Massive computer spy network uncovered; Google downplays Google Docs security concerns; and Intel to release faster low-power laptop chips.
A 10-month cyberespionage investigation has found that 1,295 computers in 103 countries and belonging to international institutions have been spied on, with some circumstantial evidence suggesting China may be to blame. The 53-page report, released on Sunday, provides some of the most compelling evidence and detail of the efforts of politically-motivated hackers while raising questions about their ties with government-sanctioned cyberspying operations. It describes a network which researchers have called GhostNet, which primarily uses a malicious software program called gh0st RAT to steal sensitive documents, control Web cams and completely control infected computers. The analysts did say, however, they have no confirmation if the information obtained has ended up being valuable to the hackers or whether it has been commercially sold or passed on as intelligence.
Google Docs users shouldn't lose sleep over the security concerns a security analyst has raised about the hosted suite of office productivity applications, Google said late Friday. In an official blog posting, Jonathan Rochelle, Google Docs' product manager, details why the company has determined that the issues included in the analyst's report are far from critical. Google's conclusions aren't a surprise. Hours after Ade Barkah published his report last Thursday, Google responded with a preliminary statement saying it was investigating the matter but that it didn't believe there were significant security issues with Docs. Nonetheless, Google evidently sees some merit in Barkah's report. Google has added information regarding Barkah's observations to its Docs "help" pages about creating drawings and about adding viewers and collaborators to documents.
Intel is expected to refresh its line of laptop chips Monday with new ultra-low-voltage processors that should make ultraportable laptops operate faster without sacrificing battery life. Intel currently offers ultra-low-voltage processors for fully functional thin and light laptops, such as Apple's expensive MacBook Air and Lenovo's ThinkPad X300. These chips fit into small spaces and draw less power than conventional laptop chips. The chips are about the size of a dime, or 60 percent smaller than mainstream laptop chips. The chips will run at clock speeds of up to 1.6GHz, a speed bump from earlier chips that ran at up to 1.40GHz.
The U.S. Library of Congress has begun uploading its audio archives to iTunes, and it will soon begin to post videos on YouTube, in an effort to make its materials easier for the public to access. The library already offers the materials at its own Web site but the expansion to YouTube and Apple's iTunes is part of the library's efforts to make its 15.3 million digital items more accessible. The decision to post audio and video on iTunes and YouTube follows a successful launch early last year of a library photo archive on Flickr. Since January 2008, the library's photos on Flickr have been viewed about 15.7 million times
...And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I'm Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.