Bugs & Viruses Archive

Securing IE

There's been a lot of hoopla about Firefox lately, and its security/privacy benefits over IE. However, here this guide can lead you to tools and practices that will make IE safer to use, for those who don't want to stop using IE.

Students Find 44 Unix Flaws as Homework

University students tasked with finding flaws in Unix applications as homework have uncovered 44 bugs. But since the University of Illinois at Chicago students were asked by tutor Daniel Bernstein to find 10 bugs each, most will likely flunk his Unix Security Holes course. The assignment counted for 60 per cent of the marks available to the 25 students taking the course.

Millions of Bagles Knock out Windows Firewall

Earlier this year Microsoft released a major security update for Windows XP, which was designed to strengthen the operating system’s defences against attack from viruses and hackers. One major part of the update was an improved version of its firewall software. Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at antivirus firm Sophos, said the latest Bagle variants are designed to attack and disable Microsoft’s new firewall application.

Is Virus Vulnerability Merely a Result of Popularity?

It's an oft-repeated maxim that one of the reasons that Windows operating systems are plagued by so many viruses, worms, and security exploits is because they are so popular. Extrapolating on this, many have remarked that if Linux, MacOS, or other OSes become more popular, they will attract the attention of virus writers. That may be true, but the increased attention will not necessarily yield the same quantity of viruses and other exploits, says a Register article. Update: Rebuttal article.

NYT Writer Repents for Oversimplifying Security

New York Times writer David Pogue recently wrote an article about the recent rash of computer viruses in which he stated the old maxim that most viruses target windows because it's the dominant platform. Welcome to the OS Wars, Pogue. In a follow-up column, he notes that he received quite an education on the subject from readers who emailed him in, and notes that he's learned that Unix-based/Unix-like OSes like OSX and Linux are inherently more virus-proof for several reasons.

Windows Flaws Allow PC Takeover

Microsoft identified three vulnerabilities in Windows on Wednesday that could have a similar effect to that of the dreaded MSBlast worm of August. The flaws, which affect Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and the 64-bit versions of Windows XP, are the latest in a string of critical weaknesses identified in Windows recently.

IBM Squashes Worms

IBM researchers in Zurich, Switzerland, have developed novel worm-squashing software the company says it wants to turn into a product to help guard against computer-network attacks such as those that slowed Internet traffic earlier this month . . . The system uses a unique approach to detecting malicious software by looking at traffic flowing to Internet addresses that aren't assigned to specific computers, trying to isolate computers on a network that attempt to infect others