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Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker is the security editor for ZDNet, covering cybersecurity, national security, policy and privacy. He is based out of the New York newsroom, and can also be found on sister sites CNET and CBS News. You can contact him with his PGP key: EB6CEEA5.

Charlie Osborne

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charlie currently works as a journalist and photographer -- with the occasional design piece -- and writes for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has particular interests in social media, IP law, social engineering and security.

Latest Posts

How does Apple get away with this badware behavior?

How does Apple get away with this badware behavior?

As part of my work testing exploits for the recent Safari "carpet-bombing" issue -- and the combo-threat to Windows users -- I installed Apple's flagship browser on a brand-new Windows XP machine.The installation came with Apple's automatic software updater, a very valuable tool to automate patch management for end users.

June 24, 2008 by in Tech & Work

Spam attack shut downs Marshall Islands email service

Spam attack shut downs Marshall Islands email service

Marshall Islands National Telecommunications Authority is reporting that a sustained spamming attack during the past 24 hours managed to cause a successful Denial of Service attack on the email services of the islands only Internet Service Provider. More info on the attack : More than 18 hours after the initial attack Tuesday incoming email service to the monopoly provider had still not been restored.

June 24, 2008 by in Security

Stanford University data breach leaks sensitive information of approximately 62,000 employees

Stanford University data breach leaks sensitive information of approximately 62,000 employees

A data breach resulting from a stolen laptop has leaked sensitive information including Social Security Numbers of approximately 62,000 (as reported by Stanford University) former and current Standford University employees.  The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a site devoted to the collection of data breach information, reports this number as 72,000, and I'm not positive which is more accurate at this time.

June 23, 2008 by in Data Centers

How Snow Leopard can save Mac OS X from malware attacks

How Snow Leopard can save Mac OS X from malware attacks

Guest Editorial by Dino Dai ZoviAs reported by Intego and Matasano Security, a new local privilege escalation vulnerability has been found that gives local root access on Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.While Intego calls this a critical vulnerability, I'm mostly with Matasano's Thomas Ptacek on this one where I am saying this vulnerability is not nearly that serious.

June 23, 2008 by in Apple

Demo exploits posted for unpatched MS Word vulnerability

Demo exploits posted for unpatched MS Word vulnerability

A security researcher has released demo exploits for what appears to be a critical --  unpatched -- memory corruption vulnerability affecting the ubiquitous Microsoft Word software program.The proof-of-concept exploits accompany a warning that the flaw affects Microsoft Office 2000 and Microsoft Office 2003.

June 23, 2008 by in Security

Researcher keeps 'carpet bomb' attack alive, despite patch

Researcher keeps 'carpet bomb' attack alive, despite patch

Security research Billy Rios posted an article today about the Apple Safari "Carpet Bomb" attack, discussing a new issue that, despite the patch which prevented a "blended" remote command execution attack when Safari was used in conjunction with IE on a Windows system, keeps the "Carpet Bomb" attack alive and well.

June 20, 2008 by in Security

Apple security team finds code execution holes in Ruby

Apple security team finds code execution holes in Ruby

A member of Apple's security team has discovered multiple serious security vulnerabilities in Ruby, the popular open-source scripting language.According to an advisory on the Ruby project site, Apple's Drew Yao reported at least six of the vulnerabilities, which can be exploited to cause a denial-of-service  condition or the execution of arbitrary code.

June 20, 2008 by in Apple

Phishers targeting Facebook users, fake logins spammed through hacked accounts

Phishers targeting Facebook users, fake logins spammed through hacked accounts

A currently active phishing campaign is circulating across Facebook end users' walls, using already compromised accounts to post the phishing links, tricking the user into thinking it's a legitimate friend sending the message in order to redirect them to a fake login page. The campaign is taking advantage of multiple typosquatted domains which are in a fast-flux state, namely, they respond to multiple IP addresses and change them automatically every three minutes in this particular attack.

June 20, 2008 by in Social Enterprise

Free Sourcefire tool pinpoints hostile MS Office files

Free Sourcefire tool pinpoints hostile MS Office files

Sourcefire, the company behind the popular Snort intrusion detection system, has released a freeware utility to help identify potentially threatening Microsoft Office files.The tool, called OfficeCat, can be used to process Microsoft Office documents -- Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher -- determine if possible exploit conditions exist.

June 20, 2008 by in Microsoft

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