In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Malicious Coders
2. Today's Top Story
- First Exploit Of Windows Vista Spotted
3. Breaking News
- Well-Known Developer Leaves Novell Over Microsoft Deal
- Microsoft Extends Warranty On Xbox 360
- U.K. Scales Back National Identity Plan
- DHS Privacy Office Says Secure Flight Violated Privacy Act
- Symantec: Another Surge In Worm Scanning For Unpatched Antivirus Software
- Residential VoIP Users Number More Than 9 Million
- Microsoft Seeks RSS Patents; Blogosphere Worries
- Merrill Lynch Sees Possibility Of AOL-Yahoo Tie-Up
- Data Security, Terrorism Top Executive Worries
- Red Hat Shares Up As Results, Outlook Top Forecasts
- Sale Of Voting Machine Firm With Venezuelan Links Will Avoid U.S. Probe
4. In Depth: Reviews
- Windows Live Writer Beta Makes Blogging Better
- ThinkFree Office Suite Attracts UsersAnd Google
- MacBook Pro Is A Solid Win For Apple
- Thunderbird 2.0 Beta 1 Adds New Look And Feel
- GN Netcom's Dual Connectivity Headset
5. Voice Of Authority
- I Was Quoted Out Of Context' = 'The Journalist Published What I Said'
6. White Papers
- The Changing Landscape Of Supply Chain Organizations
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." -- John Milton
1. Editor's Note: Malicious Coders
Over the course of my rather long and varied journalistic career, I've been laid off five times (usually because the magazine in question was shut down) and have survived two or three other rounds of lay offs, so I'm not unfamiliar with the anger and angst that can accompany that process. However, that doesn't mean I've got any sympathy whatsoever with the fool who allegedly planted a logic bomb in Medco Health Solutions' computer system.
According to news reports, the systems administrator, afraid he was going to be caught up in a company-wide layoff, planted the bomb to go off on his birthday. He was not laid off, but when it turned out his code had an error that prevented it from detonating, he reset it for the following year. It was caught by a colleague.
The malicious code would have wiped out not only financial information, but the records that pharmacists use to make sure there are no dangerous combinations among the drugs that a patient is taking. This isn't just a case of database-related identity theft, where the victims have to spend months or years handling the financial falloutalthough that's bad enough. This could have affected the health and the lives of hundreds of people who had nothing to do with Medco's business tactics.
A lawyer for the sysadmin has stated that her client was actually trying to develop a program to automatically erase data. Perhaps. But whether he's guilty or not, this story is a reminder to all of us who work in technology that our work often has more far-reaching consequences than the bleeding-edge hardware and elegant code that we tend to focus on.
Do you have an opinion on this issue? Let us know by going to the blog entry for this commentary.
On a more pleasant note, I hope all the readers of the InformationWeek Daily are enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season.
U.K. Scales Back National Identity Plan
Still, efforts toward a national ID system have not been scrapped completely, and the British government also is still considering requiring foreign nationals to register biometric data.
Microsoft Seeks RSS Patents; Blogosphere Worries
Discovery of the patents has led to conjecture among tech bloggers that the software maker may someday try to seek payment for use of the technology, which is related to receiving and organizing news feeds through a Web browser.
The Changing Landscape Of Supply Chain Organizations
Forrester surveyed 167 supply chain decision-makers to find out how their supply chain organizations have been affected by market dynamics. The results indicate an increased focus on supply chains as a competitive advantage.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.