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Weekly brief - November 16, 2009

Over a dozen government agencies in the US are testing Windows 7, but they are waiting to move forward with the operating system until a federally-mandated security standared has been ratified. The Federal Desktop Core Configuration must still be updated to support the new system, and that won't happen until at least 2010.

HP signed a deal to buy 3Com for US$2.7 billion.

MannTech Computers is convinced that augmented reality - in which computer data is overlaid onto real-world environments - will be the future of security visualization.

Eight hackers have been indicted in the RBS Worldpay ATM theft that happened a year ago. The criminals, all from Eastern Europe, have been charged with 16 counts, including wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Microsoft's Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) forensic suite was leaked into the public domain this week. The tool, originally intended just for law enforcers, is now available on BitTorrent sites.

Hackers have been spotted using the Twitter API to help randomize URLs generated by their obfuscated malware scripts. The APIs return the top trending topics on Twitter, and the scripts use the code of the second character in the Twitter search that was most popular two days earlier as part of a random URL generation algorithm.

The Department of the Interior inspector general said in a report that the Department's cybersecurity is inadequate.

Researchers have created a low-footprint rookit protection tool for operating systems. HookSafe is based on a hypervisor that uses a secure area of memory to manage kernel calls.

Researchers from Georgia Tech are working on tools that will use the cellular network to remotely clear up cell phones infected with malware.

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