Thursday, January 20, 2011

E-mails Containing Malware Sent To Businesses Concerning Their Online Job Postings

Recent FBI analysis reveals that cyber criminals engaging in ACH/wire transfer fraud have targeted businesses by responding via e-mail to employment opportunities posted online.

Recently, more than $150,000 was stolen from a US business via unauthorized wire transfer as a result of an e-mail the business received that contained malware. The malware was embedded in an e-mail response to a job posting the business placed on an employment website and allowed the attacker to obtain the online banking credentials of the person who was authorized to conduct financial transactions within the company. The malicious actor changed the account settings to allow the sending of wire transfers, one to the Ukraine and two to domestic accounts. The malware was identified as a Bredolab variant, svrwsc.exe. This malware was connected to the ZeuS/Zbot Trojan,
which is commonly used by cyber criminals to defraud US businesses.

The FBI recommends that potential employers remain vigilant in opening the e-mails of perspective employees. Running a virus scan prior to opening any e-mail attachments may provide an added layer of security against this type of attack. The FBI also recommends that businesses use separate computer systems to conduct financial transactions.

For more information on this type of fraud and prevention tips, please refer to previous Public Service Announcements by clicking the links below:


Anyone who believes they have been a target this type of attack should immediately contact their financial institutions and local FBI office, and promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law
enforcement agency for case consideration. The IC3 also uses complaint information to identify emerging trends and patterns.

Source:  IC3

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Clayton State to Host Google Interactive Workshop

For the first time, Google is coming to Georgia.

Although Georgia (and Georgians) may well be used to going to Google, here's the first chance to learn how Google tools can help small businesses, without leaving the state. In partnership with the Georgia Small Business Development Center and the Clayton State University School of Business, Google will be bringing a three-hour interactive workshop to Clayton State on Wednesday, Feb. 2. The workshop will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Clayton State Student Activity Center

In this workshop, participants will be shown how Google tools can help reach more customers, understand what customers are searching for, and operate more efficiently.

“We are delighted that we have this opportunity to partner with Google, one of America’s most technologically innovative companies,” says Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, dean of the Clayton State School of Business.

The workshop will cover online marketing best practices, including how to:

• Claim your business on Google Maps and create a Google Place Page;
• Reach the right audience using Google AdWords and boost your ad performance by choosing the right keywords and writing compelling ads;
• Use Google Analytics to track online traffic and optimize your website.

Receive half off each additional person with the purchase of the Google Interactive Workshop at full price, $49. All registrations must be made at the same time in order to receive discount. This discount can not be combined or used with any other discount or coupon. For more information, please call (678) 466-5100 or email

Space is limited, so interested parties are urged to sign up soon for this dynamic opportunity.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

AMBER Alert Program Expands to Facebook

/PRNewswire/ -- Life-saving AMBER Alerts are now available to the millions of people on the social networking service Facebook. Effective today, Facebook users are able to sign up to receive AMBER Alert bulletins for their state which will be sent to them through the Facebook "News Feed" feature. A total of 53 new AMBER Alert Pages have been created, one for each state, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. Facebook users will also be able to share the AMBER Alerts with their friends.

There are more than half a billion users of Facebook. The new Facebook AMBER Alert pages represent an important expansion of the national AMBER Alert program.

"Everyone at Facebook feels a responsibility to help protect children and, as a former federal prosecutor and a father of two, I am particularly proud that we are now part of the AMBER Alert program," said Chris Sonderby, Facebook Lead Security and Investigations Counsel. "Our hearts go out to the families of the missing and our gratitude goes to the officers, volunteers, and other AMBER Alert partners who work tirelessly to bring them home. We are hopeful that today's announcement offers these dedicated officials another useful tool to find and safely recover abducted children."

Information about the new initiative was announced today by Facebook, the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). The announcement was made the day before the 15th anniversary of the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, namesake of the national AMBER Alert Program.

"As the National AMBER Alert Coordinator, I am pleased to see the growth of the program's national network. I would like to thank NCMEC and Facebook for working together to develop another way the public can join with us to bring home missing and abducted children. We each can play our part by being aware and responsive to AMBER Alert postings that we will now see on Facebook," said Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.

An estimated 800,000 children are reported missing every year. AMBER Alert is a voluntary partnership involving law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters. An urgent AMBER Alert bulletin is issued by law enforcement in the most serious child-abduction cases that meet specific criteria. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.

"Average people doing average things but paying attention are saving lives and reuniting families," said Ernie Allen, President of NCMEC. "With more than 500 million Facebook users this bold initiative will help us mobilize many more people and bring more missing children home."

All Amber Alerts on Facebook press materials can be found at The Facebook Amber Alert page is

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuttering Therapy App Launches After a Year of Clinical Testing

/PRNewswire/ -- Following a year of clinical trials, Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI –, a non-profit center for stuttering research and treatment, has introduced a sophisticated stuttering therapy application that runs on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. Featuring proprietary voice monitoring technology, the app serves as a fluency training and home-practice tool for HCRI therapy program participants.

The new app evaluates, scores, and provides immediate feedback on physical speech behaviors taught during HCRI's 12-day stuttering treatment program. During the program, participants learn how to replace faulty muscle contractions that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech.

When therapy participants use the app in daily situations, such as a visit to a shopping mall or in a business setting, fluency measurements for each utterance are displayed in real time on the device screen. Having this data immediately available makes speech practice more effective and enhances long-term fluency outcomes. The net effect is that the user becomes more aware of what he or she is doing in order to become and remain a fluent speaker.

In addition, the app records every speech sample as an on-board file for later transmission to HCRI. This information enables the Institute's therapists to provide more detailed and precise feedback to clients, as they learn to apply new speech skills in everyday situations.

"We developed the stuttering therapy app to help program participants more easily transfer skills learned in the clinical setting to real world environments," said HCRI Founder and President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. "Along with being an excellent tool in the context of therapy, the app helps clients stay on track with their new fluency capabilities once they return home."

During the testing period, the application was only used during HCRI therapy so it could be closely monitored for effectiveness, accuracy, and user appeal. With the release, program participants continue to use the app in therapy and also have it installed on their devices for home-practice purposes. Former HCRI therapy participants can get the iPhone/ iPad/ iPod Touch app by emailing for downloading times and instructions.

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Christmas and Holiday Sales Were Attack Targets According to December Top 10 Malware List

(BUSINESS WIRE)--GFI Software, a leading IT solutions provider for small and medium-sized enterprises, today revealed continuing high levels of Trojan and rogue malware circulating during December, with data revealing a surge in activity, boosted by themed activity around the Christmas and New Year holiday period. The top 10 data is compiled from monthly scans performed by GFI's award-winning anti-malware solution, VIPRE® Antivirus, and its antispyware tool, CounterSpy®, as a service of GFI Labs™.

Users were targeted with a variety of infected email, web links and other delivery mechanisms promising festive information, discount offers, Christmas e-cards and free software. The month also saw the big movie release of the season, Disney’s TRON Legacy, targeted by a wide array of SEO poisoned links, unwanted installs and other malware fakery, while a spate of fake iTunes emails caught several people off-guard, resulting in users running afoul of a malicious script that took advantage of a known Java exploit. GFI researchers also uncovered an Amazon receipt generator scam aimed at fooling retailers into honoring fraudulent receipts during the busy holiday shopping season.

December once again saw significant activity from Trojan threats, which continue to dominate the overall malware landscape. Seven of the top 10 malware detections were Trojans, with those seven accounting for almost 35% of all malware detections for the month. In addition to a range of Trojans, Worms also created major problems during December. Most significant was Worm.Win32.Downad.Gen (v), appearing at number seven in December's top 10, a detection for the Downadup worm, otherwise known as Conficker and Kido.

Taking advantage of a vulnerability in Windows Server service which allows remote code execution when file sharing is enabled, the Worm spreads across networks as well as removable drives, taking advantage of weak administrator passwords along the way. It commonly turns off some system services and anti-malcode protection, exposing infected systems to additional infection from other malware.

“Following on from the increased themed threat traffic we saw in November around Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, criminals once again attempted to take advantage of Christmas and the holiday season with themed attacks designed to drive users towards infected sites and to trick them into opening infected email and executables. Themed attacks, along with themed SEO poisoning and fake application installs, are firmly established as a successful means for malware creators to distribute malcode and create disruption for organizations and families alike,” said Tom Kelchner, communications and research analyst for GFI Software.

“December is a challenging month for computing security, with many businesses shut for a prolonged period and consumers at home for the holidays. Casual computer use rises and vigilance can drop, creating opportunities for malware infection that would otherwise not happen the rest of the year. The top 10 serves as a stark reminder that IT security should not be taken for granted at any time,” Kelchner added.

The problem of fake software was highlighted by FraudTool.Win32.FakeVimes!delf (v), number nine on this month’s top 10. This is a heuristic detection for files associated with the FakeVimes family of rogue security products, illustrating the continued growth of fake and compromised security applications as a means to circulate and covertly install malware onto PCs.

ThreatNet is GFI Lab’s monitoring system that retrieves real-time data from VIPRE installations. Statistics come from tens of thousands of machines running VIPRE.

Top 10 detections for December
Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT Trojan 21.93
Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.gen Trojan 3.79
Trojan.Win32.Generic.pak!cobra Trojan 3.14
Trojan.Win32.Generic!SB.0 Trojan 2.78
Exploit.PDF-JS.Gen (v) PDF Exploit 1.79
INF.Autorun (v) Trojan 1.63
Worm.Win32.Downad.Gen (v) Worm 1.27
Trojan.ASF.Wimad (v) Trojan 0.77
FraudTool.Win32.FakeVimes!delf (v) Fake App 0.73
Trojan.Win32.Meredrop Trojan 0.72

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tech support sucks

I tried to come up with a better title, one that didn't sound so... so... crude. But there's just no two ways about it, tech support sucks these days.

I've been with a hosting company for well over 12 years and have had as many as 30 sites with them at times. They've been gobbled up a couple of times and now I'm dealing with the newest incarnation. They outsource their tech support to India, like many, many others. I know the on-hold music and know which tunes mean I'll be speaking to Sam or Frank in India or Susan in the good-ol-USA. I tried hanging up repeatedly until I got the 'right' music but soon learned that doesn't work.

A few days ago I called and asked for a simple website change. I've done it with them before, it wasn't a problem back in the days when I talked with someone state-side. This time I wasn't talking to Susan or Sandy, I was talking to someone across the ocean. It turned into a complete fiasco. It's still spiraling and tumbling.

First we had the communication problem. I'd say what I wanted, Sam would say he understood, would repeat it back and have it backwards. I'd say no, and try to explain in a different way. He'd say he understood with some frustration, repeat it back and have it wrong. It's a dance that aggravated both of us. It's one that made a 30-second sentence into a 15-minute ordeal.

Needless to say, he never understood and they totally screwed everything up. My site was down for two days. They opened the ticket, then would say they fixed it, close the ticket... I'd call and want to know why they closed the ticket since the site was still down... we didn't dance, we politely battled. I know well enough to know that if I show my anger they get snippy and punish me somehow.

We finally got it resolved after 7 (seven) different phone calls and multiple ticket re-openings. THEN, I got up this morning and the other site that was involved, which was working when I went to bed last night was down.

I made an 8:30 call, was promised it would be up within four hours. I knew better but hoped for the best. 5 p.m. and the site's still down. Called again. Now they're doing something which will take up to 24-hours to fix.

One site is working, one isn't.

I'm looking for a new hosting company. The problem I think I'm going to run into is that I have a pretty good monetary deal with these guys. I could switch to Go Daddy, but I've heard their tech support isn't any better.

I really don't expect miracles from tech support. I used to work as a liaison between tech support, back end coders and the end users. I have a pretty good grasp of all the problems that can arise. However, if you're not able to communicate it really doesn't matter whether a problem is simple, it can explode into craziness, like my simple request seems to have done.

I'm one of a million, zillion, who gripe about tech support being outsourced to other countries. I can understand why it's done, especially with hosting which really is a fairly simple thing to deal with. I guess since 'everyone' is now doing it we, the end users, are stuck. Where do we go when everyone is outsourcing to the same place?

Now, my final questions... I want to know how they ended up moving my domain registration to another company that I've never heard of... and how come they took the site down and then said they couldn't do anything about it as it must be something to do with the software I use to build my sites... and how they managed to get a band of words at the top of my down site that they say they didn't do and I know I didn't do... and... and...

Oh, um, happy new year to everyone except my hosting company and their tech support staff.