IT’s Biggest Security Myths Exposed

Data loss epidemics. Linux and the Mac OS as Windows insurance policies. Anti-virus software is 100 percent effective. In an industry rife with paranoia, new kinds of threats, and overheated vendor marketing, small wonder that enterprise security is beset by myth and misunderstanding, according to a story posted today on CMP Media’s Dark Reading  Website.


The “security epidemic” myth is one of ten prevailing myths identified in Dark Reading’s story, “Top Ten Myths of IT Security,” which debunks some of the conventional wisdom surrounding risks and practices in the IT security space.  To read the full story, please visit:
http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=99291

Novatix Releases Free Behavior-Based Consumer Security Software Cyberhawk; Novatix believes users should not have to pay a lot of money to be safe online

Novatix Corporation today announced the release of its new behavior-based consumer security software Cyberhawk. Cyberhawk provides comprehensive real-time protection against viruses, worms, trojans, hackers, rootkits, buffer overflows and certain types of spyware and adware, and is completely free to home users.


http://www.novatix.com/Press/Release060719.aspx

SpywareGuide.com Expands to Address Next Wave of Threats Spread Through Greynets

SpywareGuide.com, the popular public reference site for security research sponsored by FaceTime Communications, has expanded its tools, added new research blogs and broadened its reference database. The expanded database provides more in-depth information about spyware, adware and malware spread through the use of greynets including instant messaging (IM), chat rooms, P2P file sharing, web browsing and collaboration software. The site is highly ranked by most major search engines for spyware and adware keyword searches, and receives more than 1.5 million user sessions per month……


The Research Database on SpywareGuide.com, is an extensive resource center with dynamic information on all types of malware in an extensive and continually updated database. The site gives visitors the opportunity to contribute tips and information about malware or phishing attacks for SpywareGuide.com researchers to pursue, and provides recommendations on how to manage or prevent malware incidents.


On the Greynets Blog, FaceTime researchers talk candidly about greynet threats, covering spyware, adware, IM worms, rootkits and the rapidly changing security landscape. Beyond researching individual threats, the Greynets Blog team provides deep insight into the tactics and strategies used by those on both sides of the growing wave of cyber problems. The
Greynets Blog features key FaceTime security experts, including:
    — Chris Boyd, also known as Paperghost, a two-time Microsoft Security MVP
       and leading spyware researcher;
    — Wayne Porter, a highly recognized e-commerce fraud expert and co-founder of ReveNews.com, also recently named a Microsoft Security MVP.


More in http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/07-20-2006/0004400386&EDATE=

Windows Principles – Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition

Microsoft Corp. recognizes the important role its Windows desktop operating system products play in the information economy and the responsibilities that come with that role. To promote competitive opportunities and otherwise enhance the appeal of Windows to developers and users, Microsoft is committed to running its Windows business in accordance with the following principles that address computer manufacturer and user choice, opportunities for developers, and interoperability for users. These principles will apply to Windows desktop development projects going forward.


View the principles at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/winxp/windowsprinciples.mspx

Dell: No Bloatware, Please

Michelle Pearcy, WW Client Software Manager of Dell blogged yesterday on how Dell respond on “no bloatware” request by Dell customers. 


Of course, I can’t help not to respond:


  • They should not count the number of icons or programs installed to measure the boot time and performance of a system.  What they should do is see which 3rd party program is using huge amount of memory – from there they can decide what to do.  They should note too that XP’s services will run by default if something triggered it to run.  Thinking that the security applications and operating system as the culprit is IMHO funny.  Let the user decide which application they want Dell to install.  Produce that “none” as option instead of insisting an OEM or trial version!
  • I mentioned to them the cool 3rd party program that targets the crapware installed in Dell machine so they know how desperate many of their customer in getting rid of the items that they installed by default.  Why not just provide the CD and let their customer decide whether to install it or not?
  • The most important thing I want Dell to know is they need to provide update on the drivers i.e. graphics driver… if there is a great and latest driver from the vendor.  Why? Simply because out-dated driver has been proven to caused issue with Microsoft’s critical updates.  People want to patch their system but if the drivers is customized to the notebook vendor, users cannot simply download and install the new driver from graphics vendors’ website because it won’t succeed with it’s installation.  The magic file is the “inf file”.  Some clever users go out.  They went to laptopvideo2go.com to get the modded inf file and the executable to download the newest driver which has fixes and more control.  Not recommended by the vendors of course but if that will not caused issue with upcoming security patch by Microsoft… which one you’ll choose?

VMware vmware-config.pl Insecure SSL Key File Permissions

OS: VMware ESX Server 2.x
VMware ESX Server 3.x


Software: VMware GSX Server 3.x
VMware Player 1.x
VMware Server 1.x
VMware Workstation 5.x


A security issue has been reported in VMware, which potentially can be exploited by malicious, local users to gain knowledge of sensitive information.


The problem is caused due to missing return code checks of the “chmod()” call in vmware-config.pl when setting permissions for SSL key files. This may potentially result in insecure read permissions being set on the key file.


Solution: The vendor recommends to changing the file permissions (see vendor advisory).
http://secunia.com/advisories/21120/
 

Simon Scatt

Alex and other blogs are being hit by Simon Scatt. That spammer is also hitting me here at MSMVPS.com. Good thing this blog is in “moderation” state.  It’s a task for me to moderate but if that will block spammers in hitting search engines and/or annoying subscribers .. I’ll continue moderating. 

Survey Finds Consumers Balk at Updating Malware Protection

“Overall, the research shows that many consumers have a false sense of security while online,” ESET Chief Research Officer Andrew Lee said in a statement. “With the number of zero-day threats rapidly increasing, users need to be even more cautious and proactive in their own.


While nearly 90 percent of computer users have software on their machines to protect them from malware like viruses, Trojans, worms and spyware, almost two-thirds of those users are reluctant to upgrade the software after it’s installed.


That was the finding in a survey released Monday by security software maker ESET, of San Diego.


http://www.ecommercetimes.com/rsstory/51850.html


hhmmm This is why… we at Calendar of Updates and many other security forums (i.e. ASAP members) are trying our best to keep our security tools up-to-date ;-)  Join us in keeping the community up-to-date… it’s free! The updates are displayed in calendar format!

OpenOffice.org less secure than Microsoft Office?

OpenOffice.org has been increasing in both popularity and visibility over the past several months. Version 2.0 has added a number of new features to bring it closer to feature parity with Microsoft Office, and it also offers full support for the Open Document format. However, a report just released by the French Ministry of Defense says that it still falls short of Microsoft’s office suite in one important area: security.


Full article at http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060718-7288.html