Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

In the news

Twitter spam campaign linked to Gawker breach

A massive spam campaign that rapidly spread on Twitter has been linked to a data breach at online media company Gawker.

On Sunday, Gawker disclosed that its servers were compromised by hackers to steal readers’ emails and passwords* belonging to its properties, including Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Fleshbot.

Firefox 3.6.13 issued to fix 13 flaws, 11 “critical”

Mozilla on Thursday issued an updated version of its Firefox web browser to fix 13 vulnerabilities, most of which were labeled “critical.”

The update, Firefox 3.6.13 and 3.5.16, fixes 11 critical flaws that could result in a remote attacker installing malicious software on victim machines, according to Mozilla’s security advisory. Of the remaining bugs, one was rated “high” in severity, and another “moderate.”

In all, the vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code, operate with elevated privileges, or spoof the location bar*, according to an advisory posted Friday by the US-CERT.

Hackers access UW-Madison computer systems

Hackers infiltrated the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison computer systems and accessed the personal information of tens of thousands of individuals affiliated with the college.

Zeus botnet targeting Macy’s, Nordstrom account holders

A new Zeus botnet is targeting the credit card accounts of several major U.S. retailers*, including Macy’s and Nordstrom, according to researchers at online banking security firm, Trusteer.

Microsoft to address IE, Stuxnet flaws, 38 others

Two publicly known issues are expected to be addressed Tuesday when Microsoft releases 17 patches to correct 40 product vulnerabilities.

I have cautioned you, Dear Reader, that we are smack-dab in the middle of Prime Cybercrime Season, and to be on the lookout for online con artists and thieves. (Be sure to read, Beware “The Twelve Scams of Christmas”, if you haven’t already.)

Related: Because those stories came from just one newsletter I get, and are for just this week (and headlines like these are commonplace) I hope you’ll look at my article The Internet Is Not Disneyland.

* emphasis mine. Do you know what a “spoofed address bar” is? The address bar is your browser’s ‘toolbar’ with the window that shows the URL of the website you are on.. the “https://techpaul.wordpress.com/”.. a “spoofed bar” would be an identical-looking overlay, put on by the hacker, which showed what they wanted you to see.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me wonder when we are going to get serious, and declare war on these folks. Is it just me, or is it no wonder we’re loosing hundreds of billions a year to them?

What will it take, I wonder?

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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December 14, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, security | , , , , | 4 Comments