Users of infected machines warned about malware
Microsoft and Symantec have shut down the Bamital botnet, after obtaining a court order to seize the network's controlling servers. The network, dedicated to redirecting users of computers infected with malware to incorrect search results and online advertisements, is estimated to have earned around $1 million per year for it's operators.
Update for Endpoint Protection 12.1 crashes Windows XP
Computer security firm Symantec has acknowledged that a programming bug in a recent anti-virus software update can cause some Windows PCs to crash and become inoperable. As Reuters reports, Symantec has yet to reveal how many PCs are affected by the bug, but it appears limited to PCs running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. The company is said to be working on a solution to the bug.
Android.Opfake reemerges, now pushing fake free apps
Symantec has discovered a novel implementation of the Android.Opfake malware, one that takes users through a fraudulent app-download process before charging them for what was initially billed as a free app. The malware is notable because it actually directs users through the Google Play app store in the process of defrauding them of money.
Microsoft adds John W. Thompson to board
Microsoft revealed on Monday that it has brought John Thompson onto its board of directors, reinstating it to its full 10 members once again. Thompson is the CEO of Virtual Instruments and was once chairman and CEO of Symantec. He also served at IBM, in the sales, marketing, and software development divisions as well as being the general manager of IBM Americas.
Hacker tried to extort $50k to "humiliate" company
Symantec has revealed that a hacker has followed through on a threat to release the source code for the company's pcAnywhere utility software. The hacker, known as YamaTough, took the action after negotiations via e-mail for a forced payment of $50,000 failed. The exchange, it has been revealed, was actually between the hacker and police in a sting.
Microsoft confirms Duqu exploit in Word files
Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that a Windows kernel vulnerability does indeed exist in Duqu malware and is working to patch it. The zero-day kernel exploit could allow hackers to remotely execute code in an infected system, CrySys and Symantec found. Duqu can be installed by modified Word documents and can potentially slip by.
NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk Mac support
SoundCloud has released an update for its self-titled mobile application that allows users to share and discover original music. The v2.0 update has been released as a Universal application, bringing a new interface designed specifically for the iPad. A new waveform design is also included, along with simplifications to the process of posting and viewing comments. In addition, users can choose to receive push notifications for new followers and activity on posted sound files.
Symantec says Android slipping vs iOS on security
Symantec in a study Tuesday (below) gave Android and iOS an advantage over computers in security but gave Apple the edge. Both the Apple and Google mobile platforms are more secure than on many computers, especially Windows, since they prevent "drive-by" app installs and often can't get as many privileges. The presences of app signatures on either adds a layer of security that desktop platforms don't always have.
Social network downplays impact of error
Security firm Symantec has issued a report claiming that Facebook has inadvertently provided third parties, such as advertisers, with access to personal information from user profiles. The social network was said to be using a flawed authentication system that sent access 'tokens' to advertisers, essentially opening user accounts to be combed for data.
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet to use Honeycomb and pens
Lenovo's plans for Android tablets beyond the Le Pad should take it into professional models based on a leaked presentation from Sunday. Called the ThinkPad Tablet, it would be the first known Lenovo slate with Android 3.0 and would make software customizations beyond just including the PC builder's already known Family UI interface. This is my next's copy of the slides showed "seamless integration" with corporate environments that would load up Cisco remote security tools, Computrace to find stolen tablets, as well as local security tools from McAfee and Symantec.
Drobo for business targets big users
Drobo on Tuesday brought out its first range of Drobo business drives aimed both at companies and at home users with very high demands. The eight-bay B800fs and B800i, as well as the 12-bay B1200i, are speed-optimized beyond their regular counterparts and have new management tools along with extra after-the-sale support and services. All have been greenlit to work with Citrix, Exchange, SharePoint, Symantec backup, and VMware.
Company dismisses "patent troll" label
Patent holder Intellectual Ventures has initiated lawsuits against a long list of tech companies that failed to establish licensing agreements. One of the suits targets security software makers Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro and Check Point. A second suit is aimed at memory manufacturers Elpida Memory and Hynix Semiconductor, while a third suit has been filed against component makers Altera, Lattice and Microsemi.
Intel acquires McAfee for nearly 8 billion
Intel today surprised the tech community by acquiring antivirus developer McAfee for the equivalent of $7.68 billion in stock. The deal will open the door to tougher hardware security in processors themselves as well as tighter integration between chips and software in stopping security threats. Intel is most interested in security for mobile and embedded hardware, which often aren't as secure as full-size computers.
InNova claims Apple and others copy spam filter
Little-known patent holder InNova hoped to seize on the success of others today as it filed a lawsuit claiming that a large range of companies violate a patent on e-mail spam filtering. It accused high-profile technology firms such as Apple, Google and RIM as well as 3Com, AOL, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Symantec and Yahoo of copying technology allegedly invented by InNova founder Robert Uomini 15 years ago. Companies as diverse as Capital One Auto Finance and Frito-Lay were also implicated in the suit.
Steve Jobs posts open letter about Flash dispute
Apple chief Steve Jobs today posted an open letter explaining his company's reasons for not supporting Adobe Flash on the iPad, iPhone and iPod. He argued it had nothing to do with control at all but that it was instead "based on technology issues." Flash is too proprietary, prone to crash, a major security risk and not at all suited to touchscreens, he said.
Beta not promising iPad any security protections
Symantec has released details of its upcoming Norton 360 app for the iPad. The service allows users to back-up data online, including documents, music, photos and videos. Users will be able to access the data and share it with others via URL links. Norton has yet to confirm if users will be able to play video, view photos or listen to music directly from the app interface. The utility also appears to lack protection tools for viruses or other security threats.
New archiving option
Group Logic has announced a partnership with Symantec in developing a file system archival (FSA) scheme for Mac-based organizations. The arrangement combines Symantec's Enterprise Vault with Group Logic's ArchiveConnect, and promises to reduce storage costs as much as 60 percent.
MS Antivirus Launches Soon
Microsoft late Wednesday said it's nearing the release of its first self-made antivirus software. Although mentioned in the past under its Morro codename, the new software is now known to compete directly with software from Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec and other relatively low-cost apps. It will only focus on removing spyware, trojans and viruses as the company already has a built-in firewall for Windows.
McAfee, Symantec on iPhone
Both McAfee and Symantec have confirmed work on iPhone-related software, according to Reuters. McAfee says it is specifically working on new security programs, described as part of a "comprehensive suite for the Apple family," including its usual Mac focus. Though the company has declined to provide specific details, including even a release timeframe, it is best-known for anti-virus software, and was last year spotted working on an iPhone app called iVirusScan.
Widespread Flash exploit
Hundreds of thousands of webpages have been affected by a vulnerability in Adobe's Flash Player, says security vendor Symantec. Since at least Monday, approximately 220,000 pages have been been hacked to add redirection scripts, which send Flash users to some 57 servers that attempt to deliver malware, including botnet code and apps that steal World of WarCraft identities and passwords. Only Flash Player versions 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 appear to be at risk; the attack also seems to be directed primarily at Windows, says Symantec, although problems may yet arise on other operating systems (including Mac OS X) unless Adobe can close the exploit.
First Look: AntiVirus
If you use any version of Windows, an antivirus program is an absolute necessity to protect your computer. If you use a Macintosh, an antivirus program is an option. Although a handful of Macintosh viruses exist, the main purpose of any Macintosh antivirus program is to screen out Windows-specific viruses that you may accidentally pass on to Windows users. If you never share files with Windows users, you probably donít need an antivirus program. If you regularly share files with Windows users, you may need an antivirus program like Norton AntiVirus for Mac.
AntiVirus Dual Protection
Symantec has released a new anti-virus suite, AntiVirus Dual Protection. The package actually contains two pieces of software -- AntiVirus 11 for Mac and AntiVirus 2008 for Windows -- and is intended for owners of Intel Macs, who may use the Boot Camp feature of Mac OS X Leopard to run Windows XP or Vista on a separate partition. Each application is tailored to the specifics of its platform, requiring the two versions.
First look at NAV 11
Viruses have been of little concern to most Mac users since OS X made its first appearance in 2001. Apple's switch to Intel processors, and the various virtualization processes that exist for running Windows, have eroded that confidence for some users. Although Apple is usually on the ball with fixing system vulnerabilities, some larger problems can go for several days or weeks before a proper fix is available. Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 11 aims to compliment the Mac OS' natural sturdiness by providing anti-viral services and fixes for security holes while Apple works on a true solution for the problem.
Norton Antivirus 11 ships
Symantec today released a new version of Norton Antivirus (site not updated) that is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The software features new vulnerability protection technology designed to prevent attacks occurring through applications connected to the internet. Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac also includes a sleeker redesigned user interface alongside enhanced performance. The software is priced at $50 (system requirements were unavailable).
QuickTime 7.2 exploit
Symantec has notified DeepSight customers that a bug in QuickTime's Real Time Streaming protocol can lead towards the execution of malicious code on any computer running QuickTime 7.2 or later, and that a working proof-of-concept set of code being circulated on the internet. Computerworld reports that the bug was originally posted on milw0rm.com, and that the exploit code had worked when tested against Windows XP and later in Vista. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard are said to be vulnerable as well, but took considerably more time for researches to craft a reliable, working exploit.