Week in Geek: Ubuntu Tablets and Smartphones to Become Available in 2013

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By Akemi Iwaya on April 29th, 2012

Our final edition of WIG for April is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as Google Drive for Linux is in the works, 1 in 5 Macs is harboring some type of malware, Hotmail accounts were being hacked for $20 apiece, and more.

Weekly News Links

  • Ubuntu tablets, smartphones coming in 2013
    Canonical, the company behind Linux-based open source operating system (OS) Ubuntu, is reportedly in talks with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture Ubuntu-based tablet and smartphone devices. These products are expected to be available in the market by next year.
  • Mozilla phone will go on sale this year
    The first smartphone to run Mozilla’s ‘Boot to Gecko’ operating system (OS) reportedly will go on sale later this year. Brazilian blog Ztop reports that Mozilla will release its debut smartphone through operator Telefonica Vivo.
  • Firefox 12 released – can now update itself
    Mozilla has announced the official release of Firefox 12. In the latest release, Mozilla has included the previously announced update service for Windows that spares users the User Account Control (UAC) pop-up.
  • Firefox 3.6.x reaches end of life
    As expected, the 3.6.x branch of Mozilla’s open source Firefox web browser reached its end of life on Tuesday 24 April – no further updates, including security updates and critical fixes, will be made available for the series.
  • Theming update planned for Ubuntu 12.10, codenamed Quantal Quetzal
    Ubuntu 12.10, which is scheduled for release in October, will be called Quantal Quetzal. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the codename in a blog post this week that also shed some light on the feature roadmap for the next major version of the popular Linux distribution.
  • Microsoft Office 15 to support ODF 1.2
    Microsoft has told attendees at the ODF Plugfest in Brussels that the next versions of Microsoft’s Office products, Office 15 and Office 365, will support Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2.
  • Google Drive for Linux Is on the Way
    The Google Drive launch has been one of the big announcements of the week, but it was a fairly unequivocal disappointment for one vocal category of users: Linux users are justifiably miffed that the new cloud storage service doesn’t support the free and open source operating system.
  • Google Drive comes to Chrome OS
    Chromebooks previously suffered from storage systems that were small and isolated from the cloud. But now the browser-based operating system is integrated with Google’s online file sync service.
  • Who owns your files on Google Drive?
    Google Drive’s terms of service do indeed allow you to own your own files, but grant the company a license to do as it wants with your uploaded content.
  • Lawmakers push to keep Facebook passwords private
    Co-author of new bill says proposal designed to “nip in the bud” a problem attending the rise of social networking.
  • Firms spend $17.7B on IT security software
    Demand from small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and advanced persistent threats were key growth drivers for the global security software, which saw revenue hit US$17.7 billion last year.
  • Conficker remains biggest threat to enterprises
    The Conficker worm is the largest threat to enterprises, and the worm continues to spread mostly due to weak or stolen passwords and vulnerabilities which require security patches, a report reveals.
  • Online forums hacked and misused on a large scale
    Online forums have, for some time, apparently been the target of hackers who inject additional code. However, the attackers aren’t interested in publishing cool slogans or political messages, they’re looking for money. They steal Google traffic from the forums and exploit this traffic via ads.
  • 1 in 5 Macs has malware on it. Does yours?
    One in every five Mac computers is harbouring some kind of malware, a new study from the experts at Sophos has revealed.
  • Microsoft patches major Hotmail 0-day flaw after apparently widespread exploitation
    Microsoft quietly fixed a flaw in Hotmail’s password reset system that allowed anyone to reset the password of any Hotmail account last Friday. The company was notified of the flaw on April 20th and responded with a fix within hours—but not until after widespread attacks, with the bug apparently spreading “like wildfire” in the hacking community.
  • Hotmail hacked for $20
    The whitec0de.com blog reports that, for $20, a member of a hacker forum offered to crack any Hotmail account within a minute – and that he kept his word. Apparently, the hacker found out about a critical vulnerability in Microsoft’s email service on a security forum, and the hole allowed him to change the passwords of arbitrary Hotmail users.
  • Android trojan steals keystrokes using phone movements (Updated)
    Computer scientists have devised an attack that logs phone numbers, Social Security IDs, and personal identification numbers entered into smartphones by monitoring the devices’ integrated motion sensors.
  • New Flashback variant making the rounds
    Flashback.S installs itself without a password and then deletes files and folders to mask its presence, a security company announces.
  • TVs and Blu-ray players vulnerable to DoS attacks
    Security researcher Luigi Auriemma has discovered a vulnerability in the latest firmware of some of Samsung’s network-connected TVs and Blu-ray players that allows attackers to cripple a device. The devices listen on port 55000, where they receive control packets from iOS and Android smartphones.
  • Backdoor in industrial networking hardware
    The Rugged Operating System (ROS), an operating system created by the developers at RuggedCom, contains an undocumented backdoor. RuggedCom specialises in industrial grade networking equipment for “harsh environments” and recommends its switches and servers for use in power plants, oil refineries, military environments and traffic monitoring systems.

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Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 04/29/12
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