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Policy Review: Botnets are eWMD, electronic Weapons of Mass Destruction

The latest issue of Policy Review from the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center -- focused on advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy -- has an essay titled eWMDs – electronic weapons of mass destruction. The Policiy Review readers are warned that botnets should be considered a serious security problem and that "cyber attacks present a grave new security vulnerability for all nations and must be urgently addressed." more

Good Internet Hygiene During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are all aware of the steps for mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Wash your hands; Practice social distancing; Report exposure.But these are not the only activities to practice right now. Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of this health crisis and the emotional upheaval it creates to perpetrate their crimes. Therefore, we also need to exercise good internet hygiene. In a time of crisis or tragedy, bad actors don't slow down; their efforts amplify. more

Cyber Threats Accelerate: 94% of Web Browser Exploits Occur Within 24 Hours of Disclosure

Today X-Force, IBM's security research and development arm, released its 2008 Midyear Trend Statistics report that indicates cyber-criminals are adopting new automation techniques and strategies that allow them to exploit vulnerabilities much faster than ever before. The new tools are being implemented on the Internet by organized criminal elements, and at the same time public exploit code published by researchers are putting more systems, databases and ultimately, people at risk of compromise. more

ICANN67 Round-Up

This past meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), ICANN67, was intended to be held in person in Cancun, Mexico, but was actually the first meeting to be held entirely online and virtually. It was a well-managed affair with fewer sessions than the in-person meetings and less opportunity for the community to convene and meet as individuals. The last-minute change from an in-person to a virtual meeting impacted ICANN's ability to provide translation services for the full set of UN-supported languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. more

Microsoft Data Suggests 1 Out of Every 14 Downloads is Malware

Microsoft Program Manager, Jeb Haber, reports in a blog post that from browser data collected on user downloads, 1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware. Haber says: "Consumers need information to make better decisions. That said, IE9 adds another layer of defense against socially engineered attacks that now looks at the application being downloaded -- this is in addition to the URL-based protection described above. This new layer of protection is called SmartScreen Application Reputation." more

NIS 2.0 and Its Impact on the Domain Name Ecosystem

I recently appeared on the 419 Consulting podcast to discuss the European Union's NIS 2.0 Directive and its impact on the domain name ecosystem. I encourage all TLD registries, domain name registration service providers, and DNS operators to listen to the recording of that session which Andrew Campling has made available. more

U.S. Slammed as Major Host for Cybercrime

While Russia and Ukraine are generally regarded as today's main cybercrime hubs, "a lot of their infrastructure is housed in the west, in the United States to be precise," writes Vincent Hanna of Spamhaus Project. "Without exception, all of the major security organizations on the Internet we know of agree that the 'Home' of cybercrime in the western world is a place known as Atrivo/Intercage. We ourselves have not come to this conclusion lightly but from many years of dealing with criminal operations hosted by Atrivo/Intercage, gangs of cybercriminals -- mostly Russian and East European but with several US online crime gangs as well -- whose activities always lead back to servers run by Atrivo/Intercage..." more

Security Researchers Uncover Cyber Espionage Network Invloving 103 Countries

A report released over the weekend by Information Warfare Monitor along with an exclusive story by the New York Times, revealed a 10-month investigation of a suspected cyber espionage network (dubbed GhostNet) of over 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries. 30% of the infected computers are labeled as high-value targets, including ministries of foreign affairs, embassies, international organizations, news media, and NGOs. Greg Walton, editor of Information Warfare Monitor and a member of the Toronto academic research team that is reporting on the spying operation, writes... more

Trojans Fastest Growing Category of Data-Stealing Malware

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recently reported that the number of sites infecting PCs with password-stealing crimeware reached an all time high of 31,173 in December 2008 - an 827 percent increase from January. And according to a report just released by Trend Micro's Focus Report, 93 percent of data-stealing malware have been identified as Trojans in the first quarter of 2009. more

New Research Reveals Over 340 Million Accounts Compromised in the First Four Months of 2023

Recent research conducted by the Independent Advisor reveals that a significant number of accounts, exceeding 340 million, have been compromised due to business data breaches within the first four months of 2023. Notably, Twitter experienced the largest breach this year, impacting approximately 235 million user accounts. more

New York’s Department of Financial Services Issues Cybersecurity Proposal

New York state is proposing new rules requiring banks and insurance companies to establish cybersecurity programs and designate an internal cybersecurity officer. more

Engaging Consumers in Cyber Security: It’s Up to You

In a perfect world, consumers recognize authentic emails from fake, update their operating system, browser and anti-virus software, and have a healthy skepticism about the safety of the Internet. The bad guys hate perfect, so we should be working with consumers to stop them. ... Organizations like mine are joining forces to recruit consumers -- who are also your customers and employees -- in the fight against cybercrime. more

Nigerian Scammer, Ringleader of International Criminal Network Arrested

The 40-year-old Nigerian national, ringleader of a global network believed to be behind scams totalling more than USD $60 million has been arrested in a joint operation by INTERPOL and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). more

Energy Industry Number One Target by Cyber Criminals, According to New Study

Web security company, ScanSafe reports that, in the past quarter, companies in the Energy industry faced the greatest risk of Web-based malware exposure, at a 196% heightened risk compared to other verticals. The Pharmaceutical and Chemicals industry faced the second highest risk of exposure at 192% followed by the Construction & Engineering industry at 150%. The Media and Publishing industry were also among those at highest risk, with a 129% heightened risk compared to other verticals. more

Study Ranks Riskiest Online Cities in US

A recent study by Symantec Norton and Sperling's Best Places has ranked 50 cities in the United States by "Riskiest Online Cities". The study included investigation of a number of factors including... more