archives
May 2011

Mobile Devices Favor Malware and Phishing

A while back a malicious program called DroidDream was found on the Google Marketplace. The thing about DroidDream is that it exploited a vulnerability that gave it root access. Now contrast how Google treats security software. Security applications are not allowed to have root access. The truth is that the most popular mobile platforms (and

Hungary starving for security awareness?

My colleagues in Hungary have released some slightly alarming statistics about malware awareness in their part of the world. Research carried out on their behalf by NRC suggests that a significant proportion of Hungarian Internet users don't even know what AV software is installed on their computer (or, presumably, if anything is installed.) http://www.eset.hu/hirek/holgyek-tessek-vedekezni?back=%2Fhirek Out

Scams and the Beautiful Game

We like to give you plenty of warning when we suspect that something unpleasant is coming down the pike, even if it’s just one of those likely bursts of Black Hat SEO (web search poisoning) that come with a media-friendly event. Still, I suspect that if I told you we expect lots of malicious activity

TDL4: new bootkits stepping out

My colleague Aleks Matrosov has come across an interesting if uncomfortable post on a Russian language forum, advertising a "Boot loader for drivers" currently under test that doesn't require a Digital Signature driver, which sounds very much like our old friend TDL4. This metamorphic malware (each build generates a fresh binary) loads before the start of PatchGuard. It's

Enterprise Security: the Ten Commandments

…So here are what we consider to be the 10 commandments of corporate security…

Twitter Relationship Counselling

Dear Twitter, I'm afraid our relationship is just not working these days: in fact, we seem to have stopped communicating almost immediately you cosied up to our mutual friend Tweetdeck. Clearly, I'm the spare part in this relationship, since Tweetdeck isn't talking to me much, either. How can you treat me like this? Since I'm

Protecting Consumers from Rogue Online Pharmacies

Over the past couple of years rogue online pharmacies have been advertising their domains on search engines and promoting themselves through search engine optimization.  Legitimate pharmaceutical companies have their own measures in place to work on taking these sites offline.  The problem with rogue online pharmacies is that they do not meet federal regulations.  To

Lockheed Martin breached by unknown digital assailants

In an unfortunate series of events related to the RSA SecurID technology, reports are coming in that Lockheed Martin's networks have been broken into by unknown perpetrators.  Jim Finkle and Andrea Shalal-Esa broke an exclusive story and reached out to folks in the industry to get to the truth. "They breached security systems designed to

TDL4: Beat-root with Confidence

…Aleksandr Matrosov and Eugene Rodionov recently delivered a presentation on “Defeating x64: The Evolution of the TDL Rootkit” at Confidence 2011, in Krakow, and now available on our white papers page…

An ethical dilemma

Update: It seems like the initial article is inaccurate and that Paul Rellis never made any such comments about a 14 year old breaking into the X-Box live servers and have not offered to mentor him http://kotaku.com/5805742/microsoft-is-helping-an-xbox-live-hacker-develop-his-talent TekGoblin reports (http://www.tekgoblin.com/2011/05/27/14-year-old-call-of-duty-hacker-hired-by-microsoft/) that a teenager who broke into the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 gameservers last

MacDefender: The sky is not falling…

In the last few days, I have been asked by a journalist (or four) what MacDefender means for the future of Apple security, and if I thought there was excess hype around it.   I'll address the second question first.   I think its safe to say the current malware would not be newsworthy if

Sony Identity Theft Protection (Are there Stingers in the Honey?)

In the wake of the massive PlayStation/Qriocity data breach Sony has announced that they will be providing a 1 year complimentary ID theft protection service through a company called Debix. In addition to the ID theft protection Sony is offering other “gestures” of goodwill. This all sounds good on the outside and the ID theft

Social engineers don’t care about your OS: and nor should you

Security companies in general and, unfortunately, anti-malware companies in particular, are often accused of ‘hyping’ threats because of a perceived self-interest. However, in the main, legitimate vendors and researchers like those at ESET typically try to resist overhyping or playing up threats where possible, in favor of more balanced discussion that can help customers take

Security Through Obscurity

In techie circles bringing up the topic of security through obscurity is like bringing up religion or politics at a cocktail party where you don’t know anybody. It might go over really well, or you might find people calling you names that my friends in HR would chastise (or fire) me for printing in the

MacDefender (now MacGuard) Can Install Without Credentials

The recent MacDefender Trojan has been receiving “rebranding” facelifts since it came out. It has now been deployed as MacProtector, MacDetector, MacSecurity, Apple Security Center, and there are no doubt more iterations to come. The malware has been updated, and now sports an improved UI that looks like a native Mac OSX application, unlike the

Facebook Privacy: An Easy How-to Guide to Protecting Yourself

Introduction As the sun is setting and I breathe some of the night time air I am inspired to write about Facebook.  Yes, *the* Facebook, the third largest country if it were a physical place with boundaries under a common rule of law and government.  When many people use a service such as this, it

More Cybercrime Corner articles

Recent additions to SCMagazine's Cybercrime Corner blog include: "Password strategies: Who goes there?" by David Harley, May 23, 2011 Password selection usually involves compromise, but even a short password can be reasonably strong and still memorable. This follows up at some length on a previous ESET blog by Paul Laudanski. "Fighting cybercrime" by Randy Abrams,

An Amazing Story – The Soul of a New Machine

As many of us cruise the information superhighway (haven’t heard that for a while have you) on 64-bit machines, it might be a good idea to take a breath and remember a pioneer. Back in the days when a small team at IBM was building a general purpose 8 bit personal computer, Tom West and

Back to the Basics – AKA Not Sony Again?

Yes, it is Sony again. This time it is their Canada web site and their Japan website. According to thehackernews.com, which I cannot vouch for, this is the 10th Sony hack. While we don’t know how the PlayStation Network hack happened, we do have some information about how some of the other attacks were performed

Yesterday’s Virus Hoax is Today’s Fake Utility

One of the (few) blessings of having been so long in this industry is that I remember a time when most malware was viral and Trojans were rare: so rare, in fact, that there was at one time a notorious "dirty dozen" set of Trojans.  At around the same time, there were innumerable hoaxes describing malware with

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