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Siemens Gets Attacked by Trojan

In the USA today, Siemens is strongly warning its users that Trojan, which is the name of a certain malware program is directly targeting PCS 7 as well as Simatic WinCC. This virus is further distributed with the use of USB memory sticks. The sad part is that it is very good at taking advantage of the present vulnerabilities of Microsoft security.

As reported, the malware has negative results on all of the Windows computers, especially from XP on up.

Unfortunately, merely one click in order to view the contents of a particular USB memory stick can actually end up activating the Trojan virus. This is why Siemens recommends its users to, as much as possible; avoid using a USB memory stick on multiple personal computers, especially those that are running the WinCC software.

The Virus

This malicious code has been named W32 or Stuxnet-B. It propagates through USB drives that have been infected with the malformed shortcut .lnk files. The code is activated when the user starts to insert the memory stick and then clicks to view the contents of that particular USB with the use of Windows Explorer or some other applications that gets to display the icons of the files.

Although it is true that its main aim is WinCC, it can still target any of the systems under Windows, as long as it is capable of accepting removable media. The code seems to rely largely on undisclosed vulnerability in how Windows .lnk files are handled.

Smart Malware

It is quite smart, actually, since it is well aware that it needs to bypass the readily installed Microsoft controls that make sure that drivers are to be signed digitally. Being a smart malicious code as it is, its creators made sure that it contained the digital signature of Realtek Semiconductor Corp. This way, it could gain all access entry.

With this virus up and coming on Siemens gadgets, the company decided to take all precautions in order to alert its loyal clients to the possible dangers of this aforementioned malware. The sales team has already been informed, and the company’s customer representatives will be speaking directly to the clients in order to fully and genuinely explain the given circumstances. As the first warning, Siemens tells their users to actively check their computer’s systems, especially ones that have been installed with WinCC.

To date, a trio of highly effective virus scan programs has already been recommended for systems that are under Siemens. They are, namely, Symantec, Trend Micro, and McAfee, which also happen to be the best virus scan programs in the entire market. Additionally, their latest versions or upgrades are also the best when it comes to successfully detecting Trojan.

Deploying such virus scan programs on Runtime environment can have some unexpected results. To date, these results are still being investigated fully in order for everyone to obtain further understanding on the matter. Still, experts are pretty much verbal in implying that approval will be issued very shortly.

Panda Launched Free Antivirus

Panda is trying to increase its brand knowledge in U.S. as well as other markets by launching a free and cloud-based program of antivirus. Executives feel that the new free antivirus product, named Panda Cloud Antivirus, has improved accuracy and performance. It will create enough buzz in the market to encourage customers to upgrade Panda’s business products like Panda Cloud Internet Protection, launched in April.

“Panda has amongst best products available in the market, according to my opinion,” said Rick Carlson who is the president of operations in Panda U.S. He further added, “The problem with Panda is that it’s a very small player in the U.S.”

The strategy of “free first” has proved to be very successful for other vendors. Especially, Microsoft launched the free antivirus named Microsoft Security Essentials, last year.

“Panda has about 10 million users around the world and most of them are free users”, Carlson said. “In the past, adaptations happen gradually, however they do happen”, he added. Generally, around 2-4 % of Panda users will ultimately upgrade their existing product with paid or business product after considering free offerings from the company.

“The crucial benefit to Panda is that we now have more than 2 times number of users who have tried and installed Panda. They’re now well aware about what Panda is and what Panda signifies in marketplace,” Carlson said.

Another aim is to provide opponents like McAfee and Symantec, a cut- throat competition in the antivirus market with cloud-based, high-quality antivirus software, executives said.

Executives agreed that majority of users will never upgrade to the paid service and will continue to use free product. But at this point of time, it’s more important to create a recognizable name first in the U.S., Carlson said.

“I think there is a significant enhancement in brand awareness. Panda is focusing mainly on distribution and making sure that people use this product,” he said.

Carlson, who was an ex- administrative at AVG, said that the “free antivirus” strategy of AVG has pushed company’s market awareness in the U.S. as amongst most renowned brands of the industry.

“AVG is probably, the 3rd or 4th most renowned antivirus brand in U.S. If we can build this sort of brand alertness, it will make reseller’s job very easy,” he said. “Now the discussion doesn’t begin with “who’s Panda? That’s truly what it’s in regards.”

Hugo Uyttenhove, a channel partner of Panda and CEO of Raleigh, said that he had tangled his foot in end user customers’ door by suggesting the free version. The free upgraded antivirus might give Panda, an opportunity in aiming end users, he said.

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