Dee Finney's blog
start date July 20, 2011
Today's date August 31, 2011
8-31-11 - I DREAMED THIS 5 TIMES.
There was a blurry scene of people and the statement over it.
"THE WORLD WILL END DIFFERENT THAN YOU HAVE KNOWN IT."
At the end of the fifth statement, the dream voice said, "The leaders will be
Biden and Liebermann."
LATER - As I was contemplating the statement - the TV blurted out -
'different than you thought."
Biden and Liebermann don't see eye to eye on anything:
I spent all day dwelling on this, even meditating on it and getting some
answers that made sense, but I still wasn't satisfied. Finally, I just got
so tired I fell asleep and got the answer in a dream.
The thing that would end the world as we know it that is different than what
we thought - is A COMPUTER BOMB.
In my dream, I was working on a large screen computer monitor and looking at
my e-mails. I saw two e-mails that stood out from the others - they had
short titles and were multicolored links.
The thing was - there were two of them I had received as e-mails. If I
clicked on one link to look at it, it activated the other one t destroy my
computer and automatically sent the virus on to everyone else on my e-mail
We've probably all had that happen to us before that destroyed our
from working and had to buy a new computer.
But what if it got into government computers and THIS CAN AND
It happened in Iran recently where someone entered their nuclear facility and
uploaded a virus with one of those little cheap hand held files that we can
transfer files from one computer to another through a USB port.
If those computer bombs got into government computers, bank computers, wall
street computers - it would wipe out society in minutes.
In my dream, the authorities caught the man after he jumped into a
river and almost drowned himself. He was actually the same color as the
mud when they dragged him out. But it was too late to save the world.
The computer bombs had already done their dirty work.
NOTE FROM DEE: I know that we all think this can't
happen to us - we're too smart for that - we all have MacAfee or Norton or some
other kind of program that kills Trojans, etc. before they can do any damage.
But what if these programs for one reason or another can't be fixed by computer
virus experts? What if its sneaked into a government, bank, or wall street
computer before anyone knows it exists?????
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A computer virus is a
computer program that can replicate itself
and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly
but erroneously used to refer to other types of
including but not limited to
programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can spread
from one computer to another (in some form of executable
code) when its
host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it
over a network or the
or carried it on a removable medium such as a
Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by
infecting files on a
network file system or a file system that is accessed by another
As stated above, the term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a
catch-all phrase to include all types of
even those that do not have the reproductive ability. Malware includes
Trojan horses, most
adware and other malicious and unwanted software, including true
viruses. Viruses are sometimes confused with worms and Trojan horses, which
are technically different. A worm can exploit security
vulnerabilities to spread itself automatically to other computers
through networks, while a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless
but hides malicious functions. Worms and Trojan horses, like viruses, may
harm a computer system's data or performance. Some viruses and other malware
have symptoms noticeable to the computer user, but many are surreptitious or
simply do nothing to call attention to themselves. Some viruses do nothing
beyond reproducing themselves.
The first academic work on the theory of computer viruses (although the term
"computer virus" was not invented at that time) was done by
John von Neumann in 1949 who held lectures at the University of Illinois
about the "Theory and Organization of Complicated Automata". The work of von
Neumann was later published as the "Theory of self-reproducing automata".
In his essay von Neumann postulated that a computer program could reproduce.
In 1972 Veith Risak published his article "Selbstreproduzierende Automaten
mit minimaler Informationsübertragung" (Self-reproducing automata with minimal
The article describes a fully functional virus written in
language for a SIEMENS 4004/35 computer system.
In 1980 Jürgen Kraus wrote his
"Selbstreproduktion bei Programmen" (Self-reproduction of programs) at the
In his work Kraus postulated that computer programs can behave in a way similar
to biological viruses.
Fred Cohen from the University of Southern California wrote his paper
"Computer Viruses - Theory and Experiments".
It was the first paper to explicitly call a self-reproducing program a "virus";
a term introduced by his mentor
An article that describes "useful virus functionalities" was published by
J. B. Gunn
under the title "Use of virus functions to provide a virtual APL interpreter
under user control" in 1984.
The actual term "virus" was first used in a short story by
Galaxy magazine in 1969 - and later in his 1972 novel,
When HARLIE Was One. In that novel, a sentient computer named HARLIE
writes viral software to retrieve damaging personal information from other
computers to blackmail the man who wants to turn him off.
The Terminal Man, a science fiction novel by
Michael Crichton (1972), told (as a sideline story) of a computer with
telephone modem dialing capability, which had been programmed to randomly
dial phone numbers until it hit a modem that is answered by another computer. It
then attempted to program the answering computer with its own program, so that
the second computer would also begin dialing random numbers, in search of yet
another computer to program. The program is assumed to spread exponentially
through susceptible computers.
Creeper virus was first detected on
forerunner of the
in the early 1970s.
Creeper was an experimental self-replicating program written by Bob Thomas at
BBN Technologies in 1971.
Creeper used the ARPANET to infect DEC
computers running the
Creeper gained access via the ARPANET and copied itself to the remote system
where the message, "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!" was displayed. The
Reaper program was created to delete Creeper.
A program called "Elk
Cloner" was the first computer virus to appear "in the wild"—that is,
outside the single computer or lab where it was created.
Written in 1981 by
Richard Skrenta, it attached itself to the
3.3 operating system and spread via
This virus, created as a practical joke when Skrenta was still in high school,
was injected in a game on a floppy disk. On its 50th use the
virus would be activated, infecting the computer and displaying a short poem
beginning "Elk Cloner: The program with a personality."
The first PC virus in the wild was a boot sector virus dubbed
created in 1986 by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in
Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to deter piracy of the software they had
Before computer networks became widespread, most viruses spread on
removable media, particularly
disks. In the early days of the
personal computer, many users regularly exchanged information and programs
on floppies. Some viruses spread by infecting programs stored on these disks,
while others installed themselves into the disk
sector, ensuring that they would be run when the user booted the computer
from the disk, usually inadvertently. PCs of the era would attempt to boot first
from a floppy if one had been left in the drive. Until floppy disks fell out of
use, this was the most successful infection strategy and boot sector viruses
were the most common in the wild for many years.
Traditional computer viruses emerged in the 1980s, driven by the spread of
personal computers and the resultant increase in
use, and software sharing.
Bulletin board-driven software sharing contributed directly to the spread of
Trojan horse programs, and viruses were written to infect popularly traded
bootleg software were equally common
vectors for viruses on BBS's.[citation
Macro viruses have become common since the mid-1990s. Most of these viruses
are written in the scripting languages for Microsoft programs such as
Excel and spread throughout
Microsoft Office by infecting documents and spreadsheets. Since Word and
Excel were also available for
Mac OS, most
could also spread to
computers. Although most of these viruses did not have the ability to send
email messages, those viruses which did take advantage of the
Some old versions of Microsoft Word allow macros to replicate themselves with
additional blank lines. If two macro viruses simultaneously infect a document,
the combination of the two, if also self-replicating, can appear as a "mating"
of the two and would likely be detected as a virus unique from the "parents".
A virus may also send a
web address link as an
instant message to all the contacts on an infected machine. If the
recipient, thinking the link is from a friend (a trusted source) follows the
link to the website, the virus hosted at the site may be able to infect this new
computer and continue propagating.
Viruses that spread using
cross-site scripting were first reported in 2002
and were academically demonstrated in 2005.
There have been multiple instances of the cross-site scripting viruses in the
wild, exploiting websites such as
In order to replicate itself, a virus must be permitted to execute code and
write to memory. For this reason, many viruses attach themselves to executable
files that may be part of legitimate programs. If a user attempts to launch an
infected program, the virus' code may be executed simultaneously. Viruses can be
divided into two types based on their behavior when they are executed.
Nonresident viruses immediately search for other hosts that can be infected,
infect those targets, and finally transfer control to the
application program they infected. Resident viruses do not search for hosts
when they are started. Instead, a resident virus loads itself into memory on
execution and transfers control to the host program. The virus stays active in
the background and infects new hosts when those files are accessed by other
programs or the operating system itself.
Nonresident viruses can be thought of as consisting of a finder module
and a replication module. The finder module is responsible for finding
new files to infect. For each new executable file the finder module encounters,
it calls the replication module to infect that file.
Resident viruses contain a replication module that is similar to the one that
is employed by nonresident viruses. This module, however, is not called by a
finder module. The virus loads the replication module into memory when it is
executed instead and ensures that this module is executed each time the
operating system is called to perform a certain operation. The replication
module can be called, for example, each time the operating system executes a
file. In this case the virus infects every suitable program that is executed on
Resident viruses are sometimes subdivided into a category of fast
infectors and a category of slow infectors. Fast infectors are
designed to infect as many files as possible. A fast infector, for instance, can
infect every potential host file that is accessed. This poses a special problem
when using anti-virus software, since a virus scanner will access every
potential host file on a computer when it performs a system-wide scan. If the
virus scanner fails to notice that such a virus is present in memory the virus
can "piggy-back" on the virus scanner and in this way infect all files that are
scanned. Fast infectors rely on their fast infection rate to spread. The
disadvantage of this method is that infecting many files may make detection more
likely, because the virus may slow down a computer or perform many suspicious
actions that can be noticed by anti-virus software. Slow infectors, on the other
hand, are designed to infect hosts infrequently. Some slow infectors, for
instance, only infect files when they are copied. Slow infectors are designed to
avoid detection by limiting their actions: they are less likely to slow down a
computer noticeably and will, at most, infrequently trigger anti-virus software
that detects suspicious behavior by programs. The slow infector approach,
however, does not seem very successful.
Vectors and hosts
Viruses have targeted various types of transmission media or hosts. This list
is not exhaustive:
executable files (such as
and EXE files in
Portable Executable files in
Microsoft Windows, the Mach-O format in OSX, and
ELF files in
Volume Boot Records of
floppy disks and hard disk partitions
master boot record (MBR) of a hard disk
script files (such as
shell script files on
- Application-specific script files (such as
- System specific autorun script files (such as
Autorun.inf file needed by Windows to automatically run software stored
on USB Memory
- Documents that can contain
macros (such as
Microsoft Word documents,
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets,
AmiPro documents, and
Microsoft Access database files)
Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in web applications (see
- Arbitrary computer files. An exploitable
race condition or other exploitable bug in a program which reads the
file could be used to trigger the execution of code hidden within it. Most
bugs of this type can be made more difficult to exploit in
computer architectures with protection features such as an
address space layout randomization.
like HTML, may
link to malicious code. PDFs can also be infected with malicious code.
In operating systems that use file extensions to determine program
associations (such as Microsoft Windows), the extensions may be hidden from the
user by default. This makes it possible to create a file that is of a different
type than it appears to the user. For example, an executable may be created
named "picture.png.exe", in which the user sees only "picture.png" and therefore
assumes that this file is an image and most likely is safe, yet when opened runs
the executable on the client machine.
An additional method is to generate the virus code from parts of existing
operating system files by using the CRC16/CRC32 data. The initial code can be
quite small (tens of bytes) and unpack a fairly large virus. This is analogous
to a biological "prion" in the way it works but is vulnerable to signature based
detection. This attack has not yet been seen "in the wild".
Methods to avoid
In order to avoid detection by users, some viruses employ different kinds of
deception. Some old viruses, especially on the MS-DOS platform, make sure that
the "last modified" date of a host file stays the same when the file is infected
by the virus. This approach does not fool anti-virus software, however,
especially those which maintain and date
Cyclic redundancy checks on file changes.
Some viruses can infect files without increasing their sizes or damaging the
files. They accomplish this by overwriting unused areas of executable files.
These are called cavity viruses. For example, the
CIH virus, or
Chernobyl Virus, infects
Portable Executable files. Because those files have many empty gaps, the
virus, which was 1
length, did not add to the size of the file.
Some viruses try to avoid detection by killing the tasks associated with
antivirus software before it can detect them.
As computers and operating systems grow larger and more complex, old hiding
techniques need to be updated or replaced. Defending a computer against viruses
may demand that a file system migrate towards detailed and explicit permission
for every kind of file access.
Avoiding bait files and other undesirable hosts
A virus needs to infect hosts in order to spread further. In some cases, it
might be a bad idea to infect a host program. For example, many anti-virus
programs perform an integrity check of their own code. Infecting such programs
will therefore increase the likelihood that the virus is detected. For this
reason, some viruses are programmed not to infect programs that are known to be
part of anti-virus software. Another type of host that viruses sometimes avoid
are bait files. Bait files (or goat files) are files that are
specially created by anti-virus software, or by anti-virus professionals
themselves, to be infected by a virus. These files can be created for various
reasons, all of which are related to the detection of the virus:
- Anti-virus professionals can use bait files to take a sample of a virus
(i.e. a copy of a program file that is infected by the virus). It is more
practical to store and exchange a small, infected bait file, than to
exchange a large application program that has been infected by the virus.
- Anti-virus professionals can use bait files to study the behavior of a
virus and evaluate detection methods. This is especially useful when the
polymorphic. In this case, the virus can be made to infect a large
number of bait files. The infected files can be used to test whether a virus
scanner detects all versions of the virus.
- Some anti-virus software employs bait files that are accessed regularly.
When these files are modified, the anti-virus software warns the user that a
virus is probably active on the system.
Since bait files are used to detect the virus, or to make detection possible,
a virus can benefit from not infecting them. Viruses typically do this by
avoiding suspicious programs, such as small program files or programs that
contain certain patterns of 'garbage instructions'.
A related strategy to make baiting difficult is sparse infection.
Sometimes, sparse infectors do not infect a host file that would be a suitable
candidate for infection in other circumstances. For example, a virus can decide
on a random basis whether to infect a file or not, or a virus can only infect
host files on particular days of the week.
Some viruses try to trick antivirus software by intercepting its requests to
the operating system. A virus can hide itself by intercepting the antivirus
software’s request to read the file and passing the request to the virus,
instead of the
OS. The virus can then return an uninfected version of the file to the
antivirus software, so that it seems that the file is "clean". Modern antivirus
software employs various techniques to counter stealth mechanisms of viruses.
The only completely reliable method to avoid stealth is to boot from a medium
that is known to be clean.
Most modern antivirus programs try to find virus-patterns inside ordinary
programs by scanning them for so-called virus signatures. A signature is
a characteristic byte-pattern that is part of a certain virus or family of
viruses. If a virus scanner finds such a pattern in a file, it notifies the user
that the file is infected. The user can then delete, or (in some cases) "clean"
or "heal" the infected file. Some viruses employ techniques that make detection
by means of signatures difficult but probably not impossible. These viruses
modify their code on each infection. That is, each infected file contains a
different variant of the virus.
with a variable key
A more advanced method is the use of simple
to encipher the virus. In this case, the virus consists of a small decrypting
module and an encrypted copy of the virus code. If the virus is encrypted with a
different key for each infected file, the only part of the virus that remains
constant is the decrypting module, which would (for example) be appended to the
end. In this case, a virus scanner cannot directly detect the virus using
signatures, but it can still detect the decrypting module, which still makes
indirect detection of the virus possible. Since these would be symmetric keys,
stored on the infected host, it is in fact entirely possible to decrypt the
final virus, but this is probably not required, since self-modifying code is
such a rarity that it may be reason for virus scanners to at least flag the file
An old, but compact, encryption involves
each byte in a virus with a constant, so that the exclusive-or operation had
only to be repeated for decryption. It is suspicious for a code to modify
itself, so the code to do the encryption/decryption may be part of the signature
in many virus definitions.
Polymorphic code was the first technique that posed a serious
threat to virus scanners. Just like regular encrypted viruses, a polymorphic
virus infects files with an encrypted copy of itself, which is decoded by a
decryption module. In the case of polymorphic viruses, however, this decryption
module is also modified on each infection. A well-written polymorphic virus
therefore has no parts which remain identical between infections, making it very
difficult to detect directly using signatures. Antivirus software can detect it
by decrypting the viruses using an emulator, or by statistical pattern analysis
of the encrypted virus body. To enable polymorphic code, the virus has to have a
polymorphic engine (also called mutating engine or mutation engine)
somewhere in its encrypted body. See
Polymorphic code for technical detail on how such engines operate.
Some viruses employ polymorphic code in a way that constrains the mutation
rate of the virus significantly. For example, a virus can be programmed to
mutate only slightly over time, or it can be programmed to refrain from mutating
when it infects a file on a computer that already contains copies of the virus.
The advantage of using such slow polymorphic code is that it makes it more
difficult for antivirus professionals to obtain representative samples of the
virus, because bait files that are infected in one run will typically contain
identical or similar samples of the virus. This will make it more likely that
the detection by the virus scanner will be unreliable, and that some instances
of the virus may be able to avoid detection.
To avoid being detected by emulation, some viruses rewrite themselves
completely each time they are to infect new executables. Viruses that utilize
this technique are said to be
metamorphic. To enable
metamorphism, a metamorphic engine is needed. A metamorphic virus is
usually very large and complex. For example,
W32/Simile consisted of over 14000 lines of
Assembly language code, 90% of which is part of the metamorphic engine.
Vulnerability and countermeasures
The vulnerability of operating systems to viruses
genetic diversity in a population decreases the chance of a single disease
wiping out a population, the diversity of software systems on a network
similarly limits the destructive potential of viruses. This became a particular
concern in the 1990s, when
gained market dominance in desktop operating systems and
suites. Microsoft software is targeted by virus writers due to their desktop
Although Windows is by far the most popular target operating system for virus
writers, viruses also exist on other platforms. Any operating system that allows
third-party programs to run can theoretically run viruses.
An Internet based experiment revealed that there were cases when people
willingly pressed a particular button to download a virus. Security analyst
Didier Stevens ran a half year advertising campaign on
Google AdWords which said "Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!".
The result was 409 clicks.
As of 2006Mac OS X
(with a Unix-based file system and
The number of viruses for the older Apple operating systems, known as Mac OS
Classic, varies greatly from source to source, with Apple stating that there are
only four known viruses, and independent sources stating there are as many as 63
viruses. Many Mac OS Classic viruses targeted the
authoring environment. The difference in virus vulnerability between Macs and
Windows is a chief selling point, one that
Apple uses in their
Get a Mac
In January 2009,
announced the discovery of a trojan that targets Macs.
This discovery did not gain much coverage until April 2009.
there were relatively few security exploits targeting
While Linux, and Unix in general, has always natively blocked normal users
from having access to make changes to the operating system environment, Windows
users are generally not. This difference has continued partly due to the
widespread use of administrator accounts in contemporary versions like XP. In
1997, when a virus for Linux was released – known as "Bliss"
– leading antivirus vendors issued warnings that
systems could fall prey to viruses just like Windows.
The Bliss virus may be considered characteristic of viruses – as opposed to
worms – on Unix systems. Bliss requires that the user run it explicitly, and it
can only infect programs that the user has the access to modify. Unlike Windows
users, most Unix users do not
log in as an
administrator user except to install or configure software; as a result, even if
a user ran the virus, it could not harm their operating system. The Bliss virus
never became widespread, and remains chiefly a research curiosity. Its creator
later posted the source code to Usenet, allowing researchers to see how it
The role of
Because software is often designed with security features to prevent
unauthorized use of system resources, many viruses must exploit
software bugs in a system or application to spread.
Software development strategies that produce large numbers of bugs will
generally also produce potential exploits.
Anti-virus software and other preventive measures
Many users install
anti-virus software that can detect and eliminate known viruses after the
downloads or runs the executable. There are two common methods that an
anti-virus software application uses to detect viruses. The first, and by
far the most common method of virus detection is using a list of
virus signature definitions. This works by examining the content of the
computer's memory (its
sectors) and the files stored on fixed or removable drives (hard drives,
floppy drives), and comparing those files against a
known virus "signatures". The disadvantage of this detection method is that
users are only protected from viruses that pre-date their last virus definition
update. The second method is to use a
heuristic algorithm to find viruses based on common behaviors. This method
has the ability to detect novel viruses that anti-virus security firms have yet
to create a signature for.
Some anti-virus programs are able to scan opened files in addition to sent
and received email messages "on the fly" in a similar manner. This practice is
known as "on-access scanning". Anti-virus software does not change the
underlying capability of host software to transmit viruses. Users must update
their software regularly to
patch security holes. Anti-virus software also needs to be regularly updated
in order to recognize the latest
One may also minimize the damage done by viruses by making regular
backups of data
(and the operating systems) on different media, that are either kept unconnected
to the system (most of the time), read-only or not accessible for other reasons,
such as using different
systems. This way, if data is lost through a virus, one can start again
using the backup (which should preferably be recent).
If a backup session on
DVD is closed, it
becomes read-only and can no longer be affected by a virus (so long as a virus
or infected file was not copied onto the CD/DVD). Likewise, an operating system
bootable CD can be used to start the computer if the installed operating
systems become unusable. Backups on removable media must be carefully inspected
before restoration. The Gammima virus, for example, propagates via removable
A number of recovery options exist after a computer has a virus. These
actions depend on the virus. Some may be safely removed by functions available
in most anti-virus software products. Others may require re-installation of
damaged programs. It is necessary to know the characteristics of the virus
involved to take the correct action, and anti-virus products will identify known
viruses precisely before trying to "dis-infect" a computer; otherwise such
action could itself cause a lot of damage. New viruses that anti-virus
researchers have not yet studied therefore present an ongoing problem, which
requires anti-virus packages to be updated frequently.
One possibility on
Windows Vista and
is a tool known as
System Restore, which restores the registry and critical system files to a
previous checkpoint. Often a virus will cause a system to hang, and a subsequent
hard reboot will render a system restore point from the same day corrupt.
Restore points from previous days should work provided the virus is not designed
to corrupt the restore files or also exists in previous restore points.
Some viruses, however, disable System Restore and other important tools such as
Task Manager and
Command Prompt. An example of a virus that does this is CiaDoor. However,
many such viruses can be removed by
computer, entering Windows
and then using system tools.
Administrators have the option to disable such tools from limited users for
various reasons (for example, to reduce potential damage from and the spread of
viruses). A virus can modify the registry to do the same even if the
Administrator is controlling the computer; it blocks all users including
the administrator from accessing the tools. The message "Task Manager has been
disabled by your administrator" may be displayed, even to the administrator.[citation
Users running a Microsoft operating system can access Microsoft's website to
run a free scan, provided they have their 20-digit registration number. Many
websites run by
anti-virus software companies provide free online virus scanning, with
limited cleaning facilities (the purpose of the sites is to sell anti-virus
products). Some websites allow a single suspicious file to be checked by many
antivirus programs in one operation.
Reinstalling the operating system is another approach to virus removal. It
involves either reformatting the computer's hard drive and installing the OS and
all programs from original media, or restoring the entire partition with a clean
backup image. User data can be restored by booting from a
Live CD, or
putting the hard drive into another computer and booting from its operating
system with great care not to infect the second computer by executing any
infected programs on the original drive; and once the system has been restored
precautions must be taken to avoid reinfection from a restored
These methods are simple to do, may be faster than disinfecting a computer,
and are guaranteed to remove any malware. If the operating system and programs
must be reinstalled from scratch, the time and effort to reinstall, reconfigure,
and restore user preferences must be taken into account.
Solomon's Virus Encyclopedia, 1995,
ISBN 1897661002, Abstract at
Jussi Parikka (2007) "Digital Contagions. A Media Archaeology of
Computer Viruses", Peter Lang: New York. Digital Formations-series.
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Computer Viruses", Peter Lang: New York. Digital Formations-series.
ISBN 978-0-8204-8837-0, p. 50
- ^ See
page 86 of Computer Security Basics by Deborah Russell and G.
T. Gangemi. O'Reilly, 1991.
Anick Jesdanun (1 September 2007).
"School prank starts 25 years of security woes".
"The anniversary of a nuisance".
"Boot sector virus repair". Antivirus.about.com. 2010-06-10.
"Amjad Farooq Alvi Inventor of first PC Virus post by Zagham".
"Macro Virus Identification Problems". FRISK Software
"XSS bug in hotmail login page".
"The Cross-site Scripting Virus".
"Virus Bulletin : Glossary - Polymorphic virus". Virusbtn.com.
Perriot, Fredrick; Peter Ferrie and Peter
Szor (May 2002).
"Striking Similarities" (PDF).
Retrieved September 9, 2007.
"Virus Bulletin : Glossary — Metamorphic virus". Virusbtn.com.
"Need a computer virus?- download now". Infoniac.com.
""Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!" « Didier Stevens".
"Malware Evolution: Mac OS X Vulnerabilities 2005-2006".
Kaspersky Lab. 2006-07-24.
Retrieved August 19, 2006.
Apple - Get a Mac
b Sutter, John D.
(22 April 2009).
"Experts: Malicious program targets Macs".
Retrieved 24 April 2009.
"McAfee discovers first Linux virus". news article.
"Bliss, a Linux "virus"". news article.
- ^ "Symantec
Security Summary — W32.Gammima.AG."
- ^ "Yahoo Tech:
Viruses! In! Space!"
- ^ "Symantec
Security Summary — W32.Gammima.AG and removal details."
Mark Russinovich. (November 2006).
Advanced Malware Cleaning video. [Web (WMV
MP4)]. Microsoft Corporation.
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Hackers target Government websites with computer virus
Hackers have attacked government websites with a computer
virus, allowing them to steal the personal data of visitors.
In the past fortnight Eastern European hackers
have infected more than a thousand British websites
with the virus, known as Asprox, including those
belonging to local government offices and the NHS,
it has been claimed.
Asprox last week infected the Norfolk NHS
website, which is used by thousands of people every
day to access local services. Twelve local council
websites, including that of Hackney Council in
London, were also compromised, putting at risk
hundreds of residents logging on to pay their
Web experts have said that unlike conventional
computer viruses, which spread through email or
illicit websites, Asprox lies on mainstream sites,
waiting to infect the computers of those who visit.
Once it does, it can allow a hacker to access
sensitive information, and steal files, emails or
Security experts say that it has so far spread to
about two million computers worldwide. Any computer
not protected by the most up-to-date anti-virus
software is vulnerable to the virus.
It is thought that several people have discovered
that their computers have been infected only after
they found money had been removed from their bank
accounts or that they had suffered other frauds
committed using their personal data.
Detective Constable Bob Burls, from the
Metropolitan Police computer crime unit, confirmed
that there had been a sudden rise in the number of
computers being infected by Asprox.
He said: "The virus got into the job pages of a
local council's internet page. It's a new thing that
people who visit mainstream websites are clobbered."
"We've dealt with two major websites in as many
weeks," he said.
Yuval Ben-Itzhak, the chief technical officer of
Finjan, the internet security company who first
exposed the threat of Asprox, said: "This is very
serious threat. Five years ago when your computer
got infected by a virus, you noticed immediately
that your PC was broken. These days, you don't
The virus has not been confined to Government
Visitors to Nigella Lawson's official website
were last week also put at risk, as the chef's home
page was attacked by Asprox. However, a spokesman
for Ms Lawson said that the problem was dealt with
"instantly" and that none of her fans was infected.
Posted by DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and
Nov 20th, 2008 | 5 responses
According to Fox news, the Pentagon’s computer network has been
breached, but to what extent is not clear.
Unnamed sources are speaking about ‘a devastating virus.’ Orders
have been given to cease using all phone drives and other external
One wonders about what billy goat gruff has not been leaving his/
her dorm while eating delivery pizza for breakfast, lunch and
dinner…and plotting how to un-knit the five-armed sweater … a/k/a:
the Pentagon’s electronic arterial system.
From Stars and Stripeswhere it already Friday, to our
Thursday: by Jennifer Svan and
David Allen. The article tells about how there appear to have
been plenty of warnings this was coming… but from where?
The Defense Department
has banned the use of removable flash media and storage devices
from all government computers, according to a series of notices
put out by the services this week.
The action comes following reports that a worm virus known as
“Agent.btz” was discovered infecting some DOD networks,
according to Wired magazine.
LeAnne MacAllister, 5th
Signal Command’s director
of Strategic Communication,
U.S. Army Europe, said this
week that leadership directed her office to stop using thumb
drives — portable memory devices used to store or transfer
A separate internal Army e-mail told some government
computer users across Europe to turn in all removable media
In an e-mail sent Thursday to all
Navy European customers in
Naples, officials said “effective immediately all USB Thumb
drives, memory sticks/cards and camera flash cards are
PROHIBITED from use on any Navy
Network (NIPR or SIPR) until further notice.”
A worldwide directive issued Thursday by the
Marine Corps offered
“The only authorized media for use on DOD networks is media
purchased and provided by the government,” the Marine
announcement said. “Under no circumstances will personally owned
removable media be considered mission essential or used on
DOD officials at the Pentagon would not confirm the ban.
For security reasons, DOD officials won’t discuss “specific
measures commanders in the field may be taking to protect and
defend our networks,” said Air
Force Lt. Col. Eric
Butterbaugh, a DOD spokesman.
But Wired magazine,
citing an internal Army e-mail on its online edition Wednesday,
said the ban comes from the commander of U.S.
Strategic Command and applies to both the secret SIPR and
unclassified NIPR nets.
The worm virus “Agent.btz” is a variation of an older worm
that copies itself to removable USB drives from infected
computers and then spreads itself to whatever new systems it is
connected to through USB ports, Wired reported.
The worm seriously degrades computer performance by copying
itself to multiple programs.
The ban includes memory sticks, thumb drives and camera flash
memory cards, according to the
Marine Corps directive. External hard disk drives are not
included in the ban.
Butterbaugh said DOD’s Global
Information Grid includes more than 17,000 local- and
regional-area networks and approximately 7 million individual
Computer Worm Hits Iran Power Plant
Affects Computers at Iran's First Nuclear Power Station
Published September 26, 2010
Aug. 21: The reactor
building of Bushehr nuclear power plant,
just outside the southern city of Bushehr,
TEHRAN, Iran – A
complex computer worm capable of seizing control
of industrial plants has affected the personal
computers of staff working at Iran's first
nuclear power station weeks before the facility
is to go online, the official news agency
The project manager at the Bushehr nuclear
plant, Mahmoud Jafari, said a team is trying to
remove the malware from several affected
computers, though it "has not caused any damage
to major systems of the plant," the IRNA news
It was the first sign that the malicious
computer code, dubbed Stuxnet, which has spread
to many industries in Iran, has also affected
equipment linked to the country's nuclear
program, which is at the core of the dispute
between Tehran and Western powers like the
Experts in Germany discovered the worm in
July, and it has since shown up in a number of
attacks -- primarily in Iran, Indonesia, India
and the U.S.
The malware is capable of taking over systems
that control the inner workings of industrial
In a sign of the high-level concern in Iran,
experts from the country's nuclear agency met
last week to discuss ways of fighting the worm.
The infection of several computers belonging
to workers at Bushehr will not affect plans to
bring the plant online in October, Jafari was
quoted as saying.
The Russian-built plant will be
internationally supervised, but world powers are
concerned that Iran wants to use other aspects
of its civil nuclear power program as a cover
for making weapons. Of highest concern to world
powers is Iran's main uranium enrichment
facility in the city of Natanz.
Iran, which denies having any nuclear weapons
ambitions, says it only wants to enrich uranium
to the lower levels needed for producing fuel
for power plants. At higher levels of
processing, the material can also be used in
The destructive Stuxnet worm has surprised
experts because it is the first one specifically
created to take over industrial control systems,
rather than just steal or manipulate data.
The United States is also tracking the worm,
and the Department of Homeland Security is
building specialized teams that can respond
quickly to cyber emergencies at industrial
facilities across the country.
On Saturday, Iran's semi-official ISNA news
agency reported that the malware had spread
throughout Iran, but did not name specific sites
Before You Click! ‘Here You Have…’ a Major
your internet seemed a little slower today,
or perhaps not even there at all at times,
blame this: a major computer virus spread
via email slamming servers
at some heavy-duty websites. Affected
sites include Google, NASA and Comcast.
reports the virus is spread via a worm
that comes attached
to an email that typically has a subject
line reading, “Here you have…” Anyone unwary
enough to click on what looks like a link to
a PDF embedded in the message is directed to
a site that asks to download a screensaver
file onto your computer. Users who are truly
asleep at the wheel and click okay to
install the screensaver are gifted with a
worm that then propagates to the victim’s
Admins who confronted this cyber-disaster
today must have felt like it was 2001 all
The worm is similar to the ILoveYou
and Anna Kournikova worms, which spread
- HERE ARE SOME VIDEOS TO WATCH
ABOUT COMPUTER VIRUSES
CONTINUED ON PAGE 37
August 31, 2011