archives
November 2009

Google to Launch “Bob” ???

Remember Microsoft Bob? It was a shiny new windowing system on top of a windows kernel. Now Google is announcing the imminent release of the Chrome OS which, according to the official Google blog http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html is a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. So is it an OS or a GUI? Chrome

What a performance!

 We came across an interesting test report at http://www.passmark.com/ftp/antivirus_10-performance-testing-ed2.pdf. Symantec commissioned a comparative performance test from Passmark. That is, a test measuring performance in terms of speed and resource usage rather than looking at detection rates. Not surprisingly, Symantec came out very well overall, and deserves congratulations for demonstrating how far it's gone in addressing

Once Upon a Cybercrime…

Recently ESET commissioned Competitive Edge Research and Communications, Inc. to conduct a study about attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of Americans with respect to cybercrime. There were some interesting results. One of the findings is that most American’s are not aware that cybercrime is linked to organized crime. Viruses and Trojans are no longer the purview

Botnets, Complacency and the UK Government

Gadi Evron drew my attention in an article for Dark Reading to a piece in IT Pro by Asavin Wattanajantra. The piece quotes Dr. Steve Marsh, of the UK's Cabinet Office (the Office of Cyber Security, to be precise) as saying that botnet operators are interested in money-generating attacks on the private sector, not causing

AVIEN blog: Absolute Elsewhere

Strangely enough, I'm actually encouraged to contribute to other blog pages, perhaps in the hope that I'll stop cluttering this page with rubbish about iPhones. Today I've finally remembered that I'm supposed to contribute regularly to the AVIEN blog page at http://avien.net/blog/. You might find these a little lighter in tone than I tend to

Is There A Lawyer In The Lab?

Now that the end-of-year security conference season is winding down, we're able to start making available some of the presentations and papers that we've been building up in the past few months, but haven't been able to make publicly available ahead of the events for which they were written. We've already made available a slide

Cyberwar Exposed

Today I read an article in the National Journal concerning cyberwarfare. You can read the article at http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20091114_3145.php. I think people have some misconceptions about “cyberwar”. There isn’t going to be a war, at least anytime soon which is fought with only computers. Computers are simply being used as a weapon in conjunction with traditional

When is a worm not a worm?

Will No-One Rid Me Of This Turbulent Hacker Tool? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket) I was kind of hoping to have moved on from the iPhone data stealing hacker tool by now. While I do think it's a significant development (see http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2009/11/12/iphone-hack-tool-a-postscript), there comes a point where the sheer volume of discussion of the subject gives it more importance

iPhone Hack Tool: a Postscript

Update: there's more information on the Windows 7 exploit mentioned below in a Register article at http://reg.cx/1FcX. Update 2: I keep seeing references to this as a virus or worm. However, the code I've seen does not contain any self-replicative functionality. It's not even a Trojan, as such. Following an extract from one of my

iPhone/Privacy.A: a bit more info

In my previous blog on this topic (http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2009/11/11/hacker-tool-exploits-vulnerability-in-jailbroken-iphones), I said that I didn't know if this hacking tool worked under Windows as well as OSX/Unix and Linux. I've subsequently exchanged email with Philippe Devallois at Intego, who tells me (thanks, Philippe!) that in principle, it will work fine with Windows. It's written in Python (as

Hacker tool exploits vulnerability in jailbroken iPhones

I don't really want to keep banging on about jailbroken iPhones when there are threats out there that affect many more people (though according to Intego, 6-8% of iPhones are, in fact, jailbroken, so I don't want to minimize the threat either). I'm quoting Intego because they've just blogged (http://blog.intego.com/2009/11/11/intego-security-memo-hacker-tool-copies-personal-info-from-iphones/) what I think is a

ikee iPhone iWorm iSource: iYukkkkk!!!!

Inevitably, the source code for the ikee worm I mentioned in a previous blog (http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2009/11/10/iworm-ikee-sex-and-drugs-and-rick-and-roll) has crept back out from under its rock. It's probably equally inevitable that there'll be more script-kiddy attempts to produce variants and it will be easier for heavy-duty malware creators to produce new malware using similar techniques, if they're so-minded. If you

ThreatSense.Net: Fear and Loathing in the UK

I was asked about malware infection in the UK (especially with reference to Conficker), and(a) if the situation is really as bad as we, the AV vendors make out, and what the real infection rate is; and (b) whether government and ISPs etc could do more to help. You can now find a link here

iWorm ikee: Sex and Drugs and Rick and Roll

The iPhone, it seems, is under siege: a recent worm exploits a known (and previously exploited) vulnerability that affects the owners of "jailbroken" phones on which OpenSSH has been installed. (Jailbreaking allows iPhone users to install and use unapproved applications.) Of course, there's been an enormous amount of media coverage on this already (I've just

The Blame Game

I recently learned a new acronym: SODDI (Some Other Dude Did It). What this refers to is the defense that criminals routinely use (plausible deniability) – and even more so when it comes to illicit activities on the Internet. On Sunday, November 8th 2009 the Associated Press published an article regarding an individual that was

Tamper-Proof Anti-Malware

As I already mentioned briefly in a blog about our October Threat Trends Report, researchers Christopher and Samir came up with an interesting idea at the First International Workshop on Aggressive Alternative Computing and Security, held under the auspices of ESIEA Laval (École Supérieure d'Informatique, Electronique et Automatique). They took a handful of scanners (including NOD32),

October Global Threat Report

As usual, ESET has released its monthly Global Threat Trends Report, which will be available in due course at http://www.eset.com/threat-center/index.php. There are no surprises in the top five malicious programs, which have the same rankings as in the September report. Clearly, not enough people are taking our accumulated advice on reducing the risk from Conficker,

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