This week we learned how to stream media files from any PC to a PlayStation, enable user-specific wireless networks in Windows 7, monitor the bandwidth consumption of individual applications, configure the Linux Grub2 Boot Menu the easy way, “add Dropbox to the Start Menu, understand symbolic links, & rip TV Series DVDs into episode files”, and more.
Photo by leg0fenris.
Weekly News Links
Photo by The H Security.
- Malware toolkits fuel the botnet epidemic
In a current report, anti-botnet specialists at Damballa write that the number of bot-infected PCs worldwide increased sevenfold within a year. The researchers consider that the expansive growth in 2010 was caused by the increasing availability of “exploit packs” and trojan toolkits.
- Speculations over the price of exploits on the black market
In a recent interview, Matt Moynahan, the CEO of security firm Veracode, said an exploit for Adobe software is worth up to $5 million on the black market. However, more realistic estimates place prices in the region of $100,000.
- Fighting spam and scams on Twitter
Twitter presents a relatively new frontier for spammers, malware creators, and all around bad guys, which in turn has created the opportunity for security researchers and vendors alike to try to figure out, and put a stop to, their efforts.
- Symantec report focuses on threat of targeted attacks
In the world of security, targeted attacks should be a real concern–and extremely worrisome–to organizations around the world, Symantec said in a new quarterly report on attacks on critical infrastructure.
- My Sweet Valentine – the CIFS Browser Protocol Heap Corruption Vulnerability
On Valentine’s Day, an anonymous researcher announced a previously undisclosed SMB (Server Message Block) vulnerability affecting the CIFS (Common Internet File System) browser service. Along with the vulnerability, the researcher also posted Proof-of-Concept (PoC) exploit code showing exactly how to exploit the vulnerability, triggering a blue screen in kernel mode.
- Microsoft still using undercover patches
Microsoft updates regularly contain fixes for security vulnerabilities which are not listed in its security bulletins. Microsoft defends these ‘silent updates’, as they are known within the security community, in a blog posting by its Security Research & Defense team.
- Winamp Forums Security Breach FAQ
Security for the Winamp forum database was breached this past week, allowing the user forums to be compromised along with exposing accounts and email addresses.
- Report: Canadian cyberattack traced to China
A cyberattack against Canada that tried to access classified government information and forced two key departments to go offline has been traced back to China, according to a story from CBC News.
- Stuxnet: five companies used as spring-boards
In an updated version of its Stuxnet dossier, Symantec writes that ten initial infections via five consecutive attacks were the starting points for the propagation of the Stuxnet worm.
- Stuxnet expert: other sites were hit but Natanz was true target
Stuxnet may have hit different organizations, but its main target was still the Natanz nuclear enrichment plant in Iran, said an expert who has analyzed the code.
- Symantec: Stuxnet 2.0 unlikely
The Stuxnet worm may have stole the IT security limelight last year but a second wave of attacks is unlikely to take place, according to Symantec.
- NSA chief wants to protect ‘critical’ private networks
The head of the National Security Agency (NSA) said that the U.S. military should have the authority to defend “critical networks” from malware and other disruptions.
- Internet ‘kill switch’ bill gets a makeover
A Senate proposal that has become known as the Internet “kill switch” bill was reintroduced this past week, with a tweak its backers say eliminates the possibility of an Egypt-style disconnection happening in the United States.
- White House undecided about data retention law
The Obama administration has not yet taken a position on whether a law is needed to force Internet providers to keep track of what their customers are doing, a White House official said.
- Rapid tech adoption overwhelming security staff
Information security professionals are overwhelmed by the rapid deployment of new technologies in the workplace, potentially putting government agencies, businesses and consumers at risk, reveals a new study released this past Friday.
Random TinyHacker Links
- Search Shenanigans
A fascinating look behind the scenes of search engine optimization.
- Sex in the city: Then and Now
Very interesting insights into how technology and the Internet have changed the lives of sex workers in the U.S.
- Watson vs. Jeopardy
The behind the scenes story on the IBM team that built ‘Watson’ to compete on Jeopardy.
- Geek hierarchy of needs
A pyramid chart displaying the requirements and desires of geeks at different “need levels”.
- Book Review: Windows 7 Up and Running
Another good book about Windows 7 – this time published by O’Reilly Media under their own brand, and not Microsoft Press.
Super User Questions
If you have questions, then Super User has the answers that you are looking for. Here are some of our favorites from this past week’s top questions.
- What’s the best way to use linux on windows?
- What’s a good Linux distro for an older PC (Web Server)?
- How can I make it difficult to install a new operating system on a certain computer?
- What is there in Win 7 Pro (or Ultimate) that is not there in Home Premium? – Especially considering this situation..
- How much thermal paste should I apply to the CPU?
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
Heat up your afternoon reading with our top articles from this past week.
- How To Remove People and Objects From Photographs In Photoshop
- Ask How-To Geek: How Can I Monitor My Bandwidth Usage?
- We’ve Got 10 Free Copies of Microsoft’s Networking Windows 7 eBook to Give Away. Get Yours!
- HTG Explains: The Best and Worst Ways to Send a Resume
- How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way)
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
This week we have an awesome batch of retro Home Server goodness gathered together for your enjoyment.
- How To Install and Setup Windows Home Server
- How to Add and Manage Shared Folders on Windows Home Server
- Add an External Hard Drive to Your Windows Home Server
- Backup Windows Home Server Folders to an External Hard Drive
- Troubleshoot Connection Issues with Windows Home Server Toolkit
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
The Geek Note
That finishes things up here for this edition, so take some time to relax if you can before heading back to work and school this week. Remember to keep sending those great tips in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Photo by Tom Caswell.