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Google™ warns 20,000 websites that they might be hacked

The owners and webmasters of around 20,000 websites have been warned by search giant Google of possible attacks by hackers. The warnings were sent to the owners of those sites, which according to the head of Google’s anti-spam team Matt Cutts were doing the so-called weird redirects.

“Is your site doing weird redirects? We just sent a ‘your site might be hacked’ message to 20,000 sites,” said Cutts in a Twitter post.

A link that contained a sample of the message that Google sent to the affected webmasters and site owners was also given along with the post. An English translation of the warning says, “we are writing to let you know that we believe some of your website’s pages may be hacked.”

“Specifically, we think that JavaScript has been injected into your site by a third party and may be used to redirect users to malicious sites,” it added.

The websites were also warned that server configuration files could also have been affected. “As a result of this, your site may be cloaking and showing the malicious content only in certain situations,” warned Google.

Malware infects Apple® computers

According to F-Secure Corporation, a computer security solutions providing company, a malware program called ‘Flashback’ had infected some computers made by Apple Inc. The malware program was capable of infecting Apple Macintosh systems through Java software, an element of programs developed by many companies.
Apple released a statement saying that it has released a fix for the Java vulnerability on Tuesday through its software-updating service. If Mac computer users suspect that their systems have been infected by the malware program, they can visit the official website of F-Secure to get instructions to remove Flashback malware from infected Mac computers on removing the malware from their systems.

This incident is the latest blemish to Apple’s reputation as a technology platform that is rarely infected with viruses and other malware. A Russian security firm has claimed that more than half a million Macs may have been infected by the ‘Flashback’ malware, though this finding has not been verified by other security researchers.

Google™ Removes Malware from Android™ Market

Recently, there have been reports regarding malware affecting apps available from the Android Market, an online store of Google. When the iPhone was introduced, there were issues regarding botnets, malware and hackers affecting various applications. Whenever a new product or technology is launched, this is nothing new.

The Android operating system has become very popular, with its wide usage in cellular phones. One can easily personalize their phones which are based on the Android platform. The features of an Android-based phone, courtesy the open source platform, make it extremely convenient for users. Google charges a specific amount for paid apps and subscriptions on Android Market.

Basically, both the Apple iOS and Android are Linux-based platforms for smartphones and tablets. Google, in the past, had for the first time, taken steps to disallow a few apps from the Android Marketplace, due to the said apps containing Trojans and malware. Google has removed more than 50 apps from the Android Market, which contained malicious programs such as Trojans, potentially infecting unsuspecting users. With this move, one can be sure of the success of the Android platform. Added to this, the new version of Android OS, the Gingerbread, has much better security measures.

It is suggested that users should be careful in downloading and installing applications. They can use antimalware software for securing their smartphones.

Viruses, Spyware, and Malware

Nowadays, computers and Internet play a major role in daily life. With the increasing use of computers, there has been a rise in security threats such as viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, etc. Computer users are suffering losses due to malicious programs which easily install themselves from the Internet or other sources, and multiply by downloading other infected software. These malware are categorized as virus, spyware, and Trojans, just to name a few. Each of these programs harm your computer in different ways.

A virus is a program created with the intent of damaging important system files, corrupting the software, and causing various  kinds of errors. A virus can infect other computers as it spreads through the Internet, CDs, DVDs, pen drives, etc. The common symptoms of a virus infected computer include slow system performance, frequent occurrence of blue screen error, and hanging of applications.

Spyware is a type of program that infects your computer and starts collecting confidential information stored on the system. A very common spyware program is the keylogger which records keystrokes while a user is typing on the keyboard. There are other spyware which will trace your actions and browsing behavior on the Internet.

It is necessary for users to take security measures to ensure computer protection. You can install an effective antivirus and antispyware on your computer. Users should periodically perform a full system scan for the detection and removal of malware. The virus definitions should be updated regularly so that the security software is able to detect the latest security threats.

Android™ Market should scan for malware

Android Market apps need to be scanned for malicious content in order to protect Android users from downloading apps that look fine but are in fact malicious and harmful. A few days back, Google had removed almost two dozen apps that were infected by malicious software capable of stealing data and rooting devices. Most of these were disguised as legitimate apps and they were removed after they were found to contain malware. The malware under question was named DroidDream and used two exploits to steal information such as model and phoneID and to plant a back door on the phone that could be used for dropping further malware on the device.

The chief technology officer at Veracode, Chris Wysopal, said that at a bare minimum, they have to perform signature based scanning for identified malware, and that DroidDream is now a malware kit and it would be an easy for users to make differences of it and insert it into new software.

However, traditional signature based antivirus applications aren’t good at detecting a brand new malware or recent malware, which has been tailored sufficient to survive the antivirus programs. According to Wysopal, to identify and catch something like DroidDream, behavioral-based antivirus scanning needs to be used as well. He said that downloading and installing extra software on the device outside of the app store is the kind of behavior that needs to be scanned for. Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer at Lookout, that offers safety facilities and software for Android, Windows and Blackberry, said that major amount if not all of the 55 or so apps that were taken out from the Android marketplace were revised versions of rightful apps. He further said what that means is even additional careful Android users could have been more easily duped into downloading one of these apps. He said that it is not obvious whether DroidDream in fact downloaded any software on devices that installed any of the malicious apps.

According to him, it is still a mystery as to who is behind the malicious apps, but the possibility of his location in China is high as the malware was also found on alternative Android marketplaces that target Chinese users. According to Lookout, the number of apps in the Android Market is growing and this could be due to the fact that the operating system is open source and therefore attracts a large number of developers.

Malware increases by 46% in only one year

According to a report by McAfee, there has been a steady growth in the number of security threats to mobile platforms. Cisco has warned one and all to be cautious about malware as miscreants have become more and more creative by exploiting networks, systems and human vulnerabilities to steal information or do damage. Although phishing attacks decreased in 2010, spam reduced drastically, virus attacks majorly under control, malware still remains a scary aspect with technology development exploding beyond the realms of management.

With the smartphone and tablet utilization increase, almost threatening to make even the conventional laptop extinct, enterprise security will be forced to work overtime to secure their environment. Corporate firewalls and mobile antivirus systems are yet to face situations to improve, while cyber criminals are busy exploiting all possible vulnerabilities on the go. With leading security software and services vendors like McAfee scaring the IT industry with their announcement of record breaking 20 million new malware variants in 2010 alone, appropriate steps are needed definitely in the protection of mobile platforms from vulnerability exploitation.

The smartphone and tablet products today, are really powerful devices, with their use of advanced processors and also web OS kits. In the enterprise environment and corporate infrastructure, the last few years have seen dramatic changes with the use of next generation firewalls, and spam protection facilities. This was feasible with controlled equipment use and structured VPN systems. However the pocket sized gadgets of smartphones and tablets, totally fall out of the gamut of the security applications in existence today.

With social networking on the extreme rise, online dating sites, online gaming and similar high capacity processing operations in use commonly in day-to-day, the worries have multiplied. The Geinimi program, technically a Trojan, is an example of malware introduction through games apps, pirated or licensed being immaterial at this point of discussion, innovative methods of malware, linking your smartphone or tablet and homing it to a remote server are scary. Interestingly, when you try to uninstall it, new malware apps are introduced. Although, Android is Linux based and is less susceptible to malware, the risk still exists due to necessity of various apps needing to intercommunicate with each other, being the weak link in this context.

Call Now: +1 315-226-4249
Call Now: +1 315-226-4249
Call Now: +1 315-226-4249