In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: You Aren't Safe. Get Over It.
2. Today's Top Story
- Ubuntu Linux Vs. Windows Vista: The Battle For Your Desktop
- Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista: Chapter 2, Installing And Upgrading Windows Vista
- Microsoft Posts Record Third-Quarter Profits, Credits Windows Vista
3. Breaking News
- Jobs Says Apple Customers Not Into Renting Music
- "Critical" Apple QuickTime Bug Affects iPod Users
- New High-Tech Jobs Gain Momentum
- Broadband Service Providers Face Wiretapping Deadline
- Christian Coalition Calls Net Neutrality A "Family Issue"
- Adobe Opens Flex
- Siemens Loses Its CEO, Gains An SEC Probe
- Cisco Warns Of Bug In NetFlow Monitoring Tool
- Carriers, Startups Face Off Over 700-MHz Auction
- Congressional Hearing Set On USDA Data Breach
- Acer America Recalls 27,000 Laptop Batteries
- Microsoft Releases Windows Server Longhorn To Public Beta
4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts:
- Does A Job Ad Signal The Return Of The Google Phone?
- OZ Buys Thumbspeed: Is The Mobile Messaging Market Consolidating?
- FON Dials It Up With Software-Only Hotspot For Mac, Linux
- How Does RadioShack Stay In Business?
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
- Enterprise Resource Planning: The Fast Track To Back-Office Integration
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"In safety, do not forget danger." -- Chinese Proverb
1. Editor's Note: You Aren't Safe. Get Over It
The latest news to add to the list of online perils to be paranoid about comes courtesy of the Washington Post. Virus writers apparently have a new scheme for distributing malicious code: purchasing popular Google keywords and publishing ads that purport to lead users to legitimate Web sites. Some of the keywords the tricksters bought include "BBB" (for Better Business Bureau) and "Cars.com."
The catch is that clicking on these ads really directs users to nasty places where a particularly damaging piece of malware lurks. If you didn't install an IE patch issued by Microsoft in June 2006, and if you're unlucky enough to be lured to one of these dubious sites, a flaw in Microsoft Windows downloads software that steals passwords and sensitive financial information from your PC. This exploit was identified by Exploit Prevention Labs; it echoes a similar one caught by Security Fix in mid-2006 in which a banner ad on MySpace linked users to an equally dangerous URL.
Yes, as respondents to the article have pointed out, you could put the blame on compromised users because they failed to install the IE patch. But let's face it: If you're reading this post on the InformationWeek Web site, you almost certainly possess a certain amount of technical acumen -- probably more than 99% of the general Internet-using population. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of the rest of the world isn't aware of the supreme importance of installing security patches, and moreover depends on the reputation of big-name brands like Google to shield them against tricks like this. Yes, it's naive. But it explains the alarming statistics of why so many PCs of less-technically-expert people get infected so fast and so frequently.
This latest nefarious antic certainly gave me pause: I use Google sponsored links all the time. And -- clearly wrongly -- the fact that they appear on the Google search results page has always increased my sense of their legitimacy. One more thing to put on my personal list.
What about you? What of all the continuous stream of malicious tricks particularly alarms you? Have you ever fallen for one? Has anyone near and dear to you been tricked into giving up sensitive data? Let us hear your stories.
Does A Job Ad Signal The Return Of The Google Phone?
Just when you thought it was safe to deny the existence of a Google Phone, more rumors stir the blogosphere. Late last week Dan Jones at Unstrung pointed out that Google posted a job ad for hardware product manager. So much for Google not getting into the hardware business. Oh, it gets better.
FON Dials It Up With Software-Only Hotspot For Mac, Linux
FON, the Spanish share-your-Internet-connection company, is moving fast this week. On Monday it announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will officially let broadband customers do what some of them have already been doing unofficially -- set up FON routers that redistribute their Internet service via Wi-Fi. Today, FON announced software for Intel Macs and Linux boxes that does the same thing, no router required.
How Does RadioShack Stay In Business?
Leave it to The Onion to ask one of the pressing questions of our time: How does RadioShack stay in business? This clever satire ponders how the age-old retailer manages to survive in the era of Best Buy and Amazon.
Enterprise Resource Planning: The Fast Track To Back-Office Integration
For manufacturers, streamlining back-office functions is only the first step in optimizing the efficiency off the enterprise. Achieving this requires a flexible, easy-to-use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system with components engineered to work together for end-to-end integration of all business functions.
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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.