Daily Report Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Daily Highlights

USA TODAY reports annual incidents of trafficking and mishandling of nuclear and other radioactive material have more than doubled since the early 1990s, according to Vayl Oxford, director of domestic nuclear detection at the Department of Homeland Security. (See item 3)
The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa lawmakers are considering emergency plans for reassembling the Legislature should a terrorist attack or natural disaster make it impossible to meet at the state Capitol. (See item 28)

Information Technology and Telecommunications Sector

34. December 26, eWeek — Prediction: Spammers must find new attack techniques in 2007. One of the most unlikely predictions for 2007 comes from SecureWorks malware researcher Joe Stewart: spammers will have to evolve and find new attack techniques if they intend to maintain their level of profitability. Roughly translated, Stewart believes the massive surge in spam e.mail will taper off in 2007, unless spammers find new tricks to bypass a hardened Windows Vista and improvements to existing anti.spam technology and techniques. In an entry on the SecureWorks blog, Stewart argued that Vista will force spammers to deliver payloads through social engineering attacks and even that might become more difficult in the future, with Microsoft venturing into the anti.virus and trusted computing arenas. "Another factor which will have a huge impact is the release of the SpamHaus PBL blocklist, scheduled for release in December 2006," Stewart added. Stewart explained that spammers depend on these dial.up and DHCP.based broadband connections and, with the extensive reach of SpamHaus' blocklists, widespread adoption of the PBL, or Policy Block List, "will be very detrimental to spammers, as entire IP blocks where their zombie spam bots live will be unable to send mail to a large part of the Internet."
SecureWorks blog: http://www.secureworks.com/researchcenter/weblog.html
Source: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2069209,00.asp

35. December 26, eWeek — Security analysts predict more mergers and acquisitions in 2007. Security software market analysts have been calling for significant consolidation in the space since at least 2005, but some industry watchers are predicting that 2007 may be the year when the trend is finally realized. While a handful of high.profile deals were pulled off in the security sector during 2006, experts contend that more deals will get done over the next 12 months as an array of factors combine to increase pressure on applications makers. Along with the arrival of a range of security technologies from Microsoft, both in stand.alone form and as features included in its newly released Vista operating system, the push by larger security software providers to diversify their product lines and generate opportunities in emerging sectors of the market will spur more deals in 2007 than have been seen in previous years, analysts said. "We're seeing that large companies are trying to expand their portfolios and become end.to.end providers of enterprise.class security technologies," said Jon Oltsik, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "In order to do that, they must cherry pick among the other providers and look for specialists from the venture.backed startup world," he said.
Source: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2070631,00.asp

36. December 26, eWeek — VoIP will take on new roles in 2007. In the networking space in 2007, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will be less about reducing communications cost on a converged IP network and more about improving productivity and creating new business applications that incorporate voice to generate new streams or enhance customer service. The steady vendor drumbeat in 2006 around unified communications helped lay the groundwork for new Web 2.0.style applications that use voice as one of several components. "The year 2007 will be the year of VoIP apps," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with The Yankee Group. "Every major vendor in [the space] now has some sort of [development] community around them, like Avaya's DevConnect. Cisco has one, 3Com is starting one and Microsoft pushes that further along as well." Microsoft's joint partnership this year with Nortel Networks, which will allow the software giant to develop IP PBX functions that can run on any Windows server, will in 2007 hasten the demise of the hardware.based IP PBX, said Dave Passmore, an analyst at the Burton Group. At the same time, Kerravala said service providers will begin offering voice as a hosted service, creating a "business version of Vonage."
Source: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2066839,00.asp