Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Daily Highlights

The Associated Press reports the Empress of the North −− a cruise ship that ran aground at the southern end of Icy Strait, off the Alaskan coast −− was moving under Coast Guard escort after its passengers had been evacuated. (See item 17)
The Department of Homeland Security will soon begin conducting multiple projects in the Port of Tacoma, to evaluate technology and concepts of operations for radiation detection that will scan cargo at various points in transfer from ship to rail. (See item 19)
WCBD reports Karen Wyndham, of Cottageville, South Carolina, was charged with tampering with consumer products after placing rodent poison into three previously sealed packages of ground beef, and then putting the tainted meats in the meat display of a Super K−Mart store. (See item 27)

Information Technology and Telecommunications Sector

38. May 14, IDG News Service — Verizon Business to acquire Cybertrust. Verizon Communications' Business unit plans to acquire managed security vendor Cybertrust in an effort to pump up its cybersecurity offerings, Verizon announced Monday, May 14. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies expect the transaction to close in 60 to 90 days. The goal of the acquisition is to make Verizon Business a leading provider of managed information security services to large business and government customers, Verizon said.
Source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/05/14/verizon−acquires−c ybertrust_1.html

39. May 14, Associated Press — DoD blocks some Websites. Soldiers serving overseas will lose some of their online links to friends and loved ones back home under a Department of Defense (DoD) policy that a high−ranking Army official said would take effect Monday, May 14. DoD will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Websites on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by General B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. The policy is being implemented to protect information and reduce drag on the department's networks, according to Bell.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070514/ap_on_hi_te/military_sites_blocked;_ylt=AgUInoY8fReoSkZDdOPh5.sjtBAF

40. May 14, VNUNet — Google warns of Web malware epidemic. A study released Monday, May 14, by Google has warned of "very high levels" of malware being hosted on Websites. In a year−long scan of over 4.5 million sites the Google team found code on 450,000 pages that could inject malware onto users' PCs via improperly patched browsers. A further 700,000 sites hosted similar code that, while not necessarily malicious, could harm the security of the PC viewing the page. "In most cases, a successful exploit results in the automatic installation of a malware binary, also called drive−by download," said the five−member team who wrote, "The Ghost in the Browser" paper. "The installed malware often enables an adversary to gain control over the compromised system and can be used to steal sensitive information such as banking passwords, to send out spam or to install more malicious executables over time." The research highlighted four main attack vectors: Web server security; user generated content; advertising; and third−party software.
Study: http://www.usenix.org/events/hotbots07/tech/full_papers/prov os/provos.pdf
Source: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2189815/google−study−shows −scale−web

41. May 11, eWeek — Mother's Day brought unwanted spam. Mother's Day brought unwanted gift−spam. According to researchers at security vendor Sophos, spammers were trying to sell items like flowers, chocolates and baskets of fruit to consumers who may have not purchased presents for their mothers. Sophos experts said there are at least 23 different dates used in countries around the world to celebrate Mother's Day, but spammers focus on the North American celebration because it provides them with the largest possible audience. Meanwhile, security specialists at Panda Software's anti−malware laboratory, PandaLabs, on May 10 uncovered an application being used to control botnets in 54 countries. Ryan Sherstobitoff, product technology officer at Panda Software said the tool did not seem to be connected to the recent Mother's Day spam e−mails, but was a threat −− particularly if it was used by cyber−criminals. "Everything has the end−all goal [of stealing] information," Sherstobitoff said. The application, called Zunker, contains a statistics section that includes graphs displaying the performance of each bot in the network, the number of available zombies and their monthly or daily activity.
Source: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2128934,00.asp

42. May 11, eWeek — ANI Trojan lurks in popular hardware site. More than a month after Microsoft patched the .ANI vulnerability, the popular Tom's Hardware has found the W32.ani Trojan lurking in one of its banner ads. ScanSafe, a managed Web security services company, on May 8 noticed a spike in traffic blocks that had a common theme. The company found that Tomshardware.com was unknowingly hosting the banner ad, which was redirecting users to a site where the driveby malware was automatically downloaded. The banner ad was up, infecting victims with unpatched systems, for 24 hours.
Source: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2128813,00.asp