Sunday, May 24, 2009

IBM Survey Claims Linux Desktops Easier to Deploy Than Expected

IBM is waving around a study that it commissioned from Freeform Dynamics showing that Linux desktops go down better if the right group of users is targeted for deployment such as those who have moderate and predictable use of e-mail and office tools like transaction workers and general professional workers, folks who "aren't emotional" about their desktop.

The study confirmed that adoption of Linux on the desktop is driven primarily by cost reduction. Those surveyed indicated that both Windows and Linux can be adequately secured - it's just cheaper to secure a Linux desktop and maintain it that way.

IBM's VP of Linux and open source Bob Sutor claims Windows shops are going to have to evaluate the cost of migrating to Microsoft's next desktop and see that the Linux desktop as a PC investment will actually save money during this downturn.

"We see the recession fueling open source on the desktop," he said.

The research was done online in the UK, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe and the Nordics and 90% of the study's respondents had direct experience with desktop Linux deployment in their business.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Facebook Boosts Security After Dual Phishing Attacks

Facebook Boosts Security After Dual Phishing Attacks

Facebook has brought in some soldiers to fight the war against malware and phishing scams on the social-networking site. After two different malware attacks this week, Facebook announced it would begin using San Francisco-based MarkMonitor's antifraud services as an additional layer of protection against attacks.

"Our deep commitment to the safety of our users requires a strong proactive security strategy, best-of-breed technology, and active engagement with industry leaders," said Ryan McGeehan, threat analyst at Facebook. "MarkMonitor demonstrated that it understood the complexity of the phishing issue we were facing, so it was a natural next step for us to bolster our own security systems with their anti-malware solution."

Users Victimized

This week some of Facebook's 200 million users were victims of phishing attacks. One attack took control of users' accounts, sending messages to their friends telling them to check out a specific Web site, The other incident pointed victims to

Andy Cutler, a partner in Cutler and Company, was not aware his account had been under the control of a hacker until he received several e-mail and text messages alerting him that his account been phished.

"The first thing I did for survival was to go into my Facebook account and change my password," Cutler said. "I just figured if someone hacked my account, I was not going to tear down the page but to change my password, and I did post a notice on Facebook saying I had been phished and apologized."

Cutler's hacker did some damage by sending a total of 19 different messages averaging 20 different people per message. For Cutler it could have been a communications disaster, as he has 495 friends in his Facebook account.

Trust Breached

While the attack didn't cause any major problems to Cutler and his friends, it did hurt Facebook's reputation.

"I tell you what it did do for me -- it put Facebook in a different light for me than other social-network tools," Cutler said. "I'm pretty active in Twitter and Facebook has been a way to keep up with people in my networks, but I have to say I was disappointed in Facebook that this can get through their security system."

Aarin Morrow of Denver thought she was pretty tech-savvy until she became a victim of the attack.

"What happened is a friend of mine was a victim the day before with and I'm very computer tech-savvy and still clicked on it and stupidly logged in," Morrow said. "I said this is weird and e-mailed my friend and asked about the link, and he said he didn't send it."

Morrow became a victim again the next day with the attack. A total of 45 of Morrow's Facebook friends received the message "Look at This," pointing the friends to the Web site.

"What is unfortunate about this is that MySpace got spammed with stuff like this and Facebook never had those problems, but no one is exempt from having this issue happening," she said. "In the future I will be more cautious."

Obligation To Users

"I think FB has an obligation to its users to say please don't fall for this scam," Cutler said. "By allowing the system to be hacked, it created a catch-22 for them. People now have negative feelings toward the company and it impacts the way people view them and their communication because they don't know if they can trust their communication."

This isn't the first time Facebook has had to deal with malware issues. In February, users were dealing with another scam where hackers took control of users' accounts and sent out messages to their friends asking for financial help after being robbed. In some cases, Facebook had to disable the accounts and users had to create new accounts.

"The meteoric success of Facebook makes it a natural target for malware attacks that seek to capitalize on their trusted and recognizable brand," said Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer of MarkMonitor.

"The MarkMonitor technology and 24/7 security operations center are key to helping Facebook fight phishing and malware," said Te Smith, a spokesperson for MarkMonitor.

When MarkMonitor verifies a malicious site, it updates phish-site block lists for its network of popular browsers, security vendors, and e-mail providers. Then it takes down the malicious site to get it off the Internet.

Monday, May 18, 2009

News From Symbio and Argus- Secure Thin Clients.

Argus Systems and Symbio Technologies Deliver the Ultimate MLS Server Security Solution

May 13, 2009--Symbio Technologies (, provider of state of the art Stateless Computing Solutions and Argus Systems Group (, provider of Multi-Level (MLS) Operating Systems and Services, today announced their full collaboration to provide MLS server-centric stateless computing solutions. Utilizing Symbio's Stateless Thin Client and Boot Stick solutions, and Argus's PitBull MLS solutions for Solaris 10, users may now work in a totally secure MLS environment, while retaining high security levels at the client side.

The combined solution provides the ultimate package of MLS server security, providing ironclad security at, to, and from the server as well as reducing risk at the client access end points. Attempts at malicious use or access of confidential or secret information is further mitigated by the use of Symbio's stateless solutions, leaving no viable information at the end points where it can be compromised, while Argus's PitBull for Solaris 10 provides the MLS server protection.

Customers will be able to connect to highly secure systems using a number of methods. Existing computing infrastructure such as any desktop computer, laptop, or netbook can be utilized via the Symbio Boot Stick to provide secure Virtual Network Connections (VNC) to the PitBull Protected MLS server. Additionally, thin client desktop solutions from Symbio can be implemented using the same technology. VNC connections can also be accepted by the PitBull protected server via wireless connections. This provides the security of remaining stateless at the client side, protected by Argus's MLS PitBull, all while being fully mobile and without the hassle of being physically connected to the network.

Additionally, customers will be able to retain the highest levels of data security at the source and at the end points, while embracing the future of server-centric computing and the green initiative. The solution provides reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) through reduced power requirements at the client side, and the reduction of associated infrastructure and maintenance costs of having full systems at the client side. Full leveraging of the combined Symbio and Argus solution will greatly increase information data security, and reduce the costs of maintaining the IT infrastructure.

Argus Systems Group will be at the DoDIIS Worldwide Conference 2009 in Orlando, Florida providing a full working demonstration of the combined capabilities of Symbio's stateless solutions, and Argus's ironclad MLS server security. Come to booth #941 for a demonstration and to get specifics on this exciting new technology.

About Symbio Technologies

Symbio Technologies is a leading developer and marketer of security-centric stateless computing which reduces the complexity and cost of deploying and maintaining networks. Symbio's products are available worldwide through a network of distributors, value-added resellers and integrators in Australia, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, and the U.K., as well as throughout the U.S.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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