News Briefs


Cyberattacks on Estonia Further Explored

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that brought down most of Estonia's internet infrastructure a few months ago, has been explored by Joshua Davis in a recent story at the Wired Magazine. "In the coming months, commentators around the world would look back at this moment and debate its significance. But for Aaviksoo, the meaning was clear. This was not the first botnet strike ever, nor was it the largest. But never before had an entire country been targeted on almost every digital front all at once, and never before had a government itself fought back..." more»

Patent Application Reveals Microsoft's Anti-Phish Detection Technology

A Microsoft Patent application has just been published that goes into intricate detail about anti-phishing "predictive model" technology incorporated into Outlook and Outlook Express or providable to third-party providers. The app is entitled "Finding phishing sites." The Patent literature is arguably the most thorough description of how Microsoft email software attempts to find phish email. more»

North Korea Expected to Get Approval for ".KP" from ICANN

It has been reported today that North Korea is gradually moving towards opening its door to embrace the Internet as the tension on the Korean Peninsula eases after the South-North summit. A professor from the Dongguk University quoted in the North Korea Times says: "It is a natural choice for the self-enclosed nation to connect its network to the global Internet if it wants to be a member of global society." more»

Spam Distribution Infrastructure: New Study Finds 94% of Scams Hosted on Individual Web Servers

Computer scientists, Geoff Voelker and Stefan Savage, from UC San Diego have found striking differences between the infrastructure used to distribute spam and the infrastructure used to host the online scams advertised in these unwanted email messages. This discovery is believed to help aid in the fight to reduce spam volume and shut down illegal online businesses and malware sites. While hundreds or thousands of compromised computers may be used to relay spam to users, most scams are hosted by individual Web servers. more»

New Law Will Prevent Domain Registration of Another Living Person

A domain name bill by New York State Senator, Betty Little, will be taking effect in 120 days aimed at preventing any individual from registering a domain name - with the intent to profit - that resembles another living person or business. From the press release: "The law provides for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each day the violation occurs. In addition, the New York State Attorney General is enabled to apply to the Supreme Court for an injunction, including forfeiture or cancellation of the domain name..." more»

MSN Messenger is Censoring .info Domains

Reports have been surfacing on various blogs about Microsoft's MSN messenger users who have recently found URLs containing the .info top-level domain extension blocked entirely. Moreover the censorship is not limited to the URL in question, but any string in your message that contains the string ".info". Although significant number of spam sites have notoriously made use of cheaply available .info domains, users are raising serious concerns regarding Microsoft's privacy and censorship policies... more»

DNS Attack: 10-Year-Old Security Problem Is Back Haunting Corporate IT

At the Black Hat conference, security researcher Dan Kaminsky showed how problems in the way browser software works with the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) could be exploited to give attackers access to any resources behind the corporate firewall. The key problem is the way web browsers determine how to trust other computers, says Kaminsky. This decision is based on the Internet domain name of the computer, and that DNS information can be misused... more»

FCC Makes Decision on 700 MHz Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission voted to shake up the wireless market by approving a set of rules for the upcoming auction that would require the winner to make them accessible to any phone, other device or application. Regulators decided today that the winner of the valuable wireless airwaves the U.S. government plans to sell (by early next year) would have to permit consumers to connect using any device or software. more»

Go Daddy, Afilias Announce Joint Venture, Plan to Revitalize .US Domain

In a press release issued today an announcement has been made about the Alliance Registry, a joint venture between Afilias and Go Daddy, which is stated to combine the best in secure technology and marketing capabilities to revitalize the .US top-level domain name. more»

Massive Internet Impact Possible Due to Relaxed TLD Application Process

Kieren McCarthy's latest column at Guardian Unlimited discusses the massive impact -- and controversies -- that the new top-level domain (TLD) names will bring about. The rules for the creation of TLDs are being relaxed starting next year. From the article: "From 2008, anyone wanting their own piece of the internet is welcome to apply for it. It won't be cheap (there will an application fee of around $100,000) and it won't be simple (you have to prove you are capable of running a complex piece of the net's infrastructure) -- but it could mean a change in the way the online world works." more»

ICANN Wants to Update Its Domain Name Registrar Accreditation Process

ICANN is seeking public input as it intends to revise its domain name registrar accreditation process. Changes include further protection of domain owner privacy. Dr. Paul Twomey, ICANN’s CEO and President says: "The need for this review is clear. The current RAA [Registrar Accreditation Agreement] is more than six years old. We've seen the number of accredited registrars grow to more than 900. And we've seen the incredible difficulties that can be unleashed with the collapse of a Registrar" -- referring to the RegisterFly debaclemore»

New Report Warns Against "DNS Forgery Pharming" on BIND 9

In a recent report released by Trusteer, security researcher Amit Klein has cracked BIND's random number generator and demonstrated a new attack affecting most Internet users. In this "DNS Forgery Pharming" attack fraudsters can remotely force consumers to visit fraudulent websites without compromising any computer or network device. more»

Vint Cerf Explains Google's Biggest Challenge in Telecommunications Space

In his recent visit to Google's Seattle office, Vint Cerf discussed various topics with reporters including Google's recent bid on the wireless airwaves. Below are a couple of questions asked during this session by Seattle Times' reporter, Brier Dudley: What's going to be Google's biggest challenge if it moves into the telecommunications space... more»

CADNA Launches National Campaign Against Typosquatting

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., is confronting 'cybersquatting', or as defined in the report today, the fraudulent abuse of domain name registration that threatens the future viability of Internet commerce. From today's release: "To effectively combat cybersquatting, CADNA will work at the federal and international levels to make these fraudulent practices difficult to establish and unprofitable to maintain. Among the coalition's goals are to pursue congressional legislation that would increase the statutory damages set forth by the existing Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act..." more»

Spam About to Get Worst, Says Former Spammer in New Book

A spammer who goes by the name "Ed" (and sometimes SpammerX ), has gotten out of the business and written a book, "Inside the Spam Cartel: Trade Secrets from the Dark Side". The book, which has had a particular level of interest in the law enforcement circles eager to learn more about the spam business, predicts the spam problem will only get worse. Ed says: "As broadband speeds increase, spammers will increasingly look to market goods by making VoIP calls or sending out videos..." more»

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