archives
February 2010

Google the Buzz Bomber

Here’s an update on “Is Gmail Spyware” http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2010/02/12/is-gmail-spyware First of all a link I gave to a blog no longer works. The Blogger has restricted access to her blog, understandably. You can read the original blog post at http://gizmodo.com/5470696/fck-you-google. Google is supposed to be the “Do no evil” company. Actually those aren’t Google’s words, you

Infected Drivers CD?

Here's some news from the ESET Virus Lab in Slovakia. One of our clients encountered an interesting infection within his network. The problem seemed to originate from the drivers CD that comes with the device he bought, the Habey BIS-6550HD, a fanless Atom-powered system, though we haven't seen the CD itself. Our analysis of the

Cascading False Positives

 Security researchers work together and share information in many ways and in many contexts that aren't constrained by company boundaries, but it's unusual for security researchers working for different vendors to join forces in a company blog. However, John Leyden of The Register contacted us both when he was writing an article on the controversy following

iPhones, jailbreaking and blocked Apple IDs

[Update: The Register's John Leyden has also commented on the issue at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/16/apple_bans_iphone_hackers/] There's been a burst of interest in the last day or so in the blocking of certain Apple IDs from the iTunes App Store. Some bloggers have suggested that this might be a precursor to a massive blocking of jailbroken phones from accessing

Worth Reading

Google's lack of responsiveness on their own supoprt forums is telling. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=6a1537053d29da99&hl=en Google has changed their mantra to "do nothing that isn't evil." I think the NSA wants to learn from Google, not the other way around :) Randy Abrams Director of Technical Education

Is Gmail Spyware?

Perhaps you have seen the recent buzz around Google Buzz. The fact is that Google has decided that anything it knows about you it is free to share with the world at its discretion and not only do you not need to be told, but if you say no they will say yes for you.

Has Chip & PIN Had Its Chips?

[Update: added some extra links at http://avien.net/blog/?p=422] Here, so to speak, is a bit of hot potato*. Flippancy notwithstanding, this isn't really funny. For several years now, Brits have enjoyed a banking card system called chip and PIN, a simple form of two-factor authentication for in-person credit and debit card transactions. In countries where the

iPhishing – gathering iPhone data

As posted a few minutes ago on Mac Virus, Dancho Danchev has posted information on a phishing campaign where the bad guys are impersonating Apple in order to steal sensitive device information from iPhone users. Dancho’s post, which has lots of other links, is at: http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=5460&tag=col1;post-5460 David Harley CISSP FBCS CITP Director of Malware Intelligence ESET

The iPhone Survey

I recently blogged about Patching an iPhone. I’m not sure if I’ll get anymore takers for the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V76LK5L, but if I do I’ll update the results. With 24 responses in, here is what I found. 15 (62.5%) users reported connecting their iPhones to a computer running iTunes at least once a week. Of

Are You As Smart As Your Phone?

According to Cell-news.com, in 2007 over 850,000 Brits flushed their cell phones down the toilet. I’m sorry to report that there isn’t much a security vendor can do to help you if you flush your cell phone. ESET recently commissioned a study of smart phone users concerning mobile security. The results are interesting. A little

Ten Ways to Dodge Cyber-Bullets (Part 8)

[Part 8 of an occasional series, updating a blog series I ran in early 2009 to reflect changes in the threat landscape. This series will also be available shortly as a white paper.] Anti-Virus isn’t Total Security Don’t expect antivirus alone to protect you from everything. Use additional measures such as a personal firewall, antispam and

Google’s Stance on Privacy

Recently Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, said in an interview “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”. There are a variety of circumstances in which a person would want some degree of privacy for perfectly legitimate reasons. If a person

Patching an iPhone

Apple recently released a patch for the iPhone operating system. The fixes some pretty serious vulnerabilities, but… you must connect your iPhone to a computer and run iTunes to update the iPhone. This led me to start wondering how many iPhone users rarely connect their iPhones to a computer? I suspect there are quite a

Oops… It wasn’t a Trojan

For many years I have taught people that they really need to back up their data. Sometimes malicious software destroys data and a good back up is one defense against that type of attack, but more often data is lost due to many other reasons. In addition to backing up your data you need to

Valentine Scams: Romancing the Stony-Hearted

As we've seen so many times before, cybercriminals are not ashamed to exploit horrors like the Haiti earthquake or 9/11, so it would be naive to expect them not to make use of our warmer sentiments, too. My colleague Urban Schrott at ESET Ireland has just blogged a cautionary note on that very topic.  I recently blogged

Good News. Old News. Conveniently Timed News…?

News has just been released about the shutting down of what is believed to be the "biggest hacker training site" in China. This is good news. Three people from the Hubei province were arrested and the website was closed down. The site was known as the "Black Hawk Safety Net". It is reported that, since

NOD32 Antivirus for Mac: Some Questions

These are a few questions relating to ESET's antivirus scanner for OS X, which is currently in beta, that I was asked in response to a post at Mac Virus. (If you want to take the beta out for a spin, you can still download it at http://beta.eset.com/macosx.) As these questions are very ESET-specific, I

Ten Ways to Dodge Cyber-Bullets (Part 7)

[Part 7 of an occasional series, updating a blog series I ran in early 2009 to reflect changes in the threat landscape. This series will also be available shortly as a white paper.] Call For Backup If sensitive information is stored on your hard drive (and if you don’t have something worth protecting on your system,

Firefox Add-ons Infected

Perhaps you read the Mozilla blog at http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2010/02/04/please-read-security-issue-on-amo/ where it was revealed that two add-ons for Firefox were infected with Trojans. In this case the distribution was very small, so not many users were infected, but this type of attack is likely to grow. A large part of the time I worked at Microsoft I

Mac Virus Resurgent

No, I'm not talking about a newly-discovered and virulent OS X upconversion of SevenDust or AutoStart 9805. Mac Virus is a site founded by Susan Lesch in the 1990s, when pre-OS X Mac-specific malware was still a serious issue - AutoStart in particular caused significant damage back then – and cross-platform macro viruses were also a major

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