Phishing & Malware update 1106-20

User Group Network UGN Safenetting and Cybercrime report 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT 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.
READ THIS REPORT Full story : New York Times


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Fred Showker

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