Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 28° Cloudy
News >  Business

As security improves, hackers find more vulnerable targets

Associated Press

As people heed warnings to install the latest security updates for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating systems and Internet Explorer browsers, researchers say hackers have been shifting their focus to applications that are harder to protect.

The SANS Institute’s annual list of top Internet security threats includes a separate category for “cross-platform applications” for the first time.

Data-backup programs, media players and anti-virus software were added to the list, joining instant messaging and file-sharing applications before listed under Windows threats.

Most of these programs lack auto-updating mechanisms now available to automatically take care of the Microsoft threats, setting the state of security back five or six years, said Alan Paller, director of research as SANS, a security training and research organization.

Backup programs are of particular concern because they are used by businesses to duplicate the most sensitive data, such as financial and hospital records, Paller said.

SANS considers the list — at — a consensus among security professionals of the vulnerabilities that require immediate attention.

Female chancellor creates tech challenge

The election of a woman as Germany’s chancellor presented government techies with an immediate challenge.

With gender-based spellings in German, the chancellor’s Web site could no longer be Angela Merkel’s official title is “Bundeskanzlerin,” with the feminine ending “-in” — but was already taken.

Now it appears the owner of the feminine version is willing to cede it.

On the Web site was an announcement that its owner, Lars M. Heitmueller, had registered it in 1998 to “hold in trust” until a woman got the job and he could officially turn them over. Merkel took power Tuesday as Germany’s first female chancellor.

For now, the official chancellor Web site, complete with photos of the new leader and details of her career, appears at the slightly unwieldy

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.