Week in Geek: Google Finds 9,500 New Malicious Websites Per Day

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

By Akemi Iwaya on June 24th, 2012

Our last edition of WIG for June is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as a new printer bomb malware that wastes reams of paper, Google bars a website that converts YouTube songs into MP3s, Ubuntu plans to drop GRUB 2 to implement UEFI SecureBoot compatibility, and more.

Image courtesy of Google Online Security Blog.

Weekly News Links

Image courtesy of Google Online Security Blog.

  • Google finds 9,500 new malicious Web sites a day
    Search giant details how much malware its Safe Browsing keeps away from users and hints at scanning Chrome extensions.
  • Market for zero-day vulnerabilities incentivizes programmers to sabotage their own work
    In this Forbes editorial, Bruce Schneier points out a really terrible second-order effect of the governments and companies who buy unpublished vulnerabilites from hackers and keep them secret so they can use them for espionage and sabotage.
  • DDoS becoming more ‘sophisticated’, damaging
    Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) have matured with hackers blending different attack techniques and becoming more damaging, observers note. They add that defenses need to evolve to complement infrastructure security that has already been commoditized.”
  • Beware Scare Tactics for Mobile Security Apps
    It may not be long before your mobile phone is beset by the same sorts of obnoxious, screen-covering, scaremongering ads pimping security software that once inundated desktop users before pop-up blockers became widely-used.
  • New Android malware disguised as security app
    Android Security Suite Premium — loaded with Zeus variant ZitMo — is a threat to companies given the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.
  • Encoding malicious PDFs avoids detection
    Security researcher Brandon Dixon has discovered that attackers can thwart detection by most common anti-virus software if they encode malicious PDF files in the XDP format. XDP is an XML-based file format which includes the PDF as a Base64-encoded data stream. XDP files are opened by Adobe Reader just like a normal PDF would be and can therefore infect systems in the same way.
  • Printer bomb malware wastes reams of paper, sparks pandemonium
    A recently unleashed piece of malware is wreaking havoc in some enterprises by causing all their printers to print gibberish until they run out of paper, researchers from Symantec said.
  • Exploit for unpatched IE hole released
    An exploit for the recently disclosed critical hole in Microsoft XML Core Services is now publicly available as a module for the Metasploit exploit framework.
  • Report: Espionage malware sends data to China
    ESET Security researchers have discovered an espionage worm, believed to have originated from China, that targets and steals files running AutoCAD software.
  • Google: Govt censorship trend ‘troubling’
    Google has released its fifth installment of its Transparency Report detailing the number of requests made by governments to remove online content from its services, and with it, notes its “alarm” that free expression on the Web appears to be increasingly curbed by countries–notably Western democracies not known for censorship.
  • Cybersecurity education should start early
    Educating students on cybersecurity should start as early as possible, considering they are being exposed to the latest technologies at an increasingly young age, say industry watchers. They suggest an integrated, holistic approach for the curriculum but are divided as to whether hacking skills need to be taught.
  • Google bars site that converts YouTube songs into MP3s
    Google tells operators of YouTube-MP3.org that by converting YouTube music videos into MP3 files, they violate the site’s terms of service and risk “legal consequences.”
  • Adobe updates Flash Player 11.3 to fix Firefox crashing problem
    Adobe has released an updated version of its proprietary Flash Player 11.3 plugin to address a bug that caused Firefox 13 on Windows to crash for some users. The problem is believed to have been related to the recently introduced Protected Mode for the Windows version of Flash Player and the open source web browser.
  • Shumway, community-based Mozilla-supported, exciting experiment to handle Flash
    Mozilla Labs is working on the community-based and Mozilla-supported Shumway, a “HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient renderer for the SWF file format without native code assistance”, thus removing the need to install Flash for when dealing with flash content.
  • New “Australis” theme for Firefox previewed
    A developer at Mozilla has created a new test build of Firefox 16 that features a preview of the project’s upcoming “Australis” user interface for the open source web browser. See our ETC post about the ‘Australis Build’ here.
  • Mozilla working on WebKit-based “Junior” browser for iPad
    Mozilla is developing a new mobile web browser called “Junior” to compete with the built-in Safari browser on Apple’s iPad tablet.
  • Mozilla debuts ‘ridiculously simple’ web site creator Thimble
    Simple Web site creator allows Internet users to publish sites written in HTML and CSS from the browser window within minutes.
  • Is ChromeOS Heading to the Raspberry Pi?
    Recent commits to the ChromiumOS source code appear to hint at work on porting the OS to run on the $25 Raspberry Pi development board.
  • Ubuntu Plans to Drop GRUB 2 for Implementing UEFI SecureBoot Compatibility
    Canonical has been researching on UEFI SecureBoot for quite some time and now they have proposed a new solution to implement it. Intel’s efilinux loader with some modifications will be used instead of GRUB 2 to add a relatively simple menu interface. So there will be no GRUB 2 by default on systems with secure boot enabled.
  • Google confronts extinction of more than 3,000 languages
    Google-backed initiative the Endangered Languages Project aims to help preserve the many languages slated to become extinct within the next 100 years.

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Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 06/24/12
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