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WEEK News 25

by Gina Ford

December 5, 2008

An aggressive virus has been affecting computers nationwide, and it's a growing problem. It even took one of our computers down in the newsroom.

It is indeed an aggressive virus, and it's known as M-S Anti-virus...the latest version is 2009. It's a scam...the makers lure people into believing it's a protection tool and con unsuspecting people into buying it.

by Marcus Yam and Amos Ngai

December 1, 2008

A new "Power Saving Feature" in the unibody MacBook and MacBook Pros was inadvertently discovered by Gearlog while they were doing a routine benchmark.

Gearlog was benchmarking was to test third party RAM modules for use in the new MacBook Pros, but discovered that the notebook's processing power significantly decreased after the battery was removed during the test. It was confirmed that Apple does indeed scale back the CPU processing speed while operating on AC power without a battery installed. According to this support document, Apple essentially down-clocks the CPU to prevent the system from shutting down if it happens to demand greater power than the AC adapter alone can provide...

by F-Secure

November 27, 2008

Another variant of AVXP08 is reported to have been using dodgy practices in order to push their product, and really, what's new? Yet another rogue antispyware on the loose.

Funny thing is though, it even has specific websites for different countries, so that they can cater to specific audiences. Here are some of the sites that they host for different countries. OK, so let's say the user (by some stroke of luckless chance, or courtesy of a trojan downloader) ends up with the demo installer of Rogue:W32/VirusRemover2008.C on their hands and it runs... Enter the End User License Agreement (EULA)...

Commtouch Cafe

by Rebecca Herson

November 12, 2008

This morning when I dropped by the spam analysts' work area for my daily check of "what's new in spam," I noticed they were in a bit of a tizzy. Spam levels had dropped from their usual high levels and they were looking for the reason why.

We've seen spam levels growing pretty steadily over the past few years. So any sudden drop in spam tends to raise the red flags around here. While some members of the anti-spam team immediately started checking anything that could have possibly gone wrong in our data centers.

by Bob Halley

October 20, 2008

There has been a long history of attacks on the Domain Name System ranging from brute-force denial-of-service attacks to targeted attacks requiring specialized software.

In July 2008 a new DNS cache-poisoning attack was unveiled that is considered especially dangerous because it does not require substantial bandwidth or processor resources nor does it require sophisticated techniques. With cache poisoning an attacker attempts to insert a fake address record for an Internet domain into the DNS. If the server accepts the fake record, the cache is poisoned and subsequent requests for the address of the domain are answered with the address of a server controlled by the attacker. For as long as the fake entry is cached by the server (entries usually have a time to live -- or TTL -- of a couple of hours) subscriber's browsers or e-mail servers will automatically go to the address provided by the compromised DNS server.

The Sydney Morning Herald

July 9, 2008

Computer industry heavyweights are hustling to fix a flaw in the foundation of the internet that would let hackers control traffic on the World Wide Web.

Major software and hardware makers worked in secret for months to create a software "patch" released on Tuesday to repair the problem, which is in the way computers are routed to web page addresses.

Wired Blog Network

by Kim Zetter

May 27, 2008

A TJX employee was fired last Wednesday after posting messages to an online forum disclosing that TJX has not improved security since it suffered a massive data breach in which the credit card information of 94 million customers was stolen.

The employee, Nick Benson, who worked at a TJ Maxx outlet in Lawrence, Kansas (which is owned by TJX), wrote that earlier this month the manager at his store changed the log-in protocol so that employees were able to log onto company servers using blank passwords.

by Mike Masnick

May 23, 2008

A fascinating dissection of the ongoing battle between Craigslist and spammers.

Spam on Craigslist has been a minor nuisance for years. Not any more. This year, the spammers started winning and are taking over Craigslist. Here's how they did it. Craigslist tries to stop spamming by checking for duplicate submissions. They check for excessive posts from a single IP address. They require users to register with a valid E-mail address. They added a CAPTCHA to stop automated posting tools. And users can flag postings they recognize as spam.

San Clemente Times

April 9, 2008

A bogus email claiming that a nuclear incident had occured at the "San Clemente Nucklear Power Station" is completely false, according to SDGE officials.

Further, alerts have been issued on the Internet warning of a possible virus attached to the spam email. San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) officials first learned of the inflammatory and erroneous email at 3:55 p.m. PT Monday.

by Ina Fried

December 7, 2007

A Russian software tool mimics online flirting and can be used to steal personal information from would-be dates, according to PC Tools.

Those entering online dating forums risk having more than their hearts stolen. A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools. The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos.


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