The idea of GPU accelerated applications is one that has caught the attention of many developers over the years since we first heard about it. It is a great advancement in technology that allows you to use the parallel processing and faster memory of a GPU to perform complex tasks much faster than most CPUs can. This is great for software that needs that extra boost like AI, video or photo editing and… Malware. Yes it is also possible to develop malware that uses OpenCL and Cuda (NVIDIA’s flavor of GPU programing language.
There is a common belief that Linux and BSD operating systems are, by their nature, much more secure than anything Microsoft has ever released. The problem with this belief is that it is simply not true. Linux, BSD and Windows can all be made more secure than they are by default, but there is work involved and there is a tradeoff of ease of use when you start locking things down. Many web hosts running Linux or BSD do not really have the time or available man power to really lock their host systems down which leaves them vulnerable to a number of attacks.
Nothing makes a Friday fun like hearing about a brand new form of Malware. Well that is what we have for you on today. It seems that an RSA researcher was picking around the darker places on the Internet and stumbled upon a new bit of malware that, if real, could be a serious problem in the near future. RSA researcher Eli Marcus is calling the new malware Pandemiya and claims that it is 25,000 lines of previously unused code.
Imagine opening up a webpage when suddenly you see a notice saying all of your files have been locked. You have a limited amount of time to send a ransom or you will lose all of your data. This is what many people faced when the CryptoLocker Malware hit the PC world by surprise. Even now with many command and control servers down this threat still looms out there. Now imagine that instead of your PC it was your phone. The number of people that actually backup their phones in any real way is very small. A bit of malware like this could be disastrous to some.
Malware and breaches are inevitable. Anyone that has been in security knows that this is a simple fact. Every day there are hundreds of attempted (and successful) attacks executed against businesses, consumers, and the government. These attacks have been traditionally met with an incident-response thought process. IT departments monitor their networks for suspicious activity and respond when/if they find someone who is either attempting to or actually has broken in. Sadly, this is probably not the best way to handle security.
Cisco has released the latest report in which they presented the results of research on malware on mobile platforms.
While it is commonly understood that Malware is a major threat to anyone with a computer, tablet or phone, what is not acknowledged is that Malware is much more than that. In the late-1990s a bit or Malware was released that actually infected the basic operating system that runs every computer, the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). This bit of malware called Chernobyl was designed to wipe a systems BIOS on a preset date.
One of the things that Apple has always held over Google’s head is the amount of malware that is present in the Google Play Store. It seems that each year the number and complexity of the malware uploaded to the Play Store grows. Much of this is because the Play Store is not as restrictive as the App Store. Apple’s walled garden has protected them from a storm of mobile malware for a long time… well there was that one attempt by Charlie Miller a while ago. Back then Miller used his developer account to submit an app that was actually malware. It got Miller banned from the Apple Developer club which made the news for a little while.
Remember how everyone was up in arms over the existence of a “Master Key” bug that existed in all versions of the Android operating system? Well it looks like someone has found a way to use the flaw to their advantage. Symantec has found two apps (available in China) that use the Master Key flaw to spread a new form of malware. To give a little background the original flaw was publicly disclosed by Bluebox security on the 3rd of July 2013. It was reported to Google in February 2013. The flaw allows a malicious individual (or group) to alter an application without affecting the apps cryptographic signature. This means that the app looks exactly like a legitimate app bypassing the security at the app store and the phone level.
The Russian team from Dr. Web today announced they have spotted a new Trojan for Android, which they named Android, well TheAndroid.DDoS.1.origin. It's not clear how the Trojan spreads - it is assumed that the authors use social engineering; affected users thought that they were installing legitimate software from Google on their smartphones. This is a very common tactic in the relatively open Google Play store and has been one of the problems that both Apple and Microsoft have used against Google in their battle for smartphone supremacy.