Monday, November 24, 2008

Business Instant Messaging Threats.

Instant Messaging software (IM) as a business tool can be rather powerful, but any instrument can be abused, especially if unmanaged. The better way to manage any communication is to guarantee that communication is directed through a central point, like a gateway. Vendors have worked this and have built clients that are gateway aware and that function as both internal and external IM solutions.

Recently there have been more Instant Messaging vulnerabilities. Antivirus vendors are realising that worms, viruses and other malware can spread through IM and are building new defences that reduce the risk.

Links transferred by the use of IM are an additional risk, the use of application firewalls on the corporate LAN can reduce the risk, but a bigger problem is presented when users take their corporate machines offsite. On unprotected networks application layer firewalls are absent at the perimeter meaning that communication is less secure, for this reason the endpoint requires a host based firewall solution that has scanning capability.

In some organisations where the policy is not to allow Instant Messaging communications, some users have found a way around the firewall technical control by using HTTPS based websites. These websites effectively bypass the scanning and grant access to these users. The problem is that some of these websites capture the data and credentials for spying deliberately.

Because IM does not yet consider authentication mechanisms like two factor authentication, impersonation and unauthorised access is a strong possibility.

Some worms spread using links that are sent to your entire contact list like (W32.Aplore.A@mm), it then installs browser plug-in and then the fun begins. Certain worms patch files and when these systems files are executed. a unique trojanware is downloaded. Backdoors and encrypted tunnels to internet based servers are all common.

Some worms are so volatile and aggressive that in seven seconds Symantec reported that 500,000 machines were infected and Zombified.

Threats like in the middle, password theft, information disclosure, data leakage and many more similar threats are all possible and create a significant risk to any business and or individual.

Moka Allows Skype IM Users to Translate Text Messages from English to Spanish or Chinese.

Communicating Chinese, Spanish and English just got a full lot easier with the set up of a multilingual chat service for Skype, named Moka Chat. Moka, the primier supplier of mobile language translation and communication services, presented the issue of its language translation technology for Skype, which gives Skype users the ability to chat in English, Spanish or Chinese with other Skype users.

With over 2 billion people in the world identifying English, Chinese or Spanish as their first language, Moka is leading the way to provide mobile language translation and learning solutions in support of both the consumer and business markets for an increasingly borderless world. Having recently partnered with China Mobile to bring its mobile language translation service to the Chinese market, Moka is now expanding its reach across new markets and communication platforms with Moka Chat for Skype. Using Moka Chat, English-speaking Skype users can now easily send translated text messages to Chinese or Spanish Skype buddies, enhancing their Skype experience while at the same time improving their language skills. In addition, Moka Chat for Skype enables users to send translated SMS text messages using Skype’s built-in text messaging service.

Moka Chat for Skype is now available for free during the beta period and can be downloaded from http://www.moka.com. After downloading and installing the Moka Chat for Skype application and selecting a language pair, users can easily enable real-time language translation for any text messaging conversation with anyone on their Skype buddy list. Because it allows the user to see both the original and translated text every time a message is sent, Moka Chat is also a powerful language learning tool. Moka’s learning-while-chatting feature makes language learning fun and interactive for all Skype users.

“Skype is one of the most popular and effective services in the world today for global communications, and we are excited to be adding a high-value multilingual communication capability for Skype users. Moka Chat for Skype is the ideal translation solution for a community with such a vast multilingual user base”, said Diego Winegardner, President and Co-founder of Moka.

Pioneering Language Translation
Moka is a pioneer in the field of translation technology. With its proprietary artificial intelligence system, the company’s goal is to provide the most accurate mobile and online translation service in the world. Moka’s state of the art translation technology is perpetually learning, and the more Moka is used, the more accurate it becomes. As a result, Moka is perfectly suited for large multilingual communities such as Skype where the viral nature of its service can be leveraged to enhance the communication experience for everyone.
In addition to Moka Chat for Skype, Moka provides Moka Chat for SMS, Moka Translator for SMS and other language learning products. Information on all Moka products can be found at their web site at http://www.moka.com.

About Moka, LLC
Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida and Beijing, China, Moka is a privately held company, which is removing language barriers by providing the most accurate and accessible real-time language translation service available in the world today. Moka has created a global translator, which allows users the ability to chat with friends, or business associates in different languages using text messaging on their cell phones (SMS) or Skype. Moka also enables language learning on the go with real-time contextual language study via a mobile phone or Skype. Moka’s advanced translation technology is able to adapt to text-messaging slang terms and local expressions in order to provide the most accurate machine translation possible. Moka’s products are currently available in three languages, English, Spanish and Chinese, focusing on the most widely spoken languages in the world today. Visit http://www.moka.com to find more information about Moka’s mobile and online language translation and language learning products.

Source: http://pr-canada.net/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Skype Instant Messaging In Corporate Environment.

Skype Instant messenger has a great deal to offer business. As well as giving access to the largest Voice over IP community in the world, with a potential customer base of over 300 million Skype IM users, it also allows non-Skype users to contact your business and you to contact them, at low cost anywhere in the world.

This opens up a range of telephony applications.

You can use SkypeOut to connect to standard PSTN phones at low cost—meaning you can call non-Skype users cheaply. You can also lease a Skype Online number using Global Direct Inward Dial (DID) to set up local access numbers outside of your town, city or country for incoming calls from non-Skype users.

This allows your customers and business contacts to call you from anywhere in the world for no more than the cost of a local call—enabling your business to create a local market presence anywhere in the world.

Skype also facilitates instant messaging (IM), allowing users to communicate with each other.

Too good to be true?
All sounds great? It is—mostly. The problem with Skype is that its good points can sometimes also be its bad—making it a double-edged sword, especially for IT managers.

A prime example of this is the ability for employees to misuse Skype. Because Skype sits on staff's PCs, separated from the office phone system, there's no control over its usage meaning employees can spend all day chatting on IM without it being picked up by the IT department. Alternatively, if IM is not their thing, they could spend their day making endless un-monitored personal calls to family and friends.

Also Skype users can transfer files back and forth—securely encrypted via the IM client. And therein lies the problem. The closed encryption means the method of transfer is so secure that it bypasses any form of network security such as a firewall—outgoing and incoming—enabling sensitive, or confidential, content to be sent un-audited. Because this is done on the office desktop it can't be managed, so more often than not management don't even know it's happening.

This alone will probably send you running for the hills. But don't be discouraged, the good news is there is an easy, manageable way to put Skype's features at the disposal of all your employees and avoid the corporate pitfalls many encounter, ensuring the best of both worlds.

A solution for a win-win situation
The divide between Skype and the PBX has been bridged with VoSKY's new VIT1/E and VISIP-EX gateways that offer up to 30 outgoing Skype lines in a stackable, rack-mountable unit. These Exchange gateways fully integrate Skype with the company's phone system, tying the Skype Online number to the business to enable Skype DID.

The gateways can be installed in under half a day, with zero changes to existing PBX equipment, phones, or PCs, making it a cost-effective switch over. Staff training is negligible—instead of dialling 9 for an outside phone line, with the gateway, users simply dial ‘8' for Skype and then continue as normal.

The gateways simplify Skype configuration, management and support, putting Skype under the IT manager's full control. It allows staff to make and receive Skype calls on their regular office phones instead of having to use a PC and headset.

This eliminates the need to install Skype on each PC—meaning Skype usage can be monitored by the business in the same way as ordinary calls. Separating Skype from the corporate LAN also alleviates any possible security issues to the company network if Skype is affected by malware.

Furthermore as the gateways only enable Skype's voice capabilities the issue of employees misusing IM or transferring files is eliminated—making it much more secure for the business.

Improve online services
Another benefit of installing the gateway is it allows you to add a Skype-enabled Click-to-Call application to your business website. This feature allows your business to optimise its website for real-time communications with customers. It involves placing a "click here to call me" button or link on your web page, which when selected, sets up a phone call for the visitor with a customer service representative.

Mobile matters
The benefits of connecting over Skype can extend to mobile users too and deploying a fixed mobile convergence solution (FMC) via VoSKY can help curb the costs of your company mobile phone fleet.

With Skype installed on any smart mobile phone that can run the Skype mobile client, the user's call preferences can be set up centrally by the IT team via the gateway to give alternate routing to the mobile user's Skype account.

The Skype call is placed to the mobile via mobile broadband—irrespective of where the user is—and this means the cost of the call is just a small part of the user's mobile data plan. This can mean huge savings compared with even the cheapest mobile monthly tariffs.

Reaping the benefits
The great benefit of Skype is that it is ubiquitous and available everywhere, enabling businesses to communicate with customers and partners for free—something other VoIP providers cannot offer. Together VoSKY and Skype enable the VoIP Intranet concept, which allows cost-effective collaboration with customers and partners.

Furthermore allowing enterprises to connect their worldwide locations via VoSKY and Skype, enables free inter-office communication. VoSKY will connect any type or brand of PBX, whether analogue, digital or SIP.

These Exchange gateways optimise Skype for business, giving your company the opportunity to enjoy the many advantages of Skype, whilst controlling and managing the pitfalls often encountered. As well as supervising employees' usage of Skype features such as IM, taking control of Skype helps ensure any sensitive business data is kept secure.

Experience has also shown that ongoing cost-savings from having Skype mean these gateways solutions pay for themselves in a matter of months, making this solution not only a must for the business savvy, but a must for the financially savvy too.

This could help your business not just survive, but thrive on Skype.

By: David Tang, Global VP, VoSKY Technologies

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Voice over Wireless LAN smartphones are presented by Motorola,

SAN FRANCISCO – Motorola Inc. launched the first phase of its end-to-end enterprise mobile computing product line, Total Enterprise Access Mobility (TEAM), at VoiceCon this week.

The initial product release, TEAM Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN), introduces two new ruggedized, single-mode VoWLAN smartphones designated EWP 1000 and EWP 2000, with Windows Mobile 6.1. The form factor of the phones is similar to popular cellular smartphones, measuring about 4.7 inches by 2 inches.

"These are fully functional smartphones," said Imran Akbar, vice president and general manager of Converged Communications at Motorola. "We chose Windows Mobile because we really wanted to take Voice over Wireless LAN beyond just voice. So Windows Mobile gives you applications, it gives you application development and gives you things like mobile email, calendar and PIM."

The TEAM release also includes two back-end servers that allow the phones to work on any wireless LAN and three leading PBX vendors which Motorola has not yet announced. The Wireless Services Manager (WSM) server manages PBX interoperability, push-to-talk services, mobility, security and power management. The Network Services Management (NSM) server handles provisioning of the devices. The push-to-talk features of the phones can be integrated with standard handheld radios as well, allowing users to talk to workers equipped with legacy radio gear.

Jack Gold, principal of J. Gold Associates, said VoWLAN smartphones in a form factor similar to popular consumer smartphones are very uncommon. Many comparable VoWLAN devices are large, clumsy machines built for harsh, rugged environments like warehouses, factories and retail stores.

"That's one of the interesting parts of this," Gold said. "This could actually be a good thing for them, in the sense that it makes sense that it makes the device more attractive to people. It brings in another class of users. If you're a store manager, you're not going to want to walk around with a 12-pound brick, so this allows them to bridge the two worlds between really heavy-duty users who've got to have the brick and the user who wants a phone but would like to have these other capabilities as well.

Akbar said Motorola will be building out the TEAM brand with subsequent releases next year. The next release, due in early 2009, will be a TEAM Express, a downloadable client that will work on a select number of other Windows Mobile Motorola devices such as the MC70 and MC75 PDAs. Akbar said this client would eventually be able to work on a broader variety of devices.

Motorola is also working on introducing dual-mode devices and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) to TEAM within the next couple of years, Akbar said.

Gold said the TEAM solution has some potential, but he said making the technology proprietary to Motorola mobile devices at the outset limits its market.

"The issue right now for me is their technology seems to be very centered on their stuff, and I guess that's OK," Gold said. "What they're trying to do is work off their own installed base of devices and wireless LAN. But what they need to do is open up the technology so that it's more broadly applicable to folks that aren't Motorola shops."

Craig Mathias, principal of Farpoint Group, said TEAM will have a lot of appeal among Motorola's large installed base. "There are certainly applications where you want a handset that's just for voice, and there are plenty of those on the market," Mathias said. "But if you're looking for something that can do more than that, then you would look at a phone like this."

"It looks like a reasonable approach to addressing vertical markets," Mathias said. "And it might have appeal in horizontal markets as well. People who are upgrading office telephone systems and who are looking for something more mobility-centric will be interested in this. There are people, after all, who are never really at their desks, so buying them a phone that sits on the desk all day doesn't make sense."

By Shamus McGillicuddy, News Editor
SearchMobileComputing.com

USA Corporate Networks. Are They Secure Enough?

For some time now, cyberscum have been targeting individual users with malware designed to capture passwords, financial data and other personal information. While this certainly hurts if you're a victim, personal finances usually involve relatively small amounts.

Now, evildoers are going after much bigger fish. USA Today has a story on this trend, with an unnamed Houston company serving as the nightmare scenario in the lead:

An innocuous posting appeared on a Houston-based technology company's internal website on a recent Friday afternoon.

A couple of workers saw it, and obeyed instructions to click on a Web link. The posting seemed trustworthy. It was on an employees-only message board. And the link referenced news about a favorite company charity.

By clicking on the link, the workers infected their PCs with a virus that shut down the company's antivirus defenses, says Don Jackson, director of Threat Intelligence at Atlanta-based SecureWorks, who investigated the break-in. As a rule, tech security firms help clients under non-disclosure agreements.

The virus swiftly located -- and infected -- some 300 other workstation PCs, silently copying the contents of each computer's MyDocuments folder. It transmitted the data across the Internet to a gang of thieves operating out of Turkey.

"It was kind of like high-tech dumpster diving," Jackson says. "You get in, grab all the stuff you think might be important and sort through it later."

That Sept. 19 caper underscores an alarming shift in the teeming world of Internet crime. In the past year, cybercriminals have begun to infiltrate corporate tech systems as never before. Knowing that some governments and companies will pay handsomely for industrial secrets, data thieves are harvesting as much corporate data as they can, in anticipation of rising demand.

This should send chills down the spine of any corporate IT manager. All it took was one small hole that allowed the planting of the link in the company message board. It may have accessed by social engineering, in which an employee was tricked into giving up a password. Or, malware on an employee's workstation or even home computer may have yielded access. Or, an unpatched flaw in a company server may have let the bad guys in.

The story paints another interesting scenario:

Cybercriminals on the cutting edge are forging ahead. They're culling the ocean of stolen personal data for user names and passwords to access corporate systems. They've begun to target corporate employees who use free Web tools, such as instant messaging, Web-based e-mail and group chats on social-networking sites.

Often employees use such free tools to expand their business contacts and to back up clunky, company-supplied systems. But corporations have been slow to come to grips with security holes intrinsic to such free tools, or to restrict their use. "Corporations need to accept the fact that these tools are here to stay and secure them," says Jose Nazario, senior security researcher at Arbor Networks.

The most fertile turf: AOL, Yahoo and MSN instant messaging; YahooMail, HotMail and Gmail; and MySpace and FaceBook, the free tools that on any given day you'll find open on millions of workplace PCs. The most coveted loot: e-mail address books, instant-messaging buddy lists, PowerPoint slide presentations, engineering drawings, partnership agreements, price lists, bid proposals, supply contracts, executive e-mail exchanges and the like.

Employees often complain angrily when the Web-based tools they use at home are blocked at work. This story paints a compelling argument for doing so.

And remember last month's emergency patch from Microsoft? Here's why it was issued:

Last month, enterprising thieves discovered a big security hole in millions of work computers that forced Microsoft to issue a rare emergency patch.

The flaw, in Windows XP and Windows Server PCs, makes it possible to control any Internet-connected PC without having to trick the user into clicking on a tainted attachment or Web page. Criminals implanted a program in corporate PCs that automatically turned on every 10 minutes, says Sunbelt Software researcher Eric Sites.

The program copied and extracted all personal data stored by a PC's Web browser and registry, which gives the Web location of the machine, then turned off.

"This looks like something very customized, targeting very specific people," says Sites. "They could be after business intelligence or military secrets. These are not your average attackers."

Microsoft did not know about the flaw until reports of ongoing intrusions reached the software giant. Security experts say it will take months for the patch it issued to be installed pervasively in corporate settings. That's because large organizations test and install patches methodically, so as not to disrupt internal networks.

The bottom line is this: Just because you're on a corporate network doesn't mean your computing is safer than at home. In fact, just the opposite may be true, because the value of what's behind the enterprise firewall makes it a juicier target.

Do you think your employer does enough to keep your workplace computing environment safe?

Semi-related: Major Source of Internet Spam Yanked Offline Brian Krebs at the Washington Post investigates a West Coast Web-hosting company and discovers they serve out spam, scams and kiddie porn. According to an accompanying blog post, his reporting got them shut down.

Source: http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Generation Of Low-Price Unified Communications

The new generation of UC is available as a software application that can be immediately deployed onto a standard server. The new generation of universal communication provides for ease of administration for IT, as well as for users. Administration of the UC solution can be performed by end-users with a minimum of training.

Alternative to hardware can eliminate the need for expensive networking upgrades. Organizations need inexpensive unified Relevant Products/Services communications Relevant Products/Services (UC) solutions that can integrate with their existing IT, telephony Relevant Products/Services and mobile Relevant Products/Services environments. Such tools are now beginning to appear, offering the ability to leverage the existing infrastructure, a minimal impact on available bandwidth and simple, straightforward policy-based administration. This new generation of UC solutions streamlines the task of providing on-demand access to people and information in order to encourage collaboration, accelerate the flow of information and deliver better and faster decision making at all levels of the organization.

The key problem is bloated offerings that require significant investments in hardware and software hinder UC adoption. Today's UC solutions offered by the major vendors can be complex and expensive, and lock an organization into specific infrastructures.

The key elements of a UC solution include:

* Presence. The cornerstone of any UC application, this provides real-time notification of users' current availability.

* Secure instant messaging (IM). Colleagues can enter into timely sessions to collaborate faster, but with the security Relevant Products/Services and privacy that are not offered by public IM services.

* Video. Desktop videoconferencing offers anytime, spontaneous convenience over traditional videoconference or telepresence approaches where employees have to book conference rooms in advance.

* Conferencing and collaboration. UC is about bringing together groups of people who can see and edit information together.

* Mobile integration. People want to collaborate anytime, anywhere. Teleworkers and business travelers can fully participate in UC sessions from laptops and mobile devices.

The new generation of UC is available as a software application that can be immediately deployed onto a standard server Relevant Products/Services within the corporate network and leverages existing videoconferencing and communications infrastructures. UC software can eliminate the need for expensive networking upgrades by utilizing IT-defined controls, user-specified adjustments and real-time adaptive bandwidth management to deliver a positive experience on the existing infrastructure.

IT defines the maximum operating parameters for all UC sessions to control the impact on bandwidth. Adaptive bandwidth management constantly monitors communications latency for each user, making adjustments as required to provide users the best possible experience with the highest possible performance. Users have the flexibility to make individual adjustments for voice, video and data according to the unique circumstances of the UC session.

The new generation of UC provides for ease of administration for IT, as well as for users. Administration of the UC solution can be performed by end-users with a minimum of training. Individuals initiating a UC session can easily reach out to participants using preexisting Active Directory or LDAP groups or personal address books.

UC can help organizations provide faster and more flexible access to people and information, while offering the potential to reduce business travel expenses. The new generation of UC has the potential to deliver on the potential espoused by the big players by supporting existing equipment, providing high performance with the current infrastructure and eliminating administrative complexities.

by Bob Johnson
Source: http://www.newsfactor.com/news/

First business instant messaging client for iPhone from ProcessOne.

Instant messaging solutions provider (ProcessOne) with over 35 million registered users in the world, today presented the launch of OneTeam, which is claimed to be the first business-class IM client for the Apple iPhone. Built on ProcessOne's renowned open-source IM platform, it provides business users with secure and flexible access to IM services.

OneTeam can be downloaded from the Apple App Store on iTunes, giving users access to mobile IM on the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. OneTeam enables users to reuse their existing IM accounts through server side gateways, meaning they can get in contact with existing contacts on AIM/MobileMe, ICQ, MSN/Windows, Yahoo! and GoogleTalk.

OneTeam is said to be ideally suited for business users as it can be used in a corporate environment with a businesses' own XMPP server. For the IT department this means they can much more effectively manage IM, ensuring security and compliance, while at the same time giving users the flexibility of using the public IM accounts they are familiar with.

"The iPhone is fast emerging as the device of choice for many business users, many of whom will require instant messaging capability," said Mickaël Rémond, CEO of ProcessOne. "Our OneTeam client allows businesses to have the best of both worlds when it comes to IM by allowing users to continue to use public IM clients, but also providing the capability for them to be brought under the control of the IT department so they can be managed and maintained effectively."

OneTeam enables users to communicate using the software on their iPhone when connected to WiFi, 3G and Edge networks.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Client-server Internet/LAN communication system CommFort 4.10

CommFort is a multi-functional client-server Internet/LAN communication software combining an advanced text chat, voice chat and file/folder exchange system.
It is adored for its thought-through text chat, which besides the common "smilies" offers convenient image pasting to dialogs. The low-latency voice chat gives the feeling of talking to a person standing next to you rather than sitting a globe away. And sending a file or an entire folder is just a matter of a mouse click; the automatic block size adjustment allows reaching the highest speeds possible when exchanging files over networks with 32 kbps through 1 Gbps of bandwidth. The program takes care of incomplete file downloads, automatically picking up broken file transfers and resuming them when the network is available. With the new version of the software, peers can chat and exchange files even if a party is behind a NAT service. The latest edition features improved user authentication and flexible administration functionality. Users can now be configured individually. Clients can now manage users from their client windows to as far as hiding selected users' IP addresses, managing channels and restrictions. Windows users with restricted permissions can also enjoy the program's functionality in full. Chatters without the client application can connect to the chat using terminal clients. Corporate users can have the program log all communication on the server side. The very look of the program is completely new. It's completely skin-based, and the improved skin format allows putting any appearance on main windows of the application. CommFort utilizes improved network/CPU load balancing algorithms and thus can handle thousands of simultaneous users and chat sessions while keeping server and network load low.

LAN Instant Messaging Software - LAN Messenger

LAN Messenger is an instant messaging software for home or office users that can be very useful for your work. LAN chats allow you to commu...