Archive for October, 2009

Facebook users targeted by botnet spam


Facebook users have been targeted by a large-scale spam attack that informs them that their password has been reset, and that the attached zip archive contains their new password. Instead of a new password, users will find a trojan downloader, dubbed “Bredlab” or “Bredolab” by anti-virus companies.

The downloader then downloads additional malware from two servers, including fake anti-virus software, and joins the Bredolab botnet. This gives attackers full control of the PC, allowing them to steal user information or use the PC to send spam emails. One of the servers is based in the Netherlands, with the other in Kazakhstan, according to an alert on Websense, a security research company.

Security companies, including Symantec, Trend Micro, MX Lab and Websense, have issued warnings about the attack. Shunichi Imano, a securt researcher at Symantec told users on the firm’s security blog: “This variant of Bredolab connects to a Russian domain and the infected machine is most likely becoming part of a Bredolab botnet.”

Jamie Tomasello, abuse operations manager for Cloudmark, a messaging security company, said that her company has detected around 735,000 of the phony Facebook messages since Monday, and it continues to rise. “It’s a pretty high volume,” she said.


Microsoft: Hey Win7 hackers, remember that’s illegal!

Windows 7 is out, which means tech-savvy consumers have a new opportunity to beat the system. Hackers are doing their thing by skirting those pesky licensing restrictions and using Windows 7 upgrade discs to install the full operating system.

But Microsoft wants those hackers to know that by doing so, they also skirt those pesky things called laws.

“Unfortunately, it looks like it is time to have this conversation again,” Eric Ligman, global partner experience lead for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, wrote in a blog post. “Over the past several days there have been various posts, etc. across a variety of social media engines stating that some ‘hack’ (be it a person or a procedure) shows that a Windows 7 Upgrade disc can perform a ‘clean’ installation of Windows 7 on a blank drive from a technical perspective.

“Of course, from the posts I saw, they often forgot to mention a very basic, yet very important piece of information … ‘Technically possible’ does not always mean legal.”

Why? Because when users purchase a Windows 7 upgrade, they must already own a qualifying Windows license (i.e., an old version of Windows) to legally run Windows 7. If they don’t, and hack the upgrade installation process, they don’t end up with a license to run the new operating system.

Microsoft, Yahoo extend negotiations on search deal


Microsoft and Yahoo, which had planned to come to a definitive agreement on their proposed search deal by Tuesday, have agreed to extend negotiations, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Given the complex nature of the transaction, there remain some details to be finalized,” the SEC filing states. “The parties are working diligently on finalizing the agreements, have made good progress to date, and have agreed to execute the agreements as expeditiously as possible.”

Under the Microsoft-Yahoo pact, which the companies announced in July, Yahoo’s search engine would be powered by Bing and Yahoo would retain 88 percent of advertising revenue. Yahoo would handle premium search advertisers for both companies.

Microsoft and Yahoo plan to close the deal by early 2010. However, it is subject to regulatory approval by U.S. and European antitrust watchdogs. Regulators continue to examine the proposed partnership.

In a joint statement, Microsoft and Yahoo said they are still committed to the agreement.

The Microsoft Career Campaign


Whether you are currently unemployed, looking for a promotion, or want to be indispensible in your existing role, Microsoft’s Career Campaign provides learning paths and guidance to help you get trained for some of the top IT job roles in the industry. These learning paths focus on some of the most popular applications, such as Microsoft Windows, SQL Server, Windows Server and Exchange. To help accelerate your learning path, we are also providing discounts and special offers for certifications, e-learning, and classroom training.

To find out more visit:

Google to introduce a Google Wave app store

google wave

Google’s upcoming ‘Google Wave’ communication platform is an interesting one; it’s currently in testing, but it’s arguably one of the most discussed online services this year. It’s now been announced that it will even be getting its own app store, to help provide some more functionality.

According to The Next Web, the app store was announced at the GoogleTechnology User Group meeting in London earlier, stating that, “an extension store is planned where developers would be able to display and charge for apps.” This app store would help provide a bit of momentum for the service upon its public release, and it would be of benefit to developers also. Lars Resmussen, the engineer behind the concept of Wave, stated recently, “We’ll almost certainly build a store… so many developers have asked us to build a marketplace – and we might do a revenue-sharing arrangement.” It’s known already that the company will make Google Wave’s API public, so people can develop their own software based on it, and having a dedicated app store will obviously help keep everything contained in one place.

At the same meeting, it was noted that Google will not build a dedicated iPhone or Android Wave app any time in the near future, but instead will work to improve the mobile web interface; this’ll allow them to update the service at any time, rather than submit a new app version for approval to Apple (providing its the iPhone app in question here).

Google Wave is certainly showing promise, but only upon public release will we truly know how well it’ll fare in the real world.

Google announces Android 2.0 platform


Android 2.0 brings new developer APIs for sync, Bluetooth, and some other areas. Developers can now write applications to enable users to sync their devices to various contact sources. With the new Bluetooth API, developers can easily add peer-to-peer connectivity or gaming to their applications.

Google has published a full list of improvements but amongst the improvements here are the best ones we have found:

  • Email – Exchange support
  • Messaging – Search support
  • Camera – Built-in flash support, Digital zoom
  • Keyboard – Improved virtual keyboard to help with correct characters and typing speed
  • Browser – HTML5 support, double tap zoom, tap the address bar for instant searches and navigation
  • Bluetooth 2.1 support, Object Push Profile (OPP) and Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) support

With the amount of operating system additions and improved support for multiple screen sizes and Bluetooth 2.1, we’d expect to see a whole range of new Android devices ready for when 2.0 is ready.

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Windows 7 troubleshooting tips – Free e-book


What can you do on your own to try to troubleshoot the issue before you pick up the phone to call tech support?

If you’re running Windows 7, quite a lot. Microsoft has included a lot of self-support tools in Windows 7 that you can try using before you seek the help of others, and we’ll examine these in a moment.

Then there are the tools you were born with—your five senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) and most importantly your brain. And by brain I’m including your memory, experience, and capacity for logical reasoning.

Finally, there is ancient and sacred lore passed on in secret from Master to Disciple over the millennia. We’ll see shortly how your brain, your senses, and the secrets of the Wise Ones can be very helpful for troubleshooting computer problems.

But first let’s look at what troubleshooting tools are built into Windows 7.

You can download the e-book at Microsoft Press.