Sunday, December 31, 2006

Weekend Reading

The Karl "Hagbard Celine" Koch Story

Clifford Stoll, by training an astronomer, by occupation a systems administrator at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, was investigating a 75-cent discrepancy in a supposedly defunct computer account that seemed to have been commandeered by an unauthorized user.

The intruder was giving himself system privileges and creating accounts with names like Hunter, Jaeger, Benson, and Hedges. Although Stoll could have simply changed passwords, reassigned privileges, and so forth — effectively slamming the door on the intruder — he chose instead to monitor the intruder’s on-line activity in the system. What the intruder was doing was using the LBL computers as a jumping-off point into the Arpanet, and then the Milnet (an unclassified military network), and thence to various Department of Defense computers on bases nationwide. From the files being examined, it was clear that the intruder was looking for secret American military information. Stoll was on the trail of a hacker spy.

Read the entire article HERE.

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Wardriving in Paris

We regularly conduct research into Wi-Fi networks and protocols in order to gain a picture of the current state of affairs and to highlight current security issues. We focus on Wi-Fi access points and mobile devices which support Bluetooth. We’ve already published research material using data gathered in Peking and Tjianjin, CeBIT 2006 and InfoSecurity Europe, held in London.

This latest piece of research was conducted in Paris, partly in the city itself, and partly at InfoSecurity 2006, which was held in the French capital at the end of November 2006.

Read more HERE.

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Microsoft adds behavioral targeting

Microsoft Corp. has started linking users' search habits with other personal information as it prepares to show more personalized advertisements. Microsoft uses that information to build a profile for a certain class of users - women over 30 who read financial news, for example - and sell marketers the opportunity to reach that targeted group as they surf Microsoft properties.

Read more HERE.

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Hack the Gibson - Episode #72

The first thing I want to mention is that the constant marketing push for SpinRite makes me curious. I have no way to try it (because Steve doesn't make a demo version publicly available), but after reading a book Kurt (a very well known company that specializes in data recovery since 1989) I have the distinct feeling that running SpinRite on a damaged disk can be very dangerous.

Read more HERE.

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Five Things Vista can do ...

I wanted to make an opportunity to respond to those who keep repeating silly statements like, "Windows Vista is nothing but Windows XP with a new skin!" or, "Why would anyone want to upgrade to Windows Vista!?!" in an intelligent and reasoned manner:

Read more HERE.

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ReadyBoost - swap space on a stick

Windows Vista introduces a new concept in adding memory to a system. Windows ReadyBoost lets users use a removable flash memory device, such as a USB thumb drive, to improve system performance without opening the box.

Read more HERE.

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