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Security and privacy experts voiced their concerns over whether or not Google’s latest desktop feature is a threat because of a controversial feature that allows users to run remote searches across multiple computers. The internet search giant contended that the “search across computers” feature of Google Desktop 3 Beta, “helps users easily access information from all their computers so they don’t need to remember where all of their documents are organized or filed.” However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the feature would make personal data more susceptible to government subpoenas and hackers.

The first malware to cross-infect a PC and a Windows wireless pocket device, a proof-of-concept, file-destroying trojan sent to the Mobile Antivirus Researches Association, was discovered.

The virus was the first to use ActiveSync -- a program that synchronizes files and other data between a Windows PC and a Windows Mobile Device -- to cross-infect a desktop and hand-held PC.

The trojan, which did not affect mobile phones, contained a payload that would erase all documents, copy itself to the Windows directory, and create a shortcut to the copy in Windows startup. When reset, the device would execute downloaded files, allowing multiple copies of the virus to run.

The virus was not connected to the cross-infecting malware that affected both PCs and older cellular phones.

 

Microsoft announced that it will sell six different versions of its next-generation Windows Vista operating system.

The company said the product line would include three different versions for consumers, Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate. Businesses would get two choices: Vista Business and Vista Enterprise, while the final version, Vista Starter, is to be a limited-feature option that Microsoft will offer in emerging markets.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates indicated at the RSA Conference 2006 that security would be a top priority for Vista, saying the industry in general needed to create better software to defend against cybercrime.

Gates also mentioned that as one of its new features Vista's business platform would be able to quarantine PCs with out-of-date anti-virus defenses.

 

Windows took the top spot in server sales from Unix last year, according to data released by IDC analysts.

Windows server revenues reached $17.7 billion for all of 2005, barely edging out Unix's server revenues of $17.5 billion for the year, according to IDC's Worldwide Server Tracker. The report said that this was the first time in over a decade that Unix did not lead the market in year-end server revenue.

"Security is an ongoing battle," said Laura DiDio, a research fellow for Yankee Group. "Microsoft can never declare victory. But clearly, Microsoft has made great strides hardening the OS."

 

Errata: An image detailing how ArcSight Enterprise Security Management 3.0 works was accidentally run alongside information regarding Archer Technologies Enterprise Security Management offering in last month's SC Magazine Awards 2006 special section. We apologize for the error.

Also, in the feature," Thwarting ID Thieves," the acronym noted for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act on page 37 was incorrect. It should have been HIPAA.

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