It's the latest technology craze. Turn your phones digital, and use the Internet to bypass pricey long-distance providers. Individuals and businesses can slash phone costs by 50 percent or more, with little or no loss of quality. But there's a very dark lining inside this silver cloud. VOIP (voice over IP) is just as vulnerable to hackers as other digital networking technologies. But it's just far less protected—which can put your entire company at risk.
A flaw in Microsoft's almost universally used Windows operating system could allow hackers to take control of a PC by luring users to a malicious Web site and coaxing them into clicking on a link, the company warned on Tuesday.
The world's largest software maker issued the warning as part of its monthly security bulletin, along with a patch to fix the problem.
The security warning was rated "important," the second most serious on Microsoft's four-tiered rating scale for computer security threats. The highest is "critical."
What is with the technology industry's propensity for fighting religious wars over products and technologies?
It seems that there are always new battles being fought, as fanatics unfurl their banners to declare that Linux will overtake Windows, that asynchronous transfer mode is dead or that the world is moving to Internet Protocol telephony. These debates stir passion and serve as fodder for lively conversations at trade shows. But besides their entertainment value, religious wars are invariably unproductive and only confound users.
A vulnerability in TCP, the transmission control protocol, recently received some exposure in the media. Paul Watson released a white paper titled Slipping In The window: TCP Reset Attacks at the 2004 CanSecWest conference, providing a much better understanding of the real-world risks of TCP reset attacks.
The reaction times of companies are being tested by the accelerating rate that new viruses, worms and other forms of malicious code are appearing.
Research by security firm Qualys shows that code to exploit 80% of vulnerabilities appears within 60 days of the announcement about that weakness being made.
Often though firms do not even have that amount of time to react.
For instance, it took virus writers only 32 days to produce the Blaster Windows worm after a patch was announced for it.