Items tagged with RUS

A few weeks ago, in early August, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski declared that the FCC viewed the creation of a national broadband policy as integral to the future of of the nation. Broadband, according to Genachowski, is "our generation’s infrastructure challenge...It is as important as electricity and highways were for past generations." Now that the first round of requests for broadband stimulus funding have been tallied, Genachowski will have to prove if he actually meant what he said. According to a recent announcement posted at Recovery.gov, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS, not to be... Read more...
Many techs will agree: antivirus programs can be a hassle. Mostly, the issues tend to stem from slower performance and similar issues that result from using an antivirus program. Still, it’s a bit of a lesser of two evils deal: you can risk getting a virus, or you can deal with lags in performance. Usually, you can count on well-known antivirus programs to only touch malicious files, but this isn’t always the case.AVG, a free antivirus scanner, recently created problems for some of its users when it mistook user32.dll, a critical Windows component, for a container for the Trojan Horses PSW.Banker4.APSA or Generic9TBN. When the scanner activated, it assumed this critical file was a virus and deleted... Read more...
OMG, finally! We're glad to see a retailer as large as Amazon.com has taken some initiative. How many of you are frustrated by blister or clamshell style packaging such as above? The dang things are so annoying that "how-tos" have been written about them. It's easy to get a cut from their sharp edges, so we're not surprised that articles about "safely" opening them has been written. Custom openers have even been developed. Amazon.com is, with its "Frustration-Free Packaging" project, taking a step toward eliminating not just those packs but also things like tiny SD cards packed in large boxes. The project is starting small, with only 19 products from manufacturers including Fisher-Price, Mattel,... Read more...
We're not sure what's more frightening about this, the fact that the Russians figured out how to do it or that WiFi networks are effectively now completely insecure.  ElcomSoft claims they can "recover" WPA and WPA2 encypted passwords using any NVIDIA-based graphics subsystem in a workstation, desktop or even a notebook, to crack WPA encyption over 100 times fastest than with a standard CPU.  This might not mean much to the average home user because, let's face it, serious thugs aren't bothering to hack into your home network to leech your bandwidth or steal a single user's personal information.  However, for the corporate sector, this "press release" is a huge wake-up... Read more...
It appears that Microsoft is doing a lot more than having Jerry Seinfeld munching churros and going shoe shopping with Bill Gates to help bolster the company's image. Part of Microsoft's $300 million marketing campaign includes placing Microsoft customer service representatives in select consumer electronics retail outlets across the U.S. Similar in nature to "Apple Geniuses," Microsoft will be placing 155 "Microsoft Gurus" at Best Buy, Circuit City, and similar stores before the end of this year--presumably in time for the holiday shopping season. While the Microsoft Gurus will "be answering questions about PCs and Microsoft products, as well as giving demos of how the company's products work... Read more...
Surprisingly, this apparently isn't the first time this has happened to NASA. They haven't, to this point, been using antivirus software on the laptops astronauts take into space with them. A lesson for us all? Yep. However, the virus wasn't something that would bring the ISS crashing to Earth. The W32.Gammima.AG worm is pretty old: discovered last August. Since it targets passwords to various online games, and the lag from the ISS would be pretty bad, it's safe to say that the astronauts weren't doing anything that the virus would find inviting. NASA believes the virus may have infected the laptops via a flash drive one of the astronauts used. This certainly makes sense, as the virus propagates... Read more...
It seemed obvious, didn't it?  With the new in-store activation process, not only would it take longer, it would also be prone to the same sorts of server issues as last year, when customers would go home and be unable to activate.  Only this time, it would in the store.  Ah, the joys of early adoption.It seems that not only was the process taking a long time, now the servers have crashed, meaning that AT&T is sending people home unactivated.  As AT&T said:We have had reports that customers attempting to download new iTunes 7.7 software to their new iPhone may get an error message saying “page not found.” We have reported this issue to Apple. While Apple works to resolve... Read more...
As the old expression goes, I don't know what Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang is smoking, but I want some. Yesterday Yahoo! announced that they had finally really absolutely unequivocally indubitably without question stopped talking to Microsoft about a takeover by, or joint venture with the Redmond giant, and that they had signed a deal with Google that essentially hands over their search marketing to Google for a slice of the revenue. In other words, they gave away what Microsoft was trying to buy from them. By the end of the day $3.6 billion in shareholder value had been lost. And it took about ten seconds for the most obvious result of a Yahoo!/Google linkup to rear its anti-trust head:WASHINGTON,... Read more...
As Doctor Venkman might say, it's human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! When Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was having trouble configuring automatic archiving of e-mails by his Macintosh computers, at first he tried contacting the company directly for support. When that didn't work out, he made an on-air appeal for help. To Steve Jobs. “I know we don’t agree on anything,” Mr. Limbaugh chuckled, referencing Mr. Jobs’s endorsement of Al Gore. But someone at Apple was apparently listening: the company assigned an engineer to work with Mr. Limbaugh.After two weeks, the snag was sorted out. For the record: they deleted the null mail folder and rebuilt the... Read more...
Russia has climbed into second place, behind the good ol' US of A, in producing junk e-mails, according to the security firm Sophos.  One in twelve junk e-mails in the world  is sent from Russia. China takes third, with 4.2 percent of the trash in any given inbox. "Countries that continually remain among the top spam-relaying countries need to ensure that they are doing more to proper defend computer systems," said Mike Haro, senior security analyst at Sophos."If they continue to sit back as compromised computers spread malicious emails and malware, then hackers will continue to look at these systems as easy targets in their efforts to turn them into botnets," which can be controlled... Read more...
Besides ironic, what other words might come to mind over this, eh?The download section of AvSoft's S-cop Web site hosts the malicious code, according to Roger Thompson, chief research officer with security vendor AVG. "They let one of their pages get hit by an iFrame injection," he said. "It shows that anyone can be a victim.... It's hard to protect Web servers properly."The technique used on the site has been seen in thousands of similar hacks over the past few months. The attackers open an invisible iFrame Window within the victim's browser, which redirects the client to another server. That server, in turn, launches attack code that attempts to install malicious software on the victim's computer.The... Read more...
The Attorney General of New York has issued subpoenas to Intel, seeking information about whether Intel unlawfully compelled their customers to exclude rival AMD from the market for certain computer chips. At issue in Cuomo's probe is whether AMD has a fair chance to supply its X86 computer processing units for desktop and laptop computers and servers. Cuomo says Intel commanded 80% of the $30 billion market.In 2005, AMD filed a lawsuit saying Intel bullied major customers — PC makers like Dell (DELL)— into exclusive deals and offered secret rebates.The lawsuit alleged anti-competitive practices in several countries, including Britain, Germany and Japan.Intel, which commands three-quarters of... Read more...
What's new is old again, it seems. Security researchers are warning consumers to be cautious about using items like freebie flash drives that are given out as souvenirs at trade shows and similar events.  There are recent reports of malware being loaded onto removable storage devices like USB flash drives, and even digital picture frames.In mid-December, Kaspersky Lab senior virus analyst Aleks Gostev penned a blog post describing his experience with an infectious Compact Flash card for his digital camera. "We've already written more than once about viruses and worms which spread via removable storage media by launching automatically from autorun.inf," he said. "A number of users have also... Read more...
In the long battle between malware creators and companies developing and distributing anti-virus software, there seems to be a clear leader at the moment: the malware creators.This isn't entirely unexpected as one would assume that the anti-virus companies can't possibly guess all the different ways which somebody might be able to exploit vulnerabilities within an OS or software package.  While we know that companies such as MacAfee and Symantec have internal teams dedicated to simulating what they believe the next generation of malware might look like, apparently the malware writers are doing much the same thing.  They're actively testing their software, and in some cases even developing... Read more...
Linux users might actually agree with this "false positive". On the other hand Microsoft breathes a sigh of relief, as for once the antivirus software in question is not Windows Live OneCare.The security company's systems had decided that a virus called Huhk-C was present in the explorer.exe file, leading to its confinement or, in some cases, deletion. As Windows Explorer is the graphical user interface (GUI) for Windows' file system, this made it difficult to perform many common tasks within the operating system, such as finding files.David Emm, a senior technology consultant at Kaspersky Lab, told ZDNet UK on Friday that the company was still examining its checklist to find out why the false... Read more...
Well, not exactly, but pretty close. The Turing Test is a proposition first offered in the 1950s that tests a computer's ability to fool a human into thinking it's another human, using only natural language text interaction. Well, now there's a Russian website named Cyberlover.ru that sells a software utility that engages women in flirtatious chatroom conversation, up to ten at a time, all the while harvesting personal information that the unwitting conversationalists offer up. An Australian anti-virus software firm, PC Tools, has warned that the software could be abused by identity fraudsters trying to harvest people's personal details online. The Russian site denied it was intended... Read more...
In mid-November, Symantec released its "Top 5 Security-Menace Predictions for 2008." Perhaps it should have included itself.A routine update from Symantec Security Response wreaked havoc on a California company's clientele this week when it inadvertently tagged a program produced by Solid Oak Software as a virus and cut off the Internet access of Solid Oak customers.This is the third time in less than a year that Symantec's Norton products have caused severe damage to computers running CYBERsitter software offerings, said Brian Milburn, president of Solid Oak Software, in a statement. "In my opinion, Norton products are worse than any virus I can think of," he said.Symantec finally issued a fix... Read more...
As consoles once again start looking a lot more like PCs in terms of functionality and capabilities, they are going to need anti-virus protection.  At least, that's what Tokyo-based Trend Micro wants PS3 owners to think just about 5 seconds before said PS3 owners buy their new anti-virus software for the PS3.“The company bills the software as the first of its kind for a home gaming system. It was released earlier this month as part of a PS3 upgrade and will be free until April.Some industry experts wonder whether consumers will leap for the technology the way they snap up security products for the more vulnerable PC and whether protection for video game consoles is really necessary.”We're... Read more...
Subcontractor, located in China?  Sounds suspiciously like something to do with toys, doesn't it?  But this involves hard drives, rather than toys and lead paint.Seagate is warning that a "small number" of its Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 hard drives recently shipped with the Virus.Win32.AutoRun.ah virus, malicious software that "searches for passwords for online games and sends them to a server located in China," according to a note posted on the Seagate Web site. Only drives purchased since August 2007 are affected, Seagate said.The hard drive maker is blaming an unnamed subcontractor, located in China, for the problem. Seagate said it learned about the problem from anti-virus... Read more...
It's hard not to appreciate a CEO that comes across as direct as Intel's very own Paul Otellini.  Like him or not, even AMD fans have to give the man credit for being a straight shooter and calling a spade a spade, even if that means ruffling a few feathers.It looks like the latest feathers to get ruffled a bit are those of the EU who have accused Intel of predatory pricing.  Mr. Otellini claims that the facts don't support that argument, but that's just the beginning of his side of the story.“He adds that he finds statements by EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes about Europe's role in regulating "dominant" companies "very troubling. If they take that position with us, or Qualcomm... Read more...
In a European Union court decision that makes one wonder why the U.S. couldn't succeed in its antitrust litigation against Microsoft (at least to this extent), Microsoft is reeling.Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat on Monday when a European Union court backed a European Commission ruling that the U.S. software giant illegally abused its market power to crush competitors."Microsoft must now comply fully with its legal obligations to desist from engaging in anti-competitive conduct. The Commission will do its utmost to ensure that Microsoft complies swiftly", (EU Competition Commission Neelie) Kroes said in a statement.Wow, that's big.  The fine levied against Microsoft, which was upheld in... Read more...
Halo 3 is scheduled for release on Septemeber 26th, and I can't recall a more anticipated game launch.  It's already got a million pre-orders, and Microsoft is likely figuring to get a collateral damage goose in X-box 360 sales during the holiday season. You know you're really sombody when you get placed in Madame Tussaud's wax museum. Halo's  Master Chief, all 7'-2" of him,  is now in there next to Elvis and Jack the Ripper. The 7ft 2in wax figure weighs approximately 275lbs and was created in London using 1,000lbs of clay. It took 10 studio artists an estimated 892 man-hours to complete, including 687 hours for sculpting, 168 hours for moulding and 37 hours... Read more...
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