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Security

+ - Advertising in your router log

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "If you regularly check your router log you may see port scanning attempts from unknown sources. Here's one where a company appears to be advertising their hacking at your firewall. It's the first time I've seen anything like this and am wondering if it's a new business model borrowed from malware authors that exploit an opportunity, then ask for ransom (payment for a removal tool) to get rid of what they gave you. Below is just a small portion of what they did to my log, boldly telling me what they do for a living. 04/06/2008 00:52:02.272 — Sub Seven attack dropped — 204.238.82.4, 50494, WAN, www.securitymetrics.com — 70.89.120.xx, 27374, WAN — 04/06/2008 00:52:34.944 — Back Orifice attack dropped — 204.238.82.4, 49060, WAN, www.securitymetrics.com — 70.89.120.xx, 31337, WAN — 04/06/2008 00:53:21.848 — Ripper attack dropped — 204.238.82.4, 53108, WAN, www.securitymetrics.com — 70.89.120.xx, 2023, WAN — 04/06/2008 01:40:22.480 — Smurf Amplification attack dropped — 204.238.82.4, 8, WAN, www.securitymetrics.com — 70.89.120.xx, 8, WAN — 04/06/2008 01:41:29.800 — Smurf Amplification attack dropped — 204.238.82.4, 8, WAN, www.securitymetrics.com — 70.89.120.xx, 8, WAN — 04/06/2008 01:41:38.576 — Possible port scan dropped — 204.238.82.4, 50059, WAN, www.securitymetrics.com — 70.89.120.xx, 15, WAN — TCP scanned port list, 20031, 5269, 1718, 902, 1718 I contacted the support/abuse contact listed for that IP address and got this reply: — Can you confirm if you have an account with us? If so what is the email address the account is registered under, or what is the IP / Domain that we are testing? Our scan includes a port scan to see what service's are open, then it checks for various known vulnerabilities. So it is not just a port scan but a complete vulnerability scan. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Scott SecurityMetrics Support 801-705-5700 US support 0207.993.8031 UK support Support@securitymetrics.com While I did ask Scott WTF his company was doing advertising in my log, I doubt my outrage at this ethical lapse on their part will have any effect on their methods. What do you guys think?"
The Internet

+ - Epilepsy patients attacked through forum

Submitted by BotnetZombie
BotnetZombie (1174935) writes "Wired has an article about epilepsy patients being attacked via their forum. The Epilepsy Foundation runs the forum, found here, and it appears that quite many posts included javascript redirecting the readers to pages with flashing lights and disturbing patterns. Going to pages like that means bad news for many epileptics, some of whom are interviewed in the article. Another disturbing part of this story, is that the party being accused of this bad deed is none other than Anonymous, most famous for their battle against the Church of Scientology. Are Anonymous really that bad, or could this be a mean plot by CoS to crucify Anonymous for something they didn't do?"
Supercomputing

+ - Room temperature superconductor NOT created->

Submitted by
mrops
mrops writes "Couple of days ago it was reported, Scientists Create Room Temperature Superconductor. However, it now seems that this was mis-interpreted by EETimes reporters, they have since corrected the story.
A blog posted by Kari, who seemed to have contact Dr John Tse, lead on the said discovery/research better explains what they really achieved."

Link to Original Source
Spam

+ - How to determine which e-mail addresses to keep?

Submitted by
kisrael
kisrael writes "So my hosting provider has asked that I stop using the "catchall" address forwarding.

Years ago, it seemed really cool to be to say "sure, anything @______.com goes to me, pick a username", and I tried doing some light "spam tracking" tagging, but now it's a mess with 10K+ spam messages (including dictionary-ish guessing games) going all to my one gmail account, not to mention all the bounces from "Joe Jobs" where these jerks send spam that seems to be from my domain.

Any advice for figuring out what email addresses are in use? I kind of wish gmail offered some sort of data mining method to show me what my top aliases seem to be for non-spam messages. I hate the idea of losing contact with people and organizations who might be using an obscure alias."
The Courts

+ - Groklaw Explains the Cyberlaw "Trademark"->

Submitted by
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "PJ of Groklaw has written in more detail about the lawyer trying to get a servicemark the term cyberlaw. First, she notes that it's only a trademark application at this point. Furthermore, it's a generic term with 300,000+ hits on Google and an entry in some dictionaries and reference sites. In other words, while it's silly for a law firm that should know better to file a trademark application, it shouldn't and probably won't be granted if the law is followed. Still, it's interesting because it shows the difference between trademarks and servicemarks, as well as explaining the law surrounding them. A law which is significantly different than copyright law."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Share -- It's Fair-> 4

Submitted by
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The European Green party has now added file sharing to their plank with the "I wouldn't steal" campaign. Arguing "Share — It's fair", they're directly combating the "You wouldn't steal a car" advertisements the MPAA has been showing before movies and arguing that file sharing is fundamentally different from theft. Even the Pirate Bay is endorsing this now, and people will have a harder time dismissing it when the Green party gets as much as 10% of the vote in countries like Germany, Austria, and Belgium where third parties actually have political relevance."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Privacy Commissioner Criticizes Canadian DMCA->

Submitted by
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, has criticized the proposed Canadian DMCA in a public letter to Jim Prentice, the Canadian Minister of Industry. Specifically, she's asking them not to protect any DRM from circumvention that gathers and transmits personal data, because that would give abusive DRM makers a legal cudgel to use against anyone who exposes them. The proposed bill, which was recently delayed due to heavy opposition, is thought to contain DMCA-style anti-circumvention provisions that would make it illegal to investigate or remove intrusive DRM, even if that DRM was violating Canadian privacy laws."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - RIAA's condemnation of cds to mp3's not new->

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "For those of you who may have bought Cary Sherman's retraction of SONY BMG's litigation chief's sworn testimony and of the RIAA's brief in Atlantic v. Howell, or who joined C/Net in arguing that the Howell brief didn't mean what it said, I suggest you read this carefully researched article on Wired.com, which demonstrates that the RIAA's attack on the legality of copying CD's to MP3's is nothing new, and that the "retraction" is merely a public relations gimmick meant to deflect fire from the public outrage engendered by the RIAA's position."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Individual Privacy Under Threat in Europe and U.S.-> 1

Submitted by
Mike
Mike writes "Individual privacy is under greater threat than ever before in both the United States and across the European Union, the international rights group Privacy International has said in a report. "The general trend is that privacy is being extinguished in country after country," said Simon Davies, director of Privacy International. "Even those countries where we expected ongoing strong privacy protection, like Germany and Canada, are sinking into the mire." And things are getting worse, not better, the report concludes."
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Yahoo blocks story of Data Mining

Submitted by
druidbros
druidbros writes "I read a great story about Data Mining on Truthdig.com. As I sometimes do I sent the test to a friend. To my surprise it was blocked by Yahoo (he has a sbcglobal.net email account). The message given by Yahoo was....(reason: 554 Message not allowed — UP Email not accepted for policy reasons. Please visit http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/defer/defer-04.html%5B120%5D). Even when I removed the words Data Mining from the subject line it still wouldnt accept the email. What is going on? Here is the article.... http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/20070809_inside_the_data_mine/"
Government

+ - Norway mandates government use of ODF and PDF

Submitted by siDDis
siDDis (961791) writes "Earlier this year Slashdot mentioned that Norway moves towards mandatory use of ODF and PDF. Now it's confirmed that the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009.

There are three formats that have been mandated for all documentation between authorities, users and partners. HTML for all public information on the Web, PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved and ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit. Documents may also be published in other formats, but they must always be available in either ODF or PDF."
Businesses

+ - Dell (Australia) Refuses Vista Refunds 3

Submitted by
Dean Bergin
Dean Bergin writes "It would seem that after contacting Dell for about 5 days straight, I have been thusfar unable to obtain a refund for my UNUSED copy of Windows® Vista(TM) Home Premium (32bit) that came with my XPS M1730. Here are some of the lame "reasons" they gave me:
  • We are unable to refund due to Microsoft Licensing.
  • You accepted the agreement when you purchased the computer online as part of our policy.
  • You will be breaching the Microsoft License if you send the product back.
  • Because this is OEM version, we are unable to provide a refund because it is bundled with your computer.
These "reasons" didn't seem to make any sense, so I did some digging around on the Dell website for these policies and this is what I came up with:

The Dell's "Total Satisfaction" Policy states the following:

"You may return software for refund or credit only if the sealed package containing the diskette(s) or CD(s) is unopened"
I also checked their Terms and Conditions of Sale ("Terms and Conditions") and that states the following:

"All software provided is subject to the terms and conditions of the license agreement relating to that software. Customer acknowledges its obligations to abide by such license agreements. Customer acknowledges that Dell does not warrant any software under these Terms and Conditions. In addition to any rights the customer may have under statute, all software is warranted in accordance with the license agreement that governs its use."
So, if I do NOT to agree to the the Windows® Vista(TM) EULA and adhere to the conditions within it (don't use it and uninstall said software), am I not entitled to a refund???

One thing is for sure: The call centre minions at Dell don't know ANYTHING about software licensing and are not trained to deal with this situation, which means I am now stuck with a rather expensive coaster :P"

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