The H Week
It's conference season at the moment so much of the news on the The H this week was conference related. Reports covered items from the Ubuntu Developer Summit, the JavaOne Conference, the Google Developer Conference, the SIGINT 09 Conference and the CONFidence 2009 Conference.
Open source news
Mandriva announced that it was going into the cloud storage business with Click'n'Backup a service providing online storage at between 22 and 13 pence a month per gigabyte (price per gigabyte drops with larger volumes).
Sessions on Android at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, running over the course of the past week in Barcelona, fueled speculation over what Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) will offer in the way of Android compatibility.
In a first and perhaps a last, Microsoft is to give its first keynote speech at the JavaOne Conference which starts next week. This may be the last JavaOne because new owners Oracle may decide to incorporate Java discussion in its Oracle OpenWorld Conference that normally takes place later in the year.
It's becoming increasingly obvious recently that Google is no longer 'just a search engine provider'. At the Google Developer Conference running in San Francisco over the course of the past week Google presented a range of new products and promoted a web-based programming model as the future of software development. Perhaps one of the most exciting presentations was of Google Wave, a web based collaboration environment, which could well turn out to be the next killer app.
Following the recent energetic discussions over the future of Linux file systems and the intention of a number of leading distributions to make Ext4 the default filing system with their next step release, on Friday The H Open Source published a feature "The Ext4 Linux file system" which has already proven very popular with our readers.
The past H week started on a paranoid note with the news that the Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) project had presented its second beta of its LiveCD at the SIGINT 09 conference over the weekend. UPR is designed to keep even the non-technical user safe from snooping by both criminals and government security services. The German developers are particularly keen to foil the installation of the Federal Trojan intelligence-gathering software planned by the German government
Although having finished it over a month ago Microsoft finally released SP2 for Windows Vista and Server 2008 as a general download, with distribution via auto-update promised “within the next few weeks”. This service pack contains all the patches issued since SP1 plus a few new features, such as improved wireless and Blu-ray support.
Our occasional 'Worth reading' thread published a link to a paper by Piotr Bania on the problems of analysing packed malware which seems to be continuing problem for anti-malware scanners (1, 2, 3, 4).
Research In Motion announced it had patched yet another hole in its PDF Distiller BlackBerry Attachment Service. This allowed an attacker to gain control of a BlackBerry server through a crafted PDF.
A recent study by McAfee on 'The Web's most dangerous search terms' finds that apparently about 60 per cent of the results of searching for screen savers lead to dangerous sites. The study also lists other high risk search terms.
The original L0phtCrack team have bought back the rights for the password cracker from Symantec and this week released a new version, version 6, of this legendary tool. The password cracker is, of course, intended purely for testing the strength of passwords. L0phtCrack is subject to US export laws and the download page for the 15 day trial carries a warning that the software should not be downloaded outside the US, although there is nothing to stop anyone actually doing so.
It seems routers, with their built-in operating systems, are increasingly becoming security targets. Michal Sajdak had revealed a method for gaining remote control of a popular DSL router at the CONFidence 2009 security conference in Krakow in mid-May. This week he published further details of this methods.
The ancient art of steganography, concealing a secret message within other innocent data, re-surfaced in The H Security story on Friday about three Polish researchers who have developed a method of hiding secret messages using re-transmitted TCP packets.
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