Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Stockholm Public Transport Selects Gemalto for World's First Customised Travel Card

Gemalto announced that the Stockholm Public Transport ("Storstockholms Lokaltrafik", SL) is deploying AllAboutMe, a turnkey solution to design customised travel cards online.

SL is the public transport operator in Stockholm County with around 700,000 commuters using their services daily. Gemalto is the prime contractor for the project and will provide SL with a comprehensive card issuance service. SL is the first transport operator in the world to launch a picture card program.

The full-service solution includes online purchase and web plug-in, contactless card production, image verification, secure personalisation and printing and delivery to the cardholder. All issuance services are performed in Gemalto's personalisation centre in Sweden, to ensure commuters receive their card by mail within a few days.

Serverside, part of the Gemalto Group, provided an intuitive software interface that enables users to easily upload a personal photo on SL's website or select a visual from their gallery and then securely order their card online. Commuters can enjoy the convenience of ordering their card from home whenever they want, which means greater comfort and considerable time saving. The new picture card service has had huge success, with a high adoption rate of close to 50% for online buyers, just one month after launch in February 2011.

Foursquare to Test NFC at Google Developer Conference

Location-based social networking website Foursquare will test NFC-based check-ins at Google's I/O 2011 developer conference which starts from tomorrow till 11th May in San Francisco, USA.

Foursquare, which mainly uses GPS-enabled smartphones to let users check in at bars, restaurants, stores and other venues, has been working with Google to set up smart posters embedded with NFC tags throughout the Moscone Centre, where the conference will be held.

Users with NFC-enabled Android phones - the Nexus S, can tap the smart posters to check-in with foursquare according to the company's blog. People who check in will get a Google I/O badge.

Canada is The Favourite Place for Cybercrime: A Report

Canada is becoming the favourite spot for cyber criminals, reported the U.S-based security firm Websense. There was a 319 percent growth in the number of Canadian servers hosting phishing sites in the last 12 months, even as most countries saw their numbers decrease, suggests a new report from Websense.

Canada now finds itself second on the list of countries that host the most phishing websites, USA been the first. The number of bot networks that include large numbers of infected computers which can be controlled by hackers remotely, rose by 53 percent in Canada in the last 8 months.

Canada is the 6th worst on Websense's overall list for hosting all types of cyber crime exploits, compared to its 13th position in 2010, said Patrik Runald, the company's senior manager of security research. Hackers have been moving to unknown territories for the fear of been identified by police.

According to Runald: "In the past they've hosted a lot of it in eastern Europe - Lithuania, Ukraine and Turkey - and we've seen it shift to where they're now trying to host this content on servers in countries with better (security) reputations ... and therefore their attacks will be more successful because obviously you can't (just block all) Canadian websites from Canadian users. In most cases, network administrators have no idea that there's illegal rogue content hiding on their servers and it's only detected when someone reports it". Another surprising discovery is that about 80 percent of the cyber crime cases are on compromised legitimate web servers that are meant to be used for something else like hosting a website for a company, etc.

ICO Advices on New EU Cookies Law

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued an advice on how UK businesses and organisations can comply with a new EU law on the use of cookies technology.

The law, which will come into force on 26 May 2011, comes from an amendment to the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive. It will require UK businesses and organisations running websites in the UK to get informed consent from visitors to their websites in order to store and retrieve information on users' computers. One common technique of storing information is known as a cookie.

The advice, which follows the publication of UK regulations by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, will help people to consider what type of cookie or similar technology their website uses and for what purpose, how intrusive their use is, and offers advice on what solution for obtaining consent will suit them.

The ICO has given the advice to help organisations to start thinking about the practical steps they will need to take to remain compliant with the new law. It will be supplemented by additional content as innovative ways to acquire users' consent are developed.

Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said: "The advice we've issued today should help businesses and organisations to get on the road to compliance in a way that causes them - as well as UK consumers - minimal disruption".

The amendments to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations also grant other new powers to the ICO, including the power to serve monetary penalties of up to GBP 500,000 to organisations that make unwanted marketing phone calls. Further guidance on each of the new powers is currently being drawn up.

Microsoft to Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion

Microsoft Corp is close to signing a deal with Skype Technologies owners to buy the later for $8.5 billion including debt, a source familiar with the situation said. A deal is expected to be announced as early as tomorrow, 11 May 2011, as per the source.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported news of the potential deal, but Microsoft at that time declined to comment. Skype could also not be immediately reached for comment.

TalkTalk Offers Centralised Website Blocking

UK-based internet provider TalkTalk will give its customers the option of filtering malicious or offensive material out of their broadband service. The company claims it is the first major ISP to offer such a centralised blocking at server level. In addition of stopping malicious software, parents can also prevent their children from accessing adult material on the PC.

TalkTalk's Home Safe runs on the company's central computer system and is situated between the web and individual home connections. Its anti-virus system works by scanning a web site that someone wants to visit to see if it has any malicious program or not. After the websites are cleaned, they are put on a "white list" for 24 hours.

A spokesman for TalkTalk said: "the system was discriminating enough to be able to block individual adverts on web pages that were booby-trapped with malware but would still let a user interact with the rest of that page".

To make the system work, TalkTalk has to scan all websites that its users visit. However, the company said that it does not keep personal records of its customers, such as their IP address.

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