Saturday, May 30, 2009

Apple Refuses to Patch Java

So there was this Java issue that was reported to Sun. They fixed it back in December of 2008. Well the most recent security updates released by Apple for Mac users did not include this fix. So why? All the talk about Mac users being more secure in the commercials seems to have gone by the way side.

Apple has been asked and they are pulling that "Apple attitude" and it is coming out strong. So Mac users beware! You are vulnerable to this simple drive-by exploit. And so a researcher who has gotten fed up with the lack of cooperation from Apple, decided to post proof of concept code to Milw0rm last week. If they already haven't started, they are sure to show up soon. So what can Mac users do? Disable Java at this point until Apple decides to take security serious. Apple sucks for not fixing this problem like all the other vendors have.

Stay safe and have a happy Sunday.

Twitter Credentials Being Stolen

So recently, some Twitter users were offered a link to Twittercut to gain more followers. It appeared to be coming from a known contact, and they promised you to accumulate more and more followers.

It seems that TwitterCut appeared to be the real Twitter login page. A phishing site for sure.

If a person were tricked into entering their login credentials, Twittercut continued to send the same message you got to all of your contacts. At this point, it appears that no malware is being installed on victim's PCs.

For sure, Twittercut has the login credentials to many Twitter accounts. Twittercut has been listed on services that blacklist malicious sites but was still active just a couple of days ago.

This attack takes advantage of the trust that is built on networks like Twitter, as well as FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other social networks. Always beware of messages that are unsolicited. My motto is "trust no one".

Stay safe and have a fabulous rest of the weekend.

Monday, May 25, 2009

FaceBook Porn Star Name App - Be Careful

So have you seen the application on FaceBook where you can figure out your porn star name? They way it works is you take your first pet's name, along with your mother's maiden name. I've not personally used this application, but I've also heard that another piece of the puzzle is the street you grew up on.

Now lets ask ourselves some questions. When you are setting up an account online, there are ways that you can recover your password if you forget it by setting up certain security questions. These security questions just happen to be your first pet's name, mother's maiden name, and the street you grew up on. So you have to ask the question, was this application written to harvest information that could possibly be used to break in to people's accounts? I can't be sure, but this shows us that you need to be very careful of information that you put out there on the Internet.

I would suggest that when you set up an online account, and they ask security questions, it is OK to lie. You would also definitely want to write these answers down so you would remember them. Now I know some accounts that are tied to financial accounts have started using other security questions that do not include the peices of information that apps like "what is your porn star name". If not, LIE!!! Just a little more information that will keep yourself more secure with online accounts that have this password recovery system in place.

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day holiday. Stay safe.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Facebook Links - Trust Them or Not?

So you new to computers in general, or new to social networks like FaceBook? If so, listen up. One of the ways the bad guys take advantage of people is to take advantage of the trust factor that is built up with social networks.

How can this happen? Let's just say you happen to go to a website....say And lets say you just happen to be unlucky and an ad that flashes up on the site happens to be one that the criminal bad guy has taken advantage of and planted a redirect that takes you to a site that runs the latest and greatest attacks on your computer. Could be a malformed PDF, Word, or Excel document. Next thing you know, your PC is being watched by the bad guy.

After a PC is has been infected with malicious software (Malware), some of the things bad guys try and steal are e-mail accounts, social network accounts, etc. Along with these of course, they also are looking for banking credentials, credit card credentials too. Now what? The bad guy has to keep spreading his malicious software around and take over more and more computers. This is how they continue to exist. Computers get cleaned from time to time so they are always looking to take advantage of people and tricking them to go places they really shouldn't go and take control of new computers.

With someone else's Facebook signon credentials, they can now send a message to all of your contacts with a link to a malicious website. Your friends trust you, so your friends click and BAM! They are now under the control of the bad guy and this scenario just continues to roll along. So, my advice to you is this when it comes to links sent from friends. DON'T CLICK ON THEM!!

Hang in there. Have fun, but be safe. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Friend's E-mail Account Hacked

The other day, I received an e-mail from a friend with a subject line of "Look". The body of the e-mail was short and sweet. It said "* Hi! Click the link, there is something funny for you" followed by a link that looked innocent enough to me. The computer security person in me thought this was a bit strange so I did a little checking on the site that was referenced in my friends e-mail.

After some checking, I found that the site was considered malicious and was hosted in China. I responded back to my friend and said that the computer security person in me wondered if he really had sent this. No response. Another few days and I get another e-mail from him with the same link. At this point, I contact him and he says no he didn't send me or any of the other contacts he had in his address book that were included on this e-mail.

Lesson, my friend had his e-mail account hijacked. The attacker who had control was trying to take advantage of the trust between my friend and his contacts in his address book. I sent a response to all the others who received the e-mail warning them of the malicious link. I never heard back from anyone but I had done my part.

Be careful when you receive an e-mail from a friend with a link, and this is also true of the other social networks like FaceBook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. My motto in computer security is to trust no one. Don't just randomly click on links just because one of your friends sends you a link. Hijacked accounts will send out messagse with malicious links and take advantage of the trust that is built up on these types of networks.

Be careful out there and stay safe. Happy Tuesday!