McAfee, Inc. Launches Global S.P.A.M. Experiment

McAfee, Inc. today announced the launch of its global S.P.A.M. (Spammed Persistently All Month) Experiment. For the month of April, participants from around the world – ranging from homemakers, government executives, and students to retirees – will surf the Web, make online purchases and register for promotions. Participants have been provided with a clean laptop without spam protection and a new email address. Beginning today, they will blog about their experiences daily at http://www.mcafee.com/spamexperiment.

http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/press/corporate/2008/20080331_175000_k.html

11 year old is in-charge of 60 machine network

At 11-years-old, Penn has become his school’s network administrator, taking over the job from the previous admin who left suddenly last year. One could call into question the qualifications of Penn’s predecessor, however, considering the major clean-up job the adolescent wonder has on his hands.

http://www.switched.com/2008/03/31/11-year-old-takes-over-as-schools-network-admin/ via http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/31/arkansas-school-has-an-11-year-old-it-department-no-really/

New Sophos facial recognition technology uses webcams to stop hackers in their tracks

Sophos appeals for computer users to send in pictures to increase accuracy of new RAPIL system

IT security and control firm Sophos today announced its new RAPIL (Recognition and Analysis of Potentially Intruding Lifeforms) system which is able to produce a real-time forensic analysis of a PC or Mac user’s facial features to determine if they exhibit any characteristics commonly associated with hackers.

The new system uses webcams, now in widespread use on modern computers, to assess the facial characteristics of computer users, and cross-references them against features typically found in cybercriminals. Current tests show that with a clear background and provided the face is free of any obstructions, including hats, moustaches and sunglasses, the beta version of RAPIL has a success rate of 97.78 percent.

To add to the Sophos library of faces and help the fight again cybercrime, please upload your photographs at: www.flickr.com/groups/ra-pil

Video clip and screenshot at http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2008/04/rapil.html

Teenager guilty of million-dollar hacking campaign

A New Zealand teenager accused of leading an international ring of computer hackers which skimmed millions of dollars from bank accounts was today convicted of illegal computer hacking.

Owen Thor Walker, 18, pleaded guilty yesterday to six charges related to using computers for illegal purposes. Police allege that he led a group of hackers who took control of 1.3m computers around the world without their owners’ knowledge.

Hackers routinely send out viruses, worms and malicious Trojan horse programs which allow them to take control of a victim’s machine. Linked through the internet to form a “bot-net” network, the infiltrated computers are used to access personal bank accounts, steal credit card details or bombard users with spam.

Police alleged that Walker wrote software that evaded normal computer anti-spyware systems, and then sold his skills to criminals around the world.

More at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/01/hitechcrime.hacking

Slide.com Hosting Malware

Websense Security Labs has been tracking the use of Slide.com as a hosting site for malware for several months. The popular Web 2.0 social networking website, ranked 252 by Alexa (Alexa Ranking), is both the largest Facebook application developer and a free and easy place to host malware.

Having tracked the various ways malware is hosted on the site, it appears most popular with attackers targeting Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking audiences. We have seen targeted attacks with fake YouTube email lures in Portuguese that link to malware hosted on Slide.com.

More with screenshots at http://www.websense.com/securitylabs/blog/blog.php?BlogID=183

Storm worm using April Fools’

The Storm Worm is out and about with a new lure campaign, this one centered on the April Fool’s Day holiday tomorrow. The campaign appears to have started in the past few hours, and reports indicate it was in preparation for the past 24 hours or so.

http://asert.arbornetworks.com/2008/03/april-storms-day-campaign/

“And poor detection on one sample” — Alex E. at Sunbelt blog
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/heads-up-storm-worm-using-april-fools.html

Other areas:

http://www.avertlabs.com/research/blog/index.php/2008/03/31/nuwar-isnt-fooling-around/
http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00001410.html
http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?storyid=4222

Hackers Flood Epilepsy Web Forum With Flashing Lights

Unknown miscreants had a good time two weekends ago when they posted hundreds of flashing animated images onto discussion boards hosted by the Landover, Md.-based Epilepsy Foundation.

Flashing lights or bold moving patterns can trigger often violent seizures among 3 percent of the estimated 50 million epileptics worldwide.

“I was on the phone when it happened, and I couldn’t move and couldn’t speak,” RyAnne Fultz, who has epilepsy, told Wired News about her reaction to viewing one of the images on March 23.

Fultz’s 11-year-old son walked over and closed the browser window after about 10 seconds. Fortunately, she suffered nothing more than a bad headache.

By then, the second day of vandalism on EpilepsyFoundation.org, the jerks had moved on to hijacking the browsers of anyone who clicked on certain forum posts, filling the screens with bright, flashing colors.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343808,00.html via http://www.cgisecurity.com/cgi-bin/redir.cgi?story=080312