A chief criticism I heard from readers of my book, Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime, was that it dealt primarily with petty crooks involved in petty crimes, while ignoring more substantive security issues like government surveillance and cyber war. But now it appears that the chief antagonist of Spam Nation is at the dead center of an international scandal involving the hacking of U.S. state electoral boards in Arizona and Illinois, the sacking of Russia’s top cybercrime investigators, and the slow but steady leak of unflattering data on some of Russia’s most powerful politicians.
On any given day, nation-states and criminal hackers have access to an entire arsenal of zero-day vulnerabilities — undocumented and unpatched software flaws that can be used to silently slip past most organizations’ cyber defenses, new research suggests. That sobering conclusion comes amid mounting evidence that thieves and cyberspies are ramping up spending to acquire and stockpile these digital armaments.
What does a young Chinese hacker do once he’s achieved legendary status for developing Microsoft Office zero-day exploits and using them to hoover up piles of sensitive data from U.S. Defense Department contractors? Would you believe: Start an antivirus firm?
That appears to be what’s happened at Anvisoft, a Chinese antivirus startup that is being somewhat cagey about its origins and leadership. I stumbled across a discussion on the informative Malwarebytes user forum, in which forum regulars were scratching their heads over whether this was a legitimate antivirus vendor. Anvisoft had already been whitelisted by several other antivirus and security products (including Comodo), but the discussion thread on Malwarebytes about who was running this company was inconclusive, prompting me to dig deeper.
Google has reportedly stopped censoring Chinese search results for its Google.cn property, in response to what it said earlier this week were targeted attacks against its corporate infrastructure aimed at Chinese dissident groups. But a security research firm claims the… Read More »
January promises to be a busy month for Web server and database administrators alike: A security research firm in Russia says it plans to release information about a slew of vulnerabilities in widely-used commercial software products.