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Forum Thread: Daily CYBERCLIPS May

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mogs Daily CYBERCLIPS May
Expert Contributor 1st May, 2011 07:09
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Tenth Edition

Thankyou for your continuing support. Hope you find something of value/interest in the new thread. The new INDEX thread will follow shortly.
Please refrain from scoring on both threads.
Security remains the main theme of the thread with some related and varied topics.
Scroll down for the latest posts !!
I should reiterate that no entry/post should be taken as a personal recommendation, unless otherwise stated.
Please continue to keep CYBERCLIPS free of junk and unattractive to any contentious individuals..
* Keep patching : up to date : be Cybersafe ! *


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Expert Contributor 1st May, 2011 07:28
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Microsoft Big Box of Awesome Just 2 Days Left to Enter for a Chance to Win

By Marius Oiaga

Users have just a couple of days left to enter the Microsoft Big Box of Awesome contest for a chance to win.

The Redmond company’s Facebook Sweepstakes is scheduled to end on May 2, 2011, at the start of next week.

There are a range of prizes that await participants, although only residents of the United States will actually be able to enter the Microsoft Big Box of Awesome Sweepstakes.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Big-Box-o...

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Expert Contributor 1st May, 2011 07:34
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I've lost 'Hibernate' in Windows
As long as your PC can support Hibernate you can reinstate the feature
Computeractive staff PC help Windows


Onscreen instructions for reinstating the Hibernate option in Vista
Q I have a laptop running Windows Vista Home Basic edition. Following a recent spate of downloads from Windows Update, the Hibernate option has disappeared from my Start menu. Where did it go and how do I get it back?
Richard Stone


Read more: http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/pc-help/2033302...


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Expert Contributor 1st May, 2011 07:40
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UPDATE 1-Sony to resume some network services after data breach

TOKYO | Sun May 1, 2011 1:02am EDT
May 1 (Reuters) - Sony said it would resume some services on its PlayStation Network this week after boosting the security of computer systems that had allowed the theft of personal information belonging to 77 million user accounts.

Sony, which is scrambling to control a crisis triggered by the massive security breach, said it would offer some free content, including 30 days of free membership to a premium service to existing users, to prevent customer flight.

More at
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/01/sony-idU...

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Expert Contributor 1st May, 2011 07:51
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Check Point Debuts ZoneAlarm SocialGuard

By Sean Michael Kerner
Check Point Software Technologies (NASDAQ:CHKP) is well known in the technology world as a firewall vendor. When it comes to social networking threats, network security isn't the only solution, which is why Check Point is now debuting its ZoneAlarm SocialGuard technology.

John Gable, head of Consumer Products at Check Point told InternetNews.com that the CEO of Check Point, Gil Shwed, became interested in the social networking space because of his kids, noting that Facebook represents a different class of risk than networking security.

ZoneAlarm SocialGuard is a software solution that enables people to identify social networking risks on Facebook. While Check Point is positioning SocialGuard as a solution for parents to protect their children, it's also a good solution for adults to protect against social networking security risks.

More at
http://www.esecurityplanet.com/features/article.ph...

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Expert Contributor 1st May, 2011 19:34
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Sony apologizes, details PlayStation Network attack
By Martyn Williams
May 1, 2011
IDG News Service - Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services will begin a phased resumption this week, after the company took them offline in response to a "very sophisticated" intrusion, the company said Sunday.

Online gaming and access to unexpired movie rentals will be the first services to return on the PlayStation Network, while Qriocity users will be able to use the Music on Demand service. Other functions, including the PlayStation Store, will be available by mid-May, said Kaz Hirai, head of Sony's gaming division, during a rare Sunday news conference.

"We'd like to extend our apologies to the many PlayStation Network and Qriocity users who we worried," said Hirai. "We potentially compromised their customer data. We offer our sincerest apologies."

More at
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216311/Son...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 08:04
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Sony: 'PSN attacker exploited known vulnerability'

Preps network for service restart
By Richard Chirgwin • Get more from this author

Posted in Crime, 1st May 2011 22:37 GMT
Sony is getting ready to return to service some PlayStation Network offerings, amid ongoing analysis to try and identify the source of the April attack on its San Diego data centre hosted in an AT&T network facility.

While maintaining that it has not yet seen any evidence that credit card data was compromised in the attack, Sony has said that where customers are charged a fee for reissuing credit cards, it will take responsibility for those charges. The company claimed in the press conference that credit card data was encrypted.

Executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai said that while 78 million accounts were compromised, the number of affected individuals is lower than that, since some people operate multiple PlayStation Network accounts. Of these, he said, Sony only held credit card information for around 10 million customers.

More at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/01/psn_servic...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 08:13
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Too Many Antivirus Programs?
By Lincoln Spector, PCWorld

Keith has Norton AntiVirus, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware, Windows Defender, and Windows Firewall. Is this overkill?

That depends. If you have all of them running at all times, that's very much overkill indeed. The general rule of thumb is that you need two always-on security programs constantly operating in the background: an anti-virus program and a firewall.

The antivirus program checks every file you open or download for malware. The firewall controls what comes into your computer over the network. A good one also controls what goes out.

Sometimes one program handles both of these functions. That's a security suite.

If you have more than one antivirus program running at the same time--or more than one firewall--you're asking for trouble. Two such programs, trying to do the same thing at the same time, will slow down your system. Worse, they can cause conflicts.

Norton AntiVirus and Windows Defender are both real-time antivirus programs. You should remove one of them.

But it's a good idea to supplement your firewall and remaining antivirus program with one or two on-demand malware scanners. These are similar to antivirus programs, except that they don't operate in the background. Instead, they scan your hard drive when you tell them to. The free versions of SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware make excellent choices in this area. They're the ones I use.

Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema. Email your tech questions to him at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.


http://www.pcworld.com/article/225240/too_many_ant...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 08:18
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Building on the successes of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, Nasa will later this year launch its most extensive mission to Mars to date. It plans to send a new rover packed with an array of 10 instruments for examining rocks, soil and the atmosphere, including a powerful laser that will vaporise rocks from a distance and an instrument that analyses samples for organic compounds.

At 2.8m long, the nuclear-powered rover, called Curiosity, is twice as long and four times as heavy as its Spirit and Opportunity predecessors, Nasa says.

Curiosity was put through the final phases of testing at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, in March. The rover performed operational sequences in simulated Martian conditions inside a 7.6m-diameter space simulation chamber.

The chamber is filled with liquid nitrogen and cooled to minus 202° Fahrenheit, while giant light panels simulate the Mars sunshine.

More at
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/emerging-tech/2011/05/...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 08:23
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Updated, May 2, 12:40 a.m.

Almost 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, the leader of al-Qaida is dead.

President Barack Obama announced Sunday night that Osama bin Laden is dead. Not just dead — but killed by U.S. operatives.

More at
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/u-s-forces...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 12:49
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How can I force Skype to quit?
It's not easy to make Skype’s phone application close. We explain how to force it to shut down as well as how to stop it opening at the same time as Windows
Scott Colvey Step by step Broadband 02/05/2011

Here’s an example of the problem. Skype is running and having clicked the red cross – an action that would normally close a Windows application – the program simply gets minimised to the Taskbar. Nor do other methods work. Choosing the Close option from the Skype menu, for example, similarly minimises the application. The Sign Out option on this same menu will sign out of your Skype account but the application remains running.


Read more: http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/step-by-step/20...


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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 12:54
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IE9 can't stop Microsoft's browser slump
Safari posts record one-month share gain, Chrome grows and Firefox falls

By Gregg Keizer
May 2, 2011 06:03 AM
Computerworld - The March launches of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and Firefox 4 failed to stop Microsoft's and Mozilla's decline in browser share, new Web usage data published Sunday showed.

According to California-based Net Applications, one of a handful of companies that regularly publishes browser usage data, IE lost eight-tenths of a percentage point of share in April, falling to 55.1%, a new low for Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Firefox dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 21.6%, a share equivalent to its December 2008 standing.

Both Microsoft and Mozilla debuted new browsers several weeks ago: The former launched IE9 on March 14, while the latter shipped Firefox 4 on March 22. Neither release stemmed their maker's long-standing slide.

Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome took up the slack in April.

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 16:16
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ICANN hires hacker to keep Internet safe

The agency in charge of the world's Internet addresses on Thursday appointed veteran hacker Jeff Moss to be its chief of security.
Moss, whose hacker name is Dark Tangent, is the founder of Black Hat computer security conferences as well as an infamous DefCon gathering of hackers that takes place annually in Las Vegas.
Moss will begin work Friday at the Washington, DC offices of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as vice president and chief security officer.
"I can think of no one with a greater understanding of the security threats facing Internet users and how best to defend against them than Jeff Moss," said ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom.
"He has the in-depth insider's knowledge that can only come from fighting in the trenches of the on-going war against cyber threats."
A self-described hacker for more than 20 years, Moss has a resume that includes stints at Secure Computing Corporation and in the security division of professional services firm Ernst & Young.
Moss is on the US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council.
"I'm looking forward to bringing my skill sets to ICANN," Moss said.

More at
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-icann-hires-ha...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 21:21
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Watch Out for Osama bin Laden Spam and Poisoned Search Results

May 2nd, 2011, 13:00 GMT| By Lucian Parfeni

By now, news of Osama bin Laden's death have reached most people. Twitter and the web at large are aflutter with people sharing the story and providing their commentary and old media, TV, radio, newspapers and so on, is doing its best to keep up as well.

Naturally, search terms related to him and his death have surged and occupy the top spots in Google's Trends, in the US and the rest of the world, since everyone wants to find out more.

But, as is always the case with this type of events, the surge in searches is high time for those looking to make a profit to spring into action and there's evidence that they wasted little time.

Spam related to the death of Osama bin Laden is already hitting inboxes all over the world. Most people should know better than to follow links in emails coming from people they don't know, even if they seem legitimate and make it through the powerful spam filters most providers employ these days.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Watch-Out-for-Osama...

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Expert Contributor 2nd May, 2011 21:28
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Windows 7 Converts Users Away from XP and Vista

May 2nd, 2011, 13:58 GMT| By Marius Oiaga

With end of life deadline looming on the horizon, and Windows 7 available to deliver an immensely superior experience, Windows XP’s market share has been diminishing rapidly.

Windows XP continues to be the dominant operating system worldwide, but its dominance is dwindling.

And if the current trends continue, next month there will be one Windows 7 user for each two customers running XP.

According to Net Applications, Windows 7’s usage share has increased yet again to 25.11% in April 2011 from 24.17% the previous month.

This should not be a real surprise, especially considering that Microsoft announced recently sales of over 350 million licenses of Windows 7.

Between March and April 2011 Windows Vista lost usage share, dropping from 10.56% to 10.22%. XP continues on its downward trend, with its share shrinking from 54.39% to 53.18% over the past two months.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-7-Converts-...

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Expert Contributor 3rd May, 2011 10:03
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Mozilla answers Google's Crankshaft with IonMonkey

Another simian joins Firefox JavaScript engine
By Cade Metz in San Francisco • Get more from this author

Posted in Developer, 2nd May 2011 18:35 GMT
Mozilla is developing a new JIT compiler for SpiderMonkey – the Firefox JavaScript engine – aiming to provide a new set of JavaScript optimizations. Known as IonMonkey, this will be SpiderMonkey's third JIT, but Mozilla hopes to consolidate all its optimization work on the new platform.

"Our goal is to implement a new compiler to enable many new JavaScript optimizations," reads the IonMonkey page on the MozillaWiki. "In particular, IonMonkey will feature much more organized and explicit data structures typical of advanced compilers. This goal of being clean and flexible will be extremely important for future optimization work and experimentation."

The project is led by David Anderson and David Mandelin, who were instrumental in building the JaegerMonkey JIT that was added to Firefox 4. Anderson and Mandelin aim to at least match the speed of Firefox's Trace JIT and Google's Crankshaft JavaScript engine.

More at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/02/mozilla_io...

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Expert Contributor 3rd May, 2011 10:07
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Last edited on 3rd May, 2011 10:08
by Shaun Nichols

Sony is shutting down more of its online services amidst word of another security breach.
The company on Monday took down the Sony Online Entertainment 'Station' service which handles the company's PC, Facebook and Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) titles.

"In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately," the company said in a statement posted to the site.


Read more: http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2046770/sony-extend...


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Expert Contributor 3rd May, 2011 10:15
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Chrome Dev Channel Update
Monday, May 2, 2011 | 18:06
Labels: Dev updates
The Chrome Dev channel has been updated to 12.0.742.16 for all platforms. This release continues to address UI and performance issues, as well as a fix for non-Aero themes on Windows. The full list of changes is available from the SVN revision log. If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug. Want to change to another Chrome release channel? Find out how.


Jason Kersey
Google Chrome
10 comments | Links to this post | Email Post

Chrome OS Beta Channel Update
| 14:51
Labels: Chrome OS
The Chrome OS Beta channel has been updated to the latest R11 release 0.11.257.201 including Chrome update (11.0.696.57).

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our help site or filing a bug.

Orit Mazor
Google Chrome

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Expert Contributor 3rd May, 2011 20:48
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Goal.com Riddled with Malware-Serving Code
May 3rd, 2011, 08:08 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

Security researchers from Armorize warn that attackers have managed to inject visitor infecting code into the popular soccer news website goal.com.

According to Armorize experts, a rogue iframe has been inserted, probably through SQL injection techniques, into multiple goal.com pages including the main English one.

"From what we've collected, parts of goal.com seem to have been compromised allowing the attacker to manipulate content at will.

"A backdoor may exist to allow the attacker continuous control of goal.com's content," the researchers write.

Furthermore, they believe the attacker was only testing his exploits which led to the compromise being picked up by the company's automated scanners.

If this is true, it would make for a very odd behavior giving that goal.com is a pretty high-profile target to waste on simple tests.

The website has over 200,000 unique visitors per day and ranks 379 on Alexa. The pool of potential victims is very varied because it covers over 200 countries with content in 22 languages.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Goal-com-Riddled-wi...

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Expert Contributor 3rd May, 2011 20:52
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TDL4 Rootkit Updated to Bypass Microsoft Patch

May 3rd, 2011, 15:26 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

TDL4, one of the most sophisticated rootkits capable of infecting 64-bit Windows systems, was updated by its developers to bypass a recent Microsoft patch that interfered its operation.

During last month's Patch Tuesday, on April 12, Microsoft issued an update that made some changes particularly designed to disable TDL4's hiding mechanism.

TDL4 is part of the notorious TDSS family of rootkits and was the first rootkit capable of infecting 64-bit Windows systems.

By default, 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Vista only accept digitally signed drivers, therefore the vast majority of rootkits which use custom drivers to interact with the disk and hide their presence, can't function on such systems.

TDL4 is different because it patches the Windows Boot Configuration Data (BCD) in real time in a way that allows it to bypass the OS driver signature check.

One of the modifications made by Microsoft's KB2506014 update involved changing the size of kdcom.dll's PE export directory in order to interfere with the TDL4 infection routine which checks this value to determine if the file needs to be replaced with a rogue version or not.

According to researchers from security vendor Prevx, the TDL4 developers reacted to this change by releasing a new version of the rootkit that no longer performs this check.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/TDL4-Rootkit-Update...

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Expert Contributor 3rd May, 2011 20:56
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Google Chrome Canary is available for Mac

Turn your Mac yellow
By Chris Martin
Tue May 03 2011, 11:32
INTERNET AND SOFTWARE GIANT Google has made its Chrome Canary web browser available for Mac users.
Early adopters of Chrome on Mac are now able to download Google's most frequently updated build of Chrome, named Chrome Canary Build. The Canary Build of Google's web browser gives users the chance to test the most up to date version and provide feedback on crashes and other issues to help development.
It is updated more often than the other release channels and can be installed in addition to the Dev, Beta or Stable versions of Chrome.


Read more: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2046892/g...


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Expert Contributor 4th May, 2011 06:37
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Sony Stresses that PSN Passwords Were Hashed

May 3rd, 2011, 17:52 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

Sony has issued a clarification saying that while exposed PlayStation Network (PSN) account passwords were not encrypted, they were hashed using a cryptographic function.

The clarification comes after many news outlets reported that passwords were stored in plain text form, a practice known for being insecure.

The confusion arose from Sony's initial reports that PSN passwords were amongst the compromised data and a later statement saying that they weren't encrypted.

"While the passwords that were stored were not 'encrypted,' they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function.

"There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Sony-Stresses-PSN-P...

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Expert Contributor 4th May, 2011 20:54
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Microsoft, Juniper urged to patch dangerous IPv6 DoS hole
By Julie Bort
May 3, 2011 06:48 PM ET
Network World - Security experts are urging Microsoft and Juniper to patch a year-old IPv6 vulnerability so dangerous it can freeze any Windows machine on a LAN in a matter of minutes.

Microsoft has downplayed the risk because the hole requires a physical connection to the wired LAN. Juniper says it has delayed a patch because the hole only affects a small number of its products and it wants the IETF to fix the protocol instead.

SEE IT YOURSELF: How to use a known IPv6 hole to fast-freeze a Windows network

The vulnerability was initially discovered in July 2010 by Marc Heuse, an IT security consultant in Berlin. He found that products from several vendors were vulnerable, including all recent versions of Windows, Cisco routers, Linux and Juniper's Netscreen. Cisco issued a patch in October 2010, and the Linux kernel has since been fixed as well. Microsoft and Juniper have acknowledged the vulnerability, but neither have committed to patches.

More at
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216396/Mic...

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Expert Contributor 4th May, 2011 21:03
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New Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Announced in VLC Media Player
May 4th, 2011, 15:56 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

Two yet-to-be-patched vulnerabilities have been disclosed in VLC media player and can potentially be exploited by attackers to execute arbitrary code.

According to vulnerability research company Secunia, who rates the flaws as highly critical, they affect the third-party libmodplug plugin which is included in VLC.

The vulnerabilities were discovered and disclosed as zero-days complete with proof-of-concept exploit code by a user calling himself epiphant.

"The vulnerabilities are caused due to boundary errors within the 'abc_new_macro()' and 'abc_new_umacro()' functions in src/load_abc.cpp, which can be exploited to cause stack-based buffer overflows by tricking a user into opening specially crafted ABC files," Secunia explains in its advisory.

The libmodplug package is present by default in many Linux distributions, including Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo, as well as some media players.

It is used used to load and render music module files in multiple formats including .669, .amf, .ams, .dbm, .dmf, .dsm, .far, .it, .j2b, .mdl, .med, .mod, .mt2, .mtm, .okt, .psm, .ptm, .s3m, .stm, .ult, .umx, and .xmSound.

The vulnerabilities were confirmed in VLC media player 1.1.9 for Windows, but other versions could also be vulnerable. In addition, they might affect only pre-compiled VLC packages, like those available for Windows and Mac.

Since VLC provides plug-ins for both Firefox and Internet Explorer, there is a risk that these vulnerabilities being exploited in drive-by download attacks.

It would be sensible to disable the VLC browser plug-ins, at least until the libmodplug maintainers and VLC developers have a chance to patch the flaws.

Users are also advised to exercise caution when opening files obtained from the Internet or other untrusted sources, like network shares, etc.

VLC is a powerful cross-platform multimedia player capable of playing most media formats natively without the need of additional codecs. It is open source and is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Zero-Day-Vulnerabil...

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Expert Contributor 4th May, 2011 21:09
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Opera beta offers dual browser use
Swordfish hauled on board by web browser firm
By Dave Neal
Wed May 04 2011, 10:05
BROWSER SOFTWARE OUTFIT Opera is offering users a developer beta of its next web browser and the chance to run it in tandem with its current production version.
A fresh release from the firm has three interesting features, including Opera Next, password synchronisation, and speed dial extensions.
Opera Next, the most interesting of the three additions to Opera 11.5, or Swordfish, is aimed at developers, and will let users run incoming releases against stable installations of its browser. According to a blog post Opera Next will always be kept up-to-date through automatic updates and will give developers access to the latest stable build.


Read more: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2047235/o...


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Expert Contributor 4th May, 2011 21:12
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The HTML5 future of the web starts to take shape

And Microsoft is involved
By Inquirer staff
Wed May 04 2011, 15:14
WEB BASED APPLICATIONS are already vying with some traditional PC based applications software for users - Google Docs comes to mind - but in the future HTML5 might accelerate this into a trend that could wind up turning most users' PCs into thin clients totally dependent upon the web.
That's the message from Paul Cotton, the director of web services standards strategy at Microsoft, in an interview with our sister IT news web site V3.
We're not sure whether HTML5 web apps will actually replace native applications, but if this actually comes to pass, Microsoft might even have to start charging for its web browser again in order to continue making any money.
What goes around comes around, we guess. µ


Read more: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2049524/h...


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Expert Contributor 5th May, 2011 08:04
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Malvertizing Attack Detected on ImageShack

May 4th, 2011, 17:12 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

Security researchers from Kaspersky Lab have intercepted a drive-by download attack on imageshack.us that was launched through a malicious advertisement.

The malvertizement was loaded from a [censored]mediagroup.com domain and served an exploit for an older vulnerability in Java that was patched in 2010 (CVE-2010-4452).

The attack was spotted by Kaspersky Lab expert David Jacoby while investigating a recemt hacking incident that involved images hosted on ImageShack.

The exploit attempted to install Trojan.win32.TDSS.cgir on visitors' computers. This is a rootkit from the notorious TDSS family which is capable of hiding itself from anti-malware products in the lowest levels of the operating system.

There are currently no details about how the malicious advertisement made its way onto the popular image hosting website, but some of the most common methods involve impersonating a legit advertiser or compromising an internal ad server.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Malvertizing-Attack...

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Expert Contributor 5th May, 2011 08:10
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IE gets tough on Flash cookies but ignores homegrown threat

Dear Microsoft: There's a Silverlight log in your eye
By Dan Goodin in San Francisco • Get more from this author

Posted in ID, 5th May 2011 03:03 GMT
Members of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team are giving themselves a pat on the back for making it easier to delete the privacy menace known as Adobe Flash Cookies. Too bad the IE developers aren't tackling a similar snoop threat embedded in Microsoft's very own Silverlight framework.

On Tuesday, a Microsoft program manager blogged that IE was now able to delete so-called LSOs. Short for local shared objects, the files set by Adobe Flash applications have been used for years as a stealthy means to track computer users' web browsing habits. The cookie-like breadcrumbs carry no expiration date, can (currently) be deleted only by visiting an online settings panel or by installing a third-party app, and can be exploited to restore tracking cookies a user has previously deleted.

More at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/05/silverligh...

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Expert Contributor 5th May, 2011 11:27
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Top 5 PDF Risks and How to Avoid Them
May 3, 2011
By Lisa Phife
In early 2010, PDF exploits were by far the most common malware tactic, representing more than 47 percent of all Q1 infections tracked by Kaspersky Labs. By mid-year, PDF exploits had fallen to 30 percent, overtaken by Java. However, PDF remains the world's second most popular target.

For those running PDF software – lead by Adobe Reader and its commercial counterpart Acrobat – these attacks have triggered a seemingly nonstop stream of updates. Why do malware writers love to exploit PDF and how you can avoid becoming a casualty of this on-going arms race?

1. Low-hanging fruit: One of the biggest reasons that PDF exploits blossomed in 2009 was Adobe Reader's ubiquity. According to Kaspersky researcher Roul Schouwenberg, hardening techniques like Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) had been rolled into Windows, making OS exploits less attractive. Malware writers searching for more fertile fields seized upon PDF as a wildly popular monoculture ripe for attack. Just about every desktop has a PDF reader installed -- usually Adobe Reader or Acrobat. This enormous pool of potential victims translates into a financially lucrative attack target worthy of investment in malware development.

More at
http://www.esecurityplanet.com/trends/article.php/...

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Expert Contributor 5th May, 2011 18:53
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Google updates its V8 Javascript benchmark

Claims it will encourage improvement
By Lawrence Latif
Thu May 05 2011, 14:06
SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has upped the ante in the web browser speed competition by updating its V8 Javascript benchmark and posting modified versions of Apple's Sunspider and Mozilla's Kraken benchmarks.
Google said that benchmarks such as V8, Sunspider and Kraken are "incredibly important for influencing the direction of Javascript engines" and that they have led to dramatic speed increases in the past two years. Google points to the speed of Chrome's Javascript engine as a major selling point for the web browser and said that the update to its V8 benchmark will force Chrome to "get faster in areas that are important to web developers".


Read more: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2068460/g...


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Expert Contributor 5th May, 2011 18:57
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LastPass resets passwords following possible hack

Precautionary change-up
By John Leyden •
Posted in Enterprise Security, 5th May 2011 11:34 GMT
Password management system LastPass has reset users' master passwords as a precaution following the discovery of a possible hack attack against its systems.

The move follows the detection of two anomalies – one affecting a database server – on LastPass's network on Tuesday that could be the result of a possible hack attack. LastPass detected that more traffic had been sent from the database than had been received by a server, an event that might be explained by hackers extracting sensitive login credentials, stored in an obfuscated (hashed) format.

More at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/05/lastpass_p...

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Expert Contributor 5th May, 2011 19:02
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MAY 05, 2011
Microsoft Security Essentials struggles in antivirus tests
Zero-day detection was mediocre, AV-Test.org testing finds, but the popular free antivirus program performed well at spotting malware

By John E Dunn | Techworld

Microsoft's popular free antivirus program Security Essentials has put in a mediocre showing in the latest quarterly tests from German test outfit AV-Test.org, finishing second to the bottom out of 22 products.

In Q1 2011 Security Essentials 2.0 (MSE) performed well at the least demanding test, that of spotting malware drawn from the industry-agreed Wildlist selection, scoring 100 percent. It also put in a good performance against a large group of recent malware samples selected by AV-Test itself, with a creditable score of 97 percent detection.


However, the product's performance deteriorated sharply when pitted against 107 recent zero-day malware web and email malware attacks, described by AV-Test as 'real-world' testing', spotting only half. The product's performance in 'dynamic detection testing' - noticing malware on or post-execution - was also modest at only 45 percent.

More at
http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/microsoft-secu...

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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 08:04
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Chrome Dev Channel Update
Thursday, May 5, 2011 | 17:41
Labels: Dev updates
The Chrome Dev channel has been updated to 12.0.742.21 for all platforms. This release contains fixes for a number of UI, performance, and stability issues. It also contains an update for Mac [bug 80602] that fixes garbage being displayed when the accelerated compositor was active. This primarily affected 3D CSS transforms and WebGL content. The full list of changes is available from the SVN revision log. If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug. Want to change to another Chrome release channel? Find out how.

Jason Kersey
Google Chrome

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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 09:08
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US Government Departments Targeted in bin Laden Death-Themed Attack

May 5th, 2011, 18:38 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

Security researchers warn that many departments in the US government were targeted in an email attack using a bin Laden death theme and distributing malicious .doc files.

The rogue emails bear a subject of "Courier who led U.S. to Osama bin Laden's hideout identified" and carry a simple message reading "to whom it may concern."

The emails have a "Laden's Death.doc" document attached, which, according to researchers from F-Secure, is rigged with an RTF exploit that targets a stack buffer overflow vulnerability (CVE-2010-333) patched by Microsoft last November.

This is not the first time when this vulnerability is targeted. Microsoft warned about similar attacks at the end of December.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/US-Government-Depar...

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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 09:17
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Last edited on 6th May, 2011 09:18
by Shaun Nichols
Microsoft is planning to issue just two patches for its Office and Windows Server software next week.
The company's monthly 'Patch Tuesday' for May will be amongst the smallest Microsoft has delivered in recent months with just two bulletins being planned. Last month Microsoft issued the biggest Patch Tuesday update in its history.

Of the two patches being planned, one will be listed as a 'critical' fix, while the second will be classified as an 'important' update. Critical bulletins are generally considered to be the highest-priority issues, with 'important' bulletins being the second-highest.
The critical bulletin will address a security vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Server. The fix is being pushed out for Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2008 R2.


Read more: http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2068621/microsoft-r...


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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 23:32
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Mozilla refuses US request to take down Firefox add-on

In defence of the open internet
By Asavin Wattanajantra
Fri May 06 2011, 12:15
OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE OUTFIT Mozilla has taken a stand against internet censorship by refusing a US government request to take down a Firefox add-on over copyright infringement concerns.
Some web sites stream content that they shouldn't, like for example the coverage of sporting events broadcast under copyright. The US Department of Homeland Security has been trying to stop this by obtaining seizure orders for the domain names of offending web sites.
But you can still access the content through a web site's IP address, which means that you can get around domain name seizures by redirecting the traffic to another domain name. Add-ons like Mafiaafire can redirect traffic to seized domain names to other domain names, almost like a mail forwarding service.


Read more: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2068754/m...


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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 23:39
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Puran Defrag Free Edition by Puran Software
Version reviewed: Puran Defrag Free Edition 7.3
Puran Defrag is an easy-to-use hard drive defragmentation and optimization utility that integrates a wide variety of advanced features.

Download Puran Defrag Free Edition Features:

Puran Intelligent Optimizer - PIOZR
Directories Consolidation for speed boost
Optimization by Freeing Space
Automatic Defragmentation for worry free defrag
Boot Time Defragmentation for system files like MFT
Low Priority Defrag for work while defrag experience
Individual File/Folder Defrag for selective defrag
GUI and Console Command Line Defrag Supported
Restart/Shutdown After Boot Time Defragmentation
File/Folder Exclusion or exclusion by wildcard facility



Whether you like it or not, defragmenting your hard drives, at least from time to time, is a necessity on all Windows systems. Puran Defrag has been created as a dedicated solution to defrag the data on the hard disks and prevent future performance drops.

The landscape for disk defragmentation software has definitely changed a lot in the past years when it was quite a task to find a good application to keep the files contiguous and thus maintain the performance of the storage device at optimum standards.

Puran Defrag comes in two flavors, one paid ($19.95) and a free one, which is the object of this review. Feature-wise, there is no gap between them as they both allow you to run the optimization procedure on lower priority or defrag individual files. Moreover, both have support for command-line usage.

Actually, as the developer mentions, the two versions are one and the same, except that you have to pay the fee for commercial use. Otherwise you have to restrict its benefits for private and non-commercial usage.

Installation runs quickly and with no fuss at all and at the end of the process you can choose the application to start automatically.

More at
http://www.softpedia.com/reviews/windows/Puran-Def...

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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 23:45
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Unpatched DLL bugs let hackers exploit Windows 7 and IE9, says researcher
Microsoft is investigating claims by Slovenian security firm set to demo attacks later this month

By Gregg Keizer
May 6, 2011 03:58 PM ETComments (0)Recommended (5)
Although Microsoft has patched multiple DLL load hijacking vulnerabilities since last summer, Windows and Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) can still be exploited, a security company warned today.

Microsoft confirmed that it's investigating the claims by Slovenia-based Acros Security.

Researchers from Acros will demonstrate the new attacks at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam later this month.

"We'll reveal how IE8 and IE9 can be used on Windows 7, Vista and XP for attacking users without any security warnings, even in 'Protected mode,' and how to remotely make many seemingly-safe applications, for example, Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010, vulnerable," said Acros CEO Mitja Kolsek in a Friday email.

More at
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216483/Unp...

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Expert Contributor 6th May, 2011 23:49
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LastPass says users no longer have to reset passwords
Earlier LastPass order in wake of database breach is rescinded amid widespread user frustration

By Jaikumar Vijayan
May 6, 2011 01:21 PM ET
Computerworld - LastPass today rescinded its day-old order that all users of its online password management system reset their master passwords due to a database breach.

In fact, in a LastPass blog post this morning, that company said it won't allow users to change master passwords "until our databases are completely caught up and we have resolved outstanding issues."

In an e-mail to Computerworld, LastPass CEO Joe Siegrist said the company changed its plan in response to demands from users asking they not be required to reset their passwords. "They're asking because they know how strong their master password is -- that it's not vulnerable and therefore they know they're safe even if it was exposed," Siegrist said.

However, comments posted on a LastPass blog suggest that the company's decision may also be related to trouble some users appear to be having with the password reset process.

More at
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216471/Las...

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Expert Contributor 7th May, 2011 17:10
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Dev Channel Update
Friday, May 6, 2011 | 16:45
Labels: Dev updates
The Chrome Dev channel has been updated to 12.0.742.30 for all platforms. This release contains an updated version of Flash.

If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug. Want to change to another Chrome release channel? Find out how.

Jason Kersey
Google Chrome
12 comments | Links to this post | Email Post

Beta and Stable Channel Update
| 15:38
Labels: Beta updates, Stable updates
The Beta and Stable channels have been updated to 11.0.696.65 for the Macintosh, Windows, Linux and Chrome Frame platforms

The following bugs were fixed:
After deleting bookmarks on the Bookmark managers, the bookmark bar doesn't display properly with existing bookmarks. (Issue 80580).
About Google Chrome window shows unknown channel for 11.0.696.57 (Issue 80683).
Chrome/Mac seems to clobber focus when uploading attachments to Gmail with the flash-based uploader (Issue 77172).
Also included is an updated version of Flash Player 10.2.
If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug.

Want to change to another Chrome release channel? Find out how.

Karen Grunberg
Google Chrome
http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/

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Expert Contributor 7th May, 2011 17:14
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Black Hat SEO Attackers Switch Focus to Google Images

May 6th, 2011, 18:17 GMT| By Lucian Constantin

Security researchers warn that cyber criminals who use black hat SEO techniques to distribute scareware, have changed their focus from traditional Web search results to image ones.

Black hat SEO is a very successful method of leading users to malicious websites by inserting malicious links into search results for popular keywords.

For the last couple of years, pretty much any topic that garnered a fair amount of public interest, whether it was a holiday, a natural disaster, a conflict or a celebrity death, has been targeted in this manner.

According to statistics released by antivirus companies, 2010 was the busiest year for scareware distributors yet, with up to 40% of all rogue programs ever created being released during this period.

These attacks are achieved by leveraging the existent search rankings of compromised websites. Attackers create fake pages filled with content and keywords for a particular topic and feed them to search engine crawlers.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Black-Hat-SEO-Attac...

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Expert Contributor 7th May, 2011 17:20
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Sony looks to issue reward to catch hackers
by Phil Muncaster

07 May 2011

Sony is considering offering a reward to catch those involved in a massive breach of its network which may have exposed the personal details of up to 100m customers, as another report suggests members of online hacktivist group Anonymous may indeed be behind the attack.
All Things Digital reported on Friday that although senior executives at the Japanese electronics giant haven't given their assent to the offering of a bounty, the option was still on the table and if pursued would be done so in co-operation with the FBI and other law enforcement authorities globally.


Read more: http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2068984/sony-looks-...


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Expert Contributor 8th May, 2011 21:01
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Last edited on 8th May, 2011 21:02
New Do-Not-Track Bill to Be Introduced in Congress Next Week
By Lucian Constantin

Senator John Rockefeller (D-W.Va) plans to introduce a new do-not-track bill next week that will provide an easy way for consumers to inform companies they don't want their online behavior tracked.

Details about the contents of the bill, called the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011, are slim at the moment because the text has not been yet published.

"Consumers have a right to know when and how their personal and sensitive information is being used online -- and most importantly to be able to say 'no thanks' when companies seek to gather that information without their approval," Mr. Rockefeller, who is the Chairman of the Senate's Commerce Committee, said, according to AdAge.

"This bill will offer a simple, straightforward way for people to stop companies from tracking their every move on the internet," he concluded.

However, it is expected for the bill to allow companies to collect the minimum information they require for their services to function. Anti-do-not-track lobbyists, which include most advertising industry associations and big names like Google, argue the collected information allows them to provide better services and that restricting it will stifle innovation.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/New-Do-Not-Track-Bi...

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Expert Contributor 8th May, 2011 21:07
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Drive-By Download Attack Launched from Lenovo India Warranty Website
By Lucian Constantin

Security researchers have detected compromised pages on Lenovo India's warranty website which load exploits and attempt to infect visitors with malware.

According to Umesh Wanve, a senior security research engineer at Zscaler who analyzed the attack, the infected lenovowarranty.co.in pages had a rogue iframe injected into them.

The malicious iframe took visitors through a series of redirects before leading them the landing page of an Incognito exploit kit installation.

Incognito 2.0 is a drive-by download toolkit which contains serveral exploits for Java, Adobe Reader and Windows.

According to an older analysis by Seculert, this exploit pack has been used to install various types of malware, including the notorious ZeuS trojan, Gbot, the Optima DDoS botnet client, trojan downloaders, ransomware and scareware.

This attack is a good example of why keeping all software products on a computer up to date is critically important given today's threat landscape.

More at
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Drive-By-Download-A...

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Expert Contributor 8th May, 2011 21:36
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Think file-hosting sites guard your private data? Think again

Attacks already under way
By Dan Goodin in San Francisco •

Posted in Security, 8th May 2011 06:00 GMT
Academic researchers say they've uncovered weaknesses in dozens of the most popular file hosting sites that allow people to gain unauthorized access to data that's supposed to be available only to those selected by the user.

The services, which include sites such RapidShare, FileFactory, and Easyshare, allow users to upload large files and make them available to anyone who knows the unique URI (or Uniform Resource Identifier) that's bound to each one. Users may post the link on websites or forums available to the public or share it in a single email to prevent all but the recipient from downloading it. RapidShare, for instance, says it can be used to “share your data with your friends, colleagues or family.”

But according to academics in Belgium and France, a “significant percentage” of the 100 FHSs (or file hosting services) they studied made it trivial for outsiders to access the files simply by guessing the URLs that are bound to each uploaded file. What's more, they presented evidence that such attacks, far from being theoretical, are already happening in the wild.

More at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/08/file_hosti...

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Expert Contributor 9th May, 2011 06:45
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Sony’s sorry saga snowballs

PSN back This week Next week sometime
By Richard Chirgwin • Get more from this author
Posted in Security, 8th May 2011 23:24 GMT
A week after a humiliating public apology for the insecurity of its PlayStation Network and Qriocity service, Sony has been forced to delay the restart of its online games services.

Sony, whose officials had repeatedly bowed as part of their self-abasement for the service crisis, has taken low-key approach to extending the PSN return-to-service delay, making the announcement on a company blog.

“We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system,” the blog post says.

More at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/08/sony_psn_s...

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