Tag: reports

New York Times Hack Puts Antivirus on Defensive

The big news this morning is the New York Times’ scoop on…well…itself. According to a report in today’s paper, the Times’s computer network was compromised for more than four months by attackers believed to be located in China. The attacks followed a Times exposé on the wealth accumulated by family members of China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao – one of a series of reports in Western media outlets that raised questions about corruption and influence peddling in China’s ruling Communist Party. Attackers planted 45 pieces of information-stealing malware on Times systems, despite the presence of antivirus software from Symantec Corp. protecting those systems before, during and after the hack. The story is fueling debate about the value of anti-virus software and prompted Symantec to issue a statement defending its technology, but warning that signature-based antivirus is not enough to stop sophisticated attacks. According to the Times report, the attacks used compromised systems on […]

New Phishing Toolkit Uses Whitelisting To Keep Scams Alive

Researchers at RSA say that a new phishing toolkit allows attackers to put a velvet rope around scam web pages – bouncing all but the intended victims. The new toolkit, dubbed “Bouncer,” was discovered in an analysis of attacks on financial institutions in South Africa, Australia and Malaysia, said Daniel Cohen, Head of Business Development for Online Threats Managed Services at RSA.  The kit allows attackers to generate a unique ID for each intended victim, then embed that in a URL that is sent to the victim. Outsiders attempting to access the phishing page are redirected to a “404 page not found” error message, Cohen said. In phishing attacks, attackers pose as a legitimate online entity in an attempt to obtain a user’s username, password or other sensitive information. Phishing attacks often rely on imposter web sites to trick users into giving up their secret information. The discovery of “Bouncer” underscores the […]

Council of Foreign Relations Hackers Also Hit US-based Turbine Maker

The web site of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) may not have been the only target of sophisticated attackers who used a previously unknown (“zero day”) vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser to compromise the computers of those who visited the site, a new report claims. Eric Romang, a Luxembourg-based security expert at the firm Zataz.com said that he has discovered an almost identical compromise to the CFR hack on the web site of Capstone Turbine Corporation, a California-based manufacturer of small, energy-efficient power turbines. His investigation uncovered malicious files similar to those used on the CFR site that were used to launch a so-called “heap spray” attack against visitors using the Internet Explorer web browser, triggering the zero day vulnerability. Romang was among the first to isolate the script used to launch the drive by download attack used on the CFR web site. Writing on Wednesday, he said […]

Citing Facebook, Mobile Devices, FTC Updates Online Protections for Kids

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued updated rules on Wednesday that will ban online advertisers from tracking the online behavior of children without explicit consent from their parents. In a press conference in Washington D.C, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz announced new guidelines for implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Among other things, the changes expand the list of information that cannot be collected from children without parental consent to include photographs, videos and audio recordings of children and geo-location information. “Unless you get parental consent, you may not track children and use their information to build massive profiles of online behavior,” said FTC Chairman Leibowitz. The new rules are a major revision to the COPPA rule, which was first passed in 1998. The law is a kind of privacy Bill of Rights and applies to children 13 years old and younger. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, […]

Latest Iranian Malware Targets Financial Software

There appears to be some professional differences of opinion about the latest super malware targeting the nation of Iran.  Just days after Symantec Corp. warned about a new piece of malware, W32.Narilam,  researchers at the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab threw cold water on the report, saying their analysis suggests that Narilam is two to three years old and probably targeted financial software packages, rather than high value government or industrial systems. The back and forth started with Symantec’s Nov. 22nd blog post on Narilam, which claimed the malware had recently been found circulating in the “Middle East” – and particularly in Iran. Narilam was programmed to infect systems running Microsoft’s SQL database software, spreading through removable drives and network shared folders. It was designed to corrupt data, not to steal information, Symantec said. Though the Cupertino company made no attestation as to Narilam’s origins, Symantec did say the worm […]