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News - August 3, 2004

by Brent Welch / August 3, 2004 12:42 AM PDT

Net virus posing as Berg video

A virus purporting to show video of Nick Berg alive has been released on the internet, warn security experts.

The virus is in a message post to tens of thousands of newsgroups, said anti-virus firm Sophos. It is the same one that posed as a suicide note from Arnold Schwarzenegger and as images claiming to show that Osama Bin Laden had killed himself.

Computer owners are advised to ensure their anti-virus software is up-to-date and avoid opening unknown messages. The message is the latest by a group called the Hackarmy designed to spread malicious code which can allow hackers to take control of a computer.


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Rise Of The Attack Bots
by Brent Welch / August 3, 2004 12:44 AM PDT
In reply to: News - August 3, 2004

Hackers are increasingly relying on so-called "bot networks" to attack core parts of the Internet, send spam, and steal identities, security experts say. Last week, a distributed denial-of-service attack was launched against the systems of Internet advertising company DoubleClick Inc.

That company confirmed in a statement that the attack against its domain name system infrastructure caused severe service disruption for many of its ad-serving customers. Attackers also attempted to launch a similar attack against Microsoft last week but weren't successful.

"It's a result of the dramatic spread of bot networks," says Lloyd Taylor, VP of technology and operations for Internet performance-monitoring company Keynote Systems Inc. Bot networks consist of up to hundreds of thousands of computers on which hackers have placed apps called bots or zombies that can be commandeered to attack any system or network connected to the Internet. Security software vendor Symantec Corp. says it's tracking a half-million systems with bots on them.


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Hackers are increasingly relying on so-called "bot networks"
by Brent Welch / August 3, 2004 12:46 AM PDT
In reply to: News - August 3, 2004

There is a good chance that your home computer has been hijacked by spammers if you have a broadband net link, but are not using a firewall or anti-virus software to protect your PC. Even if you use anti-virus software but do not keep it up to date, there is every possibility that you are helping to keep spam alive and spreading.

You could also be helping if you are one of those people that open up attachments on e-mail messages that turn out to contain viruses, rather than the pictures you were promised in a subject line. Spammers are actively seeking out and hijacking home PCs to act as remotely controlled relays, or zombies, that pass on their unwanted messages.

Viruses such as MSBlaster, Agobot, MyDoom and Sobig were all written with the aim of converting home PCs to the spammers cause. And they have succeeded in huge numbers.


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Microsoft Tests Antivirus Product
by Brent Welch / August 3, 2004 12:49 AM PDT
In reply to: News - August 3, 2004

Microsoft's antivirus software is well on its way through the developmental process according to PC World. Alpha builds of the utility are in testing and it is believed that the software behaves in a "hive" capacity as it shares information between machines: Microsoft is alpha-testing its upcoming antivirus product, according to industry sources.

They claim the antivirus software works as a "behavior blocker" that monitors different events and actions on computers. If the event or action is typical of virus or is harmful, it will be prevented. Behavior blockers do not use code signatures like traditional scanner-based antivirus programs, so they may be able to protect against new types of viruses without being updated--an important consideration for Microsoft.

The antivirus product was also referred to as an Intrusion Detection and Protection System by sources, indicating that it may work in conjunction with the Windows Firewall.


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Microsoft offers $1m for secure computing curricula
by Donna Buenaventura / August 3, 2004 2:52 AM PDT
In reply to: News - August 3, 2004

Microsoft's research group is making available $1m (

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