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January 22, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 22, 2013

Volume of Mega Sign Ups Leads to System Overload

Mega may be a mega hit, but has also had mega problems due to the sheer volume of people trying to sign up for and use the newly-launched cloud storage site.

Kim Dotcom debuted Mega on Jan. 20, exactly one year to the day the U.S. Department of Justice forced the shutdown of his previous site, Megaupload.

Mega pulled in so much traffic minutes after it went live Jan. 20, however, the site was overloaded off and on for several hours.

Dotcom clearly was not expecting one million people to sign up for the service on its first day, and is now scrambling to fix the issues.

These issues include:

• Some users being unable to access the site.

• Some users could not access the service because their confirmation e-mails disappeared.

• Some were able to set up an account and start uploading, but many of the uploads quickly froze.

Dotcom tweeted that Mega is “slowly stabilizing.”

“Still fixing bugs and issues with some servers. You can expect a smooth experience soon.”

Graph Search Could Aid Phishers

Facebook’s newly launched Graph Search could be a breeding ground for phishers, according to security researchers.

“It makes the job of researching targets easier because phishers don’t have to depend on Google’s noisy search results,” Invincea CEO Anup Ghosh told TechNewsWorld. “It’s not a game-changer, but it does make reconnaissance easier.”

Graph Search could be employed to create big data offensives against organizations by enabling the mining of people, places, photos and interests, Angel Grant, senior manager for authentication solutions at RSA told TechNewsWorld.

“It will simply help expedite and simplify creating a targeted social-engineering attack,” he said. “Although Graph Search was designed with privacy in mind, only allowing to see what you could already view on Facebook — think about how many of your Friends you really know.”

Red October Dying a Slow Death

A global spy ring targeting governmental, diplomatic and scientific research organization computer networks is slowly dying.

After being uncovered by Kaspersky Lab last week, the activity level of the malware used by Red October appears to be dwindling, according to security reaserchers.

The malware has targeted specific organizations mostly in Eastern Europe, former USSR members and countries in Central Asia, but has also hit Western Europe and North America, according to a post on SecureList, Kaspersky Lab’s blog.

The infrastructure began to fade Jan. 14, according to news reports.

In fact, domains connected with the campaign are in the process of being shut down, a Kaspersky researcher confirmed.

Red October’s activity level has also shrunk because companies hit by the malware are actively working to shut it down and registrars are cutting domains connected to it. Also, host companies are removing the servers used to control the operation while black-hats are disabling parts of the system with plans to bring it back to life in the future.