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10/6/2006
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Trend Micro: Thousands Of Government Computers Infected By Bots

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: A Serious Gap In U.S. Government Cybersecurity
2. Today's Top Story
    - Trend Micro: Thousands Of Government Computers Infected By Bots
3. Breaking News
    - Former HP Chairman To Surrender On Thursday
    - Best Buy To Launch Music Service With Real, SanDisk
    - Microsoft To Impose Windows Vista Activation On Businesses
    - Windows Vista To Take New Tough Line On Counterfeits
    - Vista On Schedule, Says Wall Street
    - Sept. Bug In IIS Impacts All IE Users, Too
    - Wall Street Unmoved By Apple Stock Troubles
    - Adobe Adds Blogging Support To Contribute Web Tool
    - Digital Rights Management Takes Center Stage At Show
    - Dell Pinpointed Sony Battery Flaw Last Year, Records Show
    - Indian Outsourcing Security Questioned By TV Expose
    - Google Launches Search Service For Computer Code
4. Grab Bag
    - Singing The Praises Of The Non-Nano (NY Times - Reg. Required)
    - Managing IT For A Flat World (BusinessWeek)
    - Musical Robot Composes, Performs, And Teaches (CNN)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
    - The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of AOL
    - Review: Roboform Handles Your Passwords
    - Quad-Core Processor Forecast
    - Sirius Satellite Radio Gaining On Rival XM
    - Microsoft Plans Vista Upgrade Coupon For Holiday PC Buying Season
6. Voice Of Authority
    - WGA Compulsion Becomes, Er, Compulsory
7. White Papers
    - Benchmarking Strategies For Application Acceleration
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office." -- Robert Frost


1. Editor's Note: A Serious Gap In U.S. Government Cybersecurity

I'd like to call your attention to our top story today. It describes a serious gap in U.S. government cybersecurity. The article shows how thousands of computers in federal and state governments—including defense-related agencies—are infected by software bots that can be used to mine confidential data, send spam, or launch denial-of-service attacks.

The article is the result of an investigation by reporters Tom Claburn, Larry Greenemeier, and Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, who have been tracking research done by security vendor Trend Micro and interviewing competing security vendors and government and business IT managers. Initially, Trend Micro (and we ourselves) believed the extent of the infection was much greater, with tens of thousands of computers infected. As government IT managers challenged the claim, Trend Micro revised the estimate downward to 7,000 infected machines.

But still, 7,000 infected machines is a big problem. What's unclear at this point is the seriousness of the threat. Thousands of PCs spewing spam is an embarrassment and an expensive nuisance, but nothing more than that. However, is that all there is to it?

We'll be watching this story as it develops.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Trend Micro: Thousands Of Government Computers Infected By Bots
InformationWeek has learned Trend Micro is researching how PCs, including many computers in defense agencies, are infected with software that can be used to mine confidential data, send spam, or launch denial-of-service attacks. But government IT managers challenge those findings, and Trend Micro is backing down on some.


3. Breaking News

Former HP Chairman To Surrender On Thursday
Prosecutors have requested that Patricia Dunn's bail be set at $5,000, or that she be released on her own recognizance, according to her arrest warrant.

Best Buy To Launch Music Service With Real, SanDisk
The Rhapsody service is designed to work hand-in-hand with the new line of SanDisk Sansa e200R digital music players, much in the way that iPods work with iTunes.

Microsoft To Impose Windows Vista Activation On Businesses
Licensed customers must activate within 30 days or be forced to use the crippled version of Vista, Microsoft acknowledged in a detailed paper released Wednesday.

Windows Vista To Take New Tough Line On Counterfeits
One analyst says Microsoft's new activation requirements will simply give legitimate users another reason not to upgrade to the new operating system.

Vista On Schedule, Says Wall Street
Windows Vista looks like it's on track for release to businesses next month, an influential Wall Street analyst with a long history of closely tracking Microsoft said Thursday.

Sept. Bug In IIS Impacts All IE Users, Too
Admitting some confusion, a security group Thursday said it appears one of the vulnerabilities Microsoft disclosed last month affects more users than first thought.

Wall Street Unmoved By Apple Stock Troubles
Wall Street on Thursday was unshaken by Apple's admission of its mishandling of stock options and its disclosure that chief executive Steve Jobs knew about some of the irregularities.

Adobe Adds Blogging Support To Contribute Web Tool
Adobe Thursday shipped Contribute 4, an update to its Web publishing tool that has baked-in blogging support and boasts integration with the Microsoft Office suite on both Windows and Mac OS X.

Digital Rights Management Takes Center Stage At Show
At a music trade show this week, a Sony executive said consumers subscribing to music should have an option to listen to that music in their car, home, or cell phone. This means DRM is inevitable.

Dell Pinpointed Sony Battery Flaw Last Year, Records Show
Dell reported to regulators on Oct. 24, 2005, that overheating problems with Sony battery packs were under review. Initially, though, the company believed the problem was limited in scope.

Indian Outsourcing Security Questioned By TV Expose
Britain's Channel 4 said on its Web site that after a 12-month undercover investigation, it would show in a program on Thursday that criminal networks in India had traded British consumers' bank account details and other commercial information for huge profits.

Google Launches Search Service For Computer Code
Searchers can seek out specific programming terms or computer languages and dive deep into compressed code to locate specific features.

All Our Latest News


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4. Grab Bag

Singing The Praises Of The Non-Nano (NY Times - Reg. Required)
Apple may dominate the MP3 market, but other players have their fans.

Managing IT For A Flat World (BusinessWeek)
In the age of the level global playing field, companies will need to rethink the way they compete, collaborate, and communicate.

Musical Robot Composes, Performs, And Teaches (CNN)
Haile's basic function is to "listen" to what musicians are playing and play along with them.


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of AOL
AOL, which recently abandoned its "pay-to-play" model, is now trying to succeed as a free service in a very crowded marketplace. Can it succeed? We look at AOL's past and its possible future.

Review: Roboform Handles Your Passwords
If you're an enthusiastic surfer, you've probably accumulated dozens—or even hundreds—of password-protected sites. Roboform can help you keep your passwords organized and available.

Quad-Core Processor Forecast
Here's a quick guide to help you sort through the blizzard of CPU information spewing forth from Intel and AMD as they preview their respective quad-core plans.

Sirius Satellite Radio Gaining On Rival XM
Sirius ended the third quarter with 5.1 million subscribers, a 135% increase over the same period a year ago.

Microsoft Plans Vista Upgrade Coupon For Holiday PC Buying Season
The coupons are designed to help push PC sales and will provide XP system buyers with either a free or discounted upgrade to Vista once it ships next year.

Motorola iRadio Readying Launch
Motorola is quietly testing a digital music service for phones called iRadio with hundreds of consumers.


6. Voice Of Authority

WGA Compulsion Becomes, Er, Compulsory
Microsoft has just announced that the anti-piracy controls in Windows Vista will make Windows Genuine Advantage look indulgently permissive.


7. White Papers

Benchmarking Strategies For Application Acceleration
Here's how to understand where wide-area application slowdowns occur in a network, and how to unclog the checkpoints.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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