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.: Marketers seek to make cookies more palatable - 18th Jun 2005

"Online marketers are scrambling to protect one of the key tools of their trade: the cookie.

Faced with reports showing that more and more computer users regularly delete the tracking files automatically downloaded by Web browsers, marketers and Web site publishers are launching a "cookies can be good for you" campaign. They argue that cookies -- small files that Web sites use to identify users and to serve up targeted ads -- don't deserve their bad reputation and shouldn't be lumped together with such Web scourges as spyware and viruses..."
[Post Gazette]




.: Credit card breach exposes 40 million accounts - 18th Jun 2005

" In what could be the largest data security breach to date, MasterCard International on Friday said information on more than 40 million credit cards may have been stolen.

Of those exposed accounts, about 13.9 million are for MasterCard-branded cards, the company said in a statement. The other brands affected have not been identified. MasterCard has notified its member banks of the specific accounts involved so the banks can take action to protect cardholders, MasterCard said.

"In sheer numbers, this is probably one of the largest data security breaches," said James Van Dyke, principal analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research in Pleasanton, Calif..."
[news.com]




.: IE7 being developed to resist spyware - 14th Jun 2005

"The next version of Microsoft's much criticized Internet Explorer browser is being built to resist hijacking attempts by spyware and other malicious software, according to a Microsoft developer. Rob Franco, lead program manager for IE Security at Microsoft, wrote in a blog entry on Thursday that Internet Explorer 7 for Longhorn will contain a feature called "low rights IE." The feature essentially removes administrator rights, so that the system will not allow unknown applications, such as spyware and other potentially dangerous code, to be installed without express permission from the user.

"When users run programs with limited user privileges, they are safer from attack than when they run with Administrator privileges, because Windows can restrict the malicious code from taking damaging actions..."
[news.com]




.: Citigroup data on 3.9 million goes missing - 7th Jun 2005

"Citigroup, the world's largest bank, on Monday said account and payment history data on 3.9 million of its customers were lost in transit by United Parcel Service.

The disappearance is the latest in a series of data breaches involving U.S. banks, including No. 2 Bank of America. NY-based Citigroup said the data were stored on computer tapes, and lost while UPS, the world's biggest package carrier, was shipping them to an Experian credit bureau in Texas. The tapes, which also contained Social Security numbers, covered CitiFinancial Branch Network customers and about 50,000 customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services..."
[news.com]




.: Group seeks spyware's defining moment - 4th Jun 2005

"Makers of anti-spyware software are taking another shot at creating a definition of spyware, this time with help from consumer organizations.

A new group, tentatively named the Anti-Spyware Coalition, plans to publish proposed guidelines later this summer that define spyware, best practices for desktop software development, and a common lexicon, people involved with the group told CNET News.com. Debate has gone on for years over spyware and adware, with manufacturers of the applications defending them as legitimate marketing tools..."
[news.com]






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