Viruses & Malware
The Russian gang behind the obscure Qbot botnet have quietly built an impressive empire of 500,000 infected PCs by exploiting unpatched flaws in mainly US-based Windows XP and Windows 7 computers, researchers at security firm Proofpoint have discovered.
A year or two ago, what the Qbot (aka Qakbot) campaign has achieved in the roughly half dozen years the actors behind it have been operating would have been seen as a major concern. Recently, standards have gone up a notch.
Just days after the discovery of a botnet composed of thousands of Macs, Apple released an update to its OS X antimalware component that combats the malware associated with the infections. Updated over the weekend, the little publicized XProtect feature in OS X now includes definitions to prevent three variations of the Mac.BackDoor.iWorm malware from installing on new machines.
Malware-based espionage targeting political activists and other opposition is nothing new, especially when it comes to opponents of the Chinese government. But there have been few attempts at hacking activists more widespread and sophisticated than the current wave of spyware targeting the mobile devices of members of Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution.”
Google shut down malicious Web attacks coming from a compromised advertising network on Friday. The move follows a security firm's analysis that found the ad platform, Zedo, serving up advertisements that attempted to infect the computers of visitors to major websites.
Cyberattackers curious about the contents of users' hard drives will now have a tougher time finding that information, thanks to a new patch that Microsoft issued Tuesday in the latest round of "Patch Tuesday" bug fixes.
This iteration of Patch Tuesday fixes, which Microsoft releases on the second Tuesday of each month, was a relatively small one for the company, said Amol Sarwate, director of vulnerability research at IT research firm Qualys. This edition contains four bulletins covering 42 vulnerabilities.