Thursday’s Threat Assessment

All the news that's fit to rant aboutIt’s news time.
FCC Chairman, Michael Powell, joins us today on The Screen Savers. The Concorde SST was first shown on this day in 1967. A Federal judge ordered Microsoft not to bundle IE4 in Windows in 1997.

  1. SCO’s site is down again, the victim of a massive DDoS attack. The corporate email, intranet, and customer support operations were also brought down. Several thousand computers were used in the SYN flood.
  2. AT&T has followed Time-Warner in announcing that it will offer Internet phone calling to its broadband customers. The VoIP service will roll out to three East coast markets first eventually expanding to 100 markets and 1 million consumers. VoIP grew 80% globally last year, carrying 11% of all international phone calls.
  3. Can you lose money in the Wi-Fi biz? Apparently Intel can. The company is taking an “embarassing” $600 million charge on its wireless chips. It announced yesterday that it’s reorganizing the division. The chief reason for the write-down: sluggish sales on Intel’s wireless chipset.
  4. It’s going to be a green Christmas. Online shoppers spent a record $8.5 billion last month – an increase of 55% from the year before. Books, DVDs, and music led the sales.
  5. Microsoft’s gift to you this holiday season: no December Windows Update. Is it because there are no security flaws to fix? No. A new flaw in Internet Explorer makes it easy to spoof web sites. So the next time you’re redirected to a phony EBay site, let’s say, to extract your credit card number, the fake site can stuff Ebay’s URL in the address bar making it indistinguishable from the real deal. Microsoft is looking into the report, saying that security firm Secunia should have notified them before publicizing the bug.
  6. A flaw in Yahoo! Mail that allowed malicious code to launch automatically when messages were opened has been fixed. A similar bug in Hotmail was corrected last week. In both cases, security firm Finjan discovered the flaw.
  7. Fortune Magazine named the iTunes Music Store its Product of the Year.
  8. It’s the end of line for the Jenni cam. Jenni Ringley, the woman who paved the way for, well, you know, has decided to shut down her site at the end of the year. Apparently PayPal is closing her account due to “frontal nudity” and if you can’t make a buck, what’s the point? Fortunately, you can still get your frontal nudity at Chris Pirillo’s Rent My Chest.
  9. Researchers have used the Hot or Not web site to prove that pretty women scramble men’s brains. Or at least their ability to plan for the future. Women, however, were unaffected by good looking men.

7 Replies to “Thursday’s Threat Assessment”

  1. re: Online shoppers spent a record $8.5 billion last month.
    I wonder if there is a directly related decrease in sales at local retail stores?
    We just had a pretty serious snow storm this past weekend out East and the stores just got killed. So I’m imagining that a lot of people did some of their shopping online as a result.
    Also, a friend and I were wondering how many people will order online at, for example even though there’s a Best Buy right down the street from their house just to save paying the sales tax (8.75% in New York i think it is now.) Are there zones set up so that outlet stores gets a percentage of the online sales in his area. Then again, BestBuy is a corporate owned store so who really gives a crap since all the profits are going into a larger corporate account.

  2. > SCO’s site is down again, the victim of a massive DDoS attack.
    > The corporate email, intranet, {snip}
    How the heck did a DDoS attack effect their intranet? You can build a really good firewall using Linux or Free/Net/Open BSD for cheap. 😉
    What’s an alleged high-tech company doing leaving all their internal servers exposed to the internet!
    Perhaps the media is just lumping many different cracks under the buzz acronym of DDoS?
    … But a DDoS attack taking out their internal servers — how serendipitous. Now when their 30 days is up, they can complain to the judge “We got hacked, and we need more time to recover all our information.” (and in the mean time, our scam will continue…)

  3. Leo never verifies the news, haven’t you noticed. I wonder how many of the current low ratings clan will be around after the new owners clean house.

  4. Hey Leo, love the show (now that I have cable again, only took a year, I can watch it). Love your book, bought it at a Barnes and Noble. I guess, besides telling you how great I think you are, I really just wanted to say that Yahoo is in general a security flaw. Anything that they put out other than the html pages is buggy and flawed.
    P.S. Have fun at the party tonight! Drink one for me.

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