Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 28, 2010

Victimized by a ‘legitimate’ drive-by download – A careless, hurried click on the Adobe Flash Player update screen left unwanted McAfee security software on my PC and caused a scary-but-harmless antivirus-conflict warning.

Hotmail adds new security measures to defend against account hijacks – Despite the fact that Hotmail has a much larger user base, general consensus seems to be that the Microsoft’s webmail service is still playing catch-up with Gmail. With its recent updates, however, Hotmail has improved greatly — and the improvements keep on coming.

The Best Free Mac Software – 73 products. 21 categories, and all for the Mac platform. These are the best free apps for getting stuff done on your Apple computer. In this list you’ll find everything from PDF viewers to File Transfer apps. Kind of proves that the Mac is not just about “Thinking Different”, but good old-fashioned thinking, too.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Malware attacks force MS to ship emergency patch – Microsoft plans to ship an out-of-band security update September 28, 2010, to fix a serious vulnerability that’s being exploited in the wild.

Twitter Hit By Another Worm – Another week, another fast-moving Twitter attack. Just days after engineers stamped out a nasty cross site scripting hole in the company’s Web page, the company had to contend with a worm that used an attack called “cross site request forgery” to post salacious messages and malicious links on victims’ accounts.

The hidden gems found in the Windows 7 calculator – Admittedly, the standard calculator application found in every version of the Microsoft Windows operating system since the beginning is not usually considered sexy, but the new version found in Windows 7 earns props for adding real value. Check out some of the new features found hidden in the menu tree of this often taken for granted free applet.

Fake LinkedIn spam attack – Starting on Monday, cyber criminals sent spam email messages targeting the LinkedIn social media community. Victims are emailed an alert link with a fictitious social media contact request. These messages accounted for as much as 24% of all spam sent within a 15-minute interval.

U.S. drafts bill proposing easier Internet wiretapping – As criminals and terrorists are progressively ditching phone communication in favor of the online kind, U.S. law enforcement and national security agencies are worried about the possibility of intercepting it in order to thwart their malicious plans.

10 plus must have Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets – Desktop Gadgets in Microsoft Windows 7 are more sophisticated and more useful than in previous versions of the operating system. Here are 10+ gadgets that should be in your desktop management portfolio.

ZeuS tries to bypass two-factor authentication – The attack begins as it usually does – the Trojan steals the username and password as it is inserted by the user. Then, a rogue form pops up and demands of him to share his mobile phone vendor, model and phone

Company News:

RIM Unveils PlayBook Tablet – Smartphone maker takes the wraps off of its long-awaited entry into the tablet market, billing the new PlayBook device as “enterprise-ready” and a natural next step for current BlackBerry users.

Spamhaus launches whitelist service – The Spamhaus Project has released the Spamhaus Whitelist which allows Internet mail servers to separate incoming email traffic into 3 categories: Good, Bad and Unknown, allowing mail server operators to block known bad email traffic, let known good email traffic pass safely, and heavily filter unknown email sources.

Microsoft Expands Ties With LinkedIn – Software giant teams with the leading business-oriented social network to sync contacts from popular Windows Live services like Hotmail and Live Messenger.

PC Users Happier with Windows 7, Survey Says – Nearly a year after its launch, Windows 7 has accomplished what Microsoft and its PC manufacturing partners had hoped it would: Make users forget about its much-maligned predecessor Vista. In fact, customer satisfaction among personal computer users is at or near all-time highs, according to a new report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Off Topic (Sort of):

USB drive identifies and extracts data, leaving no footprint – Harris Corporation introduced a highly customizable USB thumb drive that quickly extracts targeted data from computers. The device – called BlackJack – is designed for military, intelligence, and law enforcement cyber security missions, where speed, stealth and accuracy are paramount considerations.

Overheating Laptop: A Personal Story – When my Dell laptop dangerously overheated, the experience was frightening. And resolving it with Dell was downright frustrating.

CIA used ‘illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones’ – The CIA is implicated in a court case in which it’s claimed it used an illegal, inaccurate software “hack” to direct secret assassination drones in central Asia.

15 Essential Games of This Generation – Here are this generation’s must-have games for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC.

Today’s Quote:

“The two most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”

–     Harlan Ellison

Today’s Free Downloads:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.46 – Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a surprisingly effective freeware antimalware tool. It’s a relatively speedy malware remover, with the quick scan taking about 8 minutes even with other high-resource programs running. The heuristics engine proved on multiple computers during empirical testing that it was capable of determining the difference between false positives and dangerous apps.

GOM Media Player 2.1 – As various media players jockey for position to become your default setting for music and video streams, GOM Media Player’s support for a wide range of file formats has helped it stand out as a firm favorite.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – September 28, 2010

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    “Victimized by a ‘legitimate’ drive-by download”

    McAfee again, huh? I’ve made a mental note never to try their products. There is a way round this crap when updating Flash Player, either do it via Secunia or Filehippo download. They don’t have that “extra software” rubbish in the installer.


    • As always, your advice is dead on, Mal – “There is a way round this crap when updating Flash Player, either do it via Secunia or Filehippo download. They don’t have that “extra software” rubbish in the installer.”

      Poor old McAfee – they’re taking it left, right, and center – but, they deserve every bit of it. They need to come in out of the rain!