The government's case against Bradley Manning, Juniper's patent lawsuit against Palo Alto Networks and cyber-attacks were among this week's security headlines.
The United States government
began presenting its case against Army Private Bradley Manning last week and
continued this week. Manning is accused of illegally accessing thousands of
classified documents and video and leaking it to the whistleblower site WikiLeaks.
The witnesses for the prosecution admitted to a number of glaring
, such as not requiring a password to access the sensitive
database, and allowing analysts to download games and upload content on to
secure classified networks.
While vendors still battle
each other on features, many have resorted to taking the fight to the courtroom
by claiming patent infringement. Juniper Networks has joined the long line of
companies in court by suing
startup Palo Alto Networks
for "willful" infringement of six
firewall patents. However, this lawsuit has a twist. The founders of Palo Alto
Networks actually invented the technology the patents cover when they were at a
different startup before being acquired by Juniper.
The Wall Street Journal
broke the news that the United
States Chamber of Commerce
, a lobbying organization, was hacked by an unknown person or group last year and
stole six week's worth of emails belonging to four employees focusing on Asian
policy. The Chamber confirmed the breach, but said the incident was limited in scope
and the organization had already dealt with the issue.
"I wish I could delight in
the schadenfreude some must feel knowing that a lobbying group who openly
opposed tightening cyber-security laws themselves became a poster child for one
of the most high-profile intrusions in the news in 2011," Andrew Brandt,
director of threat research at Solera Networks Research Labs, told eWEEK
. He added that he could "take
no joy" in the knowledge that the attackers had succeeded.
said it was beefing up its infrastructure and improving
its monitoring capabilities against potential cyber-attacks that may try to
disrupt the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus for the 2012 presidential campaign. Cyber-threats,
such as distributed-denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), will increasingly target
high-profile individuals, such as politicians, and controversial Websites, said
Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions at Radware. Researchers
have demonstrated ways attackers can remotely compromise electronic voting
systems and the recent Russian election was marred with reports of DDoS attacks
against media organizations reporting on charges of election fraud.
Microsoft unveiled yet
another feature, the picture
, in the upcoming Windows 8 operating system this week.
The new system would allow users to select a personal image and assign a series
of gestures to the image. When the user wants to log on to the system, the user
would have to select the correct image and then use the proper sequence of
images before it would unlock the machine, Microsoft claimed.
While Congress goes on
holiday and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith agreed to delay work on the
controversial Stop Online Piracy Act till January, SOPA still was in the news
this week. Customers were outraged that domain registrar GoDaddy
called for a boycott and started moving their domains to competitors.
The protest spread over Twitter, and competing registrars took advantage of the
outrage by posting various discount codes to entice GoDaddy customers away.
While the domain giant reaffirmed its support in a statement issued late Dec.
22, it backed down less than a day later and said it would withdraw its support
of the bill. While asserting that "fighting online piracy is of the utmost
importance," GoDaddy admitted in a statement on Dec. 23: "We
can clearly do better