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.
'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.
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.
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.