Saturday, April 30, 2005

Porn is Evil

Evil Lurks on Porn Sites. SANS was sent a link to a porn site that asks visitors to download and install an executable that contains all of the naughty photos.

"Boy, were we tempted to download and open that file! Being good incident handlers we remained calm and first ran the executable through one of our favorite scanners. We found it to be just what we expected, a bot variant of some sort. Watch your logs for downloads of "linda.exe" and if you see it then perhaps you got bot."

Friday, April 29, 2005

New Mexico School Locked Down After Huge Burrito Mistaken For Weapon

A suspicious item the prompted the lockdown of a middle school here and a massive police response turned out to be a giant burrito containing steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, and jalapenos.

A concerned citizen called authorities Thursday morning after seeing a male student carrying a suspiciously concealed item into Marshall Junior High School.

In addition to the lockdown, adjacent streets were closed and police were perched on roofs with weapons.

The drama ended two hours later when the suspicious item was identified as a 30-inch burrito wrapped inside tin foil and a white T-shirt.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bush Signs Camcorder-Piracy Bill Into Law

A measure signed into law by President Bush on Wednesday 4/27 toughens penalties for hackers and industry insiders who distribute music, movies or other copyrighted works before their official release dates. Bush signed the bill in a closed-door ceremony and released no public statement.

Excerpt from the "Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005":

`Sec. 2319B. Unauthorized recording of Motion pictures in a Motion picture exhibition facility

    `(a) Offense- Any person who, without the authorization of the copyright owner, knowingly uses or attempts to use an audiovisual recording device to transmit or make a copy of a motion picture or other audiovisual work protected under title 17, or any part thereof, from a performance of such work in a motion picture exhibition facility, shall--
      `(1) be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined under this title, or both; or
      `(2) if the offense is a second or subsequent offense, be imprisoned for no more than 6 years, fined under this title, or both.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Web attacks soar

Web server attacks and website defacements rose 36 per cent last year, according to an independent report. zone-h, the Estonian security firm best known for its defacement archive, recorded 392,545 web attacks globally in 2004, up from 251,000 in 2003.

Mass defacements (322,188) were by far the largest category in 2004. More targeted cyber graffiti attacks numbered 70,357. zone-h also recorded 186 attacks on US governmental servers out of 3,918 attacks on government domains worldwide. Separately the security consultancy recorded 49 assaults on US military servers.

Fake call ID services on the rise

Some US net-based firms are now offering a spoofing service that lets people choose the number they are calling from.

At least seven firms have set up shop on the net offering these spoofing services. Four are aimed at consumers and another three restrict themselves to helping law enforcement agencies and private investigators.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

'Pharmers' targeting online bank users with new scam

The ploy is called pharming - a play on "phishing," another type of Internet fraud - and it involves highly skilled hackers who secretly redirect users' computers from financial sites to the scammers' fake ones, where they steal passwords and other personal information. Even the Web address looks the same.

Unlike phishing, where users click on links in e-mails and are taken to fake sites, pharming intercepts a user on his or her way to the bank or credit-card firm. And it potentially can affect thousands of users at a time.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hackers attack IT conference

Security experts attending the Wireless LAN Event in London last Wedesday found that anonymous hackers in the crowd had created a Web site that looked like a genuine log-in page for a Wi-Fi network, but which actually sent 45 random viruses to computers that accessed it.

"[This] gets very nasty as we've never seen it before," said Spencer Parker, a director of technical solutions at AirDefense. "It downloads 45 different randomly generated viruses, worms and keyloggers so antivirus software doesn't protect it. It doesn’t recognise the signatures."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Security Roulette - An essay by an anonymous CSO.

Security Trade-Offs (Below are first few paragraphs. It is worth your time to read the whole paper)

On any given day, we CSOs come to work facing a multitude of security risks. They range from a sophisticated hacker breaching the network to a common thug picking a lock on the loading dock and making off with company property. Each of these scenarios has a probability of occurring and a payout (in this case, a cost to the company) should it actually occur. To guard against these risks, we have a finite budget of resources in the way of time, personnel, money and equipment—poker chips, if you will.

If we're good gamblers, we put those chips where there is the highest probability of winning a high payout. In other words, we guard against risks that are most likely to occur and that, if they do occur, will cost the company the most money. We could always be better, but as CSOs, I think we're getting pretty good at this process. So lately I've been wondering—as I watch spending on national security continue to skyrocket, with diminishing marginal returns—why we as a nation can't apply this same logic to national security spending. If we did this, the war on terrorism would look a lot different. In fact, it might even be over.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis, according to a survey of befuddled volunteers.

Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached "startling" levels in the trials by 1,100 people, who also demonstrated that emails in particular have an addictive, drug-like grip.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Wi-Fi Liability

Suppose you turn on your laptop while sitting at the kitchen table at home and respond OK to a prompt about accessing a nearby wireless Internet access point owned and operated by a neighbor. What potential liability may ensue from accessing someone else's wireless access point? How about intercepting wireless connection signals? What about setting up an open or unsecured wireless access point in your house or business? Attorneys can expect to grapple with these issues and other related questions as the popularity of wireless technology continues to increase.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Student expelled for hacking into computer

What is interesting here isn't just the attitude of the student to the requirement that he follow the protocols of the school, but that he is planning to sue them for expecting him to, and escalating the measures when he hacked the school computer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Camel Suit Stolen from Passenger's Luggage

Must be the week for Camel news...

Passenger David Cox complained after he saw a baggage handler driven across the Sydney airport tarmac Wednesday wearing the camel suit that had been packed into the baggage he had checked in only minutes earlier.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Robot Camel Jockeys

Not a security story, but...

Swiss robotics firm K-Team has created robots to replace child jockeys. Spurring the robots' development has been ardent condemnation of human rights groups, who say the sport abuses the child jockeys who normally ride the camels.

Ohio Agents Use Woman's Identity in Strip-Bar Sting

In an Ohio police sting operation at a strip bar, a 22-year-old student intern with the United States Marshals Service was given a fake identity so she could work undercover at the club. But instead of giving her a fabricated identity, the police gave her the identity of another woman living in another Ohio city. And they didn't tell the other woman. Oddly enough, this is legal. According to Ohio's identity theft law.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Users still the weakest link

A newly published poll of 11,000 UK residential email users and small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) found that users are the weakest link for banks, retailers and other online businesses, offering hackers "an easy way in".

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Firefox, Mozilla Plug Critical Security Holes

The Mozilla Foundation has released new versions of the Firefox browser and Mozilla suite of programs to address several security vulnerabilities.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Virus writers have girlfriends

Sarah Gordon, senior principal research engineer at Symantec Security Response, reports that "Most of the adult males I've interviewed have had girlfriends. Female virus writers have had boyfriends. The stereotypes are wrong,"

Well it's Friday...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rootkits "Serious" Security Problem

The hacker equivalent of a cloak of invisibility may cause serious problems for users and anti-virus vendors, a security expert said Thursday.

Rootkits, which hark back to Unix, are tools used by hackers to cover their tracks. Rootkits -- even the name comes from Unix, for it refers to the term for the OS's super-user, the root user -- can hide the existence of other malware on a computer by modifying file data, Windows registry keys, or active processes, all of which are used by malicious code detection software to spot worms, viruses, and spyware that's been installed on a PC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

How To: Building a BlueSniper Rifle

If you've used your cell phone today -- or any other wireless device that uses Bluetooth technology -- someone could be watching you.

John Hering, a student at the University of Southern California, has developed the BlueSniper rifle, a tool that looks like a big gun which can "attack" a wireless device from more than a mile away -- several times the 328-foot maximum range of Bluetooth.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Insider Attack Against Citibank

Insiders are the biggest threat:

The Pune police have unearthed a major siphoning racket involving former and serving callcentre employees.

They allegedly transferred a total of [15 million rupees (US $350,000)] from a multinational bank into their own accounts, opened under fictitious names. The money was used to splurge on luxuries like cars and mobile phones.

The call center was in India. The victim was Citibank.

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