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malware

  1. Keylogger Virus Found on Drone Pilots' Computers

    A recent story in Wired claims that the operators of the Reaper and Predator drone fleets are struggling against an enemy we can all relate to: Malware. According to the story's sources, which are unnamed, the computers used to remotely control drones around the world have been infected with a nasty keylogger that is resisting efforts to destroy it. If the article's sources can be believed, the problem is centered around a drone control facility at Nevada's Creech Air Force Base. Pilots on the base use computers to fly drones on missions in Pakistan, Afganistan, and around the world. With more and more missions being flown by these armed robotic aircraft, facilities like Creech have become hubs of activity for reconnaissance and more lethal operations. For security purposes, the computers on the base are not connected to the Internet in order to avoid any chance they could become infected. However, the Creech facility was one of the few places the Department of Defense (DoD) allowed USB flash drives to be used in order to transfer mission data between computers. It's believed that this special allowance was the point of entry for the keylogger virus, though its not clear if it was intentionally placed on the infected computers. This is, obviously, bad news for the Air Force, but it might not be as horrific as it seems.

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  2. Microsoft Takes Down Kelihos Botnet, Calls Out Owner in Civil Case

    As part of "Operation b79," Microsoft has taken down the Kelihos botnet and pointed a finger at Dominique Alexander Piatti, its alleged operator, or at least its enabler. While Microsoft is not new to busting up botnets, the finger-pointing is a first. To clarify, by finger-pointing I mean that Microsoft has named Mr. Piatti as the defendant in an impending civil case regarding the botnet's activities. What were the botnet's activities? Well, Piatti owned the cz.cc domain and sold an army of subdomains. While some of those subdomains appeared to have legitmate purposes, many of them where hosting malware, including MacDefender, a piece of scareware aimed towards Apple operating systems. Of course, like any good botnet, it also sent a whole lot of spam and created zombies for later use in DDoS attacks.

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  3. Malicious Google+ Android App Records Your Calls

    Android users should be wary as a new malware app has been discovered posing as a Google+ app. This app is particularly nasty, as it gathers GPS data, call logs, text messages, and even records phone calls before sending the information off to a remote server. It can also receive commands from text messages sent to the phone from the app's shadowy puppet master. Frequent readers may feel that this sounds eerily familiar. According to Trend Micro, the app is the third variant of the malicious ANDROIDOS_NICKISPY.A, and is being given the .C designation. Unlike previous versions, the .C app can also answer calls without the user's knowledge. It seems that when an infected phone receives calls from specific numbers, the phone's screen remains black, goes into silent mode, and hides the dial pad. Presumably, this is another means by which the app's creators can communicate with infected phones. Fortunately, the app is not available for download within the Android app store. There's some more good news, as well: The auto-answer function only affects phones running the 2.2 version of the Android OS, and the app can be removed simply by uninstalling the app. However, the fact that the app apparently installs itself after the phone visits a malicious website is more than a little troubling. Stay vigilant, Android users. (via TechCrunch, image via Trend Micro)

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  4. 50-200K Android Users Have Malware Installed

    The Android Police blog is reporting that not only has some nasty malware been released into the Android market, but that it has been downloaded by 50-200 thousand users, all of which may have had their device completely compromised. The attack came in the form of dozens of popular free apps that contained a plethora of nasty tricks. The apps were actually re-packaged free apps from different publishers, presumably to maximize the chance it would be downloaded and minimize the work the ne'er-do-wells would need to spend making their own apps. Reddit user lompolo made the discovery, writing:

    I just randomly stumbled into one of the apps, recognized it and noticed that the publisher wasn’t who it was supposed to be. Super Guitar Solo for example is originally Guitar Solo Lite. I downloaded two of the apps and extracted the APK’s, they both contain what seems to be the "rageagainstthecage" root exploit – binary contains string "CVE-2010-EASY Android local root exploit (C) 2010 by 743C". Don’t know what the apps actually do, but can’t be good.

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  5. 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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  6. Yikes: Bank Employee Allegedly Infects ATMs with Malware, Steals Thousands

    We've previously heard of scammers stealing people's banking information with ATM skimmer devices that record card number and PIN information and variants that steal that info from gas pumps, but this might be even more disturbing: A Bank of America employee in North Carolina has been charged with installing malware directly into bank ATMs that allowed him to fraudulently withdraw money without a trace.

    What's worse, these alleged thefts could coincide with the beginning of a wave of Eastern European ATM malware, which banking security experts fear may be coming to America:

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