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Virus Bulletin news

Botconf 2014 preview

Many VB authors and presenters to speak at second botnet-fighting conference.

Last year, I attended the first edition of ' Botconf' in the French city of Nantes. I really enjoyed the conference, so I am looking forward to the second edition, which will take place in less than two weeks' time in Nancy, in Northeastern France.

I was also pleased to see that several of this year's Botconf speakers have either spoken at recent VB conferences or published articles through Virus Bulletin.

G Data researcher Paul Rascagnères will present a workshop on using WinDBG to analyse rootkits and is co-author of a paper on the 'Havex' RAT that will also be presented at the conference. Earlier this year, we published a paper by Paul on the 'IcoScript' RAT.

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VB2014 paper: Sweeping the IP space: the hunt for evil on the Internet

Dhia Mahjoub explains how the topology of the AS graph can be used to uncover hotspots of maliciousness.

Over the next few months, we will be sharing VB2014 conference papers as well as video recordings of the presentations. Today, we have added 'Sweeping the IP space: the hunt for evil on the Internet' by OpenDNS researcher Dhia Mahjoub.

The Internet is often described as a network of networks. These individual networks are called Autonomous Systems (AS): collections of IPv4 and IPv6 network prefixes administered by the same entity and sharing a common routing policy. Each AS is identified by an Autonomous System Number (ASN).

Together, the ASNs form the AS graph: a directed graph that links ASNs to their upstream counterparts. In his VB2014 paper, Dhia explains how this graph can be used to detect ASNs whose IP addresses host malicious content.

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Report: VB100 comparative review on Windows 8.1

40 out of 48 tested products earn VB100 award.

If you follow the security news, you may believe that all you have to worry about are nation states using zero-day vulnerabilities to infiltrate networks and computers with stealth malware.

The reality is, of course, more complicated, and if this is indeed your biggest worry, your systems are exceptionally well secured. In practice, a malicious link is easily clicked, a malicious download easily mistaken for a legitimate one, and a patch easily missed. Hence anti-virus remains as important a layer of defence as ever.

To find out which products are up to the job, John Hawes and his team tested no fewer than 48 products on Windows 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship operating system. 14 of these were classified as corporate products, with the remaining 34 designed to be used by consumers.

All corporate products, and all but eight consumer products performed well enough to achieve a VB100 award, demonstrating that, in their default state, they were capable of detecting all malware from the WildList without erroneously alerting on files from a 'clean set' of legitimate files.

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Out-of-band patch released for all Windows versions

Kerberos bug means one set of credentials suffices to rule them all.

If you are a Windows systems administrator, the content of this blog post will (hopefully) not come as a surprise. If it does, you should finish reading it quickly and make some time to apply the out-of-band patch MS14-068 to all Windows systems under your control as soon as possible.

The patch fixes CVE-2014-6324, a checksum vulnerability in the Kerberos authentication protocol. It means that anyone with a user account on a local domain could elevate privileges to those of the domain administrator account.

Kerberos
The Kerberos protocol. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The vulnerability has been rated 'critical', the highest possible severity rating, which is uncommon for privilege escalation vulnerabilities. However, the rating appears to be justified, as the vulnerability can be exploited remotely. It means that an attacker targeting an organization's network only needs to get hold of one valid set of credentials to take full control of the domain.

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VB2014 paper: Optimized mal-ops. Hack the ad network like a boss

Why buying ad space makes perfect sense for those wanting to spread malware.

Over the next few months, we will be sharing VB2014 conference papers as well as video recordings of the presentations. Today, we have added 'Optimized mal-ops. Hack the ad network like a boss' by Bromium researchers Vadim Kotov and Rahul Kashyap.

Malicious advertisements ('malvertising') go back more than a decade, yet in recent months we have seen a surge in these attacks, including the ' Kyle and Stan' campaign, which affected Yahoo, YouTube and Amazon, among others, and the campaign that used ads bought at DoubleClick and Zedo to spread malware via the website of some Israeli newspapers.

This surge was predicted in Vadim Kotov and Rahul Kashyap's VB2014 paper - the paper also explains why it makes sense for cybercriminals to turn to malvertising.

The paper includes a case study on malicious ads served on YouTube.

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