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Why Isn’t Mobile Malware More Popular?

This is a followup to Wout de Natris' as usual excellent piece on the Enisa botnet report -- pointing out the current state of mobile malware and asking some questions I started off answering in a comment but it grew to a length where I thought it'd be better off in its own post. Going through previous iterations of Mikko's presentations on mobile malware is a fascinating exercise. more

The ENISA Botnet Report: Thoughts on the State of Play in Smart Phones

At the ENISA presentation on her botnet report at eco in Cologne, 9 and 10 March, one of the slots was dedicated to threats to the mobile environment. The message I was supposed to come home with was: we can still count the numbers of mobile viruses manually, <600; the problem will never be the same as on a fixed network as traffic is monitored and metered: We detect it straight away. We are studying the problem seriously. Are mobile operators really prepared for what is coming? more

Gold Dragon Helps Olympics Malware Attacks Gain Permanent Presence on Systems, Reports McAfee

A report recently released by McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) revealed a fileless attack targeting organizations involved with the Pyeongchang Olympics. more

A Dangerous, Norm-Destroying Attack

Kim Zetter has a new story out describing a very serious attack. In fact, the implications are about as bad as possible. The attack has been dubbed ShadowHammer by Kaspersky Lab, which discovered it. Briefly, some crew of attackers -- I suspect an intelligence agency; more on that below -- has managed to abuse ASUS' update channel and private signing key to distribute bogus patches. more

Court Finds Anti-Malware Provider Immune Under CDA for Calling Competitor’s Product Security Threat

Plaintiff anti-malware software provider sued defendant -- who also provides software that protects internet users from malware, adware etc. -- bringing claims for false advertising under the Section 43(a) of Lanham Act, as well as other business torts. Plaintiff claimed that defendant wrongfully revised its software's criteria to identify plaintiff's software as a security threat when, according to plaintiff, its software is "legitimate" and posed no threat to users' computers. more

Security Costs Money. So - Who Pays?

Computer security costs money. It costs more to develop secure software, and there's an ongoing maintenance cost to patch the remaining holes. Spending more time and money up front will likely result in lesser maintenance costs going forward, but too few companies do that. Besides, even very secure operating systems like Windows 10 and iOS have had security problems and hence require patching. (I just installed iOS 10.3.2 on my phone. It fixed about two dozen security holes.) more

What Are the Connected Assets of Confirmed Fake FBI Domains?

Two months ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted the public to a list of domains that could easily be mistaken to be part of its network. The list of artifacts contained a total of 92 domain names, 78 of which led to potentially malicious websites, while the remaining 14 have yet to be activated or are no longer active as of 23 November 2020. more

DNS and Stolen Credit Card Numbers

FireEye announced a new piece of malware yesterday named MULTIGRAIN. This nasty piece of code steals data from Point of Sale (PoS) and transmits the stolen credit card numbers by embedding them into recursive DNS queries. While this was definitely a great catch by the FireEye team, the thing that bothers me here is how DNS is being used in these supposedly restrictive environments. more

Alignment of Interests in DNS Blocking

I've written recently about a general purpose method called DNS Response Policy Zones (DNS RPZ) for publishing and consuming DNS reputation data to enable a market between security companies who can do the research necessary to find out where the Internet's bad stuff is and network operators who don't want their users to be victims of that bad stuff... During an extensive walking tour of the US Capitol last week to discuss a technical whitepaper with members of both parties and both houses of the legislature, I was asked several times why the DNS RPZ technology would not work for implementing something like PROTECT-IP. more

Typosquatted Domain Names Pose Plenty of Risk But Surprisingly Little Malware

A recent study took an in-depth look at the scale and the risk of domain name typosquatting -- the practice of registering mis-spellings of popular domain names in an attempt to profit from typing mistakes. "Applying every possible one-character typo to the domain names of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Sophos," Paul Ducklin, Sophos' Asia Pacific head of technology collected HTTP data and browser screenshots from 1502 web sites and 14,495 URLs. In this report, Ducklin analyses the data revealing unexpected results within the typosquatting ecosystem. more

91.3% of Malware Use DNS as a Key Capability

Nearly 92 percent of malware use DNS to gain command and control, exfiltrate data or redirect traffic, according to Cisco's 2016 Annual Security Report. It warns that DNS is often a security "blind spot" as security teams and DNS experts typically work in different IT groups within a company and don't interact frequently. more

Taking the Leap to Cloud-Based Malware Inspection

Is desktop anti-virus dead? Someday I'd love to make that announcement, but it still feels to me that there's a Patron Saint of Voodoo with an affinity for bringing it back to life -- like some macabre mirror image of the malicious zombies it's supposed to provide protection against. It's kind of ironic that today's innovation in desktop anti-virus isn't really happening at the desktop; rather it's occurring in the cloud. more

Google Chrome: Cloud Operating Environment

Rather than blathering on to the blogosphere about the superficial features of Google's new Chrome browser I've spent some time studying the available material and [re]writing a comprehensive Wikipedia article on the subject which I intend for anyone to be free to reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license rather than Wikipedia's usual strong copyleft GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). This unusual freedom is extended in order to foster learning and critical analysis, particularly in terms of security. more

Ready or Not… Here Come the IRC-Controlled SIP/VoIP Attack Bots and Botnets!

A story... ZZZ Telemarketing (not a real name) is locked in a heated fight with their bitter rival, YYY Telemarketing (also not a real name), to win a very large lead generation contract with Customer X. Customer X has decided to run a test pitting the two companies against each other for a week to see who can generate the most leads. The ZZZ CEO has said to his staff that it is "do or die" for the company. If they fail to win the contract, they will have to shut down -- they need to do "whatever it takes" to win over YYY. A ZZZ staffer discovers that part of why YYY has consistently underbid them is because they are using SIP trunks to reduce their PSTN connection costs. But the staffer also discovers that YYY is using very cheap voice service providers who run over the public Internet with no security... more

Garth Bruen Discussing Whois, DNSSEC and Domain Security

NameSmash has interviewed Garth Bruen, Internet security expert and creator of Knujon, on some key issues under discussion during the recent ICANN meetings in San Francisco. Topics include Whois, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) -- issues of critical importance particularly with ICANN's expected roll-out of thousands of new gTLDs in the coming years. more