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.: How VeriSign Could Stop Drive-By Downloads - 14th Feb 2005

"VeriSign hates spyware -- or so suggests CEO Stratton Sclavos in a recent interview. Even his daughter's computer got infected with scores of unwanted programs, Sclavos explains, but he says VeriSign is helping to solve this problem. The ironic reality is Sclavos' daughter's computer was most likely infected via popups that appeared trustworthy only thanks to certificates issued by VeriSign. If Sclavos is serious about cracking down on spyware, VeriSign can end many deceptive installation practices just by enforcing its existing rules.

In 2002, Gator introduced ActiveX "drive-by downloads" -- popups that attempt to install unwanted software onto a user's PC as a user browses an unrelated web site. Even though Microsoft can't (or won't) fully fix this problem, VeriSign can..."
[Benjamin Edelman]

.: Break-In At SAIC Risks ID Theft - 13th Feb 2005

"Some of the nation's most influential former military and intelligence officials have been informed in recent days that they are at risk of identity theft after a break-in at a major government contractor netted computers containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information about tens of thousands of past and present company employees.

The contractor, employee-owned Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, handles sensitive government contracts, including many in information security. It has a reputation for hiring Washington's most powerful figures when they leave the government, and its payroll has been studded with former secretaries of defense, CIA directors and White House counterterrorism advisers..."
[Washington Post]

.: House approves electronic ID cards - 11th Feb 2005

"The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a sweeping set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses.

The measure, called the Real ID Act, says that driver's licenses and other ID cards must include a digital photograph, anticounterfeiting features and undefined "machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements" that could include a magnetic strip or RFID tag. The Department of Homeland Security would be charged with drafting the details of the regulation..."

.: Symantec flaw leaves opening for viruses - 10th Feb 2005

"Symantec has issued a patch for a flaw in its scanning software that could cause a virus to execute, rather than catch it. The vulnerability affects an antivirus library used by the majority of Symantec's antivirus and antispam products, including Norton SystemWorks 2004 and Symantec Mail Security for Exchange, the security provider said on Tuesday.

The software is aimed at a range of systems, from consumer desktops to large corporate mail servers, meaning the flaw could be used to take control of key corporate systems or to install programs to grab people's identity data..."

.: Experts predict Firefox spyware will show up this year - 8th Feb 2005

"One of the main reasons for the Firefox browser's successful seizure of market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the desire to escape the inundation of PC-slowing spyware. However, spyware experts indicate that with its increased popularity, Firefox itself will become a target for spyware creators, who are already poking at the open source browser alternative.

Webroot Vice President of Threat Research Richard Stiennon said he expects there will be spyware for Firefox this year, adding that while the browser was designed to be immune from the spyware infecting IE, Firefox will face a new breed of spyware tailored specifically for it..."

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