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Huawei? The how, what, and why of telecom supply chain threats

You spell it Huawei and say it wah-way and it’s all over the news. But what does it mean for the security of your data when, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “A U.S. Congressional report has labeled Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies a national security threat”? As we will see, the implications for

FTC cracks down on tech support scams and feds nail fake AV perps

The federal government took much needed action today against sleazy PC tech support scammers and fake AV peddlers. Actions include lawsuits, a judgment of $163 million, and freezing of multiple assets. PC tech support scammers will be familiar to regular readers of this blog because David Harley and others have charted the progress of this

PC Support Scams – Virus Bulletin paper

Another year, another fine Virus Bulletin conference come and gone. And some of us even got long-service badges. (My first VB was in 1996, and my first VB presentation in 1997, but there are people like our own Righard Zwienenberg whose attendance record goes back way further.) (Yes, it did rain the last day or

Facebook timeline privacy/security: protect your account and identity (2/2)

In our last post (part 1 of 2), we dove into Facebook timeline privacy and security, prompted by the universal imposition of the timeline view that is currently under way on the world’s largest social network. In this second part, we continue reviewing our Facebook timeline from other people’s perspective, using a tool called View

Flashback Wrap Up

Six months ago, Flashback was attracting a lot of attention from researchers and media due to its wide spread and interesting features. Since then, we have witnessed its operator abandoning control of the botnet by shutting down its latest command and control server. This happened in May this year. The number of infected systems has

Nitol Botnet: You Will Never Break The Chain

Nitol versus Michelangelo: the supply chain is much more than the production line.

Facebook timeline security & privacy: steps to keep your account & identity safe

Now that Facebook’s timeline feature is in the final stages of being rolled out to all users (including, finally, to my account), it is important that everyone understands how to use the feature and, most importantly, how to secure your identity and privacy in its new context. Timeline is quite a simple feature, introduced by

Threat Reports and other Information

Information about the August Global Threat Report and where to find other ESET resources

FinSpy and FinFisher spy on you via your cellphone and PC, for good or evil?

We read that “FinFisher spyware made by U.K.-based Gamma Group can take control of a range of mobile devices, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry…”, at the opening of a Bloomberg article that several readers of the ESET blog sent us yesterday, along with a number of questions that boil down

Java zero day = time to disable Java, in your browser at least

Now is the time to disable Java in your web browser, or even remove it from your system if that is practical. Why? The bad guys are hard at work trying to exploit a zero day vulnerability in the latest version of Java (version 1.7, Update 6.). This vulnerability is the subject of a US-CERT

The Cloud for SMBs: 7 tips for safer cloud computing

Ahead of next week’s VMWorld in San Francisco, here are some thoughts on the safe use of cloud computing for smaller businesses, along with a podcast (see the link at end of the post). The Cloud concept, a flexible Virtual Machine (VM) based system that allows rapid expansion and dedicated functionality without hiring new staff,

Quervar Induc.C reincarnate?

Win32/Quervar (a.k.a Dorifel, XDocCrypt) is a virus family that has been in the news recently, especially in the Netherlands. It has been reported to be causing havoc on computers of several notable Dutch institutions. In our analysis, we provide additional technical details about the workings of the virus and compare it to another virus, the

FBI Ransomware: Reveton seeks MoneyPak payment in the name of the law

A crime wave of malware that demands money from victims to avoid prosecution by the FBI has been alarming web surfers across America. Victims suddenly find their computer frozen, and an official-looking  page, like the one shown below, is displayed in their web browser. The FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) have received

Interconnection of Gauss with Stuxnet, Duqu & Flame

Last week, reports of a new malware named Gauss emerged, a complex threat that has attracted a lot of media attention due to its links to Stuxnet and Flame and its geographical distribution.  Since ESET has added detection for this threat, we are seeing geographical distribution of detection reports similar to those detailed by Kaspersky.

Win32/Gataka banking Trojan – Detailed analysis

Win32/Gataka is an information-stealing banking Trojan that can read all of your web traffic and alter the balance displayed on your online banking page to hide fraudulent transfers. It exhibits a modular architecture similar to that of SpyEye, where plugins are required to achieve most of the malware functionality. In our previous blog post, we

Authentication attacks: Apple, Amazon, iCloud, Google, anything with a password

Sharing details of the hack that “wiped his life” has earned Mat Honan a place in the annals of information system security; the specific inter-dependence of flawed authentication systems that cost him so dearly–encompassing Apple, iCloud, Amazon.com, Gmail and more–would probably still exist if Mat had not gone public. Wired has the full story here

Foxxy Software Outfoxed?

Part of my daily routine here at ESET is to inspect URLs for new trends and malware campaigns identified by our systems. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a group of URLs with a similar pattern. When I investigated further, I found out that the URLs pointed to copies of legitimate web sites with

Mac OSX/iOS hacks at Blackhat – are scammers setting their sights?

For years scammers and hackers  focused largely on Windows x86-based platforms, in many ways because that’s where the bulk of the users were. But times change, and new targets emerge. At Blackhat and Defcon last week we saw a flurry of talks on Mac OSX/iOS security,  trying to illuminate possible chinks in the armor. From

Defcon focus on the Fed comes with conflicting emotions

After my colleague Stephen Cobb stood in a huge line at Defcon waiting to get into the Friday keynote by NSA chief General Alexander, plus a swarm of interest shown at the two-part Meet the Fed panel presentation the next day, it’s becoming clear that multiple agencies of the federal government are focused on hackers,

Apache/PHP web access holes – are your .htaccess controls really safe

If your organization’s website runs on Apache, and many do, you might wonder if the webserver’s .htaccess controls are securely configured. If you believe the demo we saw yesterday at Blackhat by Matias Katz and Maximiliano Soler, the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’ What Katz and Soler described in their session is not some rare

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