Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mobile device “kill pill” crucial to IT security

The booming popularity of mobile handset devices such as BlackBerrys and smartphones is creating a major information security problem, but a new breed of products designed to manage this equipment is slowly beginning to alleviate some security concerns, according to a recent report from Unstrung Enterprise Insider.
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Supreme Court Rebukes Bush’s Anti-Terror Policy

In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court said the trials at Guantanamo Bay were not authorized under U.S. law or the Geneva Conventions ruling that the military commissions are unconstitutional, The Washington Post reports.

Researcher Publishes Details of, MSN Holes

Frustrated with what he calls a lack of response from Microsoft and, a security researcher has gone public with details of flaws on the two companies’ Web sites.

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The government has recovered the stolen Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) laptop computer with sensitive data on up to 26.5 million veterans and military personnel, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson announced to the Associated Press, Forbes reports.

Yahoo Settles Click Fraud Suit

Yahoo agreed to compensate advertisers for click fraud dating back to January 2004 as part of a settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit, the search company said on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

For Spammers, a Picture Is Better Than 1,000 Words

Spam is again on the rise, led by a flood of junk images that spammers have crafted over the past few months to trick e-mail filters, according to security vendors.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

AT&T, DoJ Fight Wiretap Suit

A suit against AT&T over alleged cooperation with government wiretapping should be dismissed because hearing it would mean exposing information that would help al-Qaida, the U.S. Department of Justice argued Friday in federal court in San Francisco.

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Article to make you laugh...

JUNE 2005. The Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, led by John Poindexter, has suffered major public relations catastrophes during its ramp-up. To ameliorate bad press, the feds have approved a costly upgrade that will give TIA a customer-friendly CRM front end and enable a win-win for spooks and ordinary citizens alike. Following are early examples of customer outreach from the program, dubbed

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The ABCs of New Security Leadership

September 11 profoundly changed the public perception of national security; the Enron accounting scandal and a rash of similar scams alerted us to widespread deficiencies in corporate governance, accountability and ethics. But every security leader knows that as time passes after any incident - no matter how demonstrative - corporate concern for the issues brought to light by that incident tends to wane. Maintaining the right level of boardroom and employee awareness is a consequence of leadership. And more effective ideas and tactics are replacing the old, reactive security leadership paradigm. Below, CSO looks at what's Out and what's In.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

5 Ways Google is Shaking the Security World

Whether you're charged with preventing hacks, protecting assets, stopping fraud or defending trademarks, Google and other search engines present a new mix of risks for everybody in the security game.

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7 Arrested in U.S. Terror Plot

Five U.S. citizens, one legal resident and a foreigner were arrested by the FBI in Miami on terrorism charges for plotting to attack the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI building in Miami, The Washington Post reports.

Now or later? Security and ROI

Many people talk about the "Return On Investment" [ ROI ] when discussing many aspects of business, especially in regards to hardware and software procurement. Today we see standard ROI formulas trying to be applied to things like IT security. There are many different formulas for calculating ROI, but one of the toughest is the ROI on security, or "Return on Security Investment" [ ROSI ].

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

U.S. police using data brokers

Police and government officals in the U.S. have been bypassing the need for subpoenas and warrants by gathering personal information made available through private data brokers. The data brokers, which advertise heavily on the Internet, have at times admitted to using deception and illegal practices themselves, according to a new report by the Associated Press.

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Details emerge on second potential NSA facility

Two former AT&T employees have fingered a room in the telecommunications company's building near St. Louis as a likely center for wiretapping and Internet monitoring by the National Security Agency, according to a article.

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How to Spot a Liar

We're used to seeing interrogation scenes on TV—the bare lightbulb, the sweaty, hostile detective, you know the drill. But how do investigations play out in the corporate world, when the questioner wears a suit rather than a gun holster, and the chilling environs of a police room are replaced by the bland layout of a corporate office? Here are four things to know about conducting interviews and interrogations that yield results.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Visa Hit With ATM Breach

In the latest example of a national trend, Visa announced that customers could be subjected to fraud as a result of a security problem affecting a contractor that processed automated teller machine transactions, the Associated Press reports on Yahoo News.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Companies must plan for disasters

Disaster recovery planning has become a regular part of business for many companies, and there are many things a company can do to contain the damages done by catastrophic events. But even when companies are prepared, unexpected circumstances usually arise when a disaster actually hits.
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Flurry of new data breaches disclosed

The dizzying pace of data-breach notifications in recent months shows no signs of slowing, as several more organizations have disclosed major data compromises over the past few days.
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Website Operator Pleads Guilty to Piracy’s owner pleaded guilty to selling nearly US$20 million worth of pirated software through the mail, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said Friday.

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Yahoo!, you've got worms

A new JavaScript based worm has been found crawling through a flaw in Yahoo's webmail servers, requiring Windows users to update their anti-virus protection.

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Microsoft's French Site Hit by Hackers

Part of Microsoft’s French website has been taken offline by hackers, who apparently took advantage of a misconfigured server at the software vendor’s Web hosting provider.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

One-third of Americans will fall victim to data breaches this year

Personal information on more than 32 million Americans has been stolen as a result of data breaches during 2006 alone, with projections of 78 million identities stolen by the end of the year, according to identity theft prevention vendor Edentify.
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Sarbanes-Oxley costs frustrating small businesses

Costs associated with meeting the compliance standards of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have caused some public companies to consider going private, according to law firm Foley & Lardner.
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Federal Breaches Spark Security Review

The massive data breach disclosed last month by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has triggered sweeping reviews of information security policies at the VA and at several other government agencies that recently suffered smaller data losses.
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Friday, June 16, 2006

Password security still lacking among IT pros

Most administrative passwords in some of the world's largest corporations are kept in the heads of one or two IT staff or on paper.

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Phishing Scam Uses PayPal Secure Servers

A cross-site scripting flaw in the PayPal Web site allows a new phishing attack to masquerade as a genuine PayPal log-in page with a valid security certificate, according to security researchers.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

After lawsuit, Cisco embraces Black Hat

June 15, 2006 (IDG News Service) -- The bad blood between Cisco Systems Inc. and organizers of the Black Hat conference appears to be a thing of the past.

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Sophos: E-Mail Virus Count Down

The proportion of e-mail messages that contain malware has fallen for the first six months this year compared to the same period last year, Sophos said on Wednesday.

Statistics released by Sophos show that about one in 91 e-mail messages contained a virus or other types of bad software, far less than the one-in-35 figure of a year ago, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant. Sophos provides enterprise-level antivirus, spam, adware and malware protection products.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How Small and Midsize Business CIOs Can Use Size to Their Advantage

With fewer resources and staff, SMB CIOs operate under some obvious disadvantages. Their advantages are less obvious, one being their proximity to senior management. They can use this effectively in seven ways and become trusted advisors to company executives.

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NSA Wiretapping Update

If you have been following the NSA Wiretapping story, you may want to have a look at a story posted on another blog. Click here to visit it. Its the second story down at the time of this post.

Microsoft Leaves Windows 98 to the Hackers

If you are still using Windows98 (shame on you), you should be aware of the following item:

Microsoft has defended its decision not to patch a critical security flaw in Windows 98.

Support for the operating system officially ends next month on July 12.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Exchange gets mobility makeover

The new software also will allow a remote user to wipe all Exchange Server-fed data from a device if it is lost or stolen. Currently, only someone with Exchange Server administrator privileges can do this.

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One in 300 PCs infected with malware

About one in every 300 PCs running Windows is affected by malware, according to Microsoft.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Major IM tech company reports large increase in hacks

San Carlos, Calif.-based Postini, a worldwide IM management company, reported that its systems recorded 500 percent increase in attacks for May.

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Major IM tech company reports large increase in hacks

San Carlos, Calif.-based Postini, a worldwide IM management company, reported that its systems recorded 500 percent increase in attacks for May.

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VA Conducts Security Review

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary James Nicholson said in a hearing at the House Committee of Government Reform on Thursday that the agency has ordered a security review of every laptop computer and has banned all employees from connecting any employee-owned computers to the VA virtual private network (VPN), reports.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

VA data theft affects most soldiers

The massive database stored on a laptop and external hard drive that were stolen from the home of an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs last month could compromise the identity of nearly 2.2 million active-duty military personnel, the VA announced on Tuesday.

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Canada Terror Plot Called for Beheading Prime Minister

Its not every day you see a storylike this one....

In addition to charges of training militants and plotting bombings faced by suspected terrorists in Canada, one member of the group allegedly sought to decapitate Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Reuters reports.

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Google Spreadsheets

Just in case you don't already have enough Google products in use, here is one more: Google Spreadsheets. Now you can access your spreadsheets from anywhere and share them with anyone. The initial launch is by invite only, so if you want to sign up, click here

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mozilla Says IE 7 Won't Beat Firefox Security

One of the chief selling points (if a free browser can have a selling point) of Mozilla Corporation's Firefox browser has been its reputation of being more secure than Internet Explorer. Preaching to a choir of open-sourcers at the Red Hat Summit, the company said it expects to maintain that advantage.

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Microsoft Hits Spammer For $1 Million

Settlements between one of the world's worst spammers, and plaintiffs Microsoft and the state of Texas, will cost Ryan Pitylak at least a million dollars.

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Kiwi Security Expert Finds Flaw in Skype

A security flaw in Skype’s peer-to-peer voice-over-IP (VoIP) software has been closed, thanks to diligent work by a Kiwi security expert.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Microsoft Live Labs releases new security services

June 05, 2006 (IDG News Service) -- Microsoft Corp.'s Live Labs has launched two security-related Web-based services, one for providing authentication and another for connecting peer-to-peer applications through network firewalls.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Goldleaf server breach affects more than 300 banks

Goldleaf Technologies, a Brentwood, Tenn., provider of homepage services for financial institutions, suffered a server breach on Thursday, May 25.

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Government asks top Web companies to retain user search records

Top officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice have requested leading Web companies to keep and store records of users’ Web surfing and searching habits for use in child pornography and terrorism investigations, according to USA Today.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006


We are scholars of constitutional law and former government officials. We write in our individual capacities as citizens concerned by the Bush administration's National Security Agency domestic spying program, as reported in The New York Times, and in particular to respond to the Justice Department's December 22, 2005, letter to the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees setting forth the administration's defense of the program.[1] Although the program's secrecy prevents us from being privy to all of its details, the Justice Department's defense of what it concedes was secret and warrantless electronic surveillance of persons within the United States fails to identify any plausible legal authority for such surveillance. Accordingly the program appears on its face to violate existing law.

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Official: Bush authorized spying multiple times

NEW YORK - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

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NSA spy program broader than Bush admitted

I never been much of a Bush fan, so I think that this is just great. As the layers of the onion keep getting peeled back, I can't even imagine how bad its going to smell.

NEW YORK - The volume of information gathered from telephone and Internet communications by the National Security Agency without court-approved warrants was much larger than the White House has acknowledged, The New York Times reported Saturday.

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Choose Dyrand Systems as your virtual IT department and focus on growing your business—not on the technology that supports it. You deserve peace of mind when it comes to IT. When you choose Dyrand, you’re choosing more than just an IT firm—you’re choosing an extension of your own team.