Botnets used to be the exclusive domain of high-powered hackers looking to rake in cash from spam operations or to conduct highly effective DDoS attacks. But now Symantec has found that botnets are increasingly becoming available to less sophisticated hacker wannabes and are being sold for as little as $250. More →
Computer security experts on Wednesday revealed that they had successfully taken down Grum, the world’s third-largest botnet, which was responsible for roughly 18% of global spam, according to The New York Times. According to CNNMoney, that figure could be as high as 50%. The security experts were able to block the botnet’s command and control servers in both the Netherlands and Panama. While the service was successfully shut down, it wasn’t long before Grum’s architects set up seven new command and control centers throughout Russia and Ukraine. The team, however, was able to successfully block those servers, too. More →
Apple on Thursday released Java update for OS X that removes a number of common variants of the Flashback trojan virus. Discovered last week to have infected more than 600,000 Mac computers, Flashback is a trojan that is capable of intercepting sensitive data and transmitting it back to an attacker. Security experts at F-Secure published instructions on how to manually detect and remove the malware, but Apple’s new Java update will handle the process automatically. The update, Java for OS X Lion 2012-003, is available for download immediately from within Apple’s integrated OS X software update utility.
The idea that Macs don’t get viruses is now officially a thing of the past. Of course Mac malware has been around for years, but now a massive botnet has been discovered that takes this relatively small issue and makes it a widespread problem. While hackers indeed target Windows PCs far more frequently, a trojan horse virus discovered earlier this year has reportedly now been found to affect more that half a million Mac computers worldwide. Russian anti-virus vendor Dr. Web has discovered that malware called “BackDoor.Flashback.39” is currently present on at least 600,000 Macs. The trojan has the capability to use a java vulnerability to intercept passwords and other private data, and then transmit the information back to the person or group that deployed it. Apple has since patched the vulnerability, but security experts at F-Secure have published a simple guide to help Mac users determine whether or not they are infected, and then remove any malicious files from their computers that are tied to the Flashback trojan. A link to F-Secure’s guide can be found below. More →