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

Talkative botnet herder taunts security researchers

Talkative botnet herder taunts security researchers

The botnet operator behind the virulent Nirbot Trojan is having a field day taunting anti-virus researchers. While it is common to find messages and shout-outs buried in virus code, the person(s) behind Nirbot is rather talkative, leaving hostile threates directed at specific individuals, a strange apology for something involving "hospital computers" and even a mock CNN interview that discusses the bot's intent.

March 8, 2007 by in Security

Hardware-based rootkit detection proven unreliable

Hardware-based rootkit detection proven unreliable

For years, we've been convinced by companies like Komoku and BBN Technologies that hardware-based RAM acquisition is the most reliable and secure way to sniff out the presence of a sophisticated rootkit on a compromised machine. Not so fast, says Joanna Rutkowska, a security researcher at COSEINC Malware Labs.

March 2, 2007 by in Hardware

Maynor demos MacBook Wi-Fi hijack, admits mistakes

Maynor demos MacBook Wi-Fi hijack, admits mistakes

Looking to put to rest one of the most bizarre vulnerability disclosure disputes in recent memory, hacker David Maynor offered an apology for mistakes made, provided a live demo of the controversial MacBook Wi-Fi takeover and promised to release e-mail exchanges, crash/panic logs and exploit code to clear his tarnished name. Maynor kicked off a presentation at the Black Hat DC 2007 with a demo of the attack against a MacBook running Mac OSX 10.

March 1, 2007 by in Collaboration

Flaw trifecta kicks off Month of PHP bugs

Flaw trifecta kicks off Month of PHP bugs

Stefan Esser's month of PHP bugs project is off and running with details on three unpatched vulnerabilities that could lead to program crashes and possible code execution attacks. The first batch of flaws published on the project home page covers two recursion stack overflows and a reference counter overflow.

February 28, 2007 by in Security

Black Hat RFID talk back on, with deletions

Black Hat RFID talk back on, with deletions

Chris Paget from IOActive is on stage here at Black Hat DC 2007, going ahead with his talk on RFID security issues. He has promised "not to mention a certain three-letter vendor" and made it clear that the talk had to be slightly modified to work around the legal issues.

February 28, 2007 by in Security

Vista's ASLR not so random, but does it matter?

Vista's ASLR not so random, but does it matter?

Symantec is using the spotlight of the Black Hat DC 2007 conference to pick apart the security technologies built into Windows Vista. On the heels of its exposé of weaknesses in the UAC (user account control) mechanism, Symantec rolled out a Vista security portal with three new research papers discussing legacy threats that affect the brand new operating system.

February 28, 2007 by in Windows

HID denies RFID demo threat, hackers worry

HID denies RFID demo threat, hackers worry

Black Hat Diary: IOActive's decision to cancel its RFID hacking demo is the main topic of conversation here as white hat hackers ponder the ramifications of a vendor using patent infringement claims to thwart legitimate security research. The company at the center of the storm, HID Global, issued a statement acknowledging that it may be possible to clone a proximity card but insisted it "did not threaten" IOActive researcher Chris Paget to nix the presentation.

February 28, 2007 by in Legal

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