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The Computer Virus Industry
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NephilmOffline
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PostPosted: 23-05-2013 12:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards to computer viruses in the 80's and 90's there were numerous groups who specialised in the creation and distribution of viri.

It was a challenge to the creators, to make the virus more complex, more stealthy, smaller, faster - and in some cases "funny".

There is a train of thought that one of the most virulent virus writers was a Bulgarian chap who went under the name of "Dark Avenger", it is also thought that he also Vesselin Bontchev - a leading Anti Virus researcher.

Interestingly enough, it was Vesselin Bontchev who in turn "found" or was provided with the Dark Avenger viruses - which in turn is more interesting, as apparently with an interview with Sarah Gordon, Dark Avenger despised Vesselin Bontchev.


So that leads to the question, why would Dark Avenger provide the samples to Vesselin Bontchev?

Plausable points being:

A) To show how clever he was a virus writer - and it those days he was.
B) He is one and the same, Vesselin Bontchev - and it would provide income to virus solutions that Vesselin Bontchev provided.
Therefore, people went to Vesselin Bontchev if they got hit with a virus.


Google Dark Avenger Dos Viruses, and Vesselin Bontchev.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.11/heartof_pr.html

By the way, there is a possibility that there was a second "actor" involved, namely Todor Todorov....

Or are they all the same person.

Consider this now, Vesselin was at some point working with Frisk Anti Virus.....
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uair01Offline
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PostPosted: 30-10-2013 19:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know something about computer security, but this leaves me scrambling for the door. Is this real? Or is it tin-foil-hat territory? I hope it is tin-foil-hat.

In Russia your Household appliance spams you Confused

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-24707337

Quote:
Cyber criminals are planting chips in electric irons and kettles to launch spam attacks, reports in Russia suggest.
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 30-10-2013 19:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all a bit confusing. If the devices are sending out spam, why do they need a microphone? Are they tailoring the spam to snippets of our overheard lives?

Is that why shaved sloth porn is clogging my in-tray? sceptic
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OneWingedBirdOffline
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PostPosted: 30-10-2013 23:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

*quickly throws a teatowel over the kettle*

Embarassed
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CochiseOffline
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PostPosted: 31-10-2013 08:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

uair01 wrote:
I know something about computer security, but this leaves me scrambling for the door. Is this real? Or is it tin-foil-hat territory? I hope it is tin-foil-hat.

In Russia your Household appliance spams you Confused

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-24707337

Quote:
Cyber criminals are planting chips in electric irons and kettles to launch spam attacks, reports in Russia suggest.


And how would they do that? Is your kettle connected to wi-fi? I doubt it.
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CarlosTheDJOffline
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PostPosted: 31-10-2013 10:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember when Bluetooth launched? That was supposed to make your kettle speak to your TV wasn't it?
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Heckler20Offline
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PostPosted: 01-11-2013 08:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarlosTheDJ wrote:
Remember when Bluetooth launched? That was supposed to make your kettle speak to your TV wasn't it?


Not to mention that it had created a culture of debauchery where strangers arranged liasons in train toilets via Bluetooth*


*Which turned out to be an invention of a Brighton based journo who was obviously bored on the train from Victoria.
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CochiseOffline
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PostPosted: 01-11-2013 10:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes. But it can only do so if you either pair it or you leave your Bluetooth open to all connections - which is like leaving your front door open all night.
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kamalktkOffline
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PostPosted: 01-11-2013 14:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Meet “badBIOS,” the mysterious Mac and PC malware that jumps airgaps"
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/meet-badbios-the-mysterious-mac-and-pc-malware-that-jumps-airgaps/

The victim, Dragos Ruiu, is a highly respected computer security researcher. Yet the virus he says is infecting his lab sounds like something that if it was in a movie most computer geeks would roll their eyes at the impossibility of.

While the article was posted on Halloween, Dragos has been publicly posting about the virus for some time, so it's not a Halloween version of April Fools.
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CochiseOffline
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PostPosted: 02-11-2013 07:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, it doesn't sound possible. It is theoretically possible to use microphones and speakers for transmissions (speakers send, mike receives) but both machines would have to be infected.

Since commercial obligations mean I use Windows, a glitch on the level he describes would be put down to unreliable software unless it became so obviously endemic and harmful that it was clearly malware. I don't wish to impugn the chap - he obviously knows far more than I do about modern malware - but I wonder if he is actually seeing 'normal' glitches and inferring a virus?

Contrary to intuition, modern software is far less reliable on an absolute scale than that of 30 years ago. Modern mainstream software is vastly more complex than back then and in effect untestable due to that complexity and the resulting vast cost of proper testing (which used to cost at least as much as actually writing the stuff even back in the 90's).

So companies effectively rely on user testing by extensive beta programmes to find the bugs that are likely to affect day to day use, and ignore the rest, which however might be noticeable to someone deliberately on the lookout for anomalies. Again, the complexity of the interaction between the firmware, the OS and the user software is now so complex that bugs may appear to occur quite randomly, though if tracked down to their root (which may take weeks or even years) there is always a predictable cause.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 02-11-2013 08:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamalktk wrote:
"Meet “badBIOS,” the mysterious Mac and PC malware that jumps airgaps"
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/meet-badbios-the-mysterious-mac-and-pc-malware-that-jumps-airgaps/

The victim, Dragos Ruiu, is a highly respected computer security researcher. Yet the virus he says is infecting his lab sounds like something that if it was in a movie most computer geeks would roll their eyes at the impossibility of.

While the article was posted on Halloween, Dragos has been publicly posting about the virus for some time, so it's not a Halloween version of April Fools.

Maybe his hardware is being haunted by the mischievous ghost of a computer hacker? A codergeist?
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 16-11-2013 06:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Police warn of 'ransom' spam targeting UK users

Tens of millions of UK internet users could be at risk from "ransom" email spam seemingly sent from financial institutions.
The email has an attachment that looks legitimate but is malware that encrypts computer files.
If the attachment is opened, a displayed countdown timer demands a ransom to decrypt the files.

Small to medium businesses seem to be the target and the National Crime Agency says there is significant risk.
Lee Miles, deputy head of the National Cyber Crime Unit, says: "The NCA are actively pursuing organised crime groups committing this type of crime. We are working in co-operation with industry and international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible and reduce the risk to the public."

The malware installs a piece of "ransomware" called Cryptolocker on computers running the Windows operating system. The ransom demands that the user pay two Bitcoins, a virtual currency, that would be worth £536 to release the decryption key.
Reports suggest that people who have paid the ransom have not had their files decrypted and it has been impossible to restore encrypted files.

The NCA said it would never endorse the payment of a ransom to criminals and warns that there is no guarantee that the people behind the demand would honour the payments.
An NCCU investigation is seeking to identify the source of the email addresses used.

Computer users are being warned not to click on any suspicious attachments, to have updated antivirus software and to regularly back up files. If a computer is infected the advice is to disconnect it from the network and seek professional help to clean the device.

The NCA said that anyone infected with this malware should report it via actionfraud.police.uk.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24964426
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CochiseOffline
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PostPosted: 16-11-2013 11:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

It probably is teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but never ever open an attachment sent from someone you don't know and trust.
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 16-11-2013 13:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cochise wrote:
It probably is teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but never ever open an attachment sent from someone you don't know and trust.

I nearly deleted, unread, an email from my brother once, having forgotten he'd changed his email addy! Embarassed

(in my defence, I should add that it wasn't perhaps wise of him to choose an addy with the word 'trouble' in it.)
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 29-11-2013 10:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Help! I'm Johnny Ball and I've been robbed
The former television presenter and father of the DJ Zoe Ball falls victim to a phishing scam
By Rosa Silverman
8:15AM GMT 29 Nov 2013

Friends of Johnny Ball, the former television presenter, were no doubt concerned to receive an email from him saying he had been robbed abroad and needed their financial assistance.
According to the message, he could not leave his hotel in Kiev, Ukraine, before settling his £1,950 hotel bill, but with no means to do so he was reliant on their help.

However, it later transpired the email plea had not been sent by Mr Ball at all, despite coming from his account.
In fact, the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, 75, had fallen victim to a scam by internet fraudsters who hack into people’s email accounts and ask their friends for urgent financial help.

The message sent from Mr Ball’s account was entitled ‘Travel Issues’ and read: “I made a trip to Kiev, Ukraine and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein.
“The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the manager.”

It described his friends as his “last resort and hope”, and went on: “I have made contact with my bank but it would take me three to five working days to access funds in my account.
“The bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon but I am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until I settle the bills…
“I need your help financially (£1,950) and I promise to make the refund once I get back home.”

Experts warned that hackers had been carrying out the scam for at least a year and seemed to be targeting an increasing number of victims.

Professor Tim Watson, director of the Cyber Security Centre at De Montfort University, told the Daily Mail: “It varies depending on which email you get, but is always along similar lines.
“You get an email from a friend saying they have been robbed abroad, and they need money.
“If you email it, you will get a response telling you where to transfer the funds.”

“There is a community of scammers online who share the most effective email templates.
“They operate from all over the world, although many certainly seem to be based in Nigeria.

“Sadly, the scam is surprisingly effective. We are used to looking out for dodgy emails pretending to be from your bank, but not from people we know and trust.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/10482695/Help-Im-Johnny-Ball-and-Ive-been-robbed.html
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