Ten Ways to Dodge Cyber-Bullets (Part 2)

[Part 2 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.] Catch the Patch Batch Keep applications and operating system components up-to-date with automated updates and patches, and by regularly reviewing the vendors’ product

The out-of-control decade

We interrupt our – well, my – scheduled programming to bring to your attention an article in "The Register" that I think deserves your attention. I put up what was intended to be a brief pointer on the AVIEN blog (, but I found myself kind of warming to the subject, to the extent that I

Top Ten Trite Security Predictions

1. Every security blogger in the world will mark the transition from 2009 to 2010 with at least one top ten something-or-other article. Except me, of course.  2. There will be headlines about the death of anti-virus, and a famous security guru will state that anti-malware only catches malware that's already been identified and analysed, that

Party Line – GSM Eavesdropping

The BBC has reported ( that Karsten Nohl has published details of the encryption algorithm used to encrypt mobile phonecalls made using GSM technology. The topic has inspired much discussion following a talk at the Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin. The GSM Association seems, according to the BBC report, to be a little ambivalent about the

Ten Years A-Spamming

Well, I'm pretty sure I've been seeing spam for a bit more than ten years, as has CAUCE (Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email) in its various incarnations. However, the blog by Neil Schwartzman that was put up yesterday at covered only the notable events of the last decade. Which was indeed eventful enough. In fact, it turns

A Thought or Two about Testing

The Hype-free blog at yesterday mentioned the latest AV-Comparatives round of test reports, including: The whole product dynamic test at The December 2009 performance test at The summary reports at I have a pretty jaundiced view of testing organizations in general: after all, I see some pretty awful tests proclaimed by the

Anniversaries Galore

Following my blog at, I came across a blog by Kurt Wismer that picked up the theme. As it happens, though I don't think we've ever met, Kurt and I have corresponded from time to time for quite a few years (fourteen, apparently), so I guess it's not so surprising that he also dates

A Trojan Anniversary

I don't suppose anyone remembers my mentioning this before, or cares much anyway, but the 19th of December marks what I consider to be the 20th official anniversary of my entry into the anti-virus/security field. Nowadays, viruses (and, in general, worms) have declined in importance and now constitute a fairly small proportion of the totality

(Fake) Videos of Berlusconi attack

It is public knowledge that the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was hit in the face which left him with facial injuries, a broken nose and several broken teeth. The video of the attack is circulating on the Internet but at this time, if you search for them on any search engine it is possible

Your Data and Your Credit Card

[Update: I had a couple of machine crashes while I was writing this, and only just realized that a pointer to Allan Dyer's excellent article at hadn't survived to the final version. Which is a pity, because it's very relevant, and well worth reading.] Over the weekend, I posted a blog on the AVIEN site

The Internet Book of the Dead

This blog is a bit of an oddity. ESET UK were approached by Dan Damon, a reporter putting together a piece about “the complications of a digital world when someone passes away”, asking if there was someone at ESET who would be interested in being interviewed for BBC1 radio on the subject. The request got

Droid Avoids with an AppleJackHack

Will the Motorola Droid be the next malware-victimized smartphone? Well, it's a bit early to make a claim like that, but the fact that it's been rooted (an analogous process to jailbreaking on the iPhone and iPod Touch) in order to allow end-users to install unapproved applications, puts the platform one step nearer. See the

PayPal and Phishing Continued: Grooming Phish Victims

In view of some of the discussion generated by Randy's blog on PayPal's "confession" of "phishing", it's refreshing to see a straightforward summary of the issue from the estimable Larry Seltzer for PC Mag (see PayPal's view of the issue seems equivocal. They've gone to some lengths to dismiss this issue as the agenda of

Password Practice Revisited

A few months ago Randy and I put together a white paper on password "good practice" (  In it, I quoted the following table of The Ten Most-Used Passwords (sourced from 1 123456 2 password 3 12345678 4 1234 5 pussy 6 12345 7 dragon 8 qwerty 9 696969 10 mustang  Today, I came

Paedophilia and the “Trojan Defence”

This is a follow-up of sorts to Jeff Debrosse's thoughtful post recently on the problem of possible conviction for the possession of illegal paedophiliac material of individuals who had no knowledge of its presence. More recently, a tweet by Bob McMillan drew my attention to an article by Geoff Liesik on "Authorities scoff at 'child porn

Qinetiq Energy: A Patent Leathering

[Update: Michael St Nietzel also pointed out that there's an issue with installers that verify a checksum before installation. In fact, this is a special case of an issue I may not have made completely clear before: unless this approach is combined with some form of whitelisting, there has to be some way of reversing the modification

iBot Mark 2: Go Straight To Jail Do Not Pass Go

[Update, courtesy of Mikko: this worm targets at least one Dutch bank, and activates when users go to the online bank with an infected iPhone ] [Update 2, courtesy of Paul Ducklin: how to change the password of an infected phone. I could just tell you what the password is, but you might want to read

And talking of Cyber Monday…

Even in Europe, we have a rough idea of what Thanksgiving is about, though we don't celebrate it at the same time or in the same way. However, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are rather less well known outside the US. Since Randy has already blogged on Cyber Monday and its security implications at, I took the

Great Hoax From Little Acorns…

I learned a new word today. "Glurge", according to, an essential resource when checking the validity of dubious chain letters, glurge is the sending of inspirational (and supposedly true) tales … that often … undermine their messages by fabricating and distorting historical fact in the guise of offering a "true story". I came across

The Honour’s All Mine

(Much) earlier this year, Randy posted a blog on some email he received about his inclusion into the 2009/2010 Princeton Premier Honors Edition Registry ( I was reminded of it (yes, Randy, someone does read your blogs ;-)) when I got a couple of emails telling me I'd been nominated for an entry into the

Follow us

Copyright © 2016 ESET, All Rights Reserved.