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by CSO Contributor

Microsoft Changes Course on Windows 98 Support; Trojan Horse Poses as Windows XP Update; Some Fliers Could Avoid Extra Scrutiny; Radio Hackers Hurl Drive-By Abuse at Fast Food Customers

Jan 13, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Microsoft Changes Course on Windows 98 Support

Microsoft has extended support for its older operating systems Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and Windows ME until June 30, 2006. During that time, paid over-the-phone support will be available, “critical” security issues will be reviewed, and “appropriate steps” taken, according to a Cnet report today. The company’s support for the Windows 98 family of operating systems was scheduled to end this Friday, with support for Windows ME due to expire in December of this year. Microsoft has come under pressure in recent years, particularly by authorities in developing countries, for its attempts to push customers into buying or subscribing to newer, expensive Windows and Office software versions, according to The Washington Post. The Post story also elaborates on Microsofts official reasoning for the extension.Trojan Horse Poses as Windows XP Update

Critical Update. According to a TechWeb News report on, Ken Dunham, the director of malicious code at iDefense, a Reston, Va.-based security intelligence firm, says, “The Trojan definitely downloads malicious code and installs it on the system.” By his analysis, Trojan.Xombe downloads a back-door IRC Trojan horse to the compromised machine. Once that’s installed, attackers can access the PC undetected, add other code to the computersuch as key trackers for acquiring passwordsand use the machine to launch DoS attacks on other machines.

A new Swen-style Trojan horse posing as a critical update from Microsoft has been detected on the Internet, coming from a spoofed sending address of, and using the subject line Windows XP Service Pack 1 (Express)

Some Fliers Could Avoid Extra Scrutiny New York Times, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said yesterday that airline passengers who voluntarily submit to a background check to demonstrate that they are not security risks could receive identity cards that would exempt them from being routinely selected for extra screening at airports. Such travelers would still go through the same basic screening as everyone else and would go on for closer inspection if they set off a metal detector or if a screener noticed something suspicious. According to the Times, the TSA has never liked the idea, but some airlines and frequent travelers have been eagerly anticipating such a system since the tightening of airport security after the terrorist attacks of 2001. Congress recently ordered a pilot program and provided $5 million for it.

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Radio Hackers Hurl Drive-By Abuse at Fast Food CustomersThe Register today, Burger King customers visiting a drive-through restaurant in Troy, Mich., had to run a gamut of abuse after pranksters succeeded in hacking into the outlet’s wireless intercom system. A local police officer told reporters that one customer was told, “You don’t need a couple of Whoppers. You are too fat. Pull ahead.” In other instances customers have been told there is no food at the restaurant, and profanity is a regular feature of these exchanges. Police believe the practical jokers are broadcasting at close range. A Detroit News story last week reported that if caught, the culprits will face misdemeanour charges that could bring three months in jail and fines for anyone convicted. Managers at the fast food outlet are reportedly looking into changing the frequency of their intercom system.

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