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Tag: malware

Twitter banning Bit.ly, other URL Shortners on Direct Messages (DM)

Posted by J Powers at 9:36 AM on October 21, 2013

Twitter logoToday I was trying to send a direct message to a friend. Included was a bit.ly link to a page I needed him to see. For some reason, Twitter kept saying there was an error and cannot send the DM. After checking his page to make sure he was still following me and sending a couple test DMs successfully, I realized the problem was the bit.ly link.

I did a search and found that indeed – Twitter was blocking DMs with bit.ly links. They found many different links could not be sent via DMs. CBS.com was one of those who were blocked by Twitter DMs.

Of course, this is because of Twitter allowing n0n-followers to DM people. You have to opt-in to the option, but with this you can get messages from many different people.

The Twitter error Message Needs to Be Fixed

So direct messaging with a link could come back saying the person might not be following you. That could be totally confusing – especially if you know they are. I almost chalked it up as a twitter database error but decided to check and see if there was any changes.

The only advantage of allowing non-followers to DM is if your Twitter account is a corporate one or you have over 10,000 followers and don’t want to follow them all back.

The Problem with Blocking Bit.ly – the Mask-Around

Spammers are smart and/or intuitive. Instead of using bit.ly, they’ll use another system that gets around the twitter issue. Twitter might then block that, but in the meantime, you don’t see a bit.ly link – you see a My.website link. Give a spammer/hacker 2-3 days with an $8 /year website domain and they could make enough to buy another $8 domain and start the process over again.

Of course this is a very common problem with url shorteners. Tiny URL added spam block and virus protect tools shortly after they started. Bit.ly also has some preventative measures (using companies like Sophos, Verisign, Websense and more). Still, they are not responsible for 3rd party content using their links.

Bottom Line – Don’t click on unknown links

Usually bad links start with “Hey, is this you” or “I got a way you can make money” which really translates to “I got a way for ME to make money using you”. If you choose to opt-in to letting anyone DM you, keep in mind you will get spam in your message box. If you don’t feel confident you can sniff out the good from bad, then simply don’t check the box.

Fake Bad Piggies Malware Hits Google Play, Android Phones

Posted by J Powers at 11:47 AM on June 13, 2013

Bad-PiggiesIf you are a fan of the Angry Birds series, then you know about Bad Piggies – a sequel to the popular bird game. Security company F-Secure detected there was a faux app in the Play store that looked and felt like the Bad Piggies by Rovio. However, this app had a slight alteration to the name (Bad Pigs) and a different developer name.

Since the detection, Google Play has removed this malware version from their store. Unfortunately  10,000 downloads have occurred since May 25, 2013. The app asks the user for permission to do more than just push notification and simple data collection.

If any app asks for more information – including full access to your location and personal information, you should remove the app and report it. Usually trojanized apps are popular games, since they see more downloads.

Bad Piggies is a free app that sees between 10,000 – 50,000 app downloads on Google Play. It is available on Android and iOS apps, along with Mac and PC.

If you are one of the duped app users, simply delete the app through Android App Manager.

GNC-2012-04-13 #757 Are you an Enabler?

Posted by geeknews at 12:55 AM on April 13, 2012

I have a couple of fantastic stories to tell you tonight, but you have to listen all the way through to get the impact. I leave for Vegas and NAB tonight. I would expect the Monday show to be a complication of content from the first day at NAB. Next weeks Thursday show may be a challenge as I get back into Honolulu very late.

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Links to all the articles talked about in this Podcast are on the Show Notes Page [Click Here]

G Data Mobile Security for Android

Posted by Andrew at 5:41 PM on January 16, 2012

G Data’s Mobile Security provides anti-virus and security monitoring for Android smartphones and tablets. Is this really necessary, you might ask, but I think after some of the recent malware removals by Google, there’s sufficient evidence that Android will increasingly be a target for malware and virus writers. Such is life.

Mobile Security provides three main functions, on-demand scans, blacklist control and authorisation checks for installed apps, all controlled from a main home screen.

G Data Mobile Security Main Screen

Tapping on any of the four areas will show the next screen for that function. Here’s the on-demand virus scanning – no surprises there – but Mobile Security also scans apps as they are installed from the Android Market (or elsewhere presumably) which gives additional protection against malicious software.

G Data Mobile Security Virus Scanning

The Permissions area shows a set of controlled features such as calls and internet access, and by selecting a particular feature Mobile Security shows the apps that have permissions for that feature. I thought that you might be able to then select an application and revoke its permissions to, say, access the internet, but the only option is to uninstall the app.

G Data Mobile Security Permissions    G Data Mobile Detailed Security Permissions

A settings screen is accessible from the menu key which provides greater control over the behaviour of Mobile Security’s activities. Usual stuff about scan intervals and automatic scans but all good stuff.

G Data Mobile Security Settings

The Logs area shows what Mobile Security has been doing and Update simply checks that the virus signatures are current and up-to-date. Nothing unexpected here.

G Data Mobile Security Logs

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any malware to hand so I wasn’t able to test out Mobile Security’s detection and disinfecting abilities but I would imagine that G Data’s got that covered.

It’s a free download from the Android Market to try it out, but it’s £9.99 per year to get updates for new malware and viruses. Alternatively, purchases of other G Data security products such as  G Data AntiVirus include a Mobile Security licence as part of the package.

The licence for this review was provided free of charge by G Data. Thanks.

 

Mobile Malware Rises

Posted by Andrew at 4:01 PM on September 12, 2011

With the rise of smartphones and tablets, it’s not exactly unsurprisingly that they’ve increasingly become a target for cyber criminals and other unscrupulous individuals. In the first half of this year, malware for portable devices increased by 273% compared with 2010.

Cross-platform Trojans are the main source of the growth and most of these viruses are designed to enable spamming or other criminal activities. “With mobile malware, cyber criminals have discovered a new business model,” explains Eddy Willems, Security Evangelist at G Data. “At the moment, the perpetrators mainly use backdoors, spy programs and expensive SMS services to harm their victims. Even though this special underground market segment is still being set up, we currently see an enormous risk potential for mobile devices and their users. We are therefore expecting another spurt of growth in the mobile malware sector in the second half of the year.

If you think that it’s just hyperbole, think again. Zsone, an Android app in the Google Android Market sent subscriptions to Chinese premium SMS numbers and then intercepted the confirmations. The only way the user knew they’d been scammed was when the bill came in.

PC malware is on the rise too with a nearly 16% rise in the last six months. The graph below shows the rise of new malware each year since 2006 and if the growth continues, there will be more new malware in 2011 than 2006-09 combined.

It’s a bad world out there, so be careful no matter what platform you are on. Just because it’s a phone and not a PC, it doesn’t make you invulnerable.

Malware Myths

Posted by Andrew at 12:35 AM on August 3, 2011

GData has found that many people’s preconceptions about malware are wrong and are putting them at risk of malware infection. The vectors for viruses and trojans have significantly changed in the past couple of years and infections now mainly come from websites rather than emails and USB sticks. The growth of malware in the past five years has been phenomenal and since 2005, over 2 million malware threats have been identified.

GData surveyed nearly 16,000 web users in 11 countries regarding their views on internet threats. People are generally more knowledgeable now, with only 4% admitting to having no antivirus software on their computer, although 5% didn’t know. 48% of those questioned have free AV software and 41% have paid software. The survey is not entirely clear if it was Windows PCs only or any computer, including OS X and Linux.

GData identified 11 malware myths that can lead to a higher risk of infection. Here they are.

Myth 1: When my PC is infected, I will notice in one way or another (93%)
No, modern malware writers are smart and code their viruses and trojans to make sure that they work stealthily and unnoticed in the background.

Myth 2: Free AV software offers the same elements of security as paid for packages (83%)
Anyone who has bothered to compare the feature sets of free v. paid versions of security software from nearly any company will know that this isn’t true. Usually the free ones are missing features such as firewalls or anti-spam filters.

Myth 3: Most malware is spread through e-mail (54%)
As mail spam and antivirus filters have got better, malware in attachments has become rarer as it has become less effective. Consequently most spam / malware emails now only come with links to infected websites rather than payloads.

Myth 4: You can’t get infected just by loading an infected website (48%)
Sadly not true. Websites loaded with malware that take advantage of vulnerabilities in the browser and operating system can infect a PC even when the user is “just looking”.

Myth 5: Most malware is spread through downloads at peer2peer and torrent sites (48%)
Undoubtedly some malware is passed on via peer-to-peer but today websites are the prime source of infection.

Myth 6: It is more likely to encounter malware at a porn site that at a horseback riding site (37%)
Much as we might like this myth to be true, serious adult sites are professional and run to a high standard. The web site is key to their business and they make sure the sites are secured and up-to-date with patches. On the other hand, hobby websites are run by enthusiasts who are rarely IT experts and these websites are easily compromised by criminals who then upload malicious code to the site which subsequently infects visitors.

Myth 7: My firewall can protect my PC from drive-by-download attacks (26%)
Sadly, not true. Firewalls are a useful security component but because much malware is web-based and web traffic is generally allowed (because you couldn’t access websites if you didn’t), firewalls provide only limited protection against them.

Myth 8: I don’t visit risky sites, so I am safe from drive-by-downloads (13%)
This is much the same as Myth 6, but the point to take is that your trust in the website brand does not have a direct correlation to the likelihood of being infected. In the recent past, a couple of high-profile trusted sites have become vectors for malware without the owner’s knowledge.

Myth 9: If you don’t open an infected file, you can’t get infected (22%)
The emphasis in this myth is on the “you”. In a perfect world this might be true, but modern PCs and operating systems are so complex and do so much in the background that it’s possible for a malicious file to infect a PC regardless of what the user actually does.

Myth 10: Most malware is spread through USB sticks (13%)
In the past a large proportion of viruses and trojans would have been passed on using USB memory sticks and while they can still be a vector (Conficker!), now more malware is spread by websites.

Myth 11: Cyber criminals aren’t interested in the PC’s of consumers (8%)
As most people recognised, consumer PCs are definitely of interest to consumers, either to form part of a botnet or else to monitor for passwords for on-line services.

There is a natural assumption amongst Internet users that pornography sites are more dangerous than other leisure sites. This is a myth. Amateur hobby/leisure sites are often not professionally run like many pornography sites, making them much easier prey for hackers,” says Eddy Willems, G Data Security Evangelist. “In the past, malware was written by developers who wanted to show off their technical skills, meaning it was visible to infected users. Now cyber criminals design, sell and make use of malware that enables them to take control of PCs’ computing powers in such a way that users do not notice the infection. This covert approach not only puts users’ data at risk, but also allows cyber criminals to send spam e-mails and malware, and participate in DDoS attacks. Internet users must correct their misconceptions in order to stay safe online.

You can download the full report (.pdf) if you want more information on the survey itself and the myths.

So stay sharp out there. The bad guys are out to get you.

GNC #688 Borders Dead Pool

Posted by geeknews at 1:12 AM on July 19, 2011

You win some you loose some. But I will be honest an extra set of hands would be great. First five minutes of the show are comical as you will see. An absolute metric ton of tech tonight. Be advised the primary Video feed is going HD and the Mobile Video feed will much more manageable.

Note to Subscribers: Rough show tonight dealing with family issues in Japan that are not good, Shoko is fine but they are having a rough go of it! Thanks for being part of the family. My head was not a 100% engaged tonight as will be evident.

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Show Links:
Visualize the Debt.
Tools to Survive Financial Meltdown ;)
John Glenn at 90.
Last Group Picture at ISS.
Tips on Int Mobile Bill.
Borders Deadpool.
Newspapers want Cake to.
G.Co
My Data Usage Pro.
Paint your roof White?
Verizon LTE Roll-Out Thursday.
Twitter Boring!
P2P Censor.
ISP Refuse Blocking of PB.
Judge Threatened.
ZIP/RAR Support in Google Docs.
Are you a Thief.
Google+ Malware.
Slack versus Spot.
Feds take your Drivers License.
Sprint 3 Million Ad Campaign Giveaway with NASCAR.
ChromeBook for 7 Days.
Password Trends you don’t want to set.
Atlas 5 Human Lift.
20 Million Pound Tool.
IPV6 Update.
Wanna make a quick 250k?
Anonymous kicked out of Google+
Lion on Wednesday?
CNN Live on iPad.
The Verge?
Car Apps Coming.

GNC-2011-04-08 #661 Insane O-Meter

Posted by geeknews at 1:14 AM on April 8, 2011

Win a Prize, watch “The Gadget Professor” sign up for the newsletter and send Don some feedback on this new show. You can win a Dymo Label Printer. Lots of parts in Motion. We demo CueToo.com our new media on demand site. New ads campaigns starting next week as well. Next show will be from the Geek on the road.

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Listener Links
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3D Capable Dell Laptop.
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Show Notes:
Firefox Release Schedule!
AT&T and Verizon told to Share!
iPad O’Scope.
BitTorrent grows up.
Microsoft and Toyota.
Robot gets Shot?
F35 Ejection Seat Test.
Computer Screen Chapstick.
UK Seizing Domains!
China says no more Time Travel?
Tethering stealing?
Fed Gov’t Shutdown?
Want Bonus get Social.
Chrome to add Malware detection.
Google Travel only if Feds can Monitor?
Samsung 1 Million to Schools.
64 Bug Fixes on Patch Tuesday!
Signal Phone Boosters to get Regulated.
Hacker says he was working with Feds.
Windows Phone 7 Update Cautions.
81 Billion Light Year Explosion.
Space Shuttle Images.
ISS Gateway to Mars.
Jailbreak it?
Vulkano TV Streamer.
Websites for iPad.
MPAA loves to Sue and little else.
Seizing Domains to Continue.
Verizon keeping iPhone users connected.
2 Million iPad 2′s.
Facebook Open Source Servers.
Sushi Blocks.
Topener!
Mini Coffee Machine.
New Fire Extinguisher.
Dish + Blockbuster = Store Fronts.
March Madness digital results!
YouTube Organizing!
ESPN Goes Live!
Vortexbox!
Vending Box
HitPad customized news.
Gmail Updates.
GoFlex Sim Review.
100 Atari Games for Ios
Homeland Security Updated via Facebook?
Time Warner off to Court.
WHS 2011 Available.
Pandora spying on you?
LinkedIn and Android.
Skype Linux Update.
Bing iPad App.
Nook Apps?
Verizon 2yr contracts only!

GNC-2011-03-07 #653 Not the Charlie Sheen Show!

Posted by geeknews at 1:35 AM on March 8, 2011

I spend a few moments talking about the technical portions of the Charlie Sheen show on Ustream. Considering the train wreck that happened on their inaugural show on Saturday makes me proud of all the new media creators that produce their own shows, and do so with 50x the professionalism of what I observed Saturday night. I have a new giveaway starting tonight listen to win. This show is action packed from the beginning to the end! Become an Insider or Make a donation to the show to qualify for the contest.

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Listener Links
Shatner wake up call.
Millionaire steals credit card?
Get the BBC iPlayer for 74 Pounds.
Alien Contact made.

Show Notes:
Facebook Comments?
Facebook Comments #2?
Charlie Sheen Social Insanity.
Sheens Korner needs some Production Help.
Motorola Xoom Music App hacked.
Buttons or Touch Screens.
Geek Watch (Must Buy).
Phone 135 years old.
Firefox 4 Looks Amazing.
Hawaii TSA a Joke!
Unban PS3 Hack.
First Amendment vs Copyright Laws.
Scientist Study on Sons Voice.
SMS coming to Facebook?
Jamming Time?
Ten iPad Tips.
Facebook Evil on Advertising?
Tax Apps.
Facebook Saves Boy.
Star Trek Wakes Discovery Crew.
Discovery Leaves ISS.
Can we Get our Groove Back?
Woz on Tech and Education.
6 Things in Space.
What went up did not stay up!
Our First Alien.
New Angle on Saturn.
Supernova back as Video Portal.
Fake MPAA/RIAA notice scams $280K
Fox Double DMCA Takedown (Idiots).
UV Cellphone Cleaner?
Where is your Threshold of Business forgiveness.
Sorenson Squeeze 7.
HP Omni Pro.
Google Responds to Droid Malware.
Robot looks real!
WD buys Hitachi HD Manufacturing.
Samsung 950 Series Pricing.
JVC 3D Consumer Camera Debut.
Microsoft pays a Billion to Nokia!
iTunes Home Sharing Update.
$539 Motorola Xoom.
Awesome Asus Ad.
Are you Really Anonymous.
Firefox 4 Crash Reasons.
Skype Ads.
Speed Test Website update.

G Data Tackles Malware on Websites

Posted by Andrew at 5:00 PM on March 7, 2011

G Data’s been busy. After releasing their malware protection for Android, they’ve also extended their safety net into the internet. G Data‘s CloudSecurity is a free browser plug-in designed to block phishing sites and protect against websites pushing malware. The plug-in can be used with Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer and it’s available as a free download from free-cloudsecurity.com.

CloudSecurity blocks dangerous websites before they can cause harm to your PC or steal your data. And the more people who use CloudSecurity, the better it gets. Users can report suspicious websites via the plug-in back to G Data, whose experts then check over the websites to see if they are dangerous or not. If they are, they get added to the black list.

If you are currently availing of some of the free AV solutions out, then this sounds like a useful complementary (and complimentary) product.

(This type of product seems to be flavour of the month as Todd also mentioned a similar product in GNC #652 last week – Web of Trust.)