Daily Report Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Daily Highlights

PJM Interconnection, the power grid operator for the mid−Atlantic states and parts of the
Midwest, said Monday, February 5, that it had reached an all−time record for winter
electricity use amid frigid weather on the East Coast. (See item 2)
Reuters reports U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors found an undocumented
Chinese immigrant wedged into a specially constructed compartment underneath the
dashboard area of a car crossing from Mexico on Saturday, February 3. (See item 20)

Information Technology and Telecommunications Sector

33. February 06, VNUNet — Security experts intercept Zhelatin mutant. Security experts at Kaspersky Lab have identified a new mutant of the Zhelatin e−mail worm. Zhelatin.o was identified by the company on Sunday, February 4, and is rated as a "moderate" risk. The worm spreads via e−mail as an infected attachment. The subject line, message body and attachment are variable. Zhelatin.o is a portable executable file packed with UPX. The worm copies itself to the hard disk and modifies the registry to ensure that it loads automatically on start up. It then harvests e−mail addresses from the hard disk and automatically sends itself via e−mail by directly connecting to the recipient's SMTP server. The malware also terminates a range of antivirus and firewall applications, and hides its own processes, files and registry changes using a kernel−mode rootkit.
Removal guidelines: http://www.viruslist.com/en/viruses/encyclopedia?virusid=150 767
Source: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2174252/security−experts−i ntercept

34. February 05, InformationWeek — Gartner: Deploy Office 2007 file converters now. Enterprises should gear up now for Microsoft Office 2007 even if they've decided not to upgrade, by equipping workers with tools to handle the suite's new document file formats, a Gartner analyst recommended. "Whether you adopt Office 2007 or not, your organization will be affected by the new document format it introduces, because you can't control the format in which users outside your organization will send documents to users within your organization," said Michael Silver in a research note posted to the Gartner Website. Silver also warned companies some workers might themselves install Office 2007 on company−owned systems −− laptops, presumably −− to muddy the format waters. Office 2007 introduced a new file native file format −− Open XML −− which the suite's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications save to by default. Microsoft−made converters should be deployed, advised Silver, so that Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003 applications are able to open and save the Open XML formats used by Office 2007.
Source: http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=QHI4OQJ4YPTFGQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=197003380

35. February 05, InformationWeek — Apple releases Vista compatibility patch for iTunes, but problems remain. Apple has released a patch designed to fix a compatibility problem between its iTunes music player software and Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. Apple's iTunes Repair Tool for Vista 1.0, posted to the computer maker's Website over the weekend, is designed to "repair permissions for important files required by iTunes to play your iTunes Store purchases," according to Apple. The patch, however, does not address what Apple says are more serious compatibility issues between iTunes, its iPod digital music player, and Windows Vista. Apple is warning iTunes and iPod customers to hold off upgrading their PCs to
Microsoft's new operating system until it issues a more comprehensive fix.
Source: http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=QHI4OQJ4YPTFGQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=197003224

36. February 05, Federal Computer Week — Bush asks for three percent increase in IT spending. The Bush Administration’s fiscal 2008 budget proposal asks for a three percent increase to $65 billion in information technology funding as departments set priorities and seek to offer better results from their services, according to the document released Monday, February 5. The number of major IT investments has decreased two percent, from 857 in fiscal 2007 to 840 in fiscal 2008. In fiscal 2006, there were 1,084 major IT investments. The budget chalks up the decrease to better capital planning and investments aligning with enterprise architectures.
Source: http://www.fcw.com/article97562−02−05−07−Web