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Broadband subscribers ‘on the increase’ June 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet.
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At the end of March 2007, the number of British broadband subscribers reached almost 14 million, new statistics have shown.

Research by Point Topic’s Global Broadband Statistics service highlight that UK broadband users rose to 13,953,000, while across the globe the number is now 298 million.

Eastern Europe experienced strong growth, recording a rise in subscribers of more than ten per cent, while Greece expanded by 26.8 per cent during the first quarter of 2007. Katja Mueller, research director at Point Topic, said: “Given the prevailing growth rates it is safe to assume that the number of broadband subscribers has now passed 300 million.”

France was seen to be the main mover within the top ten number of countries, organised in rank by the number of subscribers. It grew to overtake South Korea and jumped into fifth place. The Guardian states that demand for broadband in the UK has been driven by competition between provider Sky and free offers from firms such as TalkTalk.

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Children get chance to mix in Sarajevo June 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle.
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Thousands of Bosnian children have descended on the capital of Sarajevo this week for the annual Kids Fest, offering some a rare chance to make friends across the country’s ethnic divide.

Bosnia was split into autonomous halves at the end of the 1992-95 war. Pupils on the Serb side might never meet Muslims or Croats their own age, while some schools in the Muslim Croat area have separate entrances and teaching times for students depending on ethnicity.

“When I see that children here have no chance to socialize with each other, not even within the same school at some places, I think of the apartheid I saw in South Africa,” said Susanne Prahl-Landzo, a German film producer who settled in Bosnia after the war and helped set up Kids Fest in 2004. “If I cannot influence politicians, I can influence the children, show them the world can be much more beautiful.”

The festival, whose motto is “Together,” is in Sarajevo, where over 1,000 children died during the 43-month siege by Bosnian-Serb forces in the war. Artists from around the world teach children how to make puppets, play drums, paint and sculpt.

Prahl-Landzo said the biggest success was winning over the parents. Reluctant at first to let their children mix, they changed their minds after seeing how happy the kids were and let them go again. “This is how this festival grows,” she said, adding that children sent letters of thanks throughout the year. The festival is sponsored by international aid agencies, embassies, ministries and private businesses, which transport the children to Sarajevo for free.

SpreadBanker.A worm uses malicious video on YouTube June 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet Safety, YouTube.
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A new worm, SpreadBanker.A, uses a YouTube video to trick users and spread, according to PandaLabs. The worm has two components. When the user runs the first of these, it connects to the YouTube page and displays a video. The problem is that at the same time it is downloading the second part of the worm.

SpreadBanker.A is programmed to steal passwords entered in several online banks. Similarly, it can steal the login details for a range of games including Age Of Mythology, GTA, Unreal Tournament, WarCraft or Final Fantasy.

It also makes modifications to the Windows registry and creates copies of itself in several folders belonging to P2P file-sharing applications. These copies have enticing names such as “sexogratis” (free sex) or “crackwindowsvista” to attract users of these networks and spread.

The worm also modifies the hosts file to block access to several web pages related with security products.

“Malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated. In this case it combines the propagation features of worms with the ability of trojans to steal passwords. This way, cyber-crooks hope to squeeze the maximum profit out of each infection”, explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

Panda Software’s TruPrevent Technologies have detected and eliminated this malicious code without having previously identified it, and users with these technologies installed have been protected at all times.

More information about this and other threats is available in Panda Software’s Encyclopedia at http://www.pandasoftware.com/virus_info/encyclopedia/

All users that want to know whether their computers have been attacked by this or other malicious code can use TotalScan or NanoScan beta, the free, online solutions available at http://www.infectedornot.com.

Pirates of the Caribbean Trojan gets out June 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet Safety.
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PandaLabs has detected a wave of spam containing the Pirabbean.A trojan. This junk mail tries to attract users’ attention with references to the latest episode of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga. The email includes an image that looks like promotional material for the film and claims to contain a trailer. The message subject simply says: “Pirates of the Caribbean: At world’s end”.

The mail includes two links that supposedly point to trailers. However, if users click on them, they are really downloading Pirabbean.A.

“This is another example of social engineering in action. Malware creators try to entice users into infecting themselves. For this reason, users should always be cautious and not even open messages from unknown senders, no matter how tempted or curious they are,” advises Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

When the trojan is run, it shows an error message. This claims that there has been a problem playing the trailer as the computer does not have the necessary codec, and users are advised to visit the film’s official website.

“If after clicking on the link nothing happened, users would be suspicious. So in this way, the trojan hides its malicious action and prevents users from checking whether they are infected,” explains Corrons.

Pirabbean.A is also designed to download a dialer, detected by PandaLabs as Dialer.KGC. As with all dialers, it is designed to switch the dial-up Internet connection to a premium rate number.

The trojan also edits some Internet Explorer settings, adding two URLs to the Favorites. If users visit these pages, they will be infected with other dialers.

Panda Software’s intelligent TruPrevent Technologies have detected and blocked this trojan without having previously identified it, and users with these technologies installed have been protected from this worm from the moment it appeared.

All users that want to know whether their computers have been attacked by these or other malicious code can use TotalScan or NanoScan beta, the free, online solutions available at: http://www.infectedornot.com.

Banker trojans imitating phishing attacks June 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet Safety.
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A new wave of trojans is using phishing-type techniques to steal users’ bank details. BanKey.A and BankFake.A are the latest such examples, according to Panda Software. When run, both trojans show users a page that looks like an online bank website for them to enter their bank passwords and account numbers. However, if users do so, they will be revealing this data to malware creators.

“The danger of these trojans lies in the fact that they can be modified very easily to affect different banks, payment platforms, online casinos, etc.”, explains Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs.

To ensure users don’t suspect the fraud, once they have entered their data, the malicious codes show an error message apologizing for a temporary error. BankFake.A, then, redirects the users to the bank’s legitimate website, where they can repeat the process. This way, users won’t have any reasons to think they have been scammed.

Stolen data is sent to malware creators by email. BankFake.A uses a secure SMTP connection through port 465 and sends out encrypted data to ensure no one else can access it. BanKey.A, however, sends data to a Gmail account, using a template created by the trojan itself.

“This type of malicious code has many advantages for cyber-crooks compared to traditional phishing attacks. Firstly, they are simpler, since malware creators do not need to hire a hosting service to host the spoofed web page. As there is no web hosting, there are fewer chances of them being tracked down and they ensure the success of their crimes does not depend on external providers”, explains Luis Corrons.

Another common feature of these two codes is the fact that they install on computers under the guise of a Windows Internet Explorer shortcut.

Both can reach targeted users as an email attachment or as part of an Internet download.  Finally, BankFake.A is downloaded onto computers by the Downloader.OPY trojan.

All users that want to know whether their computers have been attacked by these or other malicious code can use TotalScan or NanoScan beta, the free, online solutions available at: http://www.infectedornot.com.