Defensive Computing

by Andy on October 22nd, 2010 in Comment, How to, Security Tips.

Windows is an attractive platform for the malware writers, in part, because of the sheer number of users. As Microsoft creep towards making their offerings more secure, applications are increasingly becoming the focus for vulnerability exploitation.


Like Windows, Adobe products are a default software choice for most users. The bad guys know this and realise that its profitable to scrutinise their applications for exploitable vulnerabilities and create malware to take advantage of the fact.


Firefox 3.6.11 and Thunderbird 3.15 have been released which include security updates for several critical vulnerabilities that can be exploited to run malicious code. Users are advised to update these applications.

Full details about the updates here:

Firefox
Thunderbird

Its a good idea to set these applications to check for updates automatically.


RealNetworks, Inc. have published product upgrades addressing vulnerabilities in RealPlayer SP 1.1.4 and earlier.

The vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.

Windows users of RealPlayer SP 1.1.4 and earlier are advised to upgrade to the latest version here

For more information, visit RealNetworks' security advisory here



So, you’ve just bought a new PC or installed a fresh version of Windows. The simple fact is it's not as secure as it could be.


It doesn’t take much to tighten up your PC’s defenses - even if your computer has been up and running for a while, it’s not too late to carry out a security audit on your machine.


You probably wouldn’t leave your house without checking the windows are closed and the doors are locked. Why would you do that? Well, to stop someone breaking in and stealing your stuff or to prevent people just walking in and spray painting the walls.


Microsoft Updates available

by Andy on October 13th, 2010 in Security Tips.

Microsoft have released a number of patches to fix recently reported vulnerabilities within Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. These vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to gain control of your computer or cause it to crash.

More information about what has been patched is available from Microsoft's 10th October Security Bulletin here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms10-oct.mspx

If you don't have automatic updates enabled, install the updates by visiting https://www.update.microsoft.com


New Rogue Sighted: Smart Engine

by Andy on October 12th, 2010 in Security Alert.

Check out the details on the Rogue's Gallery at http://www.lavasoft.com/mylavasoft/rogues/latest



October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month so we thought we'd contribute by providing some practical, easy to digest and useful information on how to strengthen your PC's defences against attacks.

I'll be discussing what to secure and exactly how to do it, focusing on the ‘how’ more than the ‘why’. Just follow along - it’s easy. Here's what will be covered in some upcoming blogs:


Newly created families for September 2010

ADWARE

Adware is a type of advertising display software that delivers advertising content potentially in a manner or context that may be unexpected and unwanted by users. Many adware applications also perform tracking functions, and therefore may also be categorized as tracking technologies. Some consumers may want to remove adware if they object to such tracking, do not wish to see the advertising caused by the program, or are frustrated by its effects on system performance.

Win32.Adware.Appolinaria
Win32.Adware.Bonzo
Win32.Adware.Gabpath


Adobe have published a security update addressing critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader 9.3.4 and Acrobat 9.3.4 (and earlier versions)

The vulnerabilities could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Windows users of Adobe Reader 9.3.4 and Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 (and earlier versions) are advised to upgrade to Adobe Reader 9.4

To upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader, visit http://get.adobe.com/reader/


Adobe will publish security updates addressing a critical vulnerability in Reader & Acrobat (CVE-2010-2883) on 5th October 2010.


The BBC have reported that nineteen people have been arrested in London under the Computer Misuse Act.

Read the full report here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11431989

Those arrested are suspected of stealing millions of pounds in the past few months. Its encouraging to see high profile arrests for serious cybercriminal activity.

We saw something similar in Manchester last year. The UK's e-Crime Unit are clearly on the ball:

http://www.lavasoft.com/mylavasoft/company/blog/malware-arrests-send-mes...



Adobe have published a security update addressing a critical vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player version  10.1.82.76. The vulnerability could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.