In reading through a larger article on open-source adoption in the US Department of Defense, I came across this interesting perspective on why shared-source software (which Microsoft and an increasing number of software vendors use to mimic open source without fully embracing its benefits and obligations) is bad for security:Several large companies whose software is in heavy use in DOD advocate a shared source code model in which people can view the source code but not change it. This shared source code approach has some problems, though. By sharing source code with organizations, the users have the ability to … Read more
Those entering online dating forums risk having more than their hearts stolen.
A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.
The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets … Read more
I know that being a parent has got to be the uncoolest perspective in Silicon Valley. After all, it's much more cutting edge to be libertarian, 23 years old, working 24/7 and sleeping on a futon in your cube.
But no one stays that way forever (thank goodness), and I'd like to think that those of us who have moved down the road a few years have a lot to add to technology design. With Facebook's Beacon plans blowing up this week, you can really see what happens when new "features" are added by twentysomethings who are coding and rolling out products as fast as they can.
I'm proposing a new job title to add to Facebook's Executive Team: VP of Adult Supervision.
My suggestion is only half-joking. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was called out for ageism earlier this year after he stressed the importance of "only [hiring] young people with technical expertise."
The problem is that Facebook's users aren't only people like their mind-blowingly young executives and programmers. A large proportion of their users are over 35. We don't appreciate having our privacy stomped on, and just because we want to participate in social networks, we don't necessarily want to live our lives in an exhibitionist fishbowl. Product design suffers when a grown-up perspective is not taken into account.… Read more
Valleywag reports that SourceForge.net was hacked Wednesday, resulting in site downtime while SourceForge tracked down the hacker. SourceForge's Ross Turk confirms the report:We played a game of cat and mouse with a "security enthusiast" from Europe yesterday. :) No harm done, though, and everything's running smoothly.
Given that projects upload their code to the SourceForge repository on a regular basis, there's not any serious cause for concern that a security breach would be a long-term threat. Additionally, it's doubtful that anyone would download and install any critically important software in the minutes or … Read more
You've been sent an e-mail, and it's critical the contents are safe from prying eyes. In the case of Gmail, and a handful of other popular Web-mail providers, your e-mail could be in a dozen different servers (albeit encrypted), or even be analyzed to try to sell you contextual ads.
The creators of Lockbin would like to help you avoid such security calamities with their closed system that will take any message and send it to someone in a highly secured manner. How secure? You can't even open it unless your recipient happens to have the "… Read more
This week, Cisco did something it is extremely good at: it announced yet another marketing-focused initiative called the Cisco Trusted Security, or TrustSec. The company describes TrustSec as "a new architecture that integrates identity and role-based security measures for scaled implementation across enterprise networks."
Hey, great idea! If I knew who was on my network and what they were doing, I could certainly get a better handle on security, business process management, workflow, and regulatory compliance controls. That said, we've been talking about this for a long time. I would also argue that a number of vendors … Read more
On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it will have seven patches available on Patch Tuesday, December 11. Three of these will be ranked by Microsoft as critical. One critical patch concerns DirectX versions 7.0 through 10.0. Another affects Microsoft Media Format. The third appears to be a cumulative update for Internet Explorer.
The important patches include two for Windows Vista, one for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and one for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
Sometimes it seems that ZDNet drives around in big vans, catches those prone to willful obtuseness with nets and takes them immediately to its headquarters where they're each given a blog.
This time ZDNet's David Berlind is hot on the trail of the hideous secret behind Apple's requirement that iPhones be purchased with a credit card.
And he's got a camera. The Macalope just bets Apple sales associates and holiday shoppers alike were just thrilled to see him coming.
"Oh, hell, Mabel, it's another one o' them ZDNet bloggers. Maybe we should head over … Read more
What am I, nuts?
Removing the antivirus software from your PC goes against conventional wisdom, but a lot of conventional wisdom is bunk, especially when it comes to technology.
Two of the five PCs on my home network have been without AV software for six months, ever since I made the mistake of loading the beta of Windows Live OneCare 2 on my home network. This stellar example of the programming art brought my entire network to its knees in a matter of minutes. After three days of repairs, my network was working again, but I realized that two of … Read more
Today on the Facebook Blog, Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for the mistakes Facebook made in rolling out Beacon, and announces that the company is "releasing a privacy control to turn off Beacon completely."
This is a clear victory for consumer backlash and protests. MoveOn.org spokesman Adam Green responds to today's development:
"Sites like Facebook are revolutionizing how we communicate with each other and organize around issues together in a 21st century democracy. The big question is: Will corporate advertisers get to write the rules of the Internet or will these new social networks protect our basic … Read more