Phishing is becoming more and more dangerous. At last, industry and government are starting to wake up to some of the real threats in the world
This week’s notes:
 China’s Cyberassault on America
 SCADA Systems: Achilles Heel of Critical Infrastructure
 Malware Writers Posting Online Ads for Recruiting Coders
 New malware ferrets out and steals Bitcoins
 Deploying New Tools to Stop the Hackers
 Spam ‘Books’ Flooding Kindle Store
 Only 4 Percent Smartphones Have Malware Protection
 Microsoft Warns Of Huge Phone Scam
 Spammers, Content Farming, and Kindle
 10 million pieces of Malware per day
. . . and more
China’s Cyberassault on America
If we discovered Chinese explosives laid throughout our national electrical system, we’d consider it an act of war. China’s digital bombs pose as grave a threat.
Senior U.S. officials know well that the government of China is systematically attacking the computer networks of the U.S. government and American corporations. Beijing is successfully stealing research and development, software source code, manufacturing know-how and government plans. In a global competition among knowledge-based economies, Chinese cyberoperations are eroding America’s advantage.
Full story : RICHARD CLARKE – Wall Street Journal
SCADA Systems: Achilles Heel of Critical Infrastructure
Our critical infrastructure is an attractive target for enemy nations, terrorist groups, or even run-of-the-mill cyber criminals, and many security experts believe that it is not remotely protected against cyber attacks.
SCADA systems are uniquely enticing because a successful attack could cripple a nation. The Stuxnet worm that targeted nuclear power capabilities in Iran contained a rootkit that could hijack the control and behavior of PLC (programmable logic controller) devices used for plant operations.
Full story : www.pcworld.com
Microsoft Warns Of Huge Phone Scam
Microsoft on Thursday provided further evidence that people are the weakest link in the security chain when it published findings of an ongoing Internet theft campaign that might be described as phone phishing.
Microsoft says that criminals have been posing as computer security engineers and calling people at home to warn them of a computer security threat. The fraudsters claim they’re offering free security evaluations on behalf of recognized companies. It’s an approach similar to that taken by fake antivirus software, except with a personal touch rather than an on-screen graphic.
Full story : InformationWeek
New malware ferrets out and steals Bitcoins
You know your virtual currency has hit the big leagues when criminals develop trojans that infect computers for the sole purpose of stealing it. Bitcoin, the open-source project launched two years ago, reached that turning point Thursday.
That’s when researchers from Symantec discovered Infostealer.Coinbit, a piece of Windows malware that ferrets out the digital wallet stashed on Bitcoin users’ hard drives and uploads it to an SMTP server that’s probably located in Poland. It’s the first report of a trojan in the wild that targets the digital cash, but Symantec researchers said its only a matter of time until the feature is found in other pieces of malware.
Full story : Register
Malware Writers Posting Online Ads for Recruiting Coders
Writer for a security column Brian Krebs says there’s apparently a dearth of skills among malware writers, as criminal groups post increasing number of banner advertisements while seeking talented programmers who can assist in raising the features and stealth of existing malware.
Krebs, who’s based in Russia, writes that employers, while trying to entice programmers, are applying one fresh recruitment tool that promises base salaries between $2,000 and $5,000 per month.
Full story : www.spamfighter.com
10 million pieces of Malware per day
Based on the numbers from AppRiver, May was a productive month for crooks. An increase of more than two-hundred percent of email-based Malware in May marked the fifth straight month that this type of attack has doubled in quantity. As a whole, AppRiver counted more than 10 million malicious samples per day over the course of the month.
Compiling the data for their June Threat and Spamscape Report, AppRiver noted that there were 2.95 Billion malicious emails delivered last month. Russia held the top spot for point of origin, followed by India, Brazil, and the U.S
“Mac malware has been around for a while, though it has not, until now, been available as a kit,” the report added.
Full story : Steve Ragan –
Spam ‘Books’ Flooding Kindle Store
Spam has hit the Kindle, clogging the online bookstore of the top-selling eReader with material that is far from being book worthy and threatening to undermine Amazon.com Inc’s publishing foray.
Thousands of digital books, called ebooks, are being published through Amazon’s self-publishing system each month. Many are not written in the traditional sense. Instead, they are built using something known as Private Label Rights, or PLR content, which is information that can be bought very cheaply online then reformatted into a digital book.
Full story : Alexis Madrigal – The Atlantic
Spammers, Content Farming, and Kindle
One of the biggest challenges facing the e-published or self-published author is getting your book into the consciousness of the international reading public.
Unfortunately, aside from the huge boom in self-publishing over the past few years as well as trade publishers turning to electronic versions of their new releases and backlists, there’s another threat to the average author: spammers and content farmers are creating e-books and releasing them in the thousands.
Full story : Celina Summers, BLOGCRITICS.ORG
Only 4 Percent Smartphones Have Malware Protection
A new research claims that nineteen out of 20 Smartphone and tablet users in UK run their devices without installing any malware and virus protection utilities.
The research, carried out by the leading Internet research firm Juniper Research, highlighted that despite an exponentially growing security-threat to these devices, only 4 percent of the UK’s Smartphone and tablet users were protected by anti malware software.
Full story : ITProPortal
Deploying New Tools to Stop the Hackers
Trying to secure a computer network is much like trying to secure a building ‘ the challenge is trying to screen out real threats without impeding the normal traffic that needs to go in and out.
And as the recent hacking attacks against Citigroup, RSA Security and Lockheed Martin show, even sophisticated security systems can be breached.
Full story : New York Times
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