Stories by Robert McMillan

From friends and fans, Steve Jobs tributes pour in

As news of the death of Steve Jobs spread around the Internet, the tributes came pouring in Wednesday, crediting Apple's co-founder and chairman with -- more than once -- changing computing as we know it.

Five Things CIOs Need to Know about Anonymous

1. <strong>Nobody's in charge.</strong> "We are Anonymous. We are legion." This cryptic slogan is used by a band of hackers who call themselves Anonymous. Active for nearly a decade now, the group catapulted into prominence in the past year with attacks on PayPal, Visa, HBGary and Sony. Often called a hacking collective, Anonymous is essentially a movement. There is no central authority. From time to time, participants band together to launch "operations," led by a small group of trusted associates. The operation leaders write up orders and invite anyone who is interested to participate. Operations can happen online or in the real world.

Fired techie creates virtual chaos at pharma company

Logging in from a Smyrna, Georgia, McDonald's restaurant, a former employee of a US pharmaceutical company was able to wipe out most of the company's computer infrastructure earlier this year.
Jason Cornish, 37, formerly an IT staffer at the US subsidiary of Japanese drug-maker Shionogi, pleaded guilty Tuesday to computer intrusion charges in connection with the attack on February 3, 2011. He wiped out 15 VMware host systems that were running email, order tracking, financial, and other services for the Florham Park, New Jersey, company.
&quot;The Feb 3 attack effectively froze Shionogi's operations for a number of days, leaving company employees unable to ship product, to cut checks, or even to communicate via email,&quot; the US Department of Justice said in court filings. Total cost to Shionogi: $800,000.
Cornish had resigned from the company in July 2010 after getting into a dispute with management, but he had been kept on as a consultant for two more months.
Then, in September 2010, the drug-maker laid off Cornish and other employees, but it did a bad job of revoking passwords to the network. One employee, who was Cornish's friend and former boss, allegedly refused to hand over network passwords to company officials and eventually was fired because of this.
Using a Shionogi account, Cornish was able to log into the company's network from a public McDonald's iunternet connection in February and fire up a vSphere VMware management console that he'd secretly installed on the company's network a few weeks earlier.
Using vSphere, he deleted 88 company servers from the VMware host systems, one by one.
Cornish was charged in July. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he's sentenced on November 10. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Shionogi did not return messages seeking comment.

Facebook to pay hackers for bugs

Facebook is going to pay hackers to find problems with its website -- just so long as they report them to Facebook's security team first.

LulzSec's parting Trojan is a false positive

The LulzSec hacking group <a href="">sailed off into the sunset Saturday,</a> leaving behind a treasure trove of stolen data along with what some antivirus programs identified as a nasty surprise for anyone who downloaded the Torrent file: <a href="">a Trojan horse program.</a>

Hacker to show flaws in Siemens industrial gear

A security researcher who says he's found serious problems with Siemens computers used in power plants and heavy industry is now expecting to go public with his research at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

Mobile phones are great for phishers: researchers

Computer users seem to be getting better at spotting fake websites that are trying to steal their passwords, but when it comes to mobile phones, the deck is most definitely stacked against them.