13 Jun AutoRun. Reloaded Konstantin Markov
06 Jun The most sophisticated Android Trojan Roman Unuchek
03 Jun Security policies: portable applications Kirill Kruglov
03 Jun What are children doing online? Konstantin Ignatev
03 Jun Jumcar. Peruvian navy? Who could be behind it? [Third part] Jorge Mieres
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Free WiFi Internet connections are increasingly popular and can be found in hotels, cafes and airports around the world. But it's not always as good as it seems - although I wouldn't say TANSTAAFL, some of today's 'free lunches' come with a serious downside.
What makes me say this? Well, earlier today I was catching a connecting flight at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. While scanning for available WiFi networks I got the following list:
The KPN and Schiphol-Group networks are legitimate but what about the other two?
One thing you might notice is that they're AD-Hoc type networks. This means that they're not really WiFi access points but other computers which have been deliberately named 'Free Public WiFi' and 'US Airways Free WiFi' to tempt users into connecting.
Joining such a network can have a number of unpleasant consequences. If the attacker has Internet access himself, s/he can allow you to get online and then sniff the traffic, potentially getting hold of your passwords and other personal data. And if the attacker doesn't have Internet access, s/he could try to directly hack your computer by using various network-level exploits.
It's easy to spot rogue WiFi links - you just need to look for the following signs:
- an enticing name like 'Free Wifi' or 'Free Internet'
- an AD-Hoc type connection, rather than an access point
To stay safe:
- use a VPN link over any public WiFi internet access link to dial back home and access the internet using a secure proxy over the VPN link
- use only encrypted IMAP e-mail connections to read mail, TLS or SSL
- beware of fake certificates
- use a firewall and IPS or a combined security solution such as KIS7
After blogging about Dutch language spam last week, we've seen more of it yesterday.
The criminals sent out almost the exact same messages that we saw last time, with the same subjects: a girl called Polina looking for a friend and a nuclear accident in Amsterdam. The only differences are that the date of the 'nuclear accident' has been changed, and the spam was sent on a much larger scale.
Once again, the attachment is a new Zbot variant, which we detect as Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.di.
Greetings from Bangkok, Thailand, where the Annual Cyber Defense Initiative Conference, now in its seventh edition, has just ended.
This year the conference was sold out and over 1000 attendees filled the venue, the Central World Plaza. With cybersecurity becoming more important all around the world, it was very nice to see so many people in Thailand security-aware.
I made a speech earlier today on malicious websites and the latest techniques used by cybercriminals. Of course, I also talked about our immediate plans for counteracting them, as well as long term approaches.
The conference comes at the right moment, as Thailand is about to pass a new cybersecurity law which will be a great help in catching and prosecuting cybercriminals.
I must say that there are interesting times in the Netherlands. Normally we don't see Dutch used often in spam and phishing emails, but there's been a real spike the last 10 days.
It began last week on Monday with two simultaneous spam runs in Dutch: one about a supposed nuclear accident in Amsterdam and one purportedly from a girl called Polina who was in need of a 'friend'. Both of these spam runs tried to convince the user to install one and the same codec, which in reality was a Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot variant.
After this incident there was a spam run in Dutch concerning helpnumee.com. This site claimed to be part of the Aids foundation and was asking for donations. Obviously this was a fraud.
And then last night I saw a Dutch phishing email trying to steal Windows Live logins. We've notified the local CERT and hope that the site gets taken down promptly.
The quality of the Dutch varies from incident to incident, but overall has greatly improved over the attacks from six months ago. The Windows Live phishing email was an exception: it was written rather badly. However, the sad reality could be that the attackers are trying to mimic teenage slang as part of their social engineering strategy.
If these incidents are a sign of more to come than I foresee 2008 being a very interesting year for Dutch users.
HMRC [Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs] has mislaid two disks containing personal data on large numbers of people in the UK. It seems the disks became lost in transit between HMRC and the National Audit Office. The disks contain data on Child Benefit recipients and, according to a BBC report
number affected at '25 million individuals and 7.25 million families'.
Anyone concerned about the potential impact of this data loss can find advice on the web site of APACS, the UK payments association.
APACS has pointed out that 'sort code and bank account, national insurance number, date of birth, name and address details are not enough in themselves for an ID fraudster to access your bank account - as additional security information and passwords are always required'
Nevertheless, this data would represent an attractive haul for cyber criminals and provide a range of essential building-blocks needed to build up a comprehensive profile on potential victims.
You can find some basic guidelines for staying safe online here.
In spite of the change of seasons, October's malware miscellany is in some ways remarkably similar to September's, with a number of familiar programs once again making an appearance. Let's take a closer look at the details: