Sunday Miscellany

Here are a few rather disconnected items that I intended to blog about last week, but never had time to write up.

First of all, an interview with an adware author from that went up on 12th January. Excerpt:

Matt Knox, a talented Ruby instructor and coder, talks about his early days designing and writing adware for Direct Revenue. (Direct Revenue was sued by Eliot Spitzer in 2006 for allegedly surreptitiously installing adware on millions of computers.)”

Secondly, an amusing little item from The Register: apparently one of the authors of the Zlob Trojan thoughtfully embedded an encouraging message to Microsoft into a recent variant:

“Just want to say ‘Hello’ from Russia. You are really good guys. It was a surprise for me that Microsoft can respond on threats so fast. Happy New Year, guys, and good luck!… BTW, we are closing soon. Not because of your work. :-)) So, you will not see some of my great ;) ideas in that family of software. Try to search in exploits/shellcodes and rootkit.”

Wish I could believe it… Apparently this individual also claimed that Microsoft had offered to pay him to work on improving Vista’s Security, unaware of his malware authoring activities. Well, I suppose it might be true, but I can’t help but wonder why so many sources seem to be taking it for granted that someone who writes malware is bound to be telling the truth.

And, finally, a slightly different angle on the perils of twittering (cheep! cheep!) to the spoofing issues we’ve mentioned here over the past week or two. Extract:

This particular Twitter posting came back to bite the agency person from Ketchum (New York office) who made some unflattering remarks about Memphis this morning before he presented on digital media to the worldwide communications group at FedEx (150+) people.”

David Harley 
Director of Malware Intelligence

Author David Harley, ESET

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