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Recent Articles

Back to the future: anti-virus engines and sandboxes

Szilard Stange makes the case for multi-engine malware scanning. The VB2015 conference takes place next month (30 September to 2 October) in Prague, with an exciting programme that covers many of today's most pertinent security-related topics. In the run-up to the event, we have invited each of the VB2015 sponsors to write a guest post for our blog. Today, we publish a piece by Szilard Stange, Director of Product Management at OPSWAT (a sponsor of every VB conference since 2008). In his...

The Virus Bulletin
Hacktivists Threaten to Target Law Enforcement Personnel and Public Officials

Internet Crime complaint Center (FBI)
Paper: Optimizing ssDeep for use at scale

Brian Wallace presents tool to optimize ssDeep comparisons. Malware rarely comes as a single file, and to avoid having to analyse each sample in a set individually, a fuzzy hashing algorithm tool like ssDeep can tell a researcher whether two files are very similar — or not similar at all. When working with a large set of samples, the number of comparisons (which grows quadratically with the set size) may soon become extremely large though. To make this task more manageable, Cylance...

The Virus Bulletin
Throwback Thursday: Legal attempts to reduce spam. A UK perspective

This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back to November 2003, when spam was such a hot topic that VB decided to launch a dedicated 'VB Spam Supplement'. While, today, spam is a problem that is generally very well mitigated, 12 years ago it was a subject of growing concern and was becoming of increasing interest to the AV industry, with a veritable stampede of AV vendors rushing to bring anti-spam solutions to market alongside their anti-virus products. With volumes of unsolicited...

The Virus Bulletin
Paper: 3ROS exploit framework kit — one more for the infection road

Aditya K. Sood and Rohit Bansal highlight a different side of an exploit kit. Exploit kits are a serious plague on the Internet, made worse by the fact that the online advertisement ecosystem allows cybercriminals to run their malicious code on many websites. The kits are studied extensively by security researchers, who attempt to follow their development as the kits' authors try to make sure detection is evaded. Today, we publish a paper by Aditya K. Sood (Elastica) and Rohit Bansal...

The Virus Bulletin
Throwback Thursday: What DDoS it all Mean?

This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back to March 2000, when DDoS attacks were a newly emerging menace. Today, DDoS attacks are a well-known form of cyber abuse — indeed, even this week, Swiss encrypted webmail provider ProtonMail has been the target of a sustained DDoS attack. In early 2000, however, DDoS attacks were far from common (even though the concept had been around for some time), so when, in February 2000, some of the Internet's largest websites including CNN, MSN...

The Virus Bulletin
The Internet of Bad Things, Observed

In his VB2015 keynote address, Ross Anderson described attacks against EMV cards. The VB2015 opening keynote by Ross Anderson could hardly have been more timely. In his talk "The Internet of Bad Things, Observed", the Cambridge professor looked at various attacks against the EMV standard for payment cards — attacks that have been used to steal real money from real people. Such cards, often called chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature, are generally seen as better protected against...

The Virus Bulletin
Throwback Thursday: Inside Sony's rootkit

This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back ten years, when the discovery of a rootkit ignited a firestorm of criticism for Sony. Rootkits are common among modern malware, and it seems hard to believe that ten years ago they were a little known phenomenon — that was until the discovery of the Sony rootkit brought this form of stealthy malware firmly into the public's awareness. A few days ago was the tenth anniversary of the discovery and exposure of the Sony rootkit: on 31 October...

The Virus Bulletin