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German government warns users off of Internet Explorer. Authorities in Germany are advising users to consider switching away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser in the wake of a series of attacks targeting an unpatched vulnerability. According to a German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) advisory translated by Reuters, officials believe that the "fast spreading" attack could put users at risk for remote malware infections. Users are being advised to use other browsers which are not considered vulnerable to the attack. The statements from the BSI come just one day after Microsoft said that it was launching an investigation into the attack. The company said that it would be looking into the matter, but no word was given on when a patch could be released.

"We have received reports of only a small number of targeted attacks and are working to develop a security update to address this issue," the company said in its advisory. Internet Explorer Users: Please Read This. Microsoft is urging Windows users who browse the Web with Internet Explorer to use a free tool called EMET to block attacks against a newly-discovered and unpatched critical security hole in IE versions 7, 8 and 9. But some experts say that advice falls short, and that users can better protect themselves by surfing with an alternative browser until Microsoft issues a proper patch for the vulnerability. The application page of EMET. EMET, short for the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, is a tool that can help Windows users beef up the security of commonly used applications, whether they are made by a third-party vendor or by Microsoft.

EMET allows users to force applications to use one or both of two key security defenses built into Windows Vista and Windows 7 — Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP). Before I get into the how-tos on EMET, a few caveats. To proceed with EMET, download the program and install it. UK established permanent cybersexurity team. WhatsApp is broken, really broken | fileperms. WhatsApp, the extremely popular instant messaging service for smartphones that delivers more than ~1billion messages per day has some serious security problems. I will try to give a detailed analysis on some of the issues. Encryption Until August 2012, messages sent through the WhatsApp service were not encrypted in any way, everything was sent in plaintext.

When using WhatsApp in a public WiFi network, anybody was able to sniff incoming and outgoing messages (including file transfers). The company claims that the latest version of the software will encrypt messages – without giving any details on what cryptographic methods they are using (so it is safe to assume they did not do it the right way, using Public-key cryptography) . Update: their encryption is broken However, the users mobile phone number is still being transferred in plaintext: Authentication The authentication is a security nightmare.

On iOS devices the password is generated from the devices WLAN MAC address: Privacy Conclusion. If you don't really need Java, get rid of it. Got Java? Even if you've applied the urgent out-of-band patch from Oracle, you may want to disable or uninstall Java itself. It turns out that the patch has its own flaws that make Java vulnerable to new attacks. According to security experts, Oracle's Java patch resolves the multiple "zero-day" vulnerabilities currently being exploited by attacks in the wild. However, it also leaves open a vulnerability--which was discovered and reported to Oracle earlier this year--that could allow an attacker to bypass the Java sandbox protection and execute malicious code on the target system. Oracle's Java has become the new low-hanging fruit. Attackers used to target Adobe products as the weak link in the security chain, but Adobe has worked diligently to improve the security of its products, and--more importantly--the speed and predictability of its patches and updates.

As a result, the focus has shifted to Oracle, and Oracle seems ill prepared to respond. Google buys browser-based malware scanner VirusTotal. Google has acquired Web-based URL scanner VirusTotal in what may be an effort to improve browser security. VirusTotal's service is pretty simple: Just visit the Website and either select a file to scan or paste in a URL. Also available are a Windows desktop application and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. In a blog post, VirusTotal says it will operate independently from Google and will keep its partnerships with other antivirus companies and security experts.

The company says Google can help improve the service and "ensure that our tools are always ready, right when you need them. " Google told TechCrunch in a statement that it can provide VirusTotal with "the infrastructure they need to ensure that their service continues to improve. " The terms of the deal weren't disclosed. This is just speculation, but the value in VirusTotal may be in its partnerships with antivirus companies and the dataset it creates for all scans. Adobe confirms Windows 8 users vulnerable to active Flash exploits. Microsoft's Windows 8 is vulnerable to attack by exploits that hackers have been aiming at PCs for several weeks, Adobe confirmed Friday. Microsoft said it will not patch the bug in Flash Player until what it called "GA," for "general availability. " That would be Oct. 26, when Windows 8 hits retail and PCs powered by the new operating system go on sale.

"We will update Flash in Windows 8 via Windows Update as needed," a spokeswoman said in a reply to questions. "The current version of Flash in the Windows 8 RTM build does not have the latest fix, but we will have a security update coming through Windows Update in the GA timeframe. " Microsoft, not Adobe, is responsible for patching Flash Player in Windows 8 because the company took a page from Google's playbook and integrated the popular media software with Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), the new operating system's browser. Adobe actually told some users about Windows 8's Flash situation two weeks ago.

Firefox 15.0.1 fixes bug that exposed websites visited in private browsing mode. Mozilla released Firefox 15.0.1 on Thursday in order to fix a bug that potentially exposed the websites visited by users while in "Private Browsing" mode. The goal of the "Private Browsing" mode is to enable Firefox users to surf the Web without leaving any traces of the visited websites behind. According to a support article on Mozilla's website, while running in Private Browsing mode the browser shouldn't save visited pages, form and search bar entries, passwords, download entries, cookies, or temporary Internet files, which are collectively known as cached Web content. The cached Web content consists of images, script files and other resources downloaded automatically by the browser from visited websites. These files are saved and loaded directly from the disk when a Web page is revisited in order to decrease the page's overall loading time.

Instructions on how to clear the entire Internet cache in Firefox are described in a support article on Mozilla's website. TechWeekEurope UKGoogle Hackers Use Eight Zero-Days To Hit Defence Firms. The same hacking group that hit Google in the Aurora attacks of 2009 have been targeting defence firms and exploiting a massive eight zero-day vulnerabilities along the way. Dubbed the Elderwood Project, the offensive operation is believed to be the work of a well-funded group of hackers, possibly a nation state. They are targeting organisations in the defence supply chain, including shipping companies, aeronautic firms and energy suppliers, possibly in order to attack top-tier contractors. Symantec said it had never seen any single group exploiting so many zero-days – unknown, unpatched flaws – as four were used in attacks in the last four months alone.

The group managed to find zero-days in some of the most widely-used software around, including Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. “The group seemingly has an unlimited supply of zero-day vulnerabilities. Over a 30-day period compromised websites were serving up back-door Trojans exploiting three zero-days. Mobile security threats rise. Security threats to your mobile device lurk as malware, fraudulent lures such as SMS spoofing, and toll fraud, but they're all becoming favorites of digital crooks as people move away from using PCs and toward smartphones and tablets, according to a new report.

Such cybercrime is worth big money, whether it happens on your PC or smartphone. Cybercrime in 2011 cost consumers $110 billion worldwide and $21 billion in the United States, according to Symantec's recently released annual Cybercrime Report (PDF). But online crime may soon cost us more. The frequency of mobile threats doubled between 2010 and 2011, Symantec says, and 35 percent of online adults worldwide have either lost or had their mobile device stolen, exposing them to identity and data theft. It sounds like your cell phone is open to some nasty threats, but is mobile security really something you should be worrying about? No doubt, mobile devices are the next big target for malicious actors looking to make a quick buck.