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Researchers Find Flaw in Conficker Worm to Help Find Infected Computers

Just days before the Conficker worm is set to contact its controllers for new instructions, security researchers have discovered a flaw in the worm that makes it much easier for users to detect infected PCs. Tillmann Werner and Felix Leder, members of the Honeynet Project, an all-volunteer organization that monitors Internet threats, have discovered that Conficker-infected PCs return unusual errors when sent specially crafted Remote Procedure Call (RPC) messages, according to preliminary information they have posted on the Web. more

UPDATEDIBM Industry-Wide Open Cloud Computing Strategy Seemingly Backfired

A plan by IBM to launch an industry-wide 'open' cloud computing strategy has seemingly backfired amid accusations of closed deals. Google pulled out after signing up and Amazon said it would not get involved. Microsoft criticised the plan, saying it was given two days to sign up to a "secret" manifesto with no input. "We had concerns about process and governance that led us to question IBM's intentions," Microsoft's Steve Martin told BBC News... more

UPDATEDSecurity Researchers Uncover Cyber Espionage Network Invloving 103 Countries

A report released over the weekend by Information Warfare Monitor along with an exclusive story by the New York Times, revealed a 10-month investigation of a suspected cyber espionage network (dubbed GhostNet) of over 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries. 30% of the infected computers are labeled as high-value targets, including ministries of foreign affairs, embassies, international organizations, news media, and NGOs. Greg Walton, editor of Information Warfare Monitor and a member of the Toronto academic research team that is reporting on the spying operation, writes... more

IETF Forms Working Group to Address Scalability Issues Caused by Multihoming

The IETF is forming a new working group to address scalability issues in the Internet's routing system caused by companies splitting their network traffic over multiple carriers, a practice called multihoming. The new working group will build upon a base proposal from a team of Cisco engineers to create a new tunneling mechanism [dubbed LISP for Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol] that will be used by the Internet's edge and core routers. more

Google at IETF Meeting: IPv6 Deployment Was Easy and Inexpensive

Google engineers say it was not expensive and required only a small team of developers to enable all of the company's applications to support IPv6, a long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol. "We can provide all Google services over IPv6," said Google network engineer Lorenzo Colitti during a panel discussion held here Tuesday at a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Colitti said a "small, core team" spent 18 months enabling IPv6... more

Debate Over Net Neutrality and Networks Built With Broadband Stimulus Money Heats Up

Carriers and net neutrality proponents found themselves at odds Monday during a discussion on whether to place strict net neutrality conditions on any broadband network built using economic stimulus money. Held at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., Monday, the panel discussion was intended to give the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for funding companies that pledge to built out broadband networks in underserved areas... more

China Not Only the World's Factory, but Also the World's Malware Factory

With China's economy cooling down, some of the country's IT professionals are turning to cybercrime, according to a Beijing-based security expert. Speaking at the CanSecWest security conference last week, Wei Zhao, CEO of Knownsec, a Beijing security company, said that while many Chinese workers may be feeling hard times, business is still booming in the country's cybercrime industry. "As the stock market dropped like a stone, a lot of IT professionals lost lots of money on the stock market," he said. "So sometimes they sell 0days," he said, referring to previously unknown software bugs. more

IPv6 Backwards Compatibility for IPv4 Most Critical Mistake, Developers Admit

In conjunction with the 74th IETF Meeting, on Tuesday Internet Society held a panel discussion on IPv6 adoption during which Internet engineering community pointed out that the biggest mistake in developing IPv6 is its lack of backwards compatibility with the existing Internet Protocol, IPv4. Reporting today on Network World, Carolyn Duffy Marsan writes: "...leaders of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) admitted that they didn't do a good enough job making sure native IPv6 devices and networks would be able to communicate with their IPv4-only counterparts when they designed the industry standard 13 years ago." ... "IPv6 proponents say the lack of mechanisms for bridging between IPv4 and IPv6 is the single, biggest reason that most ISPs and enterprises haven't deployed IPv6." more

CIRA Launches Strategy to Block Conficker Worm from Canada's .ca Domain

The group that manages Canada's .ca internet domain is working to foil an internet worm set to attack starting April Fool's Day. "We're going to do everything possible to make this extremely inhospitable terrain for any worm, this one in particular," said Byron Holland, CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, a non-profit organization that represents those who hold a .ca domain... more

Popular Mechanics on Vulnerability of US Infrastructure to a Major Cyberattack

The next world war might not start with a bang, but with a blackout. An enemy could send a few lines of code to control computers at key power plants, causing equipment to overheat and melt down, plunging sectors of the U.S. and Canadian grid into darkness. Trains could roll to a stop on their tracks, while airport landing lights wink out and the few traffic lights that remain active blink at random. In the silence and darkness, citizens may panic, or they may just sit tight and wait for it all to reboot. Either way, much of the country would be blind and unresponsive to outside events. And that might be the enemy's objective: Divert America's attention while mounting an offensive against another country... more

Google Hosting a Discussion on the Future of Cloud Computing

Google will be hosting a discussion on the future of cloud computing and technology policy tomorrow, March 20, in Washington, D.C. Participants include Jeffrey Rayport, principal at the Marketspace consulting group and a leading experts on digital strategy and marketing, and Andrew Heyward, former President of CBS News, who will be presenting the findings of their new study. "They will assess the possibilities, risks and returns of cloud computing; the next steps in moving forward; and potential implications for technology policy," says Dorothy Chou, Google's Global Communications and Public Affairs. Those unable to attend are invited to submit questions in advance via Google Moderatormore

UPDATEDIBM is in Talks to Buy Sun; the Logical Consequence of All-Out War for Data Center, Says WSJ

IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems, marking the beginning of what is likely to be a new wave of acquisitions in the tech industry over the next 18 months. It's the logical consequence of the all-out war for the data center -- the large computer rooms that keep businesses and the Internet running -- that the industry is suddenly in the midst of. Businesses will spend about $100 billion on equipment and software for data centers in 2009, according to research company IDC. more

UPDATEDICANN Should be Reformed Before "Privatization", Says New Study

The Technology Policy Institute (TPI), an IT and communications policy think tank, has just released a paper proposing that "ICANN's governance structure should be dramatically reformed to make it more accountable before the current tie with the U.S. Department of Commerce is allowed to expire." The paper titled "ICANN At a Crossroads: a Proposal for Better Governance and Performance" is written by Thomas M. Lenard, President and Senior Fellow at TPI, along with Lawrence J. White, Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business. The 52-page study also asserts that ICANN must have a clear focus on encouraging competition with minimal role as a regulator with respect to the creation of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). more

StopBadware.org and Consumer Reports Launch BadwareBusters.org

StopBadware.org and Consumer Reports WebWatch have announced today the full launch of BadwareBusters.org, a new online community for people looking for help preventing and countering viruses, spyware, and other "badware" on their computers and websites. Maxim Weinstein, manager of StopBadware.org at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, says the site is not only a useful destination, but also a piece of a bigger puzzle. "BadwareBusters.org is part of StopBadware's strategy to bring together the people, the organizations, and the data that allow us to fight back against the spread of badware," Weinstein said. "The collective wisdom of the BadwareBusters community will inform not only individuals, but the entire technology industry." more

UPDATEDLatest Cybersquatting Stats from WIPO

According to latest reports from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), allegations of cybersquatting by trademark holders continued to rise in 2008, with a record 2,329 complaints filed under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This represented an 8% increase over 2007 in the number of generic and country code Top-Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes handled and brings the total number of WIPO cases filed under the UDRP since it was launched ten years ago to over 14,000. To improve efficiency and respond to growing demand, WIPO has proposed an "eUDRP Initiative" to render the UDRP paperless... more

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