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January 14, 2008

Inside Security News
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» Security grows a year older, so what!

We wish a happy new year to all the computer users who read this blog and those who do not, *smile*. This year has started off just great: from (1) more sophisticated bank attacks that incorporate altered bank sites that post your details to the Wiley hackers [1], to (2) the latest stealthy Windows virus [2] that loads its self in the MBR (Master Boot Record) and loads rootkit technology to hide its activity, to (3) the great Windows TCP/IP stack vulnerabilities [3] (3 in total), right up to the (4) hacks, tricks, defacements, data loses and many more that have not yet been made public [fill in your own references here]. All very original and innovative; wait a minute, thinking out loud: why don’t we have awards for the most innovative security vulnerabilities?

You could almost say that you love watching ‘security’ grow up. It has become a teenager, in its own right, and it does its best to go out and about creating havoc here and there, like teens do. One must not forget the all mighty parent that tries to implement order [4] in the teenager’s havocy mind. None the less, more and more is being done in the area of security and be that good (i.e., lawful) or bad (i.e., unlawful) it is becoming more of an issue to people who exercise the profession and the ones that just create headaches.

This year we wish good luck to the lawful ones (they are going to need it) and what ever the unlawful do, be aware or not!

P.S. And NO, having Jeremy Clarkson [5] give £500 to a Diabetes UK charity after publishing his bank details claiming that loosing your bank details is nothing serious, is not innovative enough. It surely serves him right, proving that security professionals can be right, now and then at least.

Hoping once again that your bank and other private details stay at home, with you, and not with some third party scammer...

Links Used:

[1] Extremely convincing phishing attack - http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=5720

[2] Warning on stealthy Windows virus - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7183008.stm
and Trojans that use a new form of attack with rootkits - http://www.net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=902

[3] Microsoft Patches Three Windows Security Holes - http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2008/01/microsoft_patches_three_window_1.html?nav=rss_blog

[4] UK gov sets rules for hacker tool ban - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/02/hacker_toll_ban_guidance/

[5] Clarkson stung after bank prank - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7174760.stm

November 8, 2007

Inside Security News
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» Transformers hacked the world (Hollywood America, sorry)

I went and saw Transformers on Friday (and Sunday, it was that good!). What has this got to do with computer security? Well in the movie you have a bunch of alien robots trying to find a cube. The humans had found and hidden it. So the robots go on to the government network (once from an army base and once from Air Force One) and get on the network, after hacking through their security in a matter of seconds, and try to find clues to where it is.

After finding the relevant information and while it is being downloaded a special virus is also uploaded. This virus is resilient to any anti-virus and adapts to newer heuristics. It is a time bomb and at the appropriate time disables all the networks and communication channels.

Talk about Artificial Intelligence, alien life forms experienced in hacking networks and Critical National Infrastructures. Other relevant movie information included the robots reverse engineering car schematics to transform into them (I wonder if they had problems with the relevant companies’ copyright policy) and a sound expert (called a hacker) who found and translated special symbols to readable English (in a matter of seconds). Then again it is a fast moving movie with hardly any boring bits. 

What it boils down to is that the hacking parts are not as cool and thought out as usual in Hollywood movies. The movie still rocks (especially if you like cars, robots and fighting and best of all not a drop of blood, great for kids).