The Conficker worm has been generating the big security headlines, but what The New York Times calls a "vast electronic spying operation" reveals an ongoing, very sophisticated cyberespionage campaign that may well represent an even more important threat than Conficker - especially to the Dalai Lama's Tibetan freedom movement.
Researchers at the University of Toronto Munk Center's Citizen Lab summarize GhostNet thus:
Documented evidence of a cyber espionage network— GhostNet—infecting at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, of which close to 30% can be considered as high-value diplomatic, political, economic, and military targets.
Documented evidence of GhostNet penetration of computer systems containing sensitive and secret information at the private offces of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan targets.
Documentation and reverse engineering of the modus operandi of the GhostNet system—including vectors, targeting, delivery mechanisms, data retrieval and control systems—reveals a covert, diffcult-to-detect and elaborate cyber-espionage system capable of taking full control of affected systems.
To find out more about how GhostNet works, join us after the jump.
It seems as though everyone is looking to put a twist on their netbook lineup as of late in order to stand out from the crowd. Dell tossed a TV tuner into its Inspiron Mini 10, OCZ unveiled a DIY netbook at CeBIT, and more recently, Asus announced its first optical drive-equipped Eee PC. Not to be left behind, Samsung's upcoming N120 netbook will come with integrated 2.1 speakers, and it's available for pre-order now.
Samsung still hasn't published an official product page for the N120, but that's okay, because a handful of merchants have coughed up the core configuration. And at this point, we have the basic netbook blueprint fairly well memorized. In addition to somehow managing to cram a subwoofer into a 10.1-inch netbook, Samsung's N120, available in either black or white, will come configured with Intel's Atom N270 (1.6GHz) processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and Windows XP.
Pre-order pricing has so far hovered in the $450 range with at least one site showing an ETA of April 14.
The launch of a new free email service with the promise of a full gigabyte of storage space was no prank when Gmail was first made available on April 1, 2004, otherwise known as April Fools Day. Five years later, the wildly popular (among techies) webmail continues to benefit with frequent feature enhancements (Mail Goggles, anyone?). And five years later, Gmail is still in beta.
"Google Mail was born out of an experimental project created by a few engineers at Google five years ago," a Google spokesperson said. "From the beginning, we wanted Gmail to be a faster, cleaner, and more intuitive solutin for people's email."
Surprisingly, Gmail has yet to gain mass appeal among the general public, despite having long since abandoned its invite-only system for signing up. Accorded to Hitwise stats, Gmail only claimed 6 percent of the webmail market last year, compared to Yahoo Mail's 55 percent and Microsoft Windows Live at 26 percent. However, Google's Gmail service continues to grow, and to the tune of 43 percent last year according to comScore.
TunerFreeMCE's Martin Millmore posted an example of what Hulu is doing to restrict its content, which at first meant that "no new programs will be added to Hulu in TunerFreeMCE at the moment." However, Millmore was quick to update the Vista MCE add-in to version 2.6.7, which he says works with Hulu's new encoding, albeit while running a fair bit slower.
According to Engadget, Boxee will also have an update available for Windows and Linux users before long with a workaround in place. Once that happens, it will be interesting to see how Hulu responds, who some feel is at the whim of its content providers, and not evil aliens (if such a separation exists).
Nvidia today announced the GeForce GTX 275 GPU, which the company claims is the highest performing GPU in the $230 to $250 price tier. As the name suggests, the GTX 275 nestles in between the GTX 260 and GTX 285, fleshing out the company's mid-range graphics line.
Build around the GT200 architecture, the GTX 275 sports 240 processor cores racing along at 1,404MHz, 80 texture processing units, and 895MB of GDDR3 video memory clocked at 1,134MHz on a 448-bit bus. The reference design calls for the GPU to run 634MHz. The end result is a videocard that, according to Nvidia, will best ATI's HD 4890 by 10 to 20 percent.
Nvidia also announced its new GeForce Power Pack #3. Included with the new Power Pack are three new PhysX-accelerated apps and two new CUDA-accelerated programs.
The GeForce GTX 275 will be available globally on or before April 14 in both standard and overclocked versions from the usual suspects (Asus, BFG, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, XFX, and more).
Super Talent recently announced their latest SSD development with a new patented product called the RAIDDrive. This fancy new piece of tech promises to increase the performance and capacity that slot based storage solutions currently offer, by boosting the ceiling up to 2TB.
The RAIDDrive is currently in three different flavors: the RAIDDrive ES, the RAIDDrive WS and the RAIDDrive GS. The ES is aimed at enterprise servers that will perform intensive applications, such as database transaction processing, business intelligence and virtualization. The WS is directed at workstation use for animation, video editing, oil/gas exploration and CAD. The GS is meant for gamers looking for a (much) faster IO subsystem.
All of these drives connect through PCI-E 2.0 x8, and deliver read speeds of up to 1.2GB/s, and sequential write speeds of up to 1.3GB/s. No word yet on pricing or availability, but as with the last drive of this caliber, chances are good that it’ll cost about as much as a car. No joke.
It wasn’t long ago that MSI announced their X-Slim notebooks, but we’ve finally got some solid information as to what will be under the hood, along with some additional information on the latest generation of Wind netbooks.
The new generation of MSI Wind U123 netbooks will sport a 10.2-inch screen, a 1.66GHz Atom N280 CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 160GB HDD, a built-in TV tuner and the choice between a 6 and 9-cell battery.
As for the X-Slims, the X340 (which will start at about $1,000) will be one of the first machines to feature Intel’s new CULV platform (which is reported to only use one-sixth the power of a regular mobile CPU), and will come with a 13.4-inch 1366x768 screen, Intel GMA4500MHD graphics, up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB HDD and 802.11b/g/n.
As for the X320, it’ll come with a notably less powerful 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor, the same size screen, Intel GMA500 graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 250GB HDD and along with the 802.11b/g/n wireless, will have an optional 3G/WiMAX module.
No specifics yet on pricing for any of these machines, but given MSI’s past there’s a good chance that it’ll be reasonable.
According to IC3, they received 275,284 complaints last year (compared to the 206,884 in 2007). They were able to move 72,940 of these on to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Many of the referred complaints, which were caused by anything from online auction fraud to identity theft, cost consumers roughly $264.6 million, with the median dollar loss reaching about $931 per complaint.
So how you can you stay safe? Just be smart about how you compute on a daily basis. The report was careful to explain that 74 percent of the reported crimes were perpetrated through e-mail, with another 29 percent conducted through Web pages. Watch yourself out there!
Just one week after Facebook deployed its latest design update, the social network is quietly rolling out a pair of beta services -- Facebook Premium and Facebook Classic -- to select users. Facebook Classic lets each user opt in to the Facebook design of his or her choice. From the pre-news feed design (circa 2006) to the single-page design used through much of 2008, beta users will be able to select the Facebook interface that they’re most comfortable with. In an official status update, Christopher Cox, Facebook’s Director of Product, cited the reasons behind this move, which he feels are "in line with the Facebook's intent to both respond to user feedback and adapt the product for different usage models and forward-looking feature opportunities".
Also in beta, and available to select users is the new Facebook Premium service.
Intel this week launched its new Xeon 5500 series, which were previously known as Nehalem-EP, along with a handful of new mobile Core 2 Duo chips built around the 45nm Penryn core. Following the release, Intel has posted an updated price list reflecting the new CPUs.
Pricing for the new Xeon chips range from $188 for the entry-level E5502 (1.86GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 80W) on up to $1,600 for the flagship W5580 (3.2GHz, 8MB L2 cache, 130W). A total of 12 new 45nm Xeons have been added in all, covering just about every price point.
On the mobile front, four new Core 2 mobile chips have been added, starting with the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 5.3W) for $262. Other chips include the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6GHz, 3MB, 10W) for $289, Core 2 Duo SL9600 (2.13GHz, 6MB, 17W) for $316, and Core 2 Duo SP9600 (2.53GHz, 6MB, 25W) for $316.