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computer virus

  1. SOPA Returns as Ransomware Virus, Highlights Just How Horrible the Bill Actually Was

    The Stop Online Piracy Act received a lot of attention when Congress was trying to push it through under the radar. Though the bill eventually floundered, the threat it represents is still there, lingering on the peripheries of the Internet. The fear is that some kind of Internet regulation in regards to copyright will almost inevitably be passed as lobbyists will continue to push such measures. A computer virus now exists that takes advantage of this dread by implying SOPA is in effect and infected users have been caught in an act of copyright infringement.

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  2. Forget Bloatware; Some New Computers Come Equipped With Malware

    There's a nasty little habit where computer manufacturers, or really any tech manufacturer, install software on the machine that is absolutely worthless before it hits store shelves. There programs are frustrating, but they ultimately constitute what amounts to a minor annoyance. On the other hand, it appears there's a new trend going on: Installing malware prior to purchase.

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  3. Frankenstein Virus Steals Code From Other Programs

    Well, this should terrify anyone who has ever experienced the perfectly rational terror inspired by machines that can think for themselves. New Scientist reports that computer scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas have created a computer virus, dubbed Frankenstein, that can make itself more damaging and harder for systems to detect by stealing bits and pieces of code from other programs. If you don't think this ends in a supervirus running out of control through the Internet, making machines come to life and subjugating humanity, you are not being anywhere near reactionary enough.

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  4. Undeclared Cyberwarfare’s New Kid on the Block: Gauss

    Stuxnet. Duqu. Flame. To the list of weaponized viruses being discovered in computers across the Middle East that look like state-sponsored cyberweapons, we can now add a newcomer: Gauss. Reported last night by Russian security firm Kaspersky, Gauss seems to represent an attack on a new front, targeting finances rather than the infrastructure assets assaulted by previous viruses.

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  5. Japan Criminalizes Computer Virus Creation

    In order to combat the rising tide of cybercrime, the Japanese government has enacted a sweeping new law that criminalizes the creation of computer viruses and grants broad powers to law enforcement investigating computer crimes. The new legislation became law this past Friday, and is meant to provide new tools to Japanese police who perviously had no domestic laws with which to prosecute cyber criminals. According to The Mainichi Daily News, the law carries a three year jail sentence and fines in excess of $6,000 (500,000 Yen) for creating and distributing computer viruses, and lesser fines and jail time for acquiring and storing viruses. Fortunately for computer security researchers, the law provides a "reasonable cause" caveat. The law also makes it illegal to send pornographic email spam. Not everyone is happy about the new law, however.

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  6. Will Apple Become More Vulnerable to Viruses in 2011?

    According to a recent report by computer security company McAfee, Mac OS X and iOS may become juicier targets for cybercriminals in 2011. Per the report, more and more companies and consumers are using Apple computers and mobile devices, making them more attractive for people looking to cause widespread problems. Not only is Apple's presence in mobile technology huge and growing, but users regularly (and proudly) broadcast their allegiance to Apple devices via social media, making them even more susceptible to hackers targeting Apple's operating systems.

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  7. A First: Human Being Infected With Computer Virus

    To calm your nerves: the name of the virus was not Snow Crash. British scientist Dr. Mark Gasson purposely infected the RFID chip in his hand with a computer virus, and successfully proved that such devices can carry malicious programs to other systems, and that those systems in turn could pass on the code to any other chips that came into contact with them.

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