INTERVIEW: Kaspersky Lab's Costin Raiu on Android security, Twitter and cyber wars

Cybercrime is no longer exclusive to PCs and Macs, with hacks, spam, malware and trojans hitting smartphones, tablets and cloud storage services too. No-one knows this better than Costin Raiu of the security specialists at Kaspersky Lab. As the…

Spammers using shortened URLs to spread their muck

Message Labs – part of internet security guru Symantec – is warning that shortened URLs are becoming an issue in terms of spam.

This graph shows how the inclusion of shortened URLs in spam email has increased from practically nothing a to almost 2% in just a few days:


Shortened URLs are perfect for spammers because not only do they mask dodgy sounding domain names that users would usually be wary of, they also help spam mail bypass anti-spam programmes. Services such as tinyurl are also free and require no registration.

Matt Sergeant from Message Labs, said: “The entire trust model of clicking on the URL is completely broken,” he said. He also said it was impossible to trust URLs on Twitter as many people retweet links, often without even clicking on them first themselves.

(via NYTimes)

Facebookers phished in hack-attack


200 million facebookers have they’re accounts targeted by hackers. Facebook were yesterday frantically identifying compromised accounts and blocking their asses.

Infected users had their passwords ‘phished’ and then their accounts were used to spam their friend lists.

Facebook-chap, Barry Schnitt, wouldn’t say how many accounts had been compromised but confirmed those that had were being blocked.

It’s not the first time facebookers have found themselves on the sharp end of a hackers keyboard; last year the Koobface virus hit the site, tricking people into downloading it to their computers.

Security experts say the problem is that all too often passwords are all too simple, the names of pets, old school, football teams and spouses which tend to be on profile’s frontpage.

It’s lucky then that my account is private and my cat is called (shnucky[21mittens%
(Via BBC)

Twitter gets the 'all-clear' after a weekend of virus antics


In a metaphorical ‘get your own back’ situation, everyone’s favourite bird-themed microblogging website, Twitter, was assaulted by worms over Easter weekend. Four waves of assaults hit the site, with those infected spamming out a link to a Twitter clone called StalkDaily.

The creator of StalkDaily, 17-year-old American student Michael Mooney, has admitted he was responsible, saying:

“I really didn’t think it was going to get that much attention, but then I started to see all these stories about it and thought, ‘Oh, my God’.”

While the attack could have been considerably worse if it had been more malicious in intent, security experts said they were surprised it had even been possible on the site, as Facebook and MySpace saw similar assaults quite some time ago. Twitter has promised to conduct a ‘full review’ of what happened.

Twitter (via BBC)

WordPressDirect – quick, easy, and spamtacular


Ever wanted to create your own blog, but you’re far too lazy? WordpressDirect is for you. It’s a third-party site (not affiliated with Wordpress) that will create a blog for you, based on a few search phrases. It’ll then pull content in from the rest of the web, and automatically post it for you. Voila. A blog, with zero effort.

Except that this is the spammiest thing ever created. It’s essentially a make-your-own-spam-blog tool. What’s a spam blog? Well, if you’ve ever run a blog over the years, you’ll know that there are sites out there that flat-out copy your content, word for word, and put up ads next to it. This service does exactly that, at its basic setting. It doesn’t add anything – it’s just making money off other people’s hard work.

So for that reason, I’m not going to link to it. Here’s a link to a far better website instead:

PuppyCam (Original subject of post via Mashable)

Related posts: Spam makes loads of money, apparently | Sir Spamalot – Colin Wells is UK’s most spammed person

Spam makes loads of money, apparently

spam boy.jpg

Apparently looking down on the proletariat from your ivory tower isn’t quite enough for one group of academics at some American universities – they wanted some cash too, so set up a spam network to make a quick buck. Of course, being academics, they couldn’t help but turn it into a “research study” to see if they could find out how much money you can make from spam e-mail.