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IT & Communications

Hot on the heels of Facebook's decision to reduce user's ability to hide their public profile comes the commercial reason why: Facebook is testing a system that will enable non-contacts to send messages to users if they pay USD1. Thanks for the spam but will users be allowed to say "No thanks?" And will FB breach the Can Spam Act and, even, risk the company and its officers being prosecuted for money laundering?

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Facebook is to remove the facility for users to hide their profile from public searches. And that's not the only change the company is making in its latest round of alterations.

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We're going to have to wait for regulatory filings, leaks or careless whispers to find out exactly what's happened. But there's what seems to be good news from the warzone where Apple and HTC have been butting heads.

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Internet fraudsters migrate from service to service, using the safety and security provided by anonymous e-mail services. A review of fraudulent accounts at a number of sites has shown that the current favourite is hotmail.com. Nigel Morris-Cotterill, a money laundering risk management strategist, calls for proper policing of free e-mail accounts and domain registrations, saying that the present free-for-all should end.

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An email purporting to come from Apple's iTunes frightens victims into clicking on a malicious link - it tells them their credit card has just been hit with a large charge.

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A fraudulent e-mail headed "Alert! Your email will be blacklisted soon" and purporting to have been sent by an address at spamcop.com is circulating.

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Phishing scams are nothing new and nor are drive-by browser attacks. They usually involve a simple landing page injected into an insecure website which either effects the scam or attack or diverts the victim to another page. This one is different.

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PandaLabs has issued a warning: if you get a direct message on Twitter telling you about a video of US President Obama punching a man in the face after a racist insult, don't click the link in the message or things much worse than a black eye will befall you.

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When 15-year-old Joyce Hau posted comments on her Facebook page about a girl of similar age the latter felt insulted. So she and her slightly older boyfriend engaged the services of a hit man - well, hit boy, in fact.

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It all began with a package bundled with Windows in 1999 but now, following Microsoft's integration of Skype, MS Live Messenger is to be killed off, except in China, as Microsoft forcibly migrates the users of its messaging system to the Skype platform. From early 2013, it's going to be the Skype way or the highway.

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There are, it seems, almost no limits to how dumb internet fraudsters can be. In these two examples, the most dimwitted are at their hilarious best. (update: three examples)

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A trawl through the access logs of ChiefOfficers.Net shows an interesting trend which appears to tie into the use of WordOress installations for phishing scams.

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It might sound an odd thing to say about the iPhone that it's not user friendly but it's true. As soon as you want to do something Apple doesn't want you to do. you are on your own, you have to void your warranty, and you might find you are locked out of some of the services you bought the phone for in the first place. In short, the iPhone is user friendly if you use it as Apple want you to.

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As if being accused of risking perverting the course of justice (and giving Australian police the virtual finger) isn't enough (story) Facebook has now caused even more annoyance by refusing to remove a page that identifies operational undercover assets in Victoria.

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IT Security company Kaspersky Labs says that it has identified a new variant of a threat. Called "miniFlame" (aka SPE) it is a small and highly flexible malicious program designed to steal data and control infected systems during targeted cyber espionage operations.

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