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Symantec Security Response | 06 Nov 2013 15:13:57 GMT
On November 5, Microsoft issued an advisory and a blog post to report a new zero-day vulnerability in the Microsoft Graphics component that affects Windows, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Lync: the Multiple Microsoft Products Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2013-3906). The advisory states that the vulnerability exists in the way that certain components handle specially crafted TIFF images, potentially allowing an attacker to remotely execute code on the affected computer. 
While Microsoft has yet to release a patch for this vulnerability, it has provided a temporary "...
Mircea Ciubotariu | 01 Nov 2013 16:57:22 GMT

Clean Theory 1.png

Old rules…

A popular proverb goes like this:

When one adds a pint of clean water to a barrel of sewer water one gets a barrel of sewer water, but when one adds a pint of sewer water to a barrel of clean water one gets… well… a new barrel of sewer water.

If the clean water is considered as a logically true statement and the sewer water is considered as a logically false statement, then the proverb expresses a long known principle used in logic:

Adding a true statement (clean water pint) to several chained false ones (sewer water barrel) with an AND operator (‘&’) results in an overall false statement. A similar situation occurs when adding a false statement to several chained true ones, resulting again in an overall false statement.


Kevin Savage | 01 Nov 2013 11:57:33 GMT

Malicious game downloads are not a new phenomenon, but malware authors are now exhibiting a greater degree of ambition in targeting online gamers. A gaming Trojan horse is now targeting user bank accounts in addition to user gaming credentials.

Threats such as Infostealer.Gampass have plagued online gamers for years, stealing user credentials and data. And even though Trojan.Grolker is a relative newcomer to the world of online gaming Trojans, it does have a new avenue of attack.  

Symantec has been observing Trojan.Grolker in the wild since the middle of 2012. The majority of infections have been observed in South Korea, with smaller concentrations in Hungary. Attackers have targeted...

Christopher Mendes | 30 Oct 2013 07:35:35 GMT

Diwali is just around the corner and many users will be doing their festive shopping online since online shopping is cool, fast and easy these days.

India has come of age when it comes to online shopping. Many Indians are turning towards this easier mode of purchase, which is less time consuming and comes with better bargains. But online shopping is also turning out to be an easy hunting ground for opportunistic cybercriminals. Scammers and fraudsters are once again doing the rounds with "out-of-the-world offers and speedy deliveries" to users’ doorsteps.

In the sample case discussed in this blog, third-party mailers and recently registered spammy domains are being used for nefarious Web activities. The samples discussed below illustrate how the spammers have conducted a thorough study of India’s online shopping environment, and customized their campaigns accordingly.

Subject: This Diwali Gift  B[REMOVED] – A...

Symantec Security Response | 29 Oct 2013 13:03:25 GMT

Today, we are publishing a report on the security risks present on Android app markets in the first half of this year. The report presents trends in malware and madware, the latter referring to apps that use aggressive ad libraries. Ad libraries have the ability to collect information about the app’s user in order to serve targeted advertisements. However, some of these libraries can leak personal information or exhibit annoying behaviors such as displaying ads in the notification bar, creating ad icons or changing Web browser bookmarks. We refer to these libraries as aggressive ad libraries.   

In the middle of this year, 65 ad libraries were known and over 50 percent of them were classified as aggressive. The percentage of apps that use aggressive ad libraries has been on the rise since 2010, increasing every year, and reached 23 percent in the first half of 2013. According to our report, users can expect the most madware when downloading apps from the...

Symantec Security Response | 29 Oct 2013 00:44:11 GMT

Yesterday, the Syrian Electronic Army announced that it had compromised the email accounts of several staff members of Organizing For Action (OFA), a non-profit organization that also maintains the President’s website (, the President’s Facebook, and the President’s Twitter account (@barackobama). A screenshot posted by @Official_SEA16 confirms the hack and indicates some OFA staff were conducting business using Gmail email accounts, hosted through Google Apps for Business.

We accessed many Obama campaign emails accounts to assess his terrorism capabilities. They are quite high #SEA

— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16)...

Anand Muralidharan | 28 Oct 2013 06:33:53 GMT

Many people are waiting eagerly for Halloween, a holiday filled with mystery, magic and fantasy, where bonfires were lit and costumes were worn to ward off roaming ghosts. As expected, Halloween Day spam messages have started flowing through Symantec’s Probe Network. In this spam, users are asked to complete a fake survey, and then to click a URL containing the spam message, which redirects them to a website with a bogus Halloween Day offer.

 Top word combinations used in spam messages include:

  • Halloween – Costumes
  • Halloween – treat
  • Halloween – Special
  • Halloween – Survey

figure 1.png

Figure 1. The spam asks users to complete a fake survey for an offer

After a user completes the survey, a...

Daniel Regalado | 25 Oct 2013 23:11:17 GMT

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On September 4, 2013, we were the first to discover and add detections for a new malware targeting ATMs named Backdoor.Ploutus, as reported by our Rapid Release Definitions. Recently, we identified a new variant of this threat and realized that it has been improved and translated into English, suggesting that the ATM software is now being used in other countries.

Symantec added a generic detection for this new variant as Backdoor.Ploutus.B on October 25, 2013, so Ploutus can be...

Ben Nahorney | 22 Oct 2013 19:42:40 GMT

It can all start with what looks like an innocuous email containing a link to a potential job opportunity. Or perhaps it’s an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be a high-ranking employee, asking you to process an invoice sent by email. It may even be lying in wait behind a website you frequently visit for work.

In many ways, targeted attacks have become public enemy number one in the corporate world, if anything, just for the potential havoc a successful attack can wreak. Stolen intellectual property, a loss of faith by customers, or simply general embarrassment are just a few of the potential outcomes of these attacks.

In this month’s Symantec Intelligence Report we take a detailed look at targeted attacks in 2013. While new techniques have yet to...

Satnam Narang | 22 Oct 2013 14:01:06 GMT

Following media reports that Twitter has restricted URLs in direct messages, spammers found a way around this restriction this weekend in order to push diet pill spam links.


Figure 1. A direct message sends users to the tweet containing the spam link

We first noticed this when someone we follow on Twitter, who has never followed us before, started following us. Shortly after receiving the notification that we had a new follower, we received a direct message from the user.