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    Author Archive - Ryan Certeza (Technical Communications)

    The beginning of 2013 is just around the corner, which means we must prepare for a fresh start. But before we prep for the new year, we must first look back at the biggest threats of 2012 – to learn from them and arm ourselves with a new, more security-conscious mindset.

    1. Blackhole Exploit Kit spam runs. Blackhole Exploit Kit (BHEK) changed everything we knew about spam phishing as the traditional ways of protection no longer work. In fact, we even uncovered some email samples that only need a victim to click a malicious link to trigger the infection chain. BHEK spam runs are also known to convincingly spoof companies like Facebook, American Airlines, and Verizon in order to convince users to open the messages.
    2. Android malware. By end Q3 this year, we already saw 175,000 malicious and high-risk apps targeting Android users. Most of these pose as legitimate apps but have hidden routines like sending messages to premium numbers or collecting sensitive information. By 2013, we expect the number of such apps rise to 1 million.
    3. Ransomware/Scareware. Ransomware has long been a consumer concern. This year, however, saw not only high-profile incidents but also some developments to coax users into paying cybercriminals. An example is the increase in Police Trojan, which locks an infected system and threatens users to pay by posing as the victim’s local law enforcement agency.
    4. DORKBOT. New DORKBOT variants were found spreading via Skype and used legitimate file storage websites to store the malware copy. It also used different languages as part of its social engineering technique.
    5. Threats Leveraging London 2012 Olympics. Global events have always been a favorite of cybercriminals. This year was no different, as we saw several attacks that took advantage of the London 2012 Olympics. Some of these schemes include fake ticketing sites and scams that sprouted before, during, and after the event.

    The threats that we saw this year prove that cybercriminals and other bad guys on the Internet are becoming more aggressive. This coming new year, we also predict new challenges arising from users engaging on multiple devices and platforms (Android, Windows, iOs etc.). And with mobile malware on the rise and conventional threats getting pumped up, users will find it difficult to secure their devices and may just forgo security altogether.

    But make no mistake – securing your Internet experience is never an option. To guide users to have a safer online experience this coming new year, we came up with the Digital Life e-Guide A Guide to 2013 New Year’s Resolution. Guided by our 2013 security predictions, this e-guide aims to turn users into better and more informed netizens.

    Posted in Exploits, Malware, Mobile | Comments Off on Top 5 Consumer Threats for 2012

    It’s a parent’s responsibility to ensure that wherever their children are, they remain safe, happy and secure. The Internet, in this respect, is no different than any other playground in the park or at school. It looks harmless, even magical at first glance, but could result in some spills and tears if kids are left unsupervised around it.

    Instead of bruises and cuts, however, your child may be exposed to inappropriate content, online bullying, or malware. One most recent example is the rogue version of the famous Bad Piggies game app, which lures in victims with the promise of a free version of the game. These and other threats are the troubles you will have to make sure your child steers clear away from.

    It’s with this in mind that we’ve created an e-guide that should help parents with the task of introducing their children to the world of the Internet. In this document, we’ve assembled handy, easy-to-remember tips on responsible browsing, downloading and exemplary internet etiquette, both on desktop and on mobiles. We give ample advice on what to look out for and what limits to set without making the parent seem overbearing on their child’s online activities. We also provide a list of what sites to recommend to your child, in order to ease them into what material they should expect and look for.

    Responsible, reasonable netizens aren’t born – they’re made, and it all begins with their parent guiding them.

    You can read the e-guide here. For more information about this topic, visit the Trend Micro Internet Safety For Kids blog here.

    Posted in Bad Sites, Social | Comments Off on Keep Your Children Safe Online

    When it comes to multiple passwords, are you someone akin to the mighty elephant who never forgets, or are you one with the memory of a goldfish?

    Here at the Security Intelligence blog, we’ve talked about passwords at length. From recent events that involve mass password leakages to how to improve your existing passwords, we’ve written quite a bit to stress just how important these strings of letters and numbers are and how to make them more secure. But what about keeping track of every single one of them when you’ve got more than you can reliably remember? With an average user juggling up to 10 accounts at once, memorizing each and every password you have can prove to be quite the challenge.

    It’s with this e-guide that we strive to help you, the everyday user, against this conundrum that all of us will face sooner or later. Not unlike a set of keys, passwords carry with them quite dire consequences should they fall into the wrong hands. In this document, we provide ways in which to prevent such an occurrence from happening, as well as specific tips and tricks to aid you not only in remembering your passwords better but also in their creation.

    We can’t all be elephants, after all. Even us goldfishes need to keep their passwords secure.

    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off on Unlocking the Puzzle of Managing Multiple Passwords

    Cybercriminals are fond of capitalizing on big sporting events, and it doesn’t get any bigger than the Olympics. With a worldwide audience, this prestigious event is more than just a prime target for cybercriminals, it’s a huge money-making opportunity.

    You can be sure, then, that these thieving digital miscreants are all racing to make you their latest victim. Not only that, they’re already out of the gate even before the opening ceremonies, each one eager to be the first to hand you a baton of threats.

    The first pass was made a few days ago when we detected a fraud website advertising itself on Facebook, claiming to sell tickets to the event. Upon further analysis, it was revealed to be a phishing website, created to collect personal information from unsuspecting victims.

    The second one was spotted to be targeting Japanese users. A website was found selling illegal cards that would allow users to view the Olympics for free. The website itself processes user payments in an unsafe manner, which could present certain risks to users’ financial information.

    Cybercriminals have not been slacking on the email front, either, as more than 50 spammed mails have been discovered, all of them scams related to the 2012 London Olympics. One of them claims to be a notification for an Olympic Email Lottery winner, with the user supposedly winning a large sum of cash.

    We’re sure that this is only a preview of things in terms of the relay race cybercriminals are running to take advantage of the Olympics. Do you have what it takes to make sure they don’t come in first? To help prepare yourself, check out our infographic:

    Posted in Social | Comments Off on Relay Race To Ruin: Cybercrime in the Olympics

    Online gaming, just like anything else involving the Internet, carries certain risks and threats that could affect your experience. These dangers, if not addressed, could also have effects that may end up with you losing not only your items and achievements, but also much more valuable things. These things include your own hard-earned cash and your privacy.

    Some of the threats an online gamer may encounter (and are tackled in our new e-guide in fuller detail):

    • Account theft – Player accounts in MMORPGs may be hacked into and stolen.
    • Scams – Deceitful players who trick other players into giving them money for fraudulent reasons.
    • Inappropriate content – Content that is inappropriate to gamers of certain ages

    This is why we made an e-guide to help online gamers secure what’s important in their gaming lifestyle. We created an outline of things an online gamer should look out for during a session, and the best practices to keep in mind during such activities.



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