Top 10: Security, Midori, and Terry Childs

This week's roundup of the top tech news stories includes patching the DNS flaw, the rogue SF admin, Microsoft's post-Windows OS, and more

Security news dominated this week, and that will undoubtedly be the case next week as well, with the Black Hat and Defcon conferences under way in Las Vegas. In other news, Microsoft announced its vision for a post-Windows OS, and the case of the rogue San Francisco admin kept getting more odd.

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1. DNS patches cause problems, developers admit: Patches for the DNS vulnerability that has generated so much buzz have led to performance problems for servers running BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) software. BIND is the most popular DNS software. Administrators shouldn't roll back the patch released July 8, said Paul Vixie, head of the Internet Systems Consortium, which oversees BIND. "The vulnerability is of more concern than a slow server," he said. An updated patch is in the offing. Meanwhile, hackers are actively exploiting the DNS vulnerability, and ...

2. Apple finally patches dangerous DNS flaw and Opinion: Apple's unforgivable DNS delay: Apple issued a patch -- finally -- for its implementation of the BIND server software in various Mac OS releases. The delay in the patch release has caused considerable consternation among Mac fans.

3. Terry Childs: Rogue Admin: San Francisco had quite the interesting saga on its hands when one of its admins, Terry Childs, locked the rest of the city out of its network. A jailhouse visit by Mayor Gavin Newsome helped the situation, but the media's faulty reporting did not. InfoWorld's Paul Venezia was able to get the inside scoop, correct media mistakes, and even offer a case primer for the non-technical.

4. A photo that can steal your online credentials and Black Hat/Defcon: Welcome to the funhouse: Among other things, researchers at Black Hat next week will demonstrate software they've developed that can circumvent security and take over accounts on popular sites such as Facebook, Google, and eBay. The malicious software looks like image files to Web servers. The researchers will leave out details of how the attack works so that it won't be immediately used. We expect a lot of news out of Black Hat and Defcon, both in Las Vegas next week.

5. Microsoft prepares for end of Windows with Midori: Windows 7 isn't even out yet, and Microosft is already preparing for the post-Windows world. Midori is its concept of a post-Windows OS, one that is componentized and will likely live on the Internet. While it all sounds great, InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy says Midori is a pipe dream at best.

6. FBI warns of new Storm worm attacks: The FBI has warned that spam e-mails making the rounds on the Internet are spreading the dreaded Storm worm. Watch out for e-mail containing the phrase "F.B.I. vs. Facebook" and don't click on links in unsolicited e-mail, especially when you don't know the sender.

7. Cuil off to a shaky start and What's in a name? Better not ask Cuil: The Cuil (pronounced "cool") search engine launched with promises to take a whack at Google. But an inauspicious start led to a flurry of criticisms about search results returned by the engine. It didn't help that Cuil's servers were overwhelmed on launch day. Started by a former Google employee and her husband, Cuil was said to be named after the Irish word for "knowledge." But it didn't take much searching on the Internet to discover that isn't actually what "cuil" means.

8. Sun releases preview of JavaFX SDK: Sun got into the hot rich Internet application market, releasing a preview software developer kit for JavaFX. Support for some features is missing from the preview SDK, but will be rolled out in later releases.

9. IBM invests big in two new cloud-computing centers and Update: Yahoo, Intel and HP form cloud-computing labs: IBM is investing $360 million in a cloud-computing data center that it says will be the most sophisticated ever. The center will be housed in an existing building IBM will renovate in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The company also plans a new center in Tokyo where customers will be able to develop their own cloud infrastructures and applications. In other cloud-computing news this week, Yahoo, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard announced they will work together on research and education in that area.

10. IOC caves to China Internet censorship: The International Olympic Committee cut a deal with the Chinese government to allow censorship of Internet sites during the Olympics. The censorship was noticed by journalists working in the Olympics newsroom, who immediately cried foul.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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