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NEWS - August 28, 2009

by Donna Buenaventura / August 27, 2009 6:48 PM PDT
FBI fears free laptops could be malware scam

Beware geeks offering gifts.

Malware authors may have found a new way to skirt firewalls - send some pre-infected laptops in the post.

That's the fear of the FBI which is investigating the despatch of laptops to US state governors. Five HP laptops were sent to West Virginia Governor Joe Mahchin a few weeks ago. According to sources familiar with the investigation, other states have been targeted too, with HP laptops mysteriously ordered for officials in 10 states. Four of the orders were delivered, while the remaining six were intercepted.

The West Virginia laptops were delivered to the governor's office several weeks ago, prompting state officials to contact police, according to Kyle Schafer, the state's chief technology officer. "We were notified by the governor's office that they had received the laptops and they had not ordered them," he said. "We checked our records and we had not ordered them."

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Hackers scalp Apache
by Donna Buenaventura / August 28, 2009 2:03 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 28, 2009

The website of Apache was taken offline for several hours on Friday after the SSH remote administration key on one of its servers was compromised.

It's unclear at present whether any code on the Apache website was actually modified. Nor do we know how the attack was carried out or who was behind it.

Apache's web site was restored after DNS records were changed so that servers based in Europe rather than at the main US site were carrying the load.


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Apple's Snow Leopard Brings Compatibility, Security Concerns
by Donna Buenaventura / August 28, 2009 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 28, 2009

Adobe CS3 users are expressing dismay that Snow Leopard compatibility hasn't been tested while hackers tempt Mac users with malware in Snow Leopard clothing.

Apple's Snow Leopard update for Mac OS X ships later this week, but compatibility and security worries have already arrived.

Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) on Tuesday confirmed that its Creative Suite 4 (CS4) line of products is compatible with Snow Leopard, except for Adobe Drive/Version Cue. It also acknowledged that its older CS3 software has not been tested with Apple's forthcoming operating system.

In an effort to dispel worries that CS3 users would be unable to use their software if they upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6, Adobe Photoshop product manager John Nack subsequently clarified in a blog post that "No one said anything about CS3 being 'not supported' on Snow Leopard."

He stopped short however of declaring that CS3 will be fully functional under Snow Leopard, leaving Adobe users who haven't upgraded to CS4 wondering, like Microsoft Office 2004 users, whether any show-stopping glitches await.

An unofficial, community-compiled Snow Leopard application compatibility list was briefly available at http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/, but the hosting site appears to have been overwhelmed by the visitor traffic and was returning a blank page at the time this article was filed.

With regard to security, Trend Micro said that one its researchers had discovered several Web sites advertising free copies of Snow Leopard. What's actually offered is malware, specifically, a DNS changing Trojan known as OSX_JAHLAV.K.

"Once executed, OSX_JAHLAV.K decrypts codes, which include a script that downloads other malicious scripts," said Trend Micro's Bernadette Irinco in a blog post. "The said script then alters the DNS configuration and includes two additional IP addresses in its DNS server. Users are thus possibly redirected to phishing sites and other fraudulent sites. In fact, some of these bogus sites are reportedly hosting FAKEAV (rogue antivirus) variants and components."

According to Trend Micro, OSX_JAHLAV.K may be downloaded without the user's knowledge following a visit to a malicious Web site. The Trojan, however, has a "low" overall risk rating.

Foxit Corporation, which makes the PDF reading program Foxit for Windows, Linux and various mobile platforms, on Tuesday warned that hackers are distributing software that purports to be Foxit Reader for Mac, a product that hasn't been released yet.


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Compromised: Spywaresignatures website
by Donna Buenaventura / August 28, 2009 4:01 AM PDT
In reply to: NEWS - August 28, 2009
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