Needle in a Facebook Haystack; The Neeris and Cyber Security

Facebook’s photo storage system holds 850 million photos and costs a lot of dough. Niall Kennedy has a nice overview of what Facebook is doing to minimize its storage costs.

Facebook’s system, dubbed Haystack, is custom-built but relies on content delivery networks and NetApp. Facebook is trying to minimize the custom stuff and use commodity hardware.

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Old worm, new tricks…

The Neeris worm, which dates from as far back as May 2005, making it a bit of geriatric, has been adapted to spread using the infamous MS08-067 vulnerability harnessed by Conficker. Earlier variants of the Neeris worm exploited a much older flaw (MS06-040) in the same Windows component hit by the Conficker exploit, so the update to the older malware probably involved more of a tweak than a complete rewrite.

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With President Obama’s 60-day comprehensive review of US cyber security still underway, Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Olympia Snow (D-ME) on Wednesday introduced sweeping legislation that would establish a cyber security “czar” within the White House and bring both governmental and private sector “critical infrastructure” under a unified regulatory regime.

In case a lone cyber security advisor doesn’t seem like enough, that legislation provides for the creation of cyber security advisory panel to be staffed by stakeholders from the governmental, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors.

The bill establishes a dizzying array of programs, administered by a variety of agencies, over the course of its 51 pages. Perhaps most significantly, the bill tasks the National Institute of Standards and Technology with developing a set of security standards and vulnerability tests that will apply to any information networks or software used by federal agencies and contractors-but also by any private entity designated as “critical infrastructure” by the President. The President is also empowered to order the disconnection of any federal or private critical infrastructure network, either during a “cyber security emergency” or for reasons of national security more broadly.

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Windows only: Looking for a different kind of, and can be customized to fit any theme.

Unlike other popular Windows alternatives to the taskbar, like the previously mentioned (and popular) RocketDock or ObjectDock, SliderDock offers a kind of pop-on, jump-out functionality. That is, if you only want to use SliderDock for a certain subset of apps or file locations, you can hide it with a custom keyboard shortcut.