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NEWS - August 20, 2013

by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 20, 2013 3:05 AM PDT
UK agents detain Greenwald's partner, destroy The Guardian's hard drives

It has been an eventful weekend for The Guardian newspaper, its reporter Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda, as the British police held the latter and questioned him at Heathrow for nine hours, and two security experts of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) came to The Guardian's headquarters and supervised the destruction of several hard drives that supposedly contained documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

I must confess that this lede is one that I never expected to write, but this is, unfortunately, the new reality.

David Miranda was detained on Sunday morning at London's Heathrow airport, as he disembarked from a plane coming from Berlin and was heading to another one destined for Rio de Janeiro, the city that he and Glenn Greenwald call home.

While held in custody, he was extensively interrogated, has been denied access to a lawyer or an interpreter, and was unable and not allowed to call anyone because his cell phone was seized, along with his laptop, several USB sticks, video game consoles, DVDs and more.

Continued : http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=15431

UK Govt Forced Guardian to Destroy Files: Editor
Computer destroyed to squelch NSA stories, Guardian says
UK Government Smashed Guardian Drives In 'Symbolic' Bid To Stop Leaks
Guardian lets UK spooks trash 'Snowden files' PCs to make them feel better
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Groklaw shuts down rather than risk feds snooping thru email
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 20, 2013 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 20, 2013

Groklaw, the 11-year-old website devoted to covering legal disputes related to open source software, has announced it will shut down rather than risk the government reading its e-mail.

Groklaw founder Pamela Jones (commonly known as "PJ") wrote today that she is not confident the government won't someday be able to crack her encrypted e-mails. "There is no way to do Groklaw without e-mail," she wrote. "So this is the last Groklaw article."

This is the second time Jones announced her intention to no longer publish Groklaw articles. On April 9, 2011, she said goodbye to readers because "the crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and Linux won. SCO as we knew it is no more." She quickly changed course, saying Groklaw would continue with a new editor; she then continued running the site herself.

This time, she pointed to comments made by the owner of Lavabit, an encrypted e-mail service that shut down rather than comply with government orders to hand over e-mails. "The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using e-mail and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too," Jones wrote.

Continued : http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/groklaw-shuts-down-rather-than-risk-feds-snooping-through-e-mail/

More NSA Spying Fallout: Groklaw Shutting Down
Tech legal news site Groklaw shutting down, because email privacy 'is impossible'
Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

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Sirefef Malware Found Using Unicode Right-to-Left Override..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 20, 2013 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 20, 2013
.. Technique

Old malware tricks never really die, they just get recycled and passed down to the next generation of attackers. The latest technique to get run through the wayback machine is the use of the right-to-left override character in Unicode, a tactic that enables malware authors to hide the real name of a malicious executable or, in a recent case, a registry key.

Malware writers have been using the RLO technique for many years, as it's a simple and effective method for disguising the names of their malicious files. Typically, attackers will try to make their malware appear to be something benign, such as a music player or setup file for a popular application. The RLO technique helps then accomplish this goal.

Here's how it works: Malware authors give a malicious file a name that is somewhat close to a legitimate file name, and append an extension such .exe. But hidden in the file name will be a Unicode character that will reverse the order of the characters that follow it. So, for example, a file named "malwaregpj.exe" will appear as "malwareexe.jpg" when the Unicode character is used after the word "malware". Security researchers and malware analysts have known about this technique for a long time, but it's beginning to resurface. Researchers at Microsoft have seen new malware samples that are attempting to impersonate the Google service that keeps software updated on users' machines, and the malware is using the RLO technique in order to look like a legitimate registry key.

Continued: http://threatpost.com/sirefef-malware-found-using-unicode-right-to-left-override-technique/102033
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IE10 lags Chrome and Firefox as browser reliability rises
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 20, 2013 5:00 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 20, 2013
Internet Explorer 10 lags Chrome and Firefox as browser reliability rises

Recent versions of Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox are measurably less prone to crashes and errors than Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10, a new analysis by applications testing firm Sauce Labs has found.

If this looks like another stick to beat Microsoft's browser with, it is worth pointing out that the firm's study of around 55 million tests run using the Selenium platform found that all browsers showed extremely low levels of errors, in the order of 0.12 percent or lower for the 'worst' performer, Apple's Safari 6.

On the same scale, Opera 12 scored 0.08 percent, IE10 at 0.05 percent, Chrome 27 under 0.02 percent, with Firefox was so low it effectively achieved a remarkable zero, that is to say no errors at all. IE lagged its main rivals but at levels that were already extremely low.

Continued : http://news.techworld.com/security/3464850/internet-explorer-10-lags-chrome-firefox-as-browser-reliability-rises/
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Microsoft re-releases botched AD FS patch
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 20, 2013 5:00 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 20, 2013

"Microsoft has re-issued one of the two updates which had to be withdrawn after last week's Patch Tuesday. The other remains withdrawn."

Last Tuesday was a bad Patch Tuesday for the Microsoft Server team. Two patches were issued, one for Exchange Server, one for AD FS (Active Directory Federation Services) 2.0, and both had to be withdrawn for problems.

Now Microsoft has re-released the ADFS patch, a.k.a. MS13-066. The FAQ in the updated security bulletin explains the problem with the initial release:

' The rereleased update addresses an issue in the original offerings that caused AD FS to stop working if the previously released RU3 rollup QFE (update 2790338) had not been installed; the rerelease removes this requirement. Furthermore, in creating this rerelease, Microsoft has consolidated the fixes contained in the two original updates (2843638 and 2843639) into a single 2843638 update.'

Even if you already applied the previous buggy patch, Microsoft encourages you to apply the new one as soon as practicable. If you do so, you will not see the 2790338 rollup in your list of installed updates, just the new 2843638 patch.

The problem only affected AD FS 2.0, not 1.x or 2.1. The update will only be offered by WSUS if AD FS 2.0 is installed on the system.

Continued : http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-re-releases-botched-ad-fs-patch-7000019594/

Microsoft reissues Windows server security patch
Microsoft Reissues MS13-066 Windows Server Patch
Second time's a charm! Microsoft tries again with Active Directory patch

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Skype Emoticons Website Serves Virut Virus
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 20, 2013 5:00 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 20, 2013

Cybercriminals are distributing a variant of the Virut virus (Win32/Virut.BN) with the aid of a website that purports to offer Skype emoticons.

According to BullGuard, the cybercrooks are sending out emails designed to lure unsuspecting users to the said website. However, instead of Skype emoticons, victims are served a file that hides the virus.

Win32/Virut.BN is a file infector that targets .exe and Windows screen saver (.scr) files. In addition, it opens a backdoor on the infected computer to allow the attackers to download and execute other malware.

BullGuard experts advise users who have installed the malicious emoticons to run a full system scan with an updated antivirus solution.

However, since Virut is a file infector, it can damage some files beyond repair. In this case, victims might be forced to restore their operating system to a previous state, or reinstall it altogether.


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