APOLOGY – Our news server went crazy, lots of emails sent

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Everyone,      Just wanted to touch base to let everyone know what was going on.  We get our news via feeds from a number of 'geek news' type websites.  When we see news that we need to pass along to you, we try to post it as quick as we can to get the information out there.  We were experimenting with a tool that would post the news directly to our news site but things got a little sideways.  We were able to pull the plug pretty quick but, before we did, there were several emails that had already made it out.  We have addressed the issue (and won't do that again) but I wanted to reach out and apologize for the deluge of SPAM.
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Potentially massive hole in Adobe Acrobat that pierces the (previously solid) sandbox.

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Details are sparse at this point but the linked article has a video demonstrating the vulnerability being exploited.  According to the article, this vulnerability a) affects even fully up-to-date installations of Adobe Acrobat b) with Protected Mode on and c) with Javascript disabled.  Additional details are sure to come but, for now, be extremely cautious with PDF files. http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/11/zero-day-attack-reportedly-pierces-key-adobe-reader-defense
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Microsoft and Adobe update / patch cycles in sync? Maybe.

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According to this article at ZDNet, it looks like Microsoft and Adobe may be in the process of syncing up their patch release cycles (in reality, this looks more like Microsoft is going to continue business as usual and Adobe is going to begin releasing regular updates in concert with the Microsoft monthly updates).  This would be significant because many Microsoft users are already 'conditioned' to look for updates on the second Tuesday of each month (Patch Tuesday).  Adobe is, by most counts, the number 2 target for viruses and malicious software and it's high rate of compromise can be directly attributed to users just not installing updates (how many of you still have Adobe Reader 10, or Adobe Reader 9 or earlier?).   We see a considerable spike in…
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Kaspersky names java top attack target

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Two questions that I suspect that we'll be fielding on this are a) why is that important and b) why should you care.  I'll try to quickly address both here but don't hesitate to let me know if I've missed anything. Why is that important?  Simply put, you've probably got Java installed and, unless you've updated it in the past 5 minutes (ok, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point), you're likely vulnerable to at least one of the many attacks out there.   Why should I care?  Again, simply put, Java is one of the biggest (currently ranked by Kaspersky as THE biggest) vulnerability being exploited by cyber criminals to install malware.   Now, the question that you likely didn't ask is what you need to do about it.…
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What do viruses do on my computer, anyway? Why is it so important for me to install updates? Why are these two things related?

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This is a follow-up to my earlier article 'How do people make money off of Viruses' and is from an Internet Storm Center diary entry describing very simply what viruses do.  Basically, the author has noticed some questionable traffic on his network that the antivirus completely missed and, after some investigating, found that the virus on the computer was transmitting data to a server in the Ukraine every time the computer visited a website (think bank, gmail, etc.).  Further investigation confirmed that the virus was installed after the user visited a newspaper website that happened to have a poisoned ad displayed on it (starting to sound familiar?).  It's a very quick read and good insight into why it is so incredibly important to keep your computer up-to-date.   Article - http://isc.sans.edu/diary.html?storyid=14428
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Windows 8 already compromised?

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Ok, for the record, our stance on new Microsoft operating systems is (and always has been) to hold off until at least Service Pack 1 and let someone else find all of the undocumented features.  There have been a few exceptions here (Windows 98SE [yes, it was technically a new release and not a SP for Windows 98] from Windows 95, Windows 200 from Windows ME [uggggh, what a horrible thing that was] and Windows 7 from Windows Vista [or, as we refer to it, Windows ME2]).  All in all though, it's not a good idea to be an early adopter of a new Windows Operating System.  Window 8 is really no different and it should come as no surprise that Vupen has already found a zero day in the…
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What *else* could (should?) antivirus software do?

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I saw this article today and it hit me that, dang, that would be an awesome tool to have from the antivirus, rather than having to try to go all CSI (from the article) to see what had been changed and, perhaps more importantly, how long ago it had been changed (2 seconds prior to the pop-up or 2 months ago, and it's been piping data to the attacker ever since).  There are server-side tools that can be installed to do this kind of thing (think tripwire and the like) but, for a simple workstation, I'm not aware of anything that will actually alert you when something was changed, only when it (the anti-virus tool) notices it.
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How do people make money off of viruses? Read on…

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A question that we get asked regularly is "How do people make money from viruses?".  This is a topic that, for many, is hard to get their brain around.  I've covered several ways to 'monetize' malware in the past but saw this article this morning and wanted to share it with a quick op-ed. The article basically takes a look at malware designed to 'steal' money from advertisers by faking clicks (e.g., an advertiser pays to advertise on a page and is billed based on the number of people that 'click' on the advertising link).  This is only one way that criminals have found to monetize malware but the article does an excellent job of demonstrating how it works.   The article also gives a good cross section of the…
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