We’re Not in the Business of Understanding our User

A few years ago I wrote about sometimes your product is useful to people in ways you didn’t know—and that you’d be smart to recognise that and capitalize on itn (What Your Product Does You Might Not Know About, 2007). One of the examples I cited was ZoneAlarm, a very popular firewall that was bought […]

Southeast Asia’s Viral Infection

Southeast Asia is fast developing a reputation as the most dangerous place on the Internet. It’s not a reputation the region can afford to have. By one count Thailand has risen to be the country with the most number of malware infections, by one account, and by another to be the second, all in the […]

Phantom Mobile Threats

How secure is your mobile phone? This is an old bugaboo that folks who sell antivirus software have tried to get us scared about. But the truth is that for the past decade there’s really not much to lose sleep over. That hasn’t stopped people getting freaked out about it. A security conference heard that […]

Evoting? First Bad Omen

I’m in the Philippines to look at their preparations for an automated evoting election in May. This morning’s visit to the hotel’s business center wasn’t a good omen: no antivirus software on their computers. This might not tell us very much about the potential for disaster in an election which is supposed to be entirely […]

The Trojan That Never Was

How not to handle a PR debacle, Part 767: Avast, the free antivirus I’ve been using, and recommending, for while, has lost my confidence by a double whammy: mis-identifying pretty much every executable on my computer as a Trojan, and then not telling me about it. Apparently an update to the software will misidentify a […]

Virus Hits British Defences

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how KL’s airport information system had been infected by a virus. I shouldn’t have gotten so het up. Turns out that the UK’s air force and navy have bigger problems. ITV News reported on Friday that the Ministry of Defence’s computer network has been shut down “because […]

KL’s Airport Gets Infected

If there’s one place you hope you won’t get infected by a computer virus, it’s an airport. It’s not just that the virus may fiddle with your departure times; it’s the wider possibility that the virus may have infected more sensitive parts of the airport: ticketing, say, or—heaven forbid—flight control. Kuala Lumpur International Airport—Malaysia’s main […]

Anti-virus Vendor, Er, Hacked. Serves Up, Er, Viruses

The Japanese arm of antivirus vendor Trend Micro has announced its website had been hacked and its pages modified to service up viruses. In other words, if someone had visited their website chances are they’d have picked up a virus. Not the sort of thing you expect from an antivirus manufacturer, and they’re not being […]

More on Veronica and Fake Flirting

Courtesy of ABC Australia IT guru Paul Wallbank, the source of my chat with Veronica Sexy may have been discovered: an automated sex talk service called CyberLover.ru. Paul points to this story from Conor Sweeney of Moscow’s Reuters bureau: A Russian website called CyberLover.ru is advertising a software tool that, it says, can simulate flirtatious […]

Is That a Virus on Your Phone or a New Business Model?

This week’s WSJ.com column (subscription only) is about mobile viruses — or the lack of them. First off I talked about CommWarrior, the virus any of you with a Symbian phone and Bluetooth switched no will have been pinged with anywhere in the world. CommWarrior isn’t new: It has been around since March 2005. But this isn’t much […]