In the last few months, we’ve received a good number of “letters to the editor” from readers of our monthly security newsletter, Lavasoft News, requesting information on botnets, a major player in the online security battle.

Here’s some weekend reading for all those who wrote in to us, and for anyone else interested in brushing up on your knowledge on this topic -


As you may have noticed from our News and Events page, and our previous post, the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) held its public workshop last week in Washington, DC. Lavasoft’s own Janie “CalamityJane” Whitty (whom many of you may know from her work in the Lavasoft Support Forums) moderated this year’s Rogue Anti-Spyware panel.


Since the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico in April, the amount of newly registered domains related to the disease has increased significantly, making hypochondriacs a potential target for villains. Playing on peoples' fear in this way is a classic example of how to perform fraud. In fact, the false propaganda on swine flu domains is comparable with the technique that fake-scanners use.  The sites are created solely to bring feelings of emergency, fear and panic to visitors, and the overall ambition is to make people pay for a product.


There is a large group of Internet security-minded folks gathered in D.C. (USA) this week for the annual Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) public workshop event, including two of our own from Lavasoft. This year's workshop addresses the creation of a chain of trust online and how 'good actors' can cooperate in order to protect users.


As a response to the EU Action Agenda to strengthen consumer protection for software products, two EU Commissioners, Viviane Reding and Meglena Kuneva, have proposed consumer protection rules for software products which are in line with the current consumer protection rules for physical products.


New Rogue: SecureAntiVirusPro

by Albin on May 18th, 2009 in Rogues.

Another rogue anti-spyware application has been released. This one is called SecureAntiVirusPro. It will give exaggerated threat reports on the compromised computer, then ask the user to purchase a registered version to remove threats which don't really exist.


The period between the mid-1940's and the early 1990's came to be called the Cold War, a time characterized by conflict between the Soviet Union and the Western world. That period was paved with an arms race, and military muscles were flexed to their rupture limit. The superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, threw themselves into a "tech-race" that took the rocketeers and humanoids to where no man had gone before - to space. The Cold War period also encompassed concepts such as the "proxy-wars" which account for the fact that the main combatants never came to face each other in direct battles. So what has changed since then?


You may remember hearing the news, which broke last fall, on the arrests of alleged members of Dark Market, a message forum for online criminals where stolen information, as well as tools to facilitate online fraud, was bought and sold. A two year undercover operation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) resulted in nearly 60 arrests worldwide, and the prevention of $70 million in potential losses, according to the FBI.

For anyone interested in taking a closer look at the inner workings of a cyber crime op, CNET News published an interview this past week with the undercover FBI agent whose infiltration of the group was key in exposing it – as well as some very interesting information on the nature of today’s cyber thieves.

Take a look at the Q & A.


As reported previously, Google Street View was launched in Sweden on April 21. Yesterday, BBC News reported that Greece has put "Hellenic-power-assisted brakes" on the Google camera fitted "surveillance" units while the privacy issues of the Google Street View service are debated.


Various reports state that huge numbers of PCs throughout the world have been “zombified” during the last year. Still, the true number of hijacked computers is likely much higher than what's stated, making botnets a massive global security problem.


We've warned you before about websites that misrepresent themselves as Lavasoft affiliates and sell copies of our software that are not legitimate or supported by our company. It’s come to our attention that a site we issued a past word of warning on, oemlib.com, is operating under a number of other domains, all with a similar appearance, including:

Oemdatabase.net
Oemcheapsoftware.com
Fullversiondownloads.net
Oem-apps.com
Oem-x.com