New Malware Spreads Via USB Flash Drives

There are a couple of new malware products out their that spread when you insert a flash drive into a USB port. One is called Conficker and is a variant of the Storm worm. Another one is the Obama worm. You know you have it if, on Monday, you can see Obama’s head in the lower right hand corner of your screen. This worm is evidently so porrly coded that your machine will eventually become unbootable. The face ...
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Internet Explorer 7 Thinks Protected Mode Is Off

An alert client of mine called me in to “fix” a problem with their browser. IE7 was indicating in the status bar at the bottom of the window that Protected Mode was off. (see illustration)

Going to the Tools menu, I opened Internet Options and clicked the Security tab. Protected mode was showing as enabled!! What gives??

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President Obama’s Smart Phone

President Obama is getting to keep his Blackberry, sort of…. As a technologist, I did refuse to vote for a Presidential candidate who could not even do his own e-mail. Frankly, I am tired of the fact that technological kindergarteners, illiterates, and phobics make technology policy in the country, and the fact that Obama “gets” tech and uses it was a big plus for me. Not quite enough to have gotten my vote, but the ...

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Botnets and Identity Thieves – Its the Money Part 2

I read a number of computer security related blogs and email newsletters, and a couple of items came across my desk (ok, through my inbox) today that I thought worth passing on. For those of you who wonder why people write malware, here are a couple of articles worth a read. (I won’t call this stuff a “viruses” anymore. These are high quality malicious software programs – i.e. “malware,” written by professional software designers.)
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Five Signs of a Spyware Infection

Throughout most of 2008 it seemed that virus and spayware infections were decreasing, and I assumed that meant that the Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software comapnies had a handle on dectection and prevention. But in the last 2 months, it appears that the forces of darkness are back with better than ever mal-ware products that are taking over machines of my clients.
Most of this seems to be delivered via e-mail, usually in the form of ...

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It’s About The Money, Stupid – Or Is It?

I have been harping long and loud recently about the purpose of malware writing. It’s about the money. No one is writing viuses for notoriety, fun, and fleeting fame anymore. It’s about the money – it’s phishing, it’s spam, it’s botnets, it’s identity theft and credit card and banking fraud.

But there may be some relief. It appears that phishing, at least, has hit the wall of diminishing returns. ...

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The Dominance of Microsoft Slips Further

It has been my contention for some time now that the only company able to take on Microsoft for world-wide dominion of the information technology space would be Google. There is evidence from the Internet traffic monitoring service Net Applications that there are other contneders nibbling away at the Kingdom of Redmond. Here is a quote from an aticle by John Murrell at SiliconValley.com.

Last month, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was used by 68.15 percent ...

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Rogue Security Software – “Scareware”

One of the more common viral or spyware infections I see more of is the installation of rogue or fake anti-virus or anti-spyware programs. These have been called “scareware” programs by some, because they work by “scaring” you into purchasing their security “solution.” They generally start out as an e-mailed invitation (SPAM) to run a free security scan, with a link that takes you to a web site. When you go to this web site and run the ...
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Drive-By Trojan Downloader Compromises Security

One of my collegues sent a link to a BBC article about the Sinowal Trojan horse , which is also known as Torpig and Mebroot. This trojan installs itself on victims’ computers when they simply visit certain web sites, and collects banking and credit card information and reports back to the what appear to be eastern European and Russian criminal gangs, such as the Russin Business Network. Links to the article are here.

Your best form of protection ...

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