Security Corner:

August, 2009


August 14, 2009  3:02 AM

Twitter Used As Botnet Command & Control Channel

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

A botnet that uses Twitter for command and control? You bet. Jose Nazario over at Arbor Networks apparently found one: “Basically what it does is use the status messages to send out new links to contact, then these contain new commands or executables to download and run.” The bots connect to...

August 12, 2009  12:39 AM

Patch Tuesday – 19 Windows Security Flaws Fixed

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

It’s that day of the month again and this time Microsoft has patched 19 security holes, 15 of which have a “critical” rating. The good news is that none of the vulnerabilities affect Windows 7. As usual, a bunch of the flaws stem from ActiveX controls, probably the worst thing...


August 11, 2009  2:22 AM

Twitter Attack: Whodunit and How? Whonose?

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Speculation abounds over who was responsible for the DDoS attacks that affected Twitter--and to a lesser degree, Facebook and LiveJournal--this past Thursday. Various sources, including CNN and


August 8, 2009  1:37 PM

Twitter Hit with DDoS Attack

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

On Thursday morning, I decided to check my Twitter account and was greeted by a “Network Timeout” error. I tried several more times and finally gave up, thinking I’d just try later. I thought nothing more about it until I heard the news item on a local radio station that Twitter had been...


August 8, 2009  1:15 PM

Tsk, Tsk! Weak Passwords Allow Congressional Web Site Defacements

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

This is simply idiocy—or gross negligence—of the highest degree. In the last week, more than a dozen US Representatives’ websites were defaced by hackers who posted digital graffiti on the home pages. The graffiti read, “H4ck3d by 3n_byt3 @ Indonesia H4ck3rs” (see screen shot). There was...


August 7, 2009  6:50 PM

Shrink Your Attack Surface

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

I’ve heard this phrase bandied about in Linux forums and in the occasional blog post, but it’s something I never considered relative to the security of Windows boxes.  There’s an awful lot of research on the subject and it boils down to this: The larger the attack surface, the more...


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