archives
November 2008

Spies in One’s Samovar (or a Storm in a Teapot)

Round here, we’re mostly concerned with the malicious and programming kinds of bug. But as an avid watcher of Spooks*,  I couldn’t resist sharing with you an item in the Telegraph about a samovar presented to the British Royal Family about twenty years ago. Apparently, after a surveillance sweep of the Queen’s estate at Balmoral, the

AV-Comparatives Retrospective Test (and a Word about False Positives)

Retrospective or “frozen” testing involves testing the ability of one or more products to detect threats proactively, using techniques such as advanced heuristics rather than signature detection.

Bumper Phish Phry or a Drop in the Bucket?

We’re very interested in the whole Phishing problem, not just the malware/banking Trojans side of the issue. So while free publicity for job sites is not exactly the business we’re in, I thought you might find this item interesting. The PhishBucket site describes itself as a  nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting job seekers from fraudulent

Mytob and the National Health Service: a Matter of Trust

Okay, sorry about the horrible pun. It suddenly occurred to me that people (especially those from outside the UK) might be somewhat shocked that the Barts and the London NHS Trust, a group of three major hospitals in London took so long to deal with a malicious program that was, apparently, detected by their provider

Anti-Malware Testing Resources

…after many years of campaigning for better testing and better information about testing, it feels very positive that people are prepared to sit through a 60 minute presentation and then go on asking questions for another half hour…

Attacks in Mumbai and Risk Management

  There was terrible news in Mumbai, India. Terrorists attacked several site and at least 80 people were reported dead. Knowing that I plan to go to India, it didn’t take long before I received a phone call asking if I was aware of the situation and if I would still be going. Both of

Injustice Served – The Amero Case Closes

A couple of years ago I blogged about the Julie Amero case http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/?p=42. There is finally closure in this case. In the state of Connecticut and innocent person proclaiming their innocence is called “Disorderly Conduct”, so Julie accepted a plea bargain and was forced to pay a $100 fine for being a victim of adware/spyware.

ESET Smart Security 4.0 Beta Available

We’ve added some features to ESET Smart Security. The beta for version 4.0 is now open to the public. Visit http://beta.eset.com to try out the new version. As always with beta software, it is not recommended to be used on production systems.   New features include: support for Microsoft Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird

Microsoft to Give Away AV Software

Microsoft announced that they will be dropping OneCare and providing a free consumer anti-virus product. Much like when Microsoft announced they would enter the anti-virus market, this has caused quite a bit of media buzz. Much like when Microsoft announced they would enter the anti-virus market, this is not a big deal. To start with,

Mytob and the NHS: Trigeminal Nostalgia

I’m still in Washington, but have just picked up some news that reminds me not only of home, but of my job of a few years ago, when I worked as a security manager for the UK’s National Health Service. It’s been announced that the Barts and The London NHS Trust, which includes several of

AMTSO, Testing and the Media

I’m in Washington right now, at the CSI conference. It won’t surprise regular readers to know I’m here to talk about testing anti-malware products (again!) So it may not surprise you to know also that I’m particularly interested to see an article by Larry Seltzer that looks at the documents just approved by AMTSO (the Anti-Malware Testing

White Listing – The End of Antivirus???

Some people are talking about a technique called “white listing” as if it were the silver bullet that is going to save the world. It is… in the fantasy worlds. I think I can lay claim to a certain amount of expertise when it comes to white listing. White listing was fundamentally my job at

A New Era?

I write this blog from Jakarta, Indonesia where yesterday I had a meeting with employees of the Koran Tempo. The Koran Tempo is a major magazine and news publication here. In the English edition of Tempo magazine there are several stories about Obama and the election in the US. One story that caught my eye

Hybrid Detection: I have seen the future…

whitelisting itself is hybrid…And it works best as one layer of a defensive strategy, at any rate in the version of the internet in which we currently find ourselves.

AMTSO press release: approved Testing Guidelines

AMTSO, the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, have just issue a press release about the guidelines documents just published on their web site after ratification by everyone present at the AMTSO meeting in Oxford at the end of October. You may have noticed that we’re quite optimistic about the beneficial future impact of AMTSO on testing

Data Leakage, Politics, the Universe and Everything…

There is no way of eliminating the risk of data loss completely because systems, however good they are, are implemented, administered and used by human beings.

Watch Out For “Good” Download Sites

CNET, who hosts Download.com, has enjoyed a reputation for being a safe place to download software from. The program you download may be great or may be useless, but it had been “Tested Spyware Free.” At least that is what Download.com says about their downloads. Today it has come to my attention that the site

Hoax: “Life is beautiful”

When I get a chain letter like this, I don’t usually respond to everyone else who received it, even when it’s a hoax (as it usually is)…

Election Malware and Social Engineering

The election may be over, but the bad guys are still milking it, and there are lessons to be learned. I guess there’s nothing that brings out the worst in human nature like an election. There were all those chain letters, rumours and hoaxes about how various candidates were undesirable, un-American, immoral etc.  Then there were

Election Day Storm Clouds: Is Your Vote Being Counted?

Electronic voting machines are a controversial topic. They really should not be, but due to the inept implementation of this method of voting by vendors like Diebold and Sequoia, there are serious questions about their accuracy and resilience to fraud. In 2005, Bruce Schneier wrote of some of the problems at http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2004/ 11/the_problem_wit.html In January

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