April 27, 2011

Iran has been targeted by a new computer worm named Stars...

Iran has been targeted by a new computer worm named Stars, according to an Iranian official.
"The damage is very slight in the initial stage," defense official Gholam Reza Jalali told the semi-official news agency Mehr.
It was unclear how long ago the worm was discovered or which systems in Iran it was designed to penetrate.
"It is compatible with the (targeted) system," Jalali said, and "it is likely to be mistaken for executable files of the government."
The announcement comes less than a year after Iranian nuclear facilities were targeted by a highly specialized computer worm called Stuxnet. It was apparently designed to secretly infiltrate the centrifuge machines that refine uranium and make them spin so fast they would break, according to David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security.
"About 10% of the centrifuges were destroyed by Stuxnet," he said, which resulted in a setback for the Iranian nuclear program by as much as a year.
Iranian officials have said they believe last year's Stuxnet cyberattack originated in Israel and the United States, but officials from neither country have commented on the malware's origin. An American and an Israeli representative reached by CNN about the latest report again declined to comment.
I'm sure they will start thinking about retaliation
--David Albright, Institute for Science and International Security

An official with Symantec, a computer security firm that decoded the Stuxnet program last year, said a sample would be required for the company to forensically study the latest program for clues to its origin and its target.
"Until we have that, we can only guess at this point," said John Harrison, with Symantec's security response group.
An Iranian official at the United Nations, Alireza Miryousefi, said he could provide no further details on the latest attack. But in a statement, he said, "These sabotages -- (such) as producing computer viruses and the assassination of our nuclear scientists -- are outright criminal and illegal, aimed at preventing Iranians from implementing their peaceful nuclear rights."
Last year, in addition to the computer worm attack, two Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked by unknown assailants with car bombs. One of them was killed.
Albright warned that the latest cyberattack on Iran could prompt a response.
"Iran doesn't usually take things lying down," he said. "I'm sure they will start thinking about retaliation. They'll probably think of trying to launch a cyberattack."

Facebook launches Send button, replaces email to a friend

The Send button is focused on private sharing rather than public sharing features.

      Story Highlights
  • Send button Monday will replace the classic "email to a friend" button.
  • It is designed to make it easier for users to share content with close friends
  • More than 50 websites are launching the Send button

Facebook launched its Send button Monday, in a bid to improve the functionality of Groups as well as replace the classic “email to a friend” button.
“Send” is intentionally similar, in look and feel, to the Like button. Click on Send and a pop-up appears, allowing you to send that article or page to friends, groups or any email address. You can then add a message and send the page to friends’ inboxes or post it to a Group wall.
The button is designed to make it easier for users to share content with close groups of friends, Facebook product manager Austin Haugen explained to Mashable. He cited an increasingly popular trend: users posting a commerce site to a Group to figure out what gift to buy for a friend.
Another important detail: Send counts toward the total number of Likes a page has. The Like total is now calculated by adding the number of Likes, shares, comments and inbox messages containing a URL.

More than 50 websites are launching the Send button, including Gilt Groupe, 1-800-Flowers, The Wall Street Journal, Orbitz, Last.fm, The Huffington Post, People.com and The Washington Post. The Send button’s code is also now available on Facebook’s Developer Website. And as with the Like button, it only takes a few lines of code to get the Send button running on a website.
If the implementations we’ve seen so far are any indication, Send will become Facebook’s next Like button — which celebrated its first birthday last week and is installed on more than 10,000 websites every week. The Send button is designed to be Like’s companion, focused on private sharing rather than public sharing features. And since Send includes the ability to share articles via email, the classic “email to a friend” functionality available on millions of websites is rendered obsolete.