The small group of hackers known as Lulz Security, or simply “LulzSec,” would never disband without one final round of fun. BGR reported on Monday that the group’s reign of terror was coming to an end after 50 lul-filled days. During that period of time, LulzSec released data stolen in a series of online breaches with targets ranging from Sony to the U.S. Government. In its coup de grâce, LulzSec released a stash of stolen data from a variety of targets, including AT&T, Disney and the U.S. Navy. But data obtained through online breaches wasn’t the only thing LulzSec stuffed into the file; a directory named “BootableUSB” also contained a variety of malware including trojans and worms. While “LulzSec” is no more and its notorious Twitter account now sits dormant, members of the well-known hacktivism group “Anonymous Operations” have confirmed that LulzSec is gone in name only — the six LulzSec members have been absorbed by Anonymous, according to the group’s official Twitter feed. More →
Earlier this week, an Australian coder by the name of Ikee wrote an interesting iPhone worm targeting users with jailbroken iPhones — specifically those users who had not RTFM and changed their root password. The worm was programmed to scan the 3G IP ranges of the Telus, Optus, and Vodafone networks in Australia. Once a vulnerable iPhone was found, the exploit would change the wallpaper of said device to…Rick Astley. Respect. In an interview Ikee explains that his worm was designed as more of a warning shot than an attempt to compromise user data. Ikee had hoped users would be motivated to change their root password, which is set to “alpine” by default post-jailbreak, after seeing the consequences of a compromised root password. Fast forward to today, and a new anonymous coder has modified Ikee’s worm, and this new variant has less of that public service announcement feel to it. The modified strain, dubbed “iPhone/Privacy.A” by the online security firm Intego, is programmed to do several things: act silently and retrieve e-mail messages, SMS messages, calendar appointments, contacts, photos, music files, videos, along with any other data recorded by your iPhone apps. Currently details on where the worm is uploading the farmed data is scarce, and the threat of being infected is low. What’s our recommendation? If you have a jailbroken iPhone, change the root password. Maybe this is why Apple’s looking to secure their incredibly unsecure mobile operating system… More →
As deep as we are into S60 3rd Edition’s lifespan, malware was sure to rear its ugly head at some point. In fact, we are still pretty impressed that it’s taken as long as it has. While this newly-discovered worm is not the first instance of S60 malware, it certainly appears to be the most tenacious and dangerous. Dubbed “Sexy View” or SymbOS/Yxes.A!worm, the malware indeed contains a valid Symbian Signed certificate and runs the process “EConServer.exe”. It performs three known attacks: First, it seeks out certain running processes on your handset and terminates them. Then it gathers phone numbers from the handset’s contact list and transmits SMS messages to as many numbers as it can collect. The sent messages contain a URL and if an S60-toting recipient visits the address, his or her handset may become infected as well. Lastly, the worm gathers certain sensitive information about the handset such as IMEI and phone number, and posts the data to a remote server. In other words, this worm is bad news. For the time being, “Sexy View” is thought to only affect OS 9.1 devices though it may also affect OS 9.2. So, S60 users, if you find your contacts pinging you to ask why you’re sending them messages with odd URLs, it may be time to head to the clinic. Both Fortinet and F-Secure claim their mobile antivirus solutions will combat the worm but if you confirm your handset is infected, wiping it should solve your problem for free.
After a wave of attention surrounding a post on Apple’s support pages over the past few days, Cupertino has decided to pull the page from its site. The post in question encouraged “the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.” As Apple’s OS X has yet to have any significant threats posed against it, the blogosphere questioned both the necessity and integrity of the recommendation, noting that two of the three recommended antivirus applications were available for sale from the Apple Store. Here we are a day or so later and Apple has removed the page from its site, stating:
We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate. The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection.
If that’s the case, then why pull the article? Is Apple now comfortable leaving its computer users vulnerable and open to an attack? Some speculate that Apple removed the note due to poor and confusing wording but if that were the case, surely the company would have merely clarified its position and recommendation rather than removing it completely. Right? Hopefully Apple will further clarify its position over the coming days as for the time being, some might say it looks like the company was looking to make a quick buck from less savvy users. After all, Apple doesn’t even require the use of antivirus software on its own in-store display units or the internal computers used by store employees.
It looks like the care free days when Mac owners could sit back and relax without having to worry about malware are indeed coming to an end – maybe. Last month we told you about two new pieces of OS X malware that had been discovered and while neither poses a significant threat in most people’s eyes, it is clearly a sign of things to come. As loyal and vocal as Mac computer users are, until recently they hardly represented a significant portion of the market. As such, those responsible for creating end user-targeted malware focused on Windows since it was the clear and overwhelming market leader. Now that Apple’s computer market share is growing however, Mac user complacency with regards to viruses might lead to some big and easy scores for malware. Apple recently posted the following technical note as a result:
Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.
The page goes on to recommend three antivirus solutions for OS X, two of which are offered for sale in the Apple Online Store. For the time being, we still haven’t heard any reported cases of a virus actually finding its way to a Mac computer in a real life situation so the following question is posed: Has Apple just firmed up its deals with antivirus providers or are we really in store for a hail storm of Mac malware sooner than we think? In either case, at least we won’t be seeing the commercial above air again any time soon.