A surge in the volume of stolen data has caused the price of hacked bank and credit card details to fall sharply, Reuters reports. According to researchers for Finjan, a Web security firm, account details with PIN codes that once sold for $100 or more might now only bring in $10 to $20. Taking its place are new types of stolen data, such as patient healthcare information that can be used to commit insurance fraud or to acquire prescription medication to sell on the black market. Other data commanding a high price now includes business information, company personnel files, and intercepted commercial emails.
Click the jump to see what new types of data are commanding a bigger premium, an why your banking institution might not always have your back.
If operating systems had an obituary section, it would be quickly filling up this summer. First Windows XP kicks the bucket (sort of), and effective November 1st, 2008, OEMs will no longer be able to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel. Believe it or not, the announcement will come as a disappointment to those who planned to purchase the 16-bit OS. While Win 3.11 has been long gone in the standard (retail/OEM) channel, the old code has continued to be used for specialized applications, like cash registers, train schedule displays, and other lower-horsepower platforms.
The November deadline provides a timely opportunity to give a gag geek gift this Christmas. Pick up a Win 3.11 license while you still can, and toss it in a stocking along with Windows 3.11 for Dummies. Hey, it beats a fruitcake!
You've seen the commercial and already know what brown can do for you, but you'll be red with rage if you fall for a new scam based on an old trick. On its website, UPS has posted a bulletin alerting customers that a fraudulent email claiming to be from UPS is making the rounds. The email implores recipients to open an attachment reportedly containing a waybill for the shipment to be picked up, but the only thing being picked up by doing so is a nasty virus.
Maximum PC readers know full well to leave attachments alone, but if you're a frequent UPS customer, these types of scams can catch you off guard, particularly since UPS does, on occasion, send out official notifications that may include attachments. If in doubt, UPS is asking its customers to contact customerservice at ups dot com.
The smell of gun powder hangs in the air, and E3's off to leisurely, jogging start. Since news is spewing out of the California-based trade show like lava from an active volcano, I'm going to focus on bigger stories that will appeal to Maximum PC users' more-refined palettes. So, with that said, read more to find out all about Portal's early return, Duke Nukem's new trilogy, and much, much more.
We just arrived at the EA press conference at the Orpheum theater. Lots of news being released, including the announcement of Sims 3, coming out in 2009. EA demos Dead Space, Spore, Mirror's Edge, NBA Live 09, Dragon Age: Origins, Left4Dead (characters redesiged), and id's Rage! Click through for our liveblog!
Attackers are exploiting the threat using specially designed websites that hideously download malicious code. Since the ActiveX control bears Microsoft's digital signature, those users who have rated MS to be a trustworthy software publisher in their IE settings might very quietly have their systems compromised
Microsoft hasn’t come up with a fix for this bug yet. Though Microsoft says that attacks are targeted and not widespread, you are advised to breeze through the terse list of suggested actions posted by Microsoft and mitigate the risk.
Microsoft has long offered hardware compatibility information for different versions of Windows, including Windows Vista. Remember the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)? Until now, though, Microsoft has dropped the ball on making software compatibility easy to determine. With a renewed emphasis on marketing and customer satisfaction this summer, Microsoft has now created an easy-to-use one-stop shop for determining which hardware and software products will work with Windows Vista, the Windows Vista Compatibility Center.
For a quick tour of the WVCC, and to learn how you can make it even better, see us after the jump.
During a keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2008, Microsoft CEO Kevin Turner went on record claiming Vista "is more secure today than Apple Leopard, or XP, or Linux, or open source." Surprisingly, Turner's right, at least when looking over a report (PDF) from Microsoft's own security division comparing the number of fixed and unfixed vulnerabilities of several operating systems. So is Vista (and by association, Microsoft) getting a bad rap?
Arstechnica says no, and points out "exploited vulnerabilities are something that needs a little bit more emphasis, and so do infection numbers." Security company PC Tools (makers of ThreatFire, reviewed in the February 2008 issue of Maximum PC, page 26) found that up to 70 percent of Vista home PCs are infected with malware, and while Microsoft might not agree with PC Tools' findings, its no secret that Mac OS X and Linux systems are targeted less frequently than Windows. Microsoft evangelist Michael Kleef claims end users are ultimately to blame for the higher infection rate, and not the OS, but when it comes out that one of Vista's main security features was designed to annoy, does the fault really lie with the end user?
There was much hype surrounding Microsoft's DirectX 10 API before its release, and since its debut, we've seen a handful of games take advantage of the new instruction sets. But there still lacks that killer game that blows every DX9 title out of the water and many gamers still resent the decision to tie DX10 exclusively with Vista, leaving the XP faithful out in the cold. And for those that made the upgrade? Microsoft's incremental DX10.1 update came as a slap in the face to anyone who upgraded both their OS and videocard in the hopes of future-proofing their system. Only ATI's 3xxx and 4xxx series support the minor update, which might not be so minor after all.
Soon making the DX10 and DX10.1 controversies old news, TGDaily reports Microsoft will unveil the next major update -- DirectX 11 -- at this year's annual XNA Gamefest scheduled to take place on July 22 and 23 in Seattle. Little is known about DX11, except that Microsoft plans to make it available for both Windows Vista and Windows 7.
With the dust yet to settle on DX10, are gamers looking forward to DX11?
Garage bands, practiced shower singers, local sensations, and other unsigned artists can now get paid through Last.fm's Artist Royalty Progam (ARP). Last.fm announced the service back in a January, and this week the service went live. More than 450,000 tracks have been uploaded to coincide with the launch, and independent artists who register and upload tunes can start accruing royalties any time their songs get played through the site's ad-supported streaming music feature or Web radio.
Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said "This is a bid day for independent artists. We're leveling the playing field by offering them the same opportunities as established bands to make money from their music. The young musician making music in a bedroom studio has the same chance as the latest major label signing to use Last.fm to build an audience and get rewarded. The Artist Royalty Program is another revolutionary step towards helping musicians take control of their music -- and, more importantly, make a living from it."
Click through the jump to find out who's urging indie labels to steer clear of the royalty program.