Another high-profile hack, DDOS probe goes global

A high-profile hack of a Twitter employee's e-mail and Google Apps accounts tops our news this week, in part because the whole saga offers a reminder about the need for strong passwords and exercising caution about what personal information is posted at social-networking sites, especially if, say, that information gives clues to your passwords. Elsewhere in security news, or perhaps we should say just about everywhere in security news, the search spread worldwide for the source of the massive denial-of-service attacks earlier this month.

1. , and : A hacker got into a Twitter employee's e-mail account and stole confidential documents about a month ago, raising concerns about cloud-computing security and leading to another round of warnings about the need for strong passwords and the pitfalls of posting personal information on social-networking sites, among other things. The hacker used information obtained from the administrative assistant's e-mail account to access the employee's Google Apps account. In a further twist, the hacker offered the confidential documents to some bloggers and online sites, prompting Twitter cofounder Biz Stone to threaten legal action against those who publish the information.

2. : British authorities are investigating the cyberattacks earlier this month that brought down prominent Web sites in the U.S., including government sites, and in South Korea. Security researchers traced the master command-and-control server used in the denial-of-service attacks to the U.K., but the master server apparently was located in Miami.

3. : The story that refuses to die reared its head again this week with reports that Microsoft and Yahoo are close to a search ad deal that could happen in less than a week. If it does, we will fill you in on the details next week and then hope to never have to speak of the matter again.

4. : Various IT bellwethers reported quarterly financials this week, with some encouraging signs that tech spending has bottomed out and will begin to climb out of the rut it has been in as the second half of the year progresses.

5. : Mobile botnets are surely on the horizon, with the first worm that spread on mobile devices via spam text messages the harbinger, says one security vendor.