Perhaps it should be called the world wild web to more accurately reflect a landscape fraught with danger, at least if you're taking an alarmist point of view. Sometimes it's hard not to. To wit, security outfit ESET said its research team, in collaboration with CERT-Bund, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing and other leading agencies, uncovered a massive cybercriminal campaign in which a backdoor Trojan was able to hijack more than 25,000 UNIX servers around the world.
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So you got caught with your pants down on the Internet (figuratively, folks) and contracted a virus. That sucks. Or maybe you were wearing protection but still fell victim to some nasty bit of code that managed to slip by your antivirus software undetected. That sucks even more. Either way, it's nothing to feel ashamed about. The web is a dangerous place and even the most tech savvy users sometimes slip up. You can even get a virus through no fault of your own simply by visiting a reputable website that, unbeknownst to you, has been compromised by a hacker with malicious intent. The web is a war zone, and even if you're not a target, you can still end up a casualty.
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.
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.
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.
One of the trickier parts of operating as part of a collective "hacktivist" organization -- aside from having senior members rat you out to the FBI, of course -- is that anybody can slap the Anonymous tag on something he's doing. Case in point: Anonymous-OS. Yesterday, an Anon-branded Ubuntu-based OS popped up on SourceForge, complete with hacker-friendly tools like Slowloris and Wireshark preinstalled. According to the SourceForge page, Anonymous-OS has already been downloaded over 37,000 times, but you better look before you leap: the semi-official @AnonOps Twitter account says the OS isn't actually from Anonymous.
The FBI is currently scheduled to take several temporary DNS servers offline on March 8th; an action that could result in the disconnection of millions of Internet users. This dilemma stems from a nasty trojan that was circulating back in 2011 called DNSChanger. This bug was used to alter a user’s DNS settings, and law enforcement used temporary DNS servers to give everyone time to fix the problem. Experts fear that many systems are still infected, and risk failure on March 8th.
Are you having troubles getting Steam to boot up today? If so, the problem might not be with Valve's blockbuster gaming service; the issue could be your antivirus, instead. This weekend, the freebie Avast! antivirus misidentified a Steam component as a nasty little Trojan and sent the executable to the time-out box known as Quarantine as a result. The problem: SteamService.exe was a totally clean file, and Steam won't run without it.
We've always known that Macs are susceptible to malware, but without a significant portion of market share, why should anyone bother? Now that numbers are up, Mac users are finding out that their platform of choice is also vulnerable, and it's not just Windows users who have to be on the lookout. The latest threat eating away at Apple PCs is a trojan horse that tries to dupe users into thinking it's a harmless Flash Player installer.
The Maximum PC Podcast keeps BS to a minimum while simultaneously supplying maxed-out levels of hijinks and information, but for you media-addicted types out there, one podcast a week might not fulfill your quota for listening pleasure. We understand if you turn to the excellent lineup of broadcasts put together by Leo Laporte and the awesome TWiT.tv team to catch up on your tech news, too, but you might want to pass on your regular visit to the TWiT.tv site this week; hackers have managed to slip some malicious code onto the site.