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February 19, 2006 14:25 - Welcome To Guard Privacy & Online Security News & Information

If you're looking for cutting news and information about Internet privacy security risks -- and protection against them -- then this is the source for you. Enjoy reading!

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February 20, 2006 20:57 - Mac Users Not So Safe?

The second Mac OS X malware program within the week has been discovered. First, antivirus researchers discovered what's claimed to be the first computer Trojan to infect Apple Mac OS X computers, known as Leap-A. Now, a worm known as Inqtana.A that poses a limited threat has been discovered. The worm exploits a vulnerability in Bluetooth on some Macs that haven't been updated with Panther and Tiger security patches. Read more... Spyware Review of Trojan horses

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February 21, 2006 15:21 - Preventing Pharming With A Cookie?

Pharming is the term used to describe the redirection of traffic from a genuine site to a bogus site. The intention of the bogus site is to obtain personal and financial information for fraud and identity theft. Ravenwhite Inc. has proposed the use of an "active cookie" that could protect surfers from this type of attack, including Wi-Fi hijacks, to redirect users to fake sites. The cookie would warn if the site was not genuine. Now, the developers are looking at how this can be incorporated into a commercial security application. However, there is software available -- much of it free -- that can help stop us from becoming a victim of pharming. Learn more about this free software -- and pharming -- by visiting How Internet Identity Theft Works.

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February 22, 2006 19:54 - Google Continues To Guard Privacy Against Government Demands

In contrast to its attitude in China, where its search service meets Chinese censor's restrictions, Google is so far refusing demands to give up search information at home. The US Department of Justice has issued a subpoena that seeks a week's worth of search data from the three major search engine companies to assist a study on the Child Online Protection Act. Yahoo and MSN have complied but, so far, Google is playing the users trust card. "The Government's demand for disclosure of untold millions of search queries submitted by Google users and for production of a million Web page addresses or 'URLs' randomly selected from Google's proprietary index would undermine that trust, unnecessarily burden Google, and do nothing to further the Government's case in the underlying action," the company's lawyers wrote in court papers. If Google convinces California courts that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) protects Internet users' search terms from a subpoena, this will put any future law enforcement demands for such records in jeopardy. Take a look at the lawyers commentary on Google's Blog.

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February 22, 2006 19:57 - A Zombie PC Network Helps Spammers Get Trickier

Spammers are changing tactics to avoid being detected. Rather than mass mailing of spam and malicious programs using servers, spammers are increasingly using Botnets -- a Zombie PC network -- to send out smaller packets. A Botnet, or Zombie PC, is often a home PC that has been compromised by a Trojan horse that allows a third party to take control of the computer. BlackSpider Technologies reports that one botnet, responsible for issuing 50 million identical spam emails per day, compromised at least 150,000 computers. Each sends out around 330 emails a day. At this low mail-out rate, BlackSpider believes users of compromised machines will not notice anything... so, the Zombie PC remains undetected. Read more...

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February 23, 2006 21:10 - Be Prepared For These Online Threats During 2006

The Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance have jointly predicted the top Internet threats for 2006. They report that there are four threats to be aware of and to take precautions against:
  • Viruses will be increasingly spread by instant messaging
  • Phishing becomes more widespread
  • Virus attacks on mobiles and PDAs
  • Hackers will target online brokerage accounts
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February 24, 2006 18:12 - Third Threat For Mac Users

Hot on the heels of the Leap-A and Inqtana-A threats to Mac OS X users, comes a third and critical vulnerability. The flaw affects Zip archives and Apple's Safari Web browser, which could allow attackers to disable a Mac computer when users access an Internet site containing certain malicious code. While waiting for a patch from Apple, Symantec advises Mac users to uncheck the "open safe files after downloading" option, under the "general" section in Safari's preferences. More details...
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February 25, 2006 13:08 - Our Phone Calls Are Monitored... But There Is A Way To Guard Privacy.

On the back of demands by the US Department of Justice for the major search engines to hand over details of users search history, the US government is under fire on the legality of "wiretapping". The NSA has a huge wiretapping program looking at many millions of 'phone calls, Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer at Counterpane Internet Security told the Associated Press. Schneier says that Skype calls will be able to foil the NSA program because their wiretapping does massive, broad sweeps and is unable to crack Skype's 256-bit encryption.
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February 26, 2006 09:42 - New, Sneaky Spyware Withdraws Cash From Our Bank Accounts

Trojans horses are classified as spyware. They can be unknowingly downloaded on to our PCs by opening spam or visiting certain websites designed to download this type of malware... usually through a system or browser vulnerability. Once downloaded they then sit on our PCs and monitor what we are doing. For instance, certain Trojans, called keyloggers, can read our passwords, or anything that we type into our computers. Now, there is a move away from this type of activity towards a much more focussed crime... the 'bank-stealing' Trojan. These new Trojans are programmed to work with specific online banking Web sites. They wait until the victim has actually logged in to their bank account... then they just transfer the money out. This malicious software typically arrives in an email with an apparently innocent Web link, such as an online greeting card. When we click on it, we download an executable that installs itself into our browser and then just waits until we go to our bank site... then carries out it's malicious work. Click for more information on Trojans and how to guard privacy and online security from this menace.
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February 27, 2006 20:16 - Government Spying Brings Calls To Strengthen Laws To Guard Privacy

The Center for Democracy & Technology issued a report highlighting increasing government surveillance and advocating stronger laws to enable Americans to retain their privacy rights. To illustrate the erosion of privacy rights, the report cites as examples...
  • The National Security Agency's domestic wiretapping program
  • The Justice Department's subpoenas to obtain millions of Internet search records
  • The government's use of cellphones to track suspects
  • The governments use of spyware, such as keyloggers, installed on computers
The report also warns about the vulnerability of our email information, which is stored on the computers of service providers and which can be obtained simply with a subpoena. Read more on this item... Get to know the computer internet security risks we face and how we can protect ourselves.
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February 28, 2006 16:33 - Comparative Testing Of Free & Commercial Spyware Remover Programs

Spyware now surpasses viruses as the biggest threat to our PCs and personal information, making anti-spyware mandatory for anyone connecting to the Internet. Because the development of anti-spyware is in its infancy, unlike anti-virus software, there are no set Industry standards and very little independent test data. So how do we cut through the marketing hype to select the most effective programs? Are free spyware removers as good as the commercial ones? Well, these questions are answered by two sets of independent tests, which clearly show the best performers... Read more of this article
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