Posts Tagged ‘Botnets’

Technology News for November 9, 2007

Block Facebook Beacon So here I am, burning some brain cells and taking some time to relax playing a game on Kongregate, when a little window pops up in the corner of my screen and says “Kongregate is sending this to your Facebook profile: Nate played Desktop Tower Defense 1.5 at Kongregate.” Which immediately elicited a “Hellll no” from my mouth.

Review: The Sweet Agony That Is Nokia N81 It has been nearly 65 days since I went without a phone set change, leading to snide remarks from my co-workers about my fidelity to Apple’s iPhone. Despite getting frustrated with frustrations with iPhone’s Email application (I carry a Blackberry to get some serenity), and poky Edge connections, I avoided the hassle of switching to another phone.

Are Facebook’s Social Ads Illegal? Mark Zuckerberg promised no less than a revolution with his idea that ads you see on Facebook will be attached to the names and photos of your friends who like the products being advertised. There is at least one problem with this idea: It may be illegal under a 100-year-old New York privacy law.

Prosecutor Announces Charges Against The Pirate Bay Prosecutor Håkan Roswall announced that he plans to press charges against 5 people involved with The Pirate Bay before January 31, 2008. The 5 are suspected of facilitating copyright infringement.

The World’s Biggest Botnets You know about the Storm Trojan, which is spread by the world’s largest botnet. But what you may not know is there’s now a new peer-to-peer based botnet emerging that could blow Storm away.

“We’re investigating a new peer-to-peer botnet that may wind up rivaling Storm in size and sophistication,” says Tripp Cox, vice president of engineering for startup Damballa, which tracks botnet command and control infrastructures. “We can’t say much more about it, but we can tell it’s distinct from Storm.”

OMG!!! The end of online stupidity? Internet veterans have long complained about the steady erosion of civility — and worse, intelligence — in online discourse. Initially the phenomenon seemed to be a seasonal disorder. It occurred every September when freshmen showed up for college and went online. Tasting for the first time the freedom and power of the Internet, the newbies would behave like a bunch of drunken fraternity pledges, filling electronic bulletin boards with puerile remarks until the upperclassmen could whip them into shape.

Things took a dramatic turn for the worse in 1993, when AOL (Charts, Fortune 500) loosed its tens of thousands — and then millions — of users onto the Net. The event came to be known as the Endless September, and true to its name, it continues to this day.

IE Automatic Component Activation (Changes to IE ActiveX Update) Back in April 2006, we made a change to how Internet Explorer handled embedded controls used on some webpages. Some sites required users to “click to activate” before they could interact with the control. Microsoft has now licensed the technologies from Eolas, removing the “click to activate” requirement in Internet Explorer. Because of this, we’re removing the “click to activate” behavior from Internet Explorer!

Radiohead: comScore totally inaccurate A New Music Express piece on Radiohead brings with it a rather large knee to the goolies for comScore, which came out with some numbers on downloads of the band’s “pay what you want” album In Rainbows (I wrote about comScore’s results here). ComScore said that its survey showed less than 40 per cent paid for the album, and most paid less than $4. There was quite a bit of skepticism about the results, however, since — as Ethan Kaplan of pointed out — it was based on just a few hundred people.

Radiohead Deny Reports That 60 Percent Of Fans Paid Nothing For In Rainbows The physical version of Radiohead’s In Rainbows won’t be ready for your holiday stocking, but it will be released this year.

Radiohead announced Thursday (November 8) that the vinyl and CD version of their much-vaunted new album will be released internationally December 31. No information was given on whether the physical release will differ from the 10-track download released last month.

Live Search gets gimmicky: taps prizes to lure search engine users, data How do you win in the search engine wars? Two approaches suggest themselves: 1) build a better search engine or 2) bribe users. Microsoft is trying option two in hopes of gathering enough data to make option one a reality.

Video Rentals Coming Soon to iTunes? Before installing any iTunes upgrade, I dump the strings from the old iTunes binary. Once the new version has installed, I diff the new version’s strings against the old’s, to see what shows up.

Sony CEO sees ‘stalemate’ in disc fight The head of Sony Corp., Howard Stringer, said Thursday that the Blu-ray disc format the company has developed as the successor to the DVD is in a “stalemate” with the competing HD DVD format, chiefly backed by Toshiba Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

Nigeria favors Linux vendor Mandriva over Microsoft once more Microsoft may not have beaten French Linux vendor Mandriva in a large deal to supply Nigerian elementary schools with laptop computers and software after all.

Mandriva had closed a deal in mid-August to provide a customized Linux operating system and support for 17,000 Intel Classmate PCs intended for Nigerian schools, but found out last week that the company deploying the computers for the government, Technology Support Center (TSC), planned to wipe the computers’ disks and install Windows XP instead.

DivX and Xbox 360: A Potential Win-Win For Everyone DivX (DIVX) followed up Tuesday night’s earnings report with a presentation at the JP Morgan SmMid cap conference. After having just undergone their quarterly confessional, I didn’t expect to hear any new information, but wanted to tune in anyway.

Attack of the Splogs—One Of Our Posts Copied 152 Times Without Attribution Here at TechCrunch, there is nothing we love more than when one of our posts gets linked to and talked about. And like the majority of other blogs out there, we try to be good citizens by linking back to any source from which we excerpt. But there is a growing minority of spam blogs, or splogs, that indiscriminately take entire posts from other blogs and present them as their own.

Windows Live Translator For Your Website Last week, the Translation team blog posted about an add-in for your website or blog that uses the Windows Live Translator. In their post they show you exactly how to use this add-in.

Microsoft’s Surface taking a while to, you know, surface While the tech demos are always sure to draw a crowd, Microsoft’s Surface is still having trouble making it past the prototype stage. Originally slated to show up in a few commercial venues this year, applications of the tech have been pushed back to next spring at the earliest.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 9, 2007 at 8:08 pm

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Todays Tech

Lots of news as always.

This one is more so I don’t forget where it is at, as I plan on covering this in the future. Compete CEO: ISPs Sell Clickstreams For $5 A Month David Cancel, the CEO of Compete Inc. reveals that ISPs happily sell your clickstream data — and that it’s a big business. They don’t sell your name — just your clicks — but the clicks are tied to you as a specific user (User 1, User 2, etc.). How much you ask? About 40 cents a month per user (per customer)… and the Compete CEO estimates that there are 10-12 big buyers of this data. In other words, your ISP is probably making about $5 a month ($60 a year) off your clickstreams. And they aren’t the only ones, ever wonder how some of these sites are making money…

DOD blocking YouTube, others As many organizations are doing nowadays, this social stuff should be taken care of from home, not from a school or work computer, the DOD is blocking Youtube, Myspace and others.

Microsoft Claims Open-Source Technology Violates 235 of Its Patents Microsoft is using the threat of patent violations by the free and open-source software community to try to drive enterprise customers to SUSE Enterprise Linux and to further muddy the waters around the next version of the upcoming GNU General Public License.

Microsoft’s (Beta!) VoIP Device Blitz You can?t buy them yet, but if you are an enterprise IT exec who is kicking the tires on VOIP telephony offerings you might at least want to take a gander at the wide range of Microsoft-centric IP voice devices ? phones, headsets, videocam monitors ? being informally unveiled Monday at the Windows Hardware Engineering conference in Los Angeles.

Second Life Key Metrics – April 2007 Another batch of Second Life key metrics were released by Linden Labs this week; I’m struck by how different this Second Life report is from a recent ComScore report about Second Life population.

Battle of the botnets Criminal gangs are fighting over your computers, no longer do they just want a small slice of the money to be made online, they want it all, and they want their botnets to rule.

Help Key: The Essential Guide to Piracy Piracy is an action sport. The ability to infringe copyright and steal valuable work induces a rush like no other. Whether you steal music, movies, books, applications, or whatever, it feels like breaking the law and it saves our wallets and purses from becoming empty.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 14, 2007 at 6:38 pm

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Todays Tech

More of the daily tech text links.

Microsoft confirms Vista OEM hack More on the hacks that allow users to bypass the product activation in Windows Vista.

Viridian and Virtual Server Timing Updates Windows Server virtualization will ship in the second half of 2007 not in the first half, like originally announced.

Three Of Four Say They Will Stop Shopping At Stores That Suffer Data Breaches Could be the beginning of user revolts against stuff, hopefully, it will transfer over to merchants who advertise in spyware.

Collections Redux for Scoble A PM for Live Maps responds to Scoble’s post from yesterday about how he liked Google Maps better than Live Maps.

Massive spam shot of ‘Storm Trojan’ reaches record proportions They are calling it the biggest spam blast of the year. “We’re seeing 50 to 60 times the normal volume of spam.”

Top 10 Free Computer System Recovery Tools A look at some of the free tools that can help you recover your systems from failure. I’m downloading most of these right now. Many will be used as part of our computer forensics toolset.

The Zune Review, Part 1: The Out of Box Experience A thorough review of the unboxing of his Zune, the hands on review is to come.

101 Hidden Tips & Secrets For Photoshop Just what it says.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 13, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Categories: Security, Windows Vista   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pipeline Worm Floods AIM with Botnet Drones

For removal, X-Cleaner.

A new worm is crawling through AIM – using a sophisticated network of “chain” installs, the bad guys can start the process of infection with any of the files and still hit you with the rest. Or they can target you with a certain selection of files depending on what they want you to do as part of their Botnet. Its like a 10-hit Tekken combo, one that you are on the receiving end. Start with an innocent message like, “hey would it be ok if i upload this picture of you to my blog?”, which, upon clicking, starts you off be plabing you in their botnet where they can pretty much do whatever they want to with you.

They can get you many different ways, but here are three they detailed on their blog, all which start with the downloading of the file (disguised as a jpeg). Running the file results in csts.exe being created in your system32 Folder:

1) Running the file results in csts.exe being created in your system32 Folder. At this point, you may well be part of a Botnet (though not in all cases) and the infection has the potential to call down new files onto your PC, which are randomly selected from the numerous files waiting in “storage” that have been spread around the Net.

2) The infection has the potential to call numerous other files, such as files with fixed, unchanging names and randomly named executables which are constantly being updated. Depending on what files you end up with, the infection may create an unwanted service named RPCDB, opens up smtp port 25 (mail) and attempts to connect to a file upload site. In addition, some files attempt to exploit ADS (alternate data streams).

3) The infection has the potential to call numerous other files, such as d227_seven2.exe and randomly named executables which are constantly being updated. Depending on what files you end up with, the infection may create an unwanted service named RPCDB, opens up smtp port 25 (mail) and attempts to connect to a file upload site. In addition, some files attempt to exploit ADS (alternate data streams). You will also potentially end up with a Rootkit on your PC as a result of this particular scenario.

At this point, the infected PC is a Botnet drone and can be commanded to send new infection messages via AIM such as:

“hey is it alright if i put this picture of you on my egallery album? “, which will download the file (again, disguised as a jpeg).

At this point, the cycle begins again and they can look to infect fresh victims with this exploit.

X-Cleaner will remove w32.pipeline from your computer.

read more | digg story

I also blogged about this at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 18, 2006 at 12:15 pm

Categories: Botnets, Security, Spyware Info   Tags: , ,

Dumador Turns PCs to Zombies

Muwahahaha. Sorry couldn’t resist. Hackers are trying to infect pcs by sending cell phone text messages to lure people to a malicious website.

“Thank you for subscribing to – Dating Service ! Your phone will be charged now $2.00 per day untill you unsubscribe online.”

Hackers are using more blended attacks in hopes of creating botnets of many computers that they can control to do such things as launch denial of service attacks, shopping cart scanning, artificially inflate website earnings and more.

The blended attack uses social engineering techniques in its attempt to trick people to the site, security vendor Websense said in an advisory. An SMS text message is sent to the targets’ cell phones, thanking them for subscribing to a fictitious dating service. The message states that they will be automatically charged a fee of $2.00 per day via their phone bill, unless their subscription is cancelled online.

The same message has also been sent multiple times to the comments section of numerous bulletin boards, Websense said. The attack began on Thursday in the U.S. and was first detected by Sunbelt Software, a security software vendor, Websense said. Source: Websense

Once victims visit the purported dating site to unsubscribe, they are prompted to download a Trojan horse program. (A Trojan horse is malicious software that disguises itself as another kind of application.) The attackers provide instructions on how to bypass security warnings in Internet Explorer, Websense said.

After the Trojan horse–a variant of a program Websense calls “Dumador”–is installed, it turns the computer into a “zombie,” allowing it to be remotely controlled by the hackers. The compromised machines then become part of a “bot” network, which can then be used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks. Source

Websense could not say how many users had fallen for the attack. Monitoring botnet activity is “very difficult” to do because of the crossborder nature of the networks.

The Dumador Trojan allows hackers to use HTTP to control the bots and trigger them to upload information. Typically, the most popular method of bot control is through Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 24, 2006 at 3:15 am

Categories: Security, Spyware Info   Tags: ,