Monthly Archives: March 2012

Corporate Compliance Insights – Best Ethical Practices

The Corporate Compliance Insights website for ethics, policy development, and human resource managers.   Each link below shares great standards for exempliary personal and business conduct.  As security is built on a foundation of trust, companies should actively promote ethical conduct for customers and within their teams. 

Ethics – Your Personal Roadmap to Success

Ethics – Eight questions leaders should ask each day

Ethics – Corporate Best Practices

Ethics – Writing corporate policies

Ethics – Implementing corporate policies

Ethics – Excellent Series of Articles

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for March 2012

This is a bit late, but at least it’s still March..Winking smile On March 13th, Microsoft released 6 security bulletins. One was rated as “Critical”, four rated as “important” and one rated as “moderate”.


  • MS12-020 – Vulnerabilities in Remote Desktop Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2671387)


  • MS12-017 – Vulnerability in DNS Server Could Allow Denial of Service (2647170)
  • MS12-018 – Vulnerability in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2641653)
  • MS12-021 – Vulnerability in Visual Studio Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2651019)
  • MS12-022 – Vulnerability in Expression Design Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2651018)


  • MS12-019 – Vulnerability in DirectWrite Could Allow Denial of Service (2665364)

A more technical version of the Security Bulletin can be found at Microsoft TechNet and an end-user version is available at Microsoft’s Safety & Security Center website.

Also, check for updates at Microsoft Update.

See also the MSRC blog: Strength, flexibility and the March 2012 security bulletins

More information is available at the website of Microsoft Security Response Center.

This time not from any Starbucks in the greater Seattle area, but from my volunteer job at the Tacoma Art Museum. Great place to be!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dear HP… that really isn’t a very helpful dialogue box…

Just saying…



The only way to get rid of the darned thing is to fire up Task Manager and shut down the HPWUCli.exe process (sigh)

ISC reports Fake Tech reps calling

QUOTE:  Fake Anti-Virus isn’t enough, now we also have to contend with fake Microsoft reps! This scam has been going on for a while, but continues to be rampant, which suggests that it is quite successful for the bad guys.  ISC reader Fred received such a call earlier today. The caller claimed to be from the “Tech department of Windows” and asked Fred to open the event viewer via run command, to check for errors or warnings. Of course there were some errors (it is Windows, after all :-), but the alleged techie then theatrically exclaimed “You indeed have the deadly errors” .. and proceeded to ask Fred to connect to a malicious site and launch a remote desktop app. Fred, savvy security guy that he is, went there with Firefox and Noscript, and while Fred was still launching Wireshark to capture the next steps, the alleged Windows techie got cold feet, and hung up.

Visa and MC Data Theft – possible $1.6 million cost per business

PC Magazine shares a potential sizeable cost for every participating business

MasterCard, Visa Data Theft May Cost Each Business $1.6 Million

QUOTE:  It’s still a mystery how many MasterCard and Visa customers will be affected by the recent breach at a credit card payment processor. Regardless of the actual size of the breach, businesses are the ones who will be held liable.  If the original estimate from Brian Krebs, the security expert behind Krebs on Security, stands, a single retailer could potentially be on the hook for a whopping $1.6 million, according to a data breach assessment generated by CO3 Systems. CO3 Systems helps businesses assess data breach incidents and develop incident response plans to navigate the maze of compliance and regulatory requirements through its data loss management platform. Sources told Krebs the breach was “massive” and may involve more than 10 million records.

Duqu – Kapersky shares extensive series of articles

QUOTE: Duqu is a sophisticated Trojan which seems to have been written by the same people who created the infamous Stuxnet worm. Its main purpose is to act as a backdoor into the system and facilitate the theft of private information.

Hlux/Kelihos Botnet – FAQ

Kapersky has an excellent FAQ related to this Botnet

FAQ: Disabling the new Hlux/Kelihos Botnet

QUOTE: Kelihos is Microsoft’s name for what Kaspersky calls Hlux. Hlux is a peer-to-peer botnet with an architecture similar to the one used for the Waledac botnet. It consists of layers of different kinds of nodes: controllers, routers and workers

Facebook – Avoid sharing your credentials with a prospective employer

This excellent article from ESET Security documents issues for both the employee and employer. 

Facebook logins toxic for employers, violate security and privacy principles

QUOTE:  Attention CEOs and HR Managers: Facebook login credentials belonging to current or prospective employees are not something that any employer should request, use, or posses. Why? Apart from the violation of security and privacy principles? The risks far outweigh any benefit you imagine you could gain by logging into a social media account that does not belong to you, even if you have persuaded the account owner to give their consent.  The practice of asking current or future employees for their Facebook credentials is not only a serious risk for employers, it is one of the most unpleasant HR stories that I’ve encountered …

VISA and MasterCard warn of massive security breach

Up to 10 million credit cards may have exposed earlier this year: 

VISA and MasterCard warn of massive security breach (up to 10 Million credit cards)

QUOTE:  VISA and MasterCard are alerting banks across the country about a recent major breach at a U.S.-based credit card processor. Sources in the financial sector are calling the breach “massive,” and say it may involve more than 10 million compromised card numbers.  In separate non-public alerts sent late last week, VISA and MasterCard began warning banks about specific cards that may have been compromised. The card associations stated that the breached credit card processor was compromised between Jan. 21, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2012.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit Targets ZeuS Botnet

F-Secure documents a continued concerted effort by Microsoft and other vendors to eradicate this sophisticated botnet

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit Targets ZeuS Botnet

QUOTE: Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit expanded its legal arsenal against malicious botnets this past weekend when – in collaboration with financial services industry members – it took out servers belonging to ZeuS botnets. Microsoft filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on March 23rd. The successful application allowed Microsoft and its partners to do a coordinated seizure of some of the worst known Zeus C&Cs.

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