April 2008

Security Shorts

Tax Season Breeds Scams
Taxpayers in the US are being warned by the Internal Revenue Service to beware of targeted
e-mail and phone scams taking advantage of tax season. Current scams have been known to request confidential information, like Social Security and bank account numbers, in the name of a U.S. government agency. These identity theft scams are expected to continue beyond tax return filing season.
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Teen Arrested in $20 Million Botnet Op
A teenager based in New Zealand was arrested in early March for allegedly heading up a botnet operation that infected 1.3 million computers and stole $20 million US from victims’ bank accounts. Eighteen year-old Owen Thorn Walker is said to have been the leader of a group of hackers that set up a botnet in order to steal credit card information and influence stock trades.
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Ransomware Trojan Plagues Chinese Mobile Users
Mobile users in China are being targeted by a Trojan for mobile phones that propagates an extortion scam. Once downloaded onto Symbian-based smartphones, the malware threatens to shut down the phone unless a certain amount of money is paid to the scammer, reports say.
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Ruling Against Alleged Spyware Distributor
A U.S. federal judge granted a request by the Federal Trade Commission for a judgment against a software developer, an affiliate of ERG Ventures, who is accused of taking part in a scam that infected millions of victims’ computers with spyware. The default judgment bars Timothy P. Taylor from distributing software that interferes with consumers’ computers, along with requiring him to give up
ill-gotten gains.
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Costs of Data Loss in the UK
New research on data breaches in the UK shows that the average total cost per incident is more than £1.4 million. The study, carried out by the Ponemon Institute, revealed that the most significant component of data breach costs was the financial price businesses paid due to the loss of consumer trust.
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Lavasoft Personal Firewall 3.0 More Info Buy Now

Only 4% of those surveyed in a recent industry study say they understand firewalls “completely” and more than 44% say they do not understand how firewalls work.
Source: NCSA and McAfee Inc. study

A firewall inspects network traffic passing through a computer, denying or permitting passage based on a set of rules. Firewalls provide critical protection to keep PCs safe from unauthorized access.

Why do you need a firewall and, more importantly, why do you need a two-way firewall?
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