Friday Flash

Serious news today, including a warning from the department of Homeland Security. The fork was introduced in America on this day in 1630. The first building was constructed in Yerba Buena, now San Francisco, in 1835. The first color TV broadcast, Arthur Godfrey, in 1951. The Beatles performed (and recorded) All You Need is Love before an estimated international audience of 400 million in 1967. David Letterman left NBC in 1993.

George Orwell was born in 1903. Mike Meyers in 1963.

  1. The Despartment of Homeland Security warned Windows users Thursday night about a virus that can infect systems just by visiting a compromised web site. Hackers have been breaking into sites running Microsoft's IIS web server and appending hidden Javascript to pages. When users visit the page, the Javascript code loads malicious code hosted on a Russian server.

    There's quite a bit of panic over this particular exploit. CERT is telling users to turn off Javascript. "US-CERT recommends that end-users disable JavaScript unless it is absolutely necessary. Users should be aware that any web site, even those that may be trusted by the user, may be affected by this activity and thus contain potentially malicious code." According to the Internet Storm Center several major sites have been compromised. There is currently no patch for the exploit, however you should update your anti-virus software immediately. Most AV software will detect the infection as the JS.Scob.Trojan.

    Should you stay off the net today? CNET quotes Brent Houlihan, chief technology officer of NetSec, "I told my wife, unless it is absolutely necessary and unless you are going to a site like our banking site, stay off the Internet right now."

    Or use Mozilla. Or Firefox. Or Opera. Or Safari. Or anything but Internet Explorer. And by the way, IIS ain't such a hot idea either.

  2. Australia is considering legalizing music copying for personal use. The Canadian model, as it's called, includes a royalty on blank media.
  3. The creator of ASCII has died. Bob Bemer invented ASCII in 1961 as a standardized way for computers to communicate with each other. He also created the backslash and the escape key sequence. He was 78.

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