Weekly brief, Nov 2 2009

Poor Sweden isn't having a very good month. Just weeks after an misplaced dot took it offline, 40 of the country's websites were subjected to a DDoS attack. Police and media websites were hit. What did poor neutral Sweden ever do to anyone, eh?

Spam king Sanford Wallace has to pay Facebook US$711 million after violating the Can-Spam Act.

Sensitive government documents have been leaked via P2P networks. The Congressional Committee on Standards of Conduct had been investigating members of the House of Representatives and staffers. Details of the investigation were allegedly swiped from the machine of a junior staffer working from home.

The Department of Homeland Security is colocating US CERT, the National Co-ordinating Center, and the National Cybersecurity Center into a single operations center. The news comes as the government announced plans to build a $1.5 billion cybersecurity center in Utah, which will collect information about the nature of current threats, and support federal security efforts. The NSA will run it.

Amazon is downplaying a recent report suggesting that there are vulnerabilities in its EC2 cloud service. It's probably wise to address the negative publicity, given that it just launched a cloud-based relational database service in beta.

The Honeynet Project has put together a system called Glastopf that emulates web application vulnerabilities to lure attackers and then monitors their behavior.

Researchers at Columbia University have found flaws in tens of thousands of embedded devices (report here). This represents a significant problem for enterprises, they said.

Startup Dasient said that 6m pages - roughly a fifth of the available pages - were infected across 640 000 compromised sites. Reinfection was also a big problem, it added.

A global pandemic like the H1N1 virus could cause significant performance problems on the internet thanks to increased teleworking, according to a report [PDF] from the Government Accountability Office.

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