Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Daily Highlights

According to the Associated Press, South Carolina State Attorney General Henry McMaster wants tougher groundwater monitoring standards at one of the nation's few low level nuclear waste facilities. (See item 5)

Reuters reports A federal laboratory off Long Island, known as the "Alcatraz for animal disease," may move to the U.S. mainland as part of a new $450 million research center. (See item 36)

Information Technology Sector

39. August 28, AP — Beijing police launch virtual Web patrol. Police in China's capital said Tuesday they will start patrolling the Web using animated officers that pop up on a user's browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from illegal Internet content. Starting Sept. 1, the cartoon alerts will appear every half hour on 13 of China's top portals, including Sohu and Sina, and by the end of the year will appear on all Web sites registered with Beijing servers. The animated police appeared designed to startle Web surfers and remind them that authorities closely monitor Web activity.

40. August28, PC Magazine — Storm Worm uses YouTube ruse. Security professionals are warning that distributors of the Storm Trojan are using URL links that appear to be connected to a YouTube video. The malicious Storm Worm program first appeared in January 2007, infecting thousands of computers in the US and Europe.

41. August 28, The Morning Call Cyber crime spreading like a virus. According to the 2007 Consumer Reports' State of the Net survey, threats from cyber criminals remain potent despite increase law enforcement and better security software. According to the report, about one in every four persons will become a “cyber victim.” This is slightly less than last year.

42. August27, Computerworld Deja vu all over again, Sony uses rootkits, charges F-Secure. According to F-Secure, a Finish security company, some Sony-manufactured USB drives create a hidden folder that hackers can use to cloak malicious programs. The fingerprintreader software included with the Sony MicroVault USM-F line of flash drives installs a driver that hides in a hidden directory under "c:\windows.” That directory, and the files within it, are not visible through Windows' usual application programming interface. This file directory is also invisible to some virus scan programs, the report stated.

Communications Sector

43. August 27, InformationWeek — Unified communications can cause network traffic jams. More businesses are moving to implement unified communications, mainly because of the efficiency and potential cost savings it offers. While most deployment today are small and limited, users are discovering that there is a down side to unified communications; a significant growth in network traffic that can slowdown application performance and cause other problems. A survey of 576 unified communications users found that 75% said one-quarter of their network traffic in the last three months consisted of UC applications like VoIP, unified messaging, and instant messaging. Nearly 40% of companies have suffered application performance problems due to the convergence of communications applications onto their IP network.

44. August 28, — Verizon to expand broadband availability access across
Maine. Verizon has reached a deal with Maine’s State Public Advocate that will allow it to increase high-speed internet access throughout the state. The agreement, which has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission, will increase Verizon's capability to offer the service to approximately 70 percent of the company's access lines in Maine. It is estimated that an additional 35,000 of the company's lines in the state will have broadband capability. The project, which will cost $12 million, is expected to be completed by February, 2008.