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    TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog(breadcrumbs are unavailable)

    Author Archive - Jercyl Lerin (Technical Communications)




    Facebook users, take heed: Some secrets are best left undisclosed, no matter how juicy and intriguing. Those who have encountered the application within Facebook called “Secret Crush” are bound to get a surprise because the said app actually loads adware/spyware that can spread in their friendly virtual neighborhood. With close to 60 million users and still growing, the popular social networking site is once again the target of a malicious attack.

    Secret Crush was quickly branded a malicious widget by the security researchers who discovered it, seeing as how it poses as a legitimate application that promises to reveal someone’s admirer(s). In reality, it loads an adware/spyware associated with Zango, which historically has been linked to adware and spyware designed to gain access to certain games, DRM-protected videos, and software. In 2006, the FBI gave it a fine of US$3 million for allowing third parties to secretly install its adware.

    Secret Crush also tricks affected users into forwarding the application to their friends in Facebook, increasing the chances of the program being passed around. The best thing that can only happen when it is installed is that users come to realize that no list of their admirers will actually be revealed. But by then they would have already forwarded it to friends, who would have forwarded it to other friends, and so on. According to this post in Wired.com‘s Threat Level blog, around 4% of total Facebook users have already added it, bringing the number of affected users to about a million.

    Facebook’s popularity is increasingly drawing the attention of malicious users who wish to leverage on the traffic generated through its millions of users. In one case, a certain porn company allegedly used automated scripts to mine data from more than 200,000 separate proprietary Facebook Web pages, as detailed in a December 2007 PCPro news report.

    Secret Crush may be just one of the early threats to test Facebook friendships. Those with Facebook accounts better pause before choosing to add it to their profiles and enjoining their contacts do the same, otherwise it can spoil the fun of social networking.

     
    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off



    Concerns on possibly suffering from high blood pressure due to excessive eating and drinking this holiday season may result in more online searches related to the disease. Research Project Manager Ivan Macalintal said that the increasing number of people suffering from high blood pressure this holiday season can generate more visits to Web sites containing tips on managing blood pressure. And that, according to Macalintal, is where the danger lurks. It seems that an innocent search for information on “ways to lower blood pressure” may unleash a silent killer of a different type.

    Trend Micro researchers discovered a malicious software that can download and execute a sinister downloader-backdoor, which is detected as BKDR_HUPIGON.MER. The said backdoor is a member of the HUPIGON family or the Grey Pigeon of backdoor Trojans. It opens the Web site http://www.{BLOCKED}lowerbloodpressure.com to hide the execution of its routines.

    BKDR_SCREEN_image

    It connects to a certain server where it can listen for commands from a remote malicious user who may then take virtual control over an affected system.

    The holiday season is far from over. As the partying and revelries reach their peak, unhealthy eating may bring about not only clogged arteries but also backdoors via the Internet to silently kill the joy that the holidays bring.

     
    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off



    Caution, indeed, seems to be the operative word when it comes to “Lust, Caution”–a sexually graphic espionage movie set in World War II Shanghai. It has been receiving good reviews from around the world, winning the top award at the recent Venice Film Festival, and reaping millions of dollars despite the fact that its China release was cut short by director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”) himself in keeping with the Chinese censorship rules. News of Chinese moviegoers suing their film censor over the edited version also hit the media.

    However, the “Lust, Caution” buzz does not stop there. Recently, a Chinese antivirus company has reported that hackers embedded viruses into a significant number of sites, which offers free downloads of the movie.

    The censorship move may have just further fueled the attraction of downloading free copies from infected Web sites, especially those in China. With a host of Web sites offering free movie downloads, computer users are warned to be cautious in downloading as they might unwittingly compromise their machines. An engineer from the Rising International Software Co. Ltd. in China reportedly encountered the virus last week. He was left with a blank screen and his instant messaging password was stolen.

    Malicious users are indeed striking where the iron is hot. As “Lust, Caution” blazes a steamy trail to success, these embedded viruses may continue to make rounds not only in China but in other countries as well. Users must try to resist the combined attraction of sex, espionage, and Ang Lee–especially because viruses are in the mix.

     
    Posted in Malware | Comments Off


     

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