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Recent Articles

FEB9
Hacktivists Threaten to Target Law Enforcement Personnel and Public Officials

Internet Crime complaint Center (FBI)
FEB2
Security vendors should embrace those hunting bugs in their products

Security software is software too — and it will have flaws. Last week, I was interviewed for the Risky Business podcast. I really enjoyed the experience, not just because I've long been a fan of the show, but also because we discussed a subject I really care about: the security of security products. If you follow the security news, you will have noticed that several researchers (with Google's Tavis Ormandy most prominent among them) are currently hunting for vulnerabilities in...

The Virus Bulletin
JAN29
More VB Conference papers and videos published

11 papers and 9 videos added to our website. In the security industry, we're used to people saying sorry: "sorry we chose a default password of 12345678"; "sorry we didn't look after your personal data better"; "sorry we didn't discover this huge vulnerability earlier"; and so on. In that context, my reason for apologising is far more mundane. There were some great papers and presentations given at our VB2014 conference in Seattle that we simply haven't yet got around to publishing. ...

The Virus Bulletin
JAN28
Throwback Thursday: Peter-II - Three Questions of The Sphinx

This Throwback Thursday, VB heads back to 1993, when an ordinary memory-resident master boot sector virus spiced things up with a bit of pop trivia. Over recent years we have become used to hearing about ransomware extorting money from victims by locking up their devices and demanding a ransom in order for access to the device to be restored. Back in 1993, however, before malware had truly become linked with monetary gain, there was a device hold-up of a different kind: know your pop...

The Virus Bulletin
JAN27
VB2015 paper: Effectively testing APT defences

Simon Edwards discusses how to test the potentially untestable. Like the term or loathe it, APTs have given rise to a new generation of security products that protect against these more targeted and sometimes more advanced threats. Often, such products come with bold claims about how they are able to fend off such threats in ways that traditional security products can't. At VB2015, Simon Edwards (Dennis Technology Labs) presented a paper, written together with Richard Ford (Florida...

The Virus Bulletin
JAN21
VB2015 paper: The ethics and perils of APT research: an unexpected transition into intelligence brokerage

Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade discusses the perils and ethical conundrums that arise as the industry enters a new playing field. Many security researchers have been part of the security community for long enough to remember the days when the typical adversary was a 17-year-old teenager operating from their bedroom. These days, however, some of the adversaries faced by many researchers and companies are powerful and resourceful nation states and intelligence agencies. In a paper he...

The Virus Bulletin
JAN19
VB2015 paper: Digital 'Bian Lian' (face changing): the Skeleton Key malware

Microsoft, Dell SecureWorks researchers analyse malware targeting Active Directory servers. A year ago, researchers from Dell SecureWorks discovered a new kind of malware, dubbed 'Skeleton Key', that was used in targeted attacks. The malware, which was installed on the target's domain controller, allowed the attacker to login as any user and thus perform any number of actions. At VB2015, Microsoft researchers Chun Feng, Tal Be'ery and Michael Cherny, and Dell SecureWorks' Stewart...

The Virus Bulletin
JAN14
Throwback Thursday: I say Virus, You say Trojan

This Throwback Thursday, VB heads back to 1998 — a time when anti-virus vendors avoided tackling non-replicating trojans, worms, jokes and corrupted files. Today, the idea of security vendors not tackling trojans or other forms of malware seems absurd, yet back in the 90s, anti-virus vendors argued that because, by definition, they developed anti-virus, and not anti-trojan or anti-malware software, it was not in their remit to devote their attention anything other than viruses. In...

The Virus Bulletin