Monthly Archives:: September 2012


Wirenet: The Password-Stealing Trojan Lands on Linux and OS X

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No matter what people think about it, the increasing exposure of Linux and OS X to malicious code is strictly related to the worldwide exposure of those operating systems on desktops and laptops. In the last couple of years, more and more home users decided to switch to Linux (e.g. Ubuntu Linux, just to name one of the best known Linux distributions) or OS X. Most of these users, when questioned about why they switched from Windows to another operating system, usually answer by blaming Windows’ critical exposure to malware. However, this increasing trend has been followed by many virus […]

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A Primer for Secure Coding in PHP and MySQL

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PHP is an incredibly popular language for creating dynamic web applications — websites such as Facebook are built on it. This can be attributed to many reasons; it is easy to learn, easy to install and does not require the user to compile code. An unfortunate side effect of the ease of development with PHP is a tendency to ignore security during the development process. In this post I will discuss some of the ways to make your PHP apps more secure. I will go through creating a PHP web app that connects to a MySQL back end database. The […]

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New Russian service sells access to thousands of automatically registered accounts

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What happens when a cybercriminal cannot efficiently gain access to thousands of working accounts at popular Web services, either through data mining a botnet’s population, or through phishing campaigns? He’ll just start systematically abusing the legitimate services by automatically and efficiently registering thousands of bogus accounts, thanks to the easy to use India based CAPTCHA-solving operations. In this post I’ll profile a recently launched Russian based service, offering access to thousands of automatically registered accounts at popular Russian social networking sites, and free email services. More details:

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Cybercriminals abuse Skype’s SMS sending feature, release DIY SMS flooders

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Cybercriminals are masters of abusing legitimate infrastructure for their malicious purposes. From phishing sites and Black Hole exploit kit landing URLs hosted on compromised servers, abuse of legitimate web email service providers’ trusted DKIM verified ecosystem, to the systematic release of DIY spamming tools utilizing a publicly obtainable database of user names as potential “touch points”, cybercriminals are on the top of their game. In this post, I’ll profile a recently advertised DIY SMS flooder using Skype’s infrastructure for disseminating the messages, and assess the potential impact it could have on end and corporate users. More details:

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Cybercriminals resume spamvertising bogus greeeting cards, serve exploits and malware

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Remember the recently profiled 123greetings.com themed malicious campaign? It appears that over the past 24 hours, the cybercriminals behind it have resumed spamvertising millions of emails pointing to additional compromised URls in a clear attempt to improve their click-through rates. More details:

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Intuit themed ‘QuickBooks Update: Urgent’ emails lead to Black Hole exploit kit

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It didn’t take long before the cybercriminals behind the recently profiled ‘Intuit Marketplace’ themed campaign resume impersonating Intuit, with a newly launched round consisting of millions of Intuit themed emails. The theme this time? Convincing users that in order to access QuickBooks they would have to install the non-existent Intuit Security Tool. In reality though, clicking on the links points to a Black Hole exploit kit landing URL that ultimately drops malware on the affected hosts. More details:

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Spamvertised ‘Wire Transfer Confirmation’ themed emails lead to Black Hole exploit kit

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Over the past 24 hours, cybercriminals started spamvertising millions of emails impersonating the United Parcel Service (UPS) in an attempt to trick end and corporate users into previewing a malicious .html attachment. Upon previewing it, a tiny iFrame attempts to contact a client-side exploits serving a landing URL, courtesy of the Black Hole web malware exploitation kit. More details:

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