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The Internet

Submission + - IE is losing to Firefox in Europe? (nytimes.com)

fruviad writes: For the first time in a decade, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is no longer the leading Web browser in Europe, ceding the top position to Mozilla’s Firefox, an Irish research company that tracks Web surfing said Tuesday.

Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 178

Meanwhile, back here in parts of ex-Yugoslavia, Christmas gained in popularity in the 90's (if you celebrate New Year, you're a commie :)), but it seems to dwindle again a bit.
While Church was in opposition during communism, here in Croatia has quite made up in the last 20 years. In my town of Split they opened around 20 churches during this period funded by the state, yet no new elementary schools have been opened. On the other side, people are starting to be fed up by them for literally glorifying any corrupt politician that needs their support and has a christian prefix. And when I say corrupt politician, I mean, our "ex-prime minister in prison in Austria for laundring money" corrupt.


Submission + - Oil spill IT disasters: Chevron modeling crashes (computerworlduk.com)

DMandPenfold writes: Chevron has been given the go-ahead to drill off the UK coast in the North Sea, in spite of the oil giant’s admission that its spill prediction software constantly crashes and is not a reliable predictor of how far oil could travel if an accident took place.

The news comes as an inquiry into BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill was derailed by one of the company's IT constractors. National Oilwell Varco, a firm that offers modeling software, rejected US government demands to provide access to its proprietary HiTech application. It said that handing over the code would...

Comment Re:Profiling (Score 1) 1135

Crotian plane hijackers were not Muslims. There were two, one in 73 and one in 76. Don't know about the first one, but the second one was a Croatian separatist (from Yugoslavia) got released in 2008. and was welcomed in (now independent) Croatia as hero by many, mostly by (mid-to-far) right wing crowd, who are often seen carrying Ustashe (WW2 Nazi collaborationist movement) insignia. Irony was that since some modern history rewrites, they didn't know that these hijackers were actually the revolutionary forces with more of democratic left stance who fought the what they perceived the nationalist Serbian dominance in Yugoslavia.
They were indeed a fraction in the Croatian independence movement, as many other were strict pro-ustashe. But, both were equally hunted down by Yugoslavian secret service (UDBA), moderates and extremist the same, and is today one of the (arguably overblown) reason Croats do not remember time in Yugoslavia fondly.

Comment Re:Intravenous (Score 1) 500

That might not be true. For those people, its not about the % of alcohol fumes in breath (breathalyzer) but the result of alcohol beverage in digestion effects to mum's nose. Medicinal alcohol has almost no smell (and certainly 1 liter of wine smells 100 times worse than 0.1 liter of 70% alcohol after being digested/injected)

"His main reasons for injecting were the rapid effect and avoiding the smell of alcohol on his breath because his hostel prohibited alcohol use."

Comment Meanwhile, on the front (Score 1) 324

For years now, large part of my job is cleaning infected Windows machines in small companies my company has maintedance contracts with, and other customers.
So, now to be legal and safe Windows user in small business, now you have only Windows to buy and use Security Essentials since AFAIK thats only legal free antivirus for business users. Bigger companies will need some centralized console but that's beside this point.
For most of these people/companies, antivirus tax is something they can't afford now. They could be using that money to buy legal Windows and or increase wages (yeah, fat chance).
This environment has few Windows 2000 left to now lot of Win 7 - some pirated some legal - some patched some not, some with 128 mb ram some with 8 gb, some with antivirus some without. For desktop/laptop, this is 98% Windows environment. Remaining 2% - I personally use Linux exclusively, couple of servers too, and couple of bigshots use MacOS X. Most of the machines we maintain share the same LAN.
For those Windows machines, least infections by a wide margin, are on machines with legal OS and automatic updates ON, and any antivirus with definitions. These people mostly use free home versions AVG or Avast, even on machines used for business, but it still works for them (we keep telling them that that's illegal). Some use legal Trendmicro, Sophos or NOD.
But for machines with low memory, any antivirus is a performance killer. In our experience hotfixes don't impact performance negatively.
Other machines, jungle of all forms of malware. But no hotfixes or service packs is usually much worse than no antivirus, since most undetected malware that manages to execute itself due to ie network security flaw kills antivirus instantly. For those we usually use Autopatcher to bring them up to date, average once per year. When Conflicker arrived, we urgently patched almost all machines to latest service packs and Autopatcher collections, and the result was that there was when it came, it infected only few machines that were skipped for any reason. However, it's getting better since number of legal Windows installations has gone from 5% to around 50% and those machines got much easier to manage.
IMHO, far far overdue. Windows costs good money here. If it were about the customers, Microsoft should just make very hard to disable automatic patches and antivirus. OR JUST HAVE A MAJOR REDESIGN WITH SECURITY IN MIND. Windows were designed VERY badly in this respect, and MS will not refund money for a bad/catastrophic product experience.
And yeah, antivirus industry should die. They are making money for fixing the Microsoft's problem that should never have been there in the first place.

Comment False flag (Score 1) 307

While it could be possible organizations such as Mossad could be behind this, from what I've read about modern espionage, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag sounds equally plausible. Could be even a rival to Siemens. Or good old Ruskys or Chinese or Saudis for some reason. Someone else who would profit from Iran-Israel war? Eskimos? Obama's evil twin? Bush's good twin?
No way to know really - secret services & black ops people tend to be secretive an stirring that pot is certainly dangerous game.
This could have been VERY DANGEROUS if those boards went into productions and caused an industrial accident or worse yet, an nuclear one.


Submission + - Biblical Myrtus or Technical MyRTUs? (belowgotham.com)

An anonymous reader writes: John Markoff in the New York Times has written an article which intimates that the Stuxnet worm may be the work of Israel's Unit 8200. According to Markoff, 'Several of the teams of computer security researchers who have been dissecting the software found a text string that suggests that the attackers named their project Myrtus... an allusion to the Hebrew word for Esther. The Book of Esther tells the story of a Persian plot against the Jews, who attacked their enemies pre-emptively.'

Really? Personally I'd be surprised if a crack team of Israeli software engineers were so sloppy that they relied on outdated rootkit technology (e.g. hooking the Nt*() calls used by Kernel32.LoadLibrary() and using UPX to pack code). Most of the Israeli developers I've met are pretty sharp. Just ask Erez Metula.

As pointed out by other researchers, it may be that the myrtus string from the recovered Stuxnet file path 'b:\myrtus\src\objfre_w2k_x86\i386\guava.pdb' stands for My-RTUs, as in Remote Terminal Unit. See the following white paper from Motorola, it examines RTUs and PICs in SCADA systems. Who knows? Maybe the guava-myrtus connection also holds water.

As you can see, the media's propaganda machine is alive and well.


Stuxnet Analysis Backs Iran-Israel Connection 307

Trailrunner7 writes "Liam O'Murchu of Symantec, speaking at the Virus Bulletin Conference, provided the first detailed public analysis of the worm's inner workings to an audience of some of the world's top computer virus experts. O'Murchu described a sophisticated and highly targeted virus and demonstrated a proof of concept exploit that showed how the virus could cause machines using infected PLCs to run out of control. Though most of the conversation about Stuxnet is still based on conjecture, O'Murchu said that Symantec's analysis of Stuxnet's code for manipulating PLCs on industrial control systems by Siemens backs up both the speculation that Iran was the intended target and that Israel was the possible source of the virus. O'Murchu noted that researchers had uncovered the reference to an obscure date in the worm's code, May 9, 1979, which, he noted, was the date on which a prominent Iranian Jew, Habib Elghanian, was executed by the new Islamic government shortly after the revolution. Anti-virus experts said O'Murchu's hypothesis about the origins of Stuxnet were plausible, though some continue to wonder how the authors of such a sophisticated piece of malware allowed it to break into the wild and attract attention." Symantec has also issued a lengthy and detailed dossier on Stuxnet (PDF).

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