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Security Response
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Mimi Hoang | 08 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Symantec is the most effective at detecting and removing spyware versus five other vendors. AV-Test (Andreas Marx), under the supervision of TUEV Saarland, conducted a test to determine how each vendor handled the spyware/adware anti-removal techniques.

This test was conducted in June, 2006, with 50 security risk samples randomly chosen by AV-Test from the “top 10” lists of various antispyware vendors, including the vendors that were tested. Further information on testing methodology and samples used can be downloaded at (refer to the Appendix at the end of the technical brief) or visit

The results showed Symantec’s lead in the detection and removal of spyware, adware, and other security risk programs. We...

Hon Lau | 07 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Many great things have been touted about Web 2.0, such as that it will bring about a richer, freer, and more community-driven experience for all users. Technologies like wikis and blogs, along with services like Flickr and YouTube are prime examples of how the Web has evolved to bring about increased community participation. What these services really do is bring about freedom of speech to the masses. Unfortunately, the masses also include the “bad”.

Wikipedia has long been a target for mischief makers who abuse the ability for anyone to freely create and edit entries in the encyclopedia. Usually the abuses only involve providing false information in articles on the site. Recently, we received reports that the German version of Wikipedia has been used by malware creators to distribute their creations by modifying a page to point to their malicious programs. According to the reports, a Wikipedia entry regarding W32.Blaster was modified to point at fake Microsoft Windows...

Eric Chien | 06 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

An exploit has been spotted in the wild foran unpatched vulnerability in the Microsoft XML core services, whichallow developers to create XML-enabled applications. All supportedversions of Internet Explorer (including IE7) make use of thisfunctionality and are likely to be possible vectors of attack.

While the exploit has been spotted in the wild, it has only beenseen on a single Web site and Symantec has no confirmed infectionreports from customers. Nevertheless, as always, be cautious whensurfing the Web.

Symantec has already released a signature, Bloodhound.Exploit.96, to catch this exploit. More information about the vulnerability can be found in the Microsoft Security Advisory (927892).

Update Nov. 8, 2006: A...

Joseph Blackbird | 06 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Well, it’s now November and time to startthinking about buying presents for the holiday season. In the last fewyears, one of the most popular choices for presents has been one of themany different MP3 players on the market. Two incidents occurred inOctober that may make you think twice before connecting that new playerto your computer. Reports surfaced that a small number of Apple’s VideoiPods were infected with the Rajumpvirus. The virus was traced back to a Windows-based computer that wasused to test the devices during the manufacturing process.Additionally, some of the MP3 players given away as part of a promotionby McDonald’s in Japan were infected with a virus. Any new device thatyou connect to your computer should always be scanned with anup-to-date antivirus product before you allow it to synchronize anyfiles.

Also in October, there were a couple of...

Shunichi Imano | 03 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

On October 31st, Microsoft released a Security Advisory entitled Vulnerability in Visual Studio 2005 Could Allow Remote Code Execution.At this time, a vendor supplied patch has not been released against thevulnerability. It allows a remote file to be downloaded and executedwhenever a vulnerable user visits a malicious Web site. We haveconfirmed that it is being actively exploited in the wild.

To proactively detect the exploitation of this vulnerability, Symantec Security Response released Bloodhound.Exploit.95on November 1. Since then, we have received steady number ofBloodhound.Exploit.95 submissions. The submitted files are generally.html files from malicious Web sites, which use the vulnerability todownload further malware, most of which have...

Ollie Whitehouse | 03 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Back in 2004, I presented some research at CanSecWest entitled “Bluetooth Security: Toothless?” One of the items I covered in this presentation was the ability to recover link keys over the air. My research was missing a key feature, which was how to force a re-pair between two devices in order to be able to observe the new pairing to be able to get the required data. Fast-forward to June, 2005, and Yaniv Shaked and Avishai Wool improved the attack in many aspects and released the paper “Cracking the Bluetooth PIN,” including many novel aspects. Well, it’s now 2006 and Thierry Zoller has just given an interesting presentation at the conference (with input from...

Mimi Hoang | 02 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Rootkits are on the rise! We define a rootkit as a component that uses stealth to maintain an undetectable presence on a computer. Above and beyond that, the actions performed by a rootkit are done without end-user consent or knowledge.

Open source offers ready-to-use rootkit applications that are widely available to anybody using the Internet. Even an inexperienced rookie would be able to use a rootkit without having to understand how it works. These hi-tech criminals are money hungry and want to hide their actions and presence on any system they get on. Rootkits are perfect to help them commit fraud and identity theft by granting the attackers unauthorized access to privileged and proprietary information, and launching and hiding other malicious applications on the system. Above all, it leaves the hi-tech criminal with a back door to be able to continue to harm the victimized machine. As well, a large proportion of spyware and adware programs that use rootkits are...

Peter Ferrie | 02 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

We received a virus on Thursday morning that parasitically infects OSX Mach-O format files, without relying on resource forks. It's called OSX/Macarena. If you have read the OSX/Leap paper from this year's Virus Bulletin conference, you will have seen some suggestions about possible infection methods. Those suggestions were all ignored by the virus author in this case. Instead, the virus writer has found a rather unexpected region of memory in which to place the code, along with a way to gain immediate control when an infected file is executed. There is no payload in this virus—it simply replicates. However, it won't replicate very well, because it is restricted to the current directory. On Windows systems it is common to have directories like "Windows" and "Windows\system32" full of executable files; but, files aren't stored like that on OSX systems....

Al Hartmann | 01 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

This Weblog and the blogoshpere in generalhave been abuzz with controversy over Microsoft PatchGuard and issuesdealing with appropriate kernel security instrumentation. This blogentry is the first of a two-part series. It provides an excerpt of adraft posting that proposes an abstract host security metasystem andlaws of host security that attempt to raise the level of discourseabove specific features and implementations. This blog entry willoutline the sensor and effector instrumentation laws and the secondblog entry, covering the security and policy component laws, will bepublished later this week. Symantec posted this draft to openly solicitconstructive comments and helpful suggestions for draft refinements.The intent is to reach industry consensus on an architectural frameworkto guide designers of future host security subsystems and supportinginstrumentation.


Ollie Whitehouse | 01 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Be warned: this may sound a little odd. Imagine if I told you that some television and radio content is broadcast using IP, over the air. (You'd probably think I’d been working with too much paint thinner over the weekend.) Well, this broadcast method is how a live service in the UK works. It’s called digital audio broadcasting – IP (DAB-IP) and in short, your mobile device just got another network connection.

The UK has just had the “Lobster” (a mobile handset) launched on the Virgin mobile network, which uses DAB-IP for its TV and radio content. DAB is a standard owned by ETSI (the same people who own GSM). With DAB-IP, content is basically being tunneled over IP, over DAB, to your handset. One of the first interesting things I read in relation to this topic was a...