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Security Response
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Satnam Narang | 02 Oct 2014 22:08:55 GMT

In May, Snapchat released an update to the popular photo-messaging application that put the “chat” into Snapchat by allowing users to send messages within the app.  We previously warned that criminals would inevitably leverage this feature in future spam campaigns. Sure enough, a number of Snapchat users have recently reported receiving chat messages and photos from their friends promoting diet pill spam.

Fruit spam on Snapchat
This is not the first campaign of this type we have seen. In February 2014, a number of Snapchat accounts were compromised and used to send images of fruit drinks, promoting websites called FrootSnap and SnapFroot....

Symantec Security Response | 26 Sep 2014 20:13:14 GMT

Australian Cryptomalware 1.png

Australia is a land that is blessed by natural beauty and plentiful resources. Its isolation in the Indian and Pacific Oceans has helped protect it from many global afflictions that have hit other lands closer to world population centers. While Australia’s geography has long shielded it from storms, what worked in the past does not always work in the present.

This is particularly true of digital threats. Since the middle of 2014, Symantec has observed a major global surge in the occurrence of many different cryptomalware families such as Cryptolocker, Cryptodefense, and...

Symantec Security Response | 25 Sep 2014 13:40:06 GMT


A new vulnerability has been found that potentially affects most versions of the Linux and Unix operating systems, in addition to Mac OS X (which is based around Unix). Known as the “Bash Bug” or “ShellShock,” the GNU Bash Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6271) could allow an attacker to gain control over a targeted computer if exploited successfully.

The vulnerability affects Bash, a common component known as a shell that appears in many versions of Linux and Unix. Bash acts as a command language interpreter. In other words, it allows the user to type commands into a simple text-based window, which the operating system will then run.

Bash can also be used to run commands passed to it by applications and it is this feature...

Satnam Narang | 19 Sep 2014 13:57:35 GMT


Many people are questioning the security of Apple’s iCloud following news of stolen celebrity nude photos. Symantec has three easy steps to help secure Apple accounts and devices—whether you’re a first-time owner or just upgrading.

Step 1. Enable Touch ID fingerprint recognition


You’ll be asked if you want to enable Touch ID—be sure to do it. Apple's Touch ID is a fingerprint reader built right into the iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus models to authenticate the user. Your fingerprint can be used to unlock the iPhone and to make purchases through iTunes, the App...

Lionel Payet | 19 Sep 2014 11:37:02 GMT


Contributor: Andrea Lelli

Every day, many different targeted attacks occur using various social engineering themes. Social engineering is a critical first stage of a spear-phishing email attack, as it lays the ground work to the eventual compromise of a victim's computer. The social engineering theme is usually related to the victim’s business or current news, but occasionally, unusual social engineering themes show up. Despite their strange nature, these peculiar social engineering themes may be enough to arouse your curiosity. This basic human emotion is difficult to ‘control’ – “Curiosity is the lust of the mind,” as the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes once said.

Last month, we observed a spear-phishing email that claimed to contain classified information in the form of a report [...

Symantec Security Response | 17 Sep 2014 10:34:22 GMT


For years now, malware has attempted to evade detection by security software using many different methods. Functions such as ending processes and services and deleting files and registry keys related to security products are commonly included in many of today’s malware. We recently noticed a simple, but interesting, trick used in an attempt to prevent the installation of a security product.

A group of scammers, using a certain set of variants of Trojan.Snifula customized to target Japanese online banks and credit card companies, is now attempting to figure out ways to avoid detection from a security product local to Japan. A recent configuration file used by this variant includes JavaScript that attempts to stop a specific image file from appearing on a...

Dick O'Brien | 11 Sep 2014 17:07:13 GMT


Apple is moving into the payments market with the announcement of a contactless payments service for its new iPhone 6. The company yesterday announced two new iPhone models and an accompanying Apple Watch and also unveiled details of Apple Pay, which will allow users to make payments using near field communication (NFC) wireless technology.

Rather than creating its own payments infrastructure, Apple has inked deals with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and a number of major card-issuing banks, which will see payments made using the new iPhone routed through existing payment card networks.

One touch payments
Users of the new iPhone 6 will...

himanshu_mehta | 09 Sep 2014 20:53:11 GMT


Hello, welcome to this month's blog on the Microsoft patch release. This month the vendor is releasing four bulletins covering a total of 42 vulnerabilities. Thirty-six of this month's issues are rated Critical.

As always, customers are advised to follow these security best practices:

  • Install vendor patches as soon as they are available.
  • Run all software with the least privileges required while still maintaining functionality.
  • Avoid handling files from unknown or questionable sources.
  • Never visit sites of unknown or questionable integrity.
  • Block external access at the network perimeter to all key systems unless specific access is required.

Microsoft's summary of the September releases can be found here:

Dick O'Brien | 08 Sep 2014 12:57:37 GMT


The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is planning to create an official standard for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications and the agency recently published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on V2V—effectively a notice that the standard and a requirement to implement it is on the way—along with a progress report on the development of this new technology.

Why is the US government getting involved in creating new technology standards? It doesn’t believe that the market would agree on a standard itself in a timely fashion if left to its own devices.  “NHTSA...

Symantec Security Response | 05 Sep 2014 16:46:11 GMT

Days after numerous celebrities were found to have their iCloud accounts compromised, a major botnet has turned its attention to Apple customers, launching a phishing email campaign aimed at luring victims into disclosing their Apple ID’s and passwords.

Symantec has observed Kelihos (also known as Waledac) being used to send spam emails purporting to be from Apple, informing the victim that a purchase has been made using their account on the iTunes Store. Samples of the emails discovered by Symantec bear the subject line “Pending Authorisation Notification.” The email says that the victim’s account has been used to purchase the film “Lane Splitter” on a computer or device that hadn’t previously been linked to their Apple ID. The email gives an IP address that was used to make the alleged purchase and claims the address is located in Volgograd, Russia.