You may have heard about the Conficker Worm from way back in 2008. It caused quite a scare as it was infecting a huge amount of computers, was able to spread on it’s own, and no one knew how to stop it. Well, at this point this worm isn’t as popular or thought of as much, especially as there are now patches and protections from it, however, this worm is still alive and well with an estimated 12 million computers under its control.

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Internet security company McAfee conducts an annual study that classifies the top celebrities that might be harmful to your computer’s health. By harmful we don’t mean that the celebrities themselves might wreak havoc on your system, but instead that searching for websites or images of these people might bring up malware-loaded websites specifically created to look like innocent celebrity content.

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Whenever you buy a laptop lock you expect it to do just that, lock your laptop in place to make sure it doesn’t get stolen. And if you are going through the trouble of actually buying and using the lock, it’s pretty safe to assume that whatever information is on that laptop is pretty important to you and worth locking up.

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When asked about computer security and virus protection, most people are under the assumption that a Windows computer is expected to be in constant battle against malware and viruses of all kinds, while the Mac is generally safe, allowing users to do or download whatever they wish without any repercussions. Well, this assumption is not only being challenged at this point, but is actively being proven false thanks to the “Mac Defender.”

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tsaThe Department of Justice recently charged a former Transportation System Administrtaion (TSA) employee, Douglas James Duchak,  with trying to inject malicious code into TSA’s internal database, the implications of which could be disastrous to the safety of the United States.  Duchak worked in TSA’s Colorado Springs Operations Center from August 2004 to October 2009 where he was a data analyst in charge of

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energizerResearchers at the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) say that the Energizer Bunny DUO USB battery charger is infected with a trojan horse that allows hackers to steal personal information from a Window’s PC.

Energizer Holdings ascertained late Friday that the USB-powered nickel hydride battery recharger was contaminated with malicious code, and the product has since been discontinued.

As of now the company does not know how the hacking was done. “Energizer is currently working with both CERT and U.S. government officials to understand how the code was inserted in the software,” Energizer said in a statement.

The Windows software included with the Energizer DUO is supposed to display charging status. After the software is installed, a Trojan that steals and transmits files is created. Even if the charger is disconnected from the computer, the Trojan continues to steal and alter information whenever the computer is on.

According to US-CERT officials, if you think your computer is infected you are advised to uninstall the software. Another method is to remove the Arucer.dll from Windows’ “system32 ” directory and restart your computer.

(Via Network World)

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homeland-securityPresident Obama is currently reevaluating the country’s cyber security to protect both citizens and the government from harmful cyber attack.

One such exercise that is strengthening the nation’s cyber security is the “U.S. Cyber Challenge.” This multi player video game inspired challenge takes kids from age 17-21 who have above average computer skills or even hacking abilities and challenges them to a game called NetWars, where competitors play against each other in a game that tests their hacking skills.

Organizers say “the competition is aimed at identifying young people with exceptional computer skills and inspiring them to join the country’s woefully understaffed ranks of cyber security specialists needed to protect systems used by the military, industry and everyday people.”

While President Obama attempts to ameliorate this system, there are a few basic precautions you can take to better protect yourself from a cyber security breach. One such thing would be putting a credit freeze on your account if you suspect suspicious activity. This makes you Social Security number less susceptible to online theft. Another way to protect yourself would be to continually change your passwords  and create secure passwords when using online accounts. Besides these tips, basic common sense comes into play when entering sensitive banking or personal data and monitoring what exactly happens to this information after its submitted.

(Via the Examiner)

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virus-mp3-bacteria-unicef-p2p-networks-peer-to-peer-mpeg-mpgAs if your mailbox wasn’t already full of enough spam, now MP3 spam is making a come back. The trend first started popping up in 2007 when spammers started using MP3 files as attachments on emails.

According to Symantec, new forms of MP3 spam have now been spotted in the wild. These emails contain no message, and no subject body, they just have an MP3 attachment with a heavily distorted 5 second message recorded in a female voice that promotes a meds domain. Some of the random .mp3 file names that have been associated with this series of spam include milsoppy.mp3, enwomb.mp3 and realiser.mp3.

Trend Micro, another major antivirus firm has reported other MP3 spam that is pushing Viagra and other sexual enhancement pills. The MP3′s message encourages users to visit a web page that points to Canadian pharmacy sites.

Symantec’s Samir Patil blogged that, “Old trends never die, they just resurface from time to time. Case in point, spammed messages that have .MP3 file attachments, which were last seen two years ago, made their presence felt once again today.”

(Via Security Watch)

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