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links for 2010-01-17

  • McAfee Labs identified a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer that was used as an entry point for “Operation Aurora” to exploit Google and at least 30 other companies. Microsoft has issued a security advisory and McAfee is working closely with them on this matter. “Operation Aurora” was a coordinated attack which included a piece of computer code that exploits a vulnerability in Internet Explorer to gain access to computer systems. This exploit is then extended to download and activate malware within the systems. The attack, which was initiated surreptitiously when targeted users accessed a malicious Web page (likely because they believed it to be reputable), ultimately connected those computer systems to a remote server.
  • The United States currently has more than 2 million people locked up in jails and prisons. A disproportionate number of them come from a very few neighborhoods in the country’s biggest cities. In many places the concentration is so dense that states are spending in excess of a million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents of single city blocks. When these people are released and reenter their communities, roughly forty percent do not stay more than three years before they are reincarcerated.

    Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, the Spatial Information Design Lab and the Justice Mapping Center have created maps of these “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities.

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