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    If you’re getting bombarded with FaceTime group calls, you’re not alone / ArsTechnica · Monday, 15 March - 21:17

A middle-aged woman sitting in the kitchen at the glass table

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

FaceTime users are getting bombarded with group calls from numbers they’ve never seen before, often as many as 20 times in short succession during late hours of the night.

Griefers behind the pranks call as many as 31 numbers at a time. When a person receiving one of the calls hangs up, a different number will immediately call back. FaceTime doesn’t have the ability to accept only FaceTime calls coming from people in the user’s address book. It also requires all numbers in a group call must be manually blocked for the call to be stopped.

“I got my first facetime spam starting 4 days ago,” one user reported to an Apple support forum earlier this month. “It has been non-stop, over 300 numbers blocked so far. My 3 year old daughter has been accidentally answering them and going on video without a t-shirt on.”

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    What Is The Difference: Viruses, Worms, Ransomware, Trojans, Malware, Spyware, Rootkit / FossBytes · Monday, 15 March - 09:48 · 8 minutes

types of malware

If you are among the people who consider malware, worms, and viruses to be the same thing, then you’re on the wrong track. Malware is an umbrella term for malicious software which includes all sorts of harmful elements like viruses, trojans, ransomware, bots, spyware, etc. So, let’s tell you about them in detail.

Have you ever tried to understand the difference between virus, trojan, worm, spyware, and malware? Even though they are meant to harm your device, steal your data, and spy on you, why are they named so differently? Basically, terms like viruses, trojans are all types of malicious software, or simply, malware.

Now, the first and foremost question arises, from where did the malware come? Who created the first virus?

Clearly, they are not some outer planet species, trying to harm us. In fact, the real truth is that they were not even created with an intention to harm someone.

The mention of malware goes back to 1949 when John von Neumann first developed the theoretical base for self-duplicating automation programs, but the technical implementation was not feasible at that time. The term “Computer Virus” was first used by Professor Leonard M. Adleman in 1981 in a conversation with Fred Cohen.

World’s first computer virus named ‘Brain’ was coded by two brothers, Basit Farooq Alvi and Amjad Farooq Alvi , who were from Lahore, Pakistan. Brain was meant to infect storage media based on MS-DOS FAT file systems. It was originally designed to infect the IBM PC; it replaced the boot sector of its floppy disk with the virus. The virus program changed the disk label to ©Brain and the defected boot sectors displayed this message:

Welcome to the Dungeon (c) 1986 Basit & Amjads (pvt) Ltd VIRUS_SHOE RECORD V9.0 Dedicated to the dynamic memories of millions of viruses who are no longer with us today – Thank GOODNESS!! BEWARE OF THE er..VIRUS: this program is catching program follows after these messages….$#@%$@!!

However, as you may presume, there was no evil intention behind this. Alvi brothers once justified Brain in their interview with TIME magazine; they created the virus only to protect their medical software from piracy. It was their countermeasure against copyright infringement acts.

Coming back to Malware, this is a malicious software designed to harm a computer that may or may not be connected to a network. Malware only gets into action when there is computer hardware involved in the game. Otherwise, the term Malware is of no use.

What are the types of Malware?

What is a Worm?

Worms are malware computer programs which have the ability to replicate themselves. Their sole objective is to increase their population and transfer themselves to another computer via the internet or through storage media. They operate like spies involved in a top-secret mission, hiding their movement from the user.

Worms don’t cause any harm to the computer; their replicating nature consumes hard drive space, thus, slowing down the machine. A couple of the infamous worms are SQL Blaster which slowed the internet for a small period and Code Red which took down almost 359,000 websites.

What is a Virus?

Viruses also have the ability to replicate themselves, but they do damage files on the computer they attack. Their main weakness lies in the fact that viruses can get into action only if they have the support of a host program. Otherwise, they’re just like a defeated warrior. They stick themselves to songs, videos, and executable files and travel all over the internet. W32.Sfc!mod, ABAP.Rivpas.A, Accept.3773 are some of the examples of virus programs.

The Virus Gang (Types of Computer Virus):

  • File Viruses
  • Macro Viruses
  • Master Boot Record Viruses
  • Boot sector Viruses
  • Multi-Partite Viruses
  • Polymorphic Viruses
  • Stealth Viruses

Feel free to Google any one of them if you like.

What is a Trojan?

Trojans are not like viruses or worms, and they are not meant to damage or delete files on your system. Their principal task is to provide to a backdoor gateway for malicious programs or malevolent users to enter your system and steal your valuable data without your knowledge and permission. JS.Debeski.Trojan is an example of Trojan.

Trojans derive their name from the ‘Trojan Horse’ tale in which the Greeks entered the city of Troy with the help of a wooden horse disguised as a gift. But the Trojan turned out to be a sweet poison, as depicted in the movie Troy.

The Trojan Gang (Types of Trojan):

  • Remote Access Trojans
  • Data Sending Trojans
  • Destructive Trojans
  • Proxy Trojans
  • FTP Trojans
  • Security Software Disabler Trojans
  • Denial-Of-Service Attack Trojans

Feel free to Google anyone of them if you like.

What is an Adware?

Adware are used to display advertisements on your computer’s desktop or inside individual programs. They generally come attached with free-to-use software. They are the primary source of revenue for the developers of those software programs.

Adware can’t be entirely described as Malware as they have no intention to harm your machine, they only track what advertisements you’re more interested in viewing and display the relevant ads on your computer screen. For some people, this can be alarming as it’s a breach of their privacy. Also, an attacker can stuff malicious code inside an adware program and use it to monitor users’ machine and even compromise it.

What is Rootkit?

Rootkits are a very dangerous category of malware as they are created with an aim to get remote access to a computer with full administrative privileges. Generally, a rootkit is a collection of different programs that work in a coordinated fashion to gain access and conceal its existence. They are also difficult to stop as they employ additional obfuscation mechanisms to hide their presence on the computer.

What is a Spyware?

Spyware programs also come attached with freeware. They track your browsing habits and other personal details and send it to a remote user. They can also facilitate installation of unwanted software from the internet. Unlike Adware, they work as a standalone program and do their operations silently.

What is a Spam?

You get very irritated when you receive unwanted emails from unknown senders; these are called Spams or junk emails. And the process of flooding the internet with the same message is called Spamming, done for the purpose of commercial advertising. These junk emails may sometimes contain Viruses or Trojans that enter your system as soon as you open the mail.

What is a Bot?

Bots or robots are automated processes that are designed to interact over the internet without the need of human interaction. They can be used for good and bad intentions. An evil-minded person can create a malicious Bot that is capable of infecting the host on its own. After transmitting itself to the host device, a Bot creates a connection with central servers which act as the command centers for the all infected hosts attached to that network called Botnet.

A bot’s skills include stealing passwords, logging keystrokes, analyzing network traffic, relay spam, launching DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, and opening backdoors on infected hosts.

Bots can be seen as the advanced form of Worms. Their infection rate and the tactic is more effective than that of Worms. These malicious Bots are created after a lot of hard work done by their malignant creators.

What is a Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that can alter the normal operation of your machine. It encrypts the data and prevents you from using your computer partially or wholly. Ransomware programs also display warning messages asking for money to get your device back to normal working condition.

What is a Keylogger?

As its name suggests, keylogger software is used to record the keystroke actions of a computer user. While it may be used for ethical purposes of measuring user behavior and engagement, the term is generally used for software that aims to record such actions without the knowledge of users. With a help of a keylogger, a notorious actor can know your email details, password, credit card details, messages you type, etc.

Why people create malware?

After reading all this, you might be thinking why people create malware. Here are some reasons which might compel a coder to write malware programs:

  • Take control of a person’s computer for personal or professional reasons.
  • To get financial benefits. This also includes hackers raising money for a cause. Last year, we heard about a ransomware attack where hackers were collecting money to feed people. But it doesn’t mean what they were doing was right.
  • To steal confidential data.
  • To prove their point. For instance, by performing a security breach on a vulnerable system.
  • To take down an individual computer or a complete network.

and the list goes on….

How can you protect your computer from malware?

  • Keep your system up to date.
  • Use genuine software.
  • Install an antivirus software and update it regularly.
  • Set-up a firewall, may it be custom as provided by antivirus software. Windows has an inbuilt firewall option in case you don’t want to use a custom firewall.
  • Never open unknown emails that generally reside in your Spam folder.
  • Never open unknown links, use online website safety checker tools if you’re not sure to open a website.

By taking these simple measures, you can effectively keep your machine free from Malware and other potential threats.

The post What Is The Difference: Viruses, Worms, Ransomware, Trojans, Malware, Spyware, Rootkit appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    debacle · / berlin-xmpp-meetup · Monday, 8 March - 20:45 edit


We will talk about Spam in the context of XMPP.

Holger (i.a. ejabberd developer and admin of the XMPP provider and the instance of Freie Universität Berlin) and Ge0rG (i.a. author of the spam manifesto, heavy user of the Prosody module mod_firewall and developer of the XMPP client yaxim) will give talks. MattJ (i.a. author of mod_firewall and Snikket) will join the meetup.

Afterwards, we will discuss the three types of spam: registration spam, presence subscription spam and spam messages (directly or via public group chats).

When? Wednesday, 2021-03-10 18:00 CET (always 2ⁿᵈ Wednesday of every month)

Where? Online, via our channel ( A Jitsi Meet video conference will be announced there some minutes before the meeting starts.

See you then!

#jabber #xmpp #spam #chat #freesoftware #prosody #yaxim #jabberspam #snikket #meetup #berlin #community

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    On a plongé dans le labyrinthe des DM Instagram pornographiques / Numerama · Thursday, 18 February - 14:43

Ces dernières semaines, les utilisateurs et utilisatrices d'Instagram reçoivent de plus en plus d'invitations à des conversations de groupe qui renvoient vers des sites pornographiques. La recrudescence de ces spams interroge, notamment sur la capacité d'Instagram à les repérer. [Lire la suite]

Voitures, vélos, scooters... : la mobilité de demain se lit sur Vroom !

L'article On a plongé dans le labyrinthe des DM Instagram pornographiques est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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    La CNIL punit une entreprise accusée de spammer les Français / Numerama · Thursday, 31 December - 16:04

Voilà sans doute une information que la Performeclic ne diffusera pas auprès des internautes : la société, accusée de spammer le public, vient d'être condamnée par la CNIL à une amende pour infraction au RGPD. [Lire la suite]

Voitures, vélos, scooters... : la mobilité de demain se lit sur Vroom !

L'article La CNIL punit une entreprise accusée de spammer les Français est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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    The decade-long quest to stop “Spamford” Wallace / ArsTechnica · Monday, 28 December - 14:46 · 1 minute

The federal courthouse in Las Vegas, where Wallace was questioned about his money.

Enlarge / The federal courthouse in Las Vegas, where Wallace was questioned about his money. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Update, 12/28/20 : It's the year end holiday season, and much of Ars staff is still enjoying some necessary downtime. While that happens, we're resurfacing some classic Ars stories like this 2013 excerpt from The Internet Police , Deputy Editor Nate Anderson's look at how the Internet changed the game for criminals and law enforcement ( now available in paperback !). This piece on bringing down junk email king Spamford Wallace first published on December 22, 2013, and it appears unchanged below.

O n a warm April morning in 2007, one of the world’s most notorious spammers walked through the doors of the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas. Though the Federal Trade Commission was attempting to collect a $4 million judgment against him, Sanford “Spamford” Wallace showed up to his sworn deposition without a lawyer—and without any of the documents required of him.

Wallace, though nominally cooperative, had been nearly impossible to reach. When attorneys from the social network MySpace had sued him weeks before, the process server tasked with delivering legal documents couldn’t make contact with Wallace and eventually went to the OPM Nightclub where Wallace worked weekends as a $400-a-week disc jockey under the name “DJ MasterWeb.” The process server claimed to have approached Wallace at the club before being intercepted by security guards; the lawsuit papers were literally thrown at Wallace in an attempt to get good service on him.

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    Gmail : une faille critique permettait d’usurper n’importe quelle adresse / JournalDuGeek · Friday, 21 August, 2020 - 15:20 · 2 minutes

© Photo : Stephen Phillips – Unsplash / Icone : Bakunetsu Kaito – Noun Project

Google vient de résoudre une vulnérabilité particulièrement importante, puisqu’elle touchait sa célèbre messagerie Gmail. Elle permettait d’usurper n’importe quelle adresse Gmail ou Gsuite pour envoyer des messages sous une autre identité. La faille a été exhumée par Allison Husain, chercheuse en cybersécurité. Elle repose sur une paire de systèmes complémentaires : DMARC ( D omain-based M essage A uthentication R eporting and C onformance) et SPF (Sender Policy Framework). Il s’agit d’une paire de systèmes de sécurité, qui travaillent ensemble pour garantir l’authenticité des e-mails. C’est grâce à DMARC que certains mails terminent dans le fichier Spam , ou que les plus douteux n’arrivent pas du tout. SPF, de son côté, sert à authentifier l’expéditeur d’un mail. Aujourd’hui, ce duo de choc est utilisé par toutes les plateformes de messagerie. Il sert à trier les mails autorisés à partir de leur domaine sur la base de leur adresse IP.

Un schéma qui décrit la procédure. © Allison Husain

Le backend de Google complice malgré-lui

Pour cela, il suffisait de se rendre sur la console d’administration G Suite. À partir de là, l’utilisateur pouvait désactiver le DMARC et le SPF, et créer différentes règles de routage pour les e-mails entrants afin “d’appliquer des en-têtes personnalisés, modifier l’objet, ou le destinataire avant qu’il ne soit pris en charge par le reste de l’infrastructure Google ”, explique la chercheuse. Normalement, un tel e-mail serait instantanément bloqué. Mais la chercheuse a eu l’idée d’envoyer un message à son propre compte G Suite “ relais”. Celui-ci a été paramétré en amont pour renvoyer le message en question vers la cible, mais avec des informations modifiées… dont l’adresse de l’expéditeur. Cette version de l’e-mail arrive donc sans problème, comme si elle venait d’une autre adresse, puisque l’e-mail ne provient plus de l’expéditeur d’origine mais directement de l’infrastructure interne de Google.

Techniquement, il était donc possible d’usurper toute adresse Gmail de cette façon. Une faille du couple DMARC / SPF constitue donc une vulnérabilité particulièrement inquiétante. On imagine facilement à quel point une telle faille aurait pu être désastreuse vu la popularité de cette messagerie, d’autant plus que la résolution n’est arrivée que plusieurs mois après l’alerte initiale. Un détail cocasse : celle-ci datait d’ailleurs du… 1er avril 2020. Mais cette vulnérabilité n’avait rien d’une plaisanterie, et on ne peut que saluer l’ingéniosité de la chercheuse qui l’a repérée. Pour plus de détails techniques, nous vous invitons d’ailleurs à lire son post très intéressant sur le sujet.

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    Comment envoyer un email directement dans la boite spam ? / Korben · Thursday, 25 June, 2020 - 07:00 · 1 minute

Ça nous est tous arrivé de devoir invité des gens à une fête ou tout autre événement de ce type, pas forcement parce qu’on en a envie, mais plutôt parce que ça fait plaisir à belle-maman ou parce que bon, tu comprends « c’est la Famille, petit ».

Alors, comment faire pour réaliser une invitation par mail passive agressive ? C’est-à-dire une invitation que VOUS aurez envoyée, mais que Tonton Marcel ne verra JAMAIS ?

Et bien c’est simple, il suffit de vous rendre sur le site « Straight 2 Spam » et de copier-coller le texte fourni à la fin de votre email.

Il s’agit d’un contenu qui n’apparaitra pas visuellement dans votre message, mais qui contiendra le texte suivant :

1 $$$ 100% Act now Action Additional income Affordable All natural/new Amazed Apply now Avoid Be amazed/your own boss Beneficiary Billing Billion Bonus Boss Buy Call!!!!!! free/now Cancel Cash Casino Certified Cheap Click here Clearance Collect Compare rates Congratulations Credit card/check/offers Cures Deal Dear friend/somebody Debt Discount!!!!!! Direct email Don't delete/hesitate Double your income/cash Earn Extra Expire Fantastic Free!!!!! access/money/gift Freedom Friend Get it now/started/paid Great Guarantee Hello Income Increase sales/traffic Instant Investment Junk Limited Lose Lowest price Luxury Make $/money???? Medicine Money Name!!!!!!! No credit check/experience Now Obligation Offer Only Open Order now Please Presently Problem Promise Purchase Quote Rates Refinance Refund Remove Request Risk-free Sales Satisfaction!!!!!! Save Score Serious Spam Success Supplies Take action Terms Traffic Trial Unlimited Urgent!!!!! Weight While supplies last Win Winner XJSC4JDBQADN1.NSBN32IDNENGTUBE-STANDARD-ANTI-UBE-TEST-EMAILC.34X

Magnifique texte de qualité qui comme vous vous en doutez, enverra directement votre joli message d’invitation dans la boite SPAM de tonton Marcel !

Pratique !