Government Agencies Score Poorly in Cybersecurity Survey
Funding issues are being blamed for the less-than-stellar grades given to the U.S. government in an IT security survey. The overall grade for the 24 agencies included in the FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) report was C-, but eight agencies failed, including the departments of Defense, State, the Interior and the Treasury.
Public Exploit of Windows DNS Server Bug
In April, Microsoft acknowledged a zero-day bug in the Domain Name System (DNS) Server Service in Windows 2000 Server (SP4) and Windows Server 2003 (SP1 and SP2). The company admits the beta of the next-generation server software, called Longhorn, is also affected. Some experts say the area of greatest risk resides within intranets, but if a Trojan horse succeeded in getting onto a client, the botnet controller could gain control of the entire network. Microsoft was working on a patch at the time of publication.
Skype Worm on the Loose
An instant-messaging worm that slithers its way through Skype's VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has been spreading links to malware through people's contact lists. The link leads to a file that downloads a Trojan horse capable of downloading other malware. This worm sets Skype to "do not disturb" status, which blocks incoming calls and other notifications; it also prevents a user from responding to an IM.
Keyloggers Used to Hack WoW Accounts
As we told you in the February issue of Lavasoft News, cyber criminals have taken to hacking accounts in online role-playing games. World of Warcraft is the latest game to be targeted. Hackers have been installing keylogging software on Windows-run players' PCs for months, hijacking accounts and selling their in-game assets. Experts see no end in sight for the problem.
iPod Virus Discovered
Researchers have found a virus that can infect Apple's hugely popular media player, the iPod. However, users do not have to worry just yet. The virus, dubbed Podloso, only affects iPods that run Linux and not the native operating system. Kaspersky Lab says even though the virus may not present a real threat now, it does show malware can be created for platforms like the iPod.
These days, computer security threats are coming from all directions. Here are the top five worries keeping entrepreneurs up at night, according to a March survey by the research firm Forrester.
Viruses and worms: 73%
Outside hackers: 57%
Identity theft: 55%
Term of the Month
A dialer is any program that utilizes a computer's modem to make calls or access services. Users may want to remove those that dial without the user's active involvement, resulting in unexpected telephone charges and/or cause access to unintended and unwanted content. They have the ability to run in the background, hiding their presence.
You are a potential target for auto-dialer if you use a phone line to connect to the Internet or leave a telephone line connected to your PC even after switching to DSL or cable Internet service. Some tips:
- If you don't need a dial-up connection, unplug your phone from the computer.
- Disable dialup connections. If you're using Windows, for instance, click on "Start," "Settings," "Control Panel" and then "Internet Options." Open the "Connections" tab, and make sure "Never dial a connection" is checked.
- Update your Ad-Aware SE anti-spyware and run a full sweep of your computer.
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