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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Windows Worm Spreads To 3.5 Million PCs

A Windows worm known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido which was first discovered in October has a new viral variant that is causing concern amongst security firms. Even though Microsoft's MS08-067 patch protects users from the worm it has propegated to some 3.5 million machines worldwide.

According to Microsoft, the worm works by searching for the "services.exe" file and then becomes part of that code. It copies itself into the Windows system folder as a random dll fileand gives itself a 5-8 character name, such as piftoc.dll. The worm then modifies the Windows Registry to run the infected dll file as a service. Once up and running, it creates an HTTP (web) server, resets your machine's System Restore point (making it harder to recover from) and proceeds to download files from a malicious web site.

"There was a new variant released less than two weeks ago and that's the one causing most of the problems," Kaspersky Lab's security analyst, Eddy Willems told the BBC.

"The replication methods are quite good. It's using multiple mechanisms, including USB sticks, so if someone got an infection from one company and then takes his USB stick to another firm, it could infect that network too. It also downloads lots of content and creating new variants though this mechanism."

"Of course, the real problem is that people haven't patched their software. If people do patch their software, they should have little to worry about," he added.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Star Wars Trilogy Retold In 3:42

Here is one woman's interpretation of the Star Wars trilogy...

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

... perhaps it's best not to comment!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jobs To Take 6 Month Medical Leave

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.'s CEO, has told employees that he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June. This is a bit of a back track from a statement that he made prior to Macworld where he said that he intended to remain on the job. In yesterday's communique he wrote

"Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well," and "In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June."

The news sent Apple stock for a tumble down $8.82 to $76.51.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gaza Fight Goes Online

Apparent supporters on both sides of the Israeli - Gaza conflict have taken to the internet to extend the fight online. "On 7 January, pro-Palestinian hackers defaced several high-profile websites, including a US Army website, and the Nato Parliamentary Assembly's website." according to the BBC. A battle has also been waged on Facebook where a group using the logo of the Jewish Internet Defence Force (JIDF) removed content from Facebook Groups and replaced it with statements supporting Israeli policy and criticising the Palestinian militant group Hamas. It seems that both sides of the battle are trying to get their messages out by any means possible.

More at BBC News.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Geeks Offered "How To Flirt" Class At German University

Germany's Potsdam University is offering a masters level course to students in the engineering department in order to teach them techniques on how to write flirtatious e-mails, impress people at social gatherings and how to cope with rejection.

"We want to prepare our students with the social skills needed to succeed both in their private life and their work life," said Hans-Joachim Allgaier, a spokesman for the institute at Potsdam University.

The course will be taken by 440 students, who when they complete the course will hopefully know how to talk with each other...

Sources: Reuters / Geeks are Sexy

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tesla Unveils New Roadster

The Tesla Roadster Sport was unveiled yesterday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Sport is the second production line vehicle for the electric car manufacturer and is said to be even zippier than the original, shaving .2 seconds off the zero to sixty mark of it's predecessor and coming in at 3.7 seconds. The Roadster Sport uses the same powertrain that will be used in the Model S, a four-door electric luxury sedan Tesla intends to start making in 2011.

Source: cnet