Don’t click on suspicious links from unknown sources. We know you know, but the rise of link shortening services like bit.ly make it next to impossible to know where you’re being directed half the time, especially on Twitter. Unfortunately, spammers have caught on to the fact (C’mon, it was only a matter of time). Legitimate link shorteners have been doing a good job of eliminating malicious links, but b new report says that a gang of spammers have set up 87 URL shortening sites and are using them to flood inboxes around the world with junk.
Symantec on Monday made available the public beta of version 6.0 of its all-in-one security suite Norton 360. It's currently available as a free download and is based on the same core technology found in Symantec's consumer oriented Norton Internet Security 2012, but with the addition of enhanced PC tuneup and system backup capabilities.
Symantec noticed an uptick in social engineering attacks in September, a trend the security outfit attributes to a rise in polymorphic malware in email, the company said in its recently released "Symantec Intelligence Report: September 2011." Spam levels dipped slightly in September to 74.8 percent of all email, a decrease of 1.1 percent from August, but a "deluge of malicious email-borne malware" more than made up for the drop in spam.
As antivirus programs and end users alike become more adept at identifying badware, malware authors are getting even sneakier in their quest to infect your computer. Social engineering is the name of the game now – just ask the NBC News exec who clicked on an infected Christmas tree attachment from an unknown sender. A new report says that scammers have begun using a novel trick to get users to open malicious files; they send emails that claim to be from the office’s printer/scanner, which is actually pretty friggin’ clever.
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!"
Let us start with the obligatory disclaimer that if it's been a few years since you've played with a Norton product, things are very different than what you remember them to be. Starting with Norton's 2009 Antivirus and Internet Security Suite products, the emphasis has been on performance, both in terms of picking up malware and leaving a small system footprint, and it's been that way ever since (we've awarded Norton two 9 verdicts in our past three annual antivirus roundups). Now Norton will try and keep its revamped reputation intact with the release of its 2012 security products.
Privacy advocates and seedy characters on the edge of Internet legality alike use Bitcoins as their virtual currency of choice. The anonymous, decentralized P2P nature of Bitcoins lets you transfer money without ever having to contact a bank or even know the true identity of the person on the other end of the transaction. Recent events have dragged the shadowy currency into the light of public scrutiny, and now its squirming users have another headache to deal with: a trojan designed specifically to pilfer your Bitcoin wallet.
Symantec recently pushed out a signficant product update for both its Norton Antivirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security 2011 products, bringing the version number to 22.214.171.124. Among the upgrades are a few new features (like support for Mozilla's Firefox 4 browser), performance enhancements, better compatibility with third-party programs, and a handful of bug fixes.
Just three short years ago, the announcement of a new Norton product would have been met with a "big whoop" from the enthusiast community. Some of you might still feel that way, but take it from us, Symantec seriously stepped up its game starting with the 2009 releases, and Norton has been faring well in our annual antivirus roundups ever since, including a 9 verdict awarded to Norton Internet Security 2011. If you want to see what's in store for next year's release, Symantec just made available Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2012 in beta form.
Hate spam? Of course you do, just like every one else who doesn't profit from this nefarious business. Assuming you're one of the good guys, here's a bit of good news coming from Symantec's MessageLabs division. The destruction of the massive Rustock botnet had a direct impact on spam, reducing the number of global spam messages by a third. The fallout was both immediate and significant, MessageLab says.