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Windows XP boot screen

Hackers ZERO IN on ZOMBIE XP boxes: Get patching, Internet Explorer 8 users

A newly uncovered attack specifically targeting out-of-support Windows XP machines running Internet Explorer 8 is being used to hack potential victims in multiple industries across Europe and North America, according to security researchers. This is the first “in the wild” attack spotted against Windows XP after Microsoft pulled …
John Leyden, 02 May 2014

'Zombie hunter' task force unleashed on the UK tech biz

A special force of crack zombie hunters swings into action today to rid old Blighty of the shuffling scourge of undead firms surviving only to pay the interest on debts. The mission of the task force, whose formation was revealed by The Channel last month, is to build a profile of private equity backed businesses in the IT …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2013
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Security bods mop blood, sigh: NEW CryptoLocker zombies? We don't see their kind

Infections from the infamous CryptoLocker ransomware have fallen off sharply since a takedown operation earlier this week, according to security researchers. An FBI-led takedown operation disrupted the internet infrastructure powering the Gameover ZeuS botnet and the even more infamous CryptoLocker ransomware. Gameover ZeuS is a …
John Leyden, 05 Jun 2014
Resident Evil zombie takeover

Pushdo Trojan outbreak: 11 THOUSAND systems infected in just 24 hours

A wave of attacks by cybercrooks pushing a new variant of the resilient Pushdo Trojan has compromised more than 11,000 systems in just 24 hours. Indian PCs have been most affected by the outbreak, but systems in the UK, France and the US have also been hit, according to security software firm Bitdefender. The Romanian firm …
John Leyden, 17 Jul 2014
Zombie cloud

Microsoft confirms Surface NOT DEAD YET, next-gen version coming

Microsoft says it's still committed to its Surface tablets despite disappointing sales, and that it will keep pushing the kit through at least one more generation of the hardware. The software giant wasted no time in responding to a report by Taiwanese business rag DigiTimes that claimed Microsoft was "not very aggressive about …
Neil McAllister, 09 Oct 2014

Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn

Cybercriminals have already seized upon the end of support for Windows XP as a theme for numerous scams and fake software updates. Microsoft pushed out its last ever patches for the 13-year-old operating system last Tuesday (8 April). Numerous YouTube videos "advertising programs and functionality related to Windows XP" that …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2014

Dip in Blighty's titsup tech firms... but what about the ZOMBIES?

An eerie calm has descended in the UK technology channel* as company failures stabilise and the recession lifts, but with legions of undead corporate corpses stalking the land, an insolvency storm could now be brewing. That was the prognosis of experts in the credit and insolvency sectors, a week after UK GDP figures from the …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2013
Canadian reseller ad for XP

Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

If you don't believe in the undead, think again: Windows XP may be just over a month from its much-publicised demise but is now Microsoft's fastest-growing operating system in terms of market share. For that zombie-like assertion we can thank Netmarketshare's new data about operating system market share. As we reported in …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Mar 2014
Zombie cloud

What's a right pain in the ASCII for IBM? Its own leech-like hardware biz

IBM's earnings for the first quarter of the year show that the company's hardware division has turned into a leech sapping Big Blue's profits. IBM's total revenues for the quarter were $22.5bn, down four per cent on an annual basis and earnings-per-share are $2.54. This represented the eight consecutive quarter of declining …
Jack Clark, 16 Apr 2014
channel

Maguro+ zombie resurrected as Oracle beast

The genesis of Oracle's mini-Exadata – its new Database Appliance – was quite involved. The appliance is a pair of Sun Fire X4270 M2, 2-socket Xeon X5675 server nodes, which contain the DRAM, flash and disk drive storage, clustered across 1Gbit/s Ethernet instead of grown-up Exadata's QDR InfiniBand cluster connect. These …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2011
bug on keyboard

Microsoft borks botnet takedown in Citadel snafu

Security researchers are complaining about collateral damage from the latest botnet take-down efforts by Microsoft and its partners. The Windows 8 giant worked with financial service organisations, other technology firms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to disrupt more than a thousand botnets. The botnets in question …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2013
gavel_judgment_channel

SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix

IBM's lawsuit with SCO over just who owns Unix has crawled out of the grave and seems set to shuffle back into US courts. For the uninitiated, or those who've successfully tried to forget this turgid saga, a brief summary: SCO in 2003 sued IBM for doing something nasty to bits of Unix it owned. Or felt it owned. SCO also sued …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2013
channel

Mocbot worm fuels zombie surge

The number of compromised zombie PCs has shot up by almost a quarter (23 per cent) over the last week because of the release of a new computer worm variant, according to security appliance firm CipherTrust. CipherTrust Research Labs has identified an average of 265,000 zombies per day since the release of the latest Mocbot worm …
John Leyden, 23 Aug 2006

US ERP roll out amid a downturn? That's what hit Datatec in H1

A twitchy Datatec today pulled down full-year revenue guidance at the half-way point of fiscal '14 blaming choppy waters around its distie biz Westcon as well as a complex ERP roll out for zapping sales. The South-Africa listed giant, which also houses integrator Logicalis and a consulting arm, said sales for the six months to …
Paul Kunert, 16 Oct 2013
globalisation

Conficker zombie botnet drops to 3.5 million

The "activation" of Windows machines infected with the latest variant of the Conficker worm has allowed security watchers to come up with a far more accurate estimate of how many machines are infected. Early versions of Conficker called home to 250 different domain names every day to check for updates. Since Wednesday, machines …
John Leyden, 03 Apr 2009
globalisation

Dutch smash 100,000-strong zombie army

Dutch police have arrested three people for building a worldwide zombie network of more than 100,000 PCs used to launch internet attacks on companies and to hack into bank and Paypal accounts. The main suspect, a 19 year-old man, and his alleged accomplices, a 22 year-old and a 27 year-old, were collared in raids on their homes …
Drew Cullen, 07 Oct 2005

Don't lose control of those fast-breeding endpoints

So you want to know about security? Well you have come to the right place. I have been here for a while and I can tell you that outside these gates it’s full of cowboys, sharks and pirates, none of whom will hesitate to take what is yours and call it their own. The above is is a quote from a brochure I wrote in an attempt to …
Aaron Milne, 22 Oct 2013
graph up

Zombie bots clog internal networks

A significant chunk (12 per cent) of all scanning attacks found on a broadband service provider's network are launched from the machines of its own subscribers. That's according to a study by traffic management firm Sandvine which says its findings dispel the idea the broadband security involves only policing the borders between …
John Leyden, 04 Oct 2005
hands waving dollar bills in the air

UK tops zombie PC chart (again)

Britain is once again 'top of the bots' with the world's highest proportion of known bot-infected computers. In the first half of 2005, The UK has almost a third (32 per cent) of all bots – virus-infected, zombie PCs under the control of hackers and used for malicious purposes such as identity theft and spam distribution –. …
John Leyden, 19 Sep 2005
Zombie cloud

Reselling mutant cloud parts from IBM? There's now an app for that

IBM is pitching new software and server gear for use in public, private and public-private hybrid cloud computing environments. The tech titan has announced PureSystem updates plus stuff about Power, System x and technical computing. Big Blue thinks mutant clouds will pick up in popularity; it quotes Gartner as saying that " …
Chris Mellor, 14 Oct 2013

Evil twins spread zombie plague

The Sdbot and Gaobot malware families are responsible for most botnets worldwide. The two strains were responsible for 80 per cent of detections related to bots during the first quarter of 2007, Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Software reports. Other culprits, although on a lesser scale, included Oscarbot, IRCbot or RXbot. The …
John Leyden, 13 Apr 2007
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

2e2 for you: Should zombies be allowed to run NHS IT?

The 2e2 Group finally called in the administrators to its UK ops* late on Monday 28 January, 2013, a month or two after main senior directors were released and replaced on the instructions of owners Hutton Collins. The IT services firm had recently re-stated a year’s accounts, was rumoured to have been in breach of banking …
Eddie Pacey, 05 Feb 2013
Zombie

Botnet sics zombie soldiers on gimpy websites

The miscreants who have poisoned more than half a million web pages aren't the only attackers thinking big. People behind a botnet known as Asprox have recently rejiggered their army to infect websites in a similar fashion. Asprox zombies have recently been blessed with a tool that sniffs out potentially vulnerable sites running …
Dan Goodin, 14 May 2008

Fujitsu Tech Solutions boss: I am an industry 'insurgent'

Fujitsu UK and Ireland bigwig Michael Keegan is trying to highlight and exploit any uncertainty surrounding Dell and HP to win over distribution partners sitting at those vendors' top tables. Keegan, executive director of the Technology Product Group is clearly in self-licking mode, armed with growth stats that reveal the extent …
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2013
Newsweek Zombies

Time to rid ourselves of the tech channel zombies

One thing is certain, we’re all going to die at some point while encountering high and low points along the way. Life is a journey, with no guaranteed time of departure. And business is no different. The loss of names such as Woolworth, Clinton, Jessop, Comet, HMV and now Blockbuster may be sad, but it’s also part of the journey …
Eddie Pacey, 12 Feb 2013
graph up

Zombie bots fuel spyware boom

Virus writers are up upping their production rates with a 12 per cent increase in the number of new items in malware in the second quarter of 2005. McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT) reports that spam-propagating bot programs, adware and spyware were the greatest net security threat in Q2 2005 …
John Leyden, 11 Jul 2005

VMware bursts into public cloud with vCHS

Here is how the cloud infrastructure market works: you can compete with Amazon Web Services and commit yourself to punishing capital expenditures as you build out your data centers, or you can try and come up with a service that does something Amazon doesn't, and charge a premium for it. Take a guess as to which one VMware opted …
Jack Clark, 28 Aug 2013
cloud

Britain tops zombie PC charts

Britain has the largest zombie PC population of any country on the planet, according to the latest Symantec Internet Security Threat Report. The UK has more than a quarter (25.2 per cent) of all bots – virus-infected, zombie PCs under the control of crackers and used for malicious purposes like identity theft and online fraud …
John Leyden, 21 Mar 2005
channel

FBI logs its millionth zombie address

Federal law enforcement agents targeting botnets recently recorded a grim milestone, identifying the millionth potential zombie victim, the FBI said Wednesday. Operation Bot Roast, as the cyber crime project has come to be known, has now logged more than 1m IP addresses belonging to a botnet. That amounts to plenty of owners, …
Dan Goodin, 13 Jun 2007

Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Windows XP, we hardly knew ye! Yet by this time next year, the adolescent operating system will be headed for the big Recycle Bin in the sky, thanks to Microsoft's planned obsolescence policy and the inevitable march of progress. Introduced in 2001, XP was a big hit. But Microsoft will end support for XP on April 7th, 2014. That …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Apr 2013
homeless man with sign

Zombie PCs menace mankind

Cybercrooks are developing more sophisticated techniques to steal confidential data. According to the latest edition of Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, malicious hackers are increasingly using bot-networks, modular malicious code and targeted attacks on web applications and web browsers to carry out cyber raids. The …
John Leyden, 07 Mar 2006
For Sale sign detail

IETF forges botnet clean-up standard

The IETF is developing a standard for how ISPs should go about cleaning up subscriber botnet infections. A draft standard from the net standards body covers techniques for identifying compromised machines, how to notify affected customers and what advice to give them on the best way to clean-up infections - a sometimes tricky …
John Leyden, 17 Sep 2009
Rolex in Live and Let Die

Cool cars, cat-crushing chronometers, cashmere ... is this your IT boss?

The story goes that one day a printer vendor rep turned up at a distributor of IT gear. The rep had a message to deliver: “Your sales of our printers are not good enough". The MD took the rep out to the car park, opened the rear door of his motor and gestured to a high-end shotgun lying across the back seat. Message received and …
Steve Bell, 09 Aug 2013
For Sale sign detail

Botmaster owns up to 250,000 zombie PCs

An American computer security consultant on Friday admitted using massive botnets to illegally install software on at least 250,000 machines and steal online banking identities of Windows users by evesdropping on them while they made financial transactions. John Kenneth Schiefer, 26, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to four …
Dan Goodin, 09 Nov 2007
homeless man with sign

Bot herder pleads guilty to 'zombie' sales

A 20-year-old California man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he sold access to networks of compromised PCs and made money from illicitly installed adware, prosecutors announced on Monday. Jeanson James Ancheta of Downey, California, entered a plea of guilty to four of the original 17 charges in the case, according to …
SecurityFocus, 24 Jan 2006
homeless man with sign

RUSTOCK TAKEDOWN: How the world's worst botnet was KO'd

The unidentified criminals behind the infamous Rustock botnet were paying at least $10,000 a month for US-based command and control servers prior to a successful takedown operation last week. Instead of using bulletproof hosting outfits (rogue ISPs normally based in eastern Europe) that ignore takedown notices, the botherders …
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2011
channel

Storm worm smackdown as researchers unpick control system

A team of security researchers have developed a technique for automatically purging the remnants of the Storm worm infection from the internet. But the approach - which involves turning the botnet's command and control system against itself - could run foul of computer hacking laws in Germany and elsewhere, which ban the …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2009
graph up

Botnet that pwned 100,000 UK PCs taken out

Security researchers have uncovered the command and control network of a Zeus 2 botnet sub-system targeted at UK surfers that controlled an estimated 100,000 computers. Cybercrooks based in eastern Europe used a variant of the Zeus 2 cybercrime toolkit to harvest personal data - including bank log-ins, credit and debit card …
John Leyden, 04 Aug 2010
channel

Taiwan fingered as the hub of spam distribution

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of servers controlling spam traffic are located in Taiwan, according to a survey by email security firm CipherTrust. Such servers, used by internet low lives to relay spam and phishing emails through zombie, compromised PCs, are also commonly located in the US. The US accounts for 23 per cent of …
John Leyden, 12 Jun 2006
globalisation

One in 20 corporate PCs infested by bots

Between three to five per cent of corporate systems are infected by bots, according to a study by security firm Damballa. The finding comes from Damballa itself and is being used to promote the need for its line of security appliances, designed to block communications between infected hosts and zombie-control servers, as an …
John Leyden, 05 Mar 2009
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Drive-by download attack compromises 500K websites

More than half a million web pages have been compromised with malware as part of a new attack, Trend Micro warns. Badly configured PHP bulletin board applications are being used to plant malicious JavaScript on web forums. The JavaScript is used to push variants of the Zlob Trojan that come disguised as a video codec installer …
John Leyden, 13 May 2008
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Botnet master jailed for five years

A California man has been jailed for almost five years for running a zombie network of compromised PCs. Jeanson James Ancheta, 21, of Downey, California, used the botnets he controlled to display cash-generating adverts and as a resource he "rented" for hackers and spammers to run either denial of service attacks or junk mail …
John Leyden, 09 May 2006
Flag New Zealand

NZ police cuff teenage botnet mastermind suspect

New Zealand police have arrested an 18-year-old suspected of masterminding the compromise of a huge network of one million compromised PCs. The unnamed teenager, who police have identified only by his online moniker of AKILL, was arrested as part of a larger FBI-led operation aimed at cracking down on the trade in compromised …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2007
homeless man with sign

Trial set for 'botnet for hire' duo

A federal judge has cleared the way for the trial of two men accused of waging a cyber attack on a webhosting company so they could demonstrate the effectiveness of their botnet to potential customers. The trial of Thomas James Frederick Smith, 21, most recently of Parris Island, South Carolina, and David Anthony Edwards, 20, of …
Dan Goodin, 16 Sep 2009
fingers pointing at man

Spam zombies give UK ISPs the fear

The potential disruption of service and risk posed by compromised, zombie PCs spewing spam is putting fear in UK ISPs, according to a survey conducted by security firm StreamShield Networks. A massive 96 per cent of 50 ISP respondents cited the proliferation of botnets - networks of virus-infected PCs under the control of …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2006
channel

US boffins fashion quantum-computing bit out of SQUID

Federal boffins in the States say they have fashioned another building block which could be of use in assembling the postulated hard-to-understand but applecart-busting quantum computers of tomorrow. SQUID switch between qubit and quantum cavity bus in aluminium on sapphire. Credit: NIST Modulate the qu-slosh with the purple …
Lewis Page, 29 Apr 2010
homeless man with sign

US boffins build, test working 2-qubit quantum processor

Federal boffins in America say they have built the first computer processing device able to handle quantum-mechanical numbers expressed as "qubits". Whereas a regular bit is either 1 or 0, a qubit can be 1, 0 or some of both just as a metaphorical cat in a box may be dead, alive or in a mysterious semi-undead waveform zombie …
Lewis Page, 16 Nov 2009
For Sale sign detail

Storm botnet blows itself out

Security watchers Marshal claim the infamous Storm botnet is no more, after waning spam emails finally dried up altogether last month. Other security researchers have noted a similar decline, but warn that while the botnet is currently inactive it may yet return, possibly in a more potent form. Storm front The malware used to …
John Leyden, 14 Oct 2008
homeless man with sign

Researchers hijack botnet for spam study

Pharmacy-touting spammers can turn a decent return on response rates as low as one in 12 million, far lower than previously thought. So say security researchers at the University of California, San Diego and UC Berkeley, who infiltrated the control system of the Storm botnet to research the economics of spam. At the peak of its …
John Leyden, 10 Nov 2008
homeless man with sign

BT debuts 'spam-buster' system

BT has launched an automated system to track down and tackle professional spammers and 'botnet'-infected customers on the BT broadband network. The telco's 'spam buster' system uses content inspection technology from security developer StreamShield Networks to filter spam and virus infected email traffic. Around 80 per cent of …
John Leyden, 12 Oct 2006

Opinion

Microsoft Surface bomb
Killer whale

Chris Mellor

Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'

Tim Worstall

Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen

Features

No, silly... he was the fall guy for years of Finnish folly
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Frodo and the Ring
Microsoft's strategy is to make Store apps popular. Good luck with that