Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Web helps Obama with transition

Barack Obama, Getty
Change was the key theme of Senator Obama's campaign

Barack Obama is turning to the web as he prepares to become US president.

Via a website called, the Obama campaign plans to provide a guide to the transition process.

The site also solicits suggestions from US citizens about their vision for America, and lets them apply for a post with the new administration.

On its transition website, the US governmental watchdog has listed the 13 most urgent issues that will soon confront President-elect Obama.

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The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) listed oversight of US financial institutions and markets, and the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the most pressing issues.

The creation of the website is seen by many as making good on Mr Obama's stated aim to make the process of governing more transparent.

A blog on the site will document the transition process, and elsewhere it plans to provide biographies and background on the people Mr Obama is recruiting.

The site will also accept applications for "non-career" posts in the incoming administration. The site does not give details about posts for which it is seeking recruits, but it said some of the roles would require "Senate approval" suggesting they could be positions of some influence.

The site also wants US citizens to tell their stories about what Obama's campaign meant to them, and pass on their "vision" for what they would like to see happen in America.

Security threat

It is not just Barack Obama who is using the net to get his message across. Hi-tech criminals are also capitalising on his victory in an attempt to trick web users into handing over valuable information.

F-Secure found a booby-trapped page claiming to host a copy of Obama's acceptance speech that prompted visitors to update their Flash video player before viewing the video clip. Anyone downloading and installing the supposed update would fall victim to a virus that stole bank login details.

"E-mail users who are eager to get the latest scoop on Obama's monumental presidential win should be careful that they are not being tricked by conniving cybercriminals," said Graham Cluley from Sophos.

The security firm also came across junk mail messages claiming that either Barack Obama or John McCain had died. Those following the links in these junk messages would find themselves on the website of a Canadian pharmacist.

In the run up to the US election, security firm Symantec said it had found junk mail messages that posed as a survey of voter attitudes that tried to gather and steal personal data.

Another spam message offered a free "Barackumentary" on DVD, that users could get by providing credit card and other personal details.

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