Monday, August 6, 2007

Daily Highlights

The FBI and Homeland Security agents are investigating several incidents of laser beams being shined into cockpits of landing planes at the Daytona Beach Airport in Central Florida. (See item 14)
Department of Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters on has called on all states to immediately inspect any steel deck truss bridges similar to the I−35 bridge that collapsed Wednesday night in Minneapolis. (See item 15)
Information Technology and Telecommunications Sector

33. August 03, eWeek — IBM to acquire data management specialist. IBM is buying Princeton Softech, a privately held company specializing in data archiving, test data management, data privacy, and data classification and discovery software. The financial details of the deal, which was announced Friday, August 3, were not disclosed. Officials at IBM said the acquisition of the company is a key part of IBM's Information on Demand business initiative, meant to help customers by addressing the challenge of managing data and improving database performance.

34. August 02, eWeek — Service outages still plague BlackBerry, AT&T. For companies that pride themselves on service and reliability, AT&T and Research In Motion certainly have had their share of service interruptions, and there seems to be no end in sight. Yet another data outage Wednesday, August 1, although brief, is reported to have affected numerous BlackBerry users nationwide. According to Brad Mays, a spokesperson for AT&T, some of AT&T's EDGE wireless data customers around the country experienced difficulty with the wireless data network for a brief period of time. Voice calling was unaffected, and the company quickly identified the cause of the problem and fixed it.

35. August 02, InformationWeek — DoS attack feared as Storm worm siege escalates. As the Storm worm grows into a prolonged online siege 10 times larger than any other e−mail attack in the last two years −− amassing a botnet of nearly 2 million computers −− researchers worry about the damage hackers could wreak if they unleash a denial−of−service attack with it. Between July 16 and August 1, researchers at software security firm Postini have recorded 415 million spam e−mails luring users to malicious Websites, according to Adam Swidler, a senior manager with Postini. Researchers at SecureWorks are seeing similar staggering numbers, as well. Joe Stewart, a senior security researcher at SecureWorks, noted that the number of zombie computers that the Storm worm authors have amassed as skyrocketed in the past month. From the first of January to the end of May, the security company noted that there were 2,815 bots launching the attacks. By the end of July, that number had leapt of 1.7 million. And both Stewart and Swidler said they think the Storm worm authors are cultivating such an enormous botnet to do more than send out increasing amounts of spam. All of the bots are set up to launch denial−of−service (DoS) attacks and that's exactly what they're anticipating.

36. August 01, eWeek — Hostway server migration leaves clients in the dark. A torrent of Website postings to social networking site Digg, along with several quickly erected blogs, reflect a data center migration gone badly awry, leaving thousands of Hostway customer Websites in the dark. Hostway Web hosting customers have posted reports that their Websites and back−office applications have been offline for as long as three days. In April, Hostway joined with Affinity Internet to become one of the largest Web hosting providers in the world, according to the company's Website, with 15 operation centers in 11 countries. Combined, the companies have 600,000 Web hosting customers. The planned July 27 data center migration at ValueWeb, a Hostway company, involved moving more than 3,700 servers 270 miles, from Affinity's Miami hosting facility to a Hostway data center in Tampa, FL, according to Rich Miller, reporter for Data Center Knowledge, in Lawrenceville, NJ. The company notified customers in e−mails that the outage would last between 12 and 15 hours, with an estimated completion time of 7 p.m. EDT on July 28. By July 30, customers posting to a discussion forum on Digg, titled How Not to Migrate a Data Center, said their sites were still down.