Malware based on the infamous Stuxnet, widely considered one of the world's most sophisticated viruses, has been discovered by computer scientists. In a highly detailed report, Symantec says the malware, christened Duqu, (because it creates files with the file name prefix "~DQ") was uncovered in an organization based in Europe. Once Duqu has been planted, it immediately starts to communicate with a command and control server based in India. It pulls down additional code such as an infostealer than can record keystrokes and collect other system information that it then sends back to the control server. To avoid drawing attention to itself, Duqu's traffic looks exactly like normal Web traffic, passing JPEG images. However, bundled with the JPEG is the stolen data in an encrypted format. Then after 36 days if it hasn't been detected, Duqu will automatically remove itself from the system so that a compromised system may never know it had been attacked.
Sesame street isn't the only You Tube channel hacked. Computer giant Microsoft's official YouTube channel appears to have been hacked Sunday morning. All of the official videos, including recent ad campaigns, have been removed from the account. In their place are short clips soliciting advertisers, not surprisingly, as the channel has some 24,000+ subscribers.
Other news in Microsoft is that most Android smart phone makers and Apple themselves pay $5 per phone sale to Microsoft for patents. Androids use Microsoft file upload patents and Apple uses the Microsoft exchange connector for email. Microsoft is possibly making more money off the license fees that they are for selling their own phones.
The BlackBerry may not be dead, but it's dying. New research from Enterprise Management Associates says that 30 percent of BlackBerry users in companies with more than 10,000 users will move to a different mobile platform in the next year. That would move Research in Motion's standing in large enterprise into that of a minority OS. Today, 52 percent of users in such organizations "actively" use a BlackBerry for work purposes, EMA reports; a 30 percent reduction would bring that total to 36 percent.
Michael Pachter, the Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst, has predicted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will outsell Battlefield 3 by two fold in 2011. He expects Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to sell around 16 million units this year and to sell another eight million in 2012 for a total around 24 million. To compare he expects Battlefield 3 to sell eight million units this year and another two million next year for a total of 10 million. Michael Pachter said, "I'd guess that around half of the console copies of Battlefield 3 will be bought by people who also buy Modern Warfare 3, so around 2 to 3 million will buy both. I don't see much cannibalization of the titles."
The hacktivist collective known as Anonymous said that it's begun attacking sites that host or share child pornography. In particular, the group has launched Operation Darknet (#OpDarknet), which has so far largely targeted and crashed Freedom Hosting, which is an anonymized Tor Onion site that Anonymous members have accused of serving as a clearinghouse for child pornography. "By taking down Freedom Hosting, we are eliminating 40+ child pornography websites, among these is Lolita City, one of the largest child pornography websites to date containing more than 100GB of child pornography," according to a Pastebin post from Anonmous. (Darknet refers to any part of the Internet that's not indexed by search engines.).
Just over a week after successfully porting Siri to the iPhone 4, developers have added the popular voice control feature to a jailbroken original iPad. As many know by now, Siri is arguably the most interesting upgrade in the iPhone 4S. Siri is essentially a voice assistant that fits in your pocket. It allows users to ask it questions (like what's the weather forecast), update your calendar, email your contacts and even finds and recommends things for you to do around the area. However, this great feature is currently only officially available on the iPhone 4S. As VentureBeat's Meghan Kelly previously pointed out, Apple has been known to make new features only available for its newest products to make them the most appealing. Anything that doesn't offcially have Apple's blessing isn't going to work very well - even when hackers manage to get around software limitations Therefore, porting Siri to other devices running iOS 5 is met with some complication.
The Nokia phones are out. Expected to be at the high end of Nokia's Mango lineup is the "Ace." It will have the largest display of all the mobiles in the lineup -- a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen -- as well as a 1.4 GHz processor, 16GB of storage and an 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics. The phones will reportedly support HSPA+, which is used by AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States, but a version that supports 4G on AT&T's network may be released in the first quarter of next year.
AT&T Inc. (T) will ask a federal judge to throw out Sprint Nextel Corp.'s lawsuit to stop its purchase of T-Mobile USA Inc., seeking a decision that would curb Sprint's ability to help the U.S. block the deal. AT&T will argue at a hearing today in Washington that Sprint, as a competitor rather than a consumer, has no right under antitrust law to bring the suit and that Sprint's claims the $39 billion deal would hurt its business are unfounded. Should AT&T persuade U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle to dismiss the case, Sprint's advice on the Justice Department's suit would be limited by its restricted access to confidential AT&T information, said Thomas Horton, a law professor at the University of South Dakota Law School and former antitrust attorney in the department.
The mood at Google Headquarters must be celebratory right now. After all, one of the company's co-founders is finally more popular on Google+ than Mark Zuckerberg, the man behind Facebook. It was slightly amusing - at least to those of us who enjoy simple irony - that Mark Zuckerberg managed to stay on top of both Larry Page and Sergey Brin for so long, but a site called Google+ Statistics reveals that the joke's over. Google+ Statistics has been tracking the popularity of Google+ users based on how often they're "circled" from the very start and while its numbers lag a bit behind the action, it does already show Page as the champion of the leader board: Larry has over 600k followers and Zuckerberg has only 598k.
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