Is Your Blog Ready For Internet Explorer 8?

Microsoft released the first release candidate of their web browser, Internet Explorer 8, today. This means that they’re not too far from releasing it to the public. If you run a self-hosted blog, you should download the release candidate to make sure that everything works as intended. If not, try and fix it.

More on Techmeme, the official IEBlog, and the overview sheet posted.

Downadup Worm Infection: Cyber Attacks on the Rise in 2009

SecurityFocus reports an estimated 3.5 million computers have been compromised due to a “Downadup worm,” a malicious bot that spreads through websites and blogs.

The Downadup worm, a malicious program that spreads using a recently patched Windows flaw, has compromised more than 3.5 million computers, security firm F-Secure stated this week.

The Downadup worm has successfully spread because it uses a major flaw that Microsoft patched in October to remotely compromise computers running unpatched versions of the Windows operating system. However, the malicious program’s greatest strength appears to be a feature that allows worm-controlled computers to download malicious code from a random drop point.

The program generates addresses for 250 different domains each day. The botnet controller need only register one of the domains and set up a download server to update the bot program with different functionality, said Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure.

“The bad guys only need to predetermine one possible domain for tomorrow, register it, and set up a website, and they then gain access to all of the infected machines — pretty clever,” Hyppönen said in a blog post.

According to the report, the Downadup worm uses Windows XP’s vulnerability in processing remote procedure call (RPC) requests. While a patch was issued and warnings announced, not everyone has upgraded. The top countries hit by the MS08-067 Worms, as F-Secure calls them, are China, Brazil, and Russia, but it is expected to spread further unless server administrators and webmasters update and patch their Windows Servers and Windows programs immediately, including Internet Explorer.

ZD-Net Security Threats reports that the first sign of infection is usually found when users accounts cannot access their accounts and they are locked out of the Active Directory domain as the worm tries to crack passwords in Windows Servers.

Tracking the Downadup infection, F-Secure reported that reports of infections are up by more than one million within just one day, and growing. As last check, they estimate 3,521,230 infections worldwide. [Read more…]

Google Chrome Available for Mac and Linux, Sort Of

Windows emulation masters CodeWeavers has launched CrossOver Chromium for Mac OS X and Linux. It is basically emulating the open-source content in Google Chrome, the Chromium project, under OS X and Linux, so if you’re dying to try Google’s web browser out, this is you chance.

However, beware! This is from the Q&A:

Q. Should I run CrossOver Chromium as my main browser?
A. Absolutely not! This is just a proof of concept, for fun, and to showcase what Wine can do. Chromium itself is just beginning. As the Chromium project progresses, they will be providing more compelling support for Mac OS and Linux, particularly with process security and memory management. Those future versions from Chromium will be better suited for daily use than this version.

There isn’t any native versions of Google Chrome nor Chromium itself yet, so this will have to do, unless you’re using Windows. Like most of you are.

Camino’s Mike Pinkerton Working on Mac Version of Google Chrome

This is good news for Mac users being pissed off that Google Chrome is Windows only for now. Mike Pinkerton is the main man (and a Google employee, says Venturebeat) behind the excellent non-bloated Gecko-based Camino web browser for OS X. Gecko being the rendering engine used by Firefox as well, while Chrome uses Webkit, of Safari fame. [Read more…]

Google Chrome: Reading Up While We Wait

So by now most of us have learned that Google finally is entering the browser market, with Google Chrome, an open source browser that promises a lot, but is yet to be released. It is due today, Tuesday, for in a beta version for Windows only, with Mac and Linux versions on the way. While we wait for something truly substantial on this, here’s some required reading:

Personally, while I’m excited about a lot of things in Google Chrome, I’ll keep quiet until the browser is actually available in beta. It sounds good though. One final thought, however. Google went with Webkit (used in Safari), not Mozilla’s Gecko engine. That’s got to hurt…

Google Gears Comes to Safari

Google Gears, the extension that lets you use certain webapps offline, and speed up others, is finally coming to the Safari web browser. Unfortunately, it is just available for the OS X version of the browser at this time, but then again I’d reckon the majority of Safari users are on the Mac platform anyway. The Apple Blog investigates things like where the cache files are stored and things like that, if you’re interested.