Sony still not out of the security woods yet!

Sony-Hack-115x115Its not going great for Sony of late with the hacking of user personal data a few weeks back. Now the site that they setup to allow users to change their passwords easily is part of a new security issue, in which an exploit was found that could allow a hacker to impersonate the user.

“A website set up by Sony to allow users to reset their passwords following last month’s hack attack is itself subject to a security alert.

A Sony user discovered an exploit on the site that could have been used by hackers to impersonate users.

Password resets have been necessary following the exposure of 77 million Sony PlayStation users’ personal details.

Sony admitted the sites were insecure but said no hack had occurred.”

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News

ACS:Law fined

Just to round off a story I have been following for some time regarding ACS:Law and their practices to scare internet users into paying fines up front of being taken to court, and in most cases the users where innocent.

Andrew Crossley, the controversial solicitor who made money by accusing computer users of illegal file sharing, has been fined £1,000.

The penalty has been imposed for a data breach which saw the personal details of 6,000 computer users, targeted by his firm, exposed online.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that the severity of the breach warranted a heavier fine.

But he added that Mr Crossley was not in a position to pay.

“Were it not for the fact that ACS:Law has ceased trading so that Mr Crossley now has limited means, a monetary penalty of £200,000 would have been imposed, given the severity of the breach.”

Finally the courts have fined the lawyer of the company that pursued users, but in a paltry sum, the £1000 fine despite what the Information Commissioner stated the fine was way way too low, considering the amount of money this cost the taxpayer in court time, to the distress that falsely accused internet users had to endure with a threat of court hanging over their heads.

For me personally it does not deter other firms doing the same.

 

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News.

Sony to launch two Android based Tablets

I think this year we will see a large rise in tablets from a number of manufacturers in a bid to get a foothold in what is likely to be a massive growth area by the end of the year.

“Sony launched its first tablet computers Tuesday in an ambitious attempt to grab the No.2 spot from Samsung in a fast-growing market dominated by Apple’s year-old iPad.

The gadgets, based on Google’s Android 3.0 operating system, could be some of the Japanese company’s most important new products since the Playstation game console made its debut in 1994.

Sony, also the inventor of the Walkman and once a symbol of Japan’s high-tech might, is now struggling to come up with hit devices and improve profit margins as it competes with Apple, Samsung Electronics and Nintendo”

Full article HERE at Reuters

Tit for Tat – Samsung sues Apple

The merry-go-round of intellectual property is alive and well, with Apple first suing Samsung for copying the look of their iPad to now Samsung firing a return salvo law suit at Apple.

“Samsung Electronics is suing Apple, claiming its rival violated its patent rights, days after Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying designs of its iPad and iPhone.

The patent lawsuits, filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany, involve infringement of up to five patents, Samsung said in a statement.

Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last Friday for violating its patents.

It is the latest patent dispute in an increasingly competitive industry.”

Read the full Article HERE at BBC Technology News

BT escapes prosecution over web snooping

 

BT using its Phorm advertising software to monitor what the users of their services where watching and then to tailor advertisements to that viewing habit was always going to be a potential flashpoint in privacy circles.

However it looks as if BT dodges the bullet,

“BT will not be prosecuted for snooping on the web browsing habits of its customers.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped a request bring charges against BT and Phorm – the firm that supplied the monitoring system.

The Webwise software used cookies to track people online and then tailored adverts to the sites they visited.

The CPS explained its decision saying that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution.

The web tracking trials were carried out in 2006 and involved more than 16,000 BT customers. When the covert trials became public they led to calls for prosecution because BT and partner Phorm did not get the consent of customers beforehand.

This left them open to prosecution under Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which outlaws unlawful interception.”

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News.

Ofcom in UK announces 4G consultation

Ofcom logo

The next generation of mobile communications as in 4G will be up for sale to providers like O2, T-Mobile, Vodaphone, The 3 Network, in early 2012. This will open the UK up to much quicker mobile communications than the current 3G, we do still lag some other countries in adopting 4G.

“The telecoms regulator has launched a consultation on how best to sell off the rights to the next generation of mobile wireless networks.

The auction of the fourth generation, or 4G, spectrum will be the largest ever, equivalent to three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today.

The last time an auction was held, for 3G in 2000, it raised a record £22.5bn for the Treasury.

The auction itself is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012.

The additional spectrum to be sold off should mean faster speeds for downloading data – such as music and movies – to phones as more capacity is made spare for all the networks.”

4G will help the vast numbers of users now using smartphones like the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile 7 series phones in connecting and sending data much quicker, especially in streaming.

Read full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Hackers take on Secure ID Tokens

hackerI would say not the best security in the world to let this information out in to the wild and for hackers to actually get to the data, while RSA state that its not as bad as portrayed, I can imagine its not good either.

“Hackers have stolen data about the security tokens used by millions of people to protect access to bank accounts and corporate networks.

RSA Security told customers about the “extremely sophisticated cyber attack” in an open letter posted online.

The company is providing “immediate remediation” advice to customers to limit the impact of the theft

It also recommended customers take steps, such as hardening password policies, to help protect themselves.”

Read full Article HERE at BBC Technology News

Cookies good or bad

cookie_monster-eating-a-cookieWell as cookies do not harbour malware and are mistakenly thought to do so by many applications, so I thought I would follow this story as its very correct in that cookies just follow your movement around a particular website.

“The way websites track visitors and tailor ads to their behaviour is about to undergo a big shake-up.

From 25 May, European laws dictate that “explicit consent” must be gathered from web users who are being tracked via text files called “cookies”.

These files are widely used to help users navigate faster around sites they visit regularly.

Businesses are being urged to sort out how they get consent so they can keep on using cookies.”

It looks as if the European Union is to start forcing websites to alert users to their site/s, to what information is being gathered by the cookies. In the next version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE9) note it is a Release Candidate (test version) at present you do have the option to do this yourself and block the information a website gathers, with Tracking Protection.

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News

Microsoft to release SDK for Xbox360 Kinect

 

kinectI think this is one of the best things Microsoft could have done in releasing the Software Developers Kit (SDK) for 3rd party developers to create new applications around the Kinect device.

“Every year about this time, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, holds an intimate gathering to discuss the company’s vision for the future: just Craig, a handful of Microsoft thinkers and select media convening for a lively show-and-tell discussion called TechForum.

The Kinect for Windows SDK is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with IEB. It will be available this spring as a free download, and will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to key pieces of the Kinect system—such as the audio technology, system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself.”

This will open up 3rd party applications for use on Windows PCs.

Read more HERE at the Technet blog.

Nokia and Microsoft join forces

Likely at some point that Nokia would join up with Microsoft in some form as Stephen Elop was at Microsoft until this new appointment at Nokia.

“Nokia has joined forces with Microsoft in an attempt to regain ground lost to the iPhone and Android-based devices.

The deal will see Nokia use the Windows phone operating system for its smartphones, the company said.

It means that Nokia’s existing operating systems will be sidelined.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Nokia’s chief executive Stephen Elop revealed that there would be “substantial” job losses as a result of the tie-up.”

I think with Nokia’s flair for good hard wearing phones that using Windows Mobile 7 or a new in-house OS will bring this brand back in the fight with Apple and Google.

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News.