Stories by Robert L Mitchell

Next-gen browsers expose hijacked websites

Here's the scenario: Attackers compromise a major brand's website. But instead of stealing customer records, the attacker installs malware that infects the computers of thousands of visitors to the site. The issue goes unnoticed until it's exposed publicly.

Microsoft's chief visionary focused on research

Craig Mundie assumed the position as chief visionary at Microsoft in June 2008, after Bill Gates retired from day-to-day operations.
Will belt-tightening require Microsoft to scale back on basic research, as some competitors have?

Unix-to-Linux migration not always needed: users

Migrating business applications from high-end Unix-based systems such as Sparc/Solaris to commodity x86/Linux platforms has been a popular idea for the past few years, but not everyone thinks going full-on with Linux is the best solution -- at least not yet.

Unix to Linux migration not always worth it

Migrating from high-end Unix-based systems to commodity x86/Linux platforms has been a popular idea for the last few years. But it turns out that not everyone thinks going full-on with Linux is the best solution — at least not yet.

PC Virtualisation edges closer to viability

These days, everyone is excited about the promise of PC virtualisation, but with so many different flavours out there, it's hard to know where to start. The idea of reducing a fully functional desktop into a single file that can be carried on a USB disk and run on any PC is exciting to users. But virtualisation's real benefit lies in its potential to reduce management and support burdens, improve security and reliability, and lower total cost of ownership.

Stepping out with identity management

Two years ago, Exxon Mobil had big plans to create a centrally managed identity management infrastructure that would automate the process of issuing new user accounts for access to its many corporate applications. Unfortunately, it had to put those plans on hold last year when the technology couldn’t meet the business’s needs.

How GM is driving economies of scale in ICT

Many companies have their own technology and process standards, but getting vendors to conform to those standards is no small feat — unless you’re General Motors. With US$15 billion (NZ$22 billion) in ICT spending on the table, the automaker has plenty of leverage to get what it wants from its suppliers.

Standardisation oils Exxon Mobil’s ICT, says VP

For Exxon Mobil, which has a presence in 200 countries, technology and business process standardisation are the keys to success. “We have already developed a suite of systems that deploy best practices. Technology is a critical enabler to that,” says Patricia C Hewlett, vice president of global information technology at Exxon Mobil, which is the world’s largest energy company.

How the FBI collars cybercriminals – discreetly

Identity theft, hacking for profit, espionage, iPod slurping — the FBI is increasingly focused on helping organisations fight these and other cybercrimes. I asked several agents what they’re seeing in the field and what advice they can offer IT.