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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Fly your iPhone to the moon

Saving the environment is at the forefront of most people’s minds at the moment, with companies going to great lengths to get themselves seen as green. And in true tree-hugging style, we’ve come up with some great ways to dispose of your iPhone – Steve Job’s latest toy to hit the market – after it has died.

If you’ve never fired an iPhone at the moon, then you’ve not really lived, we reckon, but putting your iPhone in the blender is a sure winner for disposing of the toy. Once your tool for gassing with your gran has kicked the bucket, we found even more inventive ways of destroying these little suckers…

The iPhone launch this week has raised more than a few eyebrows around the world. Networking giant Cisco lifted its corporate handbag after taking offence to Apple taking the iPhone name, which it already had, and is now attempting to sue the company. Cisco attorneys have vocalized the company’s feelings, while Apple has so far kept very tight-lipped.

Now you would think Apple would have learned a lesson or two from previous showdowns over copyright. But apparently not. Other than shenanigans with Cisco, Apple has also used a voicemail application name Citrix came up with. We say come on, think different kids...

Get to the back of the class, Vista!

Microsoft suffered a setback this week when a leading educational body told schools to avoid buying Windows Vista for at least a year. Becta, the governement’s e-learning partner, published a report that said costs of widespread Vista deployment are likely to be around £160m while the benefits are unclear – no shock there then.

The agency calculated that it would cost in the region of £4,000 for a typical primary school to deploy Vista and as much as £25,000 for a secondary school – money which could instead buy you a massive bag of cola cubes and a wicked skateboard.

Spammers – one and all

Big UK companies are apparently spamming the poor folk of this fair island with unsolicited junk email about how great they are. Some 200 companies in banking, insurance, retail and mobile telecoms were surveyed for breaking European spam regulations. Most companies are behaving themselves but a large proportion is failing to keep up with the rest. Lawyers say that companies are confused by spam legislation – so that should drum up some business for them then, shouldn’t it?

SAP shares sapped

Business processes can’t be working that well for SAP – the value in its shares dropped 10 per cent after it admitted missing 2006 sales targets. The harsh market reaction to the failure, which the company flagged late in the year, could mean a strategy rethink – and no free biscuits for a few months.

Iris examinations fail tests

Border-controlling iris scanners have failed official UK tests to work properly. The Home Office has insisted iris scanners be put into airports around the country, but results of an evaluation of the technology found it “pretty much fails”, according to an MP. Apparently results of the test were not widely publicised but placed in the House of Commons library in late December. They apparently reveal that Project Iris "failed half its assessments."

HP private eye charged for snooping

It wouldn’t be a proper week of news without the HP snooping scandal making a headline or two. This week it’s the private detective hired to spy on the company’s board members who’s been dragged into the spotlight. As it stands Bryan Wagner has been charged with identity theft and conspiracy. Five other people including HP's ex-chairwoman Patricia Dunn and ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker also face charges. Dunn has said she started the investigation but denies any wrongdoing.

IBM wins gay friendly award

IBM is one of the best places to work for gay people, a poll has suggested. The gay lobby group Stonewall has rated the company number one following a survey that looked into: how it engages with gay customers, commitment to diversity training, monitoring of staff sexual orientation, support for gay staff, and the presence of openly gay, bisexual or lesbian board members.

Spammers go for Holy Grail

Creativity is key to being successful. So it’s good to see that spam scammers are still as persistent as ever in dreaming up new ways to steal your cash. This time it’s Holy Grail mumbo jumbo monkey business under the guise of the much publicised Priory of Sion – an organization – fake or real, who knows or really cares – linked to the Knights Templar and the cup Jesus Christ himself allegedly drank from, reports suggest.

Spam and general bad stuff on the web – drops off…

Spamming and scams have been around for long enough now that anyone with a computer and half a brain cell knows not to reply. Perhaps this is the reason why spam levels are reported to suddenly dropped 30 per cent last week. However, security experts think otherwise and that it’s down to nerdy reasons, such as a "broken" botnet. SoftScan is still investigating the cause of the drop but says hackers have temporarily lost control of a “significant network of compromised machines.”

Patchtastic Tuesday

It's that time of the month again - Microsoft's patch Tuesday. This month was a little different - Microsoft issued half the number of fixes that were expected. But msome observers welcomed the change as evidence that the company was testing patches more carefully. Better no patch than a dodgy patch.

Car spying petitions swamp Downing Street

Fears over government plans to track all cars and tax them according to mileage have sparked masses of people to sign petitions aimed at blocking the move. The e-petitions web site, launched by the Prime Minister last November, has attracted 152,628 signatories opposing the move, almost nine times more than the second most popular plea, to ditch the hunting ban.

Calling all hacks – we want you…

And finally – El Reg is looking to hire some new blood – we want reporters and a sub-editor to join the team, so get scribbling if you want in or you know of anyone who would be interested. ®

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