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Accountability, Not Code Quality, Makes iOS Safer Than Android 210

chicksdaddy writes "Threatpost is reporting on a new study of mobile malware that finds accountability, not superior technology, has kept Apple's iOS ecosystem free of viruses, even as the competing Android platform strains under the weight of repeated malicious code outbreaks. Dan Guido of the firm Trail of Bits and Michael Arpaia of iSEC Partners told attendees at the SOURCE Boston Conference on Thursday about an empirical analysis of existing malicious programs for the Android and iOS platforms which shows that Google is losing the mobile security contest badly — every piece of malicious code the two identified was for the company's Android OS, while Apple's iOS remained free of malware, despite owning 30% of the mobile smartphone market in the U.S. Apple's special sauce? Policies that demand accountability from iOS developers, and stricter controls on what applications can do once they are installed on Apple devices."
Internet Explorer

IE8 Update Forces IE As Default Browser 311

We discussed Microsoft making IE8 a critical update a while back; but then the indication was that the update gave users a chance to choose whether or not to install it. Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser. "Microsoft has a new tactic in the browser wars. They're having the 'critical' IE8 update make IE the default browser without asking. Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you. Opera might have a few more complaints to make to the EU antitrust board after this, but Microsoft will probably be able to drag out the proceedings for years, only to end up paying a small fine. If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser, you might want to help check their settings after this."

Draconian DRM Revealed In Windows 7 1127

TechForensics writes "A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM, some of it unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobbered a nagging registration screen by replacing a DLL with a hacked version. With regard to media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over (if the program originated on that PC). The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). This may be the tip of the iceberg. Being in bed with the RIAA is bad enough, but locking your own files away from you is a tactic so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons. Many users will not want to experiment with a second sound card or computer just to record from online sources, or boot up under a Linux that supports ntfs-3g just to control their files." Read on for more details of this user's findings.

500 Thousand MS Web Servers Hacked 332

andrewd18 writes "According to F-Secure, over 500,000 webservers across the world, including some from the United Nations and UK government, have been victims of a SQL injection. The attack uses an SQL injection to reroute clients to a malicious javascript at, or, which use another set of exploits to install a Trojan on the client's computer. As per usual, Firefox users with NoScript should be safe from the client exploit, but server admins should be alert for the server-side injection. Brian Krebs has a decent writeup on his Washington Post Security Blog, Dynamoo has a list of some of the high-profile sites that have been hacked, and for fun you can watch some of the IIS admins run around in circles at one of the many IIS forums on the 'net."

Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills 287

LingNoi writes "A man in Korea was found dead at his workplace Wednesday morning and his mobile phone battery was melted in his shirt pocket. No one knows for sure yet but a doctor who examined the body said, "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken" We have heard of other dangerous battery products here on Slashdot." Update: 11/30 17:34 GMT by Z : Turns out the melted battery was the least of his worries; he was actually hit by a truck.

WordPress 2.3 Does Not Spy On Users [UPDATED] 229

Marilyn Miller writes "Popular open-source blogging engine WordPress has been upgraded to 2.3 — with some unexpected nasties in the mix. As of version 2.3, WordPress now periodically (every 12 hours) sends personally identifying information (blog name & URI) to the mothership, along with an alarming amount of information including $_SERVER dumps, a list of installed plugins, and your current PHP/MySQL settings. Most unfortunately, it does not provide any way of disabling this functionality, and WordPress does not have any privacy policy protecting this information. In a thread about the issue, lead developer Matt Mullenweg defends his actions and staunchly refuses to add an opt-in interface, telling users to 'fork WordPress' if they aren't willing to put up with this behavior." Update: 09/25 17:52 GMT by KD : This article is misleading enough to be called "just wrong." Matt Mullenweg writes: "As mentioned in our release announcement, the update notification sends your blog URL, plugins, and version info when it checks for new and compatible updates. It does not include $_SERVER dumps, or any settings beyond version numbers (for checking compatibility), or your blog name, or your credit card number. We do provide a way of disabling this feature; in fact I link to one of the plugins in the release announcement and in my original response to Morty's thread."

Surprise, Windows Listed as Most Secure OS 499

david_g17 writes "According to a Symantec study reported by Information Week, Microsoft has the most secure operating system amongst its commercial competitors. The report only covered the last 6 months of vulnerabilities and patch releases, but the results place Microsoft operating systems above Mac OS X and Red Hat. According to the article, 'The report found that Microsoft Windows had the fewest number of patches and the shortest average patch development time of the five operating systems it monitored in the last six months of 2006.' The article continues to mention the metrics used in the study (quantity and severity of vulnerabilities as well as the amount of time one must wait for the patch to be released)."

AJAX May Be Considered Harmful 308

87C751 writes "Security lists are abuzz about a presentation from the 23C3 conference, which details a fundamental design flaw in Javascript. The technique, called Prototype Hijacking, allows an attacker to redefine any feature of Javascript. The paper is called 'Subverting AJAX' (pdf), and outlines a possible Web Worm that lives in the very fabric of Web 2.0 and could kill the Web as we know it."

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.