Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 8, 2011

New report details the prices within the cybercrime market – What’s the price of a a stolen credit card number? How much does it cost to buy actual bank credentials and transform them into physical credit cards? Does it really matter from whom you’re buying all the stolen data, and what really drives the underground’s black market for stolen goods? Let’s find out.

Lifehacker: Learn the Basics of Photoshop in Under 25 Minutes – Photoshop is an incredibly powerful but also intimidating application. If you’ve wanted to start using Photoshop but didn’t know where to start, we’ll be teaching you the basics all week long.

Critical Adobe Reader X Patches On Deck – Adobe will join Microsoft on the security patch treadmill on Tuesday with “critical” updates for code execution holes in its flagship Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat products.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Malware increases by 46% in only one year – The number of pieces of new mobile malware in 2010 increased by 46 percent compared with 2009. The report also uncovered 20 million new pieces of malware in 2010, equating to nearly 55,000 new malware threats every day.

What are banks not telling us about card fraud? – “The bottom line is that you don’t have to be conspiracy theorist to piece together what is happening: the card processing system is far from being infallible, and the banks are going to great lengths to avoid exposing how insecure their systems really are in an open court,” he added.

Five power tips for LibreOffice users – Once you begin to know your way around the LibreOffice suite, you can add a few advanced techniques to your repertoire. Jack Wallen offers five tips to get you started.

73% of organizations hacked in the last 2 years – Website attacks are the biggest concern for companies, yet 88 percent spend more on coffee than securing Web applications, according to a survey by Barracuda Networks, Cenzic and the Ponemon Institute.

USB autorun attacks against Linux – Many people think that Linux is immune to the type of Autorun attacks that have plagued Windows systems with malware over the years. However, there have been many advances in the usability of Linux as a desktop OS – including the addition of features that can allow Autorun attacks.

Android Market’s Web Store: Convenient, With a Risk of Malware – Guard your Google password, because its breach may allow access to more than your e-mail; the Android Market could become a source of pain.

Company News:


Lawsuit Claims AT&T Cheats iPhone, iPad Owners on Data – AT&T has “systematically” overcharged iPhone and iPad owners with capped data plans by inflating the amount of data they download and adding “phantom traffic,” a lawsuit claimed last week. AT&T said it would “vigorously” fight the suit.

Desktop Virtualization: Confusion Over Software Licensing – When Dataprise Inc., an IT services company, helped a customer with a desktop virtualization project last year, it found itself dealing with desktop virtualization’s dirty little secret: No one — including vendors — seems to know how to license the software.

Key Microsoft Employees Who Have Jumped Ship – Microsoft has recently seen key people abandoning positions across the board–from high, C-level executives to middle managers to evangelists and strategic engineers and architects. The departures happened throughout 2010 and the brain drain spilled over into this year, with some big names leaving in January. We take a look at some of the key talent to leave the software giant.

WordPress 3.0.5 security update – WordPress 3.0.5 is now available and is a security hardening update for all previous WordPress versions. This security release is required if you have any untrusted user accounts, but it also comes with important security enhancements and hardening. All WordPress users are strongly encouraged to update.

Off Topic (Sort of):


Rush is on for custom domain name suffixes – The pillar of the basic Web address – the trusty .com domain – is about to face vast new competition that will dramatically transform the Web as we know it. New Web sites, with more subject-specific, sometimes controversial suffixes, will soon populate the online galaxy, such as .eco, .love, .god, .sport, .gay or .kurd. (submitted by Michael F.)

Scientists: Adopt New Exposure Guidelines for Electromagnetic Radiation – A new report by international scientists calls for greatly reduced exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation from power line and telecommunications technologies — including cell phones and wireless technologies. The report was published by the scientific journal Reviews on Environmental Health. (submitted by Dar)

Huffington Post-AOL Merger: The Web Weighs In – AOL dropped a news bomb Sunday night when it announced a $315 million acquisition of that bastion of liberal blogging, The Huffington Post. Under the deal, HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington will become president and editor-in-chief for many of AOL’s Web properties including Engadget, MapQuest, Moviefone, Patch, PopEater, StyleList, and TechCrunch. The new Web media conglomerate will be called the Huffington Post Media Group.

The Secret World of Embedded Computers – I went to Wal-Mart in search of some more computer-powered gadgets and came home with an armful of low-cost consumer goods that are packed with surprising smarts. For example: today, you can buy a $5 pregnancy test that contains a CPU more powerful than that found in any 1970s microcomputer. I kid you not. (submitted by Michael F.)

Today’s Quote:


I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

George Best

Today’s Free Downloads:


SlimDrivers – There’s a good chance that your drivers are outdated, leading to potential performance and security issues. SlimDrivers can help: It scans your PC and peripherals, checks to see whether there are newer drivers available, then reports on which are outdated. You can update any driver with one click.

BatteryCare – Batteries are laptops’ Achilles’ heels. Many mobile users have been let down by their battery meters, too, which can misjudge or misrepresent how much charge is actually left in your battery. The shortcomings of the built-in Windows meter lead to free tools like BatteryCare. It’s a simple utility that displays your laptop battery’s status and capacity and the time remaining in its discharge cycle. It monitors and displays CPU and HDD temperatures, too.

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Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

9 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 8, 2011

  1. Pingback: Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 8, 2011 | Bill Mullins … | Share Information Technology

  2. Pingback: Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – February 8, 2011 | Bill Mullins … | Adult Society

  3. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#98) « What's On My PC

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  5. Keith

    Bill, do you know if attacks on Adobe Reader also apply to other .pdf readers like Foxit, PDF X-Change Viewer, etc? Thanks for a super duper blog.

    • Hi Keith,

      The attacks mentioned are specific to Adobe Reader, which is under attack regularly. That is not to say that, from time to time, other readers/ PDF apps have not been attacked. But, that is an infrequent occurrence and no other PDF apps are under attack, that I’m aware of, currently.

      Adobe, based on its significant installed base, presents a huge target for cybercriminals. Frankly, I wouldn’t have this application on a machine under any circumstances. Actually, I wrote a piece on this last year – Bounce Adobe Reader Malware Magnet – Three Free Alternatives.


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