"For about 20 years now we've been using the term computer viruses to describe self-replicating programs. Although such programs had previously been found on Apple computers, viruses entered the PC world in early 1986 with the Brain virus."
Bugs & Viruses Archive
"Lately I've been blogging quite a bit on the state of on-line journalism. One aspect of that topic that I haven't touched on for awhile is the way in which a story breaks, builds, morphs and spreads electronically. The recent announcement of the Backdoor.Ginwui virus provides an interesting opportunity to do this once again, in order to see who addressed the story and how (including by me), and what, if anything, it all means." OSNews did not report on this Backdoor.Ginwui virus.
Virus researchers at Kaspersky Lab have found proof-of-concept code for a cross-platform virus capable of infecting both Windows and Linux systems. In an alert posted to Viruslist, Kaspersky said the sample virus has been given a dual name - Virus.Linux.Bi.a/ Virus.Win32.Bi.a - and highlighted the way attackers are targeting multiple platforms in malware attacks. "The virus doesn't have any practical application," the company said in the alert. "It's classic proof-of-concept code, written to show that it is possible to create a cross-platform virus."
Alerts went out Tuesday from several security companies warning users of an in-the-wild Trojan horse able to infect nearly any cell phone. The Trojan, named Redbrowser.a by McAfee, F-Secure, and the discovering vendor Kaspersky Labs, can attack any device - smart phone, PDA, or cell phone - that runs Java 2 Micro Edition, Sun Microsystem's version for consumer electronics devices.
"Virtual Bugzilla server is a virtual machine with pre-installed Bugzilla. Instead of spending hours (sometimes days) installing Bugzilla, why not just download a ready-to-use server? Virtual Bugzilla server is a VMWare virtual machine. You will need a free VMWare Player to run the server."
Trading was suspended for an hour at Russia's main stock exchange because of a computer virus, the Russian Trading Systems, or RTS, said Friday. Data processing was paralyzed late Thursday afternoon as specialists rushed to localize the virus and switch off the infected computer, according to a statement from the exchange. No permanent damage was caused and no information was lost. Spokeswoman Zoya Konovkova said it was not clear what virus had led to the shutdown. According to RTS vice president Dmitry Shatskoi, the virus entered the system via a computer used to test new software, which was connected to the Internet.
Security watchers say the Kama Sutra worm, which is programmed to overwrite files on infected Windows PCs today, will have a damaging but not catastrophic effect. The Kama Sutra worm (or Nyxem-E or Blackworm) poses as an email message offering a variety of salacious content. Subject lines used in the malicious emails include: The Best Videoclip Ever, Fw: SeX.mpg, Miss Lebanon 2006 and Fuckin Kama Sutra pics. The worm, which can also spread across network shares, only affects Windows PCs.
While the most high-profile security vulnerability of late was almost certainly the WMF hole recently patched by Microsoft, in terms of actual numbers of infections it was barely a blip on the radar. According to the anti-virus company F-Secure, one of the most populous and dangerous infections today is not some sophisticated bit of code exploiting a new and exotic security hole, but an old-school e-mail worm written in Visual Basic that spreads by tempting users with free pornography.
"It was during the opening weeks of 1986 that the first PC virus, called Brain, was discovered in the wild. Though it achieved fame because it was the first of its type, the virus was not widespread as it could only travel by hitching a ride on floppy disks swapped between users. Now 20 years after they first appeared there are more than 150000 malicious programs in existence."
Users of Windows who have set the Automatic Updates option to "Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them" were surprised to find that the latest WMF patch had overridden these settings and not only installed the patch, but rebooted the machines as well.
Tests at Microsoft's Linux lab show that counting the raw number of security updates required by the various operating system flavors is not as meaningful as examining the efficiency of the update process.
Virus writers are exploiting Sony's controversial anti-piracy software to hide their malicious creations. In late October Sony was found to be using stealth techniques to hide software that stopped some of its CDs being illegally copied. Now three virus variants have been found that use the Sony software to evade detection by anti-virus programs. The rootkit is also installed on Mac OS X systems.
This article lists the 10 worst software bugs in computing history. "In 1945, engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system. The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer's logbook with the words: "first actual case of a bug being found."
Microsoft has paid two unnamed informers $250,000 for help in tracking down the author of the Sasser worm. The Sasser worm infected over 18 million computers worldwide within its first week in the wild, costing businesses estimated millions.
Anti-spyware advocates cry foul as the popular peer-to-peer protocol becomes the latest mechanism for the stealthy distribution of adware/spyware bundles.
Many virus attacks aren't really exploiting weaknesses in your operating sytem: they're simply tricking you into telling the OS to do things that it shouldn't do. The OS is just doing its job, executing code when you say so. Researchers at HP Labs are working on a solution to this problem using the Principle of Least Authority, or POLA -- "limiting the rights of each program to only the ones needed for the job the user wants done"
When is a virus not a virus? When it's a piece of spyware. Spyware - also known as advertising-supported software or adware - has been until recently a fairly benign snooper on your surfing habits. The data it gathers from your visit is used to target you with tailored advertising, either in pop-up windows or emails. read more
With the increasing convergence of phone and network aware devices, come new and often unnoticed threats. Features such as built-in cameras, wireless networking, Bluetooth, calendars, phone books, all present their own particular problems, and associated risks. My Take: Some claim that mobile devices are developed with less security in mind than any desktop OS ever was and that this will bite back users in a few years when the "mobile platform" becomes less diverse and instead more compatible.
The UK security research company, Secunia said that it has found a critical security flaw in Firefox web-browser that could put users at risk of information disclosure attacks. In other security news, a variant of the Cabir mobile virus, which was developed at first to prove it is possible, called Mabir, has been targeting mobile phones using Symbian Series 60 operating systems.
Virus and Trojan warnings have been coming fast and furious from anti-virus researchers, but some say the market for cell phone anti-virus software does not yet exist.