Report: Hackers buy, sell software bugs online

The New York Times reports that Microsoft claims that its new operating system, Vista, is the most secure in the company’s history.  Now, hackers will be testing this claim. When Vista’s predecessor, XP, was released five years ago, hackers tested its security for notoriety, fame, and glory.  Now, financial incentives are driving the rush to discover security holes and bugs.  Software vulnerabilities are now bought, sold, and traded online by firms both legitimate and nefarious.  The ability to obtain working eMail addresses and credit card numbers carry real financial value to thieves, while security firms have a vested interest in protecting consumers from these breaches. This month, iDefense Labs, a subsidiary of VeriSign, announced that it was offering $8,000 for the first six researchers to discover holes in Vista.  In addition, the firm is offering $4,000 for the “exploit,” or the program needed to exploit the weakness……

eSchool News Staff

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