Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, November 23, 2006

RP laws inadequate for cyber defamation

POSTSCRIPT By Federico D. Pascual Jr.
The Philippine Star
CYBER LIBEL: We in the Philippines are still a long way off in rewriting our libel law to cover new communication phenomena, including apparent libel or defamation perpetrated across cyber space.

Even our laws regulating e-commerce, or business transacted via the Internet, have fallen behind world trends. This has resulted at times in government’s inability to prosecute fully cyber criminals who pull off dirty tricks with the whole world watching.

It may or may not be instructive, but in a ruling reported Monday by the Associated Press, the California Supreme Court said that websites that publish inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel.

The decision favoring free online expression was a victory for a San Diego woman who was sued by two doctors after she posted an allegedly libelous email on two websites.

Concerned that a ruling against her would expose them also to liability, some of Internet’s biggest names – including Amazon.com, America Online Inc., eBay Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. – took her side.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Researchers discover security flaw in microchips

Researchers have discovered a fundamental flaw in microprocessor technology that could allow hackers to obtain computer users' secret information, a French newspaper has reported.

A team led by German cryptology expert Jean-Pierre Seifert has discovered that chips are now more vulnerable because of the way they are manufactured to to process data more quickly.

"Security has been sacrificed for the benefit of performance," French daily Le Monde quoted Seifert as saying Saturday.

The danger of hackers breaking into computer chips, using a technique known as Branch Prediction Analysis (PBA), previously necessitated a very large number of attempts to decipher a cryptology key.

But Seifert's research envisages that hackers will find it far easier and quicker in the future using a small piece of spy software that tracks microchips.

In a still-confidential study, Seifert and his colleagues explain how they managed "in only one attempt" to obtain a 512-bit encryption key in just a few thousandths of a second.

Seifert plans to demonstrate his method at the beginning of 2007 at an conference on encryption.
-- AFP