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Old 11-15-2010   #231
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Malicious Websites Can Initiate Skype Calls On iOS

"In this article, security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani
shows how iOS insecurely launches third-party apps via registered URL handlers.
Malicious websites can abuse this to launch arbitrary applications, such as
getting the Skype.app to make arbitrary phone calls without asking the user.
Dhanjani 'contacted Apple's security team to discuss this behavior, and their
stance is that the onus is on the third-party applications (such as Skype in
this case) to ask the user for authorization before performing the transaction.'
He also discusses what developers of iOS apps can do to design their software
securely and what Apple can do to help out."


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Old 11-15-2010   #232
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Targeted Attacks Focus On Economic Cyberterrorism

"When it comes to dangerous Web threats, the only constant is
change and gone are the days of predictable attack vectors. Instead, modern
blended threats such as Aurora, Stuxnet, and Zeus infiltrate organizations
through a variety of coordinated tactics, usually a combination of two or more.
Phishing, compromised websites, and social networking are carefully coordinated
to steal confidential data, because in the world of cybercrime, content equals
cash. And, as a new Websense report illustrates, the latest tactics have now
moved to a political and nationalistic stage. Cybercriminals and their blended
attacks are having a field day taking advantage of security gaps left open by
legacy technologies like firewalls, anti-virus, and simple URL blockers."
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Old 11-15-2010   #233
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Research Inches Toward Processor-Specific Malware

"The Windows/Office/IE monoculture is disappearing faster
than equatorial glaciers — Mac OS X and iOS, Linux and Android ... and whole new
application ecosystems to go with each. That's bad news for malware authors and
other bad guys, who count on 9.5 out of 10 systems running Windows and Microsoft
applications to do their magic. What's the solution? Why, hardware specific
hacks, of course! After all, the list of companies making CPUs is far smaller
than, say, the list of companies making iPhone applications. Malware targeting
one or more of those processors would work regardless of what OS or applications
were installed. There's just one problem: its not easy to figure out what kind
of CPU a device is running. But researchers at France's Ecole Superiore
d'Informatique, Electronique, Automatique (ESIEA) are working on that problem.
Threatpost.com reports on a research paper that lays out a strategy for
fingerprinting processors by observing subtle differences in the way they
perform complex floating point calculations. The method allows them to
distinguish broad subsets of processor types by manufacturer, and researchers
plan to refine their methods and release a tool that can make specific processor
fingerprinting a snap."
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Old 11-15-2010   #234
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Google Says No More Cash For Trash Web Bugs

"It's bound to happen: you create a cool, forward looking
incentive program designed to tap the 'wisdom of the crowd' and help make your
products better, only to find out that, in fact, the 'crowd' isn't all that wise
— and now wants you to pay cold, hard cash for their tepid ideas. That's the
experience that Google appears to have had since announcing that it would extend
its bounty program for bugs from its Chromium platform to the various Web
applications that the company owns. In an updated blog post this week, the
company said it has already committed to some $20,000 in bounties, but also
provided some 'clarification' to the terms of the reward program, saying that —
in essence — not all bugs are equal and that researchers dumping low priority
vulnerabilities shouldn't expect to get much in return. 'The review committee
has been somewhat generous this first week,' wrote Google's Security Team in a
blog post. 'We've granted a number of awards for bugs of low severity, or that
wouldn't normally fall under the conditions we originally described.'"
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Old 11-15-2010   #235
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Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge

"We all know that
battery packs are the weakest link in electric vehicles. Not only are they heavy
and expensive, but they take a long time to recharge and on average can only
provide around 100 miles per charge. A German-based company has changed all that
with a new vehicle capable of driving up to 375 miles at moderate highway
speeds. ... It doesn't end there. The company responsible for the battery pack,
DBM Energy, claims a battery pack efficiency of 97 percent and a recharge time
of around 6 minutes when charged from a direct current source. Unlike the small
Daihatsu which was heavily modified by a team in Japan earlier this year that
achieved a massive 623 miles on a charge at around 27 mph, the Audi A2 modified
by DBM Energy was able to achieve its 375 miles range at an average speed of 55
mph."
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Old 11-15-2010   #236
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Intel, Toshiba, Samsung To Form Chip Alliance

According to a report from a Japanese news agency,
semi-conductor leaders Intel, Samsung and Toshiba are forming a development
alliance to halve the size of chip circuitry in order to create more dense NAND
flash chips and more powerful processors. The vendors would not confirm the news
report, but the Nikkei Daily said they hope to reduce lithography technology
from the 20 nanometer size used today to something below 10nm. The news agency
also said Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry may fund up to half
the project's cost, or roughly $61 million."
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Old 11-15-2010   #237
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Apple Counter-Sues Motorola Over Touchscreen Patents

Earlier this month, we discussed news that Motorola had sued Apple, alleging
infringement of 18 patents involving the iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.
In response, Apple has now launched a pair of lawsuits alleging that Motorola is
the infringing party, pointing to a number of patents involving touchscreen
displays and multi-touch technology, and also methods for interacting with
settings and data on a device. Apple wants the court to award them damages and
prevent Motorola from continuing to sell the offending devices, which include
the Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, BackFlip, Devour i1, Devour A555, Cliq, and Cliq XT.
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Old 11-15-2010   #238
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Gigabit Wireless Will Link Smartphones To TVs

"More progress for WiGig, the proposal for 3Gbps wireless links
on 60GHz radio waves. The WiGig group has signed a deal with VESA, the display
standards group, to include WiGig as a fast wireless option in VESA's
DisplayPort standard. As well as letting you use a TV as a display for your
phone, without having to connect a cable, it will also make synching and file
transfer quicker."
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Old 11-15-2010   #239
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Soviet Image Editing Tool From 1987

"Three years before Photoshop 1.0 was released, computer
engineers in the USSR were already retouching photographs using some
surprisingly advanced technology. A video shows how the Soviets went about
restoring damaged images with the help of rotary scanners, magnetic tape, and
trackballs. No word on whether this technology was used to fake moon landings or
put missiles in Cuba." Photo manipulation in the USSR (and elsewhere) had a
pretty good jump on computers, though.
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Old 11-15-2010   #240
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Toshiba Begins Selling MacBook Air SSD

"Toshiba has made the solid state drive used in the new MacBook
Air generally available for use by equipment manufacturers. At just 2.2mm thick,
the company said the drive represents a new form factor that is about one-third
the thickness of a thin hard disk drive and that is 42% smaller than even a
mini-SATA SSD module. The new Blade X-gale SSD series has a maximum throughput
of 220MB/sec. and can store up to 256GB of data."
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