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Virus Bulletin

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

Great Hoax From Little Acorns…

I learned a new word today. "Glurge", according to snopes.com, 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

False Positives: A Round of Applause…

The anti-malware industry isn't a suitable environment for the thin-skinned. We get used to receiving "more kicks than ha'pence" (see http://www.virusbtn.com/spambulletin/archive/2006/11/vb200611-OK).. In particular, I've grown accustomed to the fact that many people expect all the following from an AV product: Absolute Protection Absolute Convenience Absolutely no  False Positives Absolutely no charge False positives (FPs) are

Fake Anti-Malware: Blurring the Boundaries

It won’t come as a surprise to regular readers of this blog that there’s a lot of fake/rogue anti-malware about. (see http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/category/fake-anti-malware-fake-software). However, a report released at RSA Europe goes some way towards quantifying that threat, and has created something of a stir in the media. That’s to be expected: journalists tend to love facts and figures. Anti-malware

Greyware: Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer

Since I’ve just spent several days at a major conference, you might have expected a flurry of blogs about it. And indeed, there’s a lot more I hope to say about VB 2009, but I’ve been beset by a number of other issues that have demanded my attention, in and out of the blogosphere.  I did rather hope

Postcard from Geneva

Virus Bulletin 2009 is now in full swing, though meetings and other issues have kept me from seeing as much as I’d like. Still, excellent opening and keynote speeches, and a very interesting talk on cyber-insurance from Pascal Lointier. (A bit of a first for me: though I’ve been attending VB most years since 1996 and

Genial Geneva and a note for Francophones

Bonjour mes amis! Well, I am in Switzerland, and very close to the French border, for the Virus Bulletin conference – perhaps the most eagerly anticipated event in the anti-malware researcher’s calendar. How sad is that? I also thought you might like to further extend your French skills on an article here, about a presentation

Fake ICE and Hot ICE

Randy’s post yesterday about putting an "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) prefix in front of one or more entries in the contact list on your cellphone rang a particular bell (sorry!) with me. I first came across the idea around 2005, when the idea was first launched by the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust in

AMTSO Anticipations

One of the more interesting things to happen to me in the past few months – well, that I’m going to talk about in public – is that I was elected to the Board of Directors of AMTSO (The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization). Interesting and scary: the first couple of months have seen me at

Slideshare update

Further to yesterday’s blog at http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2009/08/03/slideshare-used-to-spread-malware, I hear from  Sebastián Bortnik that the account holder that posted those malicious slides to Slideshare has been banned, and the slide decks are no longer available. However, he (the black hat, not Sebastián!) had managed to post 2,473 slides with malicious links before he was stepped on: see

ThreatSense.Net® Report for July

Our July ThreatSense.Net® report has been released today, and will eventually be available from the Threat Center page here. Most of the top ten entries are old friends: well, familiar names might be a better way of putting it. One of the disadvantages of having a scanner that makes heavy use of advanced heuristics is

Microsoft AV Revisited

Alex makes a couple of interesting points in his comment on Randy’s blog yesterday about Microsoft’s "Security Essentials" antivirus (as does Randy, of course, but there’s no surprise there.) Alex is suggesting, I think, that Security Essentials isn’t so much a freebie as a value-add to something you’ve already paid for (i.e. Windows). That’s a pretty interesting,

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

I Like EICAR

Yes, I’ve used that pun before, but I can’t resist using it again now that I’m back from the EICAR conference. I actually got back a couple of days ago, but I was sidetracked by some urgent administrivia and dental treatment. I’m having bacon and eggs for breakfast, my first pet’s name was Stuart Little

Mac Musings

I haven’t commented on the recent flurry of interest in the Mac botnet issue, having already mentioned it a few weeks ago here. It’s not as though anyone has shown much interest in the technical aspects, such as the interesting use of the Authorization Services APIs to trick the victim into authorizing installation. Just one of

New Papers

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet the past few days. That’s because I really needed to do catch up with other things. Sad though I am to have missed the opportunity to jeer at Mikeyy the Worm and his new employer (though I may come back to them shortly, just

Twit of the Year?

I’m guessing that you’ve probably heard about the worm attacks on Twitter over the Easter weekend. Even I did, and I was doing my best to take some time out from work, with rather more success than usual. According to one Michael – sorry, Mikeyy – Mooney, a bored 17-year-old, he was responsible for the

Win32/Conficker.AQ: What’s in a Name?

Larry Seltzer, one of the better commentators on malware issues, has picked up on the disparity between ESET’s naming of the latest variant and Symantec’s – they call it W32.Downadup.E. Richard Adhikari (who also seems to pretty clueful) also picked up on the naming issue when we exchanged emails a few days ago. This issue

Mad Macs – the iBot

When I write about Mac issues, I usually find myself abused by individuals convinced that there are no Mac viruses, never were any Mac viruses, and never could be any Mac viruses. Less advanced cases sometimes admit that there is Mac malware (and malware that isn’t Mac-specific, but can affect Mac users), but buy into

Virus Bulletin Anti-Spam Tests

Virus Bulletin have announced the results of a trial run of its new anti-spam product testing, where one product scored platinum, two scored gold, and two scored silver, based on their average scores in the test. However, you won’t actually get to know which products they were on this occasion: quite rightly, VB has anonymised the results

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