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UK National ID Card Cloned In 12 Minutes 454

Death Metal writes with this excerpt from Computer Weekly, which casts some doubt on the security of the UK's proposed personal identification credential: "The prospective national ID card was broken and cloned in 12 minutes, the Daily Mail revealed this morning. The newspaper hired computer expert Adam Laurie to test the security that protects the information embedded in the chip on the card. Using a Nokia mobile phone and a laptop computer, Laurie was able to copy the data on a card that is being issued to foreign nationals in minutes."
Internet Explorer

Is IE Usage Share Collapsing? 575

je ne sais quoi writes "Net Applications normally releases its statistics for browser and operating system usage share on the first of every month. This month, however, the data has not shown up — only a cryptic message stating they are reviewing the data for inexplicable statistical variations and that it will be available soon. Larry Dignan at ZDNet has a blog post that might explain what is happening: Statcounter has released some data that shows a precipitous drop in IE browser use in North America, to the benefit of Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. At the end of May, StatCounter shows IE usage share (for versions 6, 7, and 8 combined) at around 64%; at the beginning of June it is now about 56% — an astounding 8% drop in one month. We should keep in mind the difficulties in estimating browser usage share: this could very well be a change in how browsers report themselves, or some other statistical anomaly. So it will probably be healthy to remain skeptical until trend this is confirmed by other organizations. Have any of you seen drops in IE usage share for Web-sites you administer?"
The Courts

Red Hat Challenges Swiss Government Over Microsoft Monopoly 245

An anonymous reader writes "'Linux vendor Red Hat, and 17 other vendors, have protested a Swiss government contract given to Microsoft without any public bidding. The move exposes a wider Microsoft monopoly that European governments accept, despite their lip service for open source, according to commentators. The Red Hat group has asked a Swiss federal court to overturn a three-year contract issued to Microsoft by the Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and Logistics, to provide Windows desktops and applications, with support and maintenance, for 14M Swiss francs (£8M; $15M) each year. The contract, for 'standardized workstations,' was issued with no public bidding process, Red Hat's legal team reports in a blog — because the Swiss agency asserted there was no sufficient alternative to Microsoft products.'"

Zombie Macs Launch DoS Attack 757

Cludge writes "ZDNet has a story (and several related articles) about how Symantec has discovered evidence of an all-Mac based botnet that is actively involved in a DOS attack. Apparently, security on the exploited Macs (call them iBots?) was compromised when unwary users bit-torrented pirated copies of iWork 09 and Photoshop CS4 that contained malware. From the article: 'They describe this as the "first real attempt to create a Mac botnet" and note that the zombie Macs are already being used for nefarious purposes.'"

TomTom Sues Microsoft For Patent Infringement 166

CWmike writes "GPS device maker TomTom has shot back at Microsoft with a claim of patent infringement, after the software giant raised concerns in the Linux community with a recent lawsuit against TomTom. In a suit filed earlier this week, TomTom alleges that Microsoft infringes on four patents in mapping software Microsoft Streets and Trips. TomTom is asking for triple damages for willful infringement, since it says it had notified Microsoft about its alleged infringement. Microsoft said it was reviewing TomTom's filing and that it remains committed to a licensing solution and has been for more than a year."
The Courts

Microsoft Sued Over Vista-To-XP Downgrade Fees 479

Krojack writes with this excerpt from Computerworld: "Los Angeles resident Emma Alvarado charged Microsoft with multiple violations of Washington state's unfair business practices and consumer protection laws over its policy of barring computer makers from continuing to offer XP on new PCs after Vista's early-2007 launch. Alvarado is seeking compensatory damages and wants the case declared a class-action suit. ... Irked at having to pay a fee for downgrading a new Lenovo notebook to XP, Alvarado said that Microsoft had used its position as the dominant operating system maker to 'require consumers to purchase computers pre-installed with the Vista operating system and to pay additional sums to "downgrade" to the Windows XP operating system.'"

Windows 7 To Be "Thoroughly" Tested For Antitrust Compliance 364

CWmike writes "Technical advisers to the antitrust regulators who monitor Microsoft's compliance with the 2002 antitrust settlement will test Windows 7 'more thoroughly' than earlier versions of the operating system were tested, according to a new status report filed with the federal judge watching over the company. Microsoft is also facing renewed scrutiny from the EU, which two weeks ago filed preliminary charges against the company over bundling IE with Windows, and said more recently that Microsoft 'shields' IE from competition."

Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share 595

ozmanjusri writes "Online market share of the dominant Windows operating system has taken its biggest monthly fall in years to drop below 90%, according to Net Applications Inc. Computerworld reports that Microsoft's flagship product has been steadily losing ground to Mac OS X and Linux, and is at its lowest ebb in the market since 1995. 'Mac OS X... [ended] the month at 8.9%. November was the third month running that Apple's operating system remained above 8%.' The stats show that while some customers are 'upgrading' from XP to Vista, many are jumping ship to Apple, while Linux is also steadily gaining ground. A Net Applications executive suggests the slide may be caused by many of the same factors that caused the fall in Internet Explorer use. 'The more home users who are online, using Macs and Firefox and Safari, the more those shares go up,' he said. November has more weekend days, as well Thanksgiving in the US, a result that emphasizes the importance of corporate sales to Microsoft."

Apple Quietly Recommends Antivirus Software For Macs 484

Barence writes "After years of boasting about the Mac's near invincibility, Apple is now advising its customers to install security software on their computers. Apple — which has continually played on Windows' vulnerability to viruses in its advertising campaigns — issued the advice in a low-key message on its support forums. 'Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.' It goes on to recommend a handful of products." Reader wild_berry points out the BBC's story on the unexpected recommendation.

Doom9 Researchers Break BD+ 345

An anonymous reader writes "BD+, the Blu-ray copy protection system that was supposed to last 10 years, has now been solidly broken by a group of doom9 researchers. Earlier, BD+ had been broken by the commercial company SlySoft." Someone from SlySoft posts a hint early in the thread, but then backs off for fear of getting fired. The break is announced on page 15.

Attack Code Found For Recent Windows Bug 184

CWmike writes "Just a day after downplaying the vulnerability that caused it to issue an out-of-cycle patch last week, Microsoft warned customers late yesterday that exploit code had gone public and was being used in additional attacks. 'We've identified the public availability of exploit code that now shows code execution for the vulnerability addressed by MS08-067,' said Mike Reavey, operations manager of Microsoft's Security Response Center, in a post to the MSRC blog. 'This exploit code has been shown to result in remote code execution on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.'"

British MoD Stunned By Massive Data Loss 166

Master of Transhuman writes "Seems like nobody can keep their data under wraps these days. On the heels of the World Bank piece about massive penetrations of their servers, the British Ministry of Defense has lost a hard drive with the personal details of 100,000 serving personnel in the British armed forces, and perhaps another 600,000 applicants. This comes on the heels of the MoD losing 658 of its laptops over the past four years and 26 flash drives holding confidential information. Apparently the MoD outsources this stuff to EDS, which is under fire for not being able to confirm that the data was or was not encrypted."

Microsoft Programming Contest Hacked and Defaced 151

davidmwilliams writes "Microsoft followed their major annual Tech-Ed event in Australia with a week-long programming contest called 'DevSta,' to find 'star developers.' While the quantity and quality of submissions suggest a poor turnout, it certainly caught the attention of at least two hackers who left their mark. Here is the low-down on the contest, what happened, by whom, and screen shots for posterity in case it's been fixed by the time you read this. And unless the volume of submissions increase dramatically within the next few hours, someone may be awarded an Xbox for doing nothing more than rewriting the Windows calculator as a .NET app."

It is your destiny. - Darth Vader