Feeds

Bogus Beijing earthquake reports used to spread malware

Playing with Olympic fire

Security for virtualized datacentres

Supected botnet operators are using false reports that a fictitious earthquake near Beijing could disrupt the Olympic games to spread malware.

Samples of the bogus alert doing the rounds, featuring subject lines such as "Million dead in Chinese quake", link to a website on a .cn domain. This site claims a quake measured in at 9.0* on the Richter scale has caused millions of casualties while throwing preparations for the games into turmoil. The page contains links to a supposed video that actually downloads the Nuwar-E worm onto the Windows boxes of marks credulous enough to fall for the ruse.

Net security firm Sophos reports that the .cn domains advertised in that attack are likely to be part of a botnet. Each DNS query for the domains returns a different IP address, indicating a changing network of compromised hosts are serving up the malware.

Using topical events to punt malware is one of the oldest social engineering tricks in the book. Baiting malware traps with "news" about non-existent calamities is hardly unprecedented either.

Its unclear where the hackers behind the latest scam are based. But if they're anywhere in China they are playing with fire. Last week police in south China arrested a man accused of spreading rumors of an impending earthquake after hacking into a government website. The 19 year-old suspect has reportedly confessed to breaking into the official website of the Guangxi earthquake administration on 31 May to spread the rumour, little more than a fortnight after a real earthquake claimed an estimated 68,000 lives in Sichuan province.

The technology worker (identified only by his surname, Chen) carried out the attack out of mischief, or to have "fun" as police sources put it, official Chinese news agency Xinhua reports. Somehow we doubt he's having much fun now. ®

* The Sichuan earthquake was measured at around magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale. Earthquakes that weight in at over 9.0 on the Richter scale are very rare. The earthquake that triggered the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 measured 9.3 on the scale and is the second highest ever recorded. So the idea that news of such a disaster would first reach recipients by spam email really beggars belief.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.