Coming off the heels of the possible Chinese government attacks on 20 major companies, the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology, BSI, has urged the country to immediately switch from Internet Explorer to a different browser. Users would be advised to switch back only after Microsoft has released a patch for an information leak and vulnerability found in the browser that is still popular, but rapidly losing marketshare.
The reports from Google and McAfee have specified a critical flaw in every version of IE that would allow culprits to "perform reconnaissance and gain complete control over the compromised system." Microsoft has quickly responded, stating they are working on an update. However, even in protected mode potential hackers could still exploit the systems, albeit much more difficult.
I know most of our readers aren't fluent in German, so here is the statement from their website, translated via Google:
By now we all know that last month Google and about 20 other major companies in technology, finance and chemicals were victims of a cyber-attack unlike anything seen before. The culprit? Early investigations put the attackers in China, and all signs point to a calculated, specific attack from the government itself.
Google alone announced the attack to the media and told what had happened. According to the spokesperson, the attack included the theft of intellectual property, including source code for one or more of its products and access to the emails and searching habits of about 20 political activists.
posted Saturday Jan 16, 2010 by Jon Wurm
We have it pretty good here in the U.S. if you think about it. Our government makes sure that our internet is unadulterated whether its research for academic reasons, implementation for commercial purposes or porn for more a more personal experience. If I couldn't wake up in the morning and check Facebook to see everything interesting people I know did last night while I was immersed in my textbooks I might not feel so connected with my friends or have the sense of self loathing I get sometimes.
Oddly enough the lack of some people in China and Iraq being able to check their facebook profiles among other things may be fostering some digital disobedience. We've seen this before, China's Internet oppression isn't new. In the past the government initiated an Internet cleansing of sorts blocking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
And the battle continues! Apple has decided to punch back in this never-ending, back and forth dispute with Nokia. Didn't see that one coming...
Last we heard, Nokia had filed a complaint with International Trade Commission. But this just seemed like a sad attempt to get the upper hand in this battle, considering the claim had nothing to do with the original complaint in the lawsuit. They attempted to have the ITC ban imports of Apple products into the U.S. Even though this move was somewhat expected, we're not too sure on how banning products from entering the U.S. is going to compensate for the patents that were infringed on, the original cause for the legal system to intervene.
Looks like the American people aren't the only ones feeling the pain of our current recession or at least that's what the people of Electronic Arts are saying. Once again it seems EA Games is anticipating a less than ideal year. An EA spokesperson said,
Revised fiscal year 2010 expectations are primarily the result of weakness for EA and the overall packaged goods sector in Europe in December and a product mix shift to lower margin distribution products in the December quarter, primarily in North America.
After the announcement, EA's CEO John Riccitiello mentioned several big titles that EA is releasing this quarter like Army of Two: The 40th Day, Mass Effect 2, Dante's Inferno, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight trying to see the light at the end of this tunnel. On a lighter note, EA's digital sales were above expectations but not enough to offset lowered packaged-goods sales. The thing that caught my attention was that Riccitiello was also quoted saying "our major new MMO," presumably BioWare Austin's Star Wars: The Old Republic slated to release in Spring 2011.
Another week and yet another disappointment. It looks like Ubisoft is once again delaying Splinter Cell Conviction from February 23 to April 2010. No reason has been given as to why the game was delayed but I have a theory. Ubisoft is probably looking to start off their fiscal year with a bang and Splinter Cell is just the franchise to do it. After all, for the fiscal year 2010-2011 Ubisoft has revised its sales target to €860 million (roughly $1.25 billion) down from an estimated €1,040 million. Due to the less than ideal retail performances of James Cameron's Avatar: The Game and a few unspecified "non-casual" Wii titles along with weak back catalog sales could also be to blame. Needless to say, we hope that this will be the last delay for Mr. Sam Fisher but we will just have to wait and see as the new fiscal year begins March 31.
What is your theory on the delay? Let us know in the comments below.