Starting next month, Microsoft will begin automatically upgrading some Windows users to the latest version of Internet Explorer available for their PCs, the Redmond software juggernaut announced in a blog post today. These silent updates are deemed an "important step in helping to move the Web forward," though consider this a trial run.
Young employees determined to log onto Facebook or bounce around the Web are going to do so, in part because they're motivated to get online and frequently ignore IT policies, and also because the policies in place simply aren't tough enough, according to a global study from Cisco. Seven out of 10 young employees outright ignore IT policies on a frequent basis, and one in four is a victim of identity theft before the age of 30, Cisco says.
Apps masquerading as legitimate third-party programs like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Tetris, Need for Speed, and others are part of a so-called "RuFraud" scam in which unknowing victims are charged premium SMS fees. This has reportedly been going on for the past few months, mainly in Europe, and it's something Google is cracking down on by removing offending apps from the Android Market.
The recently discovered Carrier IQ controversy is a little unsettling, to say the least. In short, Carrier IQ is a monitoring program that tracks things like GPS location, app usage details, and HTTP requests, and worst of all, this peeping tom program comes pre-loaded on many Android handsets (there's a way you can check for it if you own a rooted phone). Want to know more?
Nobody likes malware. Correction: nobody with a soul likes malware, which effectively excludes malware writers and script kiddies who find it monetarily beneficial (the former) or just plain amusing (the latter) to spread infected files. Microsoft certainly isn't amused by malware and has built a tool to help restore systems ravaged by rootkits and other cruft.
Browser vendors are constantly on the lookout for things to brag about. While just about any type of bragging rights are welcome, vendors are mostly found crowing about either speed, security or HTML5 compliance. This time it’s Google’s turn to break into a victory lap, for Chrome has just been crowned the most secure browser in a study conducted by Accuvant Labs.
Security firm Symantec this week announced the results of its November 2011 Intelligence Report, a monthly analysis on the state of security and trending cyber threats. The roller coaster report notes that the number of targeted attacks quadrupled since January (boo!), but the global spam rate in November is not only the lowest all year, but for the past three years as well (yay!).
We hate to read about job cuts during the holiday season (or any time during the year, but especially now), and McAfee said it was a "difficult decision" to trim its workforce, but ultimately felt that's what needed to be done if the company's going to grow in 2012. The Intel-owned security outfit handed out around 250 pink slips, effectively reducing its workforce by 3 percent.
While it's not unusual for companies to promise a variety of things “in time for the holidays,” a patch for a zero-day bug being exploited in the wild is usually not one of them. But that’s something you can look forward to if you have Adobe Reader and/or Acrobat 9.x for Windows. In a security advisory issued on Tuesday, Adobe warned of a “critical” vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat that is being exploited in the wild. Hit the jump for more.
Tis the season for many things, like spreading holiday cheer, grabbing swank electronics gear on sale, and watching holiday classics like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story (funny movies no matter which, if any, holiday you celebrate this time of year). It's also the season for making lists. Fortinet, a Sunnyvale-based firm specializing in network security appliances, sent us a list of its Top 8 Security Predictions for 2012.