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January 4, 2010

Inside Security News
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» Decaf COFEE put me to sleep

Decaf[1] is the hackers reply to Microsoft's COFEE tool set. Once again creating a tool to combat a set of tools as old as Sysinternals is nothing new or surprising. If it did not happen we would have been surprised.

Unfortunately (and thank god) systems are open and when they are closed (-source) people can still reverse-engineer and break them. This is the nature of the system, be that a PC, Apple, hardware, software or a mobile phone.

In other news an Xbox 360 thief was caught when the original user's account automatically signed in [2]. Proving that with some effort it is possible to track and catch thieves that keep and connect Internet-capable systems. Hear that UK!

Links used:
[1] - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/14/microsoft_cofee_vs_decaf/
[2] - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/30/x_box_theft_suspect_racked_down/

February 27, 2009
» Office Online in Catalan

Last week Office Online launched a Catalan portal page on the Office Online Spain site for Catalan users of MS Office.

This is apparently the first time that they have done this for a regional language. There are a number of different resources, including help articles and templates. They also link to other resources for Catalan speakers and encourage them to submit templates themselves.

A reliable source informs me that we can expect something similar for Welsh next year. Something to look forward to.

As a matter of interest, what sorts of resources would Welsh speakers like to see? Are you ever going to read help articles in Welsh, or do you have more pressing needs?

(Yes, I know, I have been too busy doing stuff to have time to talk about the stuff I have been doing!)

November 24, 2008

Inside Security News
is about »
» When viruses will rule the world...virtual world

The day after three London hospitals[1] were hit by a virus/viruses (Mytob[7]) and they had to halt their entire computer systems for 24 hours, Microsoft announced [2] that it will be offering its antivirus suit (all-in-one security and PC management service) Live OneCare from next year for free under the name Morro. Initial criticism[4] and analysis[5] of Microsoft's move has made its rounds on the internet with some agreeing and some disagreeing. In the end the results will show.

Trusted security packages should be commonly found on personal and coorporate computers. When learning[6] that roughly 30 million Windows PC machines were/are infected with a fake antivirus software (e.g., Antivirus Pro 2009) that tricks customers into paying for a service and situation the malware created in the first place, is a joke. If we are then to feed into the equation the reports that ‘UK identities sold for £80 online’[3] and take into consideration the many problems that companies and governments are having with securing our information we can conclude that we should be extremely cautious with our PCs and information.

I think viruses at some point in time will rule the world. Even for a few seconds, they will provide their master with complete access to what ever his or her heart desires. How this power will be exercised no one will know. Yet we all dread it. Yes I have thought of the diversity in operating systems that will make this case nearly implausible, yet I have a compelling feeling that we are getting close to online world virus domination.

Links Used:
[1] BBC News, Computer virus affects hospitals - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7735502.stm

[2] BBC News, Microsoft to offer free security- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7737520.stm

[3] BBC News,UK identities sold for £80 online - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7732569.stm

[4] Ars Technica, Symantec and Kaspersky on OneCare's death: good riddance - http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2008/11/20/symantec-and-kaspersky-on-onecares-death-good-riddance

[5] Securityfocus, Microsoft hopes free security means less malware - http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11538?ref=rss

[6] TheRegister, Scammers making '$15m a month' on fake antivirus - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/16/fake_av_scam/

[7] ComputerWeekly, Mytob virus spreads in hospitals - http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/11/20/233497/mytob-virus-spreads-in-hospitals.htm