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Counter-eCrime Operations Summit (APWG) In Prague Next Week

The sixth annual Counter-eCrime Operations Summit (CeCOS VI) will engage questions of operational challenges and the development of common resources for the first responders and forensic professionals who protect consumers and enterprises from the ecrime threat every day. This year's meeting will focus on the shifting nature of cybercrime and the attendant challenges of managing that dynamic threatscape. more

The Take Away from Global Payments Breach

Global Payments, an Atlanta-based payment card processing firm, announced yesterday that they had suffered "unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system". Sometime in early March they uncovered the attack, and there are some indications that the breach occurred between January 21st and February 25th of this year... There are a number of unverified reports that a New York City street gang with Central American ties took control of "an administrative account that was not protected sufficiently". more

Kelihos Is Dead: Long Live Kelihos

The King is dead. Long live the King! Or, given this week's events, should the phrase now be "Kelihos is dead. Long live Kelihos"? It is with a little amusement and a lot of cynicism that I've been watching the kerfuffle relating to the latest attempt to take down the Kelihos botnet. You may remember that a similar event ("Kelihos is dead") occurred late last year after Microsoft and Kaspersky took it on themselves to shut down the botnet known as Kelihos (or sometimes as Waledac 2.0 or Hlux). more

Household Botnet Infections

Pinning down the number of infected computers is really, really hard. I'd go as far as saying it's practically impossible to calculate, let alone observe. Still, that's not going to stop people from attempting to guess or extrapolate from their own observations. Over the years I've heard "reliable" numbers ranging from 10% through to 60% -- and I don't trust any of them. There's a whole gaggle of reasons why the numbers being thrown out to the public are inaccurate and should ideally be interpreted with a lot of skepticism by any right-minded folks. more

Microsoft Disrupts the Zeus Infrastructure

Over the weekend and this morning, Microsoft, working in conjunction with others, issued civil lawsuits to sinkhole numerous domains associated with the Zeus botnet. When I say "botnet", I use the term loosely because Zeus is not a botnet in the sense that Rustock or Waledac is (or was). Rather, Zeus is a tool kit that online criminals can buy that lets them create phishing pages, perform fast fluxing, host drive-by downloads in addition to spamming. It's more like infrastructure than a botnet, although it does have a large botnet under its control. more

Microsoft and Financial Services Groups Disrupt Zeus Botnet Servers

Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit - in collaboration with Financial Services - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association, as well as Kyrus Tech Inc. - has executed a coordinated global action against some of the worst known cybercrime operations fueling online fraud and identity theft, said Microsoft in an announcement today. "With this legal and technical action, a number of the most harmful botnets using the Zeus family of malware worldwide have been disrupted in an unprecedented, proactive cross-industry operation against this cybercriminal organization." more

FCC Releases New U.S. Anti-Bot Code

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) joined a unanimous vote at the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) meeting today, approving the voluntary U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), also known as the ABCs for ISPs. As a member of the CSRIC appointed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the OTA has been working with the FCC and leading ISPs to develop this voluntary Code. more

NATO Announces 58 Million Euro Investment in Cyber Defence

The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) has announced the award of a contract for upgrading the NATO cyber defence capabilities. The award to private industrial companies will enable the already operating NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) to achieve full operational capability by the end of 2012. At approximately 58 million Euro, it represents NATO's largest investment to date in cyber defence. more

Malware Increasingly Uses DNS As Command and Control Channel to Avoid Detection

Number of malware threats that receive instructions from attackers through DNS is expected to increase, and most companies are not currently scanning for such activity on their networks, security experts said at the RSA Conference 2012 on Tuesday. While most malware-generated traffic passing through most channels used for communicating with botnets (such as TCP, IRC, HTTP or Twitter feeds and Facebook walls) can be detected and blocked, it's not the case for DNS (Domain Name System) and attackers are taking advantage of that, said Ed Skoudis, founder of Counter Hack Challenges and SANS fellow. more

Closing the Gaps: The Quest for a Secure Internet

Over the last year the world has been virtually buried under news items describing hacks, insecure websites, servers and scada systems, etc. Each and every time people seem to be amazed and exclaim "How is this possible?" Politicians ask questions, there is a short lived uproar and soon after the world continues its business as usual. Till the next incident. In this blog post I take a step back and try to look at the cyber security issue from this angle... more

Our Nuclear Facilities are Cyberattack-Proof, Claims Iran

Iran's nuclear facilities are immune to cyber attack a senior Iranian military official has claimed today according to various reports. "Gholam Reza Jalali, who heads an Iranian military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, was quoted Monday by the official IRNA news agency as saying that Iran and its nuclear facilities possess the technology and knowledge to deal with malicious software." more

DNSChanger Trojan Still Running on Half of Fortune 500s, US Govt

More than two months after authorities shut down a massive Internet traffic hijacking scheme, the malicious software that powered the criminal network is still running on computers at half of the Fortune 500 companies, and on PCs at nearly 50 percent of all federal government agencies, new research shows," reports Brian Krebs. more

Public-Private Cooperation Policy for Cyber Security Suggested by Commissioner Kroes

At a speech during the Security and Defense Agenda meeting on 30 January Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, showed how the Commission envisions public-private cooperation on cyber security. more

Privacy Rules to Change in the EU, But What If ...?

In a presentation EU Commissioner Viviane Reding gave a preview of the new Privacy regulation her DG is preparing. As she states, privacy rules need to be brought up to date and harmonized. With all 27 member states having the same rules and tools to enforce, a company only will deal with one privacy commissioner... So, what if we, for the sake of this blog, take this initiative towards spam and cyber crime. What would this do to spam enforcement? more

Understanding and Detecting Mobile Malware Threats

Every couple of years there's a new "hot threat" in security for which vendors abruptly tout newfangled protection and potential customers clamor for additional defense options. Once upon a time it was spyware, a few years ago it was data leakage, and today it's mobile malware. It's a reoccurring cycle, analogous to the "blue is the new black" in fashion -- if you fancy adopting a certain cynical tone. more