Apr 212012
 

Two More Mac Trojans Discovered

Two benign Trojans target Apple’s Mac OS exploiting the same Java flaw patched last week.

Computer World
By Jared Newman
April 16, 2012

 

PC World –

Following the outbreak of the Flashback Mac Trojan, security researchers have spotted two more cases of Mac OS X malware. The good news is most users have little reason to worry about them.

Both cases are variants on the same Trojan, called SabPub, Kaspersky Lab Expert Costin Raiu wrote on Securelist.

(See Related: Flashback Malware Puts Apple in Security Spotlight: Experts Weigh In)

The first variant is known as Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a. Like Flashback, this new threat was likely spread through Java exploits on Websites, and allows for remote control of affected systems. It was created roughly one month ago.

Fortunately, this malware isn’t a threat to most users for a few reasons: It may have only been used in targeted attacks, Raiu wrote, with links to malicious Websites sent via e-mail, and the domain used to fetch instructions for infected Macs has since been shut down.

Furthermore, Apple’s security update for Flashback helps render future Java-based attacks harmless. In addition to removing the Flashback malware, the update automatically deactivates the Java browser plug-in and Java Web Start if they remain unused for 35 days. Users must then manually re-enable Java when they encounter applets on a Web page or a Web Start application.

The second SabPub variant is old-school compared to its sibling. Instead of attacking through malicious Websites, it uses infected Microsoft Word documents as vector, distributed by e-mail.

Like the other SabPub variant, this one was used only in targeted attacks, possibly against Tibetan activists. So unless you’re working with a pro-Tibet organization–and you have a habit of opening suspicious Word documents–there’s little reason for alarm. At most, SabPub is more evidence that Macs aren’t immune to attacks–a point that Flashback already made perfectly clear.

 

Direct Link:  http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9226234/Two_More_Mac_Trojans_Discovered?taxonomyId=85

Jan 092012
 

Convicted murderer gets new trial after computer virus destroys data

Naked Security News
by Graham Cluley
January 4, 2012

 

 

 

Randy Chaviano

 

It seems like the plot twist in a bad TV show – but it’s true. A computer virus infection has helped a convicted killer get a new trial.

In July 2009, a Miami jury convicted Randy Chaviano, of Hialeah, Florida, of second degree murder.

Many might have thought it was the end of story when, after an eight day trial, Chaviano was given a life sentence for the shooting of Carlos Acosta.

But when the courts recently investigated whether Chaviano had grounds to appeal his conviction, it was discovered that no legal record of the trial could be found – giving the Third District Court of Appeal no choice but to throw out the conviction and grant Chaviano a new trial.

StenographStenographers at trials normally record proceedings on both paper and an internal disk. You’ve probably seen them busy at work, tapping wildly in the corner of the shot if you’ve ever seen a courtroom melodrama.

But Terlesa Cowart, the stenographer at Chaviano’s 2009 trial, had not brought enough rolls of paper for her machine, forcing her to record details of the trial only on the device’s internal disk. Subsequently, she transferred the data onto her PC, and erased it from the stenograph.

You can see where this is leading can’t you?

An infection on Ms Cowart’s PC by an unnamed virus is said to resulted in the loss of the legal records.

As a result, the trial has to be reheard, costing time and money, and witnesses and police officers will need to give evidence once again. And, of course, the relatives of the deceased man will have to go through the heartache of another trial.

It seems very sloppy to allow the only record of a trial’s proceedings to be held on an individual’s PC – it’s like asking for trouble if it isn’t at the very least held securely as a backup elsewhere.

It’s claimed that stenographers in Florida have been resisting moves to replace them with digital recorders. Goofs like the one made by Terlesa Cowart are not going to do anything to help their argument.

 

Direct Link:  http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/01/04/convicted-murderer-trial-virus/