A new flaw in Mozilla’s Firefox webbrowser has been discovered by Secunia Research (http://secunia.com). This new vulnerability would potentially allow an application to be downloaded from a source other than that stated.
For example, if a user receives an email said to be from a well known software manufacturer, which asked the user to update their software and download a critical patch from their website. The email of course would be bogus and while the user in all rights would presume that the update would come from legitimate sources would infact come from an undisclosed website. Such an attempt could lead the user to run malware on their system, possibly giving complete access to the malicious individuals.
The vulnerability has been found to be present in Mozilla 1.7.3 for Linux, Mozilla 1.7.5 for Windows, and Mozilla Firefox 1.0. Other versions may also be affected.
Secunia Research is recommending that you should never follow download links from unknown or unreliable resources.
For more information, the full report of the vulnerability can be found at Secunia Research’s website at: http://secunia.com/advisories/13599/.
One of the most scariest forms of malware that you will probably come across, or already have is what is called “Browser Hijacking”. Browser hijacking is the name given to the various annoyances that occur in today’s computers. Ever opened up Internet Explorer and found your start page has changed? Ever noticed a ton of popups when you haven’t even used your computer in a while? Have you ever gone to do a search on the internet and were redirected to porn? Well, you have probably already been hijacked.
Now, to say that browser hijacking is just an annoyance is far from the truth. When you have been hijacked you have no idea what else is going on. If something has control of your browser, who’s to say it isn’t listening in on what you surf, or what you are entering into various websites forms. If you do web banking, or purchase items online, then it could get quite serious. Your credit details could easily be taken.
If you ever notice any of the above symptoms including unknown programs that are running in your list of running processes, unknown toolbars in Internet Explorer or are even paranoid, you need to … Continue reading
The latest version of Bobax, dubbed W32/Bobax-H, is using the famous to help spread it’s wares. Though definitley not the first time this has ever happened, remember the Kournikova virus back in 2001. Using celebrities to help get the unsuspecting to open an email is a old trick, but it still works.
Bobax-H, uses a different form of celebrity than most malware do, but again it isn’t the first for either of today’s subjects. Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden kindly make an appearance to help spread the wares.
The mass mailing email uses an extremely well known vulnerability to help the spread of itself. Not unlike Sasser, it exploits the LSASS vulnerability, of which a patch has been available since April 13, 2004. The vulnerability allows remote code execution. Microsoft has released the patch 10 months ago, and still viruses utilize the hole.
Though the virus isn’t in the wild as Sasser certainly was at this time, but it is important to mention as it is spreading.
As always, please ensure that your antivirus definitions are up-to-date and also, please ensure that your Windows systems are fully patched. Please do a Windows Update right now, while you think of … Continue reading
Experts are warning that there could be an attack on the fronts in the near future. An attack that could make MS-Blast look like child’s play. The attack will not come from an email attachment or through a trojan horse, the hole already exists and it is very easy to break into your Microsoft Windows system.
Luckily, if you have been keeping up to date with your system patches especially yesterday’s, you are already protected. Yesterday, Microsoft released patch MS05-11, which closes a hole in the SMB, or Service Message Block. SMB is the service that Windows uses to share files, printers and other devices to other devices or computers. SMB is in Windows 2000, Windows XP (both Home and Professional including the 64-Bit Editions) and, Windows Server 2003. It is said to be the largest, most spread out security hole to date.
The vulnerability, tagged Windows SMB Client Transaction Response Handling Vulnerability by it’s discoverers, eEye Digital Security, warn “An attacker who can cause an affected system to connect to the SMB service on a malicious host may exploit this vulnerability in order to execute code on the victim’s machine.”
It is highly recommended that all users of Microsoft … Continue reading
Sometimes the greatest threat to a computer doesn’t come from viruses, hackers or spyware. The greatest threat to a computer is possibly ourselves. Actually it can be argued that this is true in all the above cases. By opening that attachment in an email, by running programs that attract the attention of hackers through well known vulnerabilities, by not keeping our systems up-to-date with security patches and, by using software that is not safe in the first place, allowing an instant backdoor into the computer just by surfing to a website. In all the above cases some level of human interaction is either at hand or should be. Thinking proactively and protecting our computers borders before there is a threat will help you pretty much 99.999% of the time. The ways that we can actively protect our systems include:
1. Use A Secure Web-browser
Web-browsers are the tool that you use to ‘surf’ the internet. It is the application that displays the websites you visit. Microsoft Internet Explorer is a web-browser but, it is very insecure and the general nature of the application is wide open to several attacks. The safest … Continue reading
Before I trained the filters, I decided I better get all this mess organized first. Everything that was from friends and was personal I grouped into a Personal folder with each person getting their own folder. I created a folder for my work email, and in it the separate folders for each major email source and a pool for the remainder. I also created separate folder for each of the mail list I subscribe to. Lastly anything that was junk was marked as junk.
This was a much simpler routine that going through my mess of existing folders and catch alls and trying to teach the Junk Mail Controls with each email individually. This is my home email I am switching over now. I only use it to get important emails after hours for work and get my personal email all sorted out, there is still over 2 gbs in total though.
Had I tried this at work, everything is already sorted out into almost 200 different folders, so the transition would have been easier it just would have taken hours to import. I can’t really afford that time during the day. Maybe over the holidays when things slow down … Continue reading
Today I am publishing a different type of article. A diary of sorts on my experiences with Mozilla’s Thunderbird. I just had to download and install this product, an alternative to Outlook Express is needed. I need additional functionality, without the additional overhead or hassles involved with Outlook.
Outlook is great if you use the calendar and advanced contact managers but I have never really needed it. I have also found Outlook’s 2 gb PST file limit ridiculous. I have 2 gabs in deleted emails alone, not to mention archived spam, company emails and, system reports. I am not going to break it all down into individual PST files for anybody. Currently, at work I have over 9 gb of email from the past 2 years. Outlook Express has never had a problem with this and continues to plug along without hassle.
Lately, though I have been missing some features, like the ability to create message filters based on Headers instead of sender, subject or message body. A built in spam filter. Better organization etc. As with Internet Explorer, there has not been an update in almost 4 years. Sorry OE, but I have to try TB.
I am writing … Continue reading
The quick fox jumps over the lazy brown dog Well, the fox in this case is the team at Mozilla and the lazy brown dog is the Team at Microsoft. Each produce webbrowsers, Mozilla with Firefox, and Microsoft with Internet Explorer. Both have a huge part of the market, both are in active development, both have their holes and their security patches. However, Mozilla usually closes their holes in a matter of days while Microsoft tends to take months.
The greatest thing about Mozilla is that they are constantly improving Firefox, Thunderbird and the Mozilla Suite, that they offer ‘Nightly’ builds. These ‘nightly’ builds correct minor bugs or glitches, and sometimes big security holes before they can be exploited, unlike the team at Microsoft. There is one catch though, every ‘nightly’ build is not fully tested and could cause problems.
Mozilla offers the latest builds, which in most cases shouldn’t cause you any problems, (unless you are running the application on a toaster or something else that might not be, well, considered normal circumstance) on their FTP site at: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/ Just make sure you grab the right build, for most … Continue reading
Earlier this week Mitchell Baker, “President and Chief Lizard Wrangler” of the Mozilla Foundation on a panel discussion described how Firefox is and will always be more secure than Internet Explorer. Baker was quoted as saying “There is this idea that market share alone will make you have more vulnerabilities. It is not rational at all.” He continued stating that “not being in the operating system is a phenomenal advantage for us”.
So, what Baker was saying is that Internet Explorer is a part of the operating system. Which could very easily be viewed that way, in fact, I could almost swear that I had read that back before Windows 95/98 and Internet Explorer 4.0 was released, that Internet Explorer was a part of the OS. And weren’t there all those anti-trust cases brought on by Netscape back in the late 90′s arguing that same part. That Microsoft had dominated the market by default, leaving the computer user without the necessary option?
Internet Explorer has been heavily integrated into the Windows Operating system, it is the underlying framework for Windows Explorer, My Computer and every other Graphical User Display that is in Windows. It is currently the only option for … Continue reading
A recent survey I read stated that almost 75% of computer users felt that they were more likely to be hit by lightning or win the lottery than be the victim of any attack on their computer. The top of list included public officials, celebrities, criminal defense lawyers, and webmasters. This couldn’t be scarier. Everyday there are worms, viruses and hackers scanning your computer for any holes that could benefit them. These holes could be used to send spam from your computer, to steal files, to execute applications, anything.
There are several free services on the internet that will enable you to see how vulnerable your computer is. These services scan your computer for open ports or, known security holes in your Internet browser ie. Internet Explorer or, software you use.
The most used and trusted service that will scan your system for such exposures is ShieldsUP!. ShieldsUP! can be found at Gibson Research Corporations website at http://www.grc.com/default.htm.
Halfway down the website in the “Hot Spots” section you will see the link for ShieldsUP!, click this to be directed to the scanner. You will be presented with some details about your IP Address and a brief description. … Continue reading