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Security Response
Showing posts tagged with Emerging Threats
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Sarah Gordon | 31 Oct 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

"People behind the programs" is a topic that has held public interest for many years now. Although, when it comes right down to it, the people behind most of the programs have been the same sort for decades. Yes, it's true that the risk of identity theft is growing. And, it's also true that risks from phishing have increased. And, it is undeniably true that bots are a huge problem, and they weren't twenty years ago.

So, how can I say that the types of people behind most of the programs has not changed in over two decades? Easy. It's true. "But, how can this be?" you ask.

Stay tuned. I'll be writing more about this soon.

Candid Wueest | 19 Oct 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

ost users that have a computer spend a vast amount of time on the Internet, be it for work-related business, or just out of curiosity. Spending so much time browsing the Web should make it obvious that people will try to optimize and improve the user experience of surfing the Web. For instance, the Mozilla Firefox browser allows the user to extend the browser's feature set with extension add-ons. If you want to control script execution on a more granular basis, then the “No Script” extension might be the right thing for you to have a look at. If you get annoyed by ads while surfing, you can give AdBlock a try. These are only two of the many examples out there. There are hundreds of different extensions freely available on the Internet. Even if your idea has not yet been integrated into an extension, then you can simply make one yourself (in a...

Oliver Friedrichs | 12 Oct 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

I have to say that it is not surprising to see that Microsoft is countering the claims (that Symantec, McAfee, and others are making) that Windows Vista will hinder innovation, while putting consumers at risk. In fact, I think that it is to be expected. Some of the arguments that are being put forth in their favor are rather uninformed, exceptionally broad, and disingenuous. They have been presented in such a way as to position security vendors as though we have for decades preyed on the weak and stolen from the poor and with the emergence of Windows Vista, freedom from this tyranny is in sight. The reality is, we offer a real service—protection from real threats that will otherwise result in real losses—and this is by no means a protection racket. In any case, it’s not my intent to try and dissuade that part of the population that really thinks this; but, I will try to offer some insight to those who would consider themselves technologists.

It is important to remember that...

Ben Greenbaum | 10 Oct 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

This month is a busy one, with 10 updates in total, fixing 27 distinct vulnerabilities. Of the 10 updates, seven of them are listed as “Critical” by Microsoft. Interestingly, all seven of them are intended to patch various client-side vulnerabilities—four of them in the Office suite.

Critical bugs:

The patched Office vulnerabilities are all file-format vulnerabilities that will allow an attacker to run the code of their choice on the victim machine, provided a user on that machine opens the malicious file.

There are patches for Powerpoint (MS06-058: BIDs 20322, 20304, 20325, 20226), Excel (MS06-059: BIDs...

Dave Cole | 29 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Now that all of the hard work has been done by everyone else compiling the stats and the 100+ page report, it’s time for a glance at the tea leaves. (Typical product manager.) ;-) This blog will serve as a very abbreviated recap of the Future Watch section of the latest ISTR, which looks ahead to the short-term horizon for what we think some of the main issues will be. This isn’t the "toaster is infected with a worm which jumped there from a flawed RFID chip” type of stuff; rather, it’s the patterns that we see forming that are either right around the corner, or are already showing signs of being a clear pattern. Your toaster is safe for now. :-)

While the ISTR report itself discusses both Windows Vista and Web 2.0 issues in the Future Watch section, I’m going to pass on those topics here, as we’ve already provided in-depth coverage of both in previous blogs. (You can find these blogs in the...

David McKinney | 27 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

We have just released the 10th edition of the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR). For the past five years, Symantec has been tracking the various trends in Internet security—involving malicious code, vulnerabilities, and Internet attacks—and compiling them twice a year into the ISTR. In my experience working as a vulnerability analyst, moderating Bugtraq, and contributing to the ISTR, there is one thing that is certain: vulnerabilities are on the rise. For the period affecting the current ISTR X release, we logged 2,249 new vulnerability records into our database, which is also a new high for the most new vulnerabilities in any given six-month period. The previous high was 1,912 new vulnerability records, which was reported in the second half of 2005. As usual, the majority of these vulnerabilities affect Web-based applications (68%-69%).

Not only are there more vulnerabilities, there are more affected vendors than ever before. In light of the ISTR release...

Joseph Blackbird | 26 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

The Internet attack threat landscape has definitely changed. Long gone are the days when it was easy for bot network owners and script kiddies to run their favorite publicly available exploit for the vulnerability of the week. They could take control of as many computers as they bothered to take the time to attack. Really, the flurry of remotely available network-based vulnerabilities and their corresponding attacks that exploded in the first few years of the twenty-first century were culminations of the type of attack that was exploited by the Morris Worm, back in 1988. Microsoft Windows was the ideal target: coded for commercial purposes, security was still in its infancy and it was ripe for the harvest.

Today, perimeter security technologies, such as firewalls, are a part of the standard vocabulary of your average computer user. Microsoft even packaged one with their operating system and enabled it by default, quickly making opportunistic attacks targeting network-...

Marc Fossi | 25 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

In March, 1999, an email worm named Melissa caused havoc across the Internet. I can recall hearing stories of people unplugging their mail servers because they couldn’t deal with the flood of email messages Melissa generated. Then, in 2001, two worms—Code Red and Nimda—generated so much traffic that some people disconnected their networks from the Internet in order to cope. In January, 2003, the Slammer worm caused so much traffic that it even took down banks’ ATM machines. Even though these worms all caused a lot of headaches and created headlines worldwide, with the exception of Nimda, none of them really did much other than spread.

Since Slammer, I can’t recall any other worms causing so much traffic that they’ve affected bandwidth across the Internet. Why is this? Well, I would say there are a few reasons. First and foremost, I think this change can be summed up in one word: money.

As we reported in the latest edition of the Symantec Internet Security...

Ben Greenbaum | 12 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Well, once again we find ourselves faced with the monthly ritual known as "Microsoft Patch Day”. This time around the ordeal is relatively minor, with only three new items in the bucket. Two of these items could potentially result in attacker-supplied code being run on a target system, but both are reliant on other limiting factors, which greatly reduce the global stress level associated with Patch Tuesday. All items, of course, are still worthy of close inspection by any admin to see if they apply to the machines and networks that they are responsible for.

The first issue we’ll address in this blog is the PGM overflow vulnerability (MS06-052, CVE-2006-3442, BID 19922). This is the most severe of the issues presented this month because it allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code remotely on the affected system. So then, what’s the good news? Well, the affected code is in MSMQ3....

Dave Cole | 06 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Last month, I blogged on the security and privacy implications surrounding Web 2.0, but left a little for another day. Following up after this year’s Black Hat, where Web 2.0 issues were cast into the spotlight, I’m here to finish what I started and provide an update on some interesting happenings.

Since my last post
To begin with, the potential for AJAX to empower sophisticated JavaScript malware and a host of invasive Web applications was demonstrated at Black Hat in Las Vegas. From port scanning to fingerprinting and basic network mapping, all done using the AJAX group of technologies, it’s clear that we’ve only begun to see what’s possible via malicious Web sites. While they may not have the immediate impact of a...