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Is Windows 8 worth it?

Windows 8 is great!

Back to Windows 7!

What is windows 8?

Posted by Christo [PCD]
Votes: 139
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Thursday 19 February 2009
Facebook's Solution to User Privacy Complaints: Bring Back Previous Terms of Service
Christo [PCD] , Thursday 19 February 2009 - 21:39:45 //

Recent revisions to Facebook's terms of service resulted in debates regarding the organization's rights over user content. In effort toward creating a solution, Facebook has now returned their terms of service to its previous wording.

Does Facebook claim ownership to any of its users’ content on the site, even if that content has been deleted? A blog's commentary over the weekend regarding a change Facebook made on Wednesday to their terms of service sparked this question and created a firestorm of banter on the Web. In an attempt at fixing the situation, Facebook has now brought back their previous terms of service.

Upon logging into Facebook, users will find the most recent update on the site's terms of service: "Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog."

The public has even been invited to share their thoughts on what should be in the new terms, via the site's group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

Company legal representative Suzie White explained the recent terms of service changes in a blog post, "We used to have several different documents that outlined what people could and could not do on Facebook, but now we're consolidating all this information to one central place...We've also simplified and clarified a lot of information that applies to you, including some things you shouldn't do when using the site."

Debates, which began on Sunday, resulted from a revision in the wording of Facebook’s policy where it covers what will happen to profile content (i.e., shared items, notes, photos, etc.) after an account has been deleted.

The Consumerist, a consumer advocacy blog, simplified Facebook's revised policy into one statement they believed to have summed it up: "We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever." The Consumerist also brought attention to the fact that the new terms of service came without sentences explaining that Facebook's licenses on user content expire after the deletion of an account.

One Consumerist commenter reacted by stating that Facebook should now be called “The Information Blackhole". They went on to warn, "What goes in never comes out. Be careful what you huck in there."

Although most Facebook users were expected to be apathetic toward the terms of service changes, certain supporters of copyright reform and privacy became worried by the news. Examples of those hosting concern included photographers and writers wishing to keep uploaded photos or notes that were written on Facebook, in hopes of eventual profit from that work.

Certain prominent Twitterers and bloggers, such as music critic Sasha Frere-Jones, decided to delete their Facebook account all together, or at least to erase any uploaded content from the site.

On Monday, Facebook attempted to clarify the true purpose of the terms of service changes.

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt explained, "We are not claiming and have never claimed ownership of material that users upload."

"The new Terms were clarified to be more consistent with the behavior of the site," Schnitt continued. "That is, if you send a message to another user (or post to their wall, etc...), that content might not be removed by Facebook if you delete your account (but can be deleted by your friend)."

Schnitt’s statement also explained that Facebook's license only allows the organization to use user content "in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof." Furthermore, he shared how if a user’s content is not public, Facebook will abide with these privacy settings. So, if a profile and its uploaded content have settings which only allow contacts on that user’s friends list to see them, Facebook will not show any of the content to any person outside of that particular friends list. The networking site has communicated their disapproval in circumstances when pictures usually protected by Facebook's login wall or privacy settings have become accessible to the public on the Web.

Although Facebook's terms of service says that the organization does not have ownership over user content, they do have "an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (to)...use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works, and distribute" material, if it avoids violating any of the user’s privacy settings.

Later on Monday, Zuckerberg mentioned the issue in a post on the Facebook blog. "Our philosophy that people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant. A lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective of the rights we need to provide this service to you. Over time we will continue to clarify our positions and make the terms simpler."

Zuckerberg went on to assure that Facebook takes these issues and their responsibility to help resolve them very seriously.

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1235072139 Facebo

Wednesday 18 February 2009
Hackers Make Short Work of "Super-Secure" Facial Biometrics
Christo [PCD] , Wednesday 18 February 2009 - 20:17:06 //

At a major hacking conference participants showed yet another supposedly secure technology just isn't very secure

The problem with any hot technology in the security world is that the desire to raise a product above the competition seems to invariably lead to boastful claims. Such claims make the technology a high profile target for hackers, and with the bright minds in the field, it takes little time to take many supposedly "unbeatable" countermeasures down. Thus was the case with RFID, recently shown to be extremely insecure, and now it appears that at least some types of biometrics are headed down the same path.

Nguyen Minh Duc, manager of the application security department at the Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Center at Hanoi University of Technology, is scheduled to demonstrate at Black Hat DC this week how he and his colleagues used multiple methods to hack top biometric facial recognition products and gain easy access to systems.

He and his colleagues hacked Lenovo's Veriface III, ASUS' SmartLogon V1.0.0005, and Toshiba's Face Recognition systems, which come on the companies' webcam equipped laptops. These Windows XP and Windows Vista laptops use the webcams to scan the user's face, and if it matches the stored image, analyzed by an algorithm, it will log the user on. Facial recognition is considered by many in the security world to be less of a hassle then fingerprints and more secure than passwords.

The Vietnamese researchers showed that the tech might not be such a good idea, though, by using multiple means to crack it. The simplest way was to simply use a picture of the person to spoof the webcam into thinking it was the user. Given the ready availability of images on sites like MySpace and Facebook, this seems to be an easy route to access.

The researchers also showed that they could use a brute force attack generating multiple random fake faces to eventually gain access, for lack of a picture to use the easier route. States Profesor Duc in his paper on the hack, "The mechanisms used by those three vendors haven't met the security requirements needed by an authentication system, and they cannot wholly protect their users from being tampered."

He continues, "There is no way to fix this vulnerability. ASUS, Lenovo, and Toshiba have to remove this function from all the models of their laptops ... [they] must give an advisory to users all over the world: Stop using this [biometric] function."

He and his colleagues will be releasing a suite of tools for hacking facial recognition software at the Black Hat DC conference. The key to using spoofed images, he and his team found, was simply tweaking the lighting and angle of the photo until the system accepts it. Describes Professor Duc, "Due to the fact that a hacker doesn't know exactly how the face learnt by the system looks like, he has to create a large number of images...let us call this method of attack 'Fake Face Bruteforce.' It is just easy to do that with a wide range of image editing programs at the moment."

He breaks down the weakness further, stating, "One special point we found out when studying those algorithms is that all of them work with images that have already been digitalized and gone through image processing. Consequently, we think that this is the weakest security spot in face recognition systems, generally, and access control system of the three vendors, particularly."

Many government efforts in the U.S. and elsewhere are looking to use facial recognition software as a means to identify citizens in motor vehicles or at sensitive public locations like airports.

The Asus U2E is among the products that the hackers were easily able to gain logon to by spoofing the facial recognition software. The hackers broke into Lenovo, Toshiba, and ASUSTek systems with ease. (Source: ASUSTek)

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1234979214 Hacker

Click to discuss this news item in the forums

Monday 09 February 2009
Facebook Faker Stands Accused of Blackmailing 31 Males for Sex
Christo [PCD] , Monday 09 February 2009 - 23:16:08 //

Male Facebook user posed as a girl and then lured classmates into sending him nude pictures, then blackmailed them for sex

As Facebook pulls away from MySpace in terms of social networking traffic, both networks face increasing challenges trying to monitor and prevent predatory user activity. Such cases were accentuated by the Megan Meier-MySpace suicide case and MySpace's decision to terminate 90,000 registered sex offenders from its service. Another recent incident saw a man kill his wife over a Facebook status change. And the online world only gets stranger.

An 18-year-old male student who resides near Milwaukee, WI is accused of perhaps the most bizarre and disturbing instances of social network sexual predation to date. The male, who attends New Berlin Eisenhower High School in New Berlin, which is about 15 miles west of Milwaukee, is accused of using Facebook to lure 31 of his male classmates into providing him with sexually explicit materials, and then blackmailing many of them into having sex with him.

Anthony Stancl was charged Wednesday on five counts of child enticement, two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child, two counts of third-degree sexual assault, possession of child pornography, repeated sexual assault of the same child, and making a bomb threat.

According to officials, Mr. Stancl posed as a girl named Kayla or Emily on Facebook. He then lured his classmates, most of whom were underage, into sending nude video and photos to him. He was able to then tempt over 31 of his classmates into sending such pornographic materials.

After they sent the files, over half of the male classmates admitted that Mr. Stancl's alter-ego blackmailed them, threatening to release the embarrassing photos or videos if (her) demands were not met. The user threatened to send the photos to the male classmates' friends and post them all over the internet.

Mr. Stancl's alter-ego demanded that the boys meet with (her) "male friend" and exchange sex acts with him. The friend, of course, was Mr. Stancl. According to testimony, seven of the victims admit to performing sex acts on Mr. Stancl or having sex acts performed on them by Mr. Stancl. According to the boys, Mr. Stancl took pictures on his cell phone while engaging in these acts.

When raiding his house, police discovered 300 nude images of juvenile males on his computer. The youngest victim of sex acts was 15; the pictures included victims as young as 13-years-old.

The incidents, which started in spring 2007, finally ended in November of last year. Mr. Stancl was brought in for questioning about a bomb threat written on bathroom walls, which he stands accused of scrawling. The threat closed New Berlin Eisenhower Middle and High School. After his questioning, the victims began to come forward about their disturbing experience with Mr. Stancl and his alter-ego on Facebook.

Stancl's attorney, Craig Kuhary says his client will plead not guilty, but hopes to reach a plea agreement on the charges. He states merely, "It's too early in the case for me to make a statement, other than the fact at some point we are going to go into events that had taken place earlier that might have had some impact on what he did here."

New Berlin Police Lt. Mike Glider believes there may be even more victims. He is urging anyone Mr. Stancl contacted to come forward.

Mr. Stancl's preliminary hearing has been scheduled for February 26. If convicted of all the charges, he could receive a maximum sentence of 300 years behind bars.

A booking picture of Mr. Stancl is shown here. Mr. Stancl stands accused of luring 31 male classmates into sending him sexual images and video. He is also accused of blackmailing many of these classmates to try to get them to have sex with him. He suceeded in blackmailing 7 male classmates, according to victim testimony.

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1234213752 Facebo

Sunday 01 February 2009
Man Gets 18 Years in Prison for Killing Wife After Facebook Change
Christo [PCD] , Sunday 01 February 2009 - 23:03:34 //

Man stabbed wife to death after she change marital status to single on Facebook

Social networking sites are hubs for people from all over the world, from all races and of both sexes. The sites are used to keep in touch with friends, family and to find new friends. The popular social networking sites have had their problems though.

One of the most popular of the social networking site is Facebook. Facebook has been at the center of more than one controversy, the most recent being the removal of images of mothers breast feeding from the site.

Breastfeeding mothers may or may not be disturbing to most users of the site, but one thing that is universally disturbing for Facebook is when the site is flash point for a serious crime. A man named Edward Richardson from Staffordshire England was enraged by something his estranged wife posted on Facebook.

The man found that his wife had changed her status from married to single on the site and became enraged. After trying to contact his estranged wife via text messages and getting no response, Richardson traveled to the home of his wife's parents, where she had been staying.

He then broke a window out of the front door, entered the home and killed the woman in what is being called a "frenzied and brutal attack". After killing his wife, the man attempted to take his own life but failed to do so.

Richardson was sentenced to 18 years in prison recently for the brutal murder. Detective Inspector Andy Wall said, "She had decided that her marriage to Edward Richardson was over but this was clearly something he could not accept. The consequence was that Sarah lost her life in a brutal attack at her husband's hands in her family home. The verdict cannot bring Sarah back but we hope that it gives her family some form of comfort."
[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1233521978 Man Ge

New Rampant Windows Worm Seizes 8 Million Business PCs in a Week
Christo [PCD] , Sunday 01 February 2009 - 23:02:58 //

New worm is very sophisticated and spreading fast

Last week the international community was hit by one of the worst viral internet attacks to take over the corporate world in recent years. The worm -- which goes by the names Downadup, Conficker, or Kido -- had infected 8 million computers, almost all on corporate networks, by Friday. Describes Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at anti-virus firm F-Secure, "On Tuesday there were 2.5 million, on Wednesday 3.5 million and today [Friday], eight million. It's getting worse, not better."

As of today, an estimated 8.9 million machines are infected with the virus. The very sophisticated worm exploits multiple secure flaws in Microsoft's Windows OS's. It injects itself into services.exe, a common system process. It creates a new DLL file in Windows system folder with a random five letter name. It makes registry edits referencing this DLL as a service, so it’s automatically run on restart.

Once it has its grips on the system, it proceeds to create an HTTP server and download malware onto the computer from hacker web sites. It also wipes out the system restore with a reset, making it harder to recover the system. While many viruses download malware remotely from a handful of web sites, allowing for easy removal of the installed files, this one is much trickier. Every day hundreds of dummy domain names are generated by an algorithm coded in the worm, with only one being the actual malware site. This makes it extremely difficult to find exactly what is being installed each day.

The virus's main method of transmission is via local networks. Once a computer is infected on the network it scans for other computers on the network, and then it uses the aforementioned Windows security flaw to attempt to gain access to them. While the computers are typically password protected, the virus can guess shorter passwords by a brute force method of random guessing. Once it finds the right password, it infects the next computer, which joins the attacking ranks.

Microsoft has a patch which protects against the Ethernet side of the attack -- MS08-067. Companies are strongly recommended to get this patch as the virus is rapidly spreading across Europe, the United States, and Asia.

Describes Graham Culley, senior technology consultant with anti-virus firm Sophos, "Microsoft did a good job of updating people's home computers, but the virus continues to infect business who have ignored the patch update. A shortage of IT staff during the holiday break didn't help and rolling out a patch over a large number of computers isn't easy. What's more, if your users are using weak passwords - 12345, QWERTY, etc - then the virus can crack them in short order.?

However, while the patch may slow the spread of the virus it may not be enough to stop it. The most recent variant of the worm, which is the one that was released two weeks ago and caused the number of infections to skyrocket, can transmit itself via USB, an attack route that currently no Windows patch blocks. While properly patched antivirus software may block the attack, relying on such a software block is a risky proposition.

Kaspersky Lab's security analyst, Eddy Willems describes the virus's nightmarish spread, stating, "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."

Thus far the virus has only been used to inject malware into PCs. But security experts warn that attackers could use their foothold on the system to start stealing users' and customers' credit card numbers and personal information. It could also be used to completely hijack the computer, adding it to a botnet.

Ultimately the only current solution is for companies to patch their machines, quarantine and remove malware from infected machines, and disallow use of USB storage devices.

The new virus can infect USB storage devices, in addition to attack over corporate ethernet networks. While a patch from Microsoft will protect against the ethernet attacks, currently no patch can stop the USB-side attacks. Only antivirus software can block it. (Source: IoCell)

[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1233521752 New Ra

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