Laser Blog

Articles tagged "security"

5 BBC - Cracking high-tech crime

Friday 13th October, 2006

The BBC provides a summary of their Cracking hi-tech crime series of articles.

The series finishes with several articles, including Spinning a web to catch a hacker, a introduction to Lance Spitzner and his Honeynet Project. What never ceases to amaze me is the corporate attitude that their image is more important than their data, or their customer's data:

"In some cases when we told them they had been compromised and needed to clean up their systems they just turned around and sent their lawyers after us."

There is a short glossary of tech jargon related to hi-tech crime.

There are also links to a couple of older articles, Tackling the botnets at source and Caught in the net.


4 How to spot a phishing scam

Thursday 12th October, 2006

The BBC's series on Internet crime continues with How to spot a phishing scam. Phishing is a technique to try to get you to hand over confidential information (such as bank website login details). Those of you unfamiliar with phishing may find the hints on detecting a phish useful.


2 Tackling the hackers and the anatomy of spam

Wednesday 11th October, 2006

The next two articles in the BBC honeypot/cracking high-tech crime series continue with Tackling the hackers face-to-face and Anatomy of a spam e-mail.

The first two articles in the series were discussed in an earlier post.

Tackling the hackers face-to-face follows the author onto IRC where he chats with a few hackers, discusses their motives (financial) and their problems (being ripped off!) ... "There is little honour among these thieves". I was interested to see that Paypal is used for transactions between hackers and their customers.

Anatomy of a spam e-mail examines a typical spam e-mail and dissects the various parts. If you're not sure what spam is, this might be useful.


1 Unsafe surfing

Tuesday 10th October, 2006

A fascinating article on the BBC News website which shows what happens when you allow popup software from websites to scan your (Windows) PC for infected programs.

Those who have not read the first article in this series may wish to know that the researchers used a virtual (VMware-based) unprotected installation of Windows XP as a "honeypot" lure for trojans/hackers/virii.

The free scan inevitably showed vast amounts of spyware (on an uninfected machine) and then demanded money to fix these imaginary problems. One "security download" added unwanted toolbars and favourites, pop-up ads and also redirected web searches.

So much material was being downloaded onto the virtual machine that the researchers were forced to cut the network connection. This caused the PC to become unresponsive and the only way to switch it off was to virtually "pull the plug".