Who says there's no such thing as a free ride?
Just ask the 100,000 or so folks who've been infected with malware that has piggybacked on Windows updates, according to a report by security research firm Symantec .
According to the report, a recent Trojan began circulating in March via spammed German email. The Trojan used an "interesting" technique to download malicious files, according to the report. Its method of attack was by way of a Windows component, also known as Background Intelligent Transfer Service , to do its dirty deeds.
The trouble, however, is Windows updates rely on BITS as its main service for downloading patches and keeping the operating system humming along. And because the BITS service is part of Windows OS, it?s trusted and can bypass the local firewall as it downloads files.
Get the picture.
Javier Santoyo, manager at Symantec's Security Response Center, had this analogy: imagine someone opening a door with a legitimate access badge and an attacker tailgating them to enter the building.
Microsoft weighed in with its comments.
The software giant stated that users would have already had to have been duped, via social engineering, into allowing the TrojanDownloader:Win32/Jowspry to infect their system. Once infected, the Trojan utilizes BITS to download additional malware.
And so it goes, unless an infected user scans their system and removes all variants of the Trojan, Microsoft notes.Dawn Kawamoto covers enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News. E-mail Dawn .
A representative from General Motors was named to the board of the standard organization OASIS.
In a release, the chairman of the board, Eduardo Gutentag of Sun Microsystems, said that the appointment reflects the growing involvement of global corporate customers in the standards-setting process.
"The ability of OASIS to work globally across suppliers and corporations while managing the unique requirements of each is key to creating global open standards," said John Jackson, director of software technology in GM's information systems department.
OASIS is behind a number of XML standards, including several advanced Web services specifications, and ebXML.
Also named to the board was Claus von Riegen of SAP. Chris Kurt of Microsoft and Michael Winters of IBM were re-elected. Other board members include Edward Cobb of BEA Systems, Mike DeNicola of Fujitsu, Patrick Gannon of OASIS, Robert Glushko, Ph.D. of the University of California at Berkeley, Frederick Hirsch of Nokia, and Jeff Mischkinsky of Oracle.
Former notebook chip company Transmeta has found another customer for its LongRun2 technology, signing a licensing deal with Toshiba.
Transmeta tried to take on Intel in the notebook chip market, which didn't work out all that well. Transmeta's Crusoe chip was credited with changing the debate about processor performance to include power consumption, but manufacturing problems, product delays, and Intel's Pentium M processor conspired to hold the chip down. Last year Transmeta announced it was getting out of the chip business and focusing on licensing some of the technologies that first captured the market's attention.
LongRun2 allows chip makers to alter the threshold voltage of a transistor, or the amount of current needed to turn on the transistor. Power leakage has become such a problem with advanced chip manufacturing technologies that idle transistors can be accidentally activated in the face current leaking from an active transistor, wasting power.
Toshiba will use LongRun2 on transistors going forward to the 22-nanometer process generation, it said in a release. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Transmeta is still losing money despite switching to the licensing model.
It's chemistry for washing your car.
Lucky Earth Products has come up with a liquid, called Green Earth Waterless Car Wash, that lets you wash your car without buckets, hoses, brushes, or gallons of water. The compound--made out of water, coconut extracts, silicone, and a bit of salt--gets misted onto your car. Once there, it attracts dirt via electrostatic principles and encapsulates it. The owner then wipes their car with a soft cloth.Clean away
A $20 jug containing 32 ounces of the liquid is good for about 10 car washes. Additionally, the company has liquids for cleaning tires and stains .
The race car circuit uses a similar method for washing their cars, explained Tamara Garcia, a Lucky Earth representative. The company basically took the idea but came up with a cleaning formula that is made from more environmentally friendly substances.The idea behind the company is both to conserve water and reduce caustic chemical consumption. Water shortages are moving into the crisis mode in places like Australia and Georgia: eliminating car washes won't reverse the problem, but it's a step toward conservation. A typical car wash uses 20 to 45 gallons at a professional car wash, according to the company. At home, you can use up to 140 gallons. Thus, a single 32-ounce bottle can save 200 to 1,400 gallons of water.
The chemicals used in Green Earth are also environmentally friendly. The company founder got the inspiration for starting the company from his daughter, who would get sick after going to the car wash.
The company currently sells its products in Whole Foods in the Los Angeles area but will move into the Georgia market next month.
Here's something for the Belgian surrealist art enthusiast in your life. A Magritte-inspired Dan Kurtz of San Francisco has etched an homage to the iconic " The Son of Man " onto the cover of his 15-inch PowerBook .Credit: Squid Labs
This new specimen of laptop creativity was done via a Squid Labs epilog laser and the open-source program Inkscape to craft the duo-tone rendering, according to Kurtz' post on Skid Labs' Instructables community Web site. The site offers step-by-step instructions on laser etching Macintosh PowerBooks .
But Kurtz' choice of masterpiece for his Apple Computer laptop has a second visual irony. The logo for Apple Corps, the Beatles record label that sued Apple Computer over trademark issues, was designed to resemble the apple from this very painting, according to "The Beatles Anthology."
So ceci n'est pas le Fils de Homme; it's an Apple Corps apple on an Apple Computer notebook.
The virtual world Whyville has undertaken a novel approach to educating kids about the dangers of influenza and the preventative measures that can be taken to protect from it: giving users virtual flu shots.
The idea is to give "vaccinations" against the "Why-Flu," a made-up disease that is intended to simulate the spread of the common flu.
Coordinated by Whyville and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccination initiative is seen as a way to help kids--the users of Whyville--see that the flu is dangerous but preventable.
"The citizens of Whyville will have the opportunity to receive a flu shot which will result in immunity to the 'Why-Flu,' a simulated virtual version of common influenze," a press release about the effort said . "Similar to a real flu, the Why-Flu is transmitted...by 'contact' in the virtual community, such as being in the same vicinity as another citizen's infected avatar."
Without the vaccination, the release continued, Whyville users are expected to get "sick" and start to show symptoms: virtual sneezing and red boils on avatars' faces.
And this isn't the first time Whyville has attempted to scare its users into getting the virtual shots. In 2002, the first strains of " Why-Pox " began spreading, and it has returned each year since. The National Science Foundation at UCLA has conducted a research study about the affliction.
The only question left, it seems, is whether avatars will get to take a day off if they get sick.
CBS is planning to create a new soap opera series for mobile users, according to the entertainment Web site Variety.com
The network, which is home to TV soaps "Guiding Light" and "Young & the Restless", plans to run five to seven episodes a week of a new original series, specially produced for mobile phones. The episodes are expected to run for about three to five minutes each.
Unlike regular soap opera's, which have story lines that have lasted for decades, the new made-for-mobile soaps will likely only have story arcs that last about three months. CBS hasn't started casting yet, and it's not yet known which service provider the network plans to use to distribute the new shows, Variety.com reported.
CBS already has a deal with Verizon Wireless to offer clips of the "CBS Evening News", "Entertainment Tonight", "CSI", and "Letterman" through Verizon's V Cast service.
CBS also has a deal with the newly launched mobile virtual network operator , Amp'd Mobile. Amp'd uses Verizon's CDMA EV-DO network to offer streaming and downloadable content for the youth and young adult markets. MTV invested $50 million in Amp'd back in December.