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Research and Markets: The Global Security Software as a Service Market to Grow At A CAGR Of 28.4 Percent over the …

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Security Software as a Service Market 2010-2014

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Lookout claims Symantec crying wolf over Android malware

Researchers from Lookout Security disagreed with rival Symantec that 13 apps on the Android Market were malicious, instead saying that they showed the same behaviours as other ad-supported apps.

Symantec’s Kevin Haley, a director with the company’s security response team, said that 13 apps, including some available in Google’s official download store for at least a month, were created to distribute a Trojan. Named Android.Counterclank, the program modifies the browser’s home page and bookmarks and inserts a search icon that some users have said is impossible to delete, among other things.

Symantec estimated the number of downloads of the 13 apps at between 1 and 5 millions, prompting it to call the campaign the largest Android malware outbreak ever.

Lookout researchers disagreed.

“This is pretty clearly an ad network that’s similar to other ad networks,” said Tim Wyatt, a principal engineer with Lookout, which markets a popular Android-specific security app.

Wyatt declined to identify the network he said was being used by the 13 apps, which originate from three different publishers, and that requests the permissions and exhibits the behaviour Symantec dubbed malicious.

“This ad network does have the capability to enter bookmarks in your browser, which is different from other ad networks,” Wyatt continued. “But a lot of its functionality is being embedded in other apps. Part of the business model of the company that owns the ad network is to add search conducted from apps.”

Wyatt wasn’t ready to call the apps’ bookmark modifications over-the-line conduct, however, saying that Lookout is still investigating the 13 apps, as well as others that relied on different advertising networks for generating revenue for their free programs.

“I can tell you that this code [seen in the 13 apps] is not the only code for doing things like this,” said Wyatt. “There are more than 10 ad networks that we track that have the same functionality.”

Wyatt said that Symantec had “significantly overblown” the story by labelling the apps as Trojan-infected and added that its rival had been “a bit premature” in coming to its conclusions.

Symantec did not respond to a request for comment on Lookout’s assertions.

The debate over what is and what is not malware on Android is reminiscent of the argument years ago between security companies and developers over the term “adware,” a software category that the former believed malicious enough to detect and delete, and that the latter saw as relatively harmless.

Last year, Wyatt said, Lookout had studied “Tonclank,” code that Symantec said was the precursor to Counterclank, and determined that it, too, was not malicious per se, but instead spyware.

Information about Tonclank was first published by Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor in computer science at North Carolina State University, whose team named the code “Plankton” and used the term “botnet” to describe it.

“We thought it was spyware, but then we decided it was a prototype ad network that crosses the line into spyware,” said Wyatt. “Since then, [the ad network] has pulled back from that.”

“We have been looking at exactly this type of behaviour,” added Derek Halliday, a Lookout senior security product manager, referring to Counterclank. “We understand that this type of behaviour can be confusing to the average user, but Symantec is inflating that confusion with messages that it’s malware.”

Wyatt, too, was firm in his belief that apps containing Counterclank are not malicious.

“This does raise questions about what’s acceptable behaviour for apps, but I think it’s fair to say that [these apps] aren’t exhibiting any maliciousness,” Wyatt said. “If you do, you’re getting ahead of yourself.”

Both Wyatt and Halliday said that Lookout’s investigation into Counterclank-using apps is ongoing, and they promised the company would issue a report on them in the upcoming weeks.

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Hacker group Anonymous forces Irish government sites offline over Internet privacy act

Anonymous Sweden has claimed responsibility on Twitter for the over-night shutdown of two Irish government websites. The hacking was used in protest of new copyright legislation that is being considered by Ireland.

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Poll reveals widespread concern over Facebook Timeline

Over 50% of people polled said they are worried about the Facebook Timeline.

But will it be the catalyst for people to leave the site?Poll reveals widespread concern over Facebook Timeline, Blog, Facebook, over, reveals, Timeline, poll, widespread, concern

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Cyber threats looming high over Australian spy agencies

Sydney, Jan 25(ANI): The Independent Review of the Intelligence Community (IRIC) has revealed that a riding wave of information on the internet has been observed.

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NY parolee files federal suit over chase

By Steven Cook The Daily Gazette

ALBANY, N.Y. — A Schenectady parolee has filed suit against the city and three police officers, alleging false arrest and excessive force among other claims. Alexander Marcano, 32, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Albany last week over his arrest in January 2011.

Marcano alleges he suffered injuries at the hands of city police officers after they caught up with him in a chase. Marcano fled, but officers had no probable cause to stop him, the suit alleges.

Officers restrained Marcano with their hands and then with handcuffs, punching him several times before and after the handcuffs were put on him, according to the lawsuit.

"Plaintiff was punched a total of 6-7 times in the face and head," the suit reads.

A third officer then arrived and "stomped on Plaintiff’s face and head with his foot."

Marcano contends that he suffered various cuts and bruises to his face and head, along with injuries to his back and neck.

Named as defendants are the city of Schenectady and officers Michael Hudson, Ryan Kent and Anthony Savignano.

Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said Wednesday he was unfamiliar with the case and couldn’t comment. City Corporation Counsel John Polster could not be reached for comment. Attorney Brian Matula, who represents Marcano, declined comment Wednesday beyond what was in the suit.

The suit alleges that officers, after taking Marcano into custody, questioned him about an unrelated incident that he had nothing to do with. He was not charged in that incident, but was charged with resisting, obstruction and assault, all related to the chase.

All the charges were later dropped, according to the lawsuit. Marcano was, however, ultimately sent back to prison on a parole violation when an administrative law judge found he violated his conditions of parole by not allowing officers to question him and placing himself and others in danger by fleeing.

According to state records, Marcano was on parole from a 1997 first-degree robbery conviction in Schenectady County for which he received a sentence of nine to 18 years.

The conviction stemmed from a St. Patrick’s Day 1996 shooting at the Cumberland Farms at State and Elm streets, newspaper records indicate. Marcano admitted then to shooting at a store clerk twice during a robbery, with one shot grazing the clerk’s head. The clerk was not seriously injured.

Marcano has been in custody since his January 2011 arrest. He could be released on the parole violation as early as May.

Copyright 2012 The Daily Gazette Co.

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Twin Cities man sues Apple, AT&T over data monitoring

In the federal lawsuit, George Howell is alleging that his personal cellphone data on his iPhone were tracked.

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Programmer arrested over $10m software code theft

Stole from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

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Anonymous attacks FBI website over Megaupload raids

American government and entertainment industry websites have been crippled after the "hacktivist" group Anonymous launched a series of cyber attacks in retaliation for the closure of Megaupload.com.

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Video: Police hunt Alabama fan over crude sex prank

Knoxville News Sentinel

NEW ORLEANS — One day after saying they could investigate a video showing apparent abuse of an unconscious LSU fan only if the man filed a complaint, New Orleans police have sent out a wanted poster.

It asks the public to identify a white man described as a person of interest in a sexual battery late Jan. 9 — the night Alabama beat LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship football game in the Superdome.

However, police superintendent Ronal Serpas says police are still investigating whether there was a sexual assault.

The video has gone viral on the Internet. It ends with a man in a red Alabama jacket simulating a sex act on a man who is wearing an LSU-purple T-shirt and who apparently had passed out on a restaurant counter.

Copyright 2012 News Sentinel

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