McAfee reports the recruitment of youngsters to hack firms -- and other news briefs

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

Digital mafia recruits youngsters to hack firms

Organised criminals in the UK, Holland, France and Italy are recruiting young people to hack into corporate systems. They employ lone hackers and low-level virus writers to create code for phishing, credit card and extortion scams, according to a report from security firm McAfee. The number of malicious threats has increased from 300 a month to 1,500 a month over the past two years. About 70% of malicious code is written purely for profit, the report said.

WHSmith buys app to predict finance and staff

Retailer WHSmith is to use ALG Software's Predictive Planning application to enable its finance and operational teams to forecast resource requirements for each of its 553 high street stores. The web-based tool will allow the company to match staffing requirements with trading patterns, providing more accurate staffing budgets.

IT directors happy to pay less and drop standards

Some IT directors are prepared to accept a reduced quality of service if it means getting a lower price, according to a leading IT infrastructure supplier. Speaking at a conference for heads of IT suppliers, Computacenter chief executive Mike Norris said, "CIOs want to increase their revenues and margins or reduce costs. It is easier to sell cost reductions at present. Service can be 'good enough'. You do not have to increase service. CIOs will even take marginal deterioration of service to get a better price."

Liberty Alliance updates web services framework

Standards advocate the Liberty Alliance has released ID-WSF 2.0, the second version of its web services framework specifications. The publicly available framework has been extended to include support for SAML 2.0, which converges the identity federation specifications from Liberty Alliance, Oasis and I2/Shibboleth.

Mercedes signs deal for global software roll-out

DaimlerChrysler has signed a "multimillion-euro" contract with Dassault Systèmes company Delmia to implement new manufacturing software for its Mercedes car plants across the world. The car giant recently re-organised its IT management to bring technology changes closer to the needs of the business.

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