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Hackers target latest Windows fix August 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet Safety, Microsoft.
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Hi-tech hackers have started to produce malicious programs that target the latest bugs in Microsoft’s Windows.

A worm has been spotted in the wild that tries to use vulnerabilities to hijack home computers.

Any computer compromised by the worm will become part of a large botnet set up to send out junk mail.

At the same time Microsoft is re-issuing a recent security patch which has made the Internet Explorer browser crash on some computers.

Spam sender

On 8 August Microsoft released a bumper collection of security patches for 23 separate flaws in Windows and programs in the Office software suite.

One of the problems identified in the August update was deemed so serious that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning urging users to download the patch and apply it as soon as possible. The DHS has a role in securing America’s critical infrastructure which includes the internet.

Now security companies have caught copies of a worm travelling the net that tries to infect Windows machines via this loophole.

The Mocbot worm attacks machines running Windows 2000 or XP that only have Service Pack 1 installed.

“As Microsoft only issued a patch against this vulnerability last week, many Windows computers probably remain unpatched and vulnerable to these threats,” said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos in a statement.

Computer security firms have seen two variants of this worm circulating online. Analysis by Joe Stewart at security firm Lurhq show that, once installed, it tries to download a trojan known to act as a spam proxy.

These are networks of compromised machines that junk mailers have been forced to use because so few net service firms will host companies that send out millions of unwanted messages.

Microsoft said it would be re-issuing one of the security patches because, in certain circumstances, it can cause the Internet Explorer browser to crash.

The problem occurs with the MS06-42 update which tried to fix eight separate vulnerabilities in the IE browser.

Relatively few users are thought to be suffering from the clash between IE and the security patches. Microsoft said it affected IE with Service Pack 1 installed but only if visiting websites that use data compression and the widely used version 1.1 of the HTTP web protocols.

Microsoft said it expected to have the new version of the MS06-42 update ready by 22 August. However, a “hotfix” has been made available but Microsoft said this should only be installed on those computers crashing because of the update.

RELATED INTERNET LINKS

Microsoft security bulletin for August 2006

Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog

MSRC on crashes caused by security update

Microsoft on browser crashes following security update

MS06-42 Security update

DHS warning on Windows bugs

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Sophos

Lurhq

Lurhq analysis of Mocbot

Source: BBC

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Monkey Bites August 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging.
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Wired’s Monkey Bites blog is full of goodies!

Check it out!

Lord of the blogs (not the bath) August 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging.
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Stanley McHale started keeping a blog to stop himself spending all day in the bath.

But 12 months to the day after he wrote his first internet log, the ECHO blogger – as internet diary-writers are known – has clocked up more than 1,000 fans.

“As a comic, you work half an hour a day and it’s easy to be lazy,” he says.

“But to be successful you have to put ideas forward and if you can write a thousand words a day it shows you are not just lying in the bath.”

Since starting his online diary, Stanley, who lives in the city centre, has already totted up hundreds of thousands of words.

And the 29-year-old has not missed a day since he started, which has become the basis for an hour-long show.

He says: “I’ve done 420,000 words and Lord of the Rings was 410,000 words.

“That took him 14 years and this has taken me a year.

“Who’s the winner there? Obviously it’s him – I’ve made no money or fame.”

Check > http://stanleymchale.merseyblogs.co.uk

Web 2.0: The power of 2 August 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging, Internet.
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The web has always had more than its fair share of buzzwords and acronyms. But, every now and then, one pops up that causes everyone to go completely nuts, yet no-one can actually explain what it means. Web 2.0 is one. A search for it on Google returns no less than 820 million results, more than ‘iPod’. At this year’s Internet World in May, six speakers, including Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman, chose to talk about Web 2.0, and drew the biggest crowds as a result.

But, what is it and, more importantly, what impact will it have on brands’ web marketing? As with most buzzwords, there are various interpretations.

Even Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of computer book publisher O’Reilly Media, who coined the term in 2004, required 17 pages to clarify its meaning in an article last year, in which he admits: “There’s a huge amount of disagreement about what Web 2.0 means, with some people decrying it as a meaningless buzzword and others accepting it as conventional wisdom.”

It might be easier to start off with explaining what Web 2.0 isn’t, rather than what it is. James Aylett, chief technical architect at Tangozebra, says: “One of the things everyone is agreed upon is that Web 2.0 isn’t a technology or even a group of technologies: it’s a different way of thinking about web sites.”

Many see Web 2.0 as the second generation or phase of the internet, and the key thing that differentiates it from ‘Web 1.0’ is that it is more open. Or, as Julian Smith, senior research analyst at Jupiter, says: “(The web) has moved relatively quickly from a predominantly one-way, read-only medium to a more two-way, participatory, collaborative and interconnected medium.”

This is reflected in the popularity of blogging platforms such as MSN Spaces and Blogger. According to a report by Technorati last year, a new blog is created every second.

Other sites seeing huge growth include: social networking site MySpace.com (now owned by News Corp); online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, edited by millions of people; Youtube, which lets users upload videos; and photo-sharing web site Flickr.com. These are all regularly cited as classic examples of Web 2.0 services, and what they have in common is that they allow users to upload and share their own content.

The Web 2.0 movement is being aided by new technologies such as AJAX, RSS and Ruby on the Rails, which enable web developers to create more dynamic, interactive content. These tools, along with the rapid growth of broadband, are giving users more control over what they consume.

Consumer content

If we take Web 2.0 to mean the democratisation of content and the empowerment of people, it becomes more than just a meaningless buzzword. There’s no getting away from the fact that many web sites being built today are more interactive than those developed 10, or even, five years ago.

“Applications like Flickr and Youtube have the consumer at the centre.

These sites exist because of the content consumers contribute and their success speaks volumes. Millions of people are viewing the content,” says Rob Forshaw, managing partner at digital creative agency Grand Union.

MySpace’s user base has more than quadrupled to nearly 80 million over the past year, with as many as 270,000 joining every day.

The idea of users participating online and creating communities isn’t new. For example, eBay is an online community built around people buying from, and selling to, each other. Shopping sites like Amazon have allowed consumers to post their reviews for many years. Agency.com’s European chairman and founder, Andy Hobsbawm, says: “The difference is that (user participation) is on a much bigger scale now because there are more than a million people online.”

Read the article at > Web 2.0: The power of 2

How big is the “blogosphere”? August 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging.
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Fifty million blogs – online multi-media journals – were tracked on the Internet last month, a 100-fold increase over three years, according to a new study published online.

Technorati, a website devoted to tracking the growth of the worldwide “blogosphere”, claims their number has doubled every five to seven months since January 2004, and looks set to reach 100-million by next February.

Last month, the company logged 175 000 new journals every day – an average of two per second – with 1.6-million blog messages posted daily, double the volume of a year ago.

English-language sites make up 39 percent of the total, followed by Japanese at 31 percent and Chinese with 12 percent.

Some new blogs however – around eight percent, Technorati says – are in fact spam sites, known colourfully as “splogs”, which have slipped through the search engine’s net undetected.