According to computer security juggernaut Symantec (makers of Norton Antivirus) global spam levels are the lowest they've been since 2008, when a particularly notorious spam center was taken offline. Worldwide, spam is now down to only 1 in 1.37 emails and only 73.7 percent of emails as a whole. Yes, that's right. This is considered a low-point.While there is clearly still a remarkable spam presence on the Internet, some of the current lull could be attributed to progress in taking down the largely automated networks responsible for spending it. Not to mention, spam filters are getting better and by this point, most Internet users understand what spam is and how to effectively avoid it. There's also no telling what percentage of these recorded spam emails are being sent to largely inactive, or disposable accounts.
Hot on the heels of the first major Bitcoin theft -- an amount that nearly reached half a million dollars -- Symantec caught wind of a Trojan out in the wild that specifically targets and steals Bitcoin wallets. The Trojan, called Infostealer.Coinbit, attempts to locate a Bitcoin wallet and email it to the attacker. The above is a snippet of source code Symantec found on what they call "underground forums," which attempts to locate a Bitcoin wallet and uploads the wallet using FTP to the attacker's servers.
Bitcoin users do have the option to encrypt their wallet for an extra layer of protection, but if someone is clever enough to steal a Bitcoin wallet, chances are they are clever enough to break an encrypted wallet open. Still, it's always better to be safer. For more info on the Trojan, head on over to Symantec's details page, and hopefully someone creates the computer equivalent of those old wallet-to-pocket chains for Bitcoin wallets sometime soon.
(Symantec via Hacker News)
Not an Onion headline: Hack Is Wack is a Norton-sponsored, Snoop Dogg-approved competition wherein contestants submit an "anti-cybercrime rap video" two minutes in length or shorter. "Entries can rap about topics including hacking, identity theft, computer viruses, and why it's important to protect yourself from online crime," and the winner gets tickets to a Snoop Dogg concert, round trip airfare for two to LA, lots of face time with Snoop's management, and a Norton-packed Toshiba laptop.
This week, Symantec reported its discovery of a veritable thieves horde: a server holding the login info of 44,000,000 stolen MMORPG accounts. After surveying a few websites, Symantec came up with a range of values for the data on the server, capping out at around $30,000. If you're not a regular online gamer, you may be wondering why game accounts are so valuable. At the very least, you might be wondering why someone would go to the trouble of grabbing the log in info for so many accounts that they have to craft a unique program simply to figure out which ones still work. As a regular World of Warcraft player with account security on the brain, allow me to give you a brief explanation.