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All posts tagged "malware"

  • It’s a scary web out there: online threat attacks reach highest ever levels

    Hey you! Yes you, the one reading this article. You think you’re safe in your travels across the web? Think again. In fact, if new research is to be believed, being online has never been more risky. According to the latest annual security report from internet connectivity giant Cisco, total global threat alerts increased 14% year-on-year from 2012 to 2013. Around the world, a sample of 30 of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies generated visitor traffic to websites that host malware, with global energy, oil, and gas sector seeing a sharp rise in malware attacks. Cisco says...

  • 14 big security predictions for 2014

    Towards the end of last year, my top five predicted security threats for 2013 were: social engineering, Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), internal threats, BYOD, and cloud. All five predictions were realised; especially internal threats, with Edward Snowden’s NSA security breach being among the biggest data leaks ever by an insider. Like most IT security professionals, I really want my predictions not to come true: I would prefer organisations didn’t get hacked, infected by malware, or suffer data breaches. But by predicting the next wave of threats, we hope to help organisations stay on top of the evolving tactics...

  • Forget Trojan horses, social media is your biggest security threat

    Scared about your online identity being compromised through Facebook or Google’s clingy online presences? You’d probably be less happy about those you don’t know about. I’m referring to those who used to spam your inbox or infect your PC with trojans and the like. Those are old school though. With the tech scene moving at such a fast pace — becoming more device and cloud-orientated, malware and cyber-thieves are doing well in trying to stay ahead of the curve. As shown in Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, social media attacks have increased with Fake Offerings being the most popular...

  • Malware and Adware: Microsoft fights back against cybercriminals

    Pay-per-click (PPC) is one of the biggest ways of making money online. And wherever there is big money involved, fraud of some kind will appear eventually, and it happened in the form of “click-fraud”, where fake clicks are generated to increase PPC rewards. This has prompted Microsoft’s security and malware divisions to team up and fight back, while its Microsoft AdCenter (Bing Ads) and Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) are also teaming...

  • New trojan makes you think Facebook and Google want your bank details

    Ever tried to log into your Facebook or Google account, only to be asked to enter your credit card details? Of course the two most popular websites in the world would be a prime target for anyone looking to plant some malware, but according to a new study, it’s getting more difficult to detect the threats. The latest report from cybercrime security company ThreatMetrix describes how a new version of the Zeus Trojan is targeting Facebook and Gmail log in pages in order to trick their users into submitting their credit and bank account details. Users log into their...

  • Fake Instagram app spreads malware on Android devices

    You may recall that Instagram released an Android app earlier this month, and managed to blow past 5-million downloads in the first six days after the version was released. Now it seems the launch has been used as an opportunity to capitalise on the popularity of the app and spread some malware. IT security website Sophos reported that there is a Russian clone of the Instagram website that offers downloads of a fake app. The app doesn’t seem to be a very good copy of the real Instagram, but by the time you figure out that you haven’t downloaded the...

  • Spam is down, Malware is up: McAfee

    Thanks to better spam filtering techniques, most of us probably don’t see too many ads for “herbal Viagra” and similar concoctions in our inboxes these days, but that doesn’t mean spam isn’t still big business. According to the latest Threats Report by Intel’s online security firm McAfee (PDF), the overall amount of spam went down in the last quarter of 2011. One of the reasons for this, though, is that spammers have...

  • US Air Force on mystery ‘drone virus': It was a ‘nuisance’

    The mystery virus which reportedly struck the US Air Force’s unmanned drone fleet has been dismissed as a “nuisance” by the US Air Force. In the first official confirmation of the virus, Air Force Space Command said that while computers at the Nevada base were infected, the virus posed no serious threat to flight operations. Space Command also stated that the malware had not been a key-logger but rather a “credential stealer found routinely on computer networks”. “The infected computers were part of the ground control system that supports RPA (remotely piloted aircraft) operations,” it said. “The ground system is separate...

  • Cybercrime costs $114bn annually, says Symantec

    Cybercrime costs the world US$114-billion every year. That’s according to a report from global software security firm Symantec. The report adds that some 431-million adults have been victims of cybercrime in the past year. When adjusted to include financial losses and time lost, the global cost of cybercrime goes up to US$388-billion. According to Symantec, this means that cybercrime costs the world significantly more than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined (US$288-billion). Globally, every 14 seconds, 14 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one-million victims every day. Of the 24 individual...

  • Saudi, Russia and China the top Spam countries, says Symantec

    Spam is on the decrease, but still accounts for around 76 percent of the world’s email traffic. That’s according to the latest Symantec Intelligence Report. Symantec is the largest maker of security software for computers. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia tops the list the most spammed countries on Earth, with a spam rate of nearly 85 percent. Russia and China follow the most spammed countries in second and third spot, with spam accounting for more...

  • Tips to protect your profile as Google+ malware increases

    Only launched at the end of June, Google+’s growth — having already reached more than 10 million users in its first weeks — has been astounding. With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that the new social network has already attracted the attention of cybercriminals. Online security firms have identified that cybercriminals are already targeting individuals through friend invites to this network, via emails. Naked Security, an online security blog, identified “the first big Google+ spam campaign”, as one being perpetrated by “pill pushers”. They identified emails which are very similar to the much sought after invites to Google+. Fabio...

  • Mac Defender becomes MacGuard, gets sneakier

    The Mac scareware that started popping up recently has got a little more insidious. Not quite a full-blown virus, it still requires a clueless or distracted user to install it, but the latest version does not require an administrator password to be entered. It started on May 2 (timeline here), where fake antivirus began to spread though poisoned Google image search results. It was pretty primitive, causing Safari browsers to run a...

  • Mac Defender — The phishing scam that rocked Apple

    Apple’s biggest selling point for its Macs has always been the perceived imperviousness to “malware”. The fact that what some regard as the world’s first virus, “Elk Cloner”, was a Mac virus seems to have exited people’s minds. However, in the last couple of weeks reports of what may come to be seen as the first widespread piece of Mac malware have been filtering through. Mac Defender, discovered at the start of this month by antivirus firm Intego, is a phishing scam that targets Mac OS X users through Safari with the aim of gaining personal data (such as credit...

  • Twitter: Malware in 140 characters [Infographic]

    It’s been five years since Twitter arrived on the social media scene and, with over 50 million tweets per day, the popular micro-blogging platform has been the buzz of users, celebrities, artists, social activists, popular CEOs and philanthropists worldwide. Twitter has stirred up governments, influenced social revolt and political change as well as media companies who have now adopted the “140 characters or less” broadcast medium. And if that’s not enough for even for the most hard-headed of skeptics, then note...

  • Six malware milestones: From Brain to Anna Kournikova

    A portmanteau of malicious and software, ‘malware’ is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “malicious software, such as a virus, which is specifically designed to disrupt or damage a computer system”. In today’s society malware is a given. However, this wasn’t always the case. In the not-so-distant past, the release of a new computer virus was something which was reported on much like today’s latest Apple innovations. With this year being recognised as the 25th anniversary of malware, it makes sense to look at a history of the most iconic, destructive and memorable malware. Brain Created in January of 1986, Brain is...