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Panda Security Now Compatible with Windows 8

The Cloud Security Company, Panda Security announced that Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 Beta Version, compatible with Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available. Users who have installed the beta version of the new Microsoft operating system will benefit from the best protection against malware.

Panda Antivirus Pro 2012 is an easy-to-use antivirus protection consumer product, designed specifically to offer maximum protection with minimum resource consumption. Panda Security’s 2012 solutions leverage Collective Intelligence, the company’s exclusive cloud-computing technology, that collects threat intelligence from millions of computer users and deliver automated, instantaneous protection against known and unknown malware.

Every day PandaLabs receive nearly 73 000 new files that Collective Intelligence automatically analyzes, classifies and remedies by gathering information on malware from the worldwide Panda community. Collective Intelligence continuously improves protection levels and offers more rapid response to the newest and most dangerous malware attacks.

According to Jeremy Matthews, MD of Panda Security South Africa, “Making our 2012 solutions compatible with Microsoft’s upcoming operating system was essential for us, as for over 20 years, Panda Security has been innovating and developing new technologies to protect our customers from all kinds of threats, we are always there when users need us.” Figures show that the Consumer Preview for Windows 8 has already had over 1 million downloads.

 For more information and to download the free beta, please visit: http://www.pandasecurity.com/windows8

BEWARE OF VALENTINE’S DAY MALWARE DISTRIBUTION

Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, PandaLabs have reported new malware distribution campaigns, which details numerous emails in circulation with links for downloading romantic greeting cards, videos, gift ideas, or Facebook and Twitter messages related to Valentine’s Day.

According to PandaLabs, social engineering is cyber-crooks’ preferred technique for deceiving users by convincing them to take a series of actions therefore obtaining confidential information from users. Crime-ware and social engineering go hand-in-hand: a carefully selected social engineering ploy convinces users to hand over their data or install a malicious program which captures information and sends it on to the fraudsters.

Cyber-crooks, however, are also exploiting other channels, such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and given the access to millions of users that these social networks provide, they have become just as popular among the criminal fraternity for spreading malware as email. 

A Recently discovered, new Facebook attack that utilizes users walls to spread harmless messages inviting users to install a Valentine’s Day theme on Facebook. However, if the user clicks the wall post, they are redirected to a page where they are prompted to install the theme. This installs a malware file which, once run, displays ads from other websites. It also downloads an extension that monitors Web activities and redirects sessions to survey pages that request sensitive information like phone numbers.

Some weeks ago, the PandaLabs blog reported on a link included in a Twitter profile that took users to a dating site: http://pandalabs.pandasecurity.com/sex-lies-and-twitter/. Special dates like Valentine’s Day can see a proliferation of malicious Twitter posts used to steal users’ confidential data and empty their bank accounts through social engineering. 

Here is a collection of some of the Valentine’s Day themed malware campaigns detected by PandaLabs in recent years: 

Waledac.C: This worm spread by email trying to pass itself off as a greeting card. The email message includes a link to download the card. However, if the user clicks the link and accepts the subsequent file download they are actually letting the Waledac.C worm into their computer. Once it infects the computer, the worm uses the affected user’s email to send out spam.

I Love.exe you: This was a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) that gave attackers access to the victim’s computer and all their personal information. The Trojan allowed the virus creator to access target computers remotely, steal passwords and manage files.

Nuwar.OL: This worm spread in email messages with subjects like “I love You So Much”, “Inside My Heart” or “You in My Dreams”. The text of the email included a link to a website that downloads the malicious code. The page was very simple and looked like a romantic greeting card with a large pink heart. Once it infected a computer, the worm sent out a large amount of emails, creating a heavy load on networks and slowing down computers.

 Valentin.E: This worm spread by email in messages with subjects like “Searching for True Love” or “True Love” and an attached file called “friends4u”. If the targeted user opened the file, a copy of the worm was downloaded. Then, the worm sent out emails with copies of itself from the infected computer to spread and infect more users.

Valentin.E: This worm spread by email in messages with subjects like “Searching for True Love” or “True Love” and an attached file called “friends4u”. If the targeted user opened the file, a copy of the worm was downloaded. Then, the worm sent out emails with copies of itself from the infected computer to spread and infect more users.

Storm Worm: This worm spread via email by employing a number of lures, one of them exploiting Valentine’s Day. If the targeted user clicked the link in the email, a Web page was displayed while the worm was downloaded in the background.

Storm Worm: This worm spread via email by employing a number of lures, one of them exploiting Valentine’s Day. If the targeted user clicked the link in the email, a Web page was displayed while the worm was downloaded in the background.

Web page displayed by Storm Worm. You can see the image at: http://prensa.pandasecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/STORMWORM.jpg

 PandaLabs offers users a series of tips to avoid falling victim to computer threats:

  •  Do not open emails or messages received on social networks from unknown senders.
  •  Do not click any links included in email messages, even though they may come from reliable sources. It is better to type the URL directly in the browser. This rule applies to messages received through any mail client, as well as those in Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks or messaging applications, etc. If you do click on any such links, take a close look at the page you arrive at. If you don’t recognize it, close your browser.
  •  Do not run attached files that come from unknown sources. Especially these days, stay on the alert for files that claim to be Valentine Day’s greeting cards, romantic videos, etc.
  •  Even if the page seems legitimate, but asks you to download something, you should be suspicious and don’t accept the download. If, in any event, you download and install any type of executable file and you begin to see unusual messages on your computer, you have probably been infected with malware.
  •  If you are making any purchases online, type the address of the store in the browser, rather than going through any links that have been sent to you. Only buy online from sites that have a solid reputation and offer secure transactions, encrypting all information that is entered in the page.
  •  Do not use shared or public computers, or an unsecured WiFi connection, for making transactions or operations that require you to enter passwords or other personal details.
  •  Have an effective security solution installed, capable of detecting both known and new malware strains.

 Panda Security offers you several free tools for scanning computers for malware, like Panda Cloud Antivirus: www.cloudantivirus.com

 More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://pandalabs.pandasecurity.com

Katy Perry & Russell Brand used as bait to Spread New Facebook Worm

Panda Security’s antimalware laboratory, PandaLabs have recently detected a new Facebook scam that uses a fake video of singer Katy Perry and ex-husband actor Russell Brand to trick users.

  

According to PandaLabs, if the user clicks the link, they are taken to a fake Facebook page where they are invited to download a plug-in to watch the video. The page indicates that over 4,000 people have already clicked the “Like” button, which is used by the scammers to trick victims into believing that the video is legitimate.

 

If the user tries to play the video, the worm will act differently depending on the browser used. On Internet Explorer, the worm displays an age verification page to access an application called “X-Ray Scanner”.

Then, before the user can take any other action, the browser takes them to a typical scam site where they are asked to enter their phone number. However, if they do so, they will start receiving unwanted premium rate text messages.

The infection is even more serious on Firefox and Chrome, as the worm installs a browser plug-in and uses it to post the scam to the victims’ friends’ pages.

According to Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, “Once again, user curiosity becomes cyber-criminals’ best ally. Scammers exploit people’s interest in this couple to infect users, who click the malicious link and download the worm without taking any precautions. This has two negative effects: on one hand, users infect their own computers; and on the other, a message is automatically sent to all of their Facebook friends.”

Social engineering is cyber-crooks’ weapon of choice to spread their creations through social media. The fact that users themselves unknowingly send the malicious links to friends facilitates malware distribution as people are more likely to click on a link received from a reliable source. There have been similar cases in the past. Last year, for example, over 80,000 users fell victim to a scam exploiting Steve Jobs’s death.

PandaLabs offers users tips on how to avoid falling victim to this type of scam:

–       Be wary of websites offering sensational videos or unusual stories.

–       Before you click on a link sent by one of your contacts, make sure it has been intentionally sent by your friend and it is not the result of a massive scam like this one.

–       Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. This will help keep your privacy safe.

–       Always keep your computer’s operating system and Web browsers up to date, and make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus solution installed.

If, however, you suspect you have fallen into the trap:

–       Check your browser plug-ins and remove any suspicious ones.

–       Check the applications that have permission to access your Facebook account, and delete those you don’t know.

–       Change your Facebook account password. If you use the same credentials to sign in to other services as well, change them too. It is always better to take all necessary precautions.

More information is available in the PandaLabs Blog.

About Panda Security 

Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions, with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the World. Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology. This innovative security model can automatically analyze and classify thousands of new malware samples every day, guaranteeing corporate customers and home users the most effective protection against Internet threats with minimum impact on system performance. Panda Security has 61 offices throughout the globe with US headquarters in Florida and European headquarters in Spain. In 2006, Jeremy Matthews founded Panda’s local subsidiary in Cape Town, opening the international vendor’s first presence on the African continent.

For more information, visit http://www.pandasecurity.co.za/

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Japanese earthquake exploited by cyber-criminals

Panda Security has sent out a warning to users who have been searching for articles and news about the Japanese earthquakes.

A certain link promises to show browsers a video of the quake when in fact, all it does is download malware onto your PC. This malware in turn, downloads more malware until your PC crashes.

Check out the article by Pandalabs, our malware laboratory for more info, and be careful of suspitious looking websites and videos when browsing.

http://pandalabs.pandasecurity.com/cybercriminals-taking-advantage-of-the-japanese-earthquake/

Panda Tops Cloud Security Market with 35 Awards Worldwide

  • Company honored with 35 awards worldwide for outstanding achievements in technology innovation and sales strategies
  • Cloud products achieve extraordinary market adoption, surpassing industry average 

Panda Security, The Cloud Security Company, announced end of year results in awards and market traction for the company’s cloud product line that serves small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) as well as consumers. In 2010, Panda Security secured 35 awards from recognized authorities on technology and business innovation, including the Wall Street Journal, CRN, PC World and AV Comparatives.

“Panda has always been ahead of the market in technology innovation and 2010 was no exception”, says Juan Santana, CEO of Panda. “At the beginning of the year, we set out to extend our position as a cloud security leader through a continued commitment to R&D and a focus on increasing the adoption of our cloud products for SMBs.”

“We attribute Panda’s success to our award-winning solutions and a highly diversified sales strategy that targets organizations with anywhere between 5 and 60,000 seats”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “Panda’s strong business momentum for the year coupled with independent recognition from the Wall Street Journal, CRN, PC World and many others, proves that our strategy is working”, he concludes.

The Panda Cloud Protection product line, which secures endpoints and servers, email and Web threat vectors, has grown well above the industry average growth rate for cloud-based security services in 2010. Income from these products grew 65% over the previous year and now represents 15% of the company’s total worldwide revenues. Panda expects this number to exceed 20% by the end of 2011. This compares to industry-wide revenue growth for SaaS (Software as a Service), which made up only 10% of total security services revenue in 2009, with this figure not projected to surpass 20% until 2014, according to market research firm Infonetics.

While the full list of accolades may be found on the PandaLabs blog, some of the more prominent awards include:

  1. Juan Santana, Panda Security CEO, among the 25 Most Innovative Executives of 2010. CRN, USA
  2. Panda Cloud Antivirus: Editor’s Choice. PC Magazine, USA
  3. Panda Security for Business: 5 Stars, SC Magazine, USA, UK
  4. Panda Internet Security 2011: Best Product, 5 Stars, Windows Magazine, Spain
  5. Panda Cloud Antivirus: Best Security Software, PC World, Latin America
  6. Antivirus Pro 2010: Top Score in On Demand Test, AV-Comparatives.org, Germany 
  7. Panda Global Protection 2011: Editor’s Choice, Computer Magazine, Italy
  8. Panda Internet Security 2011: First Place in Comparative Test, PC Security Labs, China

“We’re looking forward to an even more successful year ahead as the market has proven that it is ready for a cloud-based approach to antivirus security,” says Santana. “Based on the traction we are seeing in the channel, we expect revenues from Panda’s cloud security business solutions to surpass 20% of the company’s total income in 2011”, he concludes.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/

Follow Panda South Africa on Twitter @PandaSecurityZA and Facebook

Trojans Dominate Cyber Threats in 2010

  • The malware distribution techniques in the spotlight this quarter include clickjacking, BlackHat SEO and 0-day attacks
  • 95% of all email in circulation was spam, and 55% of global spam originated from just 10 countries
  • Android smart phones are being targeted by hackers, thanks to their widespread popularity

Global IT vendor Panda Security has published its quarterly report on global virus activity. This third quarter has once again seen Trojans in the spotlight, as 55% of all new threats created were in this category.

Infection via email, traditionally the most popular vector for spreading malware, has declined in favour of more modern methods: use of social media, such as the clickjacking attacks using the Facebook “Like” button, fake Web pages positioned on search engines (BlackHat SEO) and exploits of 0-day vulnerabilities.

In addition, Google’s Android operating system for smart phones has come into the line of fire. Various threats have appeared recently, aimed above all at racking up phone bills or targeting the geolocalization function of the terminals.

Malware info

55% of new threats created this quarter were Trojans, most of them banker Trojans. This is in line with the general increase in these types of threats that Panda has witnessed over the last two years.

With respect to spam, 95% of all email circulating across the Internet during the last quarter was junk mail. Some 50% of all spam was sent from just ten countries, with India, Brazil and Russia at the top of the list.

“This edition of the report highlights the record levels of threat distribution through new channels”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations.

There has also been much talk of two serious 0-day flaws in the code of Microsoft’s operating system. One of these could have been exploited to attack SCADA systems (specifically, nuclear power stations), although this rumor is yet to be confirmed.

On a more positive note, Panda is happy to report the arrest of the creator of the Butterfly botnet kit, source of the notorious Mariposa network that impacted 13 million computers around the world.

And finally, the latest and hopefully last scare of this third quarter: a worm called ‘Rainbow’ or ‘OnMouseOver’. A vulnerability in the code of Twitter allowed JavaScript to be injected, enabling a series of actions: redirecting users to Web pages, publishing javascript on the user’s timeline without their permission or knowledge, etc. Twitter however resolved the problem in just a few hours.

Android: in the firing line of hackers

Over these three months Panda has also witnessed what could be the beginning of a wave of threats targeting smart phones, as it seemed that hackers have started lining up Android, Google’s popular operating system. Two applications have been developed specifically for this platform: FakePlayer, which under the guise of a video player, sends SMS messages generating a hefty phone bill for victims without their knowledge; and TapSnake, an app disguised as a game which sends the geolocalization coordinates of the user to an espionage company.

‘With the rise in social networking attacks and banker Trojans, we encourage users to always be vigilant when using the web, for personal or professional reasons. This coupled with good malware and virus protection, like Panda’s, is the best way to stay safe’, concludes Matthews.

You can download the PandaLabs quarterly report from http://press.pandasecurity.com/press-room/panda-white-paper/

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.