Government agencies and national research institutes around the world are quite unhappy with the news that Kaspersky Lab has released, saying that they have identified a new computer virus primarily targeting Eastern European countries. The computer virus, called “Red October” is not one to be dismissed as your ordinary virus concerned with the usual beauty tricks that ail common folk’s computers, but is dangerous since it looks like its goal is to collect classified files with the use of NATO and EU encryption.
While the virus mostly gathers information from Eastern Europe, it has been detected in computers AND smartphones all over the world. It is also not one that can be easily removed with an anti-virus setup since it has “resurrection module” that will reinstall the virus once you clean it out. Of course, you don’t have to worry about any classified files on your computer getting downloaded – at least not unless you are a secret spy.
Image via StandUpAmerica
It seems that John McAfee is finally back on US soil after being forced to leave Guatemala, where he went to hide when sought out by the Belizean police.
The anti-virus founder is still wanted in Belize for the murder of his neighbor. John McAfee, who continues to maintain his innocence, is in Miami, Florida where he was not only ignored by US officials but even said that has been warmly welcomed by friends and reporters. US police only says that with no active warrant of arrest they have no reason to take him in for questioning.
In the meantime, McAfee seems to be in good spirits although still waiting for his two 20-year old girlfriends to arrive. We can bet then that he’ll be in even higher spirits then and with the freedom of movement will probably even be seen going out to eat, unless he or his girlfriends are on a beauty diet.
Image via Image Editor
We’ve written on just about everything related to anti-virus programs, from the latest releases of the top anti-virus companies to teaching you the very basics such as setting up an anti-virus program on your computer. With that, why not write about what’s making the headlines today – anti-virus mogul John McAfee.
Even if you don’t know John McAfee, we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with the name because the McAfee software company which we all know about was actually named after him as founder. These days though, he has little to do with the company having sold his stake in the company in the 1990s. Instead, he has been making headlines for being a suspect in a murder case in Belize, where he moved about 3 years ago.
Mr McAfee claims innocence and tells his side in his blog, The Hinterland. He’s still on the lam although he says he really isn’t in hiding.
Feel like following his story? Just read the news of his blog. It surely beats reading about anti-virus all the time, after all what can be a more interesting career change than going from retired mogul to murder suspect?
Image via McAfee Website
The famed micro-blogging site was again targeted by an attack that re-directed users to sites that took the usual form of malware laden sites, telling users to install software that in fact did nothing but loaded their system with exploits that is reserved for later by hackers. The detected problems had computer systems made ready for drive-by attacks that would get hold of their user data and log in’s for the many other social sites or those they find saved on the computer’s memory for their use in identity attacks. Much more dangerous that the previous attack which was more the result of a bored teen who wanted to become famous, responsible for the Mikey attack that victimized and spread much like malware, using the saved names in the database sending out copies of itself as it goes out to propagate. That time, there was a mere nuisance message that kept popping up everywhere but this time round, security analysts have found links to organized criminal groups that have been poised to take advantage of the security flaws should it have not been detected. (more…)
Continued from the previous post…………
There is also a facility that allows people to report attack sites that have either been pre-loaded with malware or exploits that can later be used for hacking attacks for whatsoever reason. The way Google searches also tends to expose the power of their bots that also gather data on the overall site statistics and other facts about a particular page where it finds the said information thus becoming a sort of data store for hackers to use. These hackers somehow managed to circumvent security measures in place, intercepting the data the bots gather and stores them in some remote area or hidden site on the web where hackers check regularly for the easiest sites to get into. (more…)
Live One Care, an anti-virus software owned by Microsoft, recently failed to protect Vista users from viruses. Vista is the newest operating system released by Microsoft. A group of researchers who are based in Oxfordshire, U. K. tested some anti virus software packages. These packages which were actually designed for Vista were released to businesses some two months ago to see if they could stop a set of viruses recently available. Out of the 15 anti virus softwares tested, four products failed to conform. Live One Care included. The other three are McAfee VirusScan Enterprise version 8.1i; Norman VirusControl v5.90 and G DATA AntiVirusKit 2007 v17.0.6353.
Symantec has long been recognized as one of the security software industry’s biggest players yet even these blokes are prone to make errors. Some while back as their developers were out to test some features of their virus scanners and other security software, they unknowingly released a test file without attaching a valid and proper security certificate, and what do you know, they tried to make it disappear. As it turns out, the file was supposed to be a valid test program and in fact it was, yet the lack of the security signature had it recognized as such and as an attempt to infiltrate the computer systems of their clients. On the client side, their firewalls set out and performed what they were designed to do, and that was to block the attempt to allow entry to their protected systems. System administrators and personal users alike got so worried that they flooded the support site for information due to fear of a large-scale hacking attack that may be trying to get into their system. (more…)
In security that is and the stuff of fiction has become reality when hackers developed a bit that uses it’s immense search capabilities to do their dirty work for them. Everybody knows that when it comes to searching for information on the internet, nobody can come close to Google’s never ending banks of data center servers and storage racks. (more…)
You’d better beware of a new worm that’s literally worming its way into infamy: the Conficker (AKA Downadup) worm.
A prolific new worm has spread to infect more than 3.5m Windows PCs, according to net security firm F-secure. The success of the Conficker (AKA Downadup) worm is explained by its use of multiple attack vectors and new social engineering ruses, designed to hoodwink the unwary into getting infected. The worm uses a complex algorithm to develop a changing daily list of domains which infected machines attempt to establish contact with. Hackers need only register one of these possible names to establish contact with the botnet established by Conficker. The tactic is designed to frustrate attempts by security watchers to dismantle the command and control network associated with compromised machines.
Read the full article here.
That’s 3.5 MILLION PCs folks. Which is why it really pays to be careful about the site you go to and the files you download, or even the emails that you open. Virus, trojan and worm developers are becoming more clever in disguising their creations nowadays, so you should always be wary of unsolicited emails and messages and downloads that are offered to you. Also, have a good anti-virus that you update regularly, as well as a anti-spyware and malware software. Run these programs regularly to remove any suspicious files that are just waiting for you to open them. These scans may seem tedious, but it’ll be doubly hard if a destructive worm such as Conflicker gets into your system and ruins it.
The anti-virus companies are doing their darnest, but there’s something they won’t be able to factor in when doing their software, the human error.
From Jan. 1 to Nov. 25, the top 100 attack programs infected 53% of their victims by duping them into downloading something from the Internet. An additional 12% of the infections tracked globally were caused by users opening e-mail attachments.
Just 5% of the infections were related to an exploit of a software vulnerability, said Trend’s analysis.
“That’s something we can’t engineer against,” said Ferguson. It’s also is why Trend Micro and other security vendors have stepped away from a pure anti-virus detection and deletion model, and instead have been bringing in other protective features, such as domain reputation ranking and URL filtering, to their products.
Educate and be vigilant regarding malicious websites and downloads, if you do, you’ll be a whole lot safer.