Articles about Variants

Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Spamquake subsides: less than half of email is now processed pork

Spam levels have fallen to below 50 per cent of all email sent for the first time in a decade, according to security firm Symantec. The milestone comes from a 1.8 per cent decline in spam rates from last month, when spam accounted for 51.5 per cent of sent email. Threat bod Ben Nahorney said it was the lowest rate since …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2015

3ROS exploit wins plaudits for the prettiest Mal-GUI ever

The 3ROS exploit kit is one of the most user-friendly malware tools to have emerged and will likely spawn variants, malware men say. Exploit kits are the preferred method of infecting large numbers of web users. The malware often packs a series of known and zero day exploits against major browsers and software like FireFox and …
Darren Pauli, 16 Nov 2015
Ben Mezrich, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History

Malware links Russians to 7-year global cyberspy campaign

Security researchers have shone the spotlight on an ongoing campaign by Russian cyberspies to snoop on western governments and NGOs, as well as targets in Georgia, using the Dukes malware. The Dukes group of attackers employ a family of unique malware toolsets used to steal information by infiltrating computer networks, before …
John Leyden, 17 Sep 2015

VirusTotal invites Apple fans to play in updated Mac malware sandpit

Google's VirusTotal will begin executing Mac apps to test for malicious activity following an uptick in reports of malware targeting Apple's desktop operating system. The virus scanner is popular with black hats, white hats and everyday users and tries to determine if antivirus mechanisms will flag malware. The service's …
Darren Pauli, 19 Nov 2015

Hacker launches ransomware rescue kit

Security bod Jada Cyrus has compiled a ransomware rescue kit to help victims decrypt locked files and avoid paying off crooks. The kit sports removal tools for common ransomware variants along with guides for how to perform the necessary tasks. Cyrus recommends users not pay ransoms as doing so sustains the criminal business …
Darren Pauli, 21 May 2015

Hypervisor headaches: Hosts hosed by x86 exception bugs

Various hypervisors and operating systems are scrambling to patch around an x86 bug that lets an admin-level guest crash the underlying CPU, causing a denial-of-service to anyone else on the same machine. The issue, described here, is that with some x86 CPUs, an attacker with kernel-mode code execution privileges on a guest …

Kaspersky announces 'death' of Coinvault, Bitcryptor ransomware

The Coinvault and Bitcryptor ransomware are officially dead according to Kaspersky: the alleged authors have been arrested, and all 14,000 decryption keys released allowing victims to avoid paying ransoms to unlock their files. The ransomware variants infected thousands of machines locking up valuable files and demanding …
Darren Pauli, 02 Nov 2015
A fake tattoo on the leg of Canberra Raiders footballer Sandor Earl, sent by Huawei as an April Fool

Remote code exec hijack hole found in Huawei 4G USB modems

Positive Technologies researchers Timur Yunusov and Kirill Nesterov have found since-patched remote execution and denial of service vulnerabilities in a popular Huawei 4G USB modem that can allow attackers to hijack connected computers. The Huawei E3272 USB modem sells from about US$120 on Amazon. Researchers say the …
Darren Pauli, 07 Oct 2015

Leak-shamed Intel finally bares nifty Skylake details to world+dog

A leak in Japan has led Intel to rush out the full details of its sixth-generation Skylake chip lineup. Today's launch follows the previous announcement of Core i5 and i7 variants, and the leak of much of the lineup in July. The lineup includes five 4.5W Core Y processors; ten 15W Core U-series processors and four 28 W …

Malvertising attack menaces users with tainted love

Update Security researchers have uncovered a malvertising attack run over ad networks and aimed at users of dating site The tainted ads are mainly targeting UK users, security firm Malwarebytes warns.'s servers themselves have not been breached. The latest attack follows a similar assault against Match's sister …
John Leyden, 03 Sep 2015
The Pacific sleeper shark spotted by Nat Geo survey

Forget lasers: how about sharks with frikkin' VOLCANOES?

Vid A bunch of volcanologists working near the Solomon Islands has turned up a find that left them “freaking out”: a seldom-seen variety of Pacific sleeper shark just about living in a volcano. The group, working with National Geographic, were studying underwater volcanoes earlier this year when they caught the high-definition …

Hey Scandos, missed that parcel? Here’s some ransomware instead

Spam emails disguised as messages from local post offices – but actually packing the latest variant of the CryptoLocker ransomware – are being flung at surfers in Scandinavia. Heimdal Security reports that emails referring to an undelivered package and written in local languages are actually attempts to trick prospective marks …
John Leyden, 24 Sep 2015

BOT-GEDDON coming after ZeusVM leak, hacker warns

Former Kaspersky Japan boss now malware researcher Hendrik Adrian is warning of a boom of ZeusVM botnets, after the trojan source code was leaked online. Version two of the builder and panel source code leaked last month, and spotted by the French malware researcher known as Xylitol Adrian, who uses the online handle …
Darren Pauli, 07 Jul 2015

Thanks for playing: New Linux ransomware decrypted, pwns itself

Ransomware targeting Linux servers has been thwarted by hard working security boffins, with help from the software itself, mere days after its existence was made public. The Linux.Encoder.1 ransomware seeks Linux systems to encrypt and like others of its ilk demands owners pay BitCoins to have files decrypted. But the first …
Darren Pauli, 12 Nov 2015

Apple's iBackDoor: Dodgy ad network code menaces iOS apps

Security researchers have discovered “backdoored” versions of an ad library embedded in thousands of iOS apps originally published in the Apple App Store. The affected versions of this library embedded backdoors in iOS apps that used the library to display ads, opening the door for hackers to access sensitive user data and …
John Leyden, 06 Nov 2015

TorrentLocker scum have better email lists than legit devs, telcos

Spammers deploying the TorrentLocker ransomware are so good at targeting victims that their poison emails hit the mark more frequently than those sent by legitimate software companies and professional marketers. Trend Micro's just analysed the malware in a report titled TorrentLocker Landscape: Targeting Even More Victims in …
Darren Pauli, 09 Sep 2015
CN72/73xx Block Diagram

Cavium adds 4/16 core SoCs

Cavium is filling out a scale gap in its Octeon III system-on-a-chip (SoC) range with he four-to-sixteen core CN72xx and CN73xx variants that are pin-compatible with the rest of the range. The MIPS64-based SoCs are low-power network processors pitched between the one-to-four core CN71xx and the 24-48 CN78xx range. The chips can …

Lone wolves could be behind multi-million dollar Cryptowall ransomware racket

A single group could be behind the monstrous Cryptowall 3.0 ransomware, widely considered to be one of the most menacing threats to end users that has fleeced victims of millions of dollars. Intel Security, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and Symantec under the Cyber Threat Alliance have probed the net scourge revealing that the …
Darren Pauli, 30 Oct 2015

SanDisk speeds up CloudSpeed Eco, raises capacity

SanDisk has souped up its CloudSpeed Eco SSD for cloud service providers, doubling its capacity and raising throughput, courtesy of a process shrink. CloudSpeed Eco Gen 1 was introduced at the end of March last year as a cost-effective SSD for cloud service provider use. It was built using a 19nm chip process and held up to …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jun 2015

WD unleashes bigger, badder, Black and revved, rapido Red Pro

WD has upped its 3.5-inch Black and Red Pro drives to the 6TB capacity level, adding 5TB and 6TB variants to the existing product ranges, which previously topped out at 4TB. The Black drive is a 3.5-inch drive for desktop, workstation and gaming use. The 5 and 6TB capacity products get doubled cache at 128MB and can be up to …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2015

Blackhats using mystery Magento card stealers

Sucuri infosec researcher Peter Gramantik says carders are exploiting an unknown vulnerability to steal billing information from e-commerce sites that use eBay's Magento platform. Gramantik found an attack script that plunders POST data and identifies valuable payment data before storing it as an encrypted image file. He says …
Darren Pauli, 29 Jun 2015
Dell SCv2000 storage array

Compellent kicks EqualLogic out of Dell's bottom end: New SCv2000

When Dell acquired EqualLogic and later Compellent, it used the former brand for its low-end storage and the latter for its bigger bit boxen. The company's now booted EqualLogic out of the bottom end with the new entry-level SCv2000, a US$14,000 array that does everything a larger Compellent does, but for less. Dell hasn't yet …
Simon Sharwood, 06 May 2015

The ETERNUS dance: Fujitsu extends backup and archive box range

Fujitsu has updated two of its backup and archiving appliance products; the ETERNUS CS200c and CS800. Both of these use OEM'd software and provide deduped backup to disk. They have been given a hardware refresh with faster CPUs, which speeds dedupe. The CS200c S2 all-in-one backup and archiving product embeds Commvault …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2015

Net scum respect their elders so long as it leads to p0wnage

Net scum are employing both cool new attacks like the Angler exploit kit and oldies-but-goodies such as macroviruses in their undergoing something of a generational clash, with Cisco reporting both Word macros and the sophisticated Angler exploit kit are the most popular attack vectors this year. Blackhats dumped macros as an …
Darren Pauli, 20 Aug 2015

Facebook unleashes mighty data trove to learn how you laugh

Facebook data scientists Udi Weinsberg, Lada Adamic, and Mike Develin say most social media addicts will write 'haha' once a week, that New Yorkers are emoji addicts, and none uses 'lol' anymore. The awesome demonstration of big data rigs at The Social NetworkTM uses a regular expressions set to crawl over an unspecified …
Darren Pauli, 10 Aug 2015
Ransom note saying "Pay Up" in blackmail type

Android ransomware poses as FBI smut warning

Cybercrooks have launched a new wave of Android ransomware that poses as a pretty convincing FBI-imposed porn-surfing warning. Over 15,000 spam emails, including zipped files, have hit the inboxes of Android users in recent days, according to Romanian security software firm Bitdefender. If activated, the ransomware demands $500 …
John Leyden, 26 May 2015

Mashed together malware threatens Japanese online banking users

Customers of Japanese banks are on the front line of attacks based on a new and sophisticated banking trojan, mashed together from leaked bits of malware code. Shifu (named after the Japanese word for thief) is targeting 14 Japanese banks as well as electronic banking platforms used across Europe, according to security …
John Leyden, 01 Sep 2015
Bookshelf in the British Library basement

Borg blacklist assimilates Cryptolocker domain name generators

Cisco has developed a means to accurately identify the fleeting pop-up domains used by some of the world's worst malware. The platform builds a reputation score that is in part based on word sources including more than 60 dictionaries, Census data and Alexa top 1000 domains. Using multiple sources helps to identify the …
Darren Pauli, 10 Aug 2015
Fujitsu TR800

Diamonds are forever, Fujitsu Eternus now for VDI

Fujitsu has added a bunch of new variants to its Eternus TR storage arrays, targeting large scale desktop virtualisation environments. The models are the Eternus TR820, TR850 and TR880, with the last in the list claiming the ability to connect 3,500 VMs, which the company says is nearly double the scale of its previous models. …
Team Register, 20 Jan 2015

AI finally understands primitive sketches – aka marketing presentations

Artificial intelligence scientists have developed a neural-network that understands incomprehensible scrawled drawings of the sort created by children, marketing departments, architects, design creatives, and so on. The academic developers of the "Sketch-a-Net" software proudly boast that their brainchild is actually better at …
Lewis Page, 22 Jul 2015
Headshot of Trojan horse

Fareit trojan pwns punters with devious DNS devilry

DNS tricks used by the Fareit trojan mean users are tricked into downloading malware, seemingly from Google or Facebook The latest variants of Fareit are infecting systems via malicious DNS servers, Finnish security firm F-Secure warns. These servers push bogus Flash updates that actually come packed with malicious code, as a …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2015

X-IO erects its iglu over the data management market

X-IO, the supplier of just-won't-fail ISE storage boxes, has added a data management services head unit which can support up to 11 ISE blocks, calling it an iglu. ISE, the Integrated Storage Elements, come in disk (100 and 200), all-flash (800) and hybrid flash/disk (700) variants, have a five-year sealed box warranty and …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2015
No Sale

PC sales dip below 2009 levels, with Japanese sales off 44 per cent

68.5 million PCs trundled off the world's production lines in 2015's first quarter, the lowest number since 2009 according to box-watcher IDC. The news isn't all bad: the analyst firm had previously predicted a lower number. But it's still a 6.7 per cent dip on last year's first quarter. Newer PC designs are exciting punters, …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015

Compromised Cisco routers spotted bimbling about in the wild

More than a dozen compromised router infections have been found in the wild, all targeting Cisco kit as part of sophisticated attempts to hack into corporate and government networks. Once considered only a theoretical risk, the finding of malware-infected routers by FireEye/Mandiant shows that the threat is all too real. A …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2015
Zuck balloons

Facebook policy wonk growls at Europe's mass of data laws

Facebook's Brussels lobbyist Richard Allan took to the pages of the Pink 'Un on Wednesday morning to have a good old moan about "multiple" EU nations digging around the free content ad network's data-slurping biz practices. He complained that the actions of national privacy watchdogs within the 28-member-state bloc posed a …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Apr 2015
Fake Apple Watch

Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50

China's legendary counterfeit craftsmen have been quick on the draw and are selling rip-off Apple Watch lookalikes for a fraction of the price, even though Cook & Co haven't shipped any devices as yet. "These guys are specialists," Laurent Le Pen, founder of Shenzhen smartwatch maker Omate, told CNN. "The speed at which they can …
Iain Thomson, 10 Mar 2015

Poison résumé attack gives ransomware a gig on the desktop

Security researchers are focussing their crosshairs on what appears to be high-volume spam and exploit campaigns to deliver the latest iteration of the Cryptowall ransomware. Boffins from the SANS Institute, Cisco, and MalwareBytes have identified a dangerous if goofy spam campaign slinging the nasty ransomware masquerading as …
Darren Pauli, 12 Jun 2015

AT LAST: Australia gets its very own malware

Australians are being targeted by a new variant of the Carberp malware under what appears to be renewed criminal interest in the antipodes. The modified trojan, Carberp.C, was spread through a spam operation masquerading as a payment invoice. Virus writers pushed the malware out a day after coding it, Symantec researcher …
Darren Pauli, 19 Jan 2015

We’re in bed together, admit Intel Security, Trend Micro and NCA

The UK's National Crime Agency has enlisted two leading security firms as part of a collaborative intelligence-sharing effort. Intel Security and Trend Micro will be part of the "virtual threat teams" which will provide the police with intelligence on cybercrime threats in the UK and the rest of the world. As both companies …
Liam Neeson, Taken

Wait, STOP: Are you installing Windows 10 or RANSOMWARE?

People aren't good at waiting for stuff, and with computer users queueing up to download Windows 10, ransomware purveyors have started to move in. CTB-Locker This is going to be expensive ... Cisco's security team has noticed a new spamming campaign attempting to spread the CTB-Locker ransomware using emails purporting to …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jul 2015
Buffering icon

Video still causing mobile data traffic to shoot through the roof

Currently, there are as many mobile subscriptions as people in the world, and every second, 20 new mobile broadband subscriptions are activated. This, and the increased video consumption on mobile devices, is pushing data consumption to new heights - mobile data traffic in Q3 2015 was 65 per cent higher than the previous year, …
Faultline, 24 Nov 2015

DDN: Quicker storage access passes HPC buck to CPU makers

Comment At a DDN user group meeting in Frankfurt earlier this year, Alex Bouzari said high-performance computing (HPC) exhibits an enduring tug-of-war between compute and storage. The co-founder and CEO of DataDirect Networks – which makes fast-access and capacious storage for supercomputing and HPC – speaks from the storage side of …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
Swedish eggs and meat dish - pyttipanna

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Itty-bitty pyttipanna

It's fair to say that Sweden is not known as a culinary world superpower.* Indeed, the locals have generally favoured being blonder than average, writing sensational pop music and designing flat-pack furniture over pushing the nosh envelope. True, the country's meatballs are well regarded, and it is responsible for the truly …
Lester Haines, 10 Oct 2015
Intel sign by

Intel's new chips are from 'Purley' – know what I mean? Know what I mean? Say no more

A presentation given at a conference on high-performance computing (HPC) in Poland earlier this month appears to have yielded new insight into Intel's Xeon server chip roadmap. A set of slides spotted by our sister site The Platform indicates that Chipzilla is moving toward a new server platform called "Purley" that will debut …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2015

Cisco battles POODLE with a listicle and some twaddle

Cisco has joined the growing list of vendors scrambling a response to the POODLE vulnerability, with a number of systems confirmed vulnerable and more under investigation. The Borg's current POODLE status only clears one system: the Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager. The company says its ongoing assessment of products for …
management regulation1

Cisco slings small change at CSIRO over WiFi dispute

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has wrapped up a loose end in its long-running patent arguments over WiFi, winning an American judgement against Cisco over royalty payments for CSIRO's technology. The long-standing argument wasn't over patent infringement – both parties agreed …
Headshot of Trojan horse

Vawtrak challenges almighty ZeuS as king of the botnets

Crooks behind Vawtrak, a dangerous banking Trojan, are ramping up its reach and sophistication, security firms have warned. Vawtrak currently ranks as the single most dangerous threat, according to PhishLabs. Only Zeus and its many variants (GameOver, KINS, ZeusVM, Zberp, etc.) taken as a single malware "family" would outrank …
John Leyden, 27 Dec 2014

Apple tries to kill iWorm: Zombie botnet feasting on Mac brains

Apple has updated its XProtect anti-malware system to squash several variants of the iWorm before the malware causes any further damage. The changes to the program XProtect.plist allows OSX to detect and block three species of iWorm, helpfully named OSX.iWorm.A, OSX.iWorm.B, and OSX.iWorm.C. XProtect is Apple's rudimentary …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Oct 2014

Extreme adds switches and partners

Extreme Networks has launched a quartet of switches and a management appliance, in what it says is an expansion of its software defined network (SDN) strategy. Back in June, the company launched its OpenStack SDN platform. That launch wrapped a bunch of API toolkits together with NetSight management and Purview optimisation …
Random numbers

'Bar Mitzvah attack' should see off ancient and crocked RC4 algo

Security boffin Itsik Mantin has found a new attack based on old weaknesses that is the first 'practical' attack on SSL that does not require man-in-the-middle to steal sensitive data from RC4 algorithms. The Imperva bod's research reveals a 13 year-old weakness in the superseded algorithm, which is known to be insecure but is …
Darren Pauli, 27 Mar 2015