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Kurt Wismer

Hacktivism: not a get-out-of-jail card?

What we’re lacking here is a clear differentiation between types of “hacktivist” or, indeed, “activist”: much of the commentary that’s around at the moment seems to assume that all hacktivists are the same.

Blaming the Victim…

So who’s to blame? First and foremost, the victimizers. Well, persistent victims, yes. And anyone in the security industry who pushes the TOAST principle, the idea that all you have to do is buy Brand X and you never have to take responsibility for your own security. Though, of course, “who’s to blame?” is the wrong question: what matters is “how do we fix it?”

SC Magazine: Cybercrime Corner

You may not be aware that ESET writers have been supplying blogs to SC Magazine for a while now. Recently, Randy Abrams and I were drafted in after the original contributors moved on, and we started contributing this week: Poachers and Gamekeepers considers whether there is a conflict of interest when AV companies work with

Privacy? Who Cares?

In the security industry, we’re sometimes over-ready to be over-prescriptive, seeing security and privacy concerns as paramount where others see them as a distraction. And we’ve become used to the mindset that computer users will always prefer convenience to security.

Scareware and Legitimate Marketing

Kurt Wismer posted a much-to-the-point blog a few days ago about the way that purveyors of scareware (fake/rogue anti-virus/security products) mimic the marketing practices of legitimate security providers. You may remember that a while ago, I commented here about a post by Rob Rosenberger that made some related points. If you’re a regular reader of

Testing and Accountability

No-one believes that AMTSO has all the answers and can “fix” testing all by itself, but it has compiled and generated resources that have made good testing practice far more practicable and understandable. The way for testers (and others) to improve those resources is by talking to and working with AMTSO in a spirit of co-operation: the need for transparency is not going to go away.

I AMTSO confused….

…Somewhere in this welter of misinformation, well-meant but muddled thinking, and black propaganda, there are some issues that need clarifying… Watch this space for further information. And while you’re waiting, you might want to check the documentation and other resources at the AMTSO web site to see what the organization really proposes and what it is really trying to achieve…

Top Ten of Top Tens

Well, not exactly, though actually a top ten of top tens isn't a bad idea: apparently, top tens usually attract plenty of readers.  As do top fives. twenties etc, though probably not top thirteens. Security Memes a Lot to Me Still, there is a touch of recursion to this post. I got a notification from

We are not Zimused – a few updates

My colleague Juraj Malcho, head of lab in Bratislava, has clarified a point: what Zimuse actually does is fill the first 50Kb of a targeted disk with zeroes (actually the 0×00 character): This does indeed overwrite the MBR, but also overwrites anything else that occupies that area of the disk. The malware came to ESET's attention because

Haiti Help Resources

Update: more resources I picked up on  a security list just now (I'm drowning in email here!) Apologies for any duplication. Update 2: more additions below. @imaguid pointed out in a microblog that there's a pattern to the use of social engineering around disasters like the Haiti earthquake:  "first comes the tragedy, then malware purveyors exploiting the

Malware Classification and The Lovely Bones

You might have noticed that there are certain issues that press my buttons: the Beeb's botnet, Mac myopia, using Virus Total as a substitute for comparative detection testing. And malware naming, an issue on which I've blogged several times recently. http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2010/01/09/today-we-have-naming-of-err-malware-1 http://avien.net/blog/?p=121 The estimable Kurt Wismer has taken me to task – well, Tom Kelchner

Anniversaries Galore

Following my blog at http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2009/12/18/a-trojan-anniversary, 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

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