archives
July 2009

Adobe Update Update (Update?)

This is a quick follow-up to the earlier blog about Adobe updates. I’ve just received notification that the Adobe Flash Player updates bulletin released yesterday has been updated: it now contains information about (and links to) the promised Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches. Adobe states that it categorizes these updates as critical and recommends that you

Adobe Updates

I’d like to call your attention (again) to a major Adobe bulletin that was released yesterday (actually, still today, if you’re far enough behind GMT, but I’m sitting just a train ride away from Greenwich, UK). In brief, the bulletin concerns the following CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) issues: CVE-2009-1862 CVE-2009-0901 CVE-2009-2395 CVE-2009-2493 CVE-2009-1863 CVE-2009-1864 CVE-2009-1865

Apple Announces QuickSand

Wow, talk about burying your head in the sand. One day Apple will learn, but that day is not today. In an article at http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/07/apple-claims-jailbreaking-could-bring-down-the-network.ars Apple claimes that “jailbreaking” iphones may cause their towers to crash. The purpose in this claim is to avoid security at all costs and try to get the government to

Looking for Trouble?

You probably aren’t looking for trouble, but there’s a good chance you’ll find it when you search the internet. An article in Information Week http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218700239&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_All it was reported that the bad guys are trying to make sure their bad web pages come up when you search common terms on the internet. In this case the

You May Die from an Airbag

Yes, it is true. Airbags in cars save a whole bunch more lives than they end of costing, but sometimes, on rare occasions, they may take a life that otherwise would have been saved. Almost anyone, except the airbag instigators of the story, below understand the trade offs. The TechnologyBUFOON.com, I mean Technologyreview.com published the

More Adobe Update Information

Adobe has issued an important announcement, much of it relating to the impact of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Active Template Library (ATL)  flagged as CVE-2009-0901, CVE-2009-2395, CVE-2009-2493 and described in Microsoft Security Advisory (973882) on Adobe products used as Internet Explorer plug-ins.  It appears that Flash Player and Shockwave Player "leverage" vulnerable versions of ATL. According to

Fly By Wireless

No, nothing to do with drive-by downloads… Our colleagues in Europe came up with a nice idea: an article on the dangers of web surfing on free wi-fi and some tips on staying safe. (A topic dear to the hearts of all of us who find ourselves out and about with our laptops from time

Patchwork

I’ve been up to my ears in travelling and AMTSO and had limited connectivity over the last week, but even I noticed that a lot of patching issues have risen to the surface in the past few days. In case some of this has passed you by, here are a few of the more prominent

Hotmail’s Delay May Facilitate Fraud

I received an email from an acquaintance this morning. It said: Please Urgent Needed Hello,   How are you doing?hope all is well, I"m sorry that i didn’t inform you about my traveling to England for a Seminar.I need a favor from you as soon as you receive this e-mail because i misplaced my wallet

Is it my Business?

Do you ever use a public computer? Do you realize that potentially everything you type and read may be public information? I was checking a hotel business center computer this weekend. I found some interesting stuff. A military document for a local air force base. It wasn’t classified. The confidential test results for a semi-synthetic

Research and Support

Following up on blog comments is part of the job for those of us contributing to the ThreatBlog. Well, I suppose it is: no-one else does it if we don’t. :-) Much of the time, comment handling involves dealing with the occasional comment spam that slips through our filters (there’s an interesting item on a novel

Hoax Hacking

The estimable Dan Raywood, of SC Magazine, forwarded me an interesting example of a hoax email, knowing that I have an unhealthy interest in these "electronic ephemera" as Martin Overton calls them. In fact, I have an email address (hoaxchecker@gmail.com) that I use to offer a free service to people who want information on whether

Public Health and the BCS

SC Magazine included an interesting item today on security and confidentiality in the UK’s National Health Service. Anders Pettersson has suggested that the NHS is too busy to be harrassed over data protection/data leakage issues, and that the security industry should "come together to educate NHS Trusts and other organizations on simple measures to protect

Compressed URLs & Twitter

The Research team in San Diego has several Twitter accounts that we use, both to follow other people and to keep people who follow us informed about hopefully useful stuff like blogs and new papers. http://twitter.com/esetresearch is the official team Twitter account, but we also post stuff to http://twitter.com/ESETLLC and http://twitter.com/ESETblog, which have more followers at

Viruses Revealed: The Economics of Authoring

"Viruses Revealed", which I wrote with Robert Slade and Urs Gattiker, isn’t exactly my latest book. In fact, it was published by Osborne in 2001, and has been out of print for several years. Still, I have some fond memories of it: for a start, it was my first book in the security arena as one

Research and the Art of the Obvious

We know that spam works: well, it works well enough for spammers to keep devoting time and money into pumping sewage into the arteries of the internet. The interesting question is why does it work? The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), a global coalition of network operators and messaging providers who do some vital work

Bredolab meets Best of Breed

ESET in Bratislava have just issued a press release concerning Win32/TrojanDownloader.Bredolab.AA, which made the top ten threat listing in our June ThreatSense.Net® report, as mentioned here. While press releases aren’t always our biggest priority on the ThreatBlog, this is certainly a research issue, and one in which many people have expressed an interest. The lab tells

Data Breaches – It’s All Greek to Me

The results (released yesterday) from a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute yielded some interesting data points. The most visible of these was the finding that 85% of U.S. organizations experienced data breaches of varying magnitudes. This study, entitled "U.S. Enterprise Encryption Trends", has completed its fourth annual publication.  The data was directly obtained from

There’s Security, Then There’s Social Security

How secure is your Social Security Number? If your answer is "Very: I only ever give it to organizations who are entitled to know it", that may not be as safe as it sounds. Of course, there are a couple of fairly generic issues: some legitimate, convenient organizations may ask for it who are, nevertheless,

California Healthcare Breaches

Sadly, I’m now back in not-so-sunny England, but one of my colleagues forwarded me an item about security breaches reported by healthcare organizations. On January 1st it became mandatory in California for such organizations to report incidents where non-anonymized patient data may be been intentionally or unintentionally disclosed to someone unauthorized. In the first five months,

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