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Security News and Issues

Each day owning a computer and maintaining it online becomes more of a challenge. Security is a major concern to computer users. SaferPC brings you Security News and Issues of interest to security conscious PC users.

     
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Trojan Targets Microsoft's AntiSpyware Beta
eweek.com
February 10, 2005

Security researchers say they have found the first malware aimed at Microsoft's new anti-spyware software.

Malicious programmers are already sharpening their claws on Microsoft Corp.'s anti-spyware software, even before the application's official release. On Wednesday anti-virus firms said they uncovered the first malware that switches off Microsoft AntiSpyware, along with its other functions. Troj/BankAsh-A, also known as Trojan-Spy.Win32.Banker.jv and PWS-Banker.j, includes a keylogger and attempts to steal credit card details, turn off other anti-virus applications, delete files, install other malicious code and download code from the Internet, according to anti-virus vendor Sophos plc.

Democracy Is Not Freedom
lewrockwell.com
by Rep. Ron Paul, Md
February 7, 2005

We've all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different.

George Orwell wrote about "meaningless words" that are endlessly repeated in the political arena.* Words like "freedom," "democracy," and "justice," Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell's view, political words were "Often used in a consciously dishonest way." Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word "democracy" as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good. The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, "There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual." John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect pre-existing rights. Yet how many Americans know that the word "democracy" is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents?

Learn how employees from 200,000 companies use the Web
Visitor Ville Intelligence
January 17, 2005

Need company-specific market information (instead of generalized statistics)? VisitorVille Intelligence (VI) is an information service reporting how employees from 200,000 of the world's top companies...

We collect detailed referrer data on company-level visitors from thousands of web sites in the VisitorVille network, and from this data create 5,000,000 market intelligence reports that you cannot find anywhere else.

Forbes.com: Fried By Spyware
Forbes
by Arik Hesseldahl
January 17, 2005

For most people, getting hit by spyware is a time-consuming irritant. But it was much more for Michael Borque. Rogue software brought down his giant company's network.

Borque is technical services manager for Golden State Foods, an Irvine, Calif.-based food processor that is the biggest supplier to McDonald's (nyse: MCD - news - people ). Last March, an opening created by a piece of spyware allowed a nasty worm to wiggle into the company network computer in Georgia. From there, the worm tried to replicate itself across the entire company network, ultimately overwhelming network resources and knocking out e-mail and the companywide payroll system. It took two weeks for technicians at Golden State, which has annual sales of $2.3 billion, to bring the problem to heel.

Firefox flaw raises phishing fears - When is a flaw not a flaw?
CNET News
by Ingrid Marson
January 7, 2005

A vulnerability in Firefox could expose users of the open-source browser to the risk of phishing scams, security experts have warned.

The flaw in Mozilla Firefox 1.0, details of which were published by security company Secunia on Tuesday, could allow hackers to spoof the URL in the download dialog box that pops up when a Firefox user tries to download an item from a Web site. This flaw is caused by the dialog box incorrectly displaying long sub-domains and paths, which can be exploited to conceal the actual source of the download. Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at software maker F-Secure, said this bug could make Firefox users vulnerable to cybercriminals.

How a Bookmaker and a Whiz Kid Took On an Extortionist - and Won
csoonline.com
by Scott Berinato
January 5, 2005

Facing an online extortion threat, Mickey Richardson bet his Web-based business on a networking whiz from Sacramento who first beat back the bad guys, then helped the cops nab them. If you collect revenue online, you'd better read this.

The e-mail began, "Your site is under attack," and it gave Mickey Richardson two choices: "You can send us $40K by Western Union [and] your site will be protected not just this weekend but for the next 12 months," or, "If you choose not to pay...you will be under attack each weekend for the next 20 weeks, or until you close your doors." Richardson runs BetCris.com, an online wagering site, one of hundreds of sites ensconced in Costa Rica that take bets from Americans (and others around the world) without concern for U.S. bookmaking laws. Richardson received the e-mail just as he and his competitors were preparing for the year's busiest wagering season. With pro and college football, pro and college basketball and other sports in full swing, and with Thanksgiving and Christmas about to create plenty of free time, BetCris and the others stood to rake in millions over the holidays. Richardson was even planning an advertising blitz for the season to drive new traffic to his site.

Veterans Affairs spurs smart-card growth
Gov Exec
by Drew Clark
December 24, 2004

The slow-moving effort to roll out a governmentwide "smart card" that can be used to promote physical and cybersecurity could gain speed with the Veterans Affairs Department smart card for employees.

Dubbed OneVA, the photo-identification card doubles as a computer-access card for employees to use when connecting to the department's system.

U.S. government smart card community should address reader to panel issues in '05 : SecureID News
Secure ID News
by Bob Merkert
December 16, 2004

A panel of ID industry experts provided predictions for 2005. One of these glimpses into the future will appear here each day during December.

At the time I am putting my thoughts on paper about 2005, everyone involved with U.S. government secure ID programs is still reeling from the first public draft of NIST 201 released in November. Instead of the smooth extension of the Government Smart Card Interoperability Specification (GSC-IS) V2.1 everyone expected, the current 201 draft proposes big changes that in my view would slow down the government’s implementation of a common federal identity card by one or two years.

Advances make EMV smart card payments from Visa and MasterCard truly interoperable in '05 : SecureID News
Secure ID News
by Denny Jensen
December 15, 2004

A key feature of migration to EMV chip cards over the next 12 months will be the adoption of the Common Core Definitions (CCD) and the Common Payment Application (CPA).

Visa and MasterCard have agreed to recognize EMV chip cards that conform to the Common Core Definitions for use on their respective branded cards.

Civil Disobedience And The National ID
News With Views
by Devvy Kidd
December 13, 2004

"Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us safer are terribly mistaken."

The only question remains is how many Americans will stand up and say no' If you want to stop this before it can be implemented, then you must act at once - Bush hasn't signed this bill yet, but he will. Don't send an e-mail, call your member of Congress. They millions of e-mails every year. Forget it. Call them. It's not too late.

     

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