You may be infected with a virus that could block you from the internet. Around 350,000 computers are already infected with this malware, called “DNS Changer.” Dan Thompson with Claris Networks and Jason Graf with Sword and Shield Enterprise Security visited WBIR to give the entire scoop. If you’d rather just watch the video, skip on down to watch.
What is the virus and how does it work?
“Essentially, DNS is a technical term that references the translation that goes on behind the scene when you and I are browsing the internet. For instance, if you type www.facebook.com
, DNS is the stuff that goes on behind the scenes that lets your computer know to go on the internet. So what the virus has done is to redirect all those requests to go to somewhere besides Facebook. It looks like Facebook, but it’s not. For every person that this virus directs to this fake site, the malware creators are making money. Some people make money on the internet by clicks, so they’re funneling all these people over to a site that’s making them cash.
Botnets are networks of computers that house malicious software used for criminal purposes. Once a computer becomes infected with botnet malware, it becomes a “bot,” one small cog in a large computer scheme. A new botnet may be indestructible, researchers say.
Each time a botnet is taken down, the next one must be stronger to defend itself. With the most recent botnet, “TDL-4,” researchers believe it is “pretty close” to indestructible. This article at ComputerWorld
describes why in full, but essentially TDL-4 can uninstall other malware that compromises its missions, it hides by subverting the computer’s operating system, has unique encryption and a unique method of issuing instructions.
Today we welcome like-minded techie/Knoxvillian/Twitterer, Andrew May, to the Cloud 9 blog. After posting a blog about recent malware affecting Android phones, Andrew chimed in for some good conversation. From that conversation sprung this post on smartphone security. Thanks Andrew (@MantaMay) for the great thoughts, and be sure to check out his blog and software company, ADMSoftware.
Android & Mobile Security - Think
As we move forward into the new world of mobile computing many phone and tablet users are left asking, "Do I need security software?". The answer is much more complicated than most are aware, and Android users have an even more complicated situation. We need to understand that Apple has spoiled the public by leading them to believe they are impervious to attacks, and with this, users expect a similar experience on other platforms. Although in some sense it is true that Apple's iOS has no malware, you forfeit a free ecosystem that many Android users have come to love. Despite the lack of malware iOS users are still susceptible to phishing scams, and mobile safari security flaws. Google's Android is also susceptible to phishing scams, mobile browser security flaws, and malware. Between Android's growth, and open ecosystem, malware has grown, so much that mobile security is now being offered on the platform by most major security companies. There are a few options available to Android users, but the first, and most viable option is to think, be aware, and know your phone.
Owners of Android phones should be aware of a new form of malware which does not require user actions for activation. “DroidDream Light” is the slimmed down version of a previous malware that hit consumers in March, and is activated when an infected phone receives a phone call or text message. The malicious software infects apps downloaded from Google’s Android Market, typically from four developers: Magic Photo Studio, Mango Studio, E.T. Tean, and BeeGoo.
Google has removed the suspected apps, and is keeping a pretty tight watch on other suspected apps, even employing its ability to remotely kill and uninstall infected apps from end users’ phones. One thing Android users can do to protect themselves is download a tool like Lookout
, which scans apps to ensure it’s safe before it’s downloaded.
Well, it finally happened. Someone cracked the Mac. It’s not the first time someone’s targeted Macs with malicious software, but this one is really expansive, affecting between 60,000 and 120,000 users. Still, it’s really just another credit card con. “But Macs never get viruses, right?” Well, that’s the assumption this malware is exploiting.