Saturday, August 22, 2009

Marines: Facebook is not for the few good men

By Doug Beizer

Marine Corps officials have banned using social-networking Web sites on the service’s networks due to the security risks associated with the Web 2.0 tools, according to an order published on the Marine Corps Web site .

The order issued August 3 bans accessing social networking tools that include Facebook and Twitter on the Marine Corps Enterprise Network and on the Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Network.

“These Internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries,” the order states, adding that social networking sites create an easy conduit for information leakage.

The service also banned accessing the sites through virtual private network connections. However, Marine Corp personnel may still access social networking sites sponsored by the Defense Department and hosted on internal networks, the order states.

DOD-wide policies on the use of social media tools are being re-evaluated, according to a U.S. Strategic Command blog entry and widespread media reports.

The Strategic Command, which oversees the use of the dot-mil network, has launched a review of the safety of the sites, according to several reports.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials Release

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) beta build 1.0.1500.0 has quietly appeared out of nowhere today. There's no official announcement, testers haven't received any e-mail notification, and it's unclear if this is the second public build, either a Beta Refresh or a Release Candidate, which the software giant promised to release this summer.

There's a few more odd things with this release, such as the fact that the update points to KB article 972958, which doesn't appear to exist, at least not at the time of publishing. Furthermore, some users are reporting that they are actually getting build 1.0.1501.0 instead of 1.0.1500.0 when they update. The new version is available for current MSE testers on the Downloads section of the Microsoft Security Essentials beta program on Microsoft Connect, although the release date mistakenly says the build was posted on June 21, 2009. On Connect, the version is also mistakenly referred to as 1.0.1500.0 but the actual installers are for 1.0.1501.0. The new build was also released as an optional update on Windows Update, with today's date stamp, and that update really gets you build 1.0.1500.0: