Thursday, January 14, 2010

Banking trojan "BankAsh-A"

I am not sure if this is vaguely related to this story we just posted, but there is a trojan out there which lies dormant on your machine until you visit a banking site. Then it tries to mimic that site and steal your information. This is nothing new, these have been out there for some time - but it seems this particular one is news due to how sophisticated it is and how prevalent it is.

The article mentions that your best bet is to make sure you use anti-virus and anti-spyware tools, frequently update them, and make sure that they stay running. I would add in there that ideally users would educate themselves about this as well - an educated user is the safest user.
Unfortunately that essentially never happens and worse yet, it hurts all of us as they get infected and spread it out to others.

Telewest is blacklisted

One million Telewest customers have been blacklisted for spamming. That doesn't mean that they were all sending out spam, but it means that there were many (over 17,000 IP addresses) sending out spam - likely through bot infected machines. Now they are in the SPEWS database and forced to address the problem which they were apparently too lax about previously.

Watching the worms

When malware spreads across the internet, there are a few key figures that are tracked like the rate of spread and the breadth of area covered among others. While those numbers are interesting to some, Slashdot has a post up pointing out that Symantec Research Labs has a program that shows the spread with pictures.

Note that it is a simulator, and also please feel free to make your own Dune reference.

BigPond filters out 6 million spam messages a day

Australia's largest ISP, BigPond, says they filter out 6 million spam messages a day. They are upgrading their systems to be even better as they are currently planning on getting even more subscribers on top of their current 2 million customers.

Washington State Bans Spyware

Slashdot points out that Washington has now outlawed spyware. This is mainly important in that now companies can be sued more easily and successfully for sleazy actions such as making it hard to uninstall the software, or installing without you being aware of it.

Making spammers pay for your attention

Again, from Slashdot, there is a professor at Boston University who is releasing a paper discussing the details of an idea to charge spammers based for your attention. If you read a message and you feel it was a waste of time, then they have to pay you for that time. Otherwise, no fee.
Similar things have been discussed before and generally shot down - I think the very first post on that Slashdot article actually comments towards this very well (and amusingly) as well as the responses to said comment.

Canada's Spam Task Force Releases Report

We had mentioned before that Canada formed a task force to investigate what course of action to take in the legal sense in regards to spam. They have now released their final report on the matter.