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The Courts

US Marshals Ordered To Seize Righthaven Property 120

An anonymous reader writes "Troubled times ahead for Righthaven, as Ars Technica reports that the U.S. Marshals have been instructed 'to use "reasonable force" to seize $63,720.80 in cash and/or assets from the Las Vegas copyright troll after Righthaven failed to pay a court judgment from August 15.'"
The Courts

Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens Found Guilty 565

techmuse writes "According to a series of tubes sites, Senator Ted Stevens has been found guilty of lying about free home renovations that he received from an oil contractor. He faces up to 5 years in jail, and the outcome of his current reelection bid is now in doubt. 'The conviction came after a tumultuous week in the jury room. First there were complaints about an unruly juror, then another had to be replaced when she left Washington following the death of her father. Finally, jurors on Monday discovered a discrepancy in the indictment that had been overlooked by prosecutors. Jury deliberations in this historic trial have at times been as contentious as some of the proceedings The Justice Department indicted Stevens on July 29, and the Alaska Republican took a huge legal gamble and asked for a speedy trial in order to resolve the charges before Election Day. Judge Emmet Sullivan complied with Stevens' request, and in less than three months from the time of his indictment, Stevens was found guilty.'"

Windows XP SP3 Creating Havoc 742

ozmanjusri writes "According to Information Week, within hours of its wide availability Windows XP SP3 had drawn hundreds of complaints from users who claim the update is wreaking havoc on their computers. One user said in a Microsoft newsgroup: 'I downloaded and installed [the SP3] package for IT Professionals and Developers on one of my computers. Now I can't get the computer to boot. I don't think Microsoft should have made this a critical update.' Other sites including IT Wire are also reporting problems, which include include random reboots or the inability to boot at all." Note that XP3 won't install on systems running beta IE8; and after a successful SP3 install users will no longer be able to downgrade from IE7 to IE6.

Half a Million Microsoft-Powered Sites Hit With SQL Injection 222

Titus Germanicus writes to tell us that a recent attack has compromised somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 pages with a SQL injection attack. The vulnerability seems to be limited to Microsoft's IIS webserver and is easily defeated by the end user with Firefox and "NoScript." "The automated attack takes advantage to the fact that Microsoft's IIS servers allow generic commands that don't require specific table-level arguments. However, the vulnerability is the result of poor data handling by the sites' creators, rather than a specific Microsoft flaw. In other words, there's no patch that's going to fix the issue, the problem is with the developers who failed follow well-established security practices for handling database input. The attack itself injects some malicious JavaScript code into every text field in your database, the Javascript then loads an external script that can compromise a user's PC." Ignoring corporate spin-doctoring, there seems to be plenty of blame to go around.

Microsoft Loses Appeal of "Vista-Capable" Lawsuit 236

bfwebster writes "Microsoft has lost its appeal to remove class-action status for the 'Vista Capable' lawsuit that has already resulted in some embarrassing internal e-mails being released publicly. As Computerworld reports, in its appeal to the US Ninth Circuit Court, Microsoft argued (among other things) that 'continuing the lawsuit might mean new disclosures of insider e-mails, which could "jeopardize Microsoft's goodwill" and "disrupt Microsoft's relationships with its business partners."' Given what's been released so far (158-page PDF), not to mention Microsoft's history of rather frank internal e-mails, that's probably putting it mildly. There could be some interesting reading ahead."

Vista SP1 Is Even Less Compatible 278

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Microsoft is now saying that Vista SP1 disables some 3rd party applications. The KB article on SP1 incompatibility states: 'For reliability reasons, Microsoft blocks these programs from starting after you install Windows Vista SP1.' It does link to several vendor support pages with updates or workarounds. Unfortunately, at least one of the suggestions consists of merely disabling part of the program, which could leave you with half an anti-virus solution."

Microsoft Pulls Vista SP1 Update 268

1shooter writes " reports that Microsoft is withdrawing SP1 for Vista. Nick White, Microsoft product manager blogged 'We've heard a few reports about problems customers may be experiencing as a result of KB937287,' wrote White. 'Immediately after receiving reports of this error, we made the decision to temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update to avoid further customer impact while we investigate possible causes.'"

RIAA Website Hacked 247

gattaca writes "A lack of security controls allowed hackers to "wipe" the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) website on Sunday. The existence of an SQL injection attack on the RIAA's site came to light via social network news site Reddit. Soon after hackers were making merry, turning the site into a blank slate, among other things. The RIAA has restored, although whether it's any more secure than before remains open to question, TorrentFreak reports."

Boot Record Rootkit Threatens Vista, XP, NT 261

Paul sends us word on a new exploit seen in the wild that attacks Windows systems completely outside of the control of the OS. "Unfortunately, all the Windows NT family (including Vista) still have the same security flaw — MBR [Master Boot Record] can be modified from usermode. Nevertheless, MS blocked write-access to disk sectors from userland code on VISTA after the pagefile attack, however, the first sectors of disk are still unprotected... At the end of 2007 stealth MBR rootkit was discovered by MR Team members (thanks to Tammy & MJ) and it looks like this way of affecting NT systems could be more common in near future if MBR stays unprotected."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Computer Glitch Halts Seattle New Year's Fireworks 202

supersat writes "At the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve, Seattle's fireworks show ground to a halt. The source of the problem is reported to be a corrupted file that wasn't checked until the last minute. After two reboots, the fireworks had to be detonated manually. And yes ... one blog commenter, claiming to have worked on prior shows, said that the shows run on Windows."
Data Storage

Windows Home Server Corrupts Files 459

crustymonkey points out a ComputerWorld article which says that "Microsoft Corp. has warned Windows Home Server users not to edit files stored on their backup systems with several of its programs, including Vista Photo Gallery and Office's OneNote and Outlook, as well as files generated by popular finance software such as Quicken and QuickBooks." Crustymonkey asks Don't back up your files to Windows Home Server, as recommended by Microsoft themselves? I'm not exactly sure what the point is in having a home server if you can't back up files on it."

Anti-Virus Effectiveness Down from Last Year 201

juct sends us Heise Security's summary of an article detailing the abilities of 17 current anti-virus solutions. German computer magazine c't has found that, compared to last year, the virus scanners are having a more difficult time recognizing malware. Quoting Heise: "For real protection, however, in view of the flood of new malware, the way these programs cope with new and completely unfamiliar attacks is more important. And that's where almost all of the products performed significantly worse than just a year ago. The typical recognition rates of their heuristics fell from approximately 40-50 per cent in the last test - at the beginning of 2007 - to a pitiful 20-30 per cent."
PC Games (Games)

EVE-Online Patch Makes XP Unbootable 572

Nobo writes "CCP's latest major patch to the EVE-Online client, Trinity, comes with an optional DX9-enhanced graphics patch that dramatically improves the visual quality of the in-game graphics through remade models, textures, and HDR. It also has an unfortunate bug: the incredibly stupid choice of boot.ini as a game configuration file, coupled with an errant extra backslash in the installer configuration. The result is that anyone who installs the enhanced graphics patch overwrites the windows XP c:\boot.ini file with the EVE client configuration file, bricking the machine on the next boot. Discussion in a couple of forums threads is becoming understandably heated."

Vista Makes CNET UK's List of "Worst Consumer Tech" 484

Several anonymous readers pointed us at CNET UK's Crave blog for a list of what is or was, in their opinion, the worst consumer tech in history. Vista comes in at number 10, in company with Apple's puck mouse (number 6) and Sony's CD rootkit (number 9). According to Crave: "[Vista's] incompatibility with hardware, its obsessive requirement of human interaction to clear security dialogue box warnings and its abusive use of hated DRM, not to mention its general pointlessness as an upgrade, are just some examples of why this expensive operating system earns the final place in our terrible tech list." That's gotta hurt a little, coinciding as it does with Apple's Don't Give Up On Vista attack ad.

Researchers Sour on Vista Service Pack 1 Performance 339

Stony Stevenson passed us a link indicating that a group of researchers has described Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista Service Pack 1 as basically a performance dud. Researchers from the Devil Mountain Software group is claiming that a series of in-house benchmark tests showed that users hoping to receive a speed boost from the update will be disappointed. "Devil Mountain ran its DMS Clarity Studio framework on a laptop Barth described as a "barn burner" -- dual-core processor, dedicated graphics, and either 1GB or 2GB of memory -- to compare performance of the SP1 release candidate that Microsoft released last week with the RTM version that hit general distribution last January. The Vista RTM was not updated with any of the bug fixes, patches or performance packs that Microsoft has pushed through Windows Update since the operating system's debut. 'One gigabyte, 2GB [of memory], it didn't make a difference,' said [CTO Craig] Barth. 'SP1 was never more than 1% or 2% faster.'"

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.