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French iOS hacker Pod2g comes up with yet another major announcement, revealing that he has discovered two new vulnerabilities that are expected to help create the much-awaited untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.1.
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The Mac Flashback Trojan was still installed on more than half a million Apple computers late last week and is declining only slowly, Russian security company Dr. Web has reported.
Although all security companies now agree that the best days of Flashback (or ‘Flashflake’) are now behind it, the new numbers suggest a greater level of infection than that has been reported by rivals.
Measured by UUID device identifiers, Dr. Web now believes that at its greatest extent the bot was around 817,000 machines, with an average of 550,000 contacting the command and control servers during any 24-hour period.
By 19 April the bot was communicating with 566,000 Macs, down from 673,000 three days earlier, still considerably higher than Symantec’s estimate last week that the bot’s size had shrunk to 270,000 infected systems, and Kaspersky’s figure of 237,000 on 14 and 15 April.
Some of the confusion could be down to measuring the bot using either IP addresses or device IDs (UUIDs), and doing so at different points in time.
However, Dr. Web thinks it has a better explanation for the understands this discrepancy, which, it said, has to do with attempts by an unnamed entity (presumably a security company) to block the bot’s activity.
Infected bots had been connecting to a server at 126.96.36.199, which was putting them into a suspended state. All machines doing this would no longer be able to communicate and be registered as ‘active’ by security company sinkholes despite still being infected.
“This is the cause of controversial statistics — on one hand, Symantec and Kaspersky Lab reported a significant decline in the number of Backdoor.Flashback.39 bots, on the other hand, Dr. Web repeatedly indicated a far greater number of bots which didn’t tend to decline considerably,” the company argued.
At least one security company — Mac security specialist Intego — agrees with Dr. Web’s contention that Flashback’s infection numbers have recently been underestimated.
“Intego has analyzed the malware, and, following discussions with other security companies, has determined that not only are these numbers [the lower estimates] incorrect, they are underestimating the number of infected Macs,” the company announced in a Friday blog post.
If this is correct, it does at least mean that while infected, these machines are now dormant and presumably beyond the control of the bot controllers.
On Friday, Kaspersky offered more information on how the malware was able to infect its victims through WordPress blog sites that had been compromised to host a malware redirection script.
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Botnets, hacking and the exposure of personal details are price of having superfast internet On one dimly-lit floor of the towering central Seoul headquarters of Korea’s National Police Agency, dozens of hard drives and mobile phones sit on shelves awaiting dissection. Officials flit between cubicles, comparing notes, as above their heads massive LCD screens churn out graphs and charts for …
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Jude Law, right, in the film Contagion. Photo: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
WHEN Professor Ian Lipkin was first approached to work on a movie about a pandemic virus, he was wary.
”Every few years a filmmaker imagined a world in which a virus transformed humans into flesh-eating zombies,” he recalled in The New York Times, ”or scientists discovered and delivered the cure for a lethal infectious disease in an impossibly short period of time.”
But director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) assured him it would be different; that he and his writer wanted their movie Contagion (opening next month in Australia, starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law) to convey the real risks of a global outbreak, more terrifying than zombies.
Lipkin wanted those risks to come across. The growth of international travel, the growing interface of animals and humans, make us more vulnerable than ever to devastating infection. Shots in the film linger on such banal horrors as a metal pole on a crowded bus, contaminated by the sweaty, feverish hand of a character battling a killer virus ready to transmit to a new host.
”All of us are in a battle that is potentially devastating,” Lipkin wrote. ”Could a movie be an effective vehicle for sounding the alarm?”
He signed on as a paid technical consultant. He and his colleagues ”constructed” a new virus that could wreak havoc, basing it on the Nipah virus which jumped from bats to pigs to humans in Malaysia in the late 1990s, killing more than 100 people before it was contained. Lipkin and his colleagues mixed in Australia’s own Hendra virus, and upped the level of contagion. As the script developed, the writers even based a character on Lipkin — played by Elliot Gould.
Lipkin’s team built a 3D model of the agent for use in the film, and calculated how it would spread around the world, based on Lipkin’s experience of SARS. He advised how governments and medical experts would react, their likely successes and failures. Lipkin helped actors get access to real-life laboratories so they could practise using medical and research equipment. He advised Gwyneth Paltrow, who asked him, ”What does a seizure look like?” and told her to tone it down from the Hollywood cliche.
He spent weeks on set correcting little bits of dialogue or pointing out where people should stand in a lab setting. He even insisted a scene in which a doctor gives herself an injection through her trousers was re-shot.
”They tried to persuade me that it was OK — that she’s in a real hurry,” Lipkin said. ”And I said, ‘No, no, she’s not in that much of a hurry’.”
In the end, Lipkin still has quibbles with the science of Contagion. For example (spoiler alert), the eventual vaccine is produced too quickly. But he’s happy that it’s Hollywood’s best effort yet on his turf, and that the ”nerds” of the film are its heroes, perhaps making science more attractive as a career.
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BOSTON, Sep. 7, 2011 -Trusteer, the leading provider of cybercrime prevention solutions, today announced new versions of the four products which make up its Cybercrime Prevention Architecture. The new capabilities remove malicious exploits in web page content, fingerprint fraudster machines attempting to access protected web applications, protect iOS and Android mobile devices from financial malware, and provide real-time data feeds on new malware attacks. Trusteer’s Intelligence Center also warned today that a second non-financial malware variant has been retrofitted with fraud capabilities and is abusing its large installed base of infected machines to attack global financial institutions.
Trusteer is still investigating this new financial malware, which it has temporarily named Shylock. Unlike the non-financial malware Ramnit which Trusteer reported last month had turned into a fraud platform, Shylock doesn’t incorporate tactics from the infamous Zeus Trojan. It appears criminals have custom developed financial fraud capabilities for Shylock.
Shylock uses unique mechanisms not found in other financial malware toolkits, including:
– An improved method for injecting code into additional browser processes to take control of the victim’s computer
– A better evasion technique to prevent malware scanners from detecting its presence
– A sophisticated watchdog service that allows it to resist removal attempts and restore operations
“As with all financial fraud toolkits, Shylock’s detection rate among anti-malware solutions and fraud detection systems is extremely low,” said Amit Klein Trusteer’s CTO. “The ability of cyber criminals to develop, distribute, and operate new tools under the radar of the industry is troubling. Enterprises and individuals continue to rely on security architectures that were designed 20 years ago and have limited value in protecting their critical assets against cybercrime attacks.”
New Trusteer Cybercrime Prevention Architecture
Faced with the continually advancing sophistication of cybercrime attack methods, financial institutions and enterprises require endpoint protection against zero-day malware and phishing attacks, as well as real-time actionable intelligence they can automatically feed into layered fraud prevention and security systems. Trusteer’s Cybercrime Prevention Architecture (TCPA) and Trusteer’s Intelligence Center combine to deliver 24×7 detection and blocking of new attacks, which has included the discovery of the Shylock, Ramnit, SunSpot, and Oddjob financial malware platforms.
Trusteer today announced the following new versions the core products that make up the TCPA:
Trusteer Rapport — The leading cybercrime prevention software for PCs and Macs has been enhanced with exploit prevention capabilities which monitors webpages loaded into the browser and removes malicious content that tries to exploit vulnerabilities in the browser or its add-ons. Trusteer has also added a new rapid response cycle into Rapport which updates its entire customer base within ten minutes when a new threat is detected. Trusteer Rapport already prevents malware toolkits from installing on the computer and accessing information inside the browser. It also detects malware activity and removes the files associated with it.
Trusteer Pinpoint — This client-less login and transaction anomaly detection solution can now detect and alert customers when fraudster machines attempt to access protected web applications. Using a network of sensors deployed at multiple large financial websites, Trusteer Pinpoint is capable of fingerprinting and building a database of machines that are owned by fraudsters. This capability supplements Pinpoint’s existing ability to detect when users attempt to access web applications with a machine that is infected with malware.
Trusteer Mobile — In addition to iOS, now supports Android and the upcoming iOS 5 platform. Trusteer is currently the only vendor to provide a solution that protects both iOS and Android devices against cybercrime committed using malware and phishing attacks.
Trusteer Situation Room — Trusteer’s Online Fraud Intelligence and Risk Analysis Service has been enhanced with a new interface that allows financial institutions and large enterprise to access real-time data and generate alerts on cybercriminal activity and new attack methods that target specific organizations.
“Trusteer’s leadership position in the cybercrime prevention market allows us to be exposed first to global fraud patterns and exploits. This intelligence, combined with our continuous innovation, is what keeps us ahead of cybercriminals,” said Mickey Boodaei Trusteer’s CEO. “Cybercrime methods have reached a level of sophistication which now requires organizations be able to rapidly assess the threat level of each new attack and quickly respond with appropriate counter measures. Trusteer’s Cybercrime Prevention Architecture provides the protection, detection and intelligence infrastructure that allows customers to respond with speed to attacks using programmable behaviors, not blacklist approaches.”
Trusteer’s Cybercrime Prevention Architecture with the new versions of Trusteer Rapport, Trusteer Pinpoint, Trusteer Mobile and Trusteer Situation Room is available now.
Trusteer is the leading provider of cybercrime prevention solutions that protect organizations against financial fraud and data breaches. Hundreds of organizations and millions of end users rely on Trusteer to protect their computers and mobile devices from online threats that are invisible to legacy security solutions. Trusteer’s Cybercrime Prevention Architecture combines multi-layer security software and real-time threat intelligence to defeat zero-day malware and phishing attacks, and help organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements. Leading organizations such as HSBC, Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, SunTrust and Fifth Third are among Trusteer’s clients. For more information visit: www.trusteer.com.
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