Week in Geek: U.S and Israel Caught Operating as Partners in Cyberwarfare Scandal

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By Akemi Iwaya on June 3rd, 2012

Our first edition of WIG for June is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as no more Start Menu hacks in the Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft has upset advertisers with IE10 ‘Do Not Track’ policy, the FTC will investigate Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, and more.

Original, unaltered Grim Reaper wallpaper is available for download here.

Weekly News Links

Original, unaltered Grim Reaper wallpaper is available for download here.

  • Confirmed: US and Israel created Stuxnet, lost control of it
    In 2011, the US government rolled out its “International Strategy for Cyberspace,” which reminded us that “interconnected networks link nations more closely, so an attack on one nation’s networks may have impact far beyond its borders.” An in-depth report from the New York Times confirms the truth of that statement as it finally lays bare the history and development of the Stuxnet virus—and how it accidentally escaped from the Iranian nuclear facility that was its target.
  • Spy malware infecting Iranian networks is engineering marvel to behold
    Malware recently found infecting Middle Eastern networks is so complex and sophisticated that it’s probably an advanced cyber-weapon unleashed by a wealthy country to wage a protracted espionage campaign on Iran, researchers from some of the world’s leading security companies said.
  • Tiny banking trojan can do a lot of damage
    Security experts at CSIS say that they have discovered the smallest online banking trojan yet. Called Tiny Banker (Tinba), the malware is just barely 20 KB in size, including its configuration files.
  • How a trio of hackers brought Google’s reCAPTCHA to its knees
    Google revamped its reCAPTCHA system, used to block automated scripts from abusing its online services, just hours before a trio of hackers unveiled a free system that defeats the widely used challenge-response tests with more than 99 percent accuracy.
  • FTC to investigate Facebook purchase of Instagram
    U.S. antitrust regulators sent a “second notice” to Facebook earlier this month regarding investigation, according to Reuters.
  • Google told by EC to play ball or face a trial
    The European Commission is warning Google to change its search methods or the company will be forced into court over antitrust issues.
  • New Microsoft EULA fine print nixes class action
    Microsoft is changing its end-user license for unspecified consumer software and hardware products to eliminate users’ ability to engage in class-action lawsuits.
  • Apple’s Crystal Prison and the Future of Open Platforms
    Two weeks ago, Steve Wozniak made a public call for Apple to open its platforms for those who wish to tinker, tweak and innovate with their internals. EFF supports Wozniak’s position: while Apple’s products have many virtues, they are marred by an ugly set of restrictions on what users and programmers can do with them.
  • No More Start Menu Hacks in Windows 8 Release Preview
    In addition to the wide range of other changes that the almost-here Release Preview of Windows 8 is expected to pack in terms of performance and visual design, there might also be some that could make some users very unhappy.
  • Fedora 18 to support UEFI Secure Boot
    Matthew Garrett, kernel developer at Red Hat, has given details of the plans to ship Fedora 18 with the ability to boot under UEFI secure boot. The Secure Boot technology of UEFI will be enabled by default on future Windows 8 hardware and is designed to ensure that only appropriately digitally signed operating systems will boot.
  • Cannot access secured Web sites after OS X update
    Inconsistent symptoms suggest several approaches people can try to get certificate-based Web communication working properly.
  • Facebook’s traffic from Google and Bing takes a nosedive
    New stats show that ever since Google launched “Search Plus Your World,” referral traffic to Facebook has been halved. Oddly, though, the same thing has happened with Bing traffic too.
  • Google Apps for Business receives ISO 27001 certification
    Google Enterprise Director of Security Eran Feigenbaum has announced that the Google Apps for Business web-based productivity suite has received ISO/IEC 27001 certification. This means that the company’s online business suite has now been certified to comply with the IT security family of standards which governs “explicit managed control” of information security.
  • Microsoft ticks off advertisers with IE10 ‘Do Not Track’ policy
    The “Do Not Track” feature will be turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10, a move that’s upsetting the advertising community.
  • Skip Internet Explorer for Web Dev. Save $100,000
    An interesting story about a new startup that is avoiding developing for IE since it costs more money. “To save more than $100,000, 4ormat decided to skip Internet Explorer, opting to only allow users to access its service through Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.”
  • Mozilla official article: “To have the Australis theme up for review next week”
    After numerous mockups and expressed user desires (and a serious amount of positive feedback), it seems that, according to an official blog post, the Firefox developers are “to have the Australis theme up for review next week”, meaning the new Australis theme is to probably land in Firefox in the near future (probably first in its nightly and BETA channels).
  • 2012’s Best Linux desktop: Linux Mint 13
    The Linux Mint distribution keeps getting better and better with its own take on GNOME, the Cinnamon Linux desktop.
  • Wine 1.5.5 adds support for Mono as an add-on package
    Version 1.5.5 of the Wine open source Windows API implementation has been released. The most notable changes include the addition of support for installing the .NET 4.0 runtime and for installing Mono as a Wine add-on package.
  • SkyDrive Support Coming to GNOME 3.6
    On May 31st, Debarshi Ray, a developer for the GNOME Project, announced on his blog that initial support for SkyDrive has been implemented in the daily builds of the GNOME Documents app, via the GNOME Online Accounts software by using a Windows Live account.
  • Virtual currency exchange ‘good idea’ yet tough to establish
    The concept of a virtual currency exchange, in which gamers can sign up with to trade their in-game currency with other types of virtual money as well as real-world ones, may seem a “good idea”. However, it will be difficult to set up and flourish due to regulatory constraints and lack of game operators’ buy-in.

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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 06/3/12
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