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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 past few months. PandaLabs’ report on the second quarter of 2011 [PDF] lists Thailand as having the second highest rate of malware infection (after China) with nearly 57% of computers scanned by their antivirus software as being infected. The global average is about 40%. Thailand was second in the previousContinue readingSoutheast Asia’s Viral Infection

Stuck on Stuxnet

By Jeremy Wagstaff (this is my weekly Loose Wire Service column for newspaper syndication) We’ve reached one of those moments that I like: When we’ll look back at the time before and wonder how we were so naive about everything. In this case, we’ll think about when we thought computer viruses were just things that messed up, well, computers. Henceforward, with every mechanical screw-up, every piston that fails, every pump that gives out, any sign of smoke, we’ll be asking ourselves: was that a virus? I’m talking, of course, about the Stuxnet worm. It’s a piece of computer code–about the size of half an averageContinue readingStuck on Stuxnet

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 international airport—was on Friday infected by the W32.Downadup worm, which exploits a vulnerability in Windows Microsoft patched back in October. The worm, according to Symantec, does a number of things, creating an http server on the compromised computer, deletes restore points, downloads other file and then starts spreading itself toContinue readingKL’s Airport Gets Infected

Do Viruses Really Cost This Much?

Mi2g, the British-based security consultancy that seems to court controversy and a fair amount of ridicule, has issued a press release (it doesn’t seem to be up yet) that is likely to prompt similar reactions: “USD 166 billion malware damage in 2004”, the headline reads: The total economic damage from malware – viruses, worms and trojans – in 2004 is estimated to lie between USD 169 billion and USD 204 billion, making 2004 the worst year on record by a wide margin according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit, the world leader in digital risk. 2003 did not log even half of the malware economic damageContinue readingDo Viruses Really Cost This Much?

More On The New Bagle

Here’s some more stuff from The Inquirer about the new Bagle worm (AV firm warns of fresh Bagle variant), which quotes F-Secure as saying it has issued a level two alert for a variant of Bagle which it said is propagating like crazy across the world. Some details: The firm said Bagle.AT is a polymorphic worm arriving in emails and with a number of different headers. It’s similar to the other Bagles around, and attaches itself to emails as a .EXE file with .com, .exe, .scr and .cpl extensions. Typical text strings include “delivery service mail”, “delivery by mail”, “registration is accepted”, “is delivered mail”Continue readingMore On The New Bagle

MyDoom Anniversary: Another Big Attack In The Offing?

Today’s the first anniversary of the MyDoom.A worm. According to an email I received earlier today from MessageLabs, ‘the world’s leading provider of email security services to business’, it was a day that “changed the virus landscape forever”: 27 January 2005 – At 13.26pm on 26 January 2004, MessageLabs,  intercepted its first copy of W32/MyDoom.A. Within the first twenty-four hours, the company had stopped over 1.2 million copies. MyDoom.A, which achieved a peak infection rate of 1 in 12 emails, has proved to represent a landmark in the history of computer viruses, and the legacy lives on.. I’m not sure whether this is just aContinue readingMyDoom Anniversary: Another Big Attack In The Offing?

Russia Gets Serious About Its Virus Writers?

Is Russia finally getting serious about its virus writers? Kaspersky Labs and F-Secure, two anti-virus manufacturers, report that Evgenii Suchkov (or Eugene Suchkov, sometimes known as Whale or Cityhawk) has been found guilty of writing two viruses, Stepar and Gastropod. Suchkov was sentenced in the Russian republic of Udmurtia, and while he was only fined 3,000 rubles ($100) — a sentence which has attracted some derision — Kaspersky’s analyst reckons now “Russian virus writers know that they are not always going to be able to hide from the law. And the world knows that Russia is doing something about virus writing”. Suchkov, it appears, isContinue readingRussia Gets Serious About Its Virus Writers?

This week’s column – Beat the bugs

This week’s Loose Wire column is about cleaning viruses: IF YOUR COMPUTER is infected by a virus, Trojan, worm or some other nasty slice of code, never fear: Worst comes to worst, you can call on a 60-year-old retired Australian lab technician who goes by the on-line nickname of Pancake. Though he wouldn’t put it this way himself, Ed Figg (his real name) is living proof of the failure of anti-virus companies, firewall manufacturers and Microsoft to keep us safe from viruses. Given that we each spend about $100 a year for software to protect our computers, you’d think that would leave us safe. ButContinue readingThis week’s column – Beat the bugs

Beware Evaman

The Sydney Morning Herald is warning of a new Doomsday with ”a new internet virus is expected to clog mail servers, cause severe slowdown and wreak financial damage as it spreads rapidly around the world when businesses return to work today”. It is a mass-mailer worm called Evaman, and Symantec is likening it to MyDoom, using a false email address to generate messages with an attachment that carries the virus. By opening the attachment, recipients “unleash the virus onto their computer, where it automatically starts sending out dozens of new messages”. As with an increasing number of these viruses, the worry is that the infection rateContinue readingBeware Evaman

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