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Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Another inconvenient truth: Al Gore’s Web site hacked

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on November 28, 2007

Noone’s safe these days…

Another inconvenient truth: Al Gore’s Web site hacked
The Web site for Al Gore’s film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ has been hacked.

Robert McMillan (IDG News Service) 27/11/2007 12:24:32

A blog set up to promote former US Vice President Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has been hacked and is hosting links to Web sites hawking online pharmaceuticals.

The links appear to have been created as part of a scheme to boost the Web traffic for sites that promote the drugs, security experts said Monday. They contain titles such as “Xanax On Line,” “Viagra,” and “Buy Valium Online.”

Cyber scammers have been using this technique for months now, packing hacked Web sites with links to their products in hopes of bumping up their rankings on search engines such as Google and Ask.com. Another similar tactic, known as “comment spam,” involves flooding the comment sections of Web sites with these types of links.

Because search engines give priority to pages that are linked to by very popular pages, adding links from the Inconvenient Truth blog would be a bonanza for scammers, according to Adam Thomas, a malware researcher at Sunbelt Software. The film’s blog has “such a high page ranking that they use that as sort of conduit to … gain a really high Google page rank, and hope that they can find some suckers to buy some medications online,” he said.

The climatecrisis.net domain, which hosts the blog, is registered to Al Gore, the star of the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary on global warming. Not all pages on the site appear to have been compromised, security experts say; just those associated with the blog.

Though the drug-promoting links can be seen by the crawler software used by search engines, most visitors wouldn’t even know that they exist. On Monday, they couldn’t be seen on the Web page itself, but were visible in the blog’s source code — which only the people who maintain the Web site should be able to alter. The links point to Web pages on a site run by Westmont College, a small Christian college based in Santa Barbara, California. The Westmont College Web site also appears to have been hacked, Thomas said.

The hacked Westmont pages are in an early stage of development, but some of them were hosting blog pages that could ultimately be used to host ads for the drugs or even to link to other sites that actually sold the pharmaceuticals, Thomas said.

Thomas said attackers were most likely able to gain access to the blog by exploiting flaws in the WordPress Web publishing software used by both the Inconvenient Truth blog and Westmont College. Representatives for Al Gore and Westmont College could not be reached immediately for comment.

Once they gained access to the site, criminals could have easily added malicious exploit code to the blog, and that code could have been used to infect visitors’ PCs with computer viruses, said Roger Thompson, chief technology officer of Exploit Prevention Labs. “It just shows how tricky it is to secure a Web site,” he said. “I think we’re a bit lucky it’s not shooting exploits.”

Linus Larsson of Computer Sweden contributed to this story.

Source : computerworld.com.au

Posted in Internet, News, PC Security | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Greek ADSL saga continues…

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on November 9, 2007

The Greek ADSL saga continues…

THE FACT For nearly 7 hours (between 10:43am-05:38pm) the bigger part of Greece was unable to access the Internet (me included).What happened
this time? As the “officials” of the NATIONAL ISP(!) said some technicians were performing an scheduled maintenance and broke two fiber cables at THE EXACT SAME TIME(!) in TWO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS!!!
Way better this time,last year FOUR fiber cables were broken at the same time!!! Anyway,nice fairytale, except…

1) All Greeks know that fiber cables SIMPLY DON’T EXIST in our territory! We had our chance 3 years ago at the 2004 Athens Olympics to built
a (really) great network but the money just weren’t enough for our enlightened “officials” (this is called “miza” in Greek thus bribing or better “black money”).
Our government preferred to buy some more fighter planes in a great bargain price…

2) After about an hour from when the initial incident happened our always-telling-the-truth National channels said that “the damage will be soon fixed” and that “the
problem is accessing foreign ip’s and NOT domestic ones!! True – i saw it myself! On the other hand we must be the only country worldwide
with racist fiber cables! Or perhaps they are jealous of the Chinese or Afghanistan’s internet policies…

3) Another SLIGHT DETAIL : This EXACT SAME INCIDENT happened TWICE before in the PAST 30 DAYS!!!
Ofcourse it was fixed in a shorter time period than today (1h30min/27min accordingly) but noone mentioned that the problem was “due to the cutting of a fiber
cable”

CONCLUSION : There isn’t a SINGLE MOMENT of boreness in this country…

SUGGESTION : New Democracy’s (Government Party) new sign could be something like this…

 

UPDATE 07:38pm (Greeks only!) Visit this excellent link!!

OTE

CRITICAL UPDATE 08:34pm The majority of Greeks are unable to use p2p programs!!! This must be called THE ULTIMATE ISP THROTTLING!!!

ULTRA MAJOR UPDATE 11:28pm Everything is back to normal again! Until next time…

Posted in Internet, News, Opinion, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Allmighty Greek ADSL Adventure

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on November 2, 2007

Let’s begin with a listing of some useful info and stats…

-I live in Nea Makri which is a city 32Kms away from Athens,Greece’s capital and host of the 2004 Olympic Games.

-DSL (we only have ADSL to be accurate) arrived in Greece in May 2003; As a completely new technology for the Greek standards it had to overcome some serious (technical) difficulties… Luckily it arrived at my small town in Jan 2004.

-I was one of the first (Feb 2,2004) to have a “fast” internet connection with the lightning speed of 384/128 kbps… (real speed approx. 290/100 kbps based on over 10 different ADSL speed tests) paying the incredible small amount of 61 Euros ($78) per month.

-Things were always going smooth with a slight problem lasting for over 45 days (Jun-Jul 2004) when the actual speeds went down to Pstn dial-up level… Nothing extraordinary happened,as we learned 3 months later (!) some innovative men had put 120 ports where the maximum limit was 60… No apologies from my ISP,no refunding,no comment…

And after some other slight problems not worthy mentioned here,we came to last week…

Thu Oct 25 : At about 5:30 pm i discover my router’s led flashing… Got ADSL ok but the router couldn’t get an IP,thus i don’t have internet connection…

Step 1 : Called my ISP since i thought it was a common malfuction at their end (not that something serious has happened,in the last 10 days it occured only 3 times). Told me everything was fine at their end,it had to be something at mine,so i must call the “ADSL Help Desk” (that’s NOT a translation,it’s how we call it in Greece!) to inform me about the status of my line…

Step 2 : Called the “ADSL Help Desk” which informed me that i should wait it out,such things are common (!) but just to be sure i must call the telephone company and inform them about my line’s malfuction.

Step 3 : Called the telephone company and informed them about my problem.

**IMPORTANT NOTICE! I forgot to mention that i use the internet for the needs of my work too!**

-1st call 6:30 pm : “Thank you for informing us,we forward your problem to our digital center,if it’s something that can be fixed by them it will be fixed shortly”.

-2nd call 8:30 pm : Same as above.

-3rd call 9:45 pm : Same as above plus “we’re closing shortly (yes,they close at 10pm!!),unfortunately you must wait ’till tomorrow”.

Fri Oct 26 : -1st call 9:15 am : “We have no newer information from our digital center”.

-2nd call 4:00 pm : “Our digital center reports that your problem was fixed in 3:15pm!”
But it isn’t!!”
“Ahh,it isn’t? This things happen,no problem,we’ll report your situation again at our digital center”.

-3rd call 7:30 pm : “We don’t have any further notice from our digital center”.

-4th call 9:35 pm : “We don’t have any further notice from our digital center,unfortunately we’re closing shortly”
“And what shall i do now???”
“If it’s done until our closing time OK,otherwise you must wait ’till Monday.Someone from our digital center will call you to fix a meeting (!) inside the next two working days (if the problem can’t be fixed from our digital center)”.

Sat Oct 27 : No calls were made – as well known nothing works in Greece during the weekends…

Sun Oct 28,Greece’s National Holiday : 10:53am (Still asleep since i work at nights and since i’m a night type of guy) : First my cell rings (ignored it),then my standard phone (again ignored it), then my cell again (decided to take it since i thought something serious has occured)
“Hello,we’re from the digital center,is your problem fixed?”
“Just a minute to take a look,unfortunately no”
“Ahh,OK no problem,we’ll check it out” (!)
“And what happens next?”
“If it’s something that can be fixed from here OK,otherwise someone will call you to arrange a meeting in the next two working days”

**IMPORTANT NOTICE** How come they work on a Sunday which happens to be a National Holiday too? Simple… working overtime is payed double!

Mon Oct 29 : 9:15 am called the telephone company : “We don’t have any updates from our digital center”.

9:45 am : At a moment of despair i decided to call again my ISP since i thought my problem (perhaps) was due to my router (despite i checked it about 97 times ’till then)

“Hello,has anyone ever reported having problems with his connection due to his router?”
“Ahh,many times,it’s a rather too common problem”
“OK,thanks,i’ll try buying a new one,you never know,i’m desperate”
“It’s better to wait for the techs to see it,why spent your money for no reason?” (words of wisdom as i discovered later…)
“I don’t care about the kind of money i’m about to spent,i want my connection!
“I understand,what can i say,all the best”

11:00 am : Bought two (!) routers : One from the “official” shop of my phone company (never heard of that brand before but it was the only one available, right after it made a great gift!!) and an ADSL2+ (despite we don’t have ADSL2+ in Nea Makri!) expensive one just for my testing purposes (for the records: i kept it – hope i’ll need it in the near future,thus before 2100…).
A total expense of 90,80 Euro ($130) for nothing as it proved so a little later…

12:30 pm : Returned home and found out that my connection (and router) were working fine!!! (Ofcourse noone called me from the “digital center”…). I must be the only Greek who had an 832/224 kbps connection (the standard is 768/192 kbps)!!! Must have been a reward for my patience…
**NOTICE** As i’ve seen in my router’s log various connection attempts (done & failed ones) were made before “stabilizing” to this speed…

1:10 pm : In my extreme happiness of being able to use my connection again after 4+ days i decided to upgrade to 2048/256 kbps,which is the fastest speed available in my area (for only 29,50 Euros ($40) per month,a major progress considering it had about 70 Euros ($100) not so long ago…). So i called my phone company,gave my personal info etc.
“Ok, when you’ll upgrade my connection then?”
“In 10-12 days max”
“I don’t want to think that we’ll have any issues with my connectivity,eh?”
“No sir,your connection will be down for about 3-5 hours max (!) for our technicians to perform the necessary upgrades”

Wondering what happened? My connection upgraded on Thu Nov 1,9:12 am and the whole process took 1:47 minutes

**IMPORTANT NOTICE** A good friend of mine (also living in Nea Makri) is still waiting for his connection to upgrade after 9 days…

CONCLUSION

One thing’s for sure about ADSL in Greece : You’ll NEVER get bored…

Posted in Internet, Opinion | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Greece is on the ‘information highway’…

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on October 10, 2007

Three friends,one American,one French and one Greek are talking about the level of technology at BC ages.
The first to talk is the French guy : “We digged all way across Paris and what did we found?”
“What?” respond the other two
“Plenty of steel-made boxes and antennas – we French had VHF transmitters!!” ,he says full of cheer.
“Ffff” says the American, “that’s nothing.We digged all the way across Washington and what did we found?”
“What?” respond the other two
“Kilometres and kilometres of wire – we Americans had telephone way before Jesus was born!”
Then the Greek guy starts laughing…
“Why are you laughing mate,wtf did you Greeks have?” asked the other two
“See” starts talking the Greek,”we digged all over Greece and we found NOTHING!!!”
“So why are you having fun of us f***er” say the other two
“You stupid people”,answers the Greek,”we Greeks had mobile telephony 2.500 years before!”

Dedicated to a Slovenian friend of mine (you know who you are!) who is over an 10/10 Mbps XDSL connection for 14 Euros/month (approx. $20) when i’m over an 768/192 Kbps ADSL for 21 Euros/month (approx. $29)…

Also dedicated to the Greek government and it’s (or pretending to be) Prime Minister who declared that “Greece is on the ‘information highway'” leaving those who know what’s the internet reality in Greece speechless… (and inspired me for the title!)

Posted in Funny, Internet, Opinion, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Site of the day : HatsOfMeat.com

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on October 5, 2007

Ever wanted to make a hat from meat? Ever wanted to get to know people who wear meat hats? This site is for you! Check out how to make your own Base-Bull Cap & the PIG’sFEET CROWN! Find out about the fourth annual Hats Of Meat Fashion Expo & other exciting events and “meatings”! Learn also how you can prevent your hat of meat from going bad & how to discourage flies and dogs from pestering you!

All these and much more at

http://www.hatsofmeat.com

Posted in Bizarre, Internet Sites, Odd | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Site of the day : skullsunlimited

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on October 4, 2007

Ever wanted to buy a human scull or even a whole human sceleton? Here’s your chance! Over 500 different products available,shipping asap! All major credit cards acceptable. Beware though : “if the items you order are not in stock,you will be notified and placed on a back order waiting list” (as the site says).

UPDATE Now in Stock : New Trophy Horns and Antlers Collection

skullsunlimited

Posted in Bizarre, Internet Sites | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Adopt a turkey – only $20 each

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on October 3, 2007

My new column about bizarre internet sites foundings

How about saving a turkey for this Thanksgiving? For only $20 you can adopt one! Plus you receive the turkey’s photo,an adoption certificate and a farm sanctuary membership and newsletter subscription!

Adoptaturkey.org

Posted in Bizarre, Internet Sites | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Cyber criminals building more but smaller botnets

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on October 2, 2007

Cyber criminals building more but smaller botnets
By Gemma Simpson, Special to ZDNet Asia
Monday, October 01 2007 07:48 AM

Cyber criminals are downsizing their botnets to try and trick software security companies.

Computers infected with a virus unknowingly become ‘zombies’ in a botnet–which is a network used to send out spam and to mount further attacks on other machines. The zombie army can be controlled remotely with the botnet creators usually trying to build the largest possible botnet of compromised computers to rent out to gangs for as little as US$100 for a couple of hours.

But researchers at antivirus company F-Secure have reported seeing these large networks being broken down into smaller groups of compromised computers because the creation of large botnets is not creating as much revenue for such cyber criminals.

Mika Stahlberg, program manager of the security response team at F-Secure, said the company is still seeing very big botnets around the world but coders are no longer trying to build as big a botnet as they can because that does not make any more money than a collection of smaller botnets.

The botnet bandits are also erring on the side of caution by steering away from larger botnets because if the central server controlling such a network goes down then the whole of the botnet is lost, according to F-Secure.

Stahlberg added: “These people don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket and are therefore running smaller botnets.”

The malware writers are also getting lazy, according to F-Secure, and are no longer attempting to catch out companies by using increasingly complex viruses.

Sean Sullivan, technical expert at F-Secure, said virus writers can no longer beat security companies with complex codes and are therefore trying to do it through creating “malware factories” which swamp the security companies.

Sullivan added: “It used to be a big event when a virus came along but now we get 10,000 [malware samples] a day, most of which are variations on the same code.”

Gemma Simpson of Silicon.com reported from London.

Source : zdnetasia.com

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Gmail’s Zero-Day Flaw Allows Attackers to Steal Messages

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on September 28, 2007

Gmail’s Zero-Day Flaw Allows Attackers to Steal Messages
Gmail can be easily hacked, allowing any past–and future e-mail messages–to be forwarded to the attacker’s own in-box, a vulnerability researcher said Tuesday.

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 4:00 PM PDT

Accounts on Google Inc.’s Gmail can be easily hacked, allowing any past — and future e-mail messages — to be forwarded to the attacker’s own in-box, a vulnerability researcher said Tuesday.

Dubbed a “cross-site request forgery” (CSRF), the Gmail bug was disclosed Tuesday by Petko Petkov, a U.K.-based Web vulnerability penetration tester who has made a name for himself of late. In the past two weeks, Petkov has publicly posted information about critical, zero-day bugs in Apple Inc.’s QuickTime, Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Player and Adobe Systems Inc.’s Portable Document Format (PDF).

According to Petkov, who declined to release details about the vulnerability, attackers can use Gmail’s filtering feature to exploit the bug. An attack, he said, would start with a victim visiting a malicious Web site while also still logged into his Gmail account. The malicious site would then perform what Petkov called a “multipart/form-date POST” — an HTML command that can be used to upload files — to one of the Gmail application programming interfaces, then inject a rogue filter into the user’s filter list.

Petkov posted a series of screenshots on the Gnucitizen.org site that illustrated one possible attack. “In the example, the attacker writes a filter, which simply looks for e-mails with attachments and forwards them to an e-mail of their choice,” Petkov said. “This filter will automatically transfer all e-mails matching the rule.

“Keep in mind that future e-mails will be forwarded as well. The attack will remain present for as long as the victim has the filter within their filter list, even if the initial vulnerability, which was the cause of the injection, is fixed by Google,” he added.

Google did not immediately reply to questions about whether it had confirmed the vulnerability, and if so, when it would patch the problem.

At least one user commenting on Petkov’s posting, however, claimed that a Firefox extension could block exploits of the Gmail bug. Giorgio Maone, the creator of the popular NoScript add-on, said that his extension blocks CSRF attacks from untrusted sites, which a malicious page likely would be. (NoScript blocks JavaScript, Java, other scripting and executable content from running from untrusted sites; Firefox users can download it from the Mozilla add-on site.)

As he did last week when he disclosed a major bug in Adobe’s pervasive PDF file format, Petkov again defended his decision to post information about the Gmail flaw without first reporting the vulnerability to Google. The reasoning, however, was oblique: “Let’s say that it is just one of my social experiments.”

Jeremy Grossman, the chief technology officer at San Jose-based WhiteHat Security Inc., said that the Gmail flaw is “especially scary.” In an entry to his blog, Grossman explained further: “Web mail accounts are in many ways more valuable than a banking account because they maintain access to many other online accounts (blog, banking, shopping, etc.). [Attacks exploiting this vulnerability would be] simple, silent and extremely clever.”

Petkov added his own two cents on the bug’s implications. “In an age where all the data is in the cloud, it makes no sense for the attackers to go after your box,” he said. “It is a lot simpler to install one of these persistent backdoor/spyware filters. Game over! They don’t own your box, but they have you, which is a lot better.”

Source : pcworld.com

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Five of the Dirtiest Malware Tricks

Posted by ILL Natured_gr on September 28, 2007

Five of the Dirtiest Malware Tricks
From disguising applets to look like part of Windows to co-opting security tools, Web crooks use a variety of methods to bypass your system’s safeguards.

Erik Larkin
PC World
Thursday, September 27, 2007; 12:19 AM

If the crooks behind viruses, Trojan horses, and other malicious software were as stupid as they are scummy, we’d have a lot less to worry about. But as protective measures get better at stopping the obvious attacks, online creeps respond with underhanded moves to invade your PC. Here are five of their dirtiest tricks, all based on Trojan horses.

Don’t mind me–I’m only here to break your PC: It’s like sending in a different scout each time to open the gate for the rest of the invaders. The “Glieder Trojan” and many others use a multistage infection process whose first step is a tiny program that the crooks can change constantly so your antivirus watchdog is less likely to recognize it. Once it gets in, the downloader tries to disable your security before pulling down the real payload, which could be a data stealer or anything else the attacker wants.

Locked and encrypted Web sites? No problem: Web sites can and should use secure socket layer (SSL) to encrypt and protect sensitive data such as bank account log-ins. (When a lock icon appears in the address bar, that indicates the site is using SSL.) But the “Gozi Trojan” and its ilk evade SSL protections by making Windows think they’re part of the process, so your data leaves IE and goes through Gozi before it’s encrypted and sent out on the network. Instead of spying on your keyboard, which many security programs watch for, these apps roll into the OS as fake layered-service providers (LSPs).

The SpamThru, SpyAgent, and Jowspry Threats

Malware that scans your PC for malware: An extra antivirus scan can only be a good thing, right? Not when it just gets rid of rivals to the “SpamThru Trojan.” This nasty introduced a pirated, pared-down version of Kaspersky AntiVirus (which Kaspersky has since shut down) to delete other malware so it could have the victim PC to itself to use as a spam sender. If the PC had a real antivirus app, SpamThru would attempt to block its updates, preventing it from identifying new threats.

Equal-opportunity encryption: Encrypting sensitive data and protecting it with a password helps shield it from prying eyes. But the “SpyAgent Trojan” enters the encryption game, too. When installed on a Windows PC with the Encrypting File System (which is included in Windows 2000, XP Pro, 2003 Server, and 2005 Media Center), SpyAgent establishes its own administrator-level user account and uses this account to encrypt its files. You–or your antivirus software–would have to guess the account’s random password to decrypt and scan the malicious files to confirm they weren’t supposed to be there.

Hi, firewall. I’m Windows Update. Honest: Firewalls protect computers and networks from bad guys’ efforts to go in or out. So the “Jowspry Trojan” masquerades as something known and approved–Windows Update. The crafty malware makes its connections look like the Background Intelligent Transfer Service used by Windows Update, and unsuspecting firewalls let it download more attack programs to your PC.

To pull off these sneaky ploys, malware first has to get on your PC. If you keep Windows and other programs up-to-date, avoid opening attachments or clicking links in unsolicited e-mail, and use a good antivirus program, you won’t give the crooks a chance to put their Trojan horses to work.

Descriptions based on research and analysis from Peter Gutmann at the University of Auckland, Craig Schmugar and Aditya Kapoor at McAfee’s Avert Labs, and Joe Stewart at SecureWorks.

For an inside look at the way Internet attackers buy and sell their insidious tools, read “An Inside Look at Internet Attackers’ Black Markets.” To ensure that you’ve closed critical software holes, read “Close the Holes Targeted by the MPack Attack Kit.”

Source : Washingtonpost.com

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