BOSTON (Reuters) – Every undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next fall will be offered $100 in bitcoins in an experiment that students say will turn the prestigious university into one of the first places on the planet with widespread access to digital currency.
Bitcoin is not backed by any government or central bank, a digital currency whose value can swing dramatically based on demand. Users can transfer bitcoins to each other online and store the currency in digital “wallets.”
BOSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers have used to launch attacks.
The bug is the first high-profile security flaw to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month. That means PCs running the 13-year old operating system could remain unprotected against hackers seeking to exploit the newly uncovered flaw, even after Microsoft figures out how to defend against it.
BOSTON (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is rushing to fix a bug in its widely used Internet Explorer web browser after a computer security firm disclosed the flaw over the weekend, saying hackers have already exploited it in attacks on some U.S. companies.
PCs running Windows XP will not receive any updates fixing that bug when they are released, however, because Microsoft stopped supporting the 13-year-old operating system earlier this month. Security firms estimate that between 15 and 25 percent of the world’s PCs still run Windows XP.
BOSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service are investigating widespread reports that identity thieves are stealing the tax refunds of physicians, a senator said on Friday, as doctors fear a database containing their personal information has been breached.
Senator Jean Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, contacted the agencies this week after more than 100 physicians and other healthcare workers in her state became victims of tax fraud. The American Medical Association has received reports of tax fraud from state medical groups in Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
BOSTON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest technology companies are donating millions of dollars to fund improvements in open source programs like OpenSSL, the software whose “Heartbleed” bug has sent the computer industry into turmoil.
Amazon.com Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Facebook Inc, Google Inc, IBM, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp are among a dozen companies that have agreed to be founding members of a group known as Core Infrastructure Initiative. Each will donate $300,000 to the venture, which is recruiting more backers among technology companies as well as the financial services sector.