Tuesday, 9 July 2013
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Friday, 23 September 2011
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Friday, 2 July 2010
Hi-tech criminals are "escalating" attacks on an unpatched bug in the Windows XP help and support system.
Microsoft said it had seen more than 10,000 machines hit by the attack that, so far, it has not found a fix for.
Windows PCs falling victim will have control of that machine handed over to attackers.
Microsoft said the attacks had gone from theoretical to real very quickly and urged users to take steps to protect themselves.'Nightmare' attack
Microsoft revealed the upturn in attacks in a blog post saying that it had been monitoring activity around the loophole since it was first revealed on 10 June.
Found by Google engineer Travis Ormandy, the loophole revolves around the Help and Support system built into XP. Mr Ormandy found that it was possible to exploit its ability to give remote aid and apply fixes to ailing machines.
Initially, said Microsoft, it only saw "innocuous" attacks by researchers attempting to replicate what Mr Ormandy had found.
Real exploits turned up on 15 June and these have been enthusiastically adopted by hi-tech criminals.
Writing on the Microsoft Security Centre blog, Holly Stewart said it had started seeing "seemingly-automated, randomly-generated" web pages that host the exploit.
A variety of trojans, spam tools and viruses are being downloaded to compromised machines, she said.
Rik Ferguson, senior security researcher at Trend Micro, said: "It's certainly very serious and is now being actively exploited by what appears to be several different groups as you can see form the multiple payloads being delivered."
Carole Thierault, senior security consultant at Sophos, said attacks like this were a "nightmare" to defend against if people did not regularly update or use anti-virus.
Statistics gathered by Microsoft suggest Portugal was taking the brunt of the attacks but users in Russia and Croatia were also being hit. More than 10,000 machines had been hit at least once by the attack, it found.
To avoid falling victim, Microsoft advised users to turn off the part of the Help and Support system that is vulnerable. It has produced an automated tool that can do this for users.
Mr Ferguson from Trend Micro said there were other steps users could take to stay safe.
"It is important to ensure that your security software is capable of identifying and blocking malicious websites," he said, "as you can be sure that the criminals behind this will be constantly updating their malicious files to try and avoid traditional security."
Microsoft said it was working on a lasting fix for the loophole.
Original article courtesy of BBC
Friday, 25 September 2009
A new aboriginal art gallery has opened up in Palm Cove. Pandanus Gallery deal direct with the indigenous artists and provide exhibitions and promotions for upcoming aboriginal artists.
We've been lucky enough to create their website which links with the Artists Management System used by aboriginal communities throughout Australia.
If you're up in Palm Cove, check it out. They're on the Esplanade at the Drift shopping complex.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
Friday, 4 April 2008
The lay-offs make up about a quarter of DoubleClick's 1,200-strong workforce in the US. Worldwide, DoubleClick has about 1,500 employees.
Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has suggested that overseas operations, employing a further 300 people, will also be affected at a later date.
It is a first for Google and perhaps not one they want to trumpet too much.
In a statement, Google said: "Since our acquisition of DoubleClick closed on March 11, we have been working to match and align DoubleClick employees in the US with our organisational plan for the business.
"As with many mergers, this review has resulted in a reduction in head-count at the acquired company."
Some workers have been laid off already, while Google says others are being offered transitional roles, or contract jobs, which are expected to end after the two companies are fully integrated.
In a blog posting in March, Mr Schmidt gave a heads-up that job cuts would be likely and that those outside the US would be made "in accordance with local law".
At over $3 billion (£1.5bn), Google's purchase of DoubleClick is its largest to date and completed less than a month ago, after being held up by regulators for a year.
At the time, the deal was heavily criticised and resisted by non-profit privacy groups which argued that it would give Google unprecedented access to information about consumers' online behaviour.
Microsoft and AT&T also opposed the transaction, which was approved by the Federal Trade Commission in December.
Conflict of interest?
On top of the news of the lay-offs, Google says it also plans to sell a DoubleClick unit called Performics Search Marketing.
That arm of the business helps marketers place adverts on search engines, including those owned by Google and its main rivals in the field, Yahoo and Microsoft.
It has always been felt that this represented a conflict of interest for Google.
In an official Google blog, Tom Phillips, director of DoubleClick Integration, writes: "It is clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business.
"At Google, maintaining objectivity in both search and advertising is paramount to our mission and core to the trust we ask from our users."
Industry watchers maintain that the decision to sell off Performics Search Marketing makes good business sense and that Google's primary focus is to get paid as much as possible for the adverts that appear on its pages.
Rumours abound that Google is already in talks with a third party to sell the business for an undisclosed sum.
Although on his blog Mr Phillips maintains no buyer is waiting in the wings, he does concede there has been quite a bit of interest "from a number of current partners".
Danny Sullivan, editor of SeachEngineLand.com, praises the much anticipated sell-off and says it was not unexpected.
Google said the business would continue to run as a separate entity until the division was sold.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
This fourteen lot real estate sub-division is unrivalled on a 3.6 acre beachfront location, sensitively designed to maximise the ocean views from twelve of the fourteen lots.
Currently under development and selling off the plan, these fully serviced Wongaling Beach real estate lots range in size from 600m2 to 1022m2 and are set around a substantial garden oasis, with a Balinese style pavilion overlooking the large ornamental lily pond. Extensive use of native vegetation throughout Kasmara will create a natural environment bringing an abundance of birds and butterflies.
Wongaling Beach real estate Building covenants are in place to create tropically designed homes that blend in with the surroundings and promote sustainable living. You can design your own, or Award Winning Architect Chris Van Dyke has a range of Concept Designs for Kasmara that you can choose from. (Get in quick, available free to the first seven buyers only.)
Adjacent to the new Woolworths Shopping Village (due for completion June 08) is the Wongaling Beach Shopping Centre and the Mission Beach Resort is located only a short walk away. Excellent restaurants are close by and two great golf courses are a short drive inland, or for those who prefer to fish or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and nearby islands beckon. Others wishing to take in the magic of the rainforest can enjoy any number of surrounding walks, or right out front you can walk the length of Wongaling Beach, South Mission Beach or North Mission Beach.
If it’s the friendly relaxed lifestyle that brings you to Mission Beach, then don't miss out on this opportunity to live in your own private gated estate in Kasmara, Wongaling Beach at a very affordable price.
Contact Andersons Real Estate or visit the Kasmara Wongaling Beach website for more information.
Monday, 10 March 2008
An international gang of fraudsters is ripping off bank customers at ATMs across Sydney, using high-tech devices to copy card details and access their accounts.
More than 100 customers of one bank lost money after their cards were "skimmed" at ATMs.
The crooks place dummy card scanners over the slot where cards go into the ATM to read the card's magnetic strip. Tiny cameras are hidden above the ATM to record the secret pin number being punched in.
St George Bank had to call up to 100 customers last week to tell them their cards had been cancelled as they had probably been skimmed.
Arncliffe pensioner Annette Cruger was told by St George Bank's fraud section her account had been illegally accessed in Canada over the weekend and $1100 had been stolen.
"The bank said they had to call 80 to 100 customers who had been 'skimmed' at ATMs and the bank had to cancel their cards to stop more money being stolen from their accounts," she said.
"The bank did not seem to know where the card had been skimmed as they asked me which ATMs I normally use so they could cross-reference it with others who had been skimmed."
Fraud squad head Detective Superintendent Col Dyson said his squad busted an international skimming gang of Bulgarians two years ago who had plundered $1.6 million from 600 accounts, but he could not say if the same gang was back.
Seven gang leaders escaped the police net and fled to Canada where they raided Australian accounts at ATMs around Toronto using cards copied from the Sydney operation.
Superintendent Dyson said even more high-tech skimming devices were appearing overseas which use a touch sensitive cover over the keypad to record the pin numbers, transmitting the code to a laptop computer up to 100 metres away.
Detective Sergeant Peter Meagher said the skimming devices were cleverly disguised.
But all the experts agree there is a perfect low-tech solution to the high-tech crime: shield your hand typing in the pin code so the hidden camera can't see it.
How it works
1. Crooks attach covering to top or side of ATM cabin to that contains a tiny camera to record the secret pin code being punched in the keypad.
2. Attach replica of slot opening where card is inserted which reads the magnetic strip and stores it before it goes into ATM.
3. Overseas crooks are using keypad covers that transmit the numbers to a laptop up to 100 metres away.
4. Crooks retrieve devices after 20 to 30 uses, copy magnetic strip data onto blank card and use secret pin number to access account.SMH
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
The outage highlighted yet another of the internet's vulnerabilities, coming less than a month after broken fibre-optic cables in the Mediterranean took Egypt offline and caused communications problems from the Middle East to India.
An internet expert likened the cause of the outage to "identity theft" by a Pakistani telecommunications company, which accidentally started advertising itself as the fastest route to YouTube.
But instead of serving up videos of skateboarding dogs, it sent the traffic into oblivion.
On Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ordered 70 internet service providers to block access to YouTube.com, because of anti-Islamic movies on the video-sharing site, which is owned by Google Inc.
The authority did not specify what the offensive material was, but a PTA official said the ban concerned a trailer for an upcoming film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who has said he plans to release a movie portraying Islam as fascist and prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals.
The block was intended to cover only Pakistan, but extended to about two-thirds of the global internet population, starting at 1847 GMT yesterday (0547 AEDT Monday), according to Renesys Corp, a Manchester, New Hampshire, firm that keeps track of the pathways of the internet for telecommunications companies and other clients.
The greatest effect was in Asia, were the outage lasted for up to two hours, Renesys said.
YouTube confirmed the outage today, saying it was caused by a network in Pakistan.
"We are investigating and working with others in the internet community to prevent this from happening again," YouTube said in an emailed statement.
A YouTube spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an emailed question on whether the clips that offended Pakistan's government had been removed. Several clips with interviews of Wilders were still up on the site this afternoon.
Two apparent errors allowed the outage to propagate beyond Pakistan, according to Todd Underwood, vice-president and general manager of internet community services at Renesys.
Pakistan Telecom established a route that directed requests for YouTube videos from local internet subscribers to a "black hole", where the data was discarded, according to Renesys. Pakistan Telecom's mistake was that it then published that route to its international data carrier, PCCW Ltd of Hong Kong, Underwood said.
The second mistake was that PCCW accepted that route, Underwood said. It started directing requests from its customers for YouTube data to Pakistan. And since PCCW is one of the world's 20 largest data carriers, its routing table was passed along to other large carriers without any attempt at verification.
"Once a pretty big network gets an error like that, it propagates to most or all of the internet very quickly," Underwood said. As he put it, Pakistan Telecom was impersonating YouTube to much of the world.
Pakistan Telecom and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority were unavailable for comment tonight local time.
Rex Stover, vice president of sales for PCCW Global in Herndon, Virginia, said the company was still trying to figure out what happened and why.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
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