August 3

Important Safety Topic to Cover this year… Music and Movie Sharing Online

So far this year, the RIAA has won two copyright infringement cases against just two individuals totaling over $2 1/2 million.  According to representatives from the RIAA, they have stopped filing lawsuits against individuals.  Supposedly, they are now going to be working directly with ISP’s to try to stop illegal music sharing.  As far as movies go, the MPAA is currently still pursuing lawsuits to stop the illegal sharing of movies online.

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July 30

Why Spam will not go away anytime soon.

I just read an article from Ars Technica stating that 12% of all email users have tried to  buy something from  spam.

A survey was conducted by the Massaging Anti-Abuse Working Group of 800 individuals who have email that is not controlled by an I.T. Department.

Apparently 48% of those surveyed have never clicked on a link in spam or replied to spam. 12% of those surveyed actually were interested in purchasing the items mentioned in the spam.  6% responded to see what would happen.  13% did not know why they responded to the spam.

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July 28

Security news – DNS Holes being fixed

Most venders have been working steadily on the recently revealed DNS Security Hole

If you are not aware of the DNS Hole, here is an except from PC World.

In brief, the flaw relates to how DNS requests are made to servers and fulfilled. The weak point in DNS is that when a computer asks for the translation of a name into a number, malicious parties can try to "poison" the response, by feeding out inaccurate information. The current DNS system uses some random components to made it hard to poison, but Kaminsky discovered that due to an overlooked hole, a peristent malicious party could ultimately succeed.

It appears that most vendors have released and deployed security fixes for the problem.  The surprising holdout is Apple.  As of the publishing of this article, Apple has yet to release the fix for their servers.  According to the Tidbits website, this could pose a huge problem for uses of Apple servers.

All users who connect to Mac OS X-based servers for DNS lookups are at risk: Apple has not yet provided a patch, unlike dozens of other companies that make or distribute operating systems or DNS server software.

Hopefully Apple will address this issue soon.