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Archive for March, 2010

Microsoft Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities

Source: US-CERT

Microsoft has released out-of-band updates to address critical
vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. Microsoft has released updates for multiple vulnerabilities in  Internet Explorer, including the vulnerability detailed in Microsoft Security Advisory (981374) and US-CERT Vulnerability Note VU#744549.


Apply updates

Microsoft has released updates to address these vulnerabilities.
Please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-018 for more


BitDefender update gone bad brings down PCs worldwide

Source: zdnet

According to an IDG report, users on forum boards started signaling the problem on Saturday evening. The complainants said several Windows files, and the security vendor’s own program files, were identified as “Trojan.FakeAlert.5” malware after they performed an update for their BitDefender AV programs.

In an e-mail update Monday to ZDNet Asia, Vitor Souza, BitDefender’s global communications director, explained that “multiple” BitDefender and Windows files which comprise .exe, .dll and other binary files, were incorrectly detected as malware and “moved to quarantine”.

The faulty updates were applied to the company’s home user product line as well as BitDefender Business Client and BitDefender Security for File Servers. Those using BitDefender’s products from 2008 to 2010, on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 platforms, were affected.

TSA to track your cellphone signal to improve airport security

Source: MobileCrunch

The Transportation Security Administration, ominously known as the TSA, wants to be able to track your cellphone while you go through airport security. It wants to do so in order to better understand how airport security lines work in order to streamline the process. That’s the official reason. We could always jump to conclusions and assume the TSA just wants to know where you are so the government can control your every move. Not even I am that conspiratorial.

The device, which was developed by researchers at Purdue University (and has been on trial at Indianapolis International Airport), keeps track of cellphones’ unique serial number. Every phone out there has a unique number, so officials are able to record, to a pretty accurate degree, how look it took you to go through security. If the findings show that it takes, like, an hour to go from beginning to end, well, then maybe something needs to be fixed about that particular security area.

Vodafone distributes Mariposa botnet

Source: research.pandasecurity

Here is yet another example of a company distributing malware to its userbase. Unfortunately it probably won’t be the last.

Today one of our colleagues received a brand new Vodafone HTC Magic with Google’s Android OS. “Neat” she said. Vodafone distributes this phone to its userbase in some European countries and it seems affordable as you can get it for 0€ or 1€ under certain conditions.

The interesting thing is that when she plugged the phone to her PC via USB her Panda Cloud Antivirus went off, detecting both an autorun.inf and autorun.exe as malicious. A quick look into the phone quickly revealed it was infected and spreading the infection to any and all PCs that the phone would be plugged into.

A quick analysis of the malware reveals that it is in fact a Mariposa bot client.

A Practical Attack to De-Anonymize Social Network Users

Source: hackintheBox

Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Xing have been reporting exponential growth rates. These sites have millions of registered users, and they are interesting from a security and privacy point of view because they store large amounts of sensitive personal user data.

This paper  introduce a novel de-anonymization attack that exploits group membership information that is available on social networking sites. More precisely, show’s information about the group memberships of a user (i.e., the groups of a social network to which a user belongs) is often sufficient to uniquely identify this user, or, at least, to significantly reduce the set of possible candidates.

View the Paper

Hackers target freshly uncovered Internet Explorer hole


Microsoft on Tuesday warned that hackers are targeting a freshly-uncovered weakness in some earlier versions of its Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser software.

Microsoft said it is investigating a hole that cyber attackers are taking advantage of in IE 6 and IE 7.

“At this time, we are aware of targeted attacks attempting to use this vulnerability,” Microsoft said in an advisory posted along with a routine release of patches for Windows and Office software.

“We will continue to monitor the threat environment and update this advisory if this situation changes.”

Hackers could use the flaw to remotely seize control of computers. The new IE 8 Web browser and an old IE 5 version are not affected, according to the US software colossus.

The warning came less than two months after Microsoft released a patch for an IE 6 software hole through which China-based cyber spies attacked Google and other firms.

No matter which Web browser people use, upgrading to the most current version promises to increase protection against hackers.

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