Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

47% of Internet software “exploits” first half of 2008 in Chinese

November 4, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Chinese computer users have become chief targets for online criminals, according to a security report released Monday by Microsoft.

The global software giant’s latest assessment of threats and vulnerabilities reveals that attackers favor hiding malicious programs in seemingly innocent Web browser applications and that China is their preferred target.

Ben Wang, director of Florida State's High-performance Materials ...
Above: Ben Wang’s screen looks like your computer after an “intrusion” or “exploit.”

“The majority of (exploits) we are finding is where the local language is set to Chinese,” said Microsoft malware protection center general manager Vinny Gullotto.

“It reflects a lot of what is happening in the Chinese market. There is so much going on out there with the Internet today that it seems to be somewhat natural that we might see this happen there.”

Approximately 47 percent of software “exploits” found stalking the Internet in the first half of 2008 were in Chinese while 23 percent were in English, the second most common language for attack programs.

These include programs which can record a user’s keystrokes or steal passwords and credit card and banking information.

Microsoft security watchdogs say they find higher computer-infection rates in developing countries where fledgling Internet users aren’t savvy to tricks and traps used by hackers and online criminals.

“They are exploring this whole new world and not thinking about what problems they might face,” Gullotto said.

The weapons of choice for online attacks are “Trojan Horses,” software applications hidden inside programs that computer users are duped or coaxed into downloading, according to the Microsoft report.

“The area of concern specifically is browser-based exploits,” Gullotto said.

“If you are out surfing the Web, good or bad, there is the possibility some exploit on that page is going to take advantage of you and compromise some information on your computer.”

Overall, the number of computer vulnerabilities was down 19 percent in the first half of this year as compared to the same period in 2007. A higher amount of the vulnerabilities that do exist are ranked “high severity.”

“Updating is vitally important,” Gullotto said of protecting computers by keeping operating systems and other software current.

“The newer technology you have in the environment the more secure situation you are going to be in — infection rates come down dramatically.”

Cyber Security: World Bank “Invited” Attack; “Gave Away” Millions of Dollars Through IT Office


Can Bill Gates Help Africa Feed Itself?

September 26, 2008


The global economy might be reeling from the shakeout on Wall Street, but two of the world’s richest businessmen are vowing to spend tens of millions of dollars more – not on bolstering their own companies, but in helping the world’s poorest. With Congress locked in talks over a mammoth bailout package, Bill Gates and Howard Buffett (Warren’s oldest son) announced at the United Nations on Wednesday that their private foundations will plow more than $75 million into helping small farmers in Africa and Latin America to sell their crops as food aid – a move which could potentially overhaul the decades-old – and often criticized – global food aid system.

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China Law Could Impede Microsoft Deal for Yahoo

March 29, 2008

By John Markoff
The New York Times 
March 28, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft’s hostile-takeover attempt against Yahoo may encounter an unexpected hurdle in August after a Chinese antimonopoly law takes effect that will extend the nation’s economic influence far beyond its borders.

The law, which goes into effect on Aug. 1, is intended to strengthen an existing set of antitrust regulations the Chinese originally established in 1993. It will make China a third sphere of regulatory influence, matching the power of the European Union and the United States, according to legal specialists in this country and in China who have studied it.
Formally enacted by the National People’s Congress last year, the measure gives Chinese regulators authority to examine foreign mergers when they involve acquisitions of Chinese companies or foreign businesses investing in Chinese companies’ operations. Beijing could also consider national security issues, according to a report by the official news agency Xinhua.

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China, FBI make $500M software piracy bust

July 25, 2007

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) — Pirated software worth $500 million, including counterfeit Microsoft and Symantec products, has been seized in a long-running joint probe by Chinese police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials from both countries said on Tuesday.

The operation began in 2005 and has led to 25 arrests and the smashing of pirating syndicates in at least two Chinese cities that were making and distributing counterfeit software around the world, with most going to the United States.

“The co-operation between the U.S. and China is an important development …

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