Happy Friday all! Here’s what grabbed my attention this morning in Tech News:
Microsoft to plug critical IE hole targeted by exploit code
“Microsoft said on Thursday that it will offer six updates for 12 vulnerabilities next week including a critical hole in Internet Explorer that affects Windows 7 and other current versions of the operating system for which exploit code has been released.” (source: cnet)
- HTD: I think that Microsoft is doing a great job with the weekly security patches. They seem to be fairly quickly addressing issues that crop up. However, the other side of me says why oh why is the OS so prone to exploits, etc. I guess since it is the most used OS around, people want to find as many holes and expose them as possible. I do appreciate those “hackers” who expose these vulnerabilities, but do not exploit them. That being said, I always recommend to not only installs these updates regularly, but also have a strong anti-virus and firewall software suite installed and updated. Personally, I use Kaspersky, but there are a bunch of other great (and some even free) security software suites out there, so get one and keep it current!
First commercial tool to crack BitLocker arrives
“BitLocker Drive Encryption can now be successfully cracked with Passware Kit Forensic version 9.5, though it will set you back $795. Passware, a software firm that provides password recovery, decryption, and evidence discovery software for computer forensics, has updated its flagship application this week to support breaking Microsoft’s BitLocker hard drive encryption. Passware Kit Forensic version 9.5 can recover encryption keys for hard drives protected with BitLocker in just a few minutes.” (source: ars technica)
- HTD: So my previous Tech News note was about how good Microsoft has been about addressing vulnerabilities. This article talks about how Microsoft’s BitLocker Encryption can now be crackedâ€¦at a (high) price. While the story does go on to talk about how this is a “good” thing for Law Enforcement, since it has been difficult if not impossible for various agencies to gain access to BitLockered hard drives during investigations. The problem is now, this software by Passware will be widely available to those on the other side of the spectrum (e.g., hackers). While I think the release of this software is a good thing for law enforcement, it will be only a matter of time before Microsoft addresses this issue and corrects itâ€¦thus the cat and mouse game will continue.
Twitter Debuts New Mobile Site, Eats Its Own Dogfood
“If you use Twitter frequently on your smartphone, thereâ€™s a good chance you use a native Twitter client. Between apps like Tweetie on the iPhone, Twidroid on Android, and Seesmic on Blackberry, thereâ€™s no shortage of quality apps that put advanced features at your fingertips. But, according to a post that just went live on the Twitter blog, there are still plenty of people who navigate to m.twitter.com, the Twitter mobile site thatâ€™s about as spartan as they come. Tonight, Twitter is showing off a preview of the new mobile site itâ€™s working on, housed at mobile.twitter.com. And itâ€™s a big improvement.” (source: TechCrunch)
- HTD: I use a variety of Twitter apps on my iPhone (TweetDeck, Twittelator Pro, Tweetie, and others). The only time I go to Twitter via the actual website is when I have blown through all of my hourly API calls (can anyone at Twitter please update my API allotment???!!!). I just tested the new mobile version (mobile.twitter.com) and I must say it is really nice. It’s clean and has the basic functionality of the standard website (which I enhance anyway with a GreaseMonkey script – @troynt’s Twitter Script). You have the ability to tweet, retweet, reply & private message people. I like how when you reply to someone, it shows you the tweet you are replying to. It is basically a “mini-me” of the standard web page.
Bing Goes Down for a Half Hour
“A day after trumpeting various enhancements to Bing, including the beta version of an improved mapping service, Microsoft had to apologize for a widespread outage that kept the search engine offline for about 30 minutes on Thursday evening. During the outage, users either couldn’t get the site to load at all, or they received truncated result pages for their search queries, Microsoft said.” (source: PCWorld)
- HTD: I expect “start ups” to have outages. Heck, EVERYBODY has an outage once and a while. It’s the nature of technology. Since I work at a Cloud Hosting Provider & Dedicated Hosting Provider, uptime is paramount to a businesses success. The problem is, sometimes technology can’t keep up with that success. It looks like this new “startup” Microsoft Bing experienced some growing pains. Perhaps it was tied to the announcement of Bing Maps and mashups therein, only the postmortem will tell. I don’t think that there will ever be a time where high-profile sites are immune to issues, that is the unfortunate consequence of being “bleeding edge” and pushing the envelop. Hopefully, companies will take the approach of transparency and will learn from their mistakes.
HTD says: Enjoy your weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with more Tech News!