solved the conundrum of how to leverage big profits from their extensive user bases.

Chinese university student Tan Shengrong spends about 20 yuan ($2.90) per month purchasing outfits for her pet penguin avatar or playing games on QQ, an instant message portal on Qzone, China's most popular social networking site. It might not seem like a hefty sum, but every fen, or cent, is money in the bank for Tencent Holdings, which owns Qzone and saw an 85 percent increase in its second quarter net profit this year compared to 2008 despite the economic downturn.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:22:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong is under siege from legions of "zombies" attacking people with spam and leaving in their wake a trail of destruction costing millions of dollars a year, analysts have warned.

There are an estimated 4,000 zombies active in Hong Kong and their criminal puppet masters use them to fire off thousands of messages offering products ranging from jewellery to pornography. According to the 2008 Annual Security Report by Internet security firm MessageLabs 81.3 percent of emails sent to Hong Kong computer users last year were spam, more than in any other territory or country in the world.

 

(Source: INQUIRER)

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INQUIRER

Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:20:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Anonymous hackers have attacked a Taiwan film festival over plans to screen a documentary on the US-based leader of China's predominantly Muslim Uighur minority, festival organisers said Tuesday. A message, posted on a blog run by one of the organisers of the Kaohsiung Film Festival, blamed Rebiya Kadeer for recent bloody unrest in northwest China's Xinjiang region, which is home to the Turkic-speaking Uighurs.

The film festival, which takes place in Taiwan's second largest city Kaohsiung, is scheduled to show "Ten Conditions of Love" on World Uighur Congress leader Kadeer in October.

 

(Source: INQUIRER)

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INQUIRER

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 10:43:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

President Barack Obama warned American teenagers on Tuesday of the dangers of putting too much personal information on Internet social networking sites, saying it could come back to haunt them in later life. "Well, let me give you some very practical tips. First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life," Obama said.

The presidential words of advice follow recent studies that suggest U.S. employers are increasingly turning to sites such as Facebook and News Corp's MySpace to conduct background checks on job applicants.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 9:16:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Web sites that collect information about visitors in order to target advertising on their own pages would be required to prominently disclose what information they gather. Web sites that share user information with outside advertising networks, which place ads on sites all over the Internet, would be required to obtain user approval before collecting data. Web sites that deal with sensitive personal information, such as medical and financial data, sexual orientation, Social Security numbers and other ID numbers, would be subject to the opt-in rule.

Rep. Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, hopes to put in a bill governing Internet advertising.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages - and sell the marketing data gathered.

Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:53:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |