Facebook exploits

Published by dave at 9:24 PM under computers | Current Threats | Malware | Internet | Daily Tips | Facebook

You may have read this week how Facebook had disabled a number of accounts of people in an attempt to weed out spam accounts (particularly targeting "female" user accounts).   In what appears to be an attempt to exploit the fact many legitimate accounts were inadvertently disabled, hackers have spammed an attack pretending to be from Facebook notifying you that your account password has been changed.  While there are a number of subject lines associated with the spam, they all carry a ZIP file with malicious payload known as Mal/BredoZp-B, and the Trojan horse contained within as Troj/Agent-PLG.

Once again this is an attempt to cause havoc through social engineering and deception.  Do not open the attached file or any attachment that seems suspicious.  Here is sample text of the email you may receive:

Good afternoon.

A spam is sent from your Facebook account.
Your password has been changed for safety.

Information regarding your account and a new password is attached to the letter.
Read this information thoroughly and change the password to complicated one.

Thank you for your attention,
Facebook Service.



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Black Friday and the looming Google Instant Security threat

I have previously warned that "Google Instant" may pose serious risks.   Now news from Pandalabs of some serious malicious code that could well spoil your holidays ahead.

Though mundane, this is "Must Read" material.

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The truth about Macintosh

Published by dave at 8:08 AM under computers | Malware | Linux | MAc OSX | Microsoft Operating Systems | Opinion

Nearly every day I'm asked what I think about Macs, and everyday I give the same answer: Excellent on "cool" factor, and an even BETTER marketing scam.

It's a capable computer, don't get me wrong. It's just more than a little over-hyped and over-priced. I've worked with Macs and even thought of owning one, but the more I know, the less interesting Mac is to me. So what turns me off most about Mac? That's a tough call. It could be the smug passive-aggressive "elitist complex" of loyalists. It could be the clever and downright deceptive nature of it's advertising. At the end of the day I would have to say it is for both of these reasons I will probably never own a Mac.

If you've ever talked computers with a true Mac "fanboy", you know what I mean when I say they make every attempt to make you feel STUPID and inferior for using anything other than Mac. And then there is the advertising. Notice how those clever "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads are geared towards fear and loathing? "Mac is better because it's 'safer' and easier to use"! Not so fast.

If you're thinking about purchasing a Mac so you don't have to worry about things like computer viruses, worms, spyware and other malicious threats, then you are making the purchase for the wrong reason. Most threats succeed through social engineering. They succeed by luring the casual user into a trap. If you can be fooled using a PC, you can be fooled using a Mac as well. In fact, you're probably MORE vulnerable with the Mac because of the false sense of security Apple trumpets in it's marketing campaigns.

The simple truth is, a properly maintained and protected PC is no more vulnerable than a Mac. Hundreds of new security threats emerge monthly and they aren't all targetted at Windows. In fact, the more Apple's share of the market grows, the more new threats targeting the Macintosh platform emerge.

Today Apple is releasing a massive patch to repair 58 security vulnerabilities that could allow a remote user to gain complete control of an unpatched system running OS X. That is NOT a typo. Fifty-eight security vulnerabilities for this patch cycle alone! That is a lot of potential damage to be done. So much for not needing to worry about malicious software on a Mac. Read about it here.

If you own a Mac, make sure you get the patch. If you're thinking about owning a Mac (or for that matter a new Windows 7 PC), make sure you have all the facts before parting with your hard earned money.

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Beware of shiny objects

Published by dave at 7:58 AM under computers | Internet | Microsoft Operating Systems | Opinion | privacy | technology

You're living in a cave if you haven't at least heard about G's intention to "build" a new computer Operating System based on their highly promoted and little used "Chrome" web browser.  Based on the reaction in the blogosphere, there doesn't seem to be a lot of "wait and see" attitude from the people actually paying attention to this stuff.   The Google fanboys and girls have soiled themselves in naivete` while the nay sayers are raising privacy concerns and question the motivation of such a plan.  Drudge went so far as to headline it as a "death blow" to Redmond, WA based Microsoft.   God knows Drudge has never been over the top.

I'm open minded enough to wait and see what ultimately comes out of Mountainview, but I for one am not holding my breath that this is going to be a "game changer" on a large scale.  Google conveniently omitted any real detail in the press release so one can only guess the new OS, in reality will be a shell or GUI running on top of Linux or other Open Source OS.  Not even the whiz kids can build a viable operating system from scratch and take it to market in the time frame announced.  If I am right, it won't be a true stand alone "Operating System", but rather akin to Windows 3.0 and 3.1 in that it will be a "Chrome" based GUI running on top of Linux, and we all know how painful that was.

Here is what I want to know:  Is Google really trying to build disruptive technology, or just trying to be disruptive?  Is this just a ploy to deflect the watchful eyes of Wall Street away from the sinking earnings reports and other failures?   Memo to Eric (Schmidt, CEO of Google), not EVERYONE has a stick up their ass for Bill Gates and Microsoft like you do.  Don't presume that the typical PC user sees Microsoft the same way you do.  Many of us are starting to see you as the new predatory and evil empire.

What's your take?

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