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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Verizon Redefines 'Fast' With Groundbreaking FiOS Internet Service Featuring 20 Mbps Download and Upload Speeds

Verizon has changed the definition of "fast" with the introduction of a new, symmetrical Verizon FiOS Internet service for consumers, featuring an upload and download speed of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps).

The groundbreaking new service - delivered straight to customers' homes on the nation's most-advanced all-digital, all-fiber network - is the first of its kind commercially available to U.S. consumers on a mass scale. It is available, starting today, in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Verizon plans to offer similar symmetrical services soon in the 13 other states where the company offers FiOS Internet service, and to introduce a similar small-business offer.

"Verizon's new 20/20 FiOS service blows cable away. Their upload speeds don't even come close," said Susan Retta, vice president, Broadband Solutions for Verizon.

"For more than a decade, the Internet has been defined by how quickly you can download content," Retta said. "Our 20/20 FiOS service changes everything by creating an entirely new category of U.S. broadband where 'fast' means fast in both directions. FiOS customers don't have to wait for a new technology standard that's years away to fully participate in today's interactive Web. Our new FiOS service will encourage applications developers to create even more ways for consumers to benefit from immense upstream connectivity."

Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a consumer could upload a 250 megabyte (MB) file of 200 photos in about 90 seconds, compared with about 47 minutes over a 768 kilobits per second (kbps) upstream connection. A 500 MB file, such as 400 digital photos or a medical imaging data set, could upload in less than four minutes, compared with about 90 minutes over a 768 kbps connection. A 3 gigabyte (GB) file, such as a one-hour family video shot with a high-definition video camera, can be uploaded in around 20 minutes, compared with more than nine hours with 768 kbps upstream.

The equally fast upload and download speed of the new symmetrical FiOS service also enhances interactive services like video conferencing, online multi-player gaming, telemedicine, electronic home monitoring, online work collaboration, data backups and more.

"Verizon's new symmetric service is a smart response to the changing usage patterns of high-speed Internet subscribers," said Vince Vittore, senior analyst with Yankee Group. "We believe that as user-generated content continues to expand and telecommuting increases in popularity, upstream speed will become just as important as downstream for all users."

The new FiOS service is available in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for as low as $64.99 a month. Because consumers with ever-growing collections of photos, music, video and other data want to quickly and easily store and protect their files, the symmetrical FiOS service includes a comprehensive Internet security suite plus 1 GB of network-based backup at no additional charge. Customers who subscribe to the new Internet service can upgrade their backup to as much as 50 GB at competitive rates. More information is available by calling 888-GET-FiOS (888-438-3467).

About Verizon's FTTP Network and Verizon FiOS Services

In May 2004 Verizon became the first large U.S. company to launch mass-scale deployment of fiber-optic connections all the way to customers' homes. In addition to offering the fastest broadband speeds available in the United States today, Verizon also became the first major telecom company to utilize a hybrid RF (radio frequency) overlay and IP (Internet protocol) approach to deliver a robust video service to consumers. This provides a highly competitive alternative to services offered by incumbent cable TV companies.

At the end of the second quarter 2007, well over 1 million Verizon customers received their broadband service over Verizon's all-fiber network, and more than half a million customers have subscribed to FiOS TV.

Verizon offers FiOS Internet service in nearly 2,000 communities in 16 states, offering downstream speeds ranging from up to 5 Mbps to up to 50 Mbps and upstream speeds ranging from up to 2 Mbps to up to 20 Mbps. The company's all-digital FiOS TV service was available to nearly 3.9 million premises in 12 states at the end of the second quarter. FiOS TV delivers hundreds of digital video and music channels, high-definition programming, video-on-demand content, a robust interactive program guide and other innovative features.

FiOS Internet was named to the top five of PC World Magazine's 100 Best Products of 2007 - a roster of what the magazine called "the finest products and services of the past 12 months," selected "based on exemplary design, features, performance and innovation." Readers of PC World and Computerworld magazines have recently ranked FiOS Internet No. 1, with top scores across the board in overall satisfaction, connection reliability, download and upload speeds, customer service, and technical support. Additionally, Verizon is the only major telecom company whose network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.

Microsoft Research Reveals New Trends in Cybercrime

Microsoft Corp. today released research showing an acceleration in the number of security attacks designed to steal personal information or trick people into providing it through social engineering.

Microsoft’s most recent Security Intelligence Report, a comprehensive analysis of the threat landscape, shows that attackers are increasingly targeting personal information to make a profit and are threatening to impact people’s privacy. The report found that during the first half of 2007, 31.6 million phishing scams were detected, an increase of more than 150 percent over the previous six months. The study also shows a 500 percent increase in trojan downloaders and droppers, malicious code used to install files such as trojans, password stealers, keyboard loggers and other malware on users’ systems. Two notable families of trojans detected and removed by the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool are specifically targeted at stealing data and banking information.

Microsoft also released findings from a recent survey of more than 3,600 security, privacy and marketing executives across a variety of industries in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, including financial services, healthcare, technology and government. Conducted by the Ponemon Institute LLC, the study found that as security threats increasingly target personal information, more collaboration among security and privacy officers is critical to avoid costly compromises or breaches of personal information.

The study for the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group, titled “Microsoft Study on Data Protection and Role Collaboration Within Organizations,” found that organizations with poor collaboration were more than twice as likely as organizations with good collaboration to have suffered a data breach in the past two years.

Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of development for the Windows Core Operating System Division at Microsoft, presented the research in a keynote address to information security professionals at the RSA Conference Europe in London. Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group, will also share the results in his keynote address at the International Association for Privacy Professionals Privacy Academy in San Francisco later today.

“As a company committed to providing privacy and security solutions for our customers, we will continue to evolve our products, practices and processes as security and privacy become increasingly interdependent and as threats evolve,” Charney said. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for organizations looking to effectively collaborate and protect data, but we hope this research will be a good resource for companies thinking about how to approach this.”

Security and Privacy Threats Converge Under New Attacks

As more people communicate, access and share information online and the delivery of services and information becomes more personalized, organizations are collecting larger amounts of personal information to provide services to customers. Increasingly, organizations need to share information and conduct business across borders and devices, and with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. For cybercriminals, these factors represent greater opportunities to steal personal information.

“As the security of the operating system improves, we are seeing cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated, diverse and targeted in their methods of stealing personal information,” Fathi said. “Personal information is the currency of crime, and malicious attackers are targeting it to make their cyberattacks and other scams more authentic, credible and successful, and to make a profit.”

Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report provides customers and partners with a comprehensive understanding of the types of threats Microsoft customers face today so they can take appropriate action to help ensure they are better protected both now and in the future. According to the latest report, released today, during the first half of 2007, there was a growing number of security attacks by trojans, which often target personal information, and an upward trend in the use of malware to compromise the privacy and security of user machines. In that same time period, backdoors, a category that includes bots, posed the most significantly increasing threat to instant messaging users as attackers continue to use them to control systems and violate user privacy.

The Relationship Between Security, Privacy and Data Use Functions

With security threats increasingly posing a greater threat to privacy, data protection requires involvement from several groups within an organization that typically have different objectives and responsibilities. The research conducted by the Ponemon Institute showed that where the collaboration between security and privacy functions is good, the risk of a data breach is lower. Seventy-four percent of companies that admitted to poor collaboration said they had experienced one or more significant data breaches in the last two years. However, only 29 percent of companies that claimed to have good collaboration reported one or more breaches in the same period.

The research indicates there are tensions within organizations over how data should be managed. Security and privacy professionals see customer data as an asset to protect, while in functions such as marketing where personal data is collected and used, employees are more likely to see it as a resource to achieve business objectives. Conversely, representatives from all three functions agree that the theft or loss of customer data has a potentially damaging impact on brand value and organizational reputation.

“A lot of companies are struggling with approaching data protection holistically, because security and privacy people often don’t even speak the same language and often report to different parts of the company,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “Understanding the issues and getting security, privacy and business leaders together to discuss ways to approach this collaboratively is a good first step for organizations.”

One finding in particular from the survey provides evidence that some organizations struggle to align security, privacy and marketing functions. According to the research, 78 percent of security and privacy executives said they were confident that their marketing colleagues consult them before collecting or using personal information. However, only 30 percent of marketers said they actually do so.

Another key finding from the research found that preserving or enhancing an organization’s reputation and trust is important, especially for marketing professionals. More than 65 percent of marketers who collect and use data reported that preserving or enhancing the organization’s reputation and trust was among the most important business drivers for data protection. Avoiding threats is the top business driver for security professionals, and regulatory compliance is the top driver for privacy and compliance professionals. This finding suggests that when approaching data protection issues with marketers, security and privacy professionals will benefit from communicating the reputation and trust impacts associated with a lack of focus on avoiding threats of managing compliance.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

openSUSE 10.3 is Now Available

Novell today announced the availability of openSUSE® 10.3, the newest version of the award-winning community Linux* distribution. Available for free download or in a convenient packaged retail edition, openSUSE 10.3 provides everything a user needs to get started with Linux. To improve the user experience, openSUSE 10.3 includes a flexible Linux-Windows dual-boot configuration, improved user interface, Microsoft* Office file compatibility with the latest office productivity suite, and enhanced multimedia support.

“The openSUSE community continues to deliver innovations and has created a new version of openSUSE that will excite a wide range of computer users,” said Andreas Jaeger, director of the openSUSE project. “OpenSUSE 10.3 provides a stable and state-of-the-art operating system based on Linux kernel 2.6.22, and it contains a large variety of the latest open source applications for desktops, servers and application development.”

Enhancements to openSUSE 10.3 include the newest versions of the GNOME* and KDE desktop environments, including a KDE 4 preview. 2.3 makes sharing files with Microsoft Office users easy, and the newest version of AppArmor™ protects the Linux operating system and applications from attacks, viruses and malicious applications. OpenSUSE 10.3 also now includes MP3 support out of the box for Banshee™ and Amarok, which are the default media players in openSUSE. In addition, openSUSE 10.3 offers the latest open source applications for developing applications, setting up a home network and running a Web server, as well as the latest virtualization software such as Xen* 3.1 and VirtualBox 1.5.

Version 10.3 makes openSUSE the first Linux distribution to take full advantage of the “1-Click Install” option, which gives openSUSE 10.3 users easy access to many more software packages residing on the openSUSE Build Service. Contributed by a single openSUSE community member, the one-click install is an example of the value openSUSE's strong community of developers, testers, writers, translators, artists and users bring to the distribution. OpenSUSE 10.3 was created by the openSUSE project, the community initiative sponsored by Novell that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. The openSUSE project has more than 54,000 registered members.

Availability and Pricing
OpenSUSE 10.3 is now available for free download at The retail edition of openSUSE 10.3 is available on as well as in select retail locations. It delivers the same packages as the downloadable version on an installable DVD for 32- and 64-bit architectures, and it is accompanied by a second DVD containing a large selection of additional software available at the release date. Also included are a comprehensive user manual and 90 days of installation support, all for a suggested $59.95. For retail locations and more information, visit For more on openSUSE 10.3 and the openSUSE project, visit and