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NEWS - January 23, 2008

by Donna Buenaventura / January 22, 2008 6:03 PM PST

Google links scam Avira users

Suspect firm advertising via Google found to be specialising in hijacking security brands.

Google searches for Avira and the company's anti-malware product Antivir, a free version of which is available for personal use in the German home market and elsewhere, are producing sponsored links to a subscription-based software download site specialising in providing 'free' security products.

The sponsored links in Google.de have tricked many would-be Avira users into paying cash to the sneaky firm, operating at 'downloadlink-2007.com'. With the new year the firm changed its name in the Google links to 'downloadlink-2008', but maintained its sponsored status and devious tactics, including adding the word 'avira' or 'antivir' to the site title displayed in the Google search results.

Clicking on the sponsored link, rather than the direct links to Avira further down the page, takes users to a site offering subscriptions to a package of security and system maintenance tools. After unchecking several boxes the system can be bypassed to lead eventually to an Antivir page at a separate freeware download site (users of the Firefox NoScript plugin may find this more difficult), but many users have felt tricked into buying the firm's wares in the belief that payment was necessary to access the Avira software.


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E-commerce security service scans consumers' PCs
by Donna Buenaventura / January 22, 2008 6:33 PM PST

Panda Software service designed for banks and merchants

Panda Software Wednesday unveiled a service that lets banks and online merchants scan a consumer?s PC in memory for a few seconds to determine if resident malware could pose a threat to the e-commerce exchange.

Panda Security for Internet Transactions is a managed in-the-cloud service that relies on Panda?s ability to identify malware through both signature and behavior patterns. It works through an ActiveX-based scan to the consumer?s PC. ?For business-to-consumer Web sites, it uses a 200K ActiveX [code] downloaded to the endpoint,? says Gary Leibowitz, general manager at Panda.


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Mozilla confirms Firefox proof of concept information leak v
by Donna Buenaventura / January 22, 2008 6:40 PM PST
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Mozilla says that flaw could lead to data leak
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Attackers favor compromise over creation
by Donna Buenaventura / January 23, 2008 2:19 AM PST

For the first time, legitimate Web sites compromised by attackers made up the majority of sites used to spread malicious programs, security firm Websense said in a report published on Tuesday.

During the second half of 2007, the number of malicious compromised sites climbed to 51 percent, becoming a more popular way to spread code then sites created by attackers, Websense said in its research highlights. Mass Web site attacks aimed at creating online points of infection have become more common in the past year, including major incidents in March and November.

"These sites pose a significant risk because many security companies rely on Web site reputation to protect customers," the company stated in the report. "Compromised sites have a good reputation, plus the have a built-in group of visitors to the site."


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Domain name gaffe launches Clearswift clients into e-mail
by Donna Buenaventura / January 23, 2008 5:35 AM PST


A domain name snafu at Clearswift, a company that filters email and web pages for objectionable content, wreaked havoc on some of its business customers when admins awoke to find their organizations were unable to send or receive email.

The outage was caused when mimesweeper.biz, the domain where customers' email is routed before being filtered, went off line. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the domain name to crash, but this whois record shows it expired on Dec. 13, suggesting someone forgot to renew its registration.


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Mr-Brain: Stealing Phish from Fraudsters
by Donna Buenaventura / January 23, 2008 5:59 AM PST

A recurrent group of Moroccan fraudsters calling themselves Mr-Brain has launched a website dedicated to offering easy-to-use phishing site code, email templates and other hacking tools. The website offers phishing kits for many of the most common targets, such as Bank of America, eBay, PayPal and HSBC.

The tools and code provided by Mr-Brain are designed to make it extremely easy for other fraudsters to deploy realistic phishing sites. Only a very basic knowledge of programming is required to configure the PHP scripts to send victims' details to the fraudsters' chosen electronic mail address. Deploying one of these fully working kits can be done in as little as one minute ? another factor that adds to their appeal.

More with screenshots at http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2008/01/22/mrbrain_stealing_phish_from_fraudsters.html

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