Malware

Malware / Recently Commented

How to Stop the Spread of Malware? A Call for Action

On Webwereld an article was published following a new Kaspersky malware report Q1-2013. Nothing new was mentioned here. The Netherlands remains the number 3 as far as sending malware from Dutch servers is concerned. At the same time Kaspersky writes that The Netherlands is one of the most safe countries as far as infections go. So what is going on here? more»

The Spamhaus Distributed Denial of Service - How Big a Deal Was It?

If you haven't been reading the news of late, venerable anti-spam service Spamhaus has been the target of a sustained, record-setting Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack over the past couple of weeks... Of course, bad guys are always mad at Spamhaus, and so they had a pretty robust set-up to begin with, but whoever was behind this attack was able to muster some huge resources, heretofore never seen in intensity, and it had some impact, on the Spamhaus website, and to a limited degree, on the behind-the-scenes services that Spamhaus uses to distribute their data to their customers. more»

Three New Cyber Security Threats in One Day

Internet crooks never cease to surprise me. The inventiveness in being bad is super. If these guys lent their thinking power to the economy, the economic crisis would be solved within a week. Today I ran into three brand new cyber security threats that were reported on. In one day. So I thought to share them with you. more»

Why Vint Cerf is Wrong

At the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, I made an intervention on behalf of NL IGF, reporting on the recommendations given by the participants of Workshop 87... I concluded that more regulatory and law enforcement bodies need to become part of the IGF discussions, as they are an integral part of governing the Internet from a safety and security perspective. Mr. Cerf responded with a one-liner: "I can't help observing, if we keep the regulatories confused, maybe they will leave us alone". more»

Lessons Behind the Microsoft 3322.org Takedown

The Microsoft action against 3322.org, a Chinese company, started with the news that computers were infected during the production phase. Stepping away from the controversy surrounding the approach, there are important lessons that cyber security officials and upper management, deciding on the level of and budget for cyber security in organisations should learn and take into account. I'm writing this contribution from a premise: China uses the fact that most IT devices are built in China to its advantage. Allow me to start with an account from personal memory to set the stage. more»

Report On National Online Cybercrime and Online Threats Reporting Centres

Today I released a report on 'National cyber crime and online threats reporting centres. A study into national and international cooperation'. Mitigating online threats and the subsequent enforcing of violations of laws often involves many different organisations and countries. Many countries are presently engaged in erecting national centres aimed at reporting cyber crime, spam or botnet mitigation. more»

Eugene Kaspersky: World Needs International Agreements On Cyber-Weapons

Eugene Kaspersky has warned global leaders that the world needs international agreements about cyber-weapons in the same way as it needs agreements about nuclear or biological weaponry. The chairman and chief executive officer of Kaspersky Lab, warned delegates at CeBIT Australia that cyber-warfare and terrorism was the number one internet threat facing the world today. He said the Stuxnet industrial virus had demonstrated that cyber-weapons were capable of damaging physical infrastructure, and were "a thousand times cheaper" to develop than conventional weaponry. more»

Spam from Mobile Networks? Who Woulda Thought…

Mobile networks aren't usually thought of as sources of spam, but a quick look at some of the resources that track spam reveals they actually are. This is counter intuitive at first glance because when most people think of mobile they think of smartphones, and those aren't known to be sources of spam (at least not yet). What's really going on is PCs connected to mobile networks with air cards, or tethered with a smartphone where it's permissible, are the culprits more»

Mac Hit by Another Wave of Malware… Users in Denial?

In case you haven't been watching cyber news recently, last week various security researchers published that Macs were infected by the Flashback Trojan and that the total number of infections worldwide was 600,000. This number was published by a couple of blogs. I debated writing about this topic since we had a previous Mac outbreak last year that initially spiked up, caused Apple to go into denial about the affair before issuing a fix, and then the malware kind of went away. Will this follow the same pattern? more»

Global Payments Breach Confirmation

This morning, Global Payments held a conference call with investors and analysts covering their earlier breach announcement and projected earnings. Global Payments had also released an update advisory yesterday stating that "the company believes that the affected portion of its processing system is confined to North America and less than 1,500,000 card numbers have been exported" and that only Track 2 card data may have been stolen. more»

The Top 3 Emerging Threats on the Internet

Last week at RSA, Bruce Schneier gave a talk on the top 3 emerging threats on the Internet. Whereas we in the security field usually talk about spam, malware and cyber crime, he talked about three meta-trends that all have the potential to be more dangerous than the cybercriminals. Here are my notes. more»

Feds Ask for DNSChanger Deadline Extension As Millions of PCs Could Be Cut Off from the Web

Brian Krebs reporting in Krebs on Security: "Millions of computers infected with the stealthy and tenacious DNSChanger Trojan may be spared a planned disconnection from the Internet early next month if a New York court approves a new request by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, six men accused of managing and profiting from the huge collection of hacked PCs are expected to soon be extradited from their native Estonia to face charges in the United States." more»

How Frequently Do Botnets Reuse IP Addresses?

I wonder how much botnets reuse IP addresses. Do they infect a system and spam, get blocked, discard the IP and move onto the next (new) one? This means that they have a nearly unlimited supply of IP addresses. Or do they infect a system and spam, get blocked, and then let it go dormant only to awaken it some time later? I decided to take a look. more»

Typosquatted Domain Names Pose Plenty of Risk But Surprisingly Little Malware

A recent study took an in-depth look at the scale and the risk of domain name typosquatting -- the practice of registering mis-spellings of popular domain names in an attempt to profit from typing mistakes. "Applying every possible one-character typo to the domain names of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Sophos," Paul Ducklin, Sophos' Asia Pacific head of technology collected HTTP data and browser screenshots from 1502 web sites and 14,495 URLs. In this report, Ducklin analyses the data revealing unexpected results within the typosquatting ecosystem. more»

Greylisting Still Works - Part II

In my last post I blogged about greylisting, a well-known anti-spam technique for rejecting spam sent by botnets. When a mail server receives a an attempt to deliver mail from an IP address that's never sent mail before, it rejects the message with a "soft fail" error which tells the sender to try again later. Real mail senders always retry, badly written spamware often doesn't. I found that even though everyone knows about greylisting, about 2/3 of IPs don't successfully retry. more»