Malware

Cybercrimicals stealthier than ever

One of the scarier realities about malicious software is that these programs leave ultimate control over victim machines in the hands of the attacker, who could simply decide to order all of the infected machines to self-destruct. Most security experts will tell you that while this so-called “nuclear option” is an available feature in some malware, it is hardly ever used. Disabling infected systems is counterproductive for attackers, who generally focus on hoovering as much personal and financial data as they can from the PCs they control.

Security Fix – ZeusTracker and the Nuclear Option

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Cybercriminality
Internet
Malware
Security

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Symantec left out of netbook market

According to experts from Accenture, Gartner and the Daiwa Institute of Research, netbooks may be particularly vulnerable to crackers. Cutting costs on netbooks often means doing without optional proprietary applications like firewalls and anti-virus, that would otherwise slow down the processor.

But when a Symantec marketing manager draws on their conclusions to advocate for paid anti-virus software, it is merely laughable. The efficiency of anti-virus software is arguable since the 2006 finding that 80% of malware bypassed the most popular AV software. That’s like playing the Russian roulette with a five-bullet barrel minus one… and thinking that you’re safe. Less advertized-for licensed and free anti-virus software sometimes do perform better than the major league, “So why bother paying for the premium licenses?” one might ask. On Linux, firewalls can be set up for free, an operation that still requires a fair level of computer literacy… not exactly your average user here.

The experts did however outline that crackers attacks tend to focus on servers or networks, so a 300$ netbook with photographs of your last fishing trip and your MP3 song collection might not be their top priority. Still, Trojan horses or malware could threaten to put critical information at risk or turn the computer into a botnet.

Unix-based operating systems are more fool-proof by design than Windows: there is a clear separation between user and administrator mode and in 2003 Linux only had 40 know viruses, while the Windows family had more than 60,000. So Linux-based netbooks are probably less vulnerable than Windows ones.

In any case, computer users should always apply data responsibility patterns by using priviledge-limited sessions, secured and authenticated Internet connections, storing critical information in encrypted databases (Keepass) or encrypted virtual folders (Truecrypt); and ideally accepting PGP-signed emails only.

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Bloatware
Cross-platform
Data irresponsibility
Digital privacy
Economic sustainability
Encryption
Internet
Linux
Malware
Mobile computing
Proprietary
Security

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Now you can catch viruses through social networks too

Crackers have recently started taking advantage of the success of social networking sites to lure unsuspecting users towards phising or malware-loaded pages. Simple advice: be weary of files or page links sent to you through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Read the article from The Wall Street Journal.

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Digital privacy
Internet
Malware
Phishing
Security
Social networking

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