Hot Topics: Koobface Worm, White iPhone, More

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 11-01-2010

Hot Topics: Koobface Worm, White iPhone, More

Apple's Mac OS was targeted by the social network malware Koobface, raising anew enterprise security fears when it comes to employee behavior on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This wasn't the only reason the Mac platform made headlines last week. And, at last, Microsoft has released a version of its Office 2011 suite of applications for Macs that has a version of its popular Outlook E-mail and calendaring program. Speaking of Microsoft, the company also confirmed that there will be a wait of at least a couple of years before we see the debut of Windows 8. Meanwhile, the style conscious among us have watched the on-again, off-again fate of a white iPhone, while Research in Motion takes its latest BlackBerry smartphone to T-Mobile. Here's a roundup of the week's hot tech topics.

Koobface Targets Mac OS X

If you have Mac OS X running in your operation, you might want to think twice about allowing employees to access social networks.

The CIO Insight

According to security researchers, malicious hackers are using sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others to spread Koobface to Mac OS X users. Whenever a malicious Java applet containing the worm is displayed and users choose to allow it to run, major issues could erupt on the operating system. The malware spreads by posting messages that typically try to entice people into clicking a link to view a video. Although the operating system still makes up only a fraction of the installed base of computers in the enterprise, Mac delployments are growing in the business world.  Although it might be difficult for Koobface to install properly on Mac OS X, for safety's sake, it's still worth issuing a security advisory to employees to ensure that they know what to watch out for as they access social networks.

White iPhone 4 Delayed Again

Apple says it is delaying the release of a white iPhone 4 until spring 2011, due to the company's continuing "manufacturing challenges." Apple didn't elaborate on what sort of manufacturing issues it's facing, but this is certainly not good news for the firm. Consumers, and even some enterprise customers, have been anxiously awaiting the device's arrival.

The CIO Insight

For you, the white iPhone 4's delay might not have a direct impact. It isn't expected to offer any functional improvements over the black version. However, if your enterprise follows an employee-liable smartphone deployment model, you may anticipate that some of your workers will be lured by the new color variation once the device hits the market.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 on T-Mobile

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 is making its way to T-Mobile, the companies announced this week. Starting on November 17, you'll be able to buy the device in the carrier's stores. The smartphone features the familiar Bold design, but runs BlackBerry OS 6. According to RIM, the device will retail for $130 after rebate and two-year contract.

The CIO Insight

Having another BlackBerry OS 6 device on store shelves may be a good thing as you evaluate which smartphones to deploy in your operation in the coming year. BlackBerry debuted its new OS on the Torch, available in the U.S. from AT&T, earlier this year. However, it's worth noting that the company is already talking about transitioning its smartphones to a QNX-based operating system, such as the one run by the PlayBook -- RIM's upcoming entrant into the tablet frenzy.

Office 2011 for Mac

After a long wait, Office 2011 is now available on Mac OS X. The software includes tweaks to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Messenger as well as some new cloud-based functionality. The big news, though, is that the software ships with a Mac-compatible version of Microsoft's popular Outlook E-mail and calendaring application.

The CIO Insight

The Mac users in your enterprise will breathe a sigh of relief if you decide to give them Outlook. For years, users of the Microsoft Office for Mac suite have wondered when the company would get around to releasing an e-mail and personal information manager that was the equal of its highly regarded Outlook for Windows. The solution finally allows Mac users to act as equal citizens of the Microsoft communications ecosystem.

Windows 8: Two Years Out

Microsoft said that it plans to offer Windows 8 by the end of 2012. It didn't elaborate on what it will include in the OS, but the software giant did say that the release could be a major "risk" for the company as it attempts to build upon the success of Windows 7.

The CIO Insight

It's time to think seriously about deploying Windows 7. This will give you enough lead time to switch to Windows 8 when it's ready for the enterprise.