Lavasoft News - August 2007

Security Shorts

Italy Takes on Phishers
Authorities in Italy have arrested 26 people for an alleged scam to swindle bank customers. According to reports, the phishing scam used phoney e-mails that appeared to come from Italy’s postal operator, Poste Italiane, which also offers bank accounts, insurance and loans. The scam e-mails conned recipients into giving out personal financial details, in order to gain access to the victims’ bank accounts.

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PDF Image Spam Threat
While the volume of image spam is decreasing, this spam threat does not seem to be going away anytime soon. There has been an increase in new spam techniques that reference spam images in different ways, according to reports from Symantec. Image spam, spam that uses a graphic in or attached to an e-mail, has begun a new trend – using PDF files in an attempt to scam computer users.

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Scam Sites Built in Seconds
A new phishing tool allows scam sites to be built easily and quickly, further complicating phishing threats. RSA Security Inc. has identified code that installs a phishing site on a compromised server in about 2 seconds, according to reports. With the use of these phishing kits, cyber criminals are able to further automate the methods they use to hijack servers and propagate their scams.

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iPhone Fraud Schemes
The buzz surrounding the release of Apple’s newest gadget, the iPhone, has led to spam, phishing, and other scam attempts by cyber criminals looking to take advantage of the product’s popularity. According to reports, a new botnet emerged in mid July that presents infected computer users with a fraudulent web page selling iPhones, in an attempt to steal financial information.

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Browser Bug Blame Game
An unusual bug has had security researchers debating who is to blame – Microsoft or Mozilla? A security researcher identified a bug that could be attacked in Internet Explorer, yet Mozilla Corp. said it plans to issue a patch. The problem, according to reports, is with a URL protocol handler component of IE, which allows IE users to launch applications like Excel or Firefox by clicking web page links; even though the flaw affects IE users, it looks to be a risk only to those who have Firefox installed.

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GreenPrint GreenPrint Buy GreenPrint Home for $35
The global IT industry accounts for 2 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions - the same amount produced by the world's aviation industry, Gartner statistics show. Over the next 5 years, technology companies will be met with growing financial, environmental and legislative pressure to become more environmentally sustainable, according to a Gartner analyst.

Source: CNET

herdsman with computers
Term of the Month
A bot herder is a hacker who installs malicious software on a PC without the knowledge of the computer user, with the ultimate goal of controlling thousands of compromised machines. Once hackers install their software, they are capable of controlling the infected computers remotely. After they have compromised enough computers, bot herders have a robot network, or botnet, under their command.

Tech Tips
How can you help fight the botnet battle, and make sure that your PC does not end up under a bot herder’s control? Contributing to the problem is the large number of home users whose computers do not have adequate protection and are easy prey for botnet operators. It is critical that home users install up-to-date firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, in addition to being cautious when going online. If you have been a victim of cyber crime, you can also file a complaint online through the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Helpful Homepages
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste problems. So before you buy that new PC, think about what to do with the old one. Visit or to find out more about recycling your electronics. The Computer TakeBack Campaign focuses on requiring consumer electronics manufacturers to take responsibility for the life cycle of their products, while Earth 911 offers community-specific environmental information for consumers looking to live more responsibly.
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