It's common practice to point the finger at China every time there's a major cyber attack, just as many security analysts did following McAfee's recent report detailing a five-year run of cyber high jinks "by one specific actor." The Chinese government usually throws up its arms in disbelief and says, "Who, me!?," only now China officials are claiming that it too is a victim.
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.
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.
Be on the lookout for a rogue program masquerading as a piece of software that helps users determine whether or not PCs are compatible with Windows 7, warns security firm BitDefender.
"This actually works because of the interest in Windows 7," said Catalin Cosoi, the head of BitDefender's Online Threats Lab.
BitDefender first discovered the threat on Sunday. At this point, the Trojan is not yet widespread, though BitDefender notes it has been receiving reports of about three installs per hour from its users in the US, Infoworld reports. Like many viruses, this one requires proactive steps on the part of the user, which the malware writers have been able to elicit with the following email:
"Find out if your PC can run Windows 7," the emails read. "This software scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade."
Once installed, hackers have free reign over your system, Cosoi warns.
You know that Microsoft never sends out email messages with links to Microsoft Update or Windows Update. Do your friends, family and co-workers know that? If they don't - be prepared to mop up the mess.