Malware / Most Commented

On the Success of Malware

There's often a lot of discussion about whether a piece of malware is advanced or not. To a large extent these discussions can be categorized as academic nitpicking because, at the end of the day, the malware's sophistication only needs to be at the level for which it is required to perform -- no more, no less. Perhaps the "advanced" malware label should more precisely be reattributed as "feature rich" instead. more

OPTA revokes Diginotar License as TTP

Wout de Natris: "In this decision OPTA revokes the registration of Diginotar as a so called Trusted Third Party. Diginotar issued certified certificates for digital signatures. The security breach by Iranian hackers over the summer, which Diginotar did not report to the authorities, lead to severe credibility issues for all Diginotar certificates issued before. This included Dutch government websites, but also led to severe breaches of privacy for Iranian end users, in multiple countries. As a result of OPTA's decision all certificates issued by Diginotar have to be revoked, while at the same she is forbidden to issue new ones. more

Hiding in Plain Sight: Post-Breach

The majority of network breaches begin and end with the installation of malware upon a vulnerable device. For the rest, once that initial malware beachhead has been achieved, the story is only just beginning. The breach disclosures that make the news are often confusing as they're frequently compiled from third-hand reports, opinions and technical assumptions. More often than not, they include a discussion about the malware - how advanced it was, etc. - and whether any 0-day vulnerabilities were likely used by the mysterious attacker. more

Spam Is on the Decline; What Are the Implications?

Previously, I wrote that the total amount of spam that we are seeing has seen a significant decline over the past year and a half. What does this mean in real terms? Are we finally winning the fight against spam? There are multiple angles. On the one hand, processing spam takes significant system resources... more

Protecting Yourself from Spear Phishing

One of the big trends this year is spear phishing. These are phish attacks that are frequently (though not always) against high profile users. The purpose of these attacks is to steal sensitive data or get elevation of privilege inside the service by exploiting a software vulnerability within the user's computer that transmits usernames and passwords back to the phisher. more

New Research Reveals 56% Rise in Cost of Cybercrime

New research indicates cyberattacks increasingly plague businesses and government organizations, resulting in significant financial impact, despite widespread awareness. Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the Second Annual Cost of Cyber Crime Study revealed that the median annualized cost of cybercrime incurred by a benchmark sample of organizations was $5.9 million per year, with a range of $1.5 million to $36.5 million each year per organization. This represents an increase of 56 percent from the median cost reported in the inaugural study published in July 2010. more

Automated Web Application Attacks Can Peak at 25,000 an Hour

Web applications, on average, experience twenty seven attacks per hour, or roughly one attack every two minutes, according to the newly released Imperva Web Application Attack Report. Report also notes that when websites came under automated attack they received up to 25,000 attacks in one hour, or 7 attacks every second. more

ICM Registry to Provide Free Malware Scanning for .XXX Domains

ICM Registry announced this week it has struck a deal with McAfee for a free malware scan for every .XXX domain. The deal would include McAfee's "trustmark" and date stamp, ICM said. Every .XXX domain will be scanned for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, browser exploits and phishing sites, reputational analysis and malware, Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry, said in a statement. more

Catching Spam Email with Project Honey Pot

Since its launch in October, 2004 Project Honey Pot has made some interesting progress in their war against spam email. The project is a distributed system used to identify spammers and spambots operating across the Internet. To put it simply, Project Honey Pot lays millions of traps around the Internet (66,393,293 as of this writing) baited with specific email addresses that are configured to forward received emails to the Project Honey Pot system. Since these are not email addresses used by real individuals virtually every email received is positively identified as spam. more

Researchers Use Social Graphs to Detect Spammers, Attackers

A project named S-GPS or Spammer Global Positioning System, by Microsoft researchers uses spammer identification rather than spam identification to identify zombie-based spammers. 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

The Crimeware Infection Lifecycle

The distribution and installation of malicious and unauthorized software has evolved consistently throughout the 21st Century. The evolutionary path from annoying viruses, to destructive malware and on to financially driven crimeware, is well documented and can even be conveniently traced via the parallel evolution of technologies that were designed to counter each new aspect of the then contemporary threat. more

Canada Becoming the New Cybercrime Hub, Quickly Replacing China, Eastern Europe

A recently conducted analysis of Canada's cyber security risk profile by Websense has detected trends indicating Canada is becoming the new launchpad for cybercriminals. Sr. Manager, Security Research at Websense in a blog post writes: "Cybercriminals are on the move again. And, this time, Canada is the prime target. IP addresses in China and Eastern Europe are highly scrutinized and undergoing intense evaluation. So hackers are on a quest to move their networks to countries, like Canada, that have better cyber reputations." more

Creating, Protecting and Defending Brand Equity - Part 3

In the final of my three-part post series about how to protect your trademark against misuse, I will focus on proactive searching and policing and the benefits these can provide to brand owners. ... Proactive searching and policing of your brand is a prudent step in making sure your name is protectable. This is an advisable first step in naming a product or service. more

Defending the Network Several Times Over

Modern networks can be attacked in a variety of ways, meaning that companies need different types of protection. This article explains some of the risks involved, and provides some easy ways to deal with them. more