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Security Port
Contains relevant information that pertains to security related issues and solutions.

Security Port

A Security Port Blog

Authorities: Teens at Risk on Web Sites

On, teenagers can find kindred spirits who share their love of sports, their passion for photography or their crush on a Hollywood star. They can also find out where their online friends live, where they attend school, even what they look like.

Parents, school administrators and police are increasingly worried that teens are finding trouble online at sites like MySpace, the leader of the social-networking sites that encourage users to build larger and larger circles of friends.

Police in Middletown, Conn., are investigating recent reports that as many as seven local girls were sexually assaulted by men in their 20s who contacted them through MySpace pretending to be teenagers.

Complete Aricle

Apple Uses Poem to Deter Hackers

Apple Computer Inc. added something extra in its newest Macintosh computers last month: a poem embedded in the software to ward off hackers.

The poem reads:
There once was a user that whined
His existing OS was so blind
He'd do better to pirate
An OS that ran great
But found his hardware declined.

Text after the verse adds that it is "way uncool" to steal the program. "We have many legal warnings and hopefully this will remind people that they should not steal Mac OS X," spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said yesterday.

First Mac OS X Malware Infects Via iChat

The first piece of malicious code targeting Apple Computer's Mac OS X was identified by several security firms Thursday.

Dubbed "OSX/Leap.a" by McAfee, Sophos, and Symantec, the malware spreads using the Mac's built-in iChat instant messaging service, where it arrives as an IM file transfer. If the recipient opens the "latestpics.tgz" archive file received from someone on her iChat contact list, the payload, actually a compressed Unix shell program, installs. The Unix shell then uses Mac OS X 10.4' Spotlight search tool to sniff out other applications on the machine, and inserts a small bit of code into each application.

Complete Article

Security Aquisitions

Security companies that are privately held and in the business of protecting information from espionage and offering up secure access are attractive among potential buyers, a panel of security titans and bankers said on Thursday during the RSA Conference 2006.

The panel, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd, addressed the current mergers and acquisitions environment for security companies, as well as what it takes for them to gain interest in potential buyout candidates.

Complete Article

Mobile Security Taking Hold

Corporations are starting to invest to mobile security software, but among consumers the takeup is still at least a year away, a senior official of U.S. security software firm Symantec said on Thursday.

"In enterprises, this is starting to happen now, but in consumer side I would not expect a large uptake at least for a year," Sarah Hicks, vice president for strategy, told Reuters in an interview at mobile communications fair 3GSM in Barcelona.

RSA Security Conference

One of the computer and Internet security industry's largest events opens today in San Jose and is expected to draw more than 14,000 attendees. Over four days the conference will present 200 sessions on various aspects of security, privacy, government policies, hackers and threats, identity management and wireless issues.
WHAT: 15th annual RSA Security Conference
WHERE: McEnery Convention Center, San Jose
WHEN: Feb 13-17, 2006

Microsoft Warns of Security Flaws

Microsoft Corp. on has warned of two "critical" security flaws that could allow attackers to use its media player or Internet Explorer Web browser to possibly take control of a computer.

Microsoft, the world's top software company whose Windows operating system runs on 90 percent of the world's computers, issued patches to fix the problems as part of its monthly security bulletin. It listed both as critical vulnerabilities.

One flaw is a vulnerability in some versions of the Windows Media Player for playing music or video files. The flaw makes it possible for an attacker to use a malicious file that controls the appearance of the player to launch other programs on a computer.

Security versus security: There's more than one kind

Most of the time when we talk about privacy, we talk about the trade-offs that have to be made between privacy and convenience, or the trade-offs between security and privacy.

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Test For Massive Internet Security Attack

Homeland Security Tests U.S. Readiness for Massive Internet Attack

The cyber-disaster drill originally had been scheduled for last year but had to be postponed because of Hurricane Katrina. Even before that emergency, however, many lawmakers were calling for the test to determine how prepared the U.S. is for a massive Internet attack.

The Department of Homeland Security has embarked on the first international test of the United States' preparedness against a massive Internet attack by terrorists. The national exercise, which began on February 6 and will end on February 10, has been dubbed "Cyber Storm."

RSS Security Concerns

RSS is growing at a lightening speed. What was once only known as a "techie tool", RSS is becoming a tool that is continuously being used by the general population. Along with the good comes, the not so good. And while some have mentioned the emergence of RSS spam, where content publishers dynamically generate nonsensical feeds stuffed with keywords, the real concern relates to security. While an annoyance to the search engines, spam in RSS feeds pales in comparison to the possible security concerns that could be in RSS' future.

RSS Security Concerns

Microsoft to Unveil Paid Security Service

A new security service from Microsoft Corp. will charge users $49.95 per year to better protect its Windows operating system from spyware, viruses and other Internet attacks.

Microsoft plans to release the product in early June.

Called Windows OneCare Live, the subscription service will compete with security products made by traditional Microsoft partners, including Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc.

The Mac Skeptic: Straight Talk on Mac Security Risks

Are Macs impervious to malicious software? No. Have Macs been the subject of catastrophic attacks? No again. Should Mac users be vigilant anyway? Of course.

It's time for me to fess up: I've been as complacent as most Mac users when it comes to taking precautions to safeguard my data and the integrity of my system. Although my Windows PC is swaddled in antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall software, my Mac has been fairly undefended, up to now. I just haven't felt much urgency to put up barriers against threats that don't seem to exist.

But at Macworld Expo last month, I stopped by the booths of several security software vendors and began to wonder if they are pushing products people don't need, or if they know something I don't.

Complete Article

Internet Crime With Ficticious Victim

Connecticut's highest court has ruled that sexual assault against minors is a crime even when it involves made-up victims, after a detective posed as a 13-year-old girl on the Internet in a police sting operation.

The ruling by the state Supreme Court followed an appeal in March 2005 by defendant John Sorabella, who was found guilty on two counts of attempted second-degree sexual assault against someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Beefing Up E-Mail Security

In an effort to get tougher on spam and phishing attacks, e-mail security vendor IronPort Systems has launched a new capability that enables its appliances to assess the trustworthiness of Web links embedded in e-mails. The vendor’s new Web Reputation technology, rolled out this month, aims to increase the antispam functionality of its e-mail security appliances and is supported by its SenderBase Network security database.
Assessing the reputation of the e-mail sender is not enough to block spam and phishing attacks, which are becoming increasingly complex, said Pat Peterson, vice president of technology at IronPort, San Bruno, Calif.

That’s why IronPort now is tracking URLs within the content of the e-mail and placing a reputation score on the URLs based on criteria such as the length of time they have been registered or the country the site is hosted in. Messages that contain suspicious Web links are filtered out, helping to block spam, phishing attacks, URL-based viruses and spyware spread through e-mail that can look identical to legitimate messages but instead contain malicious URL links.

Sharing Data Critical to Security

Greater training for communications equipment is the most urgent security need for San Diego's seaport, a top harbor security official said yesterday.

John MacIntyre, program manager for homeland security at the San Diego Unified Port District, said he wants various security agencies – from the police to the U.S. Border Patrol – to improve the way they share data and information.

Symantec Readies Security Subscription Service

Genesis service, coming later this year, will offer antivirus, antispyware, and anti-phishing capabilities.

Symantec expects to begin offering a new consumer security service similar to Microsoft's Windows OneCare Live by September of this year, a company executive said this week. Code-named "Genesis," the service will integrate components of Symantec's security, PC tuning, and backup software into a single service that is accessible over the Internet.

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