This time of the year is always interesting. It is the time when Labs looks back on the past half-year to summarize what has happened in the threat landscape. I can proudly announce that the report for H2 2012 has been published and is free for you to download and read!
The report is once again packed with highly interesting reading on the threats that we all face when using the net. And this report is not just a repetition of what has been published in the media. A compilation like this makes it easier to spot the trends and the big picture. Thanks guys for putting it all together! And of course for the continuous research effort that it is based on. (I’m not going to list all the names here, the full list of contributors can be found in the report.)
Here’s some teasers…
Botnets. ZeroAccess was easily the most prevalent botnet we saw in 2012, with infections most visible in France, United States and Sweden. It is also one of the most actively developed and perhaps the most profitable botnet of last year. Read more about ZeroAccess and botnets in general at page 15 – 20.
Exploits. Java was the main target for most of the exploit-based attacks we saw during the past half year. This is aptly demonstrated in the statistics for the top 10 most prevalent detections recorded by our cloud lookup systems. Learn more about exploits at page 25-27.
Banking trojans. With regards to banking-trojans, a botnet known as Zeus—which is also the name for the malware used to infect the user’s machines—is the main story for 2012. Browse to page 21-24 to read how the traditional way to rob a bank has become hopelessly old-fashioned.
The web. Common sense is still important when surfing, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to spot the dangerous places. Ad-networks are integrated in an increasing number of sites and can distribute malware through web portals that should be trustworthy. More about the web’s dangerous places at page 28-31.
Mobile devices. Did you know that there is malware on all commonly used mobile platforms? But Android has the questionable honor to lead the pack, and the others are far behind. The full story is on page 35-37.
The threat report covers all this and a lot more. Why not make sure that you are up to date on the threat scenario by continuing to the report. It is highly recommended reading.
It’s going to be a busy month for sports lovers from all corners of the world. Hockey fans are currently being treated to both the NHL playoffs and the IIHF world cup, and the coming month will see things like the Champions League final, the US Masters, the NBA playoffs, and to top it all off, the European Championships in football. This presents a problem for many of us. Particularly during the summer, we travel a lot and just might be unable to find a TV screen showing our favorite events. So does this mean we have to miss Kevin Durant sink yet another 3-pointer or be content with next-day highlights of the CL final between Real and Atletico? Thankfully not! The internet allows us to stream games online and watch your favorite matches anywhere, whether at home or under a beach umbrella. Unfortunately, your excitement can often be hindered by messages like “Sorry, this content is unavailable in your country.” This is known as geo-blocking, where the services check your IP address (the unique address of your device) and only allow access if it is located in a specific country. The obvious solution then is to change your IP address to a country where you can access the service. And the easiest and quickest way to do this is with a VPN. How Freedome VPN works The way VPNs work is very simple. Instead of connecting to the internet directly, a VPN first directs your traffic into a secure and private tunnel. The rest of the web won’t see where your traffic enters the tunnel, making your real location and IP address hidden. A VPN like Freedome also lets you choose where the other end of that tunnel is, and THIS determines where any website will think you are. Pretending to be virtually in another country is that simple! How to use Freedome VPN to stream sports Follow these simple instructions to watch your favorite sports live everywhere! Download and install Freedome VPN In the Freedome app, tap the location at the bottom of the screen, and choose your home country where the stream you want to see is available Navigate to the website of the streaming service or search for a legal live stream of the sports event online If on a mobile device, remember to turn “location” off, as some websites use this as an additional method of pinpointing your location It’s as simple as that! More about Freedome VPN Freedome is a hybrid VPN, available for both mobile and desktop platforms. In addition to letting users access content restricted to other countries, it protects your anonymity from websites you visit, and prevents even your internet service provider from snooping on your online activities. There are even a few features lacking in other VPN products, such as automatic blocking of intrusive tracking by advertisers, and protection from malicious websites. Get Freedome from our website to enjoy unrestricted access to the internet while protecting your privacy on the side!
Collision is coming to a close today, and what a week it’s been. F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer Mikko Hyppönen was there earlier in the week, and gave a compelling talk on the evolution of cyber crime. He also gave a quick post-talk interview, so check out this Quickfire article to learn who Mikko thinks deserves a slap in the face. F-Secure also ran a basic Wi-Fi experiment at Collision*, similar to ones conducted in 2014 and 2015. While the experiment conducted at Collision had a smaller scope than our previous investigations, it does prove that people are still pretty promiscuous when it comes to connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots without the proper protection, such as a VPN. In the first two days of Collision, we observed nearly one hundred people connecting to a phony Wi-Fi hotspot. And none of them were encrypting their traffic. Connecting to a phony Wi-Fi hotspot can open the door to all kinds of problems. Hackers have been known to use similar setups to help them “sniff” people’s Internet traffic, allowing them to do things like read personal messages, log the websites people visit, and even steal passwords and other sensitive information. So if you make a habit of using public Wi-Fi hotspots – whether you’re at a tech conference, an airport, a café, or a hotel – you should give Freedome a try to keep you and your private data safe and secure. [Image by Erin Pettigrew | Flickr]
The sun is out, the days are longer, and flowers are blooming. Spring has sprung - and with it, the perfect inspiration for cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of clutter. Whether or not you tackle your home this spring, at least take care of cleaning your PC and mobile devices - they need it too. Over time, computers and devices get bogged down by use and cluttered up with files you don't really need. This built-up junk makes them slow and unstable. Often people think they need to go buy a new device, when actually they just need a tune-up. With a little optimizing, you can get your old device running like new again. Here are the top three ways a good spring cleaning will help you get more out of the life of your device. 1. More space Are you running low on space on your device? No matter how much disk space a device has when it's new, over time it starts to run out. Apps, app data, large media files, downloads, and other unused user data start to litter your device. You might find your device is out of space for your photos, or you can't install any more apps. Cleaning up this excess junk will free up space for the content that you really want. 2. Faster performance Is it taking too long for your PC or phone to boot up? Too many processes running in the background that are dragging down your gaming or media experience? If your device is running slow or if apps are taking too long to start up, you could use an optimization for faster start-up times, browsing, file operations, and making your apps run smoother. 3. Better battery life Wouldn't it be nice if your batter would last a little longer? Your device's battery gets consumed by unnecessary apps and processes. By closing those out, you can extend your battery life so you don't need to plug in as often. Now, for the cleanup. There are some easy things you can do to get a cleaner, faster, more efficient device that's got space for the content you care about. Here are some easy steps: Photos and videos are some of the biggest space takers. You can free up a lot of space just by going through and individually deleting out the photos you don't want or need anymore from your gallery. Or you can back all of them up to another hard drive or cloud service, then remove them from your device altogether. Uninstall apps you don't use (Be strong! If you really need it down the road, you can always install it again). Open your Downloads folder and check what's there - chances are there's a lot of stuff you don't need anymore that you can delete. Clear your cached data from apps and browsers. This data is saved to enable quicker processing, but over time it all adds up and bogs your system down. Tip: Aside from the photos and videos, the quickest, easiest way to take care of the above items is to run a free cleaning with F-Secure Booster. It will get rid of all the old trashed files, temporary and log files and unused user data, to free up space for the stuff that really matters. The PC version of F-Secure Booster even has a software update tool to make sure all critical software and driver updates are taken care of. Ah, the beauty of spring...when everything old is new again!