Researchers detail vast Chinese spying network

A far-reaching online spying network dubbed GhostNet infiltrated high-value targets such as the Dalai Lama’s computer network and appears to have originated in China, according to research revealed last weekend. University of Toronto researchers were careful not to accuse the Chinese government, but said that circumstantial evidence shows that information retrieved from infected computers led to real-world incidents, such as a woman stopped at the Tibet border who was shown transcripts of her online chats. China has denied the allegations, calling the research a “propaganda campaign.” Researchers discovered four host servers for the network by entering a malware code into Google, then set up a honeypot to observe the attackers’ actions. (The New York Times)

Tools available to easily detect Conficker infection

Security researchers have discovered a way to easily identify computers infected by the Conficker worm, days before the computers are set to contact host servers for instructions.  IOActive’s Dan Kaminsky and two researchers with the Honeynet Project discovered that infected computers have fingerprints that can be identified with a network scanning program the researchers released Monday. The US Department of Homeland Security also released its own detection tool for Conficker, which is scheduled to request updates on 1 April. (Register)

Encarta to become history

Microsoft has quietly pulled the plug on Encarta, giving a nod to Wikipedia as the dominant online encyclopedia. “The category of traditional encyclopedia and reference material has changed,” the company said in a notice. “People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.” The Web site and software will be discontinued on 31 October, and the Japanese version will continue until the end of the year. (TechCrunch)

'Open cloud manifesto' stirs debate before release

IBM is leading a collaboration to produce an “open cloud manifesto,” a document intended to lay the groundwork for cloud computing standards and interoperability, according to reports. A draft of the document lists six open cloud principles. “It is not our intention to form standards for every capability in the cloud and create a single homogeneous cloud environment,” the authors wrote. “Rather, as cloud computing matures, there are several key principles that must be followed to ensure the cloud is open and delivers the choice, flexibility and agility organizations demand.” However, a Microsoft developer revealed that the company declined to sign the document because they wouldn’t be able to make changes, potentially undermining any openness. Amazon is also keeping its name away from the manifesto. (CNet, InfoWorld)

Web 3D standards in development

The Khronos Group and Mozilla are teaming to define Web standards for 3D graphics and intend to produce a specification within a year. Developers plan to use Khronos’ OpenGL ES 2.0 as a starting point and make APIs available beginning with the next version of Firefox. Advancements in JavaScript have made better 3D graphics possible through the Web, and developers envision using it for data visualizations and the next generation of browser-based games. (Ars Technica)

IETF planning new routing technique to address mutihoming

The IETF is forming a working group to address scalability problems caused by multihoming, a practice used by businesses to stabilize Internet connections by splitting network traffic with multiple carriers. The group will develop a Cisco proposal for a new tunneling mechanism called Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP), which would reduce the number of routing table entries in ISPs’ core routers. The mechanism would aggregate information about where companies connect to the Internet so less data is stored in the core routers. (Infoworld)

Vundo malware holds files for ransom

A malware distributor has changed tactics from scareware to “ransomware,” encrypting  files and preventing access to the information unless users pay for a decryption program. Security researchers at FireEye discovered the malware, a variation of a known Trojan horse called Vundo, and said that the change signals a troubling shift to extortion. FireEye developed a Perl script to decrypt any files locked up by Vundo, and is planning to release a tool for users to run on infected systems. (Dark Reading)

SeeqPod seeks strength in numbers to thwart lawsuits

Music search site SeeqPod is offering its source code to third-party developers in an attempt to stave off lawsuits from the recording industry. According to Wired, the strategy was inspired by the success of P2P, which thrived in the far reaches of the Internet after Napster’s takedown. SeeqPod is hoping to distribute its search algorithm to millions of sources by licensing it to developers for US$5,000, which would include API support and professional services. The site doesn’t host any files, but three of the four major record labels have filed suit against SeeqPod, a situation that could scare off potential US developers. (Wired)

Heat could provide greater density, storage on hard drives

Seagate Technology researchers are developing next-generation hard drives that break the limits of current technology by introducing a new way to store data with magnetic heads. The Seagate team, which published its research this week in Nature Photonics, discovered that by heating the magnetic grains on the disk that store information with a laser device called a near-field transducer, the grains’ magnetic alignment will stabilize as they cool. That means disk makers could pack magnetic grains in tighter rows and create more room for data. Current technology is limited to 1 terabit per square inch, but Seagate’s breakthrough could let disks reach 50 terabits per square inch. (Science, IEEE Spectrum)

ISPs send piracy warnings on behalf of RIAA

AT&T and Comcast have sent warning letters to some Internet service customers who were accused of illegal file sharing by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the first steps in a new response to piracy. According to CNet, company executives at a Nashville, Tenn., industry conference confirmed that letters were sent to customers with flagged accounts. An AT&T representative said that the letters mention that service for these customers could be terminated, but added that the company doesn’t intend to cut anyone off. Cox also confirmed it was part of the  campaign, which replaces the RIAA’s unpopular litigation strategy against piracy. (CNet)

Showing 3,201 - 3,210 of 4,392 results.
Items per Page 10
of 440