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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Computer Security Updates Week 4 of Dec 2013

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 2 of Dec 2013; the biggest news was a report by USA Today that hackers stole almost 1.6 million login credentials and 320,000 e-mail credentials.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • Press release - Dec 24, 2013 - Accor Hotels Chooses McAfee Next-Gen Firewall for Secure Connections Worldwide
  • Press release- Dec 20, 2013 - Prolexic Opens North Pole DDoS Scrubbing Center.
  • USA Today - Dec 18, 2013 - Tech leaders dialogued with US President on NSA surveillance issues.
  • Press release, Dec 13, 2013 - Kaspersky Academy is calling for innovations
  • Press release, Dec 12, 2013 - Fake Twitter users on the rise; Cost becomes more affordable
  • Press release - Dec 10, 2013 - Kaspersky Internet Security shows great performance in AV- Comparatives testing
  • Dec 10, 2013 - Symantec: Creepware analysis
  • Dec 8, 2013 - Trend Micro 2014 predictions



Press release - Dec 24, 2013 - Accor Hotels Chooses McAfee Next-Gen Firewall for Secure Connections Worldwide

Today, McAfee announced that Accor, one of the largest hotel groups in the world, has chosen its next-generation firewall (NGFW) for the protection and continuity of their IT systems globally.

McAfee NGFW provides unified, modular and flexible network security for every enterprise environment, from corporate headquarters and branch sites to data centers and the network edge.

McAfee’s NGFW is the market-leading product from Stonesoft, which was recently acquired by McAfee to enhance its network security portfolio.

Details.

Press release- Dec 20, 2013 - Prolexic Opens North Pole DDoS Scrubbing Center

Prolexic today announced that it has opened a new office and scrubbing center in the North Pole.

Prolexic’s new scrubbing center opened on November 1 and brings the total to five: North Pole, London, Hong Kong, San Jose, and Ashburn, Va.

Despite coming online only a few weeks ago, Prolexic’s North Pole scrubbing center has already mitigated large amounts of attack traffic to keep the mission-critical website online. According to Scrubbing Center Manager, Inna Openslae, the majority of DDoS attacks have been launched using a sophisticated toolkit known as Grinchruin.

USA Today - Dec 18, 2013 - Tech leaders dialogued with US President on NSA surveillance issues

According to the; report,no-follow,http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/12/17/obama-nsa-google-aol-yahoo/4060461/; tech industry leaders include Apple's CEO, Yahoo! CEO, Facebook COO, Google's Executive Chairman; had a dialogue with US President to discuss on the moving forward strategy to deal with the surveillance issues.

As such, the group requested for: limitation on requests for service providers to disclose user data and to have better transparency into such operations with respect to the public.


Dec 16, 2013 - Instagram Hoax: Over 100,000 Users Repost Bogus Account Deletion Message

Over the weekend, a hoax about mass account deletion made its rounds on photo-sharing app Instagram. A bogus account @activeaccountsafe, posted a photo which claimed to be a privacy policy update from Instagram.

Instagram users need not worry about plans to delete a large number of accounts on December 20, as it was all part of the hoax. Instagram has disabled the account and the hashtag is no longer searchable.

Details.

Press release, Dec 13, 2013 - Become a next-generation security expert – Kaspersky Academy is calling

Want to meet some of the leading specialists involved in today’s dynamic IT industry, get a deeper insight into IT security issues, win cash prizes, connect with like-minded people and lay the foundations for a successful career in IT? Kaspersky Lab offers all these opportunities to students participating in its ‘CyberSecurity for the Next Generation’ conference. This international conference brings together students, IT security experts and university professors, and provides a unique opportunity to try your hand at real research, discuss current IT security problems and establish useful professional connections.

Participation in the conference is free – Kaspersky Lab covers all the organizational costs. To participate, all you need to do is send an application, choose a research topic from one of the recommended areas, hand in your project by the specified deadline, and then defend your work at one of the regional rounds of the conference that take place from December 2013 to April 2014. The winners of the regional rounds receive cash prizes of up to $1500, and are invited to participate in the international final in June 2014. But even those who didn’t win at previous conferences say participation offered so many benefits, including workshops and master classes with Kaspersky Lab experts, lessons in security and public speaking, making new friends and hearing lots of original ideas.

Details.

Press release, Dec 12, 2013 - Fake Twitter users on the rise; Cost becomes more affordable

Barracuda Networks, Inc., today published its latest report on fake Twitter users as part of its continuous efforts to understand the impact of fake accounts on social networks.

Currently 52 sellers on eBay selling Twitter followers who are making fake twitter accounts more affordable too.

63 percent of fake accounts are created by duplicating the information of real users by appending their screen name with a few characters while still using the same profile photo, location and description.

Details.

Press release - Dec 10, 2013 - Kaspersky Internet Security shows great performance in AV- Comparatives testing

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 has received the highest Advanced+ award in the latest independent AV-Comparatives Performance Test (Suite Products) designed to evaluate the impact security software has on PC performance.

AV-Comparatives conducted a series of tests to evaluate the impact security software has on PC performance. Performance was evaluated using two sub-tests and the scores were combined. The scenarios included everyday operations such as copying and archiving files, installing programs, converting music files from one format to another, and other everyday operations performed by PC users. The impact of an antivirus product on system performance was also measured using the specialized application Futuremark PCMark 8 Professional Edition.

A total of 22 solutions participated in the testing conducted on computers running Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit. All the products ran under their default settings. Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 scored 188.8 points out of 190 and earned the Advanced+ rating.

Dec 10, 2013 - Symantec: Creepware analysis

Creepware is also known as Remote access Trojans (RATs)

One example is Pandora RAT detected by Symantec as Trojan.Pandorat.

Pandora, as is common with other RATs, sports an easy-to-use GUI that can be mastered almost instantly by experts and novices alike.

Creepware is big business in the underground economy with a thriving market revolving around the sale of the software. The creepware itself can be purchased from the developers’ own websites or from people advertising on hacking forums. Advertisements for the sale of FUD crypters, JDB generators, and slaves among other things can be found in said forums.

Prices vary for different services. Creepware/RATs can be found for free but the ones that are for sale can cost anything up to $250. Add-on services, such as FUD crypting and setup cost between $20 and $50. As with most things these days, free advice and instructions can easily be found online with plenty of users eager to pass on their knowledge about the best tools, tricks, and methods concerning creepware.
  • FUD – Fully undetectable (by security vendors)
  • Crypter – A tool used to rearrange files in a way that the actual bytes are scrambled, making it difficult to detect
  • JDB – Java drive-by – This involves a Java applet being placed onto a website, when the user visits the site a pop-up will appear asking for user permission. Once permission is given, the creepware is downloaded.
  • Slave – A computer that has been infected with creepware

The following methods may be used to infect computers with creepware:
  • Drive-by downloads – By visiting a website, the user unknowingly downloads the creepware onto their computer
  • Malicious links – Malicious links, leading to websites hosting drive-by downloads, are distributed using social media, chat rooms, message boards, spam email etc. The attacker may also hack user accounts to make it seem like the link is being sent by a friend. Others may try to lure victims by posting enticing messages.
  • Exploit kits – Potential victims may visit compromised websites or click on malicious links and are then redirected to the exploit kit’s server where a script runs that will determine what exploits can be leveraged. If an exploit is viable, the victim is infected with the creepware and the attacker is notified.
  • Peer-to-peer file-sharing/torrents – The creepware server installer is packaged with a file, usually a popular program or game crack, and shared on a file sharing site. Once the file is executed, the creepware server module is installed.
Details.

Dec 8, 2013 - Trend Micro 2014 Predictions
  • Basic 2-step verification will not longer work against mobile MitM attacks
  • Cyber criminals will level up via targeted attack methods
  • Bad actors will increasingly use clickjacking and watering hole tactics, new exploits, and mobile threat vectors
  • One major data breach will occur each month
  • More exploits for Java 6 and Windows XP expected to surface when Microsoft and Oracle end support for these two platforms
  • Bad actors will use the Deep Web to drag law enforcers in a global struggle
  • Privacy will become bigger than the individual; public distrust will ensue
  • Bad actors will continue to await the 'killer app' before jumping onto the loE bandwagon

Details.

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