Author
Aryeh Goretsky
Aryeh Goretsky
Distinguished Researcher

Highlights of your career? First employee at McAfee; Director at Tribal Voice, one of the first instant messaging companies; moderator at several popular online communities, including Lenovo, Lockergnome Help Forum, Scots Newsletter Forum and Wilders Security Forum; received Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and Neowin Most Valuable Contributor awards.

Position and history at ESET? Joined ESET in 2005 as Manager, Support; moved to Manager, Research in 2006; promoted to Distinguished Researcher in 2009.

What malware do you hate the most? Malware that alters, corrupts, destroys, modifies or steals a user’s data is on my “most-hated” list. To me, that’s the ultimate violation of a user’s computer.

Favorite activities? Reading, sleeping

What is your golden rule for cyberspace? Avoid the impulse to click on things.

When did you get your first computer and what kind was it? The first computer I used would probably have been a Commodore PET. I also used the Apple ][ and Commodore 64. This would have been the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Favorite computer game/activity? I spend most of my free computing time on forums helping answer other users’ technology questions.

I used to play City of Heroes and World of Warcraft with others, but game so infrequently now that everyone in those teams/guilds had pretty much surpassed me. These days, it’s mostly solo games of Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2.

More Info

Close call with a Caribbean cruise line scam

In the middle of working on a blog post about SMS phishing scams at my desk last night, I received a rather strange call.  The number displayed on the Caller ID was +1 (360) 474-3925.  I did not recognize the number, but since it was 7:10PM, I assumed it was a colleague trying to reach

SMSmishing Unabated: Best Buy targeted by fake gift card campaign

News of SMS (text) phishing scams are nothing new to readers of this blog.  ESET researcher Cameron Camp recently wrote an article explaining how they work and how to avoid them here on ESET’s Threat Blog: SMSmishing (SMS Text Phishing) – how to spot and avoid scams, And just before Valentine’s Day, my colleague Stephen

Guarding against password reset attacks with pen and paper

With the recent announcements of password breaches at LinkedIn, and warnings from Google about state-sponsored attacks on Gmail accounts, it seems like a good idea now to review some password security basics.  In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at a rather low-tech solution to a decidedly high-tech problem:  How to guard

Press One if by LAN, Two if by Sea

At ESET, we spend a great deal of time researching the latest technologies and how they may be affected by frauds and scams. Sometimes these are “old fashioned” spam through email, or they may be programs like fake antivirus programs or ransomware. And we certainly have blogged extensively about PC support scams where the caller

Windows Phone 8: Security Heaven or Hell?

Introduction Mobile World Congress 2012 is almost upon us, and one of the most hotly-anticipated topics is the next generation of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system Windows Phone 8, which has been kept under wraps far more tightly than its PC counterpart, Windows 8. While Microsoft was an early adopter in the creation of smartphones with

Beware of SOPA Scams

Tomorrow, on January 18, 2012, dozens of popular websites covering a diverse range of subjects will be blacking out their home pages in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Some of these websites are well-known, such as the English language web site for the encyclopedic Wikipedia and quirky news site Boing Boing,

Potentially Unwanted Applications White Paper Updated

Our white paper on Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) has been revised with additional information, including information about how legitimate software can become classified as a PUA due to its misuse, a discussion of a type of downloader called a software wrapper and updated screen shots. It can be found in the White Papers section  Problematic,

A dozen predictions for 2012

While I share the reluctance of my colleagues to predict the future, I think there are some trends that can be classified as “reasonably likely to occur” in 2012. I make no promises, but here’s what I think we will see, in no particular order of importance or certainty. We will see increased interest in

Much Ado About Facebook, Part II

Since yesterday’s Much Ado About Facebook post in the ESET Threat Blog, we have written additional articles, received a few comments, and also received updated information on the “threat,” so it seems that now is a good time for a follow-up article.  Reports continue to come in of pornographic and violent imagery on Facebook, and

Much Ado About Facebook

The Reuters news agency reported earlier today a sudden increase in violent and pornographic images and videos on Facebook.  A quick review of my personal account and a check-in with my other Facebook-wielding colleagues revealed a couple of nothing more than a couple of suggestive pictures, complete with snarky comments embedded in them, from the

Online Poker, Real Fraud

The United States Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York received a flurry of attention in April, 2011 when they unsealed an indictment against the three largest Internet poker companies in the United States—Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars—for fraud, gambling and money laundering.  Today, the USAO upped the ante with an

1000 days of Conficker

Nearly three years old, the Conficker worm continues to pose a threat to PCs. Aryeh Goretsky wants to know why this is, and what can be done about it.

Where there’s smoke, there’s FireWire

Forensic software developer PassWare announced a new version of its eponymous software forensics kit on Tuesday. Already several news sources are writing about how the program can automatically obtain the login password from a locked or sleeping Mac simply by plugging in a USB flash drive containing their software and connecting it to another computer

Osama bin Laden is alive and well… on Facebook

The death of Osama bin Laden has gone viral, with blogs, social media and search engines pumping terabytes of rumor, innuendo and conspiracy theories at the speed of light, along with the occasional kilobyte of truth.  As the number of people searching for pictures and videos of bin Laden’s execution has skyrocketed, the criminal syndicates

Global malware thrives on the demise of a global terrorist

[NOTE:  As we were publishing this articl, our Latin American office discovered another Black Hat SEO campaign incorporating promises of Osama bin Laden videos on Facebook.  Click here to view their article in Spanish. We will follow up on this shortly.  AG] The malware phenomenon started by the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death continues

Coreflood dries up

The US Department of Justice's announcement yesterday of the takedown of the command and  control (C&C) servers for the Coreflood bots (detected by ESET as Win32/AFCore) and seizure of their domains marks another step in the growing awareness that crime, whether it is committed with bullets or with botnets, is still crime.  This particular botnet,

Deep in the Hard Drive of Texas?

As David Harley blogged earlier, the Comptroller of Public Accounts office for the state of Texas yesterday began notifying state employees that the names, addresses, social security numbers and other records of some 3.5 million current or former state employees had been accessible via the Internet.  Unlike the earlier Epsilon Data Management data breach, it seems

Trojan in Microsoft Update Catalog – A Bunny Bites Back

  UPDATE #1 Randy Abrams has posted a follow-up article, Anatomy of a Biting Bunny – The Infected Microsoft Catalog Update with additional information about how update services work, why they might distribute third-party code and what might be done to prevent malware from being distributed on services like Microsoft's Windows Update in the future.  7-FEB-2011.   Last

Microsoft’s recent MHTML Vulnerability – Follow up

  Just a quick follow up on the Microsoft Security Advisory (2501696) post that my colleague Randy Abrams wrote about on January 28th regarding Microsoft's recent MHTML vulnerability, which is listed by ESET as HTML/Exploit.CVE-2011-0096.A in our signature database.   Although reports remain low so far, any vulnerability in a particular version of Microsoft Windows

What are Heuristics?

It is generally well-understood that antimalware programs—the software which detects computer viruses, worms, trojan horses and other threats to your system—work by scanning files using signatures they already have. A signature could be as simple as a string[i] (like using the "find" command in your word processor to locate a particular piece of text) or as

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