Security firms discover botnet on Twitter

A Twitter account can be used as the command center for harnessing a "botnet" of virus-infected computers, security firms Arbor Networks and Symantec reported. In a blog post Friday, Symantec analyst Peter Coogan wrote that researchers found an account, @upd4t3, which was tweeting out links to download a piece malware called Downloader.Sninfs. The account has since been suspended by Twitter.

Downloader.Sninfs, also known as Infostealer.Bancos, is a Trojan that uses the guise of a Brazilian banking site to collects passwords and related personal information from infected computers.

Security on Twitter is front and center right … Read more

BOL 1031: Happy SysAdmin Day!

Today, the last Friday of July is SysAdmin day and we appreciate them even more because they came through during the live show and got us back online. We also talk about David Pogue's new movement to "take back the beep." And we need to watch out for pandas. Listen and you'll find out why. Special guests: The hosts of Hak5.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1031

Apple to fix iPhone security flaw

The truth about the iPhone virus / vulnerability thing

Elinor: Researchers attack my iPhone via SMS

David Pogue wants to take back the beep

Bootkit bypasses Truecrypt full-disk encryption–/news/113884

Hackers: We can bypass San Francisco e-parking meters

HP researchers reveal details of browser-based darknet–/news/113873

Shock threat to shut Skype

CU prof’s iPhone app lets users snoop out surroundings

Cash for Clunkers cars get lethal injections

Fewer than 10 ET civilizations in our galaxy?

Police: Texting, talking NY trucker hits car, pool more

Report: Spam and malware at all-time highs

Spam and botnets have hit their highest levels ever, according to McAfee's second-quarter Threats Report, released Wednesday. McAfee's Avert Labs says spam recorded in the second quarter shot up 80 percent compared with the first quarter of the year.

This follows a brief reprieve from spam following last year's shutdown of the McColo ISP. June alone saw the largest amount of spam recorded by McAfee, surpassing the previous monthly high in October by more than 20 percent. McAfee now estimates that spam accounts for 92 percent of all e-mail.

By country, the amount of worldwide spam originating … Read more

Virus spreads on promises of naked ESPN star

Many a college student adorns his dorm room wall with a picture, often large, of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

It is not for me to declare that hers is the apogee of beauty. But the enthusiasm with which her image is often greeted by young men parallels that of the image of a carrot to a starving giraffe.

So perhaps one shouldn't fall to the rear and bump one's inverted baseball cap on the sidewalk to discover that some mischievous little miscreant filmed Andrews in a somewhat disrobed state through the peephole of her hotel room.

Given … Read more

Survey: Why do people respond to spam?

Most people may think they're smart enough not to answer an obvious spam message. But is that really the case?

Almost one third of consumers questioned admitted answering e-mails they suspected were spam, says a survey released Wednesday by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG).

Among those who responded to spam, 17 percent said they clicked on it by mistake, 13 percent said they sent a note to the spammer to complain, while 12 percent said they were interested in the product or service.

The MAAWG's survey study, "A Look at Consumers' Awareness of Email Security and … Read more

More than a firewall

Comodo has merged its antivirus program with Firewall Pro, creating a free security program that aims to be more to more people. Although this may frustrate some users who want only one program or the other, the installer does let you opt out of either of the components. Users are also asked to install the Comodo SafeSearch and toolbars, so be careful if you tend to install on autopilot. CIS requires a reboot.

Resource management is better than before, with hogging all but eliminated. It provides a smorgasbord of information and options for advanced users, but it's … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 996: You can't facesquat obscenities

Tonight the land rush begins for Facebook usernames and URLs. We'll tell you all about that. Also, Microsoft gets petulant and removes all browsers from its European versions of Windows, which makes Opera mad. And Macs get more worms and trojans.

Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 996

Today is end of analog TV in U.S.

Microsoft to sell Windows 7 without IE in Europe: Odd and unnecessary more

Federal Trade Commission shuts down rogue ISP

The Internet might just have gotten a little safer.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that it had Pricewert shut down by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.

Pricewert is a San Jose, Calif.-based Internet service provider that allegedly recruits, intentionally and actively participates in the distribution of spam, child pornography, and other harmful electronic content.

Generally, the commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the … Read more

Facebook user drops lawsuit over virus

Updated at 5:50 p.m. PDT with plaintiff saying he will drop the lawsuit; at 2:35 p.m. with legal expert comment; at 1:15 p.m. with information from Facebook's terms of service; and at 12:30 p.m. with more details, comment, and background.

A Florida librarian and activist said on Tuesday that he will drop a civil lawsuit he filed against Facebook alleging that the social network failed to adequately protect users from a virus.

Theodore Karantsalis, of Miami Springs, Fla., was seeking $70.50 from Facebook in the lawsuit, which was filed a … Read more

Mystery virus strikes FBI, U.S. Marshals

The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service were forced to shut down parts of their computer networks after a mystery virus struck the law-enforcement agencies Thursday, according to an Associated Press report.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that it had disconnected from Justice Department computers as a precaution after being hit with the virus, while an FBI spokesperson would only say that it was experiencing similar issues, according to the report.

"We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that's affecting several government agencies," FBI spokesman Mike Kortan … Read more