Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: Hacking Around the Christmas Tree - 29th Dec 2004

"Hackers, spammers and spies go into overdrive in December and January, when unsuspecting neophytes unwrap new computers, connect to the internet, and, too often, get hit with viruses, spyware and other nefarious programs.

"People want to get on the net right away, just like they want to put together and start using any Christmas present," said Tony Redmond, chief technology officer of Palo Alto computer giant Hewlett-Packard, whose new PCs ship with 60 days of virus and adware protection. "They should be warned that the net is a very, very dangerous place..."

.: Top 5 privacy issues for 2005 - 23rd Dec 2004

"During the past year, Ponemon Institute has surveyed thousands of individuals on a variety of issues affecting their privacy, from a universal credentialing system to Internet ads that use personal information to target prospective customers. Emerging trends from our research suggest that individuals view their right to privacy as increasingly important and worry about how organizations collect, use and share their personal information. Other concerns include cybercrime, abusive marketing and loss of civil liberties.

Despite privacy concerns, however, the vast majority of people we contacted are willing each day to take significant information-sharing risks for small benefit. These actions include downloading free software, obtaining free Internet services or receiving an e-product coupon..."

.: U.S. passport privacy: Over and out? - 23rd Dec 2004

"It's December 2005 and you're all set for Christmas in Vienna. You have your most fashionable cold-weather gear, right down to Canada's national red maple leaf embroidered on your jacket and backpack, to conceal your American citizenship from hostile denizens of Europe.

But your secret isn't really safe. As you stroll through the terminal, you pass a nondescript man with a briefcase. The briefcase contains a powerful radio scanner, and simply by walking past, you've identified yourself as an American. Without laying a finger on you, the man has electronically "skimmed" the data in your passport..."

.: Worst spyware queues up - 23rd Dec 2004

"Beware of CoolWebSearch, a program that can change Microsoft Internet Explorer's security settings and wreak havoc on computers.

Anti-spyware company Webroot Software said Tuesday that CoolWebSearch self-installs malicious HTML applications and exploits security flaws in IE. "This has vexed all of us," said Nick Lewis, managing director of Boulder, Colo.-based Webroot. "For consumers, CoolWebSearch is probably one of the most vicious programs in terms of how nasty it is. It completely hijacks the browser so you can't do anything...."

.: Drivers' Licenses Now a Tool for Homeland Security - 23rd Dec 2004

"Look closely at Massachusetts' new driver's license and you'll notice an outline of the state. Hold it at a slightly different angle, and instead you'll see the word "Massachusetts."

The changing image, known as a Kinegram, is one of several security features the Bay State recently added to its drivers' licenses. It acted shortly before Congress called for the first federal standards on drivers' licenses and other state-issued identification cards..."

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