It’s no surprise that conversation at Avast is focused on computer security. The Tuesday release of the new film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has sparked even more talk, because of the tortured heroine, hacker Lisbeth Salander. The movie is based on the first of the best-selling “Millennium Trilogy” crime novels by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson. It revolves around journalist Mikael Blomkvist who hires the mysterious Lisbeth to help solve a cold case of a missing teenager from decades ago.
Lisbeth works as an investigator from her ordinary laptop. She gains access, and complete control in some cases, to the contents of whomever’s computer she wants and uses information from emails, work documents, bank statements, and browsing history, to satisfy her curiosity, advance the case, and ultimately to loot bank accounts.
I sat down with Jindrich Kubec, senior virus analyst at the AVAST Virus Lab, to talk about hacking, finding information on the internet, and literary license.
(Spoiler alert: elements of the story are about to be revealed) Read more…
T minus 8 hours until we see if the threats of the hacktivist group Anonymous are fulfilled. November 5 is the scheduled demise of Facebook, according to a YouTube “press release” published months ago, and since removed. Last August a rally cry went out to willing hacktivists or guys who want “to protect the freedom of information” to “join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy.” It seems that this group has the technical chops to do it too – these are the same folks who brought us publicized attacks on the IMF, Sony and the Iranian government.
However, there is an indication that the big take-down won’t happen. The OP_Facebook account which was fairly active in the beginning has been pretty dead since last month. And the larger group has distanced themselves from the threat. Earlier today on AnonOps, one of the Twitter accounts regularly used by the Anonymous group, they tweeted, “We told you many times ddosing Facebook was a fake operation.”
So the world’s most popular social networking site will probably live to see another day. But maybe the threat of attack issued by Anonymous was designed to make us think about Facebook and their dalliances with individuals’ privacy. Facebook admitted this September that they had been tracking their 750 million users, even after they logged out of Facebook, using browsing monitoring cookies. The stated reasons were for security and fraud prevention.
We hope to see Facebook survive, if only for our thriving avast! antivirus page. It’s a great way to interact with like-minded people and learn a thing or two from you and share things about avast!. If Facebook is still around tomorrow, please share http://www.facebook.com/avast with a friend.
I read an interesting article today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090818/ap_on_bi_ge/us_hacker_charges
It is about the leader of a hacking ring being indicted for stealing the details of 130 million credit and debit cards in the US. This is not necessarily a new development as he was actually already in jail on similar previous charges dating back to 2006. But the sheer size is astounding. Some of the highlights and lessons for us: Read more…