Security, Security, More Security

Security news dominated this week, and that will undoubtedly be the case next week as well, with the Black Hat and Defcon conferences under way in Las Vegas. In other news, Yahoo shareholders met Friday for their annual meeting, with fewer fireworks than expected.

1. DNS patches cause problems, developers admit: Patches for the DNS (Domain Name System) vulnerability that has generated so much buzz have led to performance problems for servers running BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) software. BIND is the most popular DNS software. Administrators shouldn't roll back the patch released July 8, said Paul Vixie, head of the Internet Systems Consortium, which oversees BIND. "The vulnerability is of more concern than a slow server," he said. An updated patch is in the offing. Meanwhile, hackers are actively exploiting the DNS vulnerability, and ...

2. Apple finally patches dangerous DNS flaw and Opinion: Apple's unforgivable DNS delay: Apple issued a patch -- finally -- for its implementation of the BIND server software in various Mac OS releases. The delay in the patch release has caused considerable consternation among Mac fans.

3. A photo that can steal your online credentials and Black Hat/Defcon: Welcome to the funhouse: Among other things, researchers at Black Hat next week will demonstrate software they've developed that can circumvent security and take over accounts on popular sites such as Facebook, Google and eBay. The malicious software looks like image files to Web servers. The researchers will leave out details of how the attack works so that it won't be immediately used. We expect a lot of news out of Black Hat and Defcon, both in Las Vegas next week.

4. After facing shareholders, Yang must fulfill promises and Yahoo on defensive at shareholder meeting: Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has made a lot of promises about how he's going to get Yahoo back in its financial and technology grooves. Shareholders at Friday's annual meeting served up some criticism, and one even suggested that Chairman Roy Bostock "do the honorable thing" and quit, but the get-together overall wasn't as heated as had been expected. Even so, with Microsoft's attempts to buy all or part of Yahoo now presumably behind the company, and having made peace with investor Carl Icahn, Yang and other company leaders will be expected to deliver.

5. FBI warns of new Storm worm attacks: The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned that spam e-mails making the rounds on the Internet are spreading the dreaded Storm worm. Watch out for e-mail containing the phrase "F.B.I. vs. Facebook" and don't click on links in unsolicited e-mail, especially when you don't know the sender.

6. FCC rules against Comcast P-to-P throttling: Comcast must stop interfering with peer-to-peer traffic on its broadband network, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ordered. The FCC decided in a 3-2 vote that Comcast has to stop slowing down P-to-P traffic by the end of the year and develop a new network management plan or face an injunction and possible other penalties.

7. Cuil stumbles out of the gate and What's in a name? Better not ask Cuil: The Cuil (pronounced "cool") search engine launched with promises to take a whack at Google. But an inauspicious start led to a flurry of criticisms about search results returned by the engine. It didn't help that Cuil's servers were overwhelmed on launch day. Started by a former Google employee and her husband, Cuil was said to be named after the Irish word for "knowledge." But it didn't take much searching on the Internet to discover that isn't actually what "cuil" means.

8. Sun releases preview of JavaFX SDK: Sun got into the hot rich Internet application market, releasing a preview software developer kit for JavaFX. Support for some features is missing from the preview SDK, but will be rolled out in later releases.

9. IBM invests big in two new cloud-computing centers and Update: Yahoo, Intel and HP form cloud-computing labs: IBM is investing US$360 million in a cloud-computing data center that it says will be the most sophisticated ever. The center will be housed in an existing building IBM will renovate in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The company also plans a new center in Tokyo where customers will be able to develop their own cloud infrastructures and applications. In other cloud-computing news this week, Yahoo, Intel and Hewlett-Packard announced they will work together on research and education in that area.

10. IOC caves to China Internet censorship: The International Olympic Committee cut a deal with the Chinese government to allow censorship of Internet sites during the Olympics. The censorship was noticed by journalists working in the Olympics newsroom, who immediately cried foul.

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