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Attention Span 2009.05.05 (morning edition)

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Hackers Break Into Virginia Health Professions Database, Demand Ransom

Hackers last week broke into a Virginia state Web site used by pharmacists to track prescription drug abuse. They deleted records on more than 8 million patients and replaced the site's homepage with a ransom note demanding $10 million for the return of the records, according to a posting on Wikileaks.org, an online clearinghouse for leaked documents.

Wikileaks reports that the Web site for the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was defaced last week with a message claiming that the database of prescriptions had been bundled into an encrypted, password-protected file.

Hitachi Data Systems Enables Integrated Server-to-Storage Virtualization

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT : ) and the only provider of Services Oriented Storage Solutions, today announced a new end-to-end server-to-storage virtualization initiative to drive efficiencies across virtualized environments. To support this strategy, Hitachi Data Systems also announced two important business continuity and disaster recovery solutions for virtual environments...

US needs 'digital warfare force'

The BBC seems to have 'picked up' this theme. First there appeared a story about creating a botnet as an offensive weapon, posited by an un-official source (an ex-USAF officer). Now this story. This has the feel of a 'drum beat'. Someone, somewhere is going to break a story, or someone is letting out an 'official' version of a story. I noted the last line of the story: 'The US administration is due imminently to publish the results of a 60-day review on cyber-security ordered by President Obama.'

The US has set up specialised detachments dealing with IT problems

The head of America's National Security Agency says that America needs to build a digital warfare force for the future, according to reports.

Lt Gen Keith Alexander, who also heads the Pentagon's new Cyber Command, outlined his views in a report for the House Armed Services subcommittee.

The right not to get caught

A report on the Open Rights Group event held recently in London, at which Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross discussed privacy in an age of electronic visibility.

... This was perhaps one of the key take away points of the evening - the contemporary concept of privacy hasn’t been around that long, being mostly a middle class 20th century contrivance, so should we be really all that shocked/bothered that the concept is being changed as new social norms emerge?

An Open Letter

From Adventures in Open Source, and open letter to MSFT, HP, IBM and ORCL with tongue firmly implanted in cheek. The unfortunate aspect of this letter is that it seems to actually be a 'course of last resort' for small ISVs who have labored to create proprietary software and have failed to gain traction.

Think of it as “fauxpen source“. Take some product that is pretty much end of life, sanitize it a bit and release it as open source. Call everything else “enterprise extensions”. Update your website and suddenly you are an open source company. Or, you can just acquire an open source company (I’m looking at you, Oracle) and be assured of a piece of the coming windfall.

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