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McAfee brings nearly instant malware updates

What if your desktop security application could detect and remove a new threat that was only minutes old? That's the impetus behind McAfee Artemis Technology, announced on Monday.

Artemis, which McAfee plans to market within its 2009 consumer products as "Active Protection," is not focused on hourly updates, or even 15-minute updates, as rival Symantec has. It means instant detection, said Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications for McAfee Avert Labs.

McAfee's use of Artemis is similar to Trend Micro's use of cloud-based computing to analyze and produce new signature files within 15 … Read more

Give your Eee PC a facelift with Skinizi

With more and more Netbooks appearing by the day, it can be harder to tell one apart from the next.

Skinizi, a French company that makes skins for mobile devices such as laptops and iPhones, is getting in on the customization action with its newest set of skins for ultraportables including the Asus EeePC 70X, Asus EeePC 90X, and MSI Wind U100.

The skins should provide good protection against scratches and add a variety of visual effects, from avant garde to retro to cartoonish. You can choose from a collection of predesigned images, but unfortunately, you can't submit your … Read more

COPA anti-Net porn law: Down but not out

The U.S. Department of Justice has been fighting an extended legal battle since 1998 to enforce a federal law that targets Web sites deemed "harmful to minors." On Tuesday, it lost again.

This week's ruling (PDF) by the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals means Web site operators can continue to relax, at least for now, about the Child Online Protection Act being enforced against them. COPA includes criminal penalties, including fines and six months imprisonment, for anyone found guilty of violating it.

The court concluded that COPA "cannot withstand a strict scrutiny, vagueness, or … Read more

AVG Free joins its siblings in the land of 8.0

AVG Technologies, formerly Grisoft, has updated AVG Free to Version 8.0. The other antivirus programs the company publishes updated in March, following AVG's pattern of updating the free version about a month after the paid editions get their new coats of paint.

As before, AVG Free 8.0 features all the essential functions of AVG Internet Security, but none of the bells and whistles. So the new engine is intact, with combined antivirus, antispyware, and the formerly independent LinkScanner technologies rolled into one. However, there's no antirootkit protection, and other features included in AVG Anti-Virus such as … Read more

Microsoft mistakes Skype for a Trojan

Users of Microsoft Windows Live OneCare may have found their antivirus protection a little too proactive. Over the weekend, OneCare informed some Skype users that the popular voice-over-IP application was infected with the Trojan Win32/Vundo.gen!D.

Not true, says Skype, which noted that Microsoft has since repaired its overzealous signature file.

On Friday, OneCare subscribers started seeing their access to Skype blocked. Microsoft says it was trying to block a multiple-component family of programs that deliver "out of context" pop-up advertisements, and mistakenly included Skype.

On Tuesday, four days later, it sent out a revised signature … Read more

IBM federal contracts ban lifted

IBM and the U.S. government are back in business.

The company announced Friday that a temporary suspension order, which had banned IBM from participating in new federal government contracts, has been lifted.

But while the ban, which lasted nine days, has been removed, Big Blue is still busy cooperating with the Environmental Protection Agency with the investigation that had triggered the broad suspension. The environmental agency is examining possible violations of its procurement process over IBM's bid for EPA business.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is also investigating the issue.

For … Read more

VeriSign expands its two-factor token network

On Wednesday, VeriSign invited companies to join their VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Network by announcing the VIP Quick Start. As encouragement, vendors who sign up between now and September 30 will receive 5,000 free tokens to distribute to their customers. The customers can then use the tokens on any of the participating VIP sites.

VIP is part of a two-factor authentication process created by VeriSign. Customers are given tokens or cards that display a digital password that's time-synced with a server on the corporate bank end. When one goes to access the site, you simply enter the digital … Read more

Slash-resistant T-shirt keeps knives at bay

If you're going to wear knife-resistant clothes around town, you may as well look sharp doing it (sorry, no more bad puns for the whole rest of this blog). Nihon Uni, a Japanese uniform manufacturer, has created a T-shirt that promises to provide at least some stab protection.

The cloth is made of a polyethylene fiber that's allegedly equal to aramid fiber used in body armor, according to the Daily Yomiuri. But if the picture to the left is any indication, the shirt's not as sci-fi/armor-ey looking as one might expect. Plus, it's machine-washable.

Nihon … Read more

Gefen closes HDMI loophole on its HD video recorder

Gefen is adding hard-drive encryption to its High-Definition Personal Video Recorder to ensure that it won't become an easy avenue for video piracy. Doing so will bring the product into line with other commercially available set-top recorders and DVRs, all of which encrypt video recordings to ensure they won't be played back outside of the device.

The addition of encryption follows a dialogue with CNET that was initiated after the Gefen HD PVR was highlighted on Zatznotfunny. Blogger Dave Zatz noted that the Gefen was a unique product: not only did it have HDMI inputs--a usually unseen … Read more

Intego questions Symantec's use of name

In a statement issued Tuesday, Macintosh security company Intego accused Symantec of infringing on its copyright. At issue is the new box copy for Norton Antivirus for Macintosh. In the upper right corner, Symantec has prominently placed the words "Dual Protection," a reference to the product's use on both the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems when using Apple Boot Camp.

The Austin, Texas-based Intego said in a press release, "Intego is the owner of a trademark registration for the mark DP DUAL PROTECTION in France (registered on January 17, 2007) and an international trademark … Read more