Terry Zink: Security Talk

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

August, 2011

  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    How Win32/FakeSysdef Corrupts Your Computer

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    Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, which publishes the biannual Security Intelligence Report (of which I am a contributing author and reviewer) has published a new video entitled “How Win32/FakeSysdef Corrupts your Computer.”  In it, it shows...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    What do phishers eat?

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    I was walking around town yesterday and swung into Ben & Jerry’s with a friend of mine, and saw a flavor so intriguing I had to take a picture.  Apparently, phishers like to eat chocolate ice cream with gooey marshmallow, caramel swirls and fudge...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    The new breed of spam

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    I came across the following spam message today.  It was sent through a compromised account, and the payload points to a compromised Google Docs spreadsheet (hey, Google, you know spammers are going after that service, right?).  Below is a screenshot...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Chinese documentary reveals more than they intended

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    An interesting article from the Epoch Times: A standard, even boring, piece of Chinese military propaganda screened in mid-July included what must have been an unintended but nevertheless damaging revelation: shots from a computer screen showing a Chinese...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Spam is on the decline; what are the implications?

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    Previously, I wrote that the total amount of spam that we are seeing has seen a significant decline over the past year and a half.  What does this mean in real terms?  Are we finally winning the fight against spam? There are multiple angles...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Protecting yourself from spear phishing

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    One of the big trends this year is spear phishing.  These are phish attacks that are frequently (though not always) against high profile users.  The purpose of these attacks is to steal sensitive data or get elevation of privilege inside the...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    What is this Google+?

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    A few weeks back I voiced my reaction to Google+: Meh.  A commenter wrote that with 10 million users, it was very successful.  Yet I was looped into Google+ simply because I have a Gmail account and people were adding me to their circles. ...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Spam continues to drop

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    Below is a chart that shows the amount of inbound mail that we see, both spam and non-spam, over the past three and a half years.  This data also appears in the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, but the data there is monthly (or half-yearly...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Twitter’s real time abuse detection

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    Last week I mentioned that Twitter was going to introduce their own URL shortner, http://t.co .  At about the same time that I wrote that post, Twitter announced via a tweet that they were getting better about Twitter spam: Yep, we’re working on...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    The Great Firewall of China

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    One of the financial blogs I visit once in a while is Minyanville, where I can watch the entertaining commentary of Hoofy and Boo.  They recently did a video on the Great Firewall of China.  Check it out, it’s only 2 minutes long and is quite...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Would you block bit.ly if they cleaned up after themselves?

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    This post doesn’t have much to do with bit.ly but I want to continue my URL redirector meme and keep mentioning them in the title of my posts as I did here and here . Twitter yesterday began experimenting with automatically shortening URLs using their...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Why silently dropping mail is a bad idea

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    As someone who is responsible for filtering mail, there are a number of options that we have when it comes to filtering spam.  We can do any of the following: Reject it in SMTP with an error message Quarantine the message to cloud storage Mark it...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Should using bit.ly get you blocked?

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    About a month and a half ago, I wrote a post in response to another post that was written by another blogger.  His post was that if you write an email and include a bit.ly link in it, the mail won’t get through.  I countered by saying that if...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Hotmail’s spam percentage declines significantly

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    I was reading an article on PC Mag today and he reviews Hotmail’s claims that it has made significant progress against the spam problem during the past several years.  However, the language in the post is confusing so I will clear things up. To begin...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Another day, another set of hacking attacks. News at 11.

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    I was reading Reuters today and I came across a news article indicating that a number of high profile agencies – from the United Nations to the Canadian Government to government of Taiwan – were broken into over a period of the past five years. ...
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