Defense

It’s An Attack On Microsoft’s Last Line Of Defense (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-latest-news-from-google-has-to-worry-microsoft-its-an-attack-on-microsofts-last-line-of-defense-2012-12

steve ballmer

Google announced yesterday that it is going to start charging all businesses that want to use Google Apps – Google’s online version of Microsoft Windows.

Previously, Google Apps had been free to use for businesses smaller than 10 people.

This news might mean that Google is sick of flushing money down rat hole and finally wants to cover its cost, despite the reduction in usage this will cause.

But it also might mean Google is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously. It might Google is going to start trying to make Google Apps something that all businessess find worth paying for.

If that’s the case, it has to make Microsoft nervous.

Microsoft is in a very precarious place at the moment.

It’s just released a new operating system that’s very different from its old one.

The new operating system forces enterprises and consumers around into a choice: what kind of new OS do they adopt?

In years past, there was really only one choice: Microsoft. 

But now, consumers are bringing their iOS devices and Android devices to work. They’re used to them. They love them. Meanwhile, consumers are not rushing out to buy Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface.

So now, enterprises have three choices: Microsoft, Google, or Apple.

The big advantage! Microso ft has had for years now is that its software suite for doing business, Microsoft Office, is far superior to anything Google or Apple had to offer.

But if Google is going to charge all clients for its Office clone, that might mean it is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously.

Maybe Google will finally build a real rival to Microsoft office’s crown jewel, Excel.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5892538/chinese-spies-friended-nato-officials-with-a-fake-facebook-account

Chinese Spies Friended NATO Officials With a Fake Facebook AccountLast year, a huge swath of senior British military officers and Defense Ministry officials became friends with who they thought was United States Navy admiral James Stavridis. While Stavridis is a real US Commander, sadly it now turns out that the man behind the Facebook profile wasn’t him; it was actually a Chinese spy.

In friending the spy, those British officials obviously leaked their own personal information reports ZDNet. That includes e-mail addresses, phone numbers, pictures, the names of family members, and possibly even the details of their movements.

Perhaps understandably, NATO is recultant to state exactly who was behind the attack, but The Telegraph reveals that it was almost certainly someone inviolved in Chinese intellgience. A spokesperson from NATO said in a statement:

“There have been several fake supreme allied commander pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down. We are not aware that they are Chinese. The most important thing is for Facebook to get rid of them. First and foremost we want to make sure that the public is not being misinformed. Social media played a crucial role in the Libya campaign last year. It reflected the groundswell of public opposition, but also we received a huge amount of information from social media in terms of locating Libyan regime forces. It was a real eye-opener. That is why it is important the public has trust in our social media.”

While it’s one thing ensuring that Facebook cooperates with these kinds of problems, I can’t help but think that a little more caution on the part of these Facebookin’ officials might help rather more.

(Note: the image above is actually the official NATO page of James Stavridis—the fake page has been taken down.) [ZDNet and The Telegraph]

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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882888/new-man-in-the-browser-attack-bypasses-banks-two+factor-authentication-systems

New "Man in the Browser" Attack Bypasses Banks' Two-Factor Authentication SystemsThe banking industry often employs two-step security measures—similar to Google Authenticator—as an added layer of protection against password theft and fraud. Unfortunately, those systems have just been rendered moot by a highly-advanced hack.

The attack, know as the Man in the Browser method, works like this. Malicious code is first introduced onto the victim’s computer where it resides in the web browser. It will lay dormant until the victim visits a specific website—in this case, his bank’s secure website. Once the user attempts to log in, the malware activates and runs between the victim and the actual website. Often the malware will request that the victim enter his password or other security pass into an unauthorized field, in order to “train a new security system.” Once that happens, the attacker has full access to the account.

Luckily, the method is only a single-shot attack. That is, the attacker is only able to infiltrate the site once with the user-supplied pass code. But, once in, the attacker can hide records of money transfers, spoof balances and change payment details. “The man in the browser attack is a very focused, very specific, advanced threat, specifically focused against banking,” Daniel Brett, of malware testing lab S21sec, told the BBC.

Since this attack has shown that the two-factor system is no longer a viable defense, the banking industry may have to adopt more advanced fraud-detection methods similar to what secure credit cards. When compared to having your account silently drained, standing in line for the teller suddenly doesn’t seem like that much of a hassle. [BBC News via Technology Review]

Image: jamdesign / Shutterstock

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882173/the-dominos-super-bowl-pizza-war-room-oozes-pepperoni-cheese-and-sadness

The Domino's Super Bowl Pizza War Room Oozes Pepperoni, Cheese, and SadnessOn Super Bowl Sunday, 55 IT specialists will huddle together in a dark room to keep their company’s website afloat on the biggest day of its entire year, since it’s going to be bombarded by millions of ravenous fans. But the company they work for isn’t the NFL.

It’s freaking Domino’s.

Here’s how Domino’s social media specialist explained the roles of who’s in the room to The Atlantic:

* Application owners check the initial code of our applications, making up our defensive line.
* Those watching our operating systems are our second line of defense, or “line backers”… who react to every situation on the “field.”
* Those observing the network will jump in and “cover” if anything looks dicey on a larger scale, serving as our “cornerbacks.”
* In case someone tries a “Hail Mary” play to hack into part of our system, we have our Security team there as our “safeties” – our last line of defense!

Which is about the caliber of sports metaphor you’d expect from a social media specialist. But it doesn’t make it any less cool that Dominos stuffs bunch of nerds into a room during the super bowl to make sure you get your pizza. [Dominos via The Atlantic]

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

A False Groupon Offer Ruined Christmas In This British City

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-uk-christmas-york-2011-12


york

A false Groupon offer for a Santa’s grotto in the English city of York has lead to the resignation of one of Santa’s elves, reports the Telegraph.

Groupon mistakenly sent out an email to parents saying that the grotto would be offering a festive train ride. It wasn’t, and when 2,000 families turned up with vouchers from the website and learned of no train ride, it wasn’t a pretty scene.

It is reported that the grotto’s staff received so much abuse from angry parents that one of Santa’s elves resigned, unhappy at the treatment he had been subject to.

It is thought that Groupon may have confused the grotto in York with another one in the nearby city of Hull, which did have a train ride.

The mistake comes as Groupon is under investigation by the British Office of Fair Trade with the company reportedly violating 50 advertising regulations this year.

The Telegraph reports that the company could be taken to court over the violations and may face both criminal and civil charges.

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Friday, December 2nd, 2011 news No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/ya3ssH2_cb4/israeli-raid-cancelled-after-very-stupid-facebook-post

If you’re in the military, here’s a tip: don’t put upcoming missions in your Facebook status. You wouldn’t think someone would need to tell you that, but here we are.

A raid on suspected militants in the West Bank was cancelled yesterday after an Israeli soldier updated his Facebook status to read “On Wednesday we clean up Qatanah, and on Thursday, god willing, we come home.” The solider has since, unsurprisingly, been relieved of combat duty for being a moron. He’ll also spend 10 days in prison for his update.

Trying to educate soldiers on the importance of not leaking classified info to Facebook, the Israel Defense Forces have started putting up new posters in bases:

In posters placed on military bases, a mock Facebook page shows the images of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Below their pictures – and Facebook “friend requests” – reads the slogan: “You think that everyone is your friend?”

I really want to see one of those posters. Anyone in the IDF want to send us a picture? My email address is below. I won’t post it on Facebook, promise. [NY Times]

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Friday, March 5th, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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