Summary: Facebook continues to maintain that security is a primary focus as its Anti-Virus Marketplace gets stocked with more solutions from the likes of Avira, Kaspersky, and Webroot.
Facebook has announced that it is expanding its Anti-Virus Marketplace through the addition of seven more security solutions providers to its coalition.
That group consists of Avast, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda, Total Defense, and Webroot.
Launched earlier this year, the Anti-Virus Marketplace is the product of a partnership with anti-virus software providers that offer Facebook users with free software to keep their computers secure.
Facebook reps said that approximately 30 million people have already visited the Anti-Virus Marketplace since its unveiling in April.
In July, the world’s largest social network continued to develop upon its security agenda with theintroduction of Malware Checkpoint, which enables Facebook to direct users who think their computer might be infected to sites where they can get free anti-virus software.
According to a blog post on the Facebook Security blog on Tuesday morning, one of the primary objectives now for these partners is to help improve Facebook’s URL blacklist system, which scans trillions of clicks per day and consults the databases of all Anti-Virus Marketplace partners to ensure sites are safe.
Effective security must be a cooperative effort; by adding these new partners to the Facebook Security family we are sure we can keep our community even better protected from threats both on Facebook and elsewhere on the web.
In addition to these new partners, some of Facebook’s existing partners — including Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos, and Symantec — will begin offering anti‑virus software for mobile devices. Their free anti-virus software is also available for PC and Mac.
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Suppose you check your e-mail one day and find a message from your bank. You’ve gotten e-mail from them before, but this one seems suspicious, especially since it threatens to close your account if you don’t reply immediately. What do you do?
This message and others like it are examples of phishing, a method of online identity theft. In addition to stealing personal and financial data, phishers can infect computers with viruses and convince people to participate unwittingly in money laundering.
Most people associate phishing with e-mail messages that spoof, or mimic, banks, credit card companies or other business like Amazon and eBay. These messages look authentic and attempt to get victims to reveal their personal information. But e-mail messages are only one small piece of a phishing scam.
From beginning to end, the process involves:
- Planning. Phishers decide which business to target and determine how to get e-mail addresses for the customers of that business. They often use the same mass-mailing and address collection techniques as spammers.
- Setup. Once they know which business to spoof and who their victims are, phishers create methods for delivering the message and collecting the data. Most often, this involves e-mail addresses and a Web page.
- Attack. This is the step people are most familiar with — the phisher sends a phony message that appears to be from a reputable source.
- Collection. Phishers record the information victims enter into Web pages or popup windows.
- Identity Theft and Fraud. The phishers use the information they’ve gathered to make illegal purchases or otherwise commit fraud. As many as a fourth of the victims never fully recover [Source:Information Week].
If the phisher wants to coordinate another attack, he evaluates the successes and failures of the completed scam and begins the cycle again.
Phishing scams take advantages of software and security weaknesses on both the client and server sides. But even the most high-tech phishing scams work like old-fashioned con jobs, in which a hustler convinces his mark that he is reliable and trustworthy. Next, we’ll look at the steps phishers take to convince victims that their messages are legitimate.
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Summary: Apple has updated its XProtect definitions after a new malware variant appeared, targeting Russian social network users. One security expert says the increase in OS X-specific malware is “troubling.” However, the increase in Mac malware should not be overblown.
Earlier this week, Apple updated XProtect, the built-in OS X anti-malware service, with new definitions to help combat a new Trojan designed for the Mac operating system, dubbed Trojan.SMSSend.3666.
While already in wide circulation of Windows users, the Trojan made its debut on OS X machines in this new malware strain. Trojan.SMSSend.3666 is a fake installer application that claims to play music across Russian social network VK.com, which can be downloaded from a variety of sources, and attempts to deceive the user into entering a cell number to activate the software. In doing so, it subscribes the cell user to a chargeable subscription service that debits mobile phone accounts regularly.
Apple updated XProtect in a two-day turnaround, despite the low threat posed by the malware. Numerous other Mac-focused third-party anti-virus services were updated within 24 hours.
In the past year alone, Apple has combated a number of malware attacks to its OS X operating system. Flashback resulted in more than 600,000 Apple machines being infected earlier this year. And, while the increase in OS X malware shows a “troubling trend,” according to one Mac expert, most Mac users should not panic, but also not remain complacent.
Security and Mac expert Thomas Reed said that Russian malware writers were likely behind the Trojan and are “aiming at a target that they are familiar with.”
While Flashback was a problem for Mac users worldwide, an increasing amount of Mac-related malware is focused on users outside the U.S, according to Reed. “Many have been aimed specifically at Tibetan human rights groups and the Dalai Lama.”
But above all else, the overall Mac malware threat should be not be underestimated for the future, but not be overestimated for the present. The latest Trojan.SMSSend malware is, “not really a big deal, but it adds to a troubling trend,” Reed told ZDNet.
“By my current count, including SMSSend, there are now 35 different malware families that have ever affected OS X. Most of those are strung out over the history of OS X, but ten [around 28 percent] of all those malware families appeared this year alone.” He added this rises to 11 out of 36 — or just over 30 percent — if you count the 2011 and 2012 variants of Flashback as different.
Reed said that over the past year, “Macs have become a larger target for malware writers, due to their newfound popularity.” But, he warned that the increased threat should be taken with a pinch of salt and not be blown out of proportion.
In the fourth quarter alone, Apple said during its earnings that it had sold 4.9 million Macs during the three month period ending in September, an increase of 1 percent on the same quarter a year ago. Apple also shipped more Macs than any other machines sold by individual PC manufacturer during the same quarter, the firm said.
According to Net Applications, Apple has a Mac market share of 7.3 percent as of November, an increase of more than 1 percentage point during the same month a year ago.
As Reed notes, ten new strains of Mac malware per year is still quite low relative to the Windows world. The bigger threat is social engineering, which is harder to block with technology. Reed said: “…obviously there will always be users who can be tricked into doing something they shouldn’t.”
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The best way to recover from unexpected data loss is to be properly prepared. With one of the following tools on hand, you’ll always be ready to save your data from the Reaper.
While the best defense against data loss is redundant and real-time backup, we understand that sometimes data loss sneaks right up on you. Whether your vacation pictures didn’t make it safely from your camera to your computer or a bumbling roommate deleted the paper you’ve been working all week on, having emergency data recovery tools handy is crucial to getting your data back before it’s gone forever. Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite data recovery tools with us. We tallied up your favorites and now we’re back with the nominees for best free data recovery tool.
TestDisk is a powerful open-source tool for recovering your data. Not only can TestDisk perform basic file recovery like undeleting accidentally deleted files from FAT, NTFS, and ext2 file systems, but it comes with a host of additional functionality. With TestDisk you can recover your boot sector from a backup, rebuild your boot sector, fix FAT tables, fix your MFT, locate the ext2/ext3 backup SuperBlock, copy deleted files from partitions to recovery media, and find lost partitions in dozens of formats to help you locate your lost data. It’s a command line tool, so there’s no GUI, but the menus and the documentation in the wiki should get you started without much trouble.
Recuva is a user-friendly Windows-based tool. When you run Recuva, you can resurrect missing files using either the file-recovery wizard or the application’s manual mode. The file-recovery wizard is handy when you’re sure your data is gone but you’re not quite sure where it went or how to get it back. The wizard lets you narrow your search type to pictures, music, documents, video, or all files, and you can set the search location to everywhere on your computer, removable media only, in My Documents, the Recycle Bin, or a specified location. If you don’t need the wizard you can jump right into manual mode and get to work searching where you know the file should be. Recuva uses a green/yellow/red light system to indicate how probable the recovery of your files will be, and when available, it can provide previews image files available for recovery. Recuva also includes a tool to securely wipe files you find, handy if you’re attempting a file recovery just to ensure the files are actually dead and gone.
PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, also included in this Hive Five. Like TestDisk, this app is also devoid of a GUI, but likewise is quite powerful at file recovery. We’re including PhotoRec independently of TestDisk because many users distinctly prefer PhotoRec as a safer alternative when deep disk recovery isn’t necessary. This recovery tool won’t mess with your partitions or help you rebuild your master boot record; it will, however, dive into your disks in a safe, read-only mode and ignore partitions and file systems in an effort to seek out your missing files. PhotoRec focuses on file types, is operating-system agnostic, and despite its name, isn’t relegated to just photos. Overall, PhotoRec is a powerful tool for quickly and safely copying your deleted files to another disk.
Restoration is a tiny, no-frills, portable recovery tool. You can use it in all versions of Windows and Windows file systems. It lacks some of the advanced functionality of other nominees but does have basic file-name search and the ability to sort by file parameters such as size and filename. Despite its tiny size, it performed just as well as the other nominees when tasked with restoring files from our test disks. Restoration weighs in at a mere 406k and would make a great addition to any Windows-based USB toolkit.
5.Undelete Plus (Windows)
Undelete Plus used to be commercial software but has gone on a lengthy “limited time offer” freeware run. This file recovery app works on all versions of Windows and incarnations of the FAT and NTFS file systems. Like Recuva, Undelete Plus assigns a recovery probability to files it finds based on how damaged the file is. You can sort files by type, set filters based on time and size to avoid sifting through every deleted file on your disk, and keep folder structures intact when you perform your recovery.
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Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has finally arrived in India.
With an official announcement by its co-manufacturer Asus, the long wait of the Indians has come to an end; but not without a bit of sadness. The 16GB version Nexus has come with a price tag of Rs. 19,999, which is a bit too high when compared to its original price in the US ($199).
While there is a 32GB model, and a 3G version tablet, presently only the 16GB, Wi-Fi-only version will be available in India. This tablet would be sold at ASUS showrooms and Chroma fromNovember 20, 2012.
Nexus 7 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and has 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. It weighs about 340 grams, has 1GB RAM and Tegra 3 processor. It also has a micro-USB port, a 1.2MP front camera. The battery backup is of 9.5 hours.
Google says, the tablet has been designed with gaming in mind. There are about 675,000 apps and games, a large collection of eBooks, songs, thousands of movies and TV shows, and the latest magazines available on Google Play. With this tablet, one can make the best use of Google Apps like Gmail, Chrome, Google+ and Maps.
Do you still want to wait?
Google Nexus 7 was named ‘gadget of the year’ at London’s T3 Gadget Awards 2012.
Though Nexus 7 has become one of the very successful tablets, its rivals Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and iPad are very popular and have a major share in the market.
With iPad Mini arriving in India, Nexus 7 might face a tough competition. At the same time, people may not buy either of these and wait for Nexus 7 32GB model with 3G to hit the Indian market.
Are you the one who wish to wait or go for one of these?