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Security

Submission + - Detica CEO calls security advocates "immature&

An anonymous reader writes: Detica managing director Martin Sutherland wants to have a privacy debate with you, but reckons you need to grow up a bit first.

As a key IT consultancy firm for MI5 and GCHQ, it's not a surprise to see Detica in favour of mass data collection — analysing it is a core part of their business. But having been reticent about discussing Detica's role in the government's surveillance operation, it's a surprise to see the new MD interviewing with the Register — hardly their biggest cheerleader.

The latter part of the article gives the game away. Detica want a part of the cyber-security pie. With both packet-inspection and fraud analysis offerings, it won't be long before they're selling a mass-communications analysis suite, running on meta-data creamed off Internet backbones.

It's already far too easy to connect user accounts across different sites; add cooperation from network carriers and some good matching algorithms, and organisations like Liberty might as well throw in the towel on Internet privacy. Coming soon to the US and the UK.
Microsoft

Submission + - Linux Vendor Pays Off Microsoft

An anonymous reader writes: A vendor of Linux-based networking products has "settled" patent claims by Microsoft, Infoweek reports. Melco Group, which markets the Buffalo brand NAS devices and routers, will pay an undisclosed fee to Redmond. In return (reading between the lines), Microsoft won't sue Melco or its customers for using Linux code that supposedly contains Microsft IP. The problem, of course, is that Microsoft won't publicly state which parts of Linux allegedly infringe its patents. With vendors like Melco apparently willing to settle, Microsoft is undoubtedly motivated to chase down other so-called "offenders." A while back, Steve Ballmer said the company was even ready to go after Red Hat users.
Security

Submission + - Google's Research on Malware Distribution (blogspot.com)

GSGKT writes: Google's Anti-Malware Team has made available some of their research data on malware distribution mechanism while the research paper is under peer review. The lead author, Niels Provos, wrote, "It has been over a year and a half since we started to identify web pages that infect vulnerable hosts via drive-by downloads, i.e. web pages that attempt to exploit their visitors by installing and running malware automatically. During that time (Jan 07 to Oct. 07) we have investigated billions of URLs and found more than three million unique URLs on over 180,000 web sites automatically installing malware. During the course of our research, we have investigated not only the prevalence of drive-by downloads but also how users are being exposed to malware and how it is being distributed." The technical report [PDF] is available. Salient points in this report are: (1) 4% of chance a URL might direct you to one of the 180 thousand malicious sites, with an average about 1.3% actually getting hit with a malicious result. (2) The distribution sites are concentrated to a few nations: China (67.0%), US (15.0%), Russia (4.0%) and Malaysia and (South) Korea (~2%). (3) The likelihood of a web page harboring malwares has no strong correlation to its contents. Visiting adult web pages is no more dangerous than visiting website about games, finance, online communities, etc. (4) Malware delivery is like by mis-directing ads on web pages during ads synchronization to malware distribution sites.
Businesses

Submission + - Penalizing for Poor Health 2

theodp writes: "Perhaps laying the groundwork for Sicko II, Clarian Health announced that starting in 2009, it will fine employees $10 per paycheck if their body mass index is over 30. Even slim-and-trim employees have to worry about their cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels — they'll be dinged $5 for each standard they don't meet. Smokers get a sneak preview of the policy starting next year, when they'll find $5 less in each check. Clarian credited new government HIPPAA rules that became effective July 1st for giving it the courage to follow its penalize-for-poor-health convictions."

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