Nearly 900 million devices running Android 1.6 or later at risk
The Black Hat USA 2013 security conference does not get underway until July 27, 2013, but there is already plenty to look forward to, with the folks at Bluebox Security dropping a bombshell by claiming to have unearthed a yawning hole in Android’s security fabric and promising to shed some technical light on the vulnerability during the upcoming conference.
If your junk mail folder seems smaller as of late, there's good reason for that. Computer security experts collaborated to take down Grum, the world's third largest botnet, which they say was serving up 18 percent of spam around the globe by way of 18 billion spam messages every 24 hours. A few more victories like that and it may become easier to buy fake Rolex the old fashioned by -- by seedy looking individuals wearing trench coats.
Psst, hey Windows PC user, come closer. Yes you, the one contemplating a switch to Mac OS X after spending some hands on time with iOS on your iPad or iWhatever. Want to know a dirty little secret? Macs get viruses too! No, really, they do. In fact, over half a million Mac OS X systems are now part of a botnet after becoming infected with the Flashback Trojan horse.
What better way to start the work week than with a delicious slice of irony pie? The hacktivist group known as Anonymous spent the past year harassing websites and web users alike with a series of high profile attacks. Authorities responded by arresting Anons around the world, but new information shows that police weren't the only ones spanking Anonymous. Symantec says that an enterprising bot herder modified a link to one of Anon's voluntary DDoS tools to point to a file infected with the Zeus Trojan instead.
How many times have you been told that when one door closes, another one opens? Probably a whole bunch, but what no one ever bothered to disclose is that this idiom isn't always an inspirational motivator to carry on with life and can sometimes apply to those with less scrupulous intentions. Case in point: a security firm warns that the Koobface worm is no longer spreading through social networks and is now slithering its way across BitTorrent sites.
The owners of the Rustock botnet used to run one of the biggest spam operations in the world, capable of sending out over 30 billion spam messages each and every day. They also violated some of Microsoft's trademarks in those emails. Microsoft obviously didn't like that. The company teamed up with federal prosecutors and gave Rustock a virtual butt-whupping that brought the network to its kness. Now, Microsoft wants info on the botnet's handlers, and they'll give you tons of money if you supply them with names.
The security gurus over at Kaspersky crunched some numbers and determined that cybercriminals are spending big bucks promoting the TDSS botnet, TDL-4. In just the first three months of 2011, TDL-4 has helped infect more than 4.5 million computers around the world, requiring an investment of around a quarter of a million dollars from cybercriminals, Kaspersky says.
If you're the kind of person who authorizes ActiveX scripts willy-nilly or opens attachments emailed to you by strangers, the world is a much safer place now than it was two months ago. Don't get us wrong – if you're that kind of person, your computer is still going to end up overrun with malware, but at least it won't be made into a Coreflood zombie. The FBI's "Operation ADEONA" took the botnet on head first, and while botnet operators can be a hardheaded bunch, the FBI's head is apparently even harder.
Over the course of the next four weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice will put into effect an initiative to remotely uninstall the Coreflood botnet Trojan from infected Windows PCs. The way it will go down is the DOJ will identify owners of infected rigs and then submit an authorization form to the FBI. It's the latest step in an effort to stomp out the botnet that's managed to seize control of some 2 million PCs.
FBI investigators tried a new approach to taking down a zombie PC gang. For the first time ever, federal authorities in the U.S. seized control of the bad guys' servers, a move that required the U.S. Justice Department to seek permission from a judge in order to carry out the sting. After doing so, authorities were able to counter-attack by issuing their own commands, programming the malware to shutdown, and also log IP addresses of infected machines.