Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 30, 2011

Two New Tools Exploit Router Security Setup Problem – Researchers have released two tools that can take advantage of a weakness in a system designed to let people easily secure their wireless routers.

How to find your Wi-Fi password – If you aren’t in charge of your network, or rarely add new devices to it, you might forget what security key you picked. Retrieving this can be easy if you can access the admin panel of the router, but this isn’t always an option– like when you aren’t in charge of the network, or you forgot that password too. Fortunately there’s an easy-to-use program that can retrieve the security information for networks saved on your computer. Just follow these three easy steps.

Verizon Wireless to Charge $2 for One-Time Online, Phone Payments – As reported by Droid Life, Verizon will impose a $2 “convenience fee” for one-time online and phone payments, starting next month. The move is intended to “balance the support costs” associated with those payment options, Verizon said in documentation posted by the blog.

Microsoft releases MS11-100 for ASP.NET DoS attack – Today Microsoft released a security bulletin addressing a flaw in ASP.NET that was disclosed early morning yesterday at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) in Berlin. Microsoft tested and finished MS11-100 in record time, taking about 30 days for the process of integrating this new vulnerability with the fix that was already scheduled for January 2012.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Twitter Reveals the Worst Christmas Gift Getters Ever – Writer Jon Hendren spent his Christmas morning retweeting greedy Tweets from people complaining about what they didn’t get from Santa.

Koobface Gang Boosts Web Traffic, Profits from Pay-per-Click Scams – The Koobface developers updated their botnet framework with a “sophisticated” traffic-direction system (TDS) that handles traffic referenced to their affiliate sites, Trend Micro researchers reported Dec. 19. They’ve also added components to help increase the amount of Internet traffic, “which translates to even bigger profit,” Jonell Baltazar, senior threat researcher at Trend Micro, wrote on the company’s Malware Blog.

Beware of password-protected documents carrying malware – Password-protected malicious attachments delivered via email are not a new occurrence – we have recently witnesses the tactic being used in the so-called Nitro attacks.

Data-stealing Android Trojan masquerades as greeting-sending app – Text messages have largely replaced seasonal (and non) greeting cards, and there are mobile apps out there that let you send prewritten witty/sweet messages to friends and family. But there are also some that pretend to do that, and F-Secure researchers have recently spotted a Trojan targeting Chinese Android users that masquerades as just that type of app.

Stratfor Denies Anonymous Compromised Client List – Strategic Forecasting, an organization that focuses on intenerational security issues, is downplaying the severity of the cyber-attack it suffered over the weekend, claiming its client list had not been stolen.

The Top Five Linux Stories of 2011 – 2011 was a big year for Linux, but then what year isn’t a big one for Linux these days?

Company News:

Amazon Sells More Than 4 Million Kindles During Holidays – Amazon customers snapped up more than 4 million Kindle devices in December, making it the retailer’s “best holiday ever,” according to stats released Thursday.

IBM’s Centennial Year in Review: Watson, Cloud, Analytics – One of IBM’s most significant moves of 2011 will actually not happen until Jan. 1, 2012, when the company’s first woman CEO, Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, succeeds Samuel Palmisano. However, there were many other significant achievements throughout the year, including Watson trouncing human competitors on “Jeopardy” and IBM celebrating its 100th anniversary and launching into security.

Samsung still dominates mobile phone market, but Apple is gaining – Apple, in fourth place, was the only other manufacturer to gain share. Meanwhile, Android continues to dominate the mobile OS market.

Two new iPads due next month, report says – DigiTimes says Apple’s next-generation tablet will feature a 9.7-inch screen and debut next month at Macworld|iWorld, a conference the company abandoned three years ago.

Off Topic (Sort of):

New Dealers – Recession turns average Americans into drug kingpins. If you live in northern California you can get $10,000 cash per harvest for turning your garage over to marijuana growers. And three years jail time if the law finds out

Let’s Terminate Malware in 2012 – PCMag’s Lead Security Analyst spends all his time testing how effective security products are at defeating malware–and he is getting tired of it. The malware evolves, security products evolve, and the whole process continues ad infinitum. In this SecurityWatch piece, he suggests a change of approach: Go after the money. Malware continues because it makes money. Take away the money and the problem will disappear. How do you do that? Read his piece to find out.

Dvorak: On Phony 2012 Predictions – I like to make light of all the crummy predictions people make at the end of every year. But I must say, this year I predict that we will have more than ever. It began a few weeks ago and since then, primary media tech outlets have been pouring out four to six columns and articles each day. I have yet to explore the blogs.

The Big Lie – Wall St has fallen back on a lie as old as capitalism itself. “This time, however, I don’t think the argument that ‘Washington ate my homework’ is going to work. This time, a firestorm is going to explode about the Street’s head”

Today’s Quote:

“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.”

-     Steve Maraboli

Today’s Free Downloads:

The Elder Scrolls, Chapter II: Daggerfall – The Elder Scrolls, Chapter II: Daggerfall is the critically acclaimed sequel to The Elder Scrolls: Arena, the very first game in the famous Elder Scrolls series of PC roleplaying games. Daggerfall expands and surpasses on every aspect of Arena s gameplay, delivering you into a sprawling fantasy world teeming with villages, tombs and castles to explore.

Battle for Wesnoth – Battle for Wesnoth is a free, tactical, turn-based game in which you command fantasy armies in a variety of scenarios. The game follows a familiar pattern: Beginning with a few units, you must acquire resources, summon troops, and accomplish pre-determined goals, such as “Kill the orc chieftain” or “Escort the caravan across the map.”

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