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"Who Bought My Data?!"

Hundreds and hundreds of documents about government contracts,' were found on a hard drive purchased at a market in Ghana for the bargain basement price of $40, said Peter Klein, an associate professor with the University of British Columbia, who led an investigation into the global electronic waste business for the PBS show Frontline. The hard drive had belonged to US government contractor Northrop Grumman and in a made-for-TV ironic twist, 'some of the documents talked about how to recruit airport screeners and several of them even covered data security practices,' Klein said. 'Here were these contracts being awarded based on their ability to keep the data safe.

Windows 7 Licensing a "Disaster" For XP Shops

Enterprise licensing for Windows 7 could cause major headaches and add more cost to the Windows 7 migration effort, InfoWorld reports. Under the proposed license, businesses that purchase PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed within six months of the Oct. 23 launch date will be able to downgrade those systems to XP, and later upgrade back to Windows 7 when ready to migrate users.

PCs bought after April 22, 2010, however, can only be downgraded to Vista — no help for XP-based organizations, which would be wise to wait 12 to 18 months before adopting Windows 7, so that they can test hardware and software compatibility and ensure their vendors' Windows 7 support meets their needs. XP shops that chose not to install Vista will have to either rush their migration process or spend extra to enroll in Microsoft's Software Assurance program, which allows them to install any OS version — for about $90 per year per PC.

Microsoft to Release Record Setting Number of Critical Security Updates

Microsoft today issued 10 security updates that patched a record 31 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Excel, Word, Windows Search and other programs, including 18 bugs marked 'critical.' Of the 10 bulletins, six patched some part of Windows, while three patched an Office application or component, and one fixed a flaw in IE. The total bug count was the most patched by Microsoft in a single month since the company began regularly scheduled updates in 2003. The previous record of 26 vulnerabilities patched occurred in both August 2008 and August 2006.

'This is a very broad bunch,' said Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at Qualys, 'compared to last month, which was really all about PowerPoint. You've got to work everywhere, servers and workstations, and even Macs if you have them. It's not getting any better, the number of vulnerabilities [Microsoft discloses] continues to grow.'

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