virus

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/m4BrOmW6wmI/sopas-back-from-the-dead-and-this-time-its-a-virus

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus If you thought SOPA was dead, well, you’d be mostly right. Its bloated corpse, however, has been resurrected by hacker puppeteers for the valiant purpose of scamming people out of their cash.

The new virus is a pretty standard piece of ransomware that claims to have locked down your computer and offers to unlock it for the nominal fee of $200, but this one waves around the SOPA name for a little extra scare. Anyone who remembers the name, but not that the bill never went through, might be a little concerned at the accusations of piracy. That said, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the U.S. government probably wouldn’t be collecting fines in the form of euros via Western Union, like ever.

Fortunately this SOPA doesn’t threaten to destroy the Internet as we know it but rather just your private stash of files, illegal and otherwise and it’s an empty threat at that. If you know how to Google things the solution won’t cost you a cent. It’s just a shame all legislation can’t be manually removed. [TorrentFreak via Geekosystem]

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/m4BrOmW6wmI/sopas-back-from-the-dead-and-this-time-its-a-virus

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus If you thought SOPA was dead, well, you’d be mostly right. Its bloated corpse, however, has been resurrected by hacker puppeteers for the valiant purpose of scamming people out of their cash.

The new virus is a pretty standard piece of ransomware that claims to have locked down your computer and offers to unlock it for the nominal fee of $200, but this one waves around the SOPA name for a little extra scare. Anyone who remembers the name, but not that the bill never went through, might be a little concerned at the accusations of piracy. That said, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the U.S. government probably wouldn’t be collecting fines in the form of euros via Western Union, like ever.

Fortunately this SOPA doesn’t threaten to destroy the Internet as we know it but rather just your private stash of files, illegal and otherwise and it’s an empty threat at that. If you know how to Google things the solution won’t cost you a cent. It’s just a shame all legislation can’t be manually removed. [TorrentFreak via Geekosystem]

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5937424/an-unknown-hacker-group-claims-that-it-shut-down-the-worlds-largest-oil-company++and-that-theyll-do-it-again

An Unknown Hacker Group Claims That It Shut Down the World's Largest Oil Company—And That They'll Do It AgainThe NY Times is reporting that unknown computer hackers who call themselves “Cutting Sword of Justice” have claimed responsibility for spreading a malicious virus into Saudi Aramco, the Saudi government-owned oil company that’s also the world’s largest, and destroying three-quarters of all its computers. The hackers used a similar virus as the government created virus, Flame.

But the Cutting Sword of Justice won’t be stopping there, they’re planning to do it again. According to their new Pastebin post below, the hackers plan to launch another cyber attack on Saudi Aramco at 5:00PM on Saturday, saying “be prepared for something you will see in your eyes and you will not be able to stop it.” Remember, this attack isn’t your typical DDoS attack of hacktivists from the past, it’s malicious software that infects and destroys computers. The last attack destroyed over 30,000 computers.

Here is what the Cutting Sword of Justice is threatening:

According to media which we rarely believe, Saudi Aramco is thinking that the 15 aug attack was done by us but with a man in the middle helping us with different kind of info and that’s the reason why the head management of Aramco is still investigating.. Garbage investigation.

What we’re going to do to prove our ability to do more? well, we don’t really need or even feel like proving anything to anyone and show them that we can, but here is a headline story:

we are going to make it, next week, once again, and you will not be able by 1% to stop us.

Date: 25 august 2012
Time: 21:00 GMT

That’s will happen for two reason:
1- you’re brutal and selfish to harm any employee just for the sake of expecting.
2- we do hate, hate a lot, arrogance.

Be prepared for something you will see in your eyes and you will not be able to stop it.

The Cutting Sword of Justice are a relatively unknown group of hackers who have targeted Saudi Aramco because of the Saudi government’s support for ‘oppressive measures’ in the Middle East. We’ll see what happens this Saturday. [NY Times]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, August 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5937424/an-unknown-hacker-group-claims-that-it-shut-down-the-worlds-largest-oil-company++and-that-theyll-do-it-again

An Unknown Hacker Group Claims That It Shut Down the World's Largest Oil Company—And That They'll Do It AgainThe NY Times is reporting that unknown computer hackers who call themselves “Cutting Sword of Justice” have claimed responsibility for spreading a malicious virus into Saudi Aramco, the Saudi government-owned oil company that’s also the world’s largest, and destroying three-quarters of all its computers. The hackers used a similar virus as the government created virus, Flame.

But the Cutting Sword of Justice won’t be stopping there, they’re planning to do it again. According to their new Pastebin post below, the hackers plan to launch another cyber attack on Saudi Aramco at 5:00PM on Saturday, saying “be prepared for something you will see in your eyes and you will not be able to stop it.” Remember, this attack isn’t your typical DDoS attack of hacktivists from the past, it’s malicious software that infects and destroys computers. The last attack destroyed over 30,000 computers.

Here is what the Cutting Sword of Justice is threatening:

According to media which we rarely believe, Saudi Aramco is thinking that the 15 aug attack was done by us but with a man in the middle helping us with different kind of info and that’s the reason why the head management of Aramco is still investigating.. Garbage investigation.

What we’re going to do to prove our ability to do more? well, we don’t really need or even feel like proving anything to anyone and show them that we can, but here is a headline story:

we are going to make it, next week, once again, and you will not be able by 1% to stop us.

Date: 25 august 2012
Time: 21:00 GMT

That’s will happen for two reason:
1- you’re brutal and selfish to harm any employee just for the sake of expecting.
2- we do hate, hate a lot, arrogance.

Be prepared for something you will see in your eyes and you will not be able to stop it.

The Cutting Sword of Justice are a relatively unknown group of hackers who have targeted Saudi Aramco because of the Saudi government’s support for ‘oppressive measures’ in the Middle East. We’ll see what happens this Saturday. [NY Times]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, August 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5936536/new-frankenstein-virus-can-build-itself-on-any-computer-from-stolen-snippets-of-code

New Frankenstein Virus Can Build Itself on Any Computer From Stolen Snippets of CodeWhat if a virus were a shapeshifter, able to change its appearance each time it infects a machine? What if a virus used your own files against you, able to ransack the programs on your computer for the bits of code it needs? Judging from the progress made on the Frankenstein virus, a venture sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, that may soon be a reality.

Developed by two professors at the University of Texas at Dallas, New Scientist says the Frankenstein virus is essentially a program compliler with directions about the algorithms it needs to assemble. Once unpacked and functional, it begins searching the software on your computer for the code it needs—generally taking little snippets called gadgets. These gadgets are written to perform specific actions and thus can be transposed over to another program more easily. The researchers only had the Frankenstein virus create two simple algorithms as a proof of concept, but they believe it can assemble any program, including full-scale malware.

And though there have been other viruses that can change their code, Frankenstein is believed to be more dangerous because it can also change its every aspect of itself to hide on your computer.

Frankenstein is different because all of its code, including the blueprints and gadget-finder, can adapt to look like parts of regular software, making it harder to detect. Just three pieces of such software are enough to provide over 100,000 gadgets, so there are a huge number of ways for Frankenstein to build its monster, but it needs blueprints that find the right balance. If the blueprint is too specific, it leaves Frankenstein little choice in which gadgets to use, leading to less variation and making it easier to detect. Looser blueprints, which only specify the end effects of the malware, are too vague for Frankenstein to follow, for now.

Obviously the military wants this for its ongoing cyberwarfare efforts. But if this ever gets in the hands of script kiddies, we’re in trouble. [New Scientist]

Image by gualtiero boffi/Shutterstock

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5906560/the-flashback-trojan-made-its-makers-10000-a-day

The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayIf you’ve ever wondered why people write malware, it’s just like anything else – it’s all about the money. Symantec has worked out that the evil-doing bottom-feeders behind that nasty Flashback Trojan, which caught the Mac world with its pants down, were raking in around $10,000 a day.

Apparently Flashback was cheating Google out of ad money on a colossal scale, redirecting clicks and banking the cash. With 100,000s of users unknowingly infected, all those tiny 5p clicks quickly added up, and that was just one variant of the Trojan.

With that much money on the line it’s no wonder Macs have become a target – Windows users are supposedly wiser to these kinds of things. In theory it’s a lot easier, once you’ve actually managed to get onto a Mac, to hide-out there earning serious money. Now that they’ve successfully proved Macs are vulnerable, and made a hatful of money in the process, don’t expect the Mac to escape Windows-style virus hell – where there’s a will, there’s a way. [Symantec via MacWorld UK]

Image by Images of Money under Creative Commons license


The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5906560/the-flashback-trojan-made-its-makers-10000-a-day

The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayIf you’ve ever wondered why people write malware, it’s just like anything else – it’s all about the money. Symantec has worked out that the evil-doing bottom-feeders behind that nasty Flashback Trojan, which caught the Mac world with its pants down, were raking in around $10,000 a day.

Apparently Flashback was cheating Google out of ad money on a colossal scale, redirecting clicks and banking the cash. With 100,000s of users unknowingly infected, all those tiny 5p clicks quickly added up, and that was just one variant of the Trojan.

With that much money on the line it’s no wonder Macs have become a target – Windows users are supposedly wiser to these kinds of things. In theory it’s a lot easier, once you’ve actually managed to get onto a Mac, to hide-out there earning serious money. Now that they’ve successfully proved Macs are vulnerable, and made a hatful of money in the process, don’t expect the Mac to escape Windows-style virus hell – where there’s a will, there’s a way. [Symantec via MacWorld UK]

Image by Images of Money under Creative Commons license


The Flashback Trojan Made Its Makers $10,000 a DayOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Flu Season, Visualized

Source: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/numbers-flu-season-visualized

Strains of seasonal influenza behave slightly differently season to season and strain to strain. The differences are revealing. The rate of transmission of the 1918 pandemic, which killed 40 million people, closely mirrors the data from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. The two strains are, in fact, closely related. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), epidemiologists study the patterns of flu data from the current season against historic data. The comparison helps them make informed decisions about how to respond to the virus: what kind of vaccine to make, how to make it, and how and where to distribute it. As data sets improve, scientists will be able to better predict how future strains of seasonal influenza will spread.

See the infographic in full here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for Years [Science]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5878459/gamers-redesign-a-protein-that-stumped-scientists-for-years

Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for YearsFolding: it’s detestable and boring, as any Gap employee can tell you. But it’s also a totally fun thing you can do in a video game! And today it’s particularly exciting because players of the online game Foldit have redesigned a protein, and their work is published in the science journal Nature Biotechnology.

It seems nobler than shooting people in the face, somehow. Granted, Foldit attracts a unique kind of gamer who enjoys obsessing over biological protein folding patterns. Proteins get their function from the way they are folded into coils like in the image above. When the amino acids in a protein interact, they create that coiled, three-dimensional structure. Scientists can manipulate the structure to make the protein more efficient. In Foldit, designs that create the most efficient proteins garner the highest scores.

University of Washington in Seattle scientists Zoran Popovic, director of the Center for Game Science, and biochemist David Baker developed Foldit (which is different from Folding@home, Stanford software that lets people donate their idle computer processing power to create a protein-folding supercomputer). By playing it, at-home gamers have redesigned a protein for the first time, and they did it better and faster than scientists who have trained their entire careers to build better proteins. Justin Siegel, a biophysicist in Baker’s group told Scientific American:

I worked for two years to make these enzymes better and I couldn’t do it. Foldit players were able to make a large jump in structural space and I still don’t fully understand how they did it.

Here’s how it works: Researchers send a series of puzzles to Foldit’s 240,000 registered users. The scientists sift through the results for the best designs and take those into the lab for real-life testing. They combed through 180,000 designs to get to the version of the protein published today. The paper details an enzyme that thanks to the crowdsourced redesign is 18-fold more active than the original version.

Now for the anticlimactic part: this particular enzyme doesn’t really have any practical uses. But the researchers say it’s a proof of concept, and future Foldit designs will be more useful. In fact, Baker has fed players a protein that blocks the flu virus that led to the 1918 pandemic—and their puzzle solving for this one could lead to an actual drug.

Nature via Scientific American

Image: Foldit


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

"We Are Not Prepared"

Source: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-02/washington-war-games-simulate-crippling-cyber-attack-us

Washington insiders recently sweated out a real-time war game where a cyberattack crippled cell phone service, Internet and even electrical grids across the U.S. The unscripted, dynamic simulation allowed former White House officials and the Bipartisan Policy Center to study the problems that might arise during a real cyberattack emergency, according to Aviation Week’s Ares Defense Blog.

The Policy Center’s vice-president reports “”The general consensus of the panel today was that we are not prepared to deal with these kinds of attacks.”

The nightmarish scenario that unfolded represented a worst-case example. As former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff noted, many cyberattacks can be stopped if individual cell phone or Internet users simply follow the best practices and use the right tools. Similarly, another participant pointed out that private Internet companies would not sit idly by as a virus ran amok.

A collapse of power across the U.S. also only took place when the simulation brought in factors such as high demand during the summer, a hurricane that had damaged power supply lines, and coordinated bombings that accompanied the cyberattack and subsequent failure of the Internet.

Still, the war game highlighted crucial issues about the government’s own reliance upon communications that might go down during a real-life scenario. One of the biggest problems was how the President ought to respond to a situation that caused damage like warfare but lacked an immediately identifiable foreign adversary. Smaller-scale cyberattacks have already complicated real-world diplomacy, such as the alleged Chinese cyberattacks on Google and other U.S. companies.

Ares Defense Blog questioned a curious missing element from the simulation, in that there was no mention of what happened to phone or Internet service in the rest of the world. Surely a nation that decided to launch cyberattacks against the U.S. would take safeguards to protect its own crucial communication services, which would possibly help U.S. officials narrow down the list of suspects.

Another question seemed more mundane but equally important — how would the government activate the National Guard with cell phone service down?

The Pentagon’s DARPA science lab recently pushed for a “Cyber Genome Program” that could trace digital fingerprints to cyberattack culprits. But identifying whether a cyber attack came from individual civilians, shadowy hacker associations or government cyber-warriors has proven tricky in the meantime.

[via Ares Defense Blog]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 19th, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

Augustine Fou portrait
http://twitter.com/acfou
Send Tips: tips@go-digital.net
Digital Strategy Consulting
Dr. Augustine Fou LinkedIn Bio
Digital Marketing Slideshares
The Grand Unified Theory of Marketing