Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fifth of Facebook Users Exposed To Malware

Security software manufacturer BitDefender today released some statistics gleaned from Safego, a Facebook application that it offers to users of the social-network to keep an eye on their vulnerability to malware. The big finding: 20 percent of Facebook users are exposed to malicious posts in their "news feeds" of friends' activity, generally defined as posts that, when clicked on, result in "the user's account being hijacked and in malware being automatically posted on the walls of the respective user's friends."

The numbers were derived from Safego's analysis of news feed items viewed by the 14,000 Facebook users who have installed the app. Considering Facebook has 500 million users around the world, that's a small sample, but it's also a sample of users who, by virtue of installing the app in the first place, indicate that they're relatively security-minded. The "average" Facebook user may well be even more likely to see malicious posts, in theory.

Over 60 percent of attacks come from notifications from malicious third-party applications on Facebook's developer platform, the study found. Within that, the most popular subset of "attack apps" (21.5 percent of total kinds of malware) were those that claim to perform a function that Facebook normally prohibits, like seeing who has viewed your profile and who has "unfriended" you. 15.4 percent lure in users with bonus items for Facebook games like free items in FarmVille; 11.2 percent offer bonus (yet bogus) Facebook features like free backgrounds and "dislike buttons," 7.1 percent promise new versions of well-known gaming titles like World of Warcraft; 5.4 percent claim to give away free cell phones; and 1.3 percent claim to offer a way to watch movies for free online.

Beyond "app attacks," BitDefender found that an additional 16 percent of malware viewed on Facebook entices users to watch some kind of shocking video, like this one that claims to depict an anaconda coughing up a hippo, and that an additional 5 percent of attacks can be connected to viruses like Koobface.
And this isn't all the malware that gets flung across the social network: The BitDefender app only analyzed what's visible in users' news feeds. Private Facebook messages, which were just upgraded and expanded to include many different points of entry last week, are also vulnerable to attack.

Facebook says that it monitors activity routinely and keeps abreast of security concerns as quickly and expediently as possible, but as with anything else on the Web, dealing with malware is always a game of defense.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Antivirus Action Rogue Antispyware Program

Antivirus Action is a rogue antispyware program, a clone of Security Suite program which has been actively infecting computer systems a while ago. It uses exactly the same methods and has the same goals as the latter program.

The application uses system exploits in order to enter the system. The exploitable program then installs a Trojan virus which finally downloads and installs Antivirus Action to the infected computer.
The program is started as soon as the workstation is rebooted. The same repeats every time you log in to Windows. It loads a fake scanner and simulates performing system scan. After a while, the program generates a list of infections and asks you to purchase a full version of Antivirus Action in order to get rid of detected infections.

Later, the program starts generating fake alerts that warn about spyware infections that have been detected on the system. The messages state that your system is at risk and recommend activating your antivirus software in order to protect your computer against viruses and other security threats.

When you attempt to visit some Internet website, it will also cause more security notifications. Instead of opening the site you request for you will see a message claiming that visiting this website may harm your computer.

If you are one of those experiencing this kind of problems on your system, it is clears that your system has been infected. However, the main reason is not some spyware infections that the program claims to detect. The main infection is Antivirus Action itself.

Please remove Antivirus Action once you notice its activity.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Obama Wants To Speed Up Internet Privacy Laws

The Obama administration desires higher Internet privacy protection and is on the lookout for new legal guidelines and a new authorities to assist in that effort.

Citing folks conversant in the situation, the Journal says the White House had asked the Commerce Department to create a report with recommendations on enacting new legal guidelines regarding Web privacy. Presently in draft kind, the ultimate report is because of come out in a few weeks.

A special activity drive headed by Cameron Kerry, brother of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, has also been shaped to assist flip these recommendations into precise policy. A brand new federal position could be created to enforce that policy.

Though the government has usually steered away from any kind of regulation of on-line companies, the White House now appears to prepared to maneuver over considerations that online industries might not be able to regulate themselves. The renewed effort follows last week's announcement from the European Union that it is also searching for tougher legal guidelines to manage how personal information is used on the Internet.

Given the present political local weather in Washington, though, enacting and enforcing legal guidelines over Internet privacy could also be a challenge. While enough Republicans would doubtless help the effort, many might shrink back from giving the government too much regulatory management over the online industry.

Naturally, Web-based companies themselves are cautious of any new legal guidelines that would limit their capability to do business as usual. According to the Journal, the Interactive Promoting Bureau (IAB), which represents online advertisers, already feels the industry is doing sufficient to ensure privacy.

"We believe we are living up to consumer-privacy expectations and are very advanced in privacy protections and innovation," quoted the Journal of Mike Zaneis, senior vice chairman of the IAB.

The push for powerful Internet privacy laws is nothing new. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat from Virginia, has been one of many main Congressional champions of such laws dating back to 1999. This previous May, Boucher unveiled a draft proposal searching for to clamp down on the gathering of online knowledge, however several privateness groups complained that the proposal wasn't tough enough.

One other invoice launched in July by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush known as for a set of new rules administered by the Federal Trade Fee and fines towards any corporations that didn't observe those rules. However that invoice was seen as too weak by privateness advocates and too broad by the IAB and other industry groups.

The FTC has also been drafting its personal report due by the end of the 12 months with recommendations to Congress on regulating sure Internet business practices. Speaking at an occasion in Canada this past June, an FTC representative said that present Internet privateness legal guidelines aren't working and place an excessive amount of of a burden on the buyer to deal with the insurance policies of online businesses.