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News - December 16, 2004

by Brent Welch / December 15, 2004 2:53 PM PST

E-Card Holiday Virus Packs Ugly Punch

A new virus strain masquerading as electronic Christmas cards is accounting for one in every 10 e-mails hitting in-boxes, security experts warned Wednesday.

The W32/Zafi-D worm, which originated in Hungary, is using mass-mailing and P2P (peer-to-peer) techniques to squirm through in-boxes and slow network traffic to a crawl.

The worm, which poses as a Christmas greeting, has the ability to replicate in as many as 19 languages, which makes it a "very serious threat" to computer users worldwide, said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos Inc.

Cluley told eWEEK.com the Zafi-D mutant accounts for 75 percent of all virus reports at coming into the company's monitoring stations in the past 24 hours.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1742085,00.asp

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How to get it?
by Marianna Schmudlach / December 15, 2004 3:27 PM PST

If you open an infected attachment it will start on your computer and try to infect others. It is possible to get the nastie by other means like a Shared Folder or peer-to-peer networking but email is the most common method of infection.

This email worm sends itself from an infected computer to email addresses it finds on that computer. These email addresses are found not only in address books but in Internet cached pages as well. It runs on Windows operating systems only and does NOT need Outlook to run.

All messages in the body end with a Smiley face, followed by the (forged) sender?s name.

Running the attachment of these Christmas cards will cause the worm to run and infect your computer. The worm can have the following extension names: .bat .cmd .com .pif or .zip

Do I have it?
If you think you might be infected then make sure your anti-virus software is up to date then do a full scan of your computer. Don't panic -- most of the time people think a computer is infected it really some glitch in software or Windows itself.

If you are truly infected, Symantec Security Response has created a removal tool, which is the easiest way to remove the worm. http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.erkez@mm.removal.tool.html

Thankfully this worm doesn?t destroy any files or documents, its main aim is to spread itself around. To this end it

Creates a registry key so the worm executes every time Windows starts
Terminates security related processes like various anti-virus programs
Sends a copy of the worm to email addresses gathered from the computer, using its own SMTP engine
Creates exe files in folders with ?shar? in the name (like Shared folders)


It also opens a TCP/IP port and listens for commands from a remote attacker and displays Error Message ?Title: CRC: 04F7Bh Message: Error in packed file!?.

From: Woody's EMAIL Essentials

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Symantec to buy Veritas for $13.5 billion
by roddy32 / December 15, 2004 9:21 PM PST

By Mike Ricciuti CNET News.com December 16, 2004, 5:09 AM PT

update In a long-rumored move, security software maker Symantec said Thursday that it will buy storage specialist Veritas Software in a deal worth roughly $13.5 billion.


The combined company will form a powerhouse in security, systems and storage management software with roughly $5 billion a year in revenue.

The company will operate under the Symantec name, with John W. Thompson, Symantec's chief executive, serving as chairman and CEO. Gary L. Bloom, Veritas' chief executive, will become vice chairman and president.

"The new Symantec will help customers balance the need to both secure their information and make it available, thus ensuring its integrity,? Thompson said in a statement.

The deal is the latest sign of consolidation in the enterprise software market and the second major acquisition this week. On Monday, PeopleSoft agreed to be acquired by Oracle after an 18-month battle.

Analysts expect more consolidation as companies try to increase their range of products to better compete for tight IT budgets. That pressure is prompting midsize compaies and the industry's largest players to consider combinations to reach the broadest swath of the market.

For instance, Symantec, the leading security software maker, sells its products to both businesses and consumers, while Veritas serves midsize and large companies with its storage management systems. The companies are also banking on the desire of large companies to consolidate the number of vendors that they do business with.

The rest of it is here.

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5493289.html?tag=zdnn.alert

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Microsoft Acquires Anti-Spyware Leader GIANT Company
by roddy32 / December 16, 2004 12:20 AM PST

This article was just posted in another thread by a CNET member so thanks to "Snored" for the info and link.

New Offerings Will Help Customers Keep SpywareAnd Other Deceptive Software Off Their Computers

REDMOND, Wash. -- Dec. 16, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has acquired GIANT Company Software Inc., a provider of top-rated anti-spyware and Internet security products. Microsoft will use intellectual property and technology assets from the acquisition to provide Microsoft

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Students uncover dozens of Unix software flaws
by Donna Buenaventura / December 16, 2004 2:49 PM PST

Students of iconoclastic computer scientist Daniel Bernstein have found some 44 security flaws in various Unix applications, according to a list of advisories posted online.

The flaws, which range from minor slipups in rarely used applications to more serious vulnerabilities in software that ships with most versions of the Linux operating system, were found as part of Bernstein's graduate-level course at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Every program is used somewhere--this was a requirement for the homework--but the programs vary widely in popularity," Bernstein, a professor of computer science at the university, stated in an e-mail interview Thursday.

More in http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5492969.html

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