Tag: trends

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 […]

School Shooters May Tip Their Hand In Facebook Rants

School shootings have occurred with sickening regularity in the United States in the last decade. The shootings happen in all types of communities, while the shooters come from all different backgrounds. But almost all of them have one thing in common: they used social media to vent their anger and, often, declare their murderous intentions ahead of time. An analysis of common trends in school shootings by the New Jersey Fusion Center  said social media sites like Facebook are a common element in the majority of school shootings, with students who have conducted or planned attacks against their schools publicizing their anger and or intentions on sites like Facebook. The “Situational Awareness Report” (PDF) on “School Shooting Commonalities” is dated November 15, 2012, predating the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 26. In that case, the shooter, Adam Lanza, was described as a loner who spent hours […]

Are Cyber Criminals Using Plus-Sized Malware To Fool AV?

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States. And it looks as if it may soon be a problem in malware circles, as well. After years watching malware authors pack their poison into smaller and smaller packages, one forum frequented by those seeking help with virus infections says that they’re seeing just the opposite: simple malware wrapped within obscenely large executables – in one case, over 200 megabytes. A post on the French-language web site Malekal.com on Thursday described what  may be a nascent trend towards ‘plus size’ malware executables. In at least two cases in recent days, the forum has seen evidence of Trojan Dropper programs that deposit very large files – between 16 megabytes and 200 megabytes – on infected systems. In one case, the author discovered an exploit kit that deposited a very large file – around 16 megabytes- on infected systems. In a separate incident, he […]

Update: Spammers abusing Google Rich Snippets to boost Scam Sites

Editor’s Note: Updated to add official comment from Google. Spammers prove the rule that says criminals will always stay one step ahead of the law. That’s why – despite predictions from some of the technology industry’s best and brightest (*ahem* Bill Gates) that spamming would be eradicated  it survives (and thrives) even today. One way that spammers continue to stay in business is by latching on to new technology – any new technology – that might give them an edge in reaching more potential victims and luring them in. Spammers were among the first to recognize the importance of technologies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in driving traffic to web sites. They’re willing to try any new social media platform – no matter how nascent. And they don’t cling to technology or methods that don’t work. When the Internet community got hip to how loosely monitored infrastructure like open proxies (PDF) contributed […]