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31 May 2006 | 3,582 views

Without OneCare in the World.

Prevent Network Security Leaks with Acunetix

Today sees the launch of “OneCare”, Microsofts “secrity solution”. Combining firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware in to one handy package…. but would you trust it?

I guess many people will, and over time we will find out if its a well spent $49.99 or not, but for me? I don’t think so. Microsoft do many things, but I think if you ask any one they will say the same thin: Microsoft don’t really do security.

Microsoft have had a firewall in XP for some time now, and the malicious software removal tool has been on windows update as well. I turn off the firewall, and the remover dosn’t really seem to do any thing. Now maybe I am being unfair, but do you dare, to use OneCare?

The last part of OneCare is the AV, now MS must know a thing or two about virus’, and who knows the OS better then them, but still, at the end of the day Microsoft has been the main victim of Virus attacks for years, why now are they trying to combat the problem?

It seems to me that basicly, no matter how good or bad OneCare actualy is, Microsoft have an uphill fight against there already poor security record. I don’t think I would trust them to keep my important data safe, or my network free from nasties. I just wont, and I suspect a lot of other people will feel the same.

In the corparte sector, where most software is paid for, other names are well estabilished and, well, who wants to say to there boss “I thought we where protected, I installed Microsoft…..” the laugthing would echo down the halls. So, for the home with many free, and perfectly good AV out there (http://www.avast.com/) why would home users pay?

All I can think of is that this is just a Microsoft way to expand a little, not to mention I bet it dosn’t install unless you have a “valid” windows key, the new way to force you to give more money to MS, like they need it?



31 May 2006 | 6,399 views

Barclays Rolls Out Free Anti-Virus Protection for Customers

The shocking statistic first, “56% of consumers do not have active anti-virus on their PCs”, ok not that shocking but still a bit worrying. Allthough asking if your average user doesn’t protect themselves on the internet conjures up images of the pope squatting in the woods.

The basic F-Secure anti-virus product protects against viruses and spyware. When installed it scans a machine and alerts users if it finds malicious programs installed.

A spokesman for Barclays denied that the deal was a way to limit its liabilities if customers were defrauded.

“We have a guarantee that if anyone is defrauded through no fault of their own we guarantee their money is safe,” he said.

“We’re trying to stop fraud happening in the first place which is beneficial to them and us,” he added.

Barclays is the latest bank to try to stop customers falling victim to viruses or other computer-borne scams.

So Barclays bank have leapt into action and decided its time to act on it, 4 years after their online service was activated. Their giving all their online customers free AV protection, provided by F-Secure. Barclays have bought 1.6million licenses (I wonder what per unit price they got on that?) and the software will include 2 years free updates. What happens after that? Probably 56% of their customers will be unprotected again.

Source: BBC News


31 May 2006 | 6,455 views

Fake Microsoft Patch – BeastPWS-C

If you receive a e-Mail alert of a new patch for your Windows XP OS, think again before opening the link present on the message.

The spammed emails, which purport to come from patch@microsoft.com, claim that a vulnerability has been found ‘in the Microsoft WinLogon Service’ and could ‘allow a hacker to gain access to an unpatched computer’.

The link on the e-Mail will redirect to a non-Microsoft site where you will download a trojan named BeastPWS-C, “which is capable of spying on the infected user and stealing passwords.”

When first installed the Trojan horse displays a bogus message, which reads: ‘Microsoft WinLogon Service successfully patched’. In actual fact, the malware is secretly logging keystrokes and sending them to an email address belonging to the hacker.

Well, I wouldn’t mind receiving this ‘Microsoft’ e-Mail and mail-bomb that looser’s e-Mail address (yeah, the good old mail-bomb attack still works).

For future reference, people need to remember that Microsoft doesn’t send hotfixes using attachments and not to deploy this patch on their WSUS servers.

Source: NHS


30 May 2006 | 4,716 views

Viruses & Malware Monitored on a Dynamic World Map

F-Secure has an interesting new dynamic world map displaying the various threats and viral hotspots around the world. Viruses and antivirus software is always a big issue, especially for corporates.

Shows how things are heating up when it comes to viruses, malware, trojans and so on.

They make some nice antivirus software too.

F-Secure Worldmap

Check it out:

F-Secure Worldmap

Pretty neat eh.

It’s big business nowdays, especially combined with some intrusion detection or intrusion prevention systems.

Some of the worm type viruses have cost billions of dollars globally, and at the end it’s all down to a bit of social engineering, an e-mail from someone you know with “I Love You” is all it takes.

E-mail filtering is important, but it can’t stop human stupidity…


30 May 2006 | 8,445 views

Cambodia Bans 3G So The People Can’t Get P*rn

It’s sad when a country has to resort to this to control it’s people, freedom to watch p*rn for Cambodians!

Heeding a request from his wife, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday banned the latest generation of mobile phone services in Cambodia to curb the dissemination of p*rnography.

Bun Rany, along with the wives of several other senior government officials, recently urged Hun Sen to prohibit the use of third-generation, or 3G, phones in the impoverished country because they can be used to spread obscene images.

Such phones – which few can afford in Cambodia – are capable of displaying high-quality video and images over wireless broadband connections.

I really don’t see what the big issue with p*rnography is, don’t Cambodians have sex? I mean there is a VERY high rate of mental health issues there, after the khmer rouge regime…but still? Isn’t this a little harsh?

On Friday, Hun Sen said he agrees with his wife and that while Cambodia is still unable to cope with p*rnography on the Internet, “how can we go for video phones?

“Hold it. Do not yet start the mobile phone services through which the callers can see each others’ images,” he said in a speech during a visit to a Buddhist pagoda in the capital, Phnom Penh.

“Maybe we can wait for another 10 years or so until we have done enough to strengthen the morality of our society,” he said.

Alcatel, a French telecommunications firm, announced in February that it would provide 3G mobile services to CamGSM, a Cambodian mobile phone network.

Strengthen the morality? Hello?

It seems like he somewhat looks down upon his populous.

The 3G mobile phone “is way too advanced for us. Hearing each other’s voices and exchanging text messages should be enough. If we go further than this, it could be more difficult for us to control” p*rnography, he said.

It was unclear if legislation is necessary for the ban to take effect. Hun Sen’s orders are often carried out without challenge by Cambodia’s government and lawmakers.

Cambodia is predominantly Buddhist and socially conservative. People normally do not talk openly about sex.

Source: Associated Press

Digg This Article


29 May 2006 | 3,713 views

Amnesty International Irrepresible Internet Campaign

Irrepressible Adj. 1) Impossible to repress or control.

Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Websites blocked. Search engines restricted. People imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.

The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. Governments “with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world” are cracking down on freedom of expression.

Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer, is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.

The web is a great tool for sharing ideas and freedom of expression. However, efforts to try and control the Internet are growing. Internet repression is reported in countries like China, Vietnam, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. People are persecuted and imprisoned simply for criticising their government, calling for democracy and greater press freedom or exposing human rights abuses, online.

The Great Firewall of China of course being a major one..

Read More

You can undermine the censorship by adding censored content to your site

http://irrepressible.info/addcontent

You can also sign the pledge here

http://irrepressible.info/pledge

In November 2006, governments and companies from all over the world will attend a UN conference to discuss the future of the Internet. You can help us send a clear message to them that people everywhere believe the Internet should be a force for political freedom, not repression.

Fight the power!


29 May 2006 | 6,069 views

Malicious Cryptography – Cryptology & Cryptovirology

I know this maybe old news for some of you, however, I just got the chance of reading this great article on Security Focus (it’s been 2 weeks since I add it to my Favorites)

This two part article discusses some good points of Cryptology, more precisely in the field of Cryptovirology.

Writing a virus is just like writing any other piece of software, unfortunately. The designer tries to put some cleverness in the application to improve its function (or stealth), its robustness, its replication strategies, or even its payload. However, when an anti-virus analyst gets ahold of such a piece of code, he learns how it works, what it does, and so on. In the end, both the writer and the analyst share the same view of the virus, in what amounts to a Turing machine (we have a state-transition table and a starting state).

You read about the WoW Trojan and the Trojan Writers Coding for Money here at Darknet. This article will give you a clear idea of how things work.

To open your appetite, let me give you a little excerpt from the article:

A basic model seen today

This basic model can be seen according to intended targets:

  • The virus writer creates an RSA key:
    • The public key appears in the body of the virus.
    • The private key is kept by the author.
  • The virus spreads and the payload uses the public key. For example, it ciphers the data (hard drives, files, e-mail, whatever) of the targets with the public key.
  • The virus writer requires a ransom before sending the private key.

Even if you’re not into Cryptology, I strongly recommended this reading.

Part 1 & Part 2

Source: Security Focus


28 May 2006 | 7,377 views

MySpace Hackers in Police Custody

MySpace owned again..let’s quote them for a penetration test or vulnerability assessment haha.

TWO New York teenagers are reportedly in police custody after allegedly threatening to give out the personal information of users of MySpace.com unless they are paid $US150,000 ($200,000). Associated Press reported Shaun Harrison, 18, and Saverio Mondelli, 19, of Suffolk County, face computer crime and extortion charges after they allegedly hacked into the social networking site and stole personal information from MySpace users.

Isn’t it time they really started considering security, rather than thinking up new ways to let users make their space uglier.

After MySpace blocked them them from the site, the pair allegedly threatened to distribute a method for stealing information unless MySpace paid them $US150,000.

Mr Mondelli and Mr Harrison were arrested last Friday when they travelled to Los Angeles to allegedly collect the payoff, AP said.

A pretty heft bail..

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge set bail at $US35,000. A preliminary hearing has been set for June 5.

Oh well, it’s just MySpace aye? I’m sure none of us use that..


26 May 2006 | 7,365 views

Serious Symantec Anti-Virus Vulnerability

Apparently a gaping security flaw in the latest versions of Symantec’s anti-virus software suite has been discovered that could put millions of users at risk of a debilitating worm attack. According to eEye Digital Security, the company that discovered the flaw, the vulnerability could be exploited by remote hackers to take complete control of the target machine ‘without any user action’.

It sounds pretty serious.

“This is definitely wormable. Once exploited, you get a command shell that gives you complete access to the machine. You can remove, edit or destroy files at will,” said eEye Digital Security spokesperson Mike Puterbaugh.

Shame there are no real technical details, there is a brief advisory from eEye.

A remotely exploitable vulnerability exists within the Symantec Antivirus program. This flaw does not require any end user interaction for exploitation and can compromise affected systems, allowing for the execution of malicious code with SYSTEM level access.

It is a vector that hasn’t been fully exploited yet, AV and Firewall software tends to run at system level, so if you can exploit it you pretty much have full control over the machine.

Internet security experts have long warned that flaws in anti-virus products will become a big target for malicious hackers. During the last 18 months, some of the biggest names in the anti-virus business have shipped critical software updates to cover code execution holes, prompting speculation among industry watchers that it’s only a matter of time before a malicious hacker is motivated to create a devastating network worm using security software flaws as the attack vector.

Something new to look out for?

Source: eWeek


26 May 2006 | 4,970 views

The Enemy Within The Firewall

I’ve seen similar figures from other organisations and countries, so the stats don’t surprise me.

My peers and I have always called this Armadillo security, hard on the outside, soft on the inside.

Firewall, IDS, etc…all protecting the exterior of the network, only edge devices, nothing inside, not much policies, not much privilege segregation, anyone inside can wreak havoc.

Employees are now regarded as a greater danger to workplace cyber security than the gangs of hackers and virus writers launching targeted attacks from outside the firewall.

That is the perception of 75 per cent of Australian information technology managers who took part in an international IBM security survey.

Also e-mail and instant messaging is becoming increasingly pervasive, with the advent of things like Google Talk capabilities in the GMail interface, sending information outside the protective layer of the company is getting easier and easier.

From my professional experience, I do know some companies have extremely strict standards which are audited regularly (these include rules about removable media, BIOS passwords and OS hardening standards).

While 32 per cent of survey respondents were intent on upgrading firewalls, only 15 per cent planned to invest in awareness and education training for employees and only 10 per cent restricted the use of mobile devices such as wireless handheld computers not specifically sanctioned by the IT staff.

“Organisations need to understand what are the key pieces of information that need to be protected and be able to track who has had access to them,” she said.

Sounds normal, good intent, but no action. Time for companies to sort themselves out I think.

A recent security report from antivirus company Symantec said cybercrime represented today’s greatest threat to consumers’ digital lifestyle and to online businesses in general.

“While past attacks were designed to destroy data, today’s attacks are increasingly designed to silently steal data for profit without doing noticeable damage that would alert a user to its presence,” the company said.

Source: The Age