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Cybercriminals reinvent methods of malicious attacks

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| Cybercriminals are not only leveraging new technologies to propagate
| cybercrime, but are also reinventing forms of social engineering to cleverly
| ensnare both consumers and businesses, according to the "Trend Micro Threat
| Roundup and Forecast 1H 2008" report. As a result, the last six months saw an
| upswing in Web threats, but steady decreases in adware and spyware that are
| generated by outdated technical methods and can no longer compete with
| high-level security solutions.


More 'fun':

Adware Company Refines Opt-out, Notification Technology

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| With access to an ISP's (Internet service provider's) network, NebuAd's
| system monitors Internet browsing in order to deliver targeted advertisements
| related to search queries and Web sites a person has viewed.
| NebuAd said it has developed a "direct online notification system" that would
| give consumers periodic reminders -- which could be used in addition to
| regular mail and e-mail -- that they are enrolled in the ad system.



Trend Micro's CEO says 'AV industry sucks'

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| Trend Micro’s CEO threw down the gauntlet to her competitors last week,
| proclaiming that hackers are ahead of the game and that the anti-virus
| industry “sucks”. *
| [...]
| Changes in the malware landscape have led to the creation of multiple
| variants of different malware strains and targeted attacks. Traditional top
| down command structures for antivirus distribution are struggling to cope.
| Trend Micro had little choice but to invest in the new technology. However
| Chen, who has five patents to her name, admitted that investors nervously
| questioned her risky decision. * *


Schneier: Lots of Security Software Is 'snake Oil'

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| IDG News Service: So what do you think is the biggest threat right now?
| Schneier: Crime.
| IDG News Service: So how do you fix it? It's expensive to investigate, it's
| cross-jurisdictional.
| Schneier: It might not be fixable. A lot of [the solution] is going to be
| making the things that criminals are going after harder to get. You're not
| going to stop the criminals. *


Malware still malingering for up-to-date anti-virus users

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| Having anti-virus software and keeping it up to date is no longer enough to
| keep from geting infected by malware.


The rise of the Malware Mafia

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| Organized group's embrace of cyber crime has been made possible by the
| availability of highly specialized malware, which has lowered the barriers to
| entry. As a result, Alperovitch said, "The profile of arrested criminals is
| changing from tech savvy teens to traditional criminals with mile-long rap
| sheets for drugs and propagating fake checks." * *


The Dirty Secret Behind 1,000,000 Viruses

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| But there's something missing in this paragraph – and, indeed, in the whole
| story: it's the word “Windows”. This is the dirty secret behind viruses: they
| are overwhelmingly found on Windows systems. The huge, global cost of viruses
| is just one of the hidden extra fees that we all, collectively, must pay when
| others use Microsoft Windows. Pity Microsoft doesn't use some of its
| extensive cash holdings to compensate victims of its poor coding. * *
| Now, of course, if all the world used GNU/Linux, that wouldn't mean that
| viruses would cease to exist: the focus of malware would shift, and viruses
| would become more common for that system too. But you can bet they'd be far
| harder to write, and that there would be far less than a million. * *


China Faced With Severe Botnet Problem

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| China faces a serious threat from botnets, networks of computers infected
| with software that allows them to be controlled remotely for
| denial-of-service attacks and to send spam, according to a report issued by
| China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT). *


Microsoft Data Show Web Attacks Taking off

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| The company saw the number of Trojan downloader programs it removed from
| Windows machines jump by 300 percent, according to Jimmy Kuo, principal
| architect with Microsoft's Malware Protection Center. *


Bots rule in cyberspace

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| USA TODAY REPORTS that on an average day, 40 per cent of the 800 million
| computers connected to the Internet are bots used to send out spam, viruses
| and to mine for sensitive personal data. *



Online banking fraud 'up 8,000%'

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| The UK has seen an 8,000% increase in fake internet banking scams
| in the past two years, the government's financial watchdog has warned.
| The Financial Services Authority (FSA) told peers it was "very concerned"
| about the growth in "phishing".


Trend, Sophos and McAfee flunk Vista SP1 anti-virus tests

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| Top tier anti-virus vendors including McAfee, Trend Micro, and Sophos all
| failed to secure Windows Vista SP1 in recent independent tests.


Does antivirus have a future?

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| Peter Gutmann, a researcher at the University of Auckland who presented the
| results of a study of the commercial market for malware at August's Defcon,
| estimates that a good virus programmer can make as much as $200,000 a year
| (here, a 660KB PDF). Alan Cox, an open-source security researcher, points out
| some additional possibilities. One is malware designed to sit under today's
| virtual machines. A proof-of-concept paper proposing such an attack, called
| Subvirt (PDF), appeared last year, written by three researchers from
| Microsoft and two from the University of Michigan. A presentation at last
| year's Black Hat security conference from Joanna Rutkowska, a researcher at
| Coseinc, a Singapore-based security company, covered a much leaner attack she
| called Blue Pill, which targets the virtualisation built into Windows Vista
| and into current processors from both AMD and Intel. * * * * *


Is an antivirus gap looming?

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| The failure of antivirus companies to adapt to the dramatic malware
| appearance rates in 2007 tells us there's time for a change and there's room *
| for a new class of tools. "AV is dead" is the battle cry of a new industry
| analyst report. Antivirus companies may not be going the way of the dodo, but
| to many customers, the concept of antivirus as the last line of defense has
| been thrown out the window. It's time for a better approach, one that can
| keep up and really defend networks. * *


Predicting the demise of antivirus apps

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| "It's the beginning of the end for antivirus," says Robin Bloor, partner
| at consulting firm Hurwitz & Associates, who adds he began his
| "antivirus is dead" campaign a year ago and feels even more strongly
| about it today. "I'm going to keep beating this drum. The approach
| antivirus vendors take is completely wrong. The criminals working to
| release these viruses against computer users are testing against
| antivirus software. They know what works and how to create variants."

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