Microsoft and EU Settle, Phishing Scams, Busts

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Capping our list of top IT news stories this week, Microsoft and the European Commission reached accord on the ongoing antitrust case against the company. While

this will free up some room in future top-news lists, we expect that we'll continue to have no end of bad news related to phishing scams, of which there was plenty this week as well. Thankfully, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison added some levity to the mix, though his brand of joking undoubtedly fell flat at

1. Microsoft, EU Reach Accord on Antitrust Microsoft and the European Commission agreed to terms to end the decade-long Web-browser antitrust case against the company. "I think this is a trustful deal we are making. There can't be a misunderstanding because it is the final result of a long discussion between Steve Ballmer and me," said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

2. Hotmail Accounts Breached by Suspected Phishing Attacks and Gmail and Yahoo Also Caught in Massive Phishing Scam: Extremely rude people posted information online about more than 10,000 compromised Hotmail accounts, presumably to gloat over their success in getting others to turn over personal information. Not content to stop at 10,000, webmail attackers then posted information about thousands more Gmail and Yahoo and AOL mail accounts. Read on for more news about scammers ...

3. Operation Phish Phry Hooks 100 in U.S. and Egypt: Good news came in the War on Phishing with word that U.S. authorities broke up a huge scam, indicting 53 people on an assortment of charges, while Egyptian authorities arrested 47 people allegedly involved in the same scam. Alas, those arrests scarcely took a drop from the great sea of phishers out there.

4. DOJ tries to step in front of IBM mainframe steamroller: The U.S. Department of Justice in the Obama administration continues to signal that it means business when it comes to antitrust -- next up is, apparently, IBM, with the agency opening a preliminary investigation into whether the company abused its mainframe computer monopoly.

5. FCC's Genachowski to Enter Wireless Hot House and Genachowski Lays Out FCC Mobile Strategy: U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Julius Genachowski grabbed headlines out of the CTIA conference, underscoring that the FCC is serious about dealing with mobile communications issues.

6. Click Forensics: Bahama Botnet Stealing Traffic from Google: A sophisticated network of compromised computers known as the Bahama botnot is causing click fraud for online advertisers, but in what is perhaps an even cheekier aspect of its nefarious work, the botnet is stealing Web traffic, and therefore revenue, from Google.

7. UK's High Court Rejects Appeal for UFO Hacker: Gary McKinnon cannot appeal his extradition to the U.S. to the U.K.'s Supreme Court, the U.K. High Court ruled in a decision that leaves the British hacker with fewer legal options. McKinnon has admitted that he broke into U.S. military and NASA computers, saying he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

8. Ellison Mocks's 'Itty Bitty' Application: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison turned his trademark sarcastic sense of humor toward, calling its software an "itty bitty" application that relies on Oracle's middleware. In an interesting twist, CEO Marc Benioff is supposed to speak at Oracle OpenWorld next week. Although the CEOs had a falling out sometime ago, is a sponsor of the Oracle show this year and Benioff's speech may have been seen as an indication that the hatchet had been buried. But, maybe not.

9. OpenWorld to shed light on Oracle's Java plans and What to expect at Oracle OpenWorld: Many IT professionals will have their eyes on OpenWorld, hoping to get a better sense of Oracle's plans for Java after its acquisition of Sun Microsystems closes. Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of other news from the conference, too.

10. Microsoft plans monster Patch Tuesday next week: Tuesday could be a grim day for systems administrators and the like as Microsoft has given notice that it will release its biggest ever slew of security patches.

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