Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

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BREAKING: Voyager To Shut Up Shop
11:00am NZDT
According to news published on the IDG website, one of NZ's oldest ISPs, Voyager, is shutting down and dumping its non-commercial users in the lap of Telecom's XTRA service.

BREAKING: DMD Webserver Hacked
Updated 12:15pm NZDT
More news -- local Intenet developer DMD seem to have had a security breach. I've been informed by the company that, contrary to my earlier report on the matter, their own website was not affected, although I did have problems trying to access it with Netscape 4.51 until shortly after this update was posted.

The management of DMD have been invited to send in a "right of reply" if they feel anything published here is incorrect or if they want to clarify the situation.

Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
New Virus Trashes Personal Firewalls 5 December 2001 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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It's currently being referred to by several names: Goner, Gone, and Pentagone -- yet another new virus running fleet-footed through the PCs of Internet users all across the globe.

This one spreads via email or ICQ's instant messaging and, according to at least one report, it disables several of the most popular computer security programs.

Of course (as usual) it only affects MS Windows users and just loves taking advantage of MS Outlook.

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It usually arrives as an attachment (gone.scr) to an email that carries the subject line "Hi" and claims to be a screensaver.

Anyone stupid or naive enough to run the attachment will find themselves infected.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Pentagone... - Anon

    From Yesterday...

  • dork scooter vs. my vespa... - digitaldunk
  • Daleks... - Camryn
  • Segway/Ginger/IT... - BillQuerty
  • Have Your Say

    However, perhaps the most worrying thing about this menace is that it disables a long list of products which are supposed to protect MS Windows machines from such dangers.

    The virus installs a back-door program which your personal firewall won't detect or block -- because it will be disabled as part of the infection.

    Reports indicate that this piece of malevolent code has already spread like wildfire -- so be on your guard -- and don't let your trust in anti-virus and firewall programs allow you to ignore basic email-handling safety:

    • Do not open unsolicited attachments -- even if they appear to be from someone you know.
    • Make sure you regularly check that your Windows and email software have all the available security and update patches applied
    Renting Music Not Without Problems
    If you read the headlines today you'll notice that the first of the long-awaited and much-touted online music services has been launched.

    For just US$9.95 a month (less than the price of a single album on CD), you'll get access to more than 100,000 music tracks from a range of contemporary pop artists.

    Sounds pretty good eh?

    Well maybe -- but there are some significant limitations:

    • You can't burn the music to CD -- so unless your PC sits in the living room and is connected to a decent stereo, the convenience and quality of the music is somewhat compromised. Likewise you won't be able to listen to the music in your car while stuck in a traffic jam on the way home from work.
    • Although there are 100,000 tracks available -- you're only allowed to download 100 per month.
    • If you cancel your subscription -- your right to listen to the music you've downloaded disappears -- remember, you're only renting the tracks.
    So will this service fly?

    Yeah, it will probably appeal to a large number of people who want legal access to a wide range of music that can be played on their computers.

    I know that, as a programmer, I was always listening to music as I worked, and since I wore headphones, the PC-only playing restriction wouldn't matter at all.

    What about you -- would you consider paying almost NZ$25 a month for such a service?

    Have your say

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    Security Alerts
    Admins asked to check buggy line printer daemons (AAP - 08/11/2001)

    New vulnerability exposes Excel and PowerPoint macros ZDNet - 29/10/2001)

    Microsoft tightens software security (CNet - 16/08/2001t)

    Code Red Worm A 'Runaway Success' (7amNews - 20/07/2001)

    Virus Alerts
    Hybrid DDoS worm strikes MS servers (ZDNet - 23/11/2001)

    Finaldo worm on the crawl (ZDNet - 09/11/2001)

    Tripple-threat Worm Strikes (Aardvark - 19/09/2001)

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    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
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    Open in New Window Cool Stuff 2002
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