Around the IT Industry 10/8-10/12

by Modis on October 12, 2012

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Malware Being Spread via Skype

A particularly nasty piece of malware is making the rounds in cyberspace primarily conveyed by the Skype instant messaging client via an unassuming message with a link attached.  This worm locks out the user’s computer and informs them that their computer has been used for illegal activity and threatens to deliver proof of this use to a nameless government entity unless a fine is paid by way of a MoneyPak pre-paid card, the number of which must be provided in order to unlock the computer.  Failure to comply, warns the software, will result in deletion of the computer’s files.  Naturally, the claims of this malware are false, but to avoid getting locked out by the worm, Skype has recommended that users install the latest version of their software which, they claim, has patched the software vulnerability which allows this malware to propagate.

Military-Level Encryption Comes to the iPhone

Most people take privacy for granted these days, not realizing just how many people might be spying on their private text messages, phone calls, or e-mails on a daily basis.  Mike Janke, a former Navy SEAL, is not one of those people.  To safeguard his daily communications, he has pioneered a cell phone encryption service on par with the military’s highest standards called Silent Circle.  Silent Circle is a subscription-based service that allows users to encrypt their cellular signal in such a way as to render it practically impervious to technological eavesdropping.  The application, which costs $20 a month, will be available in the Apple App Store soon.

How Much Are You Worth to Facebook and Google?

The old saying goes that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that adage is as true as ever in the world of social media and Internet advertising.  While popular services such as Facebook and Google are free of monetary cost to users, those same users may not grasp how much of their personal information and demographic data they impart to the owners of said services.  A new privacy add-on for Firefox and Chrome called Privacyfix aims to inform consumers about just how much profit service providers such as Facebook make off of their daily usage.  To many people, the information is quite shocking.

Bing Has More Poisoned Search Results Than Google

Search engine poisoning is a form of cyber attack that aims to skew search engine results away from legitimate business sites and towards data mining and malware-laden sites where hapless browsers might unknowingly allow their machines to become infected with spyware and other such Internet garbage.  In a recent study conducted by SophosLabs, Bing was discovered to provide more poisoned results than its competitors and therefore puts users of the engine at considerable risk for malware infection.

World of Warcraft Hacked

Blizzard Activision’s world-famous MMO World of Warcraft was recently the target of a hacker attack which took advantage of an exploit in the game’s code and allowed the hackers to repeatedly kill all of the player and non-player characters in several major trade cities within the game, causing significant disturbance in gameplay for a fair portion of the game’s 10 million players.  Blizzard has issued a statement regarding the issue, assuring players that the exploit has been hot-fixed with the latest updates and should not be repeatable.

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