Throwback Thursday: The Updating Game

This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back to 1997, when automatic updates of AV software were not the norm.

We all know that the malware scene has changed almost beyond recognition in the last 25 years — one clear indication of that is the fact that, in 1991, we were being advised by the experts to update our anti-virus software on no less than a quarterly basis: four times per year.


Nominations opened for second Péter Ször Award

'Brilliant mind and a true gentleman' commemorated through annual award for technical security research.

During VB2014 in Seattle, we presented the first annual Péter Ször Award to a group of ESET researchers for their work on 'Operation Windigo'. The award was set up to commemorate of the life and work of security researcher Péter Ször, who passed away in November 2013.

Péter Ször contributed almost 40 articles to Virus Bulletin over the years, spoke at several VB conferences, and served for more than ten years on the VB advisory board. He was also well known as the author of the popular The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense — a book which, for many, served as their first introduction to and basic grounding in computer security. Most importantly, he was known by everyone who encountered him for his great kindness and generosity.


VB2014 paper: Quantifying maliciousness in Alexa top-ranked domains

Paul Royal looks at malware served through the most popular websites.

Though VB2014 took place nine months ago, most of the papers presented during the conference remain very relevant. Paul Royal's paper 'Quantifying maliciousness in Alexa top-ranked domains' is no exception.

Large websites serving malware through direct compromises or through compromises of the ad networks they use (that being the subject of another VB2014 presentation) continue to make the news. Moreover, those serving the malware, typically through exploit kits, work hard to make sure that it isn't picked up by automated scans. For that reason alone, Paul's presentation is worth watching.


Latest spam filter test sees significant drop in catch rates

Despite a drop in catch rates, 15 products earn a VBSpam award, with four earning a VBSpam+ award.

Spam is notoriously volatile and thus, while we like to make the news headlines with our tests as much as anyone, we would warn against reading too much into the fact that the percentage of spam missed by spam filters almost doubled in the most recent VBSpam test.

In the test, which ran for 16 days in April and May, filters missed an average of 0.4% of emails — up from 0.18% in February. Though these numbers might not appear all that worrying, very low delivery rates are part of spammers' business models. With a lot of spam containing or linking to malware, lower catch rates aren't just a nuisance.


VB Conference

VB2015 Prague, 30 Sept - 2 Oct 2015: Covering the global threat landscape The VB conference is a major highlight of the security calendar, with many of its regular attendees citing it as the IT security event of the year. The 25th Virus Bulletin International Conference (VB2015) takes place 30 September to 2 October 2015 at the Clarion Congress Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic.

Previous VB conference delegates said:

‘This was my first VB - it will definitely not be the last!!’


Despite a drop in the average spam catch rate of products in this month's VBSpam review, all but one of the 16 full anti-spam solutions tested achieved a VBSpam award, with four of them achieving a VBSpam+ award.. | Read more...


The latest VB100 comparative on the evergreen Windows 7 resulted in a pleasingly high success rate with just a few products failing to make the grade for certification. | Read more...

Date Event Location
Jul 08 - 10 USENIX Annual Technical Conference Santa Clara, CA, USA
Aug 01 - 06 Black Hat USA Las Vegas, NV, USA
Aug 04 - 05 BSides Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV, USA
Aug 06 - 09 Defcon 23 Las Vegas, NV, USA
Sept 09 - 11 44CON London London, UK
Sept 23 - 27 DerbyCon Louisville, KY, USA
Sept 30 - Oct 2 VB2015 Prague, Czech Republic
Oct 05 - 07 BruCON Ghent, Belgium
Oct 05 - 07 VB2016 Denver, CO, USA


virusbtn:For Throwback Thursday we re-published two articles on anti-virus updates, by Jakub Kaminski and @vmyths
Thu Jul 02 12:02:59

virusbtn:New blog: Last chance to register for VB2015 with an Early Bird discount
Tue Jun 30 12:11:57

virusbtn:New blog: Latest spam filter test sees significant drop in catch rates
Fri Jun 26 13:54:31

virusbtn:At Word to the Wise, @wise_laura looks at three current cases involving the CAN-SPAM law
Fri Jun 26 11:05:18