Saturday, June 30, 2012

Windows 8 to have only 4 versions

Windows 8 has some good news for you. To eliminate confusion over multiple versions of Windows OS (like what we saw in Windows 7), Microsoft has said that it's latest avatar of flagship Windows avatar, Windows 8 will have only four versions. The versions will be targed to different user segments..

  • For home use called Windows 8
  • For business use called Windows 8 Pro
  • For big enterprises Windows 8 Enterprise
  • For ARM Chips called Windows RT

More on 4 versions of Windows 8: -

For most people buying an OS for a traditional desktop or laptop, the choice will be between just two versions. The version called simply "Windows 8" is designed for home users. "Windows 8 Pro" is for business users and includes features for encrypting a file system, virtualization, and domain management.

"Windows RT" is the new name for what had been called Windows on ARM. You won't be able to purchase it on its own; It'll come preinstalled on PCs and tablets that run ARM processors. Windows RT will be incompatible with traditional X86/64 desktop software. Instead, it'll run touch-oriented apps based on Windows Runtime (or WinRT), Microsoft's programming model for mobile apps. Apps for the touch-oriented Metro interface are built using Windows Runtime.

Windows RT will come with special touch-oriented versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
The final version of Windows 8 won't be available for most consumers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

U.S. arrests 24 suspected hackers in a major sting operation

U.S. law enforcement officials have claimed to have arrested 24 suspected hackers ageing between 18 to 25 involved in online financial fraud of stolen credit cards and bank information.

In a two-year investigation, FBI agents posed as hackers on Internet forums, watching as other hackers swapped methods for breaching data security walls and creating fake credit cards that would work for Internet and in-person purchases.

The probe prevented $205 million in possible losses on over 411,000 compromised consumer credit and debit cards, U.S. authorities in New York said.

Eleven people were arrested in the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office said. The thirteen others were arrested in countries from Britain to Japan, the authorities said. Officials in Australia also conducted searches.

"Clever computer criminals operating behind the supposed veil of the Internet are still subject to the long arm of the law," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

During the operation, the FBI said, it not only monitored the hackers' activities but also contacted "multiple" people and institutions hit by the hackers and showed them how to repair their security breaches and protect themselves in the future. No credit card companies or banks were named in Tuesday's court documents. Some face up to 40 years or more in prison if convicted on conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges and access device fraud charges.

The FBI operation centered around a "carding forum" that it had secretly created in June 2010, and was in charge of running unbeknownst to its participants, authorities said.

The forum, called "Carder Profit," was essentially an online market for registered users to exchange stolen account numbers. It was shut down in May.

Two people were arrested in the New York area and were later released on bail after appearing in Manhattan federal court.

One of the men, Mir Islam, known online as "JoshTheGod," was charged with trafficking in 50,000 stolen credit card numbers. Authorities said Islam had admitted to helping emerging hacker outfit UgNazi, which said it had launched a cyber attack against the microblogging platform Twitter last week.

Islam, 18, who lives in the New York borough of the Bronx, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis in flip-flop sandals and jeans. His parents, who are from Pakistan, watched the proceeding from a back bench. Islam was released on a $50,000 bond.

Fellow Bronx resident Joshua Hicks, 19, also known as "OxideDox," was charged with one count of access device fraud. Wearing red basketball shorts, Hicks was released on a $20,000 bond after a brief hearing before the same judge. Read more here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

AMD ties up with ARM to improve Hardware based PC Security

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), world's renowned maker of microprocessor chips is partnering with the UK-based chip maker ARM to build a platform security processor using the ARM's Cortex-A5 TrustZone technology.

"The future chip would work towards aligning both AMD x86- and ARM-based hardware with an industry standard security solution that spans multiple processor architectures and helps accelerate broader ecosystem support," AMD said in a release.

The two companies said they plan to incorporate ARM's TrustZone security technology into AMD microprocessors starting next year.

TrustZone, which is ARM's established security system, is the dominant security technology for smartphones and tablets.

Intel's acquisition of Mcafee technologies had already signalled Intel's interest in rooted pc security deep at the hardware level. Intel had said that it intended to incorporate McAfee's security technology into its computer processor chips.

The TrustZone features supported AMD APUs are expected to hit the market in 2013.