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Microsoft to debut MSN Premium

SimonV · Aug 27, 2003 0
[​IMG]<font size="3">Microsoft to debut MSN Premium </font>
Microsoft is writing another chapter in its saga of trying to become an Internet power.

On Wednesday, the software giant will unveil "MSN Premium," a new version of its Internet service that it hopes will appeal to the expanding population of broadband users. The Internet service will offer new software features such as a digital photo editor, smoother tie-ins between Hotmail and Microsoft's Outlook e-mail software, and enhanced spam-blocking and security features. But despite the changes, MSN Premium remains cosmetically similar to its previous incarnations and continues to be a splashier version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser.

MSN Premium will not be officially released to the public until the winter, after it undergoes beta testing in the fall.

The announcement comes shortly after archrival America Online released its own...

Sobig Virus Slows, but Aims to Build Robot Network

SimonV · Aug 24, 2003 0
[​IMG]<font size="3">Sobig Virus Slows, but Aims to Build Robot Network </font>

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The culprit behind the fast-spreading Sobig.F virus is expected to try again in coming weeks to create a vast network of zombie computers to carry out Internet attacks, security experts warned on Saturday.

"He wants to build up a (robot) net by creating zombie machines he can control," said Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec Corp.'s Security Response center.

An automated attack that had been set for Friday at noon California time was thwarted by government and security industry experts before it could take control of some 100,000 infected computers and possibly cripple the Internet.

Sobig.F was released last Monday on a sex-oriented Internet discussion group, infecting computers when users clicked on what appeared to be nude pictures, experts from several security companies who had seen the site...

Microsoft ponders automatic patching

SimonV · Aug 23, 2003 1
[​IMG]<font size="3">Microsoft ponders automatic patching</font>
Getting users to secure computers becomes higher priority

In the wake of a widespread Internet worm, Microsoft Corp. is weighing options to get more users to secure their computers, including automatically applying security patches to PCs remotely, the company said Thursday.

"We are looking at a range of options to get critical updates on more systems, from finding ways to encourage more people to keep their systems up to date themselves to where it is done automatically by default for certain users," said Matt Pilla, senior product manager for Windows at Microsoft.

Microsoft does not plan any immediate changes to the way it delivers security patches, but the company also does not intend to wait until the release of its next operating system to improve it, said Pilla.

"This is a priority for us. I think there are a lot of things we can do...

CompTIA abandons adaptive testing for A+

tripwire45 · Aug 22, 2003 0
[​IMG]<font size="3">CompTIA abandons adaptive testing for A+ </font>

Just as "chillin'" was a buzzword around college campuses at one point in time, "adaptive" was the buzzword in certification testing. If you use chillin' in a sentence today, you'll seem like a dinosaur, and if you still believe in adaptive testing, you better be real careful not to snag your bell-bottom pants on the 286 cables and unplug the 300 baud modem.

Microsoft abandoned adaptive testing many years ago, along with most vendors. CompTIA was the sole holdout of note, though they never seemed to believe in it enough to apply it to any of their exams outside of the A+ realm. Not surprisingly, it just announced that with the next round of A+ exams, they are bidding farewell to the adaptive format and going back to linear. What is surprising, however, is the reason it gave as to why....

Slammer worm crashed Ohio nuke plant network

SimonV · Aug 20, 2003 0
[​IMG]<font size="3">Slammer worm crashed Ohio nuke plant network</font>

The Slammer worm penetrated a private computer network at Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in January and disabled a safety monitoring system for nearly five hours, despite a belief by plant personnel that the network was protected by a firewall, SecurityFocus has learned.

full story

Windows admin 'feature' poses latest hazard

SimonV · Aug 20, 2003 4
<img border="0" src="../logos/ms_flag.gif" align="right"><font size="3">Windows admin 'feature' poses latest hazard</font>

An obscure messaging feature in Windows could be the latest source of security problems for Internet users, experts have warned

Security experts are warning users to switch off a Windows messaging feature that has been taken over by spammers and could now pose the latest security threat for Windows users.

The feature, known as the messenger service, was originally designed to let a network administrator send warnings to users when, for example, a server is scheduled to go down for maintenance. Last year, bulk advertisers began using the tool to send pop-up advertising messages directly to a user's computer, and researchers say it would be simple for a virus writer to exploit the feature as well. The feature is not related to Microsoft's instant messaging software.

full story

'Good' worm fights MSBlast

SimonV · Aug 19, 2003 3
'Good' worm fights MSBlast

Instead of crashing computers and attacking Microsoft, a new variant of the MSBlast worm downloads relevant patches

A variant of MSBlast spread on Monday, but the new worm has an odd twist: it applies a patch for the vulnerability that it and other MSBlast worms use to infect Windows systems.

The new worm, dubbed W32.Welchia, W32/Nachi and Worm_MSBlast.D, appears to properly download the patch for both Windows 2000 and Windows XP from Microsoft's Web site. Moreover, the variant will delete itself the first time an infected computer starts up in 2004.

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Microsoft Outwits Blaster Worm

SimonV · Aug 18, 2003 4
Microsoft Outwits Blaster Worm

The second wave of an Internet attack by the "blaster" worm barely caused a ripple Saturday.

Microsoft Corp. said it had no major problems from the worm's attempt to turn thousands of infected computers into instruments targeting the software company's Web site and network.

full story

Registration for open source project brought forward

SimonV · Aug 15, 2003 0
With a worm designed to exploit a Windows flaw once again in the news, Sun Microsystems has decided to bring forward the registration date for its open source rival to Microsoft.

Dubbed Project Mad Hatter, the Linux-based desktop is being promoted by Sun as a more secure and less expensive alternative to Windows

full story

Floppy drives near extinction

SimonV · Aug 14, 2003 5
Floppy drives near extinction

A flash-drive maker has developed a device that can boot PCs

In a move that may speed the death of floppy disk drives, M-Systems on Tuesday said its USB flash memory storage device can now start a PC's boot-up process.

M-Systems said that if users plug the flash memory device into the USB port of a computer that has crashed and turn on the power, the machine will start to boot up. Booting up a computer loads an operating system into its main memory.

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