Laser Blog

Articles tagged "news"

9 Greedy trojan eliminates rivals from your system

Saturday 21st October, 2006

A malware researcher has discovered a trojan which eliminates potential competitors (for bandwidth) by installing and running a modified anti-virus software package. The rival trojans/viruses are tagged for removal on the next reboot. The anti-virus software has been modified to ignore the trojan which installed it.

The SpamThru trojan is used to send spam about stocks and shares. Personally, I have noticed a large increase in this sort of spam recently.


8 Who's in charge of your PC?

Thursday 19th October, 2006

Thanks to Edward Snowden, it is starting to become apparent that almost all governments have a blatant disregard for their citizens' privacy.
Rob. March 2015.

Do you know what's running on your system? The Swiss government are mulling over plans to surreptitiously install trojans onto people's PCs so that they can monitor VOIP transmissions. A trojan is a hidden program running on your computer without your knowledge.

The application, essentially a piece of Trojan code, is also able to turn on the microphone on the target PC and monitor not just VoIP conversations, but also any other ambient audio.
The company claims that the software is able to skirt round any firewalls and evade detection by any antivirus applications already installed on the target machine.

Those claims in the second quote are a bit broad, and certainly not sustainable for the future. The worrying thing is, if the Swiss government is proposing it, what other governments are thinking about it?

The thing about proprietary software is that if a government decides it wants a way in, it's hard for a company, even one like Microsoft, to refuse. Think of the benefits they could gain if a government, wishing to monitor its citizens, decided to actively promote (or decree) the use of software from a single, controllable entity.

With Open Source software, all those little backdoors become visible. Even if you're not a programmer, they become visible to thousands of others who are, and who are conscientious, and who will talk. You still have a choice, for now.


5 BBC - Cracking high-tech crime

Friday 13th October, 2006

The BBC provides a summary of their Cracking hi-tech crime series of articles.

The series finishes with several articles, including Spinning a web to catch a hacker, a introduction to Lance Spitzner and his Honeynet Project. What never ceases to amaze me is the corporate attitude that their image is more important than their data, or their customer's data:

"In some cases when we told them they had been compromised and needed to clean up their systems they just turned around and sent their lawyers after us."

There is a short glossary of tech jargon related to hi-tech crime.

There are also links to a couple of older articles, Tackling the botnets at source and Caught in the net.


4 How to spot a phishing scam

Thursday 12th October, 2006

The BBC's series on Internet crime continues with How to spot a phishing scam. Phishing is a technique to try to get you to hand over confidential information (such as bank website login details). Those of you unfamiliar with phishing may find the hints on detecting a phish useful.


2 Tackling the hackers and the anatomy of spam

Wednesday 11th October, 2006

The next two articles in the BBC honeypot/cracking high-tech crime series continue with Tackling the hackers face-to-face and Anatomy of a spam e-mail.

The first two articles in the series were discussed in an earlier post.

Tackling the hackers face-to-face follows the author onto IRC where he chats with a few hackers, discusses their motives (financial) and their problems (being ripped off!) ... "There is little honour among these thieves". I was interested to see that Paypal is used for transactions between hackers and their customers.

Anatomy of a spam e-mail examines a typical spam e-mail and dissects the various parts. If you're not sure what spam is, this might be useful.