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12/28/2006
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First Exploit Of Windows Vista Spotted

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 Users—And 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 fallout—although 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.

Barbara Krasnoff
bkrasnoff@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

First Exploit Of Windows Vista Spotted
It is the first Windows Vista exploit made public since the operating system was released to volume license customers Nov. 30.


3. Breaking News

Well-Known Developer Leaves Novell Over Microsoft Deal
Jeremy Allison is leaving, apparently terming the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement a "mistake."

Microsoft Extends Warranty On Xbox 360
The Redmond, Wash., software maker said it was making the change to make the standard Xbox warranty consistent throughout the world.

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.

DHS Privacy Office Says Secure Flight Violated Privacy Act
Reportedly, authorities failed to publicize changes to the program, which included the collection of commercial data in 2004 and 2005.

Symantec: Another Surge In Worm Scanning For Unpatched Antivirus Software
Sensors monitored by Symantec's DeepSight threat management service have reported a significant spike in traffic related to TCP port 2967, which Symantec has traced to scans generated by the "Sagevo" worm.

Residential VoIP Users Number More Than 9 Million
Subscribers using facilities-based VoIP have created a horse race between Vonage and Time Warner Cable users, with Vonage reporting 1.7 million users to Time Warner's 1.6 million.

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.

Merrill Lynch Sees Possibility Of AOL-Yahoo Tie-Up
Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen said Friday AOL and Yahoo could be open to a tie-up in 2007, spurred by AOL's falling market share in Internet search and Yahoo's lag behind Google.

Data Security, Terrorism Top Executive Worries
A Harris Interactive online poll shows that more than five years after 9/11, more than half of business leaders are still worried about terrorism.

Red Hat Shares Up As Results, Outlook Top Forecasts
Red Hat shares climbed as much as 19% Friday after the No. 1 provider of Linux software reported a quarterly profit and outlook that topped Wall Street forecasts.

Sale Of Voting Machine Firm With Venezuelan Links Will Avoid U.S. Probe
During the recent midterm elections in the United States, Sequoia said its voting machines were used in 16 states without any major problems.

All Our Latest News


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?
Learn how nearly 700 business technology professionals are planning to adopt Vista in InformationWeek Research's report Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?

2006 InformationWeek 500 Report
The newest InformationWeek 500 report examines the best IT and business practices of the most innovative users of technology, the InformationWeek 500.
To pre-register for the 2007 InformationWeek 500 list

-----------------------------------------


4. In Depth: Reviews

Windows Live Writer Beta Makes Blogging Better
Microsoft's free application offers bloggers some convenient tools and freedom from their browsers' limitations.

ThinkFree Office Suite Attracts Users—And Google
The online Office look-alike offers a free word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation package, along with social networking.

MacBook Pro Is A Solid Win For Apple
When testing the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, the most frequent question was "What's not to like?" The answer: Not much.

Thunderbird 2.0 Beta 1 Adds New Look And Feel
Mozilla's open source e-mail client tweaks the interface and adds features, but doesn't lose its simplicity and usefulness.

GN Netcom's Dual Connectivity Headset
The GN 9350 wireless headset lets you work with your landline phone and VoIP at the same time.


5. Voice Of Authority

'I Was Quoted Out Of Context' = 'The Journalist Published What I Said'
In a recent interview, Seagate CEO Bill Watkins joked: "Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap—and watch porn." Seagate employees were offended, and so Watkins did the manly thing--he blamed somebody else.


6. White Papers

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.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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