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Symantec buys VeriSign authentication business unit

Symantec will pay US$1.28 billion to acquire VeriSign’s authentication business. The VeriSign business unit sells two-factor authentication tokens, fraud detection and public key infrastructure products for government and the enterprise. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by September.

Google Street View under fire from Europe

Data protection authorities in France and Italy have joined Germany in investigating Google’s Street View service, following the company’s admission last week that its camera cars collected Wi-Fi traffic as well as photos. Google operates a fleet of vehicles that compile panoramic images of city streets for its Google Maps site. Those cars also recorded the position of Wi-Fi hotspots to power a location service Google operates. What has attracted the attention of privacy regulators, though, is that Google recorded not just the names of Wi-Fi hotspots, but also the traffic flowing through them at the time the company’s cars passed.

Microsoft uncovers new advertising scam

Microsoft said it has uncovered a new kind of click fraud, filing two lawsuits against people it says are using the scam. One of the suits, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, accuses the Web site RedOrbit.com and the site’s president Eric Ralls, of using click laundering, a term Microsoft came up with to describe a new way of boosting the number of clicks on advertisements on a Web site. Microsoft accuses RedOrbit, which was once an approved site on its AdCenter network, of using botnets and so-called parked sites to dramatically drive up the number of clicks on ads on the RedOrbit site. But rather than simply use the botnets and sites to direct clicks to ads on RedOrbit.com as fraudsters commonly do, RedOrbit directed the traffic to its own servers where it scraped out the traffic referring information and replaced it with code that made it look like the traffic came directly to the approved RedOrbit site.

Google woos enterprise programmers

Google made a strong pitch to enterprise programmers at its I/O developer conference Wednesday with the unveiling of a business version of its App Engine application hosting service and with new cloud portability initiatives in partnership with VMware. With the announcements, Google hopes to tap into what it sees as rising demand from enterprises to create and host custom-built applications in a cloud architecture to have more deployment flexibility and reduce infrastructure management costs and complexity. Google launched App Engine two years ago primarily for developers of consumer-oriented Web applications who wanted to host their software on the Google cloud infrastructure.

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