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I began writing for The Washington Post inand started covering computer and Internet security in Below are links to what I believe is some of my best work over the past four years or so.
Convention Center and the Nationals baseball stadium. Small, Mid-Sized Firms Oct. Bank on a Live CD Oct. The simplest, most cost-effective answer I know of? Now imagine your frustration when you go to log in to your PC to assess the damage, only to find that the computer you typically use to access the account has been kneecapped by the bad guys.
This is precisely what happened to Kathy Dake, office manager for St. Isidore Catholic Church in Danville, Calif.
A week later, Silver Tail learned that Zeus had infiltrated its own network defenses. The mule I spoke with said she was hired by a company called the Scope Group Inc. On the morning of Aug. Chances are, the unwelcome little intruder is part of a much larger infestation.
Firms, Group Says Aug. Those estimates were based on figures reported by the banks to federal regulators and law enforcement. The advisory, issued by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, recommends that commercial banking customers take some fairly rigorous steps to secure their online banking accounts. The Growing Threat to Business Banking Online July 20, — Federal investigators are fielding a large number of complaints from organizations that are being fleeced by a potent combination of organized cyber crooks abroad, sophisticated malicious software and not-so-sophisticated accomplices here in the United States, Security Fix has learned.
The attacks also are exposing a poorly-kept secret in the commercial banking business: That companies big and small enjoy few of the protections afforded to consumers when faced with cyber fraud. PC Invader Costs Ky. The crooks were aided by more than two dozen co-conspirators in the United States, as well as a strain of malicious software capable of defeating online security measures put in place by many banks.
For the past four months, Security Fix has been gathering data from the security industry about McColo Corp.
But the question remains: How could such a massive concentration of spam activity be hosted for so long from the servers at a single U. The answer exemplifies how complex the battle against spam has become.
Faking your Internet Address Nov. Experts say the drop in spam probably is not visible to most Internet users or even operators of large networks, as the decrease is within the upper ranges of daily fluctuations in spam volumes. Still, the preliminary results indicate that a large number of spam-spewing zombie PCs were being coordinated out of top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic hosted at 3FN.
Rogue Anti-Virus Software July 31, — By its very top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic, the architecture and limited rules governing the Web make it difficult to track individuals who might be involved in improper activity. Cyber-sleuths often must navigate through a maze of dead-end records, pseudonyms or anonymous corporations, usually based overseas.
The success rate is fairly low. Even if you manage to trace one link in the chain — such as a payment processor or Web host — the business or person involved claims that he or she was merely providing a legal service to an unknown client who turns out to be a scammer.
But every so often, subtle links between the various layers suggest a more visible role by various parties involved. This was what I found recently, when I began investigating a Web site name called innovagest Franchising Cyber Crime June 19, — For the most part, cyber gangs that create malicious software and spread spam operate as shadowy, exclusive organizations that toil in secrecy, usually in Eastern Europe. But with just a few clicks, anyone can jump into business with even the most notorious of these organizations by opening up the equivalent of a franchise operation.
Security Fix spent the past week testing services offered by two Web sites that sell access to a wealth of information on consumers. Each site offers free registration, but requires users to fund their accounts via Webmoney, a PayPal-like virtual currency that is popular in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Thwarting Anti-Spam Defenses Aug. Distributing Your Malware Aug. But building a network of hacked personal computers that can distribute your data-stealing malicious software is a time-consuming process that requires a modicum top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic skill. That is, until recently, when several online services have emerged that promise to help would-be cyber crooks graduate from common street dealers to distributors overnight.
But what if services aimed at creating counterfeit versions of these documents became widespread? How long would businesses continue to rely on this method of identification?
Validating Your Stolen Goods Aug. Perhaps that explains the popularity of certain services in the underground cyber crime economy that make it easy for crooks to purchase stolen credit and bank accounts in bulk and check whether the accounts are legitimate and active. Online forums and criminal social networking sites have long offered aspiring newbies tips on getting started. But a slew of extremely popular Web sites increasingly are making it possible for newcomers to begin reaping profits from their activities through point-and-click Web interfaces that even the most novice hackers can navigate.
What follows today and throughout the rest of the week is a look at some trends and tools Security Fix observed being used by cyber crooks, as a result of several months of lurking on some of the more popular top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic in some cases invite-only cyber criminal forums. Got 30, hacked personal computers under your thumb? Now you can use those systems to generate a steady income just by pointing them at Web sites requested by a buyer.
Petersburg has become a world hub for Web sites devoted to child pornography, spamming and identity theft, according to computer security experts. They say Russian top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic have provided little help in efforts to shut down the company. Mapping the Russian Business Network Oct. Taking on the Russian Business Network Oct. Down, but Not Out Nov. But security experts caution that there are signs that the highly profitable network may already be building a new home for itself elsewhere on the Web.
Tsastsin has a rather colorful past, and is no stranger to organized crime. According to the local court and news media, he was recently sentenced to three years in an Estonian prison after being found guilty of credit card fraud, document forgery, and money laundering. Host as Major Source of Badware Aug. Happily, data released this week about a short-lived but precipitous decline in the level of badness online after Atrivo was shut down illustrates just how bad Atrivo was.
Some of the most pervasive malicious software circulating today e. Yet, even if the assaults were to be completely blocked tomorrow, the attackers could still have one last, inglorious weapon in their arsenal: The next time you hear this claim, please refer the misguided person to this blog post, which attempts to examine some of the more common — yet often overlooked — ways that cyber crooks can put your Practice binary options using demo accounts to criminal use.
Heartland Breach Blamed for Failed Membership Renewals May 14, — In February, Bill Oesterle began seeing nearly twice the normal number of transactions being declined for customers who had set up auto-billing on their accounts. Zeustracker and the Nuclear Option May top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic, — One of the scarier realities about malicious software is that these programs leave ultimate control over victim machines in the hands of the attacker, who could simply decide to order all of the infected machines to self-destruct.
Disabling infected systems is counterproductive for attackers, who generally focus on hoovering as much personal and financial data as they can from the PCs they control. Experts Chart Spike in Cyber Sieges May 1, — Cyber attacks with enough firepower to knock entire countries off the Internet have spiked in recent months, raising fresh concerns within the security community about weaknesses in the Internet infrastructure that help create such weapons of mass disruption.
While those efforts are ongoing and so far appear effective, all of that work could be undone thanks to the lax security of a single Web site. But I wonder whether authorities in those countries would be any more willing to pursue cyber crooks in their own countries if they were forced to confront just how deeply those groups have penetrated key government and private computer networks in those regions?
But evidence from the Conficker worm — which by some estimates is infecting more than one million new PCs each day — shows that trend may be shifting. If accurate, such figures may make the Heartland incident one of the largest data breaches ever reported. Move Over, Client 9 Jan. The need for national cyberspace security is a no-brainer, but who is going to protect us from the digital devices that organize our lives and leaves personal information vulnerable to theft?
Here, a behind-the-scenes look at how hackers are unearthing the private details of our lives by attacking our web browsers, cell phones, and personal electronics. Hashing Over Tiny Details Dec. Of those, 69 were registered at either eNom or Network Solutions, and all appeared to be legitimate domains that had been hijacked. Justice Breyer is Among Victims in Data Breach Cause by File Sharing July 9, — Sometime late last year, an employee of a McLean investment firm decided to trade some music, or maybe a movie, with like-minded users of the online file-sharing network LimeWire while using a top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic computer.
In doing so, he inadvertently opened top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic private files of his firm, Wagner Resource Group, to the public. July 1, — I am accustomed to receiving e-mail from Amazon. But it took me by surprise this weekend to discover that mounds of porn spam and junk e-mail laced with computer viruses are actively being blasted from digital real estate leased to the e-commerce giant.
Cyber Incident Blamed for Nuclear Plant Shutdown June 5, — A nuclear power plant in Georgia was recently forced into an emergency shutdown for 48 hours after a software update was installed on a top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic computer. A criminal group that specializes in deploying malicious software to steal banking data is presenting victims with fake maintenance pages and error messages as a means of getting around anti-fraud safeguards erected by many banks.
Most Spam Sites Tied top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic a Handful of Registrars May 19, — New research suggests that more than three quarters of all Web sites advertised through spam are clustered at just 10 domain name registrars. A Case of Network Identity Theft? Golubov took rather strong exception to the way he was characterized in that post, denying involvement in any type of cybercrime activity.
The problem, Golubov claimed, is that the FBI confused him with someone else. Turns out, Network Solutions, which was one of the original firms in the domain registration business, was top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic payment for the domain in violation of a U. Closer inspection also reveals that Network Solutions and other U. InGolubov — a. Each is disassembled into a dump of binary code and then run through a program Dragulescu wrote. That program spends a few hours crunching through all the data, looking for patterns in the code that will determine the shape, color and complexity of each piece of threat art.
Petersburg, Russia, where the Storm worm authors are thought to reside. In a recent investigative series on cyber crime featured on washingtonpost. A top binary options pimp signatures supper club social and economic snippet of commands he typed on his own computer — along with his own IP address — also appeared in the cache of stolen data on the Web site where the Trojan horse uploads stolen data.
The individual responsible for this virus lives in the Ukraine and writes his own malicious software. At the center of the probe is Unisys Corp. But according to an analysis by Security Fix, cyber crime remains a distant third priority for the federal law enforcement agency, at least in terms of resources applied to the problem.
The volunteer-led cybercrime-fighting group has endured nearly a month long siege by thousands of criminally-controlled PCs aimed at crippling its Web site.