November 2003 Virus Chart

According to MessageLabs the Swen virus and the MiMail viruses are at the top. These viruses use malicious code to do real damage.

Read all about it here.

Macromedia announces "Flex"

Macromedia will share on Monday more details of its plan to get Java developers working with its Flash format. Flex will let J2EE developers create Flash applications using standard, text-based development tools, rather than the complex design-focused tools Macromedia sells, reports Cnet.

Just like the badly-named Flash Professional MX2004 is not aimed at the tradtionional core Pro audience Flash animators, but at people more likely to come from a VB or programming background, Flex is Macromedia's continuing attempt to broaden the base of Flash developers away from "eye-candy" and to real on-line applications.

Here's the official Macromedia press release.

New virus disguised as PayPal e-mail

Do not open the attachement!

The virus appears as an attachment--"www.paypal.com.scr"--to an e-mail that claims to be from PayPal.

"PayPal would like to inform you about some important information regarding your PayPal account," the message reads. "This account, which is associated with the email address will be expiring within five business days. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, but this is occurring because all of our customers are required to update their account settings with their personal information. We are taking these actions because we are implementing a new security policy on our website to insure everyone's absolute privacy."

When you open the e-mail attachment, a window appears bearing the PayPal logo and asking for credit card information. The virus stores any information provided by the victim in a file called "ppinfo.sys" and the file is sent to four e-mail addresses stored in the program.

Bug Fixes for Flash MX 2004 available

Macromedia have released a free bug fix updater for Flash MX 2004 which has "34 crash bugs found and fixed! ". The cynical might wonder why it was ever shipped with that many bugs; the pragmatic will install the patch and breathe a sigh of relief.

Let's hope there's one for Dreamweaver soon .....

Run multiple versions of IE/ Win for testing

The big trouble with testing your web sites for backwards compatibility has always been that you can't install multiple versions of Internet Explorer on Windows. Until now! Joe Maddalone has discovered how to run different versions of IE on the same windows box in order to test. And here's downloadable Internet Explorer versions 3, 4 and 5.

Hooray for clever people!

It's not just Windows with security flaws..
An unknown intruder attempted to insert a Trojan horse program into the code of the next version of the Linux kernel, stored at a publicly accessible database, reports ZDNet. Meanwhile, security research firm @stake is warning Macintosh users about three security problems with the Mac OS X 10.2.8 and previous versions, reports Security Pipeline magazine.
Microsoft offer bounty of $500K for arrest of virus writers

Bill "Sheriff" Gates has put a bounty on the writers of MSBlast and the Sobig viruses - half a million dollars for information leading to the arrest of those varmints, ZDNet reports

New Windows virus - and Microsoft kill Windows Messenger
A virus which pretends to be a security patch from an Anti-Virus firm is going round. The Sober virus has attachments called  anti_virusdoc.pif, check-patch.bat, playme.exe and others. More at The Register which also reports that Microsoft are discontinuing the Windows Messenger Service in Win XP (this is different from the Microsoft messenger which allows you to waste hours chatting to friends. Microsoft are also going to turn on the firewall by default in XP. Like, duh!
Dreamweaver and Flash for Linux

Codeweavers have announced support for Dreamweaver and Flash to Linux in  the CrossOver Office 2.1 product that already has support for Photoshop. CrossOver Office 2.1 is priced at $59.95 per user.

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