‘TigerText’ app seen as national security threat

Cybersecurity Update – Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Jane Norris (6-10 a.m.) and The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • The fallout from the Tiger Woods debacle continues… a smart-phone application has been developed that allows its users to exchange text messages that disappear after a set period of time. While some may worry the TigerText application is new threat to national security, not everyone does. Dale Meyerrose, a former CIO for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, tells Time Magazine extremists and terrorists are already very tech savvy. “This is not a game changer,” according to Meyerrose, but it just might make divorce lawyers’ jobs harder.
  • Get ready for a big Patch Tuesday from Microsoft. The company will deliver 11 security updates to patch 25 vulnerabilities in Windows, Office and Exchange. The company issues patches the second Tuesday of each month, alternating large downloads with minor ones. The upcoming patches will affect operating systems from Windows 2000 all the way to Windows 7. Five of next week’s updates have been rated as critical by Microsoft.
  • The Conficker botnet may have an open door into a computer near you. A new study finds that one-in-10 Windows PC’s still have not been patched to plug a critical hole the worm uses to get in. PC World reports that 25 of every 1-thousand systems are infected. Microsoft issued a patch in October of 2008. The study was conducted by the security management firm Qualys.
  • On Thursday morning, bad routing data from a small Chinese ISP called IDC China Telecommunication was re-transmitted by China’s state-owned China telecommunications, and then spread around the Internet. It affected Internet service providers AT&T, Level3, Deutsche Telekom, Qwest Communications and Telefonica. Computer World reports that the incident started about 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday and lasted about 20 minutes. IDC China Telecommunication transmitted bad routing information for between 32,000 and 37,000 networks, redirecting them to IDC China Telecommunication instead of their rightful owners. The incident appears to be accidental but it displays the weakness of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), a critical protocol used to bind the Internet together.