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Security

Submission + - The Economics of Targeted Attacks (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers and security vendors have been telling us for years now that attackers have developed sophisticated, targeted attacks designed to separate victims from their money as quickly and cleanly as possible. If that's so, why aren't all of us being compromised on a regular basis? A researcher from Microsoft Research posited at the WEIS 2010 workshop Tuesday that the answer is simple economics.

The amount of time and money it takes to send out 10 million phishing emails versus five million emails is negligible once the attacker has his infrastructure in place. As a result, these attacks are still quite prevalent, despite their diminishing economic return. But even with relatively low returns per attack, these kinds of scalable attacks yield a high profit for professionals, said Cormac Herley of Microsoft Research."Non-scalable attacks have to be selective attacks. Every attack costs you something," Herley said. "If the non-scalable attacks can't match the return of the scalable attacks, she should change tactics. At equal costs, she needs a way better yield. But competing on yield makes no sense because when she extracts the same value per victim, there's too much effort."

Linux

Submission + - Linux dev up says Eclipse Foundation survey

An anonymous reader writes: The Eclipse Foundation released its 2010 Eclipse Community Survey results, which reveal an interesting snapshot of one slice of the development community. Despite the bias (most of the respondents are Eclipse users), the results show the rise of Linux as a favored platform for development. This year, 32.7 percent of respondents cited Linux as their development platform, up 5.8 percent from 2009, and 12.7 percent from the 2007 survey. However, blogger Brian Proffitt points out a troubling finding — that open source participation seems to be stalled. According to the report, in terms of corporate policies towards open source participation, 48% of the respondents in 2009 claimed they could contribute back to OSS versus only 35.4% in 2010.
Security

Submission + - Bouncing Autonomous Intelligent Botnets (daniweb.com)

coomaria writes: Thought that 2009 was the year that botnets died, well think again, it was actually the year they bounced back. Compromised computers were responsible for distributing 83.4% of the 107 billion spam messages sent around the world, every single day this year — and it's going to get worse if intelligent and autonomous botnets arrive in 2010 as predicted here.
The Military

Submission + - $26 of software defeats American military. (wsj.com) 2

reporter writes: According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal", SkyGrabber — a computer program that can be easily purchased for $25.95 off the Internet — can read and store the data transmitted on an unsecure channel by an unmanned drone. Drones are crucial to American military operations, for these aerial vehicles enable Washington to conduct war with a reduced number of soldiers.

The Iranians have taught Islamic thugs in Iraq how to read the intercepted data. " ... the intercepts could give America's enemies battlefield advantages by removing the element of surprise from certain missions and making it easier for insurgents to determine which roads and buildings are under U.S. surveillance. ... Some of the most detailed evidence of intercepted feeds has been discovered in Iraq, but adversaries have also intercepted drone video feeds in Afghanistan, according to people briefed on the matter. These intercept techniques could be employed in other locations where the U.S. is using pilotless planes, such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, they said."

Software

Submission + - Company uses DMCA to take down second-hand softwar (computerworlduk.com)

dreemteem writes: "A judge Tuesday heard arguments in a dispute over software sales that could potentially have repercussions on the secondhand sale of virtually any copyright material.
The suit was filed by Timothy Vernor, a seller on eBay, after Autodesk, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, asked eBay to remove some of its software products that Vernor had listed for sale there, and later to ban him from the site.
Vernor had not illegally copied the software but was selling legitimate CDs of the products secondhand. For that reason, he argued, he was not infringing Autodesk's copyright.
Autodesk countered that because it licences the software, rather than selling it outright, a licensee does not have the right to resell its products."

Microsoft

Submission + - The Real-World State of Windows Use (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "Performance and metrics researcher Devil Mountain Software has released an array of real-world Windows use data as compiled by its exo.performance.network, a community-based monitoring tool that receives real-time data from about 10,000 PCs throughout the world. Tracking users specific configurations, as well as the applications they actually use, the tool provides insights into real-world Windows use, including browser share, multicore adoption, service pack adoption, and which anti-virus, productivity, and media software users are most prevalent among Windows users. Of note is the fact that, two years after Vista's release, not even 30 percent of PCs actually run it, that OpenOffice.org is making inroads into the Microsoft Office user base, and that, despite the rise of Firefox, Internet Explorer remains the standard option for inside-the-firewall apps."
Announcements

Submission + - Wikipedia Launches A New Mobile Interface (wikipedia.org)

hampton2600 writes: "The Wikimedia Foundation is proud to present our new Mobile site optimized for modern high-end phones. The interface is focused on being clean and easy to read on your mobile device. We currently officially support reading on the iPhone and Android phones. The new gateway is written entirely in Ruby (using the Merb framework) and the Git repository can be found here: http://github.com/hcatlin/wikimedia-mobile/tree/master . We are looking for open source help with supporting other phone types and translations into new languages. Currently 8 languages are supported, but we'd like to support all languages Wikipedia supports. This is an active project and we are looking for new features and etc from the community."

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