Saturday, May 23, 2009

Almost 30,000 Videos on YouTube Contain Comments with Links to a Malicious Web Page, Reports PandaLabs

/PRNewswire/ -- PandaLabs, Panda Security's malware analysis and detection laboratory, has approximately 30,000 videos on YouTube with comments containing links that point to a Web page designed to download malware. This is another example of how cyber-criminals are attacking popular Web 2.0 sites to distribute malware. Similar attacks have previously been seen, to a lesser extent, on sites including and Facebook.

The comments are normally suggestive, claiming that the link will take users to a legal Web page with pornographic content. You can see an image here:

However, when users click the link, they are taken to a page that spoofs the original and which is really designed to download malware. On this page, users will be prompted to download a file in order to view the video. If they take the bait, users will really be downloading a copy of the PrivacyCenter fake antivirus.

This malware, when run on a computer, pretends to scan the system, supposedly detecting dozens of (non-existent) viruses. It then offers users the chance to buy the paid version of the antivirus to clean their computers. The ultimate aim of cyber-crooks is to profit from the sale of this 'Premium' version of the fake software.

"The technique of using malicious comments on YouTube is not new," explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. "What is alarming however, is the quantity of links we have detected pointing to the same Web page. This suggests that cyber-criminals are using automation tools to publish these comments."

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cybersecurity Groups Launch 'Chain of Trust' Initiative to Combat Malware

/PRNewswire / -- Three of the world's leading cybersecurity groups today launched a new initiative to combat malicious software (malware) by establishing a "Chain of Trust" among all organizations and individuals that play a role in securing the Internet.

Developed by the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC), National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and, the Chain of Trust Initiative will link together security vendors, researchers, government agencies, Internet companies, network providers, advocacy and education groups in a systemic effort to stem the rising tide of malware.

Applying many of the same approaches used to bring nuisance adware under control, the Chain of Trust Initiative aims to establish a united front against a threat that continues to grow exponentially. Kaspersky Labs recently reported that malware distributed through social networking sites is successful 10 times more often than scams distributed via email.

"Strong security in any one organization or sector is not enough to combat an agile, fast evolving threat like malware, which exploits security breakdowns between entities," said Ari Schwartz, ASC Coordinator and Vice President of the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). "We all need to work together to build a system that can withstand and repel the next generation of exploits."

The first order of business in the Chain of Trust Initiative is to map the complex, interdependent network of organizations and individuals that make up the chain. Only by identifying all the vulnerable links and understanding how they connect to one another can malware fighters get a handle on the problem and begin to develop consensus solutions.

"Online safety and security is a shared responsibility that requires the involvement of governments, corporations, non-profit institutions and citizens," said Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of the NCSA. "The Chain of Trust Initiative will focus furthering the development of tools that provide better protections. However, we must also continue to ensure that all of us implement universal behaviors online that protect us against a multitude of threats."

ASC, NCSA and will lead the mapping effort and jointly develop ideas and initiatives to form stronger bonds between links on the chain. Leaders of the initiative have already begun reaching out to key players and identifying critical areas for collaboration. In the next six months, the Chain of Trust Initiative will produce a paper tracking the results of the mapping project and propose initial recommendations to strengthen the chain.

"Organization and collaboration are our best tools against an enemy that doesn't play by any rules," said manager Maxim Weinstein. "Just by nature of how the Internet works, malware distributors have a technological advantage, but we can respond by strengthening our shared networks and by better understanding our shared responsibilities."

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Revealing New Report on Monetizing Social Media Predicts Everyone Will Be Profitable Except Facebook

/PRNewswire/ -- A revealing new report on monetizing social media predicts everyone but facebook stands to make money under the current business structure of leading social networks. The study, the latest from ContentNext Media, Inc. and authored by renowned analyst Lauren Rich Fine, compares the top social network to a local mall, suggesting "it might be time to start charging rent" to be on the platform, as mobile carriers already do.

As things stand, "there's a real danger that application developers who use the facebook platform will become quite profitable while the host corporation will not," says Fine. "Advertising on social nets will never be commensurate with the amount of time people spend on them. And facebook has made several failed attempts at innovative marketing efforts that members loudly rejected."

Other findings from the report:
-- There has been more than $25.5 billion in social media M&A and
investment activity in 902 transactions over the past 27 months.
-- Gaming is the largest sub-category in VC funding -- with more than
$800 million raised.
-- Outside of gaming, excitement around virtual currency could come to a
screeching halt given the predominant "novelty" factor present in the

"The merging of social and mobile is upon us," adds Fine. "And there are proven successful strategies that social network companies can adopt from the mobile carrier model."

In her analysis last month of the mobile industry, Fine warned not to expect mobile growth to be a panacea. "Concern and confusion over costs and hardware could mute near-term growth," she cautions.

"The Changing Mobile Industry and What It Means for Media Executives" is part of ContentNext Media's highly regarded report series that also includes in-depth looks at digital music, online news and political sites, online fantasy sports, Web content-management systems, and a piercing dissection of the latest online ad forecasts.

"With this pair of reports, ContentNext Media continues its leadership role in identifying and analyzing the most important issues and opportunities in digital media," said Nathan Richardson, CEO of ContentNext Media. "Lauren's seasoned and deep insights into the financial nuances of the media industry, combined with our comprehensive expertise in the most important business trends and issues in the sector, create an unparalleled level of insight and advice for the unique challenges facing decision makers in the media industry today."

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cox's New Survey on Cyber-Safety Finds Many Teens Going Online Wirelessly Without Limits or Controls

/PRNewswire/ -- For the fifth consecutive year, Cox Communications, in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children(R) (NCMEC) and America's Most Wanted host and children's advocate John Walsh, will present the results of a new survey on the behavior of young people online. This year, the survey also looks at teen behavior using wireless devices.

Under the auspices of Cox's Take Charge! program, the partners are helping parents understand the potential dangers of the Internet and learn ways they can help keep their kids safer online. The initiative includes both the survey about teen behavior and a frank discussion with a teen focus group at the Cox Communications' Annual National Summit on Internet Safety.

WHAT: Cox Communications' Annual National Teen Summit on Internet
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
-- Teen Summit at 9:00 a.m.
-- Virtual Media Conference at 10:45 a.m.
WHERE: National Cable & Telecommunications Association
25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW - Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001

Key results from the survey conducted by Harris Interactive among a representative sampling of U.S. teens between the ages of thirteen and eighteen years include:

-- Technology enabled: Ninety-one percent of teens have an email address
and 60 percent have an instant messenger screen name. Seventy-three
percent of teens have a cell phone and 59 percent have a digital
-- Acceptance of Social Networking: Seventy-two percent of teens
surveyed have online profiles on social networking sites where many
have posted photos of themselves and their friends, along with
personal information.
-- Conflicted over Safety: Most teens surveyed are aware and concerned
about the risks of putting personal information out in the open.
Fifty-nine percent say having personal information or photos on a
public site is unsafe, and 26 percent say they know someone who has
had something bad happen to them because of this. Still, 62 percent
of teens post photos of themselves on blogs or social networking sites
and greater than 40 percent name their school or the city in which
they live.
-- Prevalent Cyberbullying: More than one-third of teens surveyed have
been cyberbullied, perpetrated cyberbullying or know of friends who
have experienced or perpetrated it, and 68 percent think it is a
serious problem. About 4 in 5 teens (81 percent) think that bullying
online is easier to get away with or to hide from their parents than
bullying in person.
-- Engaging in Sexting: Nineteen percent of teens surveyed have engaged
in sexting -- sending, receiving or forwarding sexually suggestive
nude or nearly nude photos through text message or email. Sixty
percent of teens who sent sexts say they send photos to their
boyfriend/girlfriend, but 11 percent say they have sent sexts(1) to
someone they don't even know. Eighty-one percent of teen sexters are
under 18.
-- Online wirelessly: Nineteen percent of teens surveyed go online via
their cell phone and 19 percent say their parents are unaware. The
vast majority of teens (80 percent) whose parent know they go online
via their cell phone say they are not given any limits or controls --
far fewer than are given boundaries on their desktop PC or laptop.

"Teens are not only online, they are active in every nuance of cyberspace. Many have no controls over what they do online and of those who do, nearly 30 percent figure ways around the boundaries set by their parents," said John Walsh. "Those parents who have been vigilant over their kids' use of the Internet via their computers, haven't extended their watch to their kids' use of the wireless devices, which are increasingly offering predators all the access they need to our precious and vulnerable young ones. Teens are prone to choosing risky behaviors even though they know better, so parents must continue to regularly talk with their children and monitor their activities."

At the June 24th summit, Walsh will lead teen participants from Cox Communications' markets across the country in a discussion of cyber-safety and ways parents, guardians and teen mentors can help children stay safer online. Results of the survey and information from teen discussion at the summit will be presented immediately following during the live virtual media conference (details to be announced via media alert immediately prior); Walsh and select teens will be available to answer questions. Teens participating in the Summit will also deliver the news directly to Capitol Hill in meetings with members of Congress on June 25th.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cyber-Criminals Create Specialized Search Engines to Lead Users to Malicious Web Sites, According to PandaLabs

/PRNewswire/ -- PandaLabs, Panda Security's malware analysis and detection laboratory, today announced that it has uncovered evidence that cyber-criminals are starting to create their own search engines and use them to lead users to malicious pages, often created for distributing malware.

This new trend underlines how cyber-crime is becoming increasingly professional. Previously, cyber-crooks would use malicious SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or "blackhat SEO" techniques to improve the ranking of their pages among popular search engines. Now, they are beginning to use their own search engines which lead users directly to pages designed to infect or defraud them. One such malicious search engine, detected by PandaLabs, has already received approximately 195,000 visits.

These search engines operate as follows: When users enter a search term, the engine returns just five or six results. Clicking on any of these results will redirect the user to a Web page created specifically to distribute malware. The pages may include content such as pornographic videos, which ask users to download the latest version of "Web media player" in order to watch the clip. However, the file downloaded is really the adware WebMediaPlayer. These pages are also being used to distribute fake antivirus programs. You can see an image here:

This technique is known as social engineering, and basically involves infecting users by enticing them to click a link or run a malicious file.

"We started searching for words and issues frequently exploited by cyber-crime, in this case swine flu, or celebrity names such as Britney Spears or Paris Hilton and this took us to pages created to distribute malware. But, we then found that even searching for our own names would reveal results that were in fact malicious pages," explains Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. "Strangely though, there is the occasional normal result among all the malicious ones. Perhaps this is to bolster the illusion that this is a genuine search engine."

To avoid falling victim to these attacks, PandaLabs advises users only to use trusted search engines, and to be wary of Web sites offering sensational videos or unusual stories.

"If on this kind of Web site you are asked to download a codec or any other kind of program to watch videos, there is a strong chance that it is really malicious code," warns Corrons.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swedish National Charged With Hacking and Theft of Trade Secrets Related to Alleged Computer Intrusions at NASA and Cisco

/PRNewswire/ -- Philip Gabriel Pettersson, aka "Stakkato," 21, a Swedish national, was indicted today on intrusion and trade secret theft charges, announced the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello for the Northern District of California.

The five-count indictment includes one intrusion count and two trade secret misappropriation counts involving Cisco Systems Inc. (Cisco), of San Jose, Calif., which is a provider of computer network equipment and producer of Internet routers. According to the allegations in the indictment Pettersson intentionally committed an intrusion between May 12, 2004, and May 13, 2004, into the computer system and network of Cisco. During the alleged intrusion some Cisco Internetwork Operating System code was allegedly misappropriated.

The indictment also charges two intrusion counts involving the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including computers at the Ames Research Center and the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division, located at Moffett Field, Calif. The indictment alleges Pettersson committed these intrusions on May 19, 2004, May 20, 2004 and Oct. 22, 2004.

Cisco and NASA cooperated in the government's investigation. Following the incident, Cisco reported that it did not believe that any customer information, partner information or financial systems were affected.

The Department of Justice will continue to work cooperatively with the Swedish authorities on the case.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for each charge of intrusion and theft of trade secrets is 10 years in prison, a three year term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI; U.S. Secret Service; NASA Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Computer Crimes Division; and numerous additional federal agencies. Mark L. Krotoski, presently at the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Paralegal Lauri Gomez and Assistant Netterie Lewis. CCIPS Senior Counsel Kimberly Peretti also assisted in the prosecution. The Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs has assisted on international coordination issues in the case.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Response Mine Interactive and BrainJocks Launch 'Tweets for a Cause' to Support Local Non-Profits

/PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to increase awareness and individual donations to local not-for-profit organizations, Response Mine Interactive and BrainJocks have joined forces to create 'Tweets for a Cause,' an avid group of social media users who believe that "friends, working in concert, can change the world."

On Tuesday, May 5th at 11 a.m., 'Tweets for a Cause' will send out its first mass 'tweet' to encourage the support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Atlanta Affiliate and to take a stand against breast cancer. Interested supporters can tweet or log onto to participate. Multiple retweets are encouraged after that hour to further generate awareness for Komen Atlanta.

"At BrainJocks, we specialize in using web technologies in new and better ways and we can't think of a better way to use an online social platform like twitter, than to promote the welfare of our own community," said Stephanie Beckham, idea strategist at BrainJocks. "We hope that our involvement can help make a real difference for the people that make this area so special."

All online traffic and proceeds of May's 'Tweets for a Cause' will benefit Komen Atlanta in honor of the May 9th Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure -- Georgia's largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer.

"We are proud to be the first philanthropy chosen by 'Tweets for a Cause,'" said Kelly Dolan, executive director of Komen Atlanta. "Individual contributions are a vital part of our ability to provide lifesaving screening, treatment and research funding and we welcome the opportunity to reach people though this innovative new resource."

Non-profit organizations interested in participating as the selected charity in the June 'Tweets for a Cause' can tweet why @tweetsforacause.

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iPhone Unlocking Solutions Lets Anyone Use the iPhone 3G 2.2.1 on Any Network

/PRNewswire/ -- The new iPhone 3G version 2.2.1 was thought to be unlockable, meaning iPhone owners living outside the AT&T coverage area had no way to use their iPhones. But top iPhone unlock provider iPhone Unlocking Solutions has changed this with the release of its new one-click unlock software. And to make it possible for more people to unlock their iPhones, has temporarily lowered the price of its software to just $29.95.

Unlock-the-iPhone has become the number-one iPhone unlock provider, thanks to its one-click solutions for unlocking the iPhone. The iPhone Unlocking Solutions software was a breakthrough for people wanting to unlock the iPhone ( but without the technical knowledge to take apart their iPhones and physically make the phones usable with any cell phone carrier.

"When the iPhone was first released, that was the only way to unlock it," explained iPhone Unlocking Solutions CEO Michael Cera. "People with limited knowledge of electronics who tried opening their phones and soldering various components usually ended up with ruined iPhones and voided warranties."

Other solutions soon became available to unlock the iPhone, but most were either unreliable, putting users' iPhones at risk of being rendered useless -- and, again, voiding the warranties -- or extremely expensive. In fact, that is still the case today: Other software solutions that can actually unlock the iPhone typically cost between $80 and $100.

The software available at, however, is both simple and affordable. What's more, the software so reliably unlocks the iPhone 3G 2.2.1 it comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Once the user unlocks the iPhone 3G 2.2.1, he or she can use the iPhone with any cell phone carrier, anywhere in the world, in spite of Apple's exclusive agreement with AT&T. What's more, the iPhone unlock software at unlocks all iPhone firmware, including versions 1.*, 2.0, 2.0.1, 2.0.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.2.1 and iPhone 3G.

"We understand Apple has made a business decision to restrict iPhone service to AT&T," Sera stated. "However, we also feel that decision has prevented millions of people from actually using the iPhone 2.2.1. To make the iPhone 3G a viable cell phone option for everyone, iPhone Unlocking Solutions will continue to design simple, affordable software to unlock all existing and future versions of the iPhone."

When a customer purchases an instant download of software from to unlock the iPhone 3G 2.2.1 (, he or she also receives lifetime access to the site's Member's Area, along with a bonus of free iPhone games and iPhone wallpaper. No technical knowledge or SIM card is needed to unlock the iPhone with's software. Once unlocked, the iPhone can be used on any network -- including local cell phone carriers. offers round-the-clock support to all customers.

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