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.
Like it or not, Facebook is getting ready to roll out its mandatory Timeline profile feature en masse. Judging by a recent poll, the majority of users would mash the Dislike button on the new profile format, if only one existed. To be fair, Facebook users have a history of grumbling about every change made to the what remains the world's most popular social network.
The thing about being a criminal is there's always the risk of being caught or otherwise exposed. This applies to the life of a cyber criminal as well. To wit, Facebook has identified five men it believes are behind the Koobface worm designed to burrow into various social networks like Facebook and Twitter in search of login information to help spread its related botnet far and wide.
Hard drive prices may be skyrocketing, but USB keys are almost a dime a dozen these days. Maybe that’s why people lose them so much; apparently, folks drop memory sticks at major rail lines by the literal bucket load. Misplacing all that data doesn’t sound smart, but security vendor Sophos recently tested an auction lot of 50 lost USBs on Sydney railways, and their findings show that losing those sticks may have been a good thing after all – since most of them were riddled with malware.
Perhaps you've heard that Windows 8 will ship with built-in antivirus software. Don't fret if you're just now learning this, Microsoft did a great job bombarding the media with information about its next major OS at its BUILD conference, and retaining it all on first pass is asking a lot. Nevertheless, this is a big announcement, and one that can't be sitting well with third-party AV vendors. Security firm Sophos has a message for them: "Too bad, sucka!"
A well known security firm warns that the number of compromised digital security certificates from DigiNotar, a Dutch certificate authority outfit owned by VASCO Data Security International, has doubled in size over the past week from 250 false SSL certificates to 531. False certificates have now been issued for Facebook, Google, Tor, Skype, Mossad, CIA, MI6, Twitter, and several other high profile sites.
For all that it offers, the Internet is a dangerous place filled with virtual landmines. Inadvertently step on one and it can ruin your day, if not your Windows install. It's imperative to practice safe computing habits, and as a second line of defense, we always recommend an antivirus solution, whether it's a collection of free programs hobbled together or a dedicated Internet security suite. But are they really effective?
The big news item in the entertainment industry over the weekend is that singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse was found dead in her apartment. Following news of her death, security firm Sophos says it took online scammers all of four hours to begin spreading fake video links on Facebook purportedly showing "Amy Winehouse getting high on crack just hours before she died" and other videos that don't exist.
Who can resist the idea of some free, mouth-wateringly good Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips swallowed down with a delicious Strawberry Triple Thick Shake early on a Sunday morning? Nobody who isn't named RoboCop, that's who – and that's how the spammers get you. Now that we've become immune to naked celebs and cheap pharmaceuticals, the bad guys are going for our guts.
Security firm Sophos has discovered a modified variant of the well known darkComet Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that not only affects Windows PCs, but the Mac OS X platform too. Interestingly enough, the nefarious Trojan readily admits it's not yet finished, which could be indicative of more underground programmers finally taking notice of Mac's increased market share. In its current form, Sophos senior security adviser, Chester Wisniewski, describes the Trojan as "very basic" in nature with a mix of English and German in the UI.