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Malware

Watch Out for “Michael Jackson” Hoaxes

The news broke a short time ago that pop star Michael Jackson died of a heart attack. It is all too predictable that the bad guys will use this news event to spam out fake videos or links to alleged pictures in order to trick users into installing their malicious software. If you receive an

Win32/Waledac for Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day is approaching the criminals behind Win32/Waledac have increased their activity. The Valentine campaign started some time ago but the interesting part is only starting for us.  The Waledac botnet has been using fast flux for some time now.  This means that the IP addresses of the websites used to distribute this malware

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,

Conficker: can’t stand up for falling downadup

You might have noticed that Conficker (Downadup) is actually standing up rather well to all the attention it’s receiving at the moment. Heise UK reported that 2.5 million PCs are already infected (links removed, as Heise no longer seems to have a UK site and the articles have disappeared). In The Register, Dan Goodin reports that the

Confused about Conficker?

CNN reported that there a new sleeper virus out there. http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/ptech/01/16/virus.downadup/index.html There is nothing sleepy about the Conficker worm, it is wide awake and looking for people who are asleep at the security wheel. CNN reports that Conficker could allow hackers to steal personal and financial data, and they also report that it “it is

You Did Back Up Your Data, Didn’t You?

One of the security best practices is to back up your data regularly. This is sound advice as it helps mitigate the damages from many different threats. Lots of people think of data loss when they think of viruses, but very few viruses actually tried to cause data loss. There have been a few that

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 10

And finally… Don’t use cracked/pirated software! These are easy avenues for introducing malware into, or exploiting weaknesses in, a system. This also includes the illegal P2P (peer-to-peer) distribution of copyrighted audio and video files: some of these are counterfeited or modified so that they can be used directly in the malware distribution process. Even if

Self-Protection part 9

It occurs to me that I should make it clear that this “top ten” isn’t in any particular order. Like the other “top ten” suggestions by the research team that are likely to find their way here in the near future, they’re all significant issues that need thinking about. Point 9 (a short one!) is, don’t

Self-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.

Twitter Security: Tweetie Pie Panic

[Update info moved to new blog post on 6th January] In deference to all those old enough to get a panic attack when reminded of how bad pop music was capable of being in the 1970s, I’ll try to overcome by the urge to mention “Chirpy Chirpy Tweet Tweet”. Anyway, to business. Having all the

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

Ten Ways to Protect Yourself: Part 2

Here’s the second instalment of the “ten ways to dodge cyberbullets” that I promised you. Keep applications and operating system components up-to-date with automated updates and patches, and by regularly reviewing the vendors’ product update sections on their web sites. This point is particularly  relevant right now, given the escalating volumes of Conficker that we’re

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