Are you disappointed that Windows 8 might not support Desktop Gadgets? Then you really won't like this news: Microsoft wants you to stop using them on Windows 7 and Vista, too. Immediately. That's not because of some deep-rooted hate for the visual helpers, but because of concerns that hackers could use new Gadget and Sidebar exploits to deep-root your PC.
The e-sky is falling! The e-sky is falling! At least, you'd think so with all the hype the DNSChanger Trojan received in the days leading up to the FBI's disconnection of its servers. It was supposed to spell the end of the Internet for hundreds of thousands of innocent Web goers! Well, the feds flipped the switch yesterday; did the world end? Not so much.
Back in November 2011, the FBI and NASA-OIG worked with Estonian police to arrest a band of cybercriminals known as "Rove Digital" who were operating a botnet that would alter user DNS settings to point infected systems to malicious DNS data centers in Estonia, New York, and Chicago. Come Monday, the Internet will go dark for potentially hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting PC users unaware their system is infected with a DNS changing virus.
During my many years of covering technology I’ve seen all sorts of horror stories when it comes to the fallout of malware, but this one left me scratching my head. Malware authors usually set out with the goal of stealing private information, enslaving your machine, or perhaps forcing you to click popups, but printing hundreds of pages of junk? “Trojan.Millicenso” as it is known among security researchers has hit thousands of office printers around the world, and has destroyed countless reams of paper.
Knowledge is power, and Spiderman always said that great power came with great responsibility, but what we're learning this week isn't making us feel proactive -- instead it's making us want to don our tinfoil hats and curl up in a ball in the deepest corner of our darkest closets. A day after Google filled us in on just how many speech-squashing takedowns it gets from the U.S. government, the company pulled the curtain even farther with a blog post this morning sharing just how many badware-peddling sites are online. It's a lot.
Malware writers figured out long ago that infection rates go up when you target current trends. Potential victims who aren't particularly computer savvy tend to let their guard down when an email arrives related to current events, and with the London Olympics less than two months away, malware writers are getting a head start by sending out malicious Olympic themed emails.
Some of the ways scammers part fools and their money sure are deviously ingenuitive. A new variation of scareware is making the rounds in Europe, but rather than sticking to the age-old "Your computer is infected, buy this antivirus program now!" trope, this malware claims that the government is locking down your PC until you pay a fine for downloading music illegally.
The Flashback botnet scare may have thrust Macs' supposed invulnerability to antiviruses claim under a microscope, but Sophos decided it wanted some numbers to go along with the heaping of hype. So the company studied feedback from 100,000 Apple computers with Sophos antivirus installed and surprisingly discovered that the Macs were fairly teeming with malware. Before you start laughing, consider this: the vast majority of the malware found didn't affect OS X at all. It targeted Windows PCs.
Hundreds of thousands of infected PCs could be without Internet access beginning July 9, 2012, the day the FBI is planning to pull the plug on servers it seized that had been used to push ads to computers infected with a malware Trojan called DNSChanger. Systems infected with DNSChanger end up being redirected to the servers that were once under the control of the cybercriminals, but now belong to the FBI.
Give a man a virus and he'll wreak havoc on a single machine. But teach a man to phish and, well, he'll become a pain in the ass for potentially thousands of computer users. Unfortunately, phishing is a 'skill' every two-bit hacker acquires right off the bat, but not all of them move on to bigger and more insidious things. Some phishers concentrate on honing their craft in hopes of not only ensnaring the gullible and less computer savvy, but even sophisticated ones. Security firm ESET warns of a new phishing method that has popped up in the last few weeks.