archives
December 2008

More on Waledac

Further to Pierre-Marc’s post on the 25th December about the resemblances between Waledac and Storm, I notice that Steven Adair of Shadowserver has been blogging some very nice notes on much the same topic. Well worth a look. David Harley

MD5/SSL: is the sky falling?

Lots of fuss about the paper presented at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin yesterday by Alexander Sotirov et al. The paper describes a proof-of-concept attack using a weakness in the MD5 cryptographic hash function to create a rogue Cerification Authority certificate using a hash collision (essentially, two messages with the same MD5 hash value).

Ten Ways to Protect Yourself: Part 2

Here’s the second instalment of the "ten ways to dodge cyberbullets" that I promised you. Keep applications and operating system components up-to-date with automated updates and patches, and by regularly reviewing the vendors’ product update sections on their web sites. This point is particularly  relevant right now, given the escalating volumes of Conficker that we’re

%$^& is Fine for Cussing, But Not a Great Password

We’re closing in on the end of 2008 and about to start 7D9, or 2009 for those who do not speak hex. I thought it might be a good time to remind you to change your passwords. There are some important things to remember about passwords. Despite the IT policies that are prevalent throughout the

(One out of) Ten Ways to Dodge Cyber-Bullets

It’s that time of year when everyone wants a top ten: the top ten most stupid remarks made by celebrities, the ten worst-dressed French poodles, the ten most embarrassing political speeches, and so on. Our research team came up with a few rather more serious ideas, most of which are considered at some length in our about-to-be-published

Cybercrime and Punishment, and a little Cryptanalysis…

Well, not so much about punishment, but I’m sitting in the lounge with Andrew Davies’s version of Dr. Zhivago in the background, so I’m in a Russian mood… My colleague Jeff Debrosse, Director of Research in our San Diego office, drew my attention to the latest FBI challenge at http://www.fbi.gov/page2/dec08/code_122908.html. Like many people in this

Sending Malware Information to ESET

I’ve just picked up a comment to a previous blog that pointed to what I presumed to be a malicious URL. We’re grateful for all such information, but for obvious reasons, we won’t approve comments that point to malicious code! You can find information in our knowledgebase here about how to forward malware samples or false

Castlecops: End of an Era?

This is a sad item for Christmas Day morning. Castlecops have been making considerable efforts to fight crime on the Internet in many areas (surviving many an attack from the bad guys in the process) for a long time, but seem to have suspended the service on 23rd December. I hope there’s nothing more sinister

Fake Holiday eCards: Are You Surprised?

Yesterday, we started to receive reports of emails pretending to carry links to holiday cards.  These emails contain a link that points to a file named ecard.exe.  Of course, this executable is not a seasonal holiday card but malware.  The reason this wave of malware has attracted our attention is that it is very similar

Multi-Layering and User Education: a random thought from AVAR

I promised you some more thoughts on the AVAR conference. Randy Abrams and I put together a paper on user education for the conference (it should be up on our White Papers page quite soon) about the argument between the two main camps in security thinking on the topic. You could sum it up as

Poor Santa

Perhaps the most impersonated person in the world is Santa Claus. For Santa, Identity theft isn’t a problem, but for millions of consumers it is a real problem. There are some steps you can take to help prevent identity theft. That said, identity theft is not always preventable by the consumer. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ is a good

Internet Explorer Problems

It probably isn’t news to you that there’s been an issue with Internet Explorer and a recently-discovered vulnerability that exposes users of the application to a range of attacks. Certainly we’ve been getting lots of enquiries about our ability to detect it, and I suspect other vendors are getting the same barrage of questions. Of

After AVAR: Normal Service is resumed…

Given our recent attempts to keep the blog flow more consistent, you might have noticed that we’ve been very quiet for the past couple of weeks. That has a lot to do with the fact that Randy Abrams and I have been in India for a meeting in Chennai, followed by the AVAR (Association of

Smarter Smart Phones

An article on internetnews.com today caught my eye. “In Search of Smarter Phones” http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3788456 tells of capabilities being added to smart phones and new applications for these devices. With the release of ESET Mobile Antivirus this was of interest to me as currently there are few threats in the wild that attack the devices we currently

From Fake to Subtle

 After seeing so many fake antivirus programs lately, it is interesting to take a look at other types of threats.  Yesterday, we received an example of malware that tries to be very subtle about its installation process.  The malware spreads through email.  After infecting a computer, it will monitor the mailbox of its victim and

Interesting Forensic Resource

I know this will be of limited interest to many of our readers, but the Information Assurance Advisory Council in the UK has published a guide to investigations and evidence handling that will be of interest to those concerned with this field at a fairly high, managerial level. The "Director’s and Corporate Advisor’s Guide to

VB100 test results (53 today!)

December’s Virus Bulletin includes a comparative test for a number of products on the Windows Vista x64 platform, giving us our 53rd VB100 award. To get a VB100, a product needs to detect all "In the Wild" viruses on-demand and on-access, with no false positives. Note that "In the Wild" here refers to replicative malware

Global Threat Report

You may be aware that in addition to our semi-annual global threat trends reports, we also do a monthly report. Much of this report is trend analysis based on data from our ThreatSense.Net threat tracking system. ThreatSense.Net® is an advanced threat tracking system which reports detection statistics from tens of millions of client computers around the

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