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anti-malware

Microsoft Security Essentials?

Microsoft is releasing a beta of their new antivirus product. Previously Microsoft announced that they would discontinue OneCare. The choice of the name “Security Essentials” is amusing. I’m not in the camp of those who think that you can’t have “Microsoft” and “security” in the same sentence, but just the same, Microsoft does say “If

Giving AV the Hard Shoulder*

The Register’s John Leyden has harsh words to say today about problems with security software: "Once, running Windows anti-virus was like driving down a dual carriageway. These days, it’s more like an unpaved road." Well, I can understand his viewpoint, though given the sheer volume of security products these days, I’m not sure a small

Global Threat Report 2008, other papers, and AMTSO

You may have noticed that I’ve been making a lot of references to this over the past few weeks. You can now download it here. Quite a few people have worked pretty hard to make this project happen, and I’d like to thank them now. I hope some of you will find it interesting and

Top Ten 2008 Threats

The top ten (twenty, twenty-five…) season doesn’t seem to have finished yet: the latest to cross my radar was something like seven ways of surviving the recession, which I’m sure is of interest to all of us, but not really in scope for this blog. So here’s a snippet from our 2008 Global Threat Report,

Malware Trying to Avoid Some Countries

There are different techniques that can be used by a program to identify in which country it has been installed.  It can check for time zone information, public IP addresses or even domain names.  Lately, we have seen two different malware families trying to discover their geographic location in an effort to avoid infecting PCs

Backscatter and Misdirected Email Alerts

This is bizarre, if slightly nostalgic. I spent a lot of time in the first half of this decade writing and presenting on problems with email filters that assumed that if the "From" field of an email header says that the sender was me@thenameofmysite.com (apologies to thenameofmysite.com if it actually exists, but I don’t think

Self-Protection Part 8

Don’t expect antivirus alone to protect you from everything. Use additional measures such as a personal firewall, antispam and anti-phishing toolbars, but be aware that there is a lot of fake security software out there. This means that you need to take care to invest in reputable security solutions, not malware which claims to fix

Protection Part 7

If sensitive information is stored on your hard drive (and if you don’t have -something- worth protecting on your system, you’re probably not reading this blog…), protect it with encryption. Furthermore, when you copy or move data elsewhere, it’s usually at least as important to protect/encrypt it when it’s on removable media, or transferred electronically.

Digital Photo Frames and the Autorun Problem

Speaking of SANS, the Internet Storm Center has more than once talked about problems with digital photo frames, and at Xmas did so again with reference to the well-publicised Samsung incident. The San Francisco Chronicle came up with a story a couple of days ago that was even more alarming, and not only in the volume

Ten Ways to Protect Yourself: Part 3

Log on to your computer with an account that doesn’t have “Administrator” privileges, to reduce the likelihood and severity of damage from self-installing malware. Multi-user operating systems (and nowadays, few operating systems assume that a machine will be used by a single user at a single level of privilege) allow you to create an account

(One out of) Ten Ways to Dodge Cyber-Bullets

It’s that time of year when everyone wants a top ten: the top ten most stupid remarks made by celebrities, the ten worst-dressed French poodles, the ten most embarrassing political speeches, and so on. Our research team came up with a few rather more serious ideas, most of which are considered at some length in our about-to-be-published

Sending Malware Information to ESET

I’ve just picked up a comment to a previous blog that pointed to what I presumed to be a malicious URL. We’re grateful for all such information, but for obvious reasons, we won’t approve comments that point to malicious code! You can find information in our knowledgebase here about how to forward malware samples or false

Fake Holiday eCards: Are You Surprised?

Yesterday, we started to receive reports of emails pretending to carry links to holiday cards.  These emails contain a link that points to a file named ecard.exe.  Of course, this executable is not a seasonal holiday card but malware.  The reason this wave of malware has attracted our attention is that it is very similar

Multi-Layering and User Education: a random thought from AVAR

I promised you some more thoughts on the AVAR conference. Randy Abrams and I put together a paper on user education for the conference (it should be up on our White Papers page quite soon) about the argument between the two main camps in security thinking on the topic. You could sum it up as

Internet Explorer Problems

It probably isn’t news to you that there’s been an issue with Internet Explorer and a recently-discovered vulnerability that exposes users of the application to a range of attacks. Certainly we’ve been getting lots of enquiries about our ability to detect it, and I suspect other vendors are getting the same barrage of questions. Of

After AVAR: Normal Service is resumed…

Given our recent attempts to keep the blog flow more consistent, you might have noticed that we’ve been very quiet for the past couple of weeks. That has a lot to do with the fact that Randy Abrams and I have been in India for a meeting in Chennai, followed by the AVAR (Association of

Smarter Smart Phones

An article on internetnews.com today caught my eye. “In Search of Smarter Phones” http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3788456 tells of capabilities being added to smart phones and new applications for these devices. With the release of ESET Mobile Antivirus this was of interest to me as currently there are few threats in the wild that attack the devices we currently

Global Threat Report

You may be aware that in addition to our semi-annual global threat trends reports, we also do a monthly report. Much of this report is trend analysis based on data from our ThreatSense.Net threat tracking system. ThreatSense.Net® is an advanced threat tracking system which reports detection statistics from tens of millions of client computers around the

Spies in One’s Samovar (or a Storm in a Teapot)

Round here, we’re mostly concerned with the malicious and programming kinds of bug. But as an avid watcher of Spooks*,  I couldn’t resist sharing with you an item in the Telegraph about a samovar presented to the British Royal Family about twenty years ago. Apparently, after a surveillance sweep of the Queen’s estate at Balmoral, the

AV-Comparatives Retrospective Test (and a Word about False Positives)

Retrospective or “frozen” testing involves testing the ability of one or more products to detect threats proactively, using techniques such as advanced heuristics rather than signature detection.

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