Soon after Microsoft released a patch for a critical bug in its Windows Server software, attack code surfaced, and by Friday afternoon an early sample of the code was out, which led to the week ending on a warning note. Between the beginning and the end of the week, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan blamed the U.S. economic crisis at least in part on the use of bad data. Perhaps next week will bring better news.
1. Attack code for critical Microsoft bug surfaces and New worm feeds on latest Microsoft bug: It didn't take long after Microsoft provided information about a critical Windows flaw, along with a patch, before attack code showed up. Developers of the Immunity security testing tool had an exploit written within a couple of hours of Microsoft's announcement on Thursday. Although the developer's software is only for paying customers, security researchers said they expected a version of the code to go public soon. That happened Friday afternoon when sample code appeared on the Web. The flaw, in Windows Server service, which is used to connect network resources, was also being exploited by a worm.
2. Greenspan, Cox tell Congress that bad data hurt Wall Street's computer models: Insufficient and faulty data used in risk management models contributed to the financial mess embroiling the U.S. and rippling across the globe, said former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. Financial firms made business decisions using "the best insights of mathematicians and finance experts, supported by major advances in computer and communications technology," Greenspan told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year because the data inputted into the risk management models generally covered only the past two decades -- a period of euphoria."
3. Microsoft expanding Surface access: In order to get the SDK for Microsoft's touch-based apps platform, developers had to buy Surface hardware, which could be a pricey proposition. Well, no more: Microsoft will give the SDK to developers who attend a Surface workshop at its Professional Developers Conference next week.
4. Android phone launch day relatively quiet: Google's Android phone went on sale Tuesday, with people here and there standing in short lines outside of stores to be first to get their handsets. While there wasn't anything approaching the buzz surrounding the first iPhone sales, T-Mobile stores reported a steady stream of customers for its G1 phone, which is the first on the market to run the Android operating system.
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